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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


Drugs' Other Side Effects, Craig J. Konnoth Jan 2019

Drugs' Other Side Effects, Craig J. Konnoth

Articles

Drugs often induce unintended, adverse physiological reactions in those that take them—what we commonly refer to as “side-effects.” However, drugs can produce other, broader, unintended, even non-physiological harms. For example, some argue that taking Truvada, a drug that prevents HIV transmission, increases promiscuity and decreases condom use. Expensive Hepatitis C treatments threaten to bankrupt state Medicaid programs. BiDil, which purported to treat heart conditions for self-identified African-Americans, has been criticized for reifying racial categories. Although the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) has broad discretion under the Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act (“FDCA”) to regulate drugs, it generally considers only traditional ...


Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2019

Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

International human rights law seeks to eliminate racial discrimination in the world through treaties that bind and norms that transform. Yet law’s impact on eradicating racism has not matched its intent. Racism, in all of its forms, remains a massive cause of discrimination, indignity, and lack of equality for millions of people in the world today. This Article investigates why. Applying a critical race theory analysis of the legal history and doctrinal development of race and racism in international law, Professor Spain Bradley identifies law’s historical preference for framing legal protections around the concept of racial discrimination. She ...


Environmental Justice And The Possibilities For Environmental Law, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2019

Environmental Justice And The Possibilities For Environmental Law, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

Climate change and extreme inequality combine to cause disproportionate harms to poor communities throughout the world. Further, unequal resource allocation is shot through with the structures of racism and other forms of discrimination. This Essay explores these phenomena in two different places in the United States, and traces law’s role in constructing environmental and economic vulnerability. The Essay then proposes that solutions, if there are any to be had, lie in expanding our notions of what kinds of laws are relevant to achieving environmental justice, and in seeing law as a possible tactic for instigating broader social change but ...