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Silent Today, Conversant Tomorrow: Education Adequacy As A Political Question, Yeju Hwang Apr 2024

Silent Today, Conversant Tomorrow: Education Adequacy As A Political Question, Yeju Hwang

Northwestern University Law Review

When the Supreme Court declined to recognize the right to education as one fundamental to liberty, and thus unprotected by the U.S. Constitution, state courts took on the mantle as the next best fora for those yearning for judicial review of inequities present in American public schools. The explicit inclusion of the right to education in each state’s constitution carried the torch of optimism into the late twentieth century. Despite half a century of litigation in the states, the condition of the nation’s public school system remains troubling and perhaps increasingly falls short of expectations. Less competitive on an international …


Black Liberty In Emergency, Norrinda Brown Nov 2023

Black Liberty In Emergency, Norrinda Brown

Northwestern University Law Review

COVID-19 pandemic orders were weaponized by state and local governments in Black neighborhoods, often through violent acts of the police. This revealed an intersection of three centuries-old patterns— criminalizing Black movement, quarantining racial minorities in public health crises, and segregation. The geographic borders of the most restrictive pandemic order enforcement were nearly identical to the borders of highly segregated, historically Black neighborhoods.

The right to free movement is fundamental and, as a rule, cannot be impeded by the state. But the jurisprudence around state power in public health emergencies, deriving from the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, has practically resulted …


Private Patrolling At The Boundaries Of Public Duty, Kathleen M. Naccarato Oct 2023

Private Patrolling At The Boundaries Of Public Duty, Kathleen M. Naccarato

Northwestern University Law Review

In the shadow of contemporary debates over police functions, funding, and accountability, a new form of preventative policing has proliferated. Improvement districts, most commonly associated with downtown revitalization efforts, increasingly served a new purpose—crime control. Communities dissatisfied with public police services have found that they may leverage improvement district tax revenues to hire off-duty police officers to patrol their neighborhoods. This trend has not been without controversy. Critics have contended that these semiprivate, semipublic police patrols create a two-tier system of public safety, allowing wealthy residents to privately purchase powers that belong to the public as a whole.

This Note …


Perpetuities In An Unequal Age, Jack H.L. Whiteley Apr 2023

Perpetuities In An Unequal Age, Jack H.L. Whiteley

Northwestern University Law Review

For centuries, the common law limited aristocratic wealth. In the last three decades, that has changed. One by one, state legislatures have eliminated the rule against perpetuities (the Rule), and now “dynasty trusts” can make carefully controlled payments to a settlor’s descendants for hundreds of years. This change occurred soon before a large and ongoing intergenerational wealth transfer in the United States. Trusts scholars have roundly criticized the Rule’s removal, and some have described it as charting a path to a new Gilded Age.

This Article draws a theoretical lesson from the Rule’s demise. I argue that part of the …


Moral Nuisance Abatement Statutes, Scott W. Stern Nov 2022

Moral Nuisance Abatement Statutes, Scott W. Stern

Northwestern University Law Review

On May 19, 2021, Texas enacted S.B. 8—also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act—which prohibits almost any abortion of a fetus once a heartbeat can be detected, effectively banning abortions after only six weeks of pregnancy. Just as controversially, S.B. 8 also specifies that it is enforceable exclusively through private civil actions, and it allows any private person to sue anyone who “performs,” “induces,” or “knowingly . . . aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion,” seeking injunctive relief and statutory damages of $10,000 per violation. The passage of S.B. 8 immediately led to calls for, and …


Streaming Property, Lee Anne Fennell Aug 2022

Streaming Property, Lee Anne Fennell

Northwestern University Law Review

People acquire property rights in objects and real estate in order to capture the stream of services that these assets can provide over time. The thing or parcel itself is merely a delivery mechanism, a way of packaging and protecting rights to that value stream. And, significantly, these assets cannot stream services to anyone without a set of facilitating conditions and complementary goods, such as public infrastructure, that do not lie within the asset owner’s individual control. This Essay argues that we can gain fresh traction on inequality by recasting property as service streams rather than as owned things. Doing …


Flint's Fight For Environmental Rights, Noah D. Hall Aug 2022

Flint's Fight For Environmental Rights, Noah D. Hall

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay reviews the recent development of environmental rights within U.S. constitutional law, advanced through a series of federal court decisions in the wake of the Flint water crisis. The residents of Flint were poisoned and lied to by their government for nearly two years. They experienced how American environmental governance has failed at the state and federal levels and how our environmental laws leave individuals and communities unprotected. And then Flint fought back, in the courts, for five years. Flint residents have been overwhelmingly successful, achieving some justice for themselves and advancing substantive rights and remedies within our constitutional …


Delayed Synergy: Challenging Housing Discrimination In Chicago In The Streets And In The Courts, Leonard S. Rubinowitz, Michelle Shaw Apr 2022

Delayed Synergy: Challenging Housing Discrimination In Chicago In The Streets And In The Courts, Leonard S. Rubinowitz, Michelle Shaw

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

During the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Montgomery Improvement Association combined a boycott with a successful constitutional challenge to bus segregation laws, producing more progress to desegregate the buses than either strategy could have brought about on its own. The Montgomery Improvement Association’s approach was a paradigm of the synergy between a social movement and social change litigation.

This Article argues for opportunities for synergy between social movements and social change litigation in three ways: 1) extending the time frame; 2) joining the forces of two separate organizations to produce change, unlike the single organization in Montgomery; and 3) creating an …


Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson Nov 2021

Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson

Northwestern University Law Review

Courts and commentators have often sourced the political question doctrine in Article III, a repository of other separation-of-powers doctrines applicable to the federal courts. Rucho v. Common Cause, a blockbuster political question case decided in 2019, explicitly tied the doctrine to Article III. But the historical development of the doctrine undermines the depth of that connection. Further, sourcing the doctrine in Article III leads to some very odd effects, including leaving state courts free to answer federal political questions. This Article argues that the source of the political question doctrine is in substantive law, not in Article III. Such …


New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander Nov 2021

New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander

Northwestern University Law Review

Calls for change to the infrastructure of civil rights enforcement have grown more insistent in the past several years, attracting support from a wide range of advocates, scholars, and federal, state, and local officials. Much of the attention has focused on federal-level reforms, including proposals to overrule Supreme Court doctrines that stop many civil rights lawsuits in their tracks. But state and local officials share responsibility for the enforcement of civil rights and have underappreciated powers to adopt reforms of their own. This Article evaluates a range of state and local interventions, including the adoption of state law causes of …


Removing Police From Schools Using State Law Heightened Scrutiny, Christina Payne-Tsoupros Oct 2021

Removing Police From Schools Using State Law Heightened Scrutiny, Christina Payne-Tsoupros

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article argues that school police, often called school resource officers, interfere with the state law right to education and proposes using the constitutional right to education under state law as a mechanism to remove police from schools.

Disparities in school discipline for Black and brown children are well-known. After discussing the legal structures of school policing, this Article uses the Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) theoretical framework developed by Subini Annamma, David Connor, and Beth Ferri to explain why police are unacceptable in schools. Operating under the premise that school police are unacceptable, this Article then analyzes mechanisms to …


Remote Court: Principles For Virtual Proceedings During The Covid-19 Pandemic And Beyond, Alicia L. Bannon, Douglas Keith Apr 2021

Remote Court: Principles For Virtual Proceedings During The Covid-19 Pandemic And Beyond, Alicia L. Bannon, Douglas Keith

Northwestern University Law Review

Across the country, courts at every level have relied on remote technology to adapt the justice system to a once-a-century global pandemic. This Essay describes and assesses this unprecedented journey into virtual justice, paying particular attention to eviction proceedings. While many judges have touted remote court as a revolutionary innovation, the reality is more complex. Remote court has brought substantial time savings and convenience to those who are able to access and use the required technology, but it has also posed hurdles to individuals on the other side of the digital divide, particularly self-represented litigants. The remote court experience has …


Racialized Tax Inequity: Wealth, Racism, And The U.S. System Of Taxation, Palma Joy Strand, Nicholas A. Mirkay Apr 2020

Racialized Tax Inequity: Wealth, Racism, And The U.S. System Of Taxation, Palma Joy Strand, Nicholas A. Mirkay

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article describes the connection between wealth inequality and the increasing structural racism in the U.S. tax system since the 1980s. A long-term sociological view (the why) reveals the historical racialization of wealth and a shift in the tax system overall beginning around 1980 to protect and exacerbate wealth inequality, which has been fueled by racial animus and anxiety. A critical tax view (the how) highlights a shift over the same time period at both federal and state levels from taxes on wealth, to taxes on income, and then to taxes on consumption—from greater to less progressivity. Both of these …


Environmental Justice In Little Village: A Case For Reforming Chicago’S Zoning Law, Charles Isaacs Apr 2020

Environmental Justice In Little Village: A Case For Reforming Chicago’S Zoning Law, Charles Isaacs

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Chicago’s Little Village community bears the heavy burden of environmental injustice and racism. The residents are mostly immigrants and people of color who live with low levels of income, limited access to healthcare, and disproportionate levels of dangerous air pollution. Before its retirement, Little Village’s Crawford coal-burning power plant was the lead source of air pollution, contributing to 41 deaths, 550 emergency room visits, and 2,800 asthma attacks per year. After the plant’s retirement, community members wanted a say on the future use of the lot, only to be closed out when a corporation, Hilco Redevelopment Partners, bought the lot …


Screened Out Of Housing: The Impact Of Misleading Tenant Screening Reports And The Potential For Criminal Expungement As A Model For Effectively Sealing Evictions, Katelyn Polk Apr 2020

Screened Out Of Housing: The Impact Of Misleading Tenant Screening Reports And The Potential For Criminal Expungement As A Model For Effectively Sealing Evictions, Katelyn Polk

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Having an eviction record “blacklists” tenants from finding future housing. Even renters with mere eviction filings—not eviction orders—on their records face the harsh collateral consequences of eviction. This Note argues that eviction records should be sealed at filing and only released into the public record if a landlord prevails in court. Juvenile record expungement mechanisms in Illinois serve as a model for one way to protect people with eviction records. Recent updates to the Illinois juvenile expungement process provided for the automatic expungement of certain records and strengthened the confidentiality protections of juvenile records. Illinois protects juvenile records because it …


Transparency Deserts, Christina Koningisor Apr 2020

Transparency Deserts, Christina Koningisor

Northwestern University Law Review

Few contest the importance of a robust transparency regime in a democratic system of government. In the United States, the “crown jewel” of this regime is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Yet despite widespread agreement about the importance of transparency in government, few are satisfied with FOIA. Since its enactment, the statute has engendered criticism from transparency advocates and critics alike for insufficiently serving the needs of both the public and the government. Legal scholars have widely documented these flaws in the federal public records law.

In contrast, scholars have paid comparatively little attention to transparency laws at the …


Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler Jan 2020

Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


The Pursuit Of Comprehensive Education Funding Reform Via Litigation, Lisa Scruggs Jan 2020

The Pursuit Of Comprehensive Education Funding Reform Via Litigation, Lisa Scruggs

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Panel Discussion: The Right To Education: With Liberty, Justice, And Education For All? Jan 2020

Panel Discussion: The Right To Education: With Liberty, Justice, And Education For All?

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


A Class Action Lawsuit For The Right To A Minimum Education In Detroit, Carter G. Phillips Jan 2020

A Class Action Lawsuit For The Right To A Minimum Education In Detroit, Carter G. Phillips

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Private Prisons, Private Governance: Essay On Developments In Private-Sector Resistance To Privatized Immigration Detention, Danielle C. Jefferis Oct 2019

Private Prisons, Private Governance: Essay On Developments In Private-Sector Resistance To Privatized Immigration Detention, Danielle C. Jefferis

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Preschool For All: Plyler V. Doe In The Context Of Early Childhood Education, Shiva Kooragayala Oct 2019

Preschool For All: Plyler V. Doe In The Context Of Early Childhood Education, Shiva Kooragayala

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In its 1982 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court held that a state could not deny undocumented children living within its borders a public and free K-12 education. This Note argues that Plyler’s protections extend to publicly-funded early childhood education programs that serve children between the ages of three and five. Due to the broad support of researchers, educators, and the general public, early childhood education programs funded by local, state, and the federal governments have become an integral part of a comprehensive public education today. While these early childhood education programs are nominally open to all students …


The Character Of Law: A Normative Critique Of Social-Emotional Learning Laws, Meredith R. Aska Mcbride Sep 2019

The Character Of Law: A Normative Critique Of Social-Emotional Learning Laws, Meredith R. Aska Mcbride

Northwestern University Law Review

This Note examines a widespread but barely acknowledged phenomenon within education law: the recent enactment, in all fifty states, of statutes and standards regarding students’ social and emotional learning within public schools. Despite significant empirical evidence that curricular and disciplinary interventions targeting students’ social and emotional skills are effective at building these skills and, in turn, enhancing students’ academic and long-term outcomes, this Note argues that social and emotional learning should not be legislated. Drawing on James Scott’s seminal critique of processes of state rationalization and Jal Mehta’s application of this critique to education policy, this Note shows that the …


Rethinking Police Rulemaking, Maria Ponomarenko Sep 2019

Rethinking Police Rulemaking, Maria Ponomarenko

Northwestern University Law Review

For more than sixty years, prominent policing scholars have argued that the way to address the many problems of policing is to treat police departments like all other agencies of government—and to require that they set policy through something like notice-and-comment rulemaking. This paper argues that despite its intuitive appeal, rulemaking is not a particularly apt solution to policing’s various ills. Although policing scholars have been right to look to administrative law for ideas on how to govern policing, they have been focused on the wrong set of administrative tools. Instead of looking to the public to regulate the police …


Forgotten Limits On The Power To Amend State Constitutions, Jonathan L. Marshfield Sep 2019

Forgotten Limits On The Power To Amend State Constitutions, Jonathan L. Marshfield

Northwestern University Law Review

There seem to be no limits on what can pass through state constitutional amendment procedures. State amendments have targeted vulnerable minorities, deeply entrenched specific fiscal strategies, and profoundly restructured institutions. The malleability of state constitutions is significant because in many states there are legitimate fears that special interests dominate amendment politics, and that fundamental change is occurring with minimal opportunities for constructive deliberation or inclusive participation. The state doctrine of “referendum sovereignty” is a key condition fueling this dynamic. The doctrine holds that there are no substantive limits on any state amendment processes so long as amendments comply with federal …


Shelby County And Local Governments: A Case Study Of Local Texas Governments Diluting Minority Votes, Sydnee Fielkow Jun 2019

Shelby County And Local Governments: A Case Study Of Local Texas Governments Diluting Minority Votes, Sydnee Fielkow

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


A New Strategy For Regulating Arbitration, Sarath Sanga Mar 2019

A New Strategy For Regulating Arbitration, Sarath Sanga

Northwestern University Law Review

Confidential arbitration is a standard precondition to employment. But confidential arbitration prevents a state from ensuring or even knowing whether employees’ economic, civil, and due process rights are respected. Further, employers regularly require employees to waive rights to class proceedings (thereby foreclosing small claims) and to arbitrate under the laws of another jurisdiction (thereby evading mandatory state law). In response, states have tried to regulate arbitration provisions, arbitral awards, and arbitral processes. But these efforts have all failed because the Supreme Court says they are preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

In this Article, I argue that states can and …


A Lesson From Goodfellas: Why Current Illinois Consideration Based Pension Reform Proposals Still Fail, Lari A. Dierks May 2018

A Lesson From Goodfellas: Why Current Illinois Consideration Based Pension Reform Proposals Still Fail, Lari A. Dierks

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Soda Taxes As A Legal And Social Movement, David A. Dana, Janice Nadler Jan 2018

Soda Taxes As A Legal And Social Movement, David A. Dana, Janice Nadler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


School Desegregation 2.0: What Is Required To Finally Integrate America's Public Schools, Jim Hilbert Jan 2018

School Desegregation 2.0: What Is Required To Finally Integrate America's Public Schools, Jim Hilbert

Northwestern Journal of Human Rights

No abstract provided.