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Full-Text Articles in Law

Law In The Shadows Of Confederate Monuments, Deborah R. Gerhardt Sep 2021

Law In The Shadows Of Confederate Monuments, Deborah R. Gerhardt

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Hundreds of Confederate monuments stand across the United States. In recent years, leading historians have come forward to clarify that these statues were erected not just as memorials but to express white supremacist intimidation in times of racially oppressive conduct. As public support for antiracist action grows, many communities are inclined to remove public symbols that cause emotional harm, create constant security risks and dishonor the values of equality and unity. Finding a lawful path to removal is not always clear and easy. The political power brokers who choose whether monuments will stay or go often do not walk daily …


Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond Jun 2021

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond

Michigan Law Review

Federal law excludes millions of American citizens from crucial public benefits simply because they live in the United States territories. If the Social Security Administration determines a low-income individual has a disability, that person can move to another state and continue to receive benefits. But if that person moves to, say, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands, that person loses their right to federal aid. Similarly with SNAP (food stamps), federal spending rises with increased demand—whether because of a recession, a pandemic, or a climate disaster. But unlike the rest of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, …


The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota Apr 2021

The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Foreclosure Crisis of the 2000s has likely hurt renters more than homeowners. Incongruously, however, consumer enforcement agencies have been far more zealous in protecting mortgagors than tenants. This Article explores the under-protection of tenants as a class of consumers, particularly in a “commoditized” rental market, and examines how consumer enforcement agencies can more zealously incorporate tenant-protection into their mandates.

Much of the prior literature on the legal protections afforded tenants was published in the wake of the consumer rights revolution of the 1970s. This Article is the first to carefully reexamine, in the context of the modern rental market, …


Conflict Preemption: A Remedy For The Disparate Impact Of Crime-Free Nuisance Ordinances, Meredith Joseph Apr 2021

Conflict Preemption: A Remedy For The Disparate Impact Of Crime-Free Nuisance Ordinances, Meredith Joseph

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Thousands of municipalities across the country have adopted crime-free nuisance ordinances—laws that sanction landlords for their tenants’ behaviors, coercing them to evict tenants for actions as innocuous as calling 9-1-1 in an emergency. These facially neutral ordinances give wide discretion to municipal officials, leading to discriminatory enforcement of evictions. As a result, these ordinances have a devastating impact on victims of domestic violence and are used as a tool to inhibit integration in majority-white municipalities. Many plaintiffs have brought lawsuits alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution and the Fair Housing Act. However, bringing lawsuits under various anti-discrimination protections presents many …


Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges Apr 2021

Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. by Michele Goodwin.


Rethinking Mac Clauses In The Time Of Akorn, Boston Scientific, And Covid-19, Samuel Shapiro Apr 2021

Rethinking Mac Clauses In The Time Of Akorn, Boston Scientific, And Covid-19, Samuel Shapiro

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

The MAC clause is perhaps the most important clause in contract law, giving acquirers the ability to terminate even the largest agreements in the face of an often vaguely defined “Material Adverse Change.” For decades, even though MAC clauses have been present in nearly every merger agreement, courts have almost universally refused to enforce them. But the Delaware Chancery Court’s 2018 decision in Akorn may finally change that. As the world deals with the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, courts may soon get more opportunities to decide whether or not they will follow Akorn’s lead and begin to allow …


The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Mar 2021

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal Constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal Constitution, they were drafted—and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended— to empower …


Criminal Record Relief For Human Trafficking Survivors: Analysis Of Current State Statutes And The Need For A Federal Model Statute, Ashleigh Pelto Feb 2021

Criminal Record Relief For Human Trafficking Survivors: Analysis Of Current State Statutes And The Need For A Federal Model Statute, Ashleigh Pelto

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note defines criminal record relief and analyzes the effectiveness of three state criminal record relief statutes at protecting trafficking survivors. This analysis is based on State Report Cards: Grading Criminal Record Relief Laws for Survivors of Human Trafficking by Polaris, a leading human trafficking nonprofit. It next discusses the absence of federal criminal record relief and how a statute at the federal level could provide relief for survivors with federal convictions while simultaneously providing a model for states to ensure their statutes incorporate best practices for record relief moving forward. This Note then discusses how Polaris’s report stops short …


A Fresh Start: The Evolving Use Of Juvenile Records In College Admissions, Eve Rips Jan 2021

A Fresh Start: The Evolving Use Of Juvenile Records In College Admissions, Eve Rips

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Questions about criminal and juvenile records in the college application process are common and frequently fail to account for the unique characteristics of juvenile justice systems. The ways in which colleges and universities ask about juvenile records often encourage applicants to disclose information in spite of statutory protections. These questions fly in the face of the public policy underlying a range of legal safeguards that are intended to help individuals with records from juvenile systems in moving forward and receiving a second chance.

In recent years, a series of legislative and institutional changes have begun to restrict how colleges and …


Looking Toward Restorative Justice For Redlined Communities Displaced By Eco-Gentrification, Helen H. Kang Jan 2021

Looking Toward Restorative Justice For Redlined Communities Displaced By Eco-Gentrification, Helen H. Kang

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

MJEAL chose to publish Helen Kang’s piece, Looking Toward Restorative Justice for Redlined Communities Displaced by Eco-Gentrification, because it offers a unique analytic approach for analyzing the roots of environmental racism and the appropriate tools to help rectify it. She offers an argument for why restorative justice needs to be the framework and explains how we can accomplish this in the context of a whole government solution. MJEAL is excited to offer what will be an influential approach for environmental restorative justice to the broader activist and academic community.


The Role Of Trust Law Principles In Defining Public Trust Duties For Natural Resources, John C. Dernbach Jan 2021

The Role Of Trust Law Principles In Defining Public Trust Duties For Natural Resources, John C. Dernbach

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Public trusts for natural resources incorporate both limits and duties on governments in their stewardship of those natural resources. They exist in every state in the United States—in constitutional provisions, statutes, and in common law. Yet the law recognizing public trusts for natural resources may contain only the most basic provisions—often just a sentence or two. The purpose and terms of these public trusts certainly answer some questions about the limits and duties of trustees, but they do not answer all questions. When questions arise that the body of law creating or recognizing a public trust for natural resources does …


Sovereign Immunity And Interstate Government Tort, Louise Weinberg Jan 2021

Sovereign Immunity And Interstate Government Tort, Louise Weinberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This paper argues that the Supreme Court made a serious mistake last term, when, in a case of interstate government tort, it tore up useful options that should be available to each state for the rare cases in which they would be of service. In seeking to insulate a state from liability when its employee intrudes on a sister state’s territory and causes injury there, the Court stripped every state of power, in cases of interstate government tort, to try injuries occurring on its own territory to its own residents—an unprecedented disregard of a state’s acknowledged traditional interests. Indeed, the …