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Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin

Articles

Over the past decade, workers’ rights activists and legal scholars have embraced the language of “wage theft” in describing the abuses of the contemporary workplace. The phrase invokes a certain moral clarity: theft is wrong. The phrase is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Increasingly, it has a specific content for activists, politicians, advocates, and academics: wage theft speaks the language of criminal law, and wage theft is a crime that should be punished. Harshly. Self-proclaimed “progressive prosecutors” have made wage theft cases a priority, and left-leaning politicians in the United States and abroad have begun to propose more criminal statutes ...


Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2021

Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

Deriving its vigor from the work of grassroots organizations at the state and local levels, the League of Women Voters (LWV) sought, in the first half of the twentieth century, to provide newly enfranchised women with a political education to strengthen their voice in public affairs. Local branches like the San Francisco Center learned from experience—through practical involvement in a variety of social welfare and criminal justice initiatives. This Article, written for a symposium commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, assesses the role of LWV leaders in California and especially San Francisco in reforming three aspects of the ...


Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin

Articles

As criminal justice reform has attracted greater public support, a new brand of district attorney candidate has arrived: the “progressive prosecutors.” Commentators increasingly have keyed on “progressive prosecutors” as offering a promising avenue for structural change, deserving of significant political capital and academic attention. This Essay asks an unanswered threshold question: what exactly is a “progressive prosecutor”? Is that a meaningful category at all, and if so, who is entitled to claim the mantle? In this Essay, I argue that “progressive prosecutor” means many different things to many different people. These differences in turn reveal important fault lines in academic ...


Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth Jan 2020

Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth

Articles

No abstract provided.


What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In an era of declining labor power, police unions stand as a rare success story for worker organizing—they exert political clout and negotiate favorable terms for their members. Yet, despite broad support for unionization on the political left, police unions have become public enemy number one for academics and activists concerned about race and police violence. Much criticism of police unions focuses on their obstructionist nature and how they prioritize the interests of their members over the interests of the communities they police. These critiques are compelling—police unions shield officers and block oversight. But, taken seriously, they often ...


The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism And Policing, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism And Policing, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber

Articles

This Symposium Guest Editor’s Note is an adapted version of the Introduction to The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration (UC Press 2020). The book examines how American feminists, in the quest to secure women’s protection from domestic violence and rape, often acted as soldiers in the war on crime by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities Today, despite deep concerns over racist policing and mass incarceration, many feminists continue to assert ...


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


Race, Space, And Surveillance: A Response To #Livingwhileblack: Blackness As Nuisance, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 2020

Race, Space, And Surveillance: A Response To #Livingwhileblack: Blackness As Nuisance, Lolita Buckner Inniss

Articles

This article is an invited response to an American University Law Review article titled “#LivingWhileBlack: Blackness as Nuisance” that has been widely discussed in the news media and in academic circles.


Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Sex Wars As Proxy Wars, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

Sex Wars As Proxy Wars, Aya Gruber

Articles

The clash between feminists and queer theorists over the meaning of sex—danger versus pleasure—is well- trodden academic territory. Less discussed is what the theories have in common. There is an important presumption uniting many feminist and queer accounts of sexuality: sex, relative to all other human activities, is something of great, or grave, importance. The theories reflect Gayle Rubin’s postulation that "everything pertaining to sex has been a ‘special case’ in our culture.” In the #MeToo era, we can see all too clearly how sex has an outsized influence in public debate. Raging against sexual harm has ...


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 ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Responsible Resource Development: A Strategic Plan To Consider Social And Cultural Impacts Of Tribal Extractive Industry Development, Carla F. Fredericks, Kate Finn, Erica Gajda, Jesse Heibel Jan 2018

Responsible Resource Development: A Strategic Plan To Consider Social And Cultural Impacts Of Tribal Extractive Industry Development, Carla F. Fredericks, Kate Finn, Erica Gajda, Jesse Heibel

Articles

This paper presents a strategic, solution-based plan as a companion to our recent article, Responsible Resource Development and Prevention of Sex Trafficking: Safeguarding Native Women and Children on the Fort Berthold Reservation, 40 Harv. J.L. Gender 1 (2017). As a second phase of our work to combat the issues of human trafficking and attendant drug abuse on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation), we developed a strategic plan to better understand the time, scale, and capacity necessary to address the rising social problems accompanying the boom of oil and gas development there. During our process, we discovered ...


The Wages Of Genetic Entitlement: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly In The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2017

The Wages Of Genetic Entitlement: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly In The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

This Essay analyzes flaws and assumptions in the recently enacted Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. The RSCCA offers a window into the problems with defining parenthood in terms of genes instead of caretaking relationships, which is what led to the problem of rapists being able to claim parental rights in the first place. Rather than address that underlying defect in family law, the statute attempts a solution that might work if all rapists were strangers, all rapists were men, and all rape victims were women, but glosses over complicated problems of violence and coercion in relationships. Despite this failure to ...


Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2017

Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This Article considers firearms prohibitions for domestic violence offenders, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions and the larger, national debate about gun control. Unlike other scholarship in the area, it confronts the costs of ratcheting up the scope and enforcement of such firearms bans and argues that the politicization of safety has come at the expense of a sound approach to gun control in the context of intimate-partner abuse. In doing so, it expands scholarly arguments against mandatory, one-size-fits-all criminal justice responses to domestic violence in a direction that other critics have been reluctant to go, perhaps because of ...


The Chow: Depictions Of The Criminal Justice System As A Character In Crime Fiction, Marianne Wesson Jan 2017

The Chow: Depictions Of The Criminal Justice System As A Character In Crime Fiction, Marianne Wesson

Articles

Having been honored by a request to contribute to a Symposium honoring my talented friend Alafair Burke, I composed this essay describing the various ways the criminal justice system has been depicted in English-language crime fiction. This survey, necessarily highly selective, considers portrayals penned by writers from Dickens to Tana French. Various dimensions of comparison include the authors’ apparent beliefs about the rule of law (from ridiculously idealistic to uncompromisingly cynical), the characters’ professional perspectives (private detective, police officer, prosecutor, defense lawyer, judge, victim, accused), and the protagonists’ status as institutional insiders or outsiders or occupants of the uncomfortable middle ...


Responsible Resource Development And Prevention Of Sex Trafficking: Safeguarding Native Women And Children On The Fort Berthold Reservation, Kathleen Finn, Erica Gadja, Thomas Perin, Carla Fredericks Jan 2017

Responsible Resource Development And Prevention Of Sex Trafficking: Safeguarding Native Women And Children On The Fort Berthold Reservation, Kathleen Finn, Erica Gadja, Thomas Perin, Carla Fredericks

Articles

In 2010, large deposits of oil and natural gas were found in the Bakken shale formation, much of which is encompassed by the Fort Berthold Indian reservation, home to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (“MHA Nation” or “Three Affiliated Tribes” or “the Tribe”). However, rapid oil and gas development has brought an unprecedented rise of violent crime on and near the Fort Berthold reservation. Specifically, the influx of well-paid male oil and gas workers, living in temporary housing often referred to as “man camps,” has coincided with a disturbing increase in sex trafficking of Native women. The social risks ...


The Lgbt Piece Of The Underenforcement-Overenforcement Puzzle, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

The Lgbt Piece Of The Underenforcement-Overenforcement Puzzle, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Not Affirmative Consent, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Not Affirmative Consent, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Anti-Rape Culture, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Anti-Rape Culture, Aya Gruber

Articles

This essay, written for the Kansas Law Review Symposium on Campus Sexual Assault, critically analyzes “anti-rape culture” ― a set of empirical claims about rape’s prevalence, causes, and effects and a set of normative ideas about sex, gender, and institutional authority ― which has heralded a new era of discipline, in all senses of the word, on college campuses. In the past few years, publicity about the campus rape crisis has created widespread anxiety, despite the fact that incidents of sexual assault have generally declined and one-in-four-type statistics have been around for decades. The recent surge of interest is due less ...


Zero-Tolerance Comes To International Law, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Zero-Tolerance Comes To International Law, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Response to Andrew Manuel Crespo's Systemic Facts: Toward Institutional Awareness in Criminal Courts proceeds in two Parts. In Part I, I argue that Crespo presents a compelling case for the importance of systemic factfinding to the task of criminal court judges. If, as a range of scholars has argued, criminal courts are increasingly serving a quasi-administrative function, then shouldn’t they at least be administrating accurately? Systemic Facts provides a novel account of how — with comparatively little institutional reform — courts might begin to serve as more effective administrators. However, in Part II, I also argue that Crespo’s ...


Rape Law Revisited, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Rape Law Revisited, Aya Gruber

Articles

This essay introduces the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law Symposium, “Rape Law Revisited” (Vol. 13(2)). The Symposium features articles by Deborah Tuerkheimer, Kimberly Ferzan, David Bryden and Erica Madore, Bennett Capers, and Erin Collins. The symposium provides fresh perspectives on the issues surrounding sexual assault law and policy in today’s environment. The introduction notes that the current rape reform redux is not just a rehashing of old arguments, but boasts many new features. Today’s rape activism occurs in a moment when feminist ideas about coerced sex no longer exist at the margins — they govern and enjoy ...


Consent Confusion, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Consent Confusion, Aya Gruber

Articles

The slogans are ubiquitous: “Only ‘Yes’ Means ‘Yes’”; “Got Consent?”; “Consent is Hot, Assault is Not!” Clear consent is the rule, but the meaning of sexual consent is far from clear. The current state of confusion is evident in the numerous competing views about what constitutes mental agreement (grudging acceptance or eager desire?) and what comprises performative consent (passive acquiescence or an enthusiastic “yes”?). This paper seeks to clear up the consent confusion. It charts the contours of the sexual consent framework, categorizes different definitions of affirmative consent, and critically describes arguments for and against affirmative consent. Today’s widespread ...


Criminal Labor Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Criminal Labor Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines a recent rise in civil suits brought against unions under criminal statutes. By looking at the long history of criminal regulation of labor, the Article argues that these suits represent an attack on the theoretical underpinnings of post-New Deal U.S. labor law and an attempt to revive a nineteenth century conception of unions as extortionate criminal conspiracies. The Article further argues that this criminal turn is reflective of a broader contemporary preference for finding criminal solutions to social and economic problems. In a moment of political gridlock, parties seeking regulation increasingly do so via criminal statute ...