December 4, 2016: “A fear of too much justice”

In the words of the Dicks’ Gary Floyd: you don’t have to look for justice, it’ll find you. No sermon today, but I’d encourage you to check out Matt Taibbi’s The Divide, which deals with, among other things, the distinct ways in which we (through our elected representatives) define which crimes rate prosecution, how bail — or the threat of it — is used to overly punish the poor and how our system uses this victimization to fund priorities that white folks want but don’t want to pay for (see the DoJ findings on how Ferguson used minor fines as essentially a substitute for taxation).

I included the Scalia panel because I have to marvel at how insensitive the fans of that studiously insensitive, cavalier and offensive jurist can be.

A Fear Of Too Much Justice

The Challenges of ‘Improving’ the Modern Death Penalty

This essay seeks to explain this practical reality of modern death penalty advocacy in order to spotlight the problems it necessarily creates for any sustained efforts to improve the modern death penalty. By unpacking the fear of too much capital justice among capital punishment’s active supporters and ardent opponents, this essay seeks first to expose an enduring disconnect between lay interest and insider advocacy concerning death penalty reform, and second to explain my pessimistic concern that even moderate and modest efforts to improve the modern administration of capital punishment may, more often than not, constitute something of a fool’s errand.

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Quail Hunting In Hell

How Justice Scalia’s Writing Style Affected American Jurisprudence

This panel discussion will examine the impact Justice Scalia’s writing had on American jurisprudence. Aside from the force of his arguments, what impact did his writing style have on the opinions written by his colleagues on the Supreme Court and judges on lower courts, the briefs filed by practicing lawyers, and even the way law students learned the law?

Article Link law, policy, and SCOTUS
Civil Rights Law

The Canary-Blind Constitution: Must Government Ignore Racial Inequality?

What causes black infants to die at two to three times the rate of white infants and what can be done to address those causes? For decades, every state and the federal government have sought to answer these questions. But does the Constitution permit them to? Does increasingly “colorblind” equal protection doctrine prohibit government from addressing the root causes of racial disparities in health and other contexts, such as education, employment and criminal justice?

Article Link civil rights, equality, law, policy, and race