Archive for October, 2012

October 25, 2012

Sovern on Partisan Voting on Consumer Protection Issues

Jeff Sovern has a new op-ed in the American Banker, which examines partisan voting in the Senate on consumer protection issues. You can find the op-ed here.

October 25, 2012

Janai Nelson on Disparate Vote Denial

Janai Nelson’s latest article, The Causal Context of Disparate Vote Denial, has just been accepted for publication in the Boston College Law Review. Janai’s article is not yet available on SSRN, but here is the abstract:

For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its amendments have remedied racial discrimination in the electoral process with unparalleled muscularity.  However, modern vote denial practices that have a disparate impact on minority political participation increasingly fall outside the Act’s ambit.  As judicial tolerance of disparate impact claims has waned in other areas of law, the contours of Section 2, arguably the Act’s most powerful provision, have also narrowed to fit the shifting landscape.  Section 2’s “on account of race” standard to determine discrimination in voting has evolved from one of quasi-intent determined by a totality of the circumstances, to a short-lived intent requirement, followed by an enhanced disparate impact analysis, culminating in a more recent standard that simulates proximate cause.  This Article proposes a test for Section 2 vote denial claims that comports with the narrowing construction of disparate impact claims and reclaims the contextual analysis of vote denial that the Voting Rights Act contemplates.  The “causal context” test proposed here anchors Section 2 vote denial claims to explicit or implicit bias without requiring proof of intent and identifies circumstances internal and external to elections that give rise to disparate vote denial.  This approach is historically consistent with the Act’s totality of the circumstances test, cognizant of courts’ increasing demands for proof of a causal link within disparate impact jurisprudence, and informed by studies of implicit bias in the law.  The proposed causal context analysis is also consonant with recent federal proceedings evaluating the racial disparate impact of voter ID laws in Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

October 18, 2012

Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?

On Friday, October 19, St. John’s will host a symposium on the relationship between bankruptcy and race. Co-sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, Center for Bankruptcy Studies and The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development, the symposium is centered on the findings of a recent study by Professors Jean Braucher, Dov Cohen and Robert Lawless: the debtor’s race appears to affect the advice that lawyers give about whether to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Is this finding correct? And if so, what are its implications for bankruptcy law and policy? The symposium brings together leading bankruptcy, empirical, and race scholars to address these questions through commentary on the Braucher study and a reply from the primary study authors.

You can find a full list of speakers and the schedule here.

October 16, 2012

Sovern Analyzes What the Presidential Election Might Mean for Consumers

Professor Jeff Sovern has a post on The Hill blog which analyzes the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from the perspective of consumer protection. You can find Jeff’s analysis here.

October 16, 2012

Barrett Speaks at Jackson Film Premiere

On Friday, October 12, Professor John Q. Barrett was part of a panel discussing Liberty under Law The Robert H. Jackson Story. The panel and premiere were in Warren, Pennsylvania, near where Jackson was born. You can read more about the event here and learn more about the film here.

October 2, 2012

Now in Print: Borgen on Treaty Conflicts

Congratulations to Christopher Borgen, who has a chapter entitled  “Treaty Conflicts and Normative Fragmentation” in the recently published Oxford Guide to Treaties (Duncan Hollis, ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2012).

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