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Weekly Roundup: June 7


At the blog

On Monday, Maryam Jamshidi considered the impact of recent legislative proposals that depict students, faculty, and the university itself as potential enemies of the U.S. national security state. These proposals threaten to strip universities of their non-profit status, compel universities to participate in state surveillance, deport or place on No Fly lists students who participate in pro-Palestine protests, and require the Department of Education to adopt a definition of antisemitism that equates antisemitism with anti-Zionism. As Jamshidi explains, these policies will upend how universities function, who they welcome, and how they teach their students and support their faculty.

And on Wednesday, Sarena Martinez continued our series on the LPE of insurance, arguing that insurers are best conceptualized as quasi-sovereign actors, who source power from their status as purveyors of legally-mandated goods. As she explains, insurance is regulated on a state-by-state basis, since the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act exempted it from federal antitrust standards. In theory, each state has a state insurance commissioner that is in charge of guaranteeing consumers’ access to insurance. In practice, however, these officials lack the resources and political heft to hold insurers accountable, particularly because dissatisfied insurers can simple exit the state’s market. In 1988, for instance, when California passed Prop 103, regulating auto insurers, 50 insurers announced they were either leaving the state or refusing to write new policies. Nevertheless, the regulation demonstrated how popular mobilization might serve as a counterweight to insurer’s power: between 1989 and 2010, California was the only state in the country to experience decreased consumer auto insurance expenditures. And it also inspired more than 1,000 auto insurance regulatory reform bills across the country.

In LPE Land

For those at Law & Society in Denver this weekend, make sure to check out the awesome panels in the LPE CRN, including:

Also for those in Denver, join us & the LPE Collaborative Research Network for a happy hour on Fri 6/7, 6-8 pm at the Mercury Cafe. If you’re new to thinking about LPE or LPE-curious, we want to meet you (and give you free drinks). And if you’re an old friend, what else is life about?

At the Roosevelt Institute, Sabeel Rahman has a new report on Building the Government We Need: A Framework for Democratic State Capacity.

At Notice & Comment, Lev Menand and Tim Wu defend the legality of the FTC’s non-compete ban.

LPE NYC will holding their first happy hour of the summer on Tuesday, June 11th at DSK Brooklyn (5-7:30pm). Come hang out and meet other NYers interested in LPE, everyone is welcome!

Mark your calendars for June 26th: Ali Kadri and Max Ajl will be discussing “The Accumulation of Waste: A Political Economy of Genocide and Imperialism,” moderated by Helyeh Doutaghi.

In the Yale Law Journal, Kate Yoon has a new note: “When the Sovereign Contracts: Troubling the Public/Private Distinction in International Law.”

The American Prospect has a new issue looking at How Pricing Really Works.