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Weekly Roundup: March 18, 2022


At the Blog

This week at the blog, we set our sights on police surveillance.

On Monday, Scott Skinner-Thompson argued that privacy is not, as it is often caricatured, some inward-looking, defensive right of those with something to hide, but rather a key component of an equitable public square. In particular, privacy rights enable marginalized communities to enrich the public sphere while protecting themselves from violence and subordination.

On Tuesday, The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition examined the LAPD’s use of “reform” strategies to co-opt criticism and expand data-driven policing, with a focus on the role that lawyers and legal academics play in this process. As they write, the “ecosystem of nonprofit reform advocacy must be understood as a form of counterinsurgency, helping the state absorb the shocks generated by abolitionist organizing.”

And on Thursday, Gregory Brazeal considered what an LPE perspective can contribute to contemporary critiques of digital mass surveillance. An LPE analysis, he argues, “might begin by focusing on laws that determine the jurisdictions, political incentives, and resources of policing agencies.” Such an analysis “would likely reveal that marginalized communities are more likely to be subjected to discriminatory digital surveillance as an indirect result of the same legally structured inequalities that are discussed throughout the LPE literature.”

In LPE Land

At Bill of Health, the blog of Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Doron Dorfman suggests a new reading of NFIB v. OSHA through the lens of both Law & Political Economy and Disability Legal Studies. For seven additional LPE perspectives on the decision, revisit our rapid reaction roundup from late January.

As oil companies experience soaring profits and consumers experience pain at the pump, Joseph Baines and Sandy Hager make the case for a windfall tax on the USA’s fossil fuel giants. Others think, however, that it would be more effective to nationalize the oil companies.