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Weekly Roundup: March 8, 2024


At the Blog

On Monday, Zephyr Teachout offered a postmortem on last week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court regarding the government regulation of social media. As she observes, the four-and-a-half-hour legal argument revealed that the two NetChoice cases did not comprise one question, but rather a vast universe of questions. Given this, the Court should refrain from deciding so many critical issues in the context of a facial challenge, without any real facts to analyze. A broad ruling in this case, she warns, would not only strike down these poorly designed laws, but it would also imperial other (much better) laws, and more generally, take tech regulation out of the sphere of democratic decision-making. As she writes, “In the brief filed by Letitia James, Attorney General of New York, and joined by 20 other states, James identified over 60 state laws that are directly threatened by a NetChoice win, laws addressing children’s safety, AI, antitrust, and unfair business practices. It’s a fraction of the potential laws that could be impacted. A ruling that tech companies don’t have to comply with neutral provisions would not just block two sloppy laws, it would put a block on politics itself.” 

On Wednesday, John Legend’s recent co-author Jocelyn Simonson kicked off a symposium on her recent book, Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People Are Dismantling Mass Incarceration. Simonson argues that while the task of fixing our broken justice system can, at times, appear almost inconceivable, we can locate at least some faith in justice and democracy by looking to concrete acts of collective care taking place all around us. The people engaged in courtwatching, participatory defense hubs, and bail funds, she writes, “see justice and safety not as abstract ideas handed down by judges, prosecutors, and police officers but as living ideals that we must, and can, create together…. Again and again, these organizers told me that they joined these efforts not because they wanted to create new political vistas, but because they wanted to help people in a tangible way. And yet, again and again, people engaging in these acts found that their understandings of justice and safety were shaken, and then rebuilt, by the work they did together.” 

In LPE Land

Later today, at 12:10 ET, please join us (either virtually or in-person) for a lunch talk with FTC Chair Lina Khan.

Join us next week for two events about the LPE of Civil Procedure. On Tuesday, March 12, Judith Resnik, Brooke Coleman, Luke Norris, and Danya Reda will be at Yale (and online), discussing how to develop an LPE approach to civil procedure. And, then, on Thursday, March 14, Helen Hershkoff, Charlton Copeland, Kathryn Sabbeth, and Daniel Wilf-Townsend will be in New York (and online), discussing inequality in the various domains touched by civil procedure.

Also on Thursday, March 14, Luke Herrine, Jalil Mustaffa Bishop, Eileen Connor, and Jane Fox will be discussing the Past, Present, & Future of Student Debt Organizing (at NYU and online).

Over at Salon, Paul Rosenberg had a fantastic write up of our What To Do About the Courts reading group/open course (which there is still time to join: our next meeting, with Aziz Rana, is March 19).

Two new LPE books just appeared on the horizon: Sandeep Vaheesan’s Democracy in Power: A History of Electrification in the United States and Lenore Palladino’s Good Company: Economic Policy After Shareholder Primacy. Kudos to the University of Chicago Press.

In Democracy, Caitlin Tully lays out why the housing market is the most underrated electoral issue facing Biden and argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there several things the administration can do to address the housing market before November – all without help from either Congress or the Federal Reserve. 

The Sustainable Global Economic Law Summer School, which takes place June 11-13 in Amsterdam, welcomes applications from PhD researchers & early career scholars working on law and globalization. Due March 29!

At the Center for Progressive Reform, James Goodwin penned a three-part series on the fight against Chevron as ideological warfare.

At the Sling, Darren Bush channelled the spirit of the WSJ Editorial Board with his satirical “Lina Khan Sucks.”

The Centre for Law & Social Change invites applications for its first Law & Marxist Methods Spring School at the City Law School on May 9 – 10, 2024. Due March 28!