On Judging Cases in the Context of Crisis

On Judging Cases in the Context of Crisis

I thank the Law and Political Economy Project for inviting me to participate in this blog symposium on capitalism and the courts. I begin by stating the obvious: that we live in a capitalist economic system and a political system that aspires to being democratic. There is clearly considerable tension between these systems. Most capitalists…

School Segregation, Social Closure, and the Anti-Monopoly Analogy

School Segregation, Social Closure, and the Anti-Monopoly Analogy

In my new article, Monopolizing Whiteness, I examine the causes and consequences of “white island districts,” i.e. those that enroll predominantly white and affluent student bodies, despite being in racially and economically diverse metropolitan areas. I theorize that white student segregation in districts like GPSD is a product of (what sociologists refer to as) social closure— a process of subordination whereby an in-group works to curtail an out-group from accessing resources constructed as scarce. I suggest that the “essential facilities” framework of antitrust law can help to illustrate what a legal framework looks like that could appropriately recognize and address the process and harms of social closure.

System(s) of Domination: Historic Palestine as a Deeply Divided Space

System(s) of Domination: Historic Palestine as a Deeply Divided Space

In liberal-leftist discourses, both Zionist and otherwise, the pivotal year for what is called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is 1967. Israel’s control over all aspects of Palestinians’ lives, both those who live within the ‘Jewish state’ and those who reside in the Occupied Territories, renders the 1967 paradigm not only unpersuasive, but ridiculous.

Democracy against Proceduralism

Democracy against Proceduralism

If political morality is to inform our analysis of legal institutions, it must account for the way that these institutions construct coalitions and endow them unequally with power. Theories that focus on fairness or political equality do not sufficiently account for these dynamic and iterative aspects of institutions. What is needed is a democratic morality of empowering the disempowered.

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 2

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 2

In a previous post, one of us described why we need global cooperation to achieve massively scaled up production of COVID vaccines. The United States must play a key role in this process, because it has the ability to mobilize resources, and powerful leverage over companies that have so far resisted serious participation in global efforts – especially Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J. Some commentators question whether the US has the power to compel this cooperation. Others have doubted the relevance of the demand coming from developing countries to temporarily waive the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement to facilitate more manufacturing. In this post, we explain why existing US law gives the Biden Administration the power to mandate sharing and overcome IP barriers, and how the TRIPS waiver can contribute importantly to efforts to scale up production at a global scale.

The Law & Political Economy of Disability Accommodations

The Law & Political Economy of Disability Accommodations

The touchstone of contemporary disability law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, was a victory of the militant disability rights movement, and was drafted with the social model in mind. However, Congress essentially delegated the design for this mandate to the Reagan-era EEOC, which in turn operationalized accommodations through private exchanges between employees and employers. Market logic further limited its redistributive work and society’s ability to critique its effectiveness.