Law Visiting Committee Distinguished Professor of Law
"Prison, jail, and detention center data, to the extent it is collected, is then excluded from broader COVID-19 data, analysis, and forecasting. In a telling example, Louisiana's Department of Health fails to include prisons, jails and detention centers in its list of "congregate settings outbreaks" despite a 42% positivity rate for tests administered by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Prisons are not "contained sites" and coronavirus infections in carceral institutions threatens the health and security of people inside and outside these spaces.
People in prisons, jails and detention centers are not a static population. States must release people who have completed their judicially ordered sentence. "Jail churn" - the revolving door of people awaiting trial processed in and out of jails - affects 4.9 million people each year. These people return to their home communities, often racially segregated, infecting their family members and friends. A recent study found that almost 16 percent of COVID-19 infections in Chicago early in the pandemic could be linked to people cycling through Cook County Jail. Admissions and releases - without accompanying safety measures inside prisons, jails, and detention centers - are spreading COVID-19 - hitting communities of color particularly hard."
Andrea Armstrong, Hardwired Against Change: Race, Incarceration, and COVID-19, Just Security (August 26, 2020), https://www.justsecurity.org/72099/hardwired-against-change-race-incarceration-and-covid-19/
Associate Dean of Students and Rene August and Mary Jane Pastorek Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law
"In Louisiana, a renter may not withhold rent even when the rental home is uninhabitable, a strategy that is legal for tenants in other states as a means to force repairs. In reviewing American Housing Survey data from 2015, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center found that tens of thousands of rental properties in New Orleans fell below basic habitability standards, meaning housing units have water leaks, pest infestations, electrical wiring hazards, and other major issues that impact the health and safety of the renters. If a renter does stop paying rent when, for example, there is no working heat in the winter, the tenant is vulnerable to eviction."
Davida Finger and Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, 'New Orleans' Eviction Geography: Results of an Increasingly Precarious Housing Market, (March 2019).
M. Isabel Medina
Ferris Family Distinguished Professor of Law
"Congress has opted to vest extensive discretion in the executive branch in its immigration statutes. In particular, Congress has vested extensive discretion in the executive branch in its power to remove not only persons who have entered without inspection, and thus are here without authorization, but also of persons who have been granted permanent residence with the expectation that they would be allowed to live out their lives in the United States. Discretion is a double-edged sword; it may be exercised in ways that are humane and just, but it may be exercised in ways that are manifestly unjust. Although there is an implicit guarantee that the discretion will not be exercised at whim - that is the essence of tyranny and what the Constitution was designed to prohibit - this implicit guarantee is seldom realized for most immigrants caught in removal proceedings."
M. Isabel Medina, Reflections on the DACA Cases in the Supreme Court - The "Illusion of Freedom", N.C. L.REV.F.101 (2020).
Judge John D. Wessel Distinguished Professor of Social Justice
"Despite recent public statements from much of corporate America condemning racial injustice, many companies such as Starbucks, Amazon, many NFL teams, and several other organizations continue to require their workers to arbitrate claims of racial discrimination..
A recent shareholder proposal asks Tesla's board of directors to evaluate the company's continued use of arbitration. However, Tesla's board opposes this modest proposal, claiming that such an evaluation is not necessary or worth the effort or resources. If America's companies truly want to help address racial injustice, they should not prevent their own workers from bringing their claims of racism in our open court system, with its board procedural and constitutional protections."
Imre S. Szalai, INSIGHT: Corporations, Congress Must Examine Arbitration and Racism, Bloomberg Law (July 17, 2020), https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/insight-corporations-congress-must-examine-arbitration-and-racism
Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar and Chair in Environmental Law
"Already, global warming is shaping a "climate underclass" whose property, culture, and well-being are under threat. Building climate resilience, you see, is more than a smart choice; it is a moral duty. Jesuit universities, I believe, are especially suited to answer this call. Preparing for climate change is so much more than a technological challenge. It is primarily a problem of mindset and collective action. Climate resilience requires ethical discernment, empathy for the excluded, youthful energy, and a shared dedication to saving the planet - all qualities emphasized in the Universal Apostolic Preferences. I suggest that, whatever your role in a Jesuit university, you begin by picking some mission or activity that is important to you and asking what I call "The Climate Question." That question has two parts: How could climate breakdown affect this thing I care about? and How can I prepare for the negative effects, while taking advantage of any positive ones?"
Rob Verchick, Outsmarting Climate Change, Conversations on Jesuit Higher Ed., Fall 2020 (58): 41.
Mary Garvey Algero
Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Academic Affairs, Philip and Eugenie Brooks Distinguished Professor of Law, and Warren E. Mouledoux Distinguished Professor of Law
"...developing appellate advocacy skills in law schools introduces students to professional and ethical norms that serve to give these burgeoning lawyers a taste of the legal profession and its traditions. Following rules, extending deference in a professional manner to the court, and showing respect for opposing counsel are all norms that should be learned in law schools and carried into the profession. Participating in the ceremony and discourse required in courses that teach appellate advocacy initiate these soon-to-be lawyers and welcome them into the legal community."