Unmet Legal Needs As Health Injustice

Unmet Legal Needs As Health Injustice

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Unmet Legal Needs As Health Injustice

In Part I, this Article examines the health justice framework through which laws are understood as determinants of health equity. In Part II, this Article argues that when unaddressed for low-income individuals, legal needs serve as social determinants of health. Applying the health justice framework, the Article examines the major domains of social determinants of health (“SDOH”) and identifies areas of law for which unmet legal needs contribute to poor health and health inequity. Specifically, it analyzes how the five major domains of SDOH of the Healthy People 2030 paradigm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) implicate legal issues in the fundamental area of human need identified as critical for access to counsel by the ABA. This Part explores the exacerbation and urgency of these challenges created by the pandemic and examines racial inequities driven by structural racism that create a compounding burden of health disparities for people who are both low-income and people of color. In line with the health justice framework’s exploration of how law can be leveraged to mitigate inequities, Part II concludes by examining how legal representation can address fundamental legal needs that affect health, providing support for access to counsel in these areas.

Finally, in Part III, this Article engages with potential critiques of an emphasis on individual legal representation as a downstream and overly individualistic approach to health justice. This Part addresses these critiques and argues that individual legal representation to enforce extant laws is required for health justice to address the immediate, health-harming legal issues affecting individuals from marginalized communities and improve their health and well-being. However, even though such individual legal advocacy is necessary, it is insufficient. Instead, legal representation should be used as a platform for advocacy in pursuit of structural change through law, policy, and systems reform. This Article proposes a multitiered, integrated clients-to-policy approach for lawyers to facilitate health justice to improve the health of individuals and pursue structural reform to address health equity up-
stream.

 

Yael Cannon,  Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

 

Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

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Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

This Article takes a closer look at digital contact tracing in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic and why it failed. It begins by explaining the shortcomings of traditional analog methods and the resulting need for digital contact tracing. It then turns to the norms regarding consent, the scope of the data collected, and the limits on subsequent use necessary for cooperative surveillance. We argue that any successful digital contact-tracing program must incorporate these elements. Yet while necessary, those strategies alone may not be sufficient. People justifiably lack trust in public health authorities, in new technologies, and in the tech industry itself. Consequently, we conclude that public health authorities must do more than simply seek consent, minimize collection, and prohibit subsequent use. They must take proactive steps to establish public confidence in digital contact tracing.

Emily Berman, Associate Professor & Royce R. Till Professor, University of Houston Law Center

Leah R. Fowler, Research Assistant Professor and Research Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center

Jessica L. Roberts, Professor of Law, Leonard H. Childs Chair in Law, Professor of Law, and Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center

 

 

 

Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

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Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

 

This Article is not a thorough-going history of the pandemic response. By way of critique and suggesting a way forward for public health, we are going to imagine how public health—both the official agencies and the interconnected nodes in academia and health systems—might have approached COVID-19 differently. This is a story that focuses on good judgment as the lynchpin of optimal pandemic response and allows us to think about where good judgment seems to have been lacking, and how public health culture and institutions might change to improve the chances of better judgment next time.

 Evan Anderson, Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives; Senior Fellow, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research; Advanced Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing; Core Faculty,
Masters of Public Health Program, University of Pennsylvania

 Scott Burris, Professor of Law and Public Health, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Di-
rector, Center for Public Health Law Research

 

 

 

Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

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Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

 

Facebook has become central to the lives of millions of Americans. As of 2021, 69% of U.S. adults use Facebook. Among those U.S. adults who use Facebook, roughly 70% visit Facebook at least once a day. Moreover, as of 2020, 36% of U.S. adults receive their news through Facebook. That means roughly 60 million U.S. adults receive their news through Facebook each day. Facebook’s impact on American society cannot be overstated when viewed through such a lens. Thus, it is important to ensure Facebook responsibly designs its products: its platform and its algorithms.

Grant Shea

J.D. Candidate 2022, University of Richmond School of Law

 

Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

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Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

Artists who choose the streets as their canvas—whether to beautify neighborhoods, spark political protest, or merely mark their territory—are faced with uncertainties when it comes to questions of copyright protection for their work. Prior to Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., the rights granted to street artists had generally been uncharted territory. However, a verdict that pitted the rights of street artists against the rights of property owners finally gave street art the credibility many felt it long deserved. In Castillo, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized graffiti as a work of visual art, thus providing it copyright protection under the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) of 1990. This decision reflected a broad change in the perception of unconventional art like graffiti, and it demonstrated the federal courts’ intent on catching up with that change.

Michaela S. Morrissey 

J.D. Candidate 2022, University of Richmond School of Law

 

Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

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Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

Fractured public land is hidden in plain sight. In communities across the country, a patchwork assortment of local governments share splintered ownership over surplus public properties, which can be found scattered in residential neighborhoods and alongside highways, in the shadows of development projects and in the scars of urban renewal. The ripple effect of this fragmentation extends across the spectrum of local governance. It creates needless costs and bureaucratic headaches at a time of acute fiscal distress for cities and counties. It contributes to an inequitable imbalance of local power between formal and informal landowners in a community. And curiously, the operative legal regime enables the problem while simultaneously muddying pragmatic ways to confront it. This Article seeks to shed light upon the local land checkerboard— and in doing so, the cluttered and opaque world of local government law that it inhabits

Daniel B. Rosenbaum

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

 

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