Justice and Domestic Affairs

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    Naming mass shootings as a homeland security issue may be the Democrats’ best chance for gun reform

Naming mass shootings as a homeland security issue may be the Democrats’ best chance for gun reform

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In the aftermath of horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have signaled their openness to discussions with Democrats on gun control. But will the negotiations yield measurable results? Thomas Gift argues that the best chance for meaningful reform might be for Democrats to repackage the debate over […]

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    The El Paso shooting must be seen in a broader context of racial violence at the US-Mexico border

The El Paso shooting must be seen in a broader context of racial violence at the US-Mexico border

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The recent shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso has been depicted as a tragedy for local people, reigniting well-practiced debates about gun control, video games, mental health, and “lone wolf” extremism. But this framing not only underplays the impacts on connected communities like Ciudad Juárez across the border, it also fails to acknowledge this massacre’s place […]

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    Criminal justice “reforms” that expand parole rely on prisoners’ families and communities to pick up responsibility for their care and supervision.

Criminal justice “reforms” that expand parole rely on prisoners’ families and communities to pick up responsibility for their care and supervision.

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The last decade has seen a levelling off of prison populations in the United States. Vanessa A. Massaro writes that the reforms which have led to this trend have actually displaced the burden of incarceration from prisons onto families and communities. Through her ethnographic research in Philadelphia, she finds that care for incarcerated people imposes significant financial and emotional […]

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    Why plain English summaries of judgments could help improve the Supreme Court’s public image

Why plain English summaries of judgments could help improve the Supreme Court’s public image

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When the United States Supreme Court issues a decision it is down to the media to explain the ruling and to put it into context. In new research covering two decades’ worth of Supreme Court rulings, Matthew P. Hitt and Kathleen Searles find that the media has increasingly framed them as victories or defeats for a certain side. This […]

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    Medical marijuana laws’ economic impact on organised crime

Medical marijuana laws’ economic impact on organised crime

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They make trafficking less profitable, reducing the benefit of investing in an expensive violence apparatus to protect supplies, write Evelina Gavrilova, Takuma Kamada, and Floris Zoutman.

Most large criminal organisations engage in international drug trafficking. Organisations such as the mafia and Mexican drug cartels have a comparative advantage in the drug market because they are willing and able to engage […]

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    Welfare fraud investigations take advantage of close relationships and social media to turn the personal into the penal

Welfare fraud investigations take advantage of close relationships and social media to turn the personal into the penal

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US state governments maintain dedicated units aimed at detecting fraud in welfare services like SNAP. Spencer Headworth writes that these units solicit voluntary informants and co-opt neutral and positive social ties between people to find out about potential fraud. He argues that taking advantage of social ties in this way can undermine or even destroy the very relationships between […]

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    Traveling Supreme Court justices can shape public support for the Court in its favor

Traveling Supreme Court justices can shape public support for the Court in its favor

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The Justices of the United States Supreme Court are not bound to stay silent – every year the nine justices give speeches and talks across the country. In new research, Christopher Krewson examines the effects these speaking events can have on the public’s opinion of the Court. Through a survey of law students, he finds that respondents’ were more […]

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    Not only is President Trump’s infrastructure plan dead in the water, it would do little to solve the fundamental problems facing the US infrastructure system

Not only is President Trump’s infrastructure plan dead in the water, it would do little to solve the fundamental problems facing the US infrastructure system

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Earlier this month President Trump walked out of discussions with Congressional Democrats over his administration’s infrastructure plans. But why is the country’s crumbling infrastructure proving so hard to fix? Juita-Elena (Wie) Yusuf writes that the US infrastructure system is fragmented between federal and state governments in both funding and administration. She argues that by leaning on private investment, Trump’s […]

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    When the Supreme Court is under siege from Congress, the Chief Justice strikes down fewer laws

When the Supreme Court is under siege from Congress, the Chief Justice strikes down fewer laws

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As we enter the 2020 primary season, many Democratic candidates have suggested measures to reform the Supreme Court, such as increasing the number of Justices. In new research, Alyx Mark and Michael A. Zilis examine how Chief Justices respond to such legislative threats to curb the Supreme Court. They find that when Congress’ Court-curbing tendencies are their highest, Chief […]

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    Book Review: The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-Prison Nexus by Subini Ancy Annamma

Book Review: The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-Prison Nexus by Subini Ancy Annamma

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In The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-Prison Nexus, Subini Ancy Annamma explores the processes and social factors that place the bodies of multiply-marginalised dis/abled girls of colour in the US criminal justice system, putting their voices at the centre of the book. This is a valuable intersectional view of the prison-school nexus that depicts how justice is […]

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