Current Affairs

Corporate Lobbying

Lee Drutman— Over the past four decades, large corporations have learned to play the Washington game. Companies now devote massive resources to politics, and their large-scale involvement increasingly redirects and constricts the capacities of the political system. The consequence is a democracy that is increasingly unable to tackle large-scale problems,

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Bostock and Originalism

Mark Tushnet— On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County. Dividing 5-4, the Court held that the ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extended to discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people. Remarkably, both Justice Neil

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Don’t Call Me Angry

Barbara H. Rosenwein— We are tearing our body politic in two, and one reason why is that we simplify the idea of anger. We’ve all seen the headlines: “Global Anger Grows Over George Floyd Death”; “Indianapolis police fire tear gas to disperse angry crowds”; “Angry crowds set fire to Minneapolis

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Combatting Voter Suppression

Richard L. Hasen— The media often frame the voting wars as a stalemate between claims of voter fraud and voter suppression, but it is time to declare the battle over. The issue of organized voter fraud has now been put to the test in courts and in social science, and

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White Beaches in Connecticut

Andrew W. Kahrl— It was a hot and hazy August afternoon in the summer of 1975. The line was long, and tempers were short. Outside the entrance to Hammonasset State Park, sunburned arms dangled from the sides of cars, children’s heads rested on windows, and idle drivers burned fuel that

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To Describe a Life by Darby English

A quotation from the French philosopher and political activist Simone Weil is the first thing the reader encounters upon starting chapter one of To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror by Professor Darby English. These words encapsulate the complex questions about self-identity, agency, and force that Darby English

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Racial Health Disparities in America

Michelle A. Gourdine— In 2012, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old boy dressed in a hoodie, carrying a bag of Skittles and iced tea while walking through a neighborhood where he “didn’t belong,” was approached and eventually shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a resident on “neighborhood watch.” Like so many African

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Do We Need More Google Cities?

Carlo Ratti— One of the lesser-known casualties of COVID-19 has been a new, large-scale urban development in Toronto, led by Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs. Several years in the making, the “Google City”—as it was sometimes dubbed in the media—ultimately came to a halt because of the ongoing recession, but

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The History of Racism in Ferguson

Mustafa Dikeç— The Department of Justice (DoJ) report following the investigation of Ferguson police department and municipal court was categorical: ‘Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.’ This emphasis on revenue generation led to unconstitutional policing and irregular practices

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Five Ways to Protect Democracy from Misinformation Online

Philip N. Howard— We need mandatory reporting on the ultimate beneficiaries of data. Citizens should easily be able to see which organizations are receiving and manipulating personal data. Social media companies should be able to report back to users on which advertisers, data-mining firms, and political consulting firms have made

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