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HomePanel 2B: Expand Public Protection

2B: Expanding Pubic Protection and Solidarity: Challenges and Visions


Sid Shapiro

Frank U. Fletcher Chair in Administrative Law

Wake Forest University

Rob Verchick

Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law

Loyola University New Orleans

Contact: Rob Verchick,  

A green economy promises to bring with it thousands of jobs—many more than will

be lost because of the regulation needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change. But the green economy will exacerbate wealth inequality in some areas of the

United States because the people who lose jobs when pollution rules tighten will not

likely be the ones getting them when the green economy blooms. The kiln operator laid off from a cement plant in Virginia will probably not find herself installing roof-

top solar in Albuquerque. The next machinist hired at the Tesla plant in Grand

Rapids will almost certainly not come from a strip mine in Appalachia. This situation

is not politically sustainable, and it’s not fair.


The underlying problem is this. The goals of the Regulatory State (concerned with

health, safety, and environmental protection) have over time drifted away from the

goals of the Social Welfare State (concerned with social and economic wellbeing). Sometimes these goals, as in the case of climate policy, even fall into conflict. But,

properly managed, these “States” are compatible and should reinforce each other. Indeed, you can’t really have one without the other. If Americans are to be capable

of operating in the market economy, participating in civic society, and coping with

life’s inevitable struggles, they will need both government protections and economic security. Without this unified package, which we identify with “social resilience,” the

United States will not be fairer or safer. In this article we suggest ways that the goals

of the Regulatory State and the Social Welfare State can be more effectively





Rurality, Whiteness and Working Class Women

© Lisa R. Pruitt 2017 


This paper will present an intersectional analysis of the situation of low-income, low-education, white women in relation to several issues:  employment, access to education, family, and violence against women.   To the extent that these women live in rural America, I will also discuss the implications of rural socio-spatiality.  Among other issues, I will address the role of this population in relation to the rise of Trump, with a focus on their economic precarity and, indeed, the economic precarity of working class women of all colors. 




Nancy E. Dowd

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Title:  A New Deal for Children

Abstract:  A New Deal for Children

The current deal for children reinforces inequality; I propose to outline in this presentation a New Deal for Children.  I see this as one aspect of a range of equality strategies, and hope that the developmental focus is a new and persuasive way to make an equality argument.  A New Deal for Children would focus on what is needed to insure that children, who are born essentially equal in terms of capacity, are equally supported throughout their foundational developmental years from birth to eighteen.  This articulation of what is needed is grounded in work I have done on the life course of African American boys and youth, and my articulation of a model for equality grounded in fair and equal opportunity to develop each child’s capacity, a model that I call developmental equality.  What I propose to present is not that foundation, but this strategy.  This work is in a forthcoming book; the concept of the New Deal for Children is its final chapter.

I call this a New Deal consciously drawing upon the New Deal of the 1930s, as well as other comprehensive reform efforts, to counter the argument that this cannot be done, or has not already been done.  I would also argue that in this time of challenge, it is exactly the time to articulate a vision of what should be, what is needed.  We will not get there if we cannot see it and describe it.

A New Deal for Children would include radical reform of existing systems (education, juvenile justice for example) as well as the creation and implementation of systems where they are lacking (early childhood care and education; income support; neighborhood and community support) grounded in an ecological approach to children’s development and attentiveness to children’s hierarchies to attend to current inequalities of race, gender and class. It does not see children in isolation but rather in the essential contexts of their families, neighborhoods, and communities.  I would outline the principles of this comprehensive approach as well as suggest the models that exist to make this real, and feasible.


Simplicity as Justice

Kathryn A. Sabbeth

Associate Professor of Law

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

102 Ridge Road, CB #3380

Chapel Hill, NC 27514



One popular trend in access to justice has been to simplify legal processes to obviate the need for lawyers. This approach to the unavailability of counsel for poor people ranges from development of form pleadings and technology to more significant changes to rules of procedure and evidence. Advocates of simplification argue that a simpler system could be more efficient, that the access to justice to justice crisis makes complexity too expensive to be realistic, and that lawyers are overrated—litigants would be better off (and, according to some critical scholars, poor people would be more empowered and their substantive interests better addressed) with a simplified system in which they could represent themselves.

This paper seeks to investigate the push for simplification. It will situate the drive for simplification of poor people’s courts in the context of a broader movement to simplify, and thereby privatize, adjudicatory processes in the United States. It will question assumptions underlying the swell of support for simplification among access to justice advocates and highlight the downsides of this trend. Recognizing critical scholars’ contributions to our understanding of the limits of legal rights, however, the paper will ultimately seek to develop a theoretical model that can be used to assess when and where simplification is and is not the right approach to justice.

Part I will describe the simplification trend. It will review the current status of debates regarding the failures of Gideon v. Wainwright and the creation civil right to counsel, and will describe simplification proposals promoted as alternative approaches. These alternatives have been suggested based largely on the view that appointment of counsel for poor people is unrealistic. Given the perpetual underfunding of lawyers for poor people, there will never be enough lawyers to go around. Moreover, there could never be enough lawyers to represent all people in all of their potentially legal problems.

Yet, beyond poor people’s courts, a broader movement towards simplification of adjudicatory processes is at play, and we should be wary of inadvertently adopting its rhetoric. Just as the overwhelming majority of criminal cases are resolved through pleas rather than trials, private settlement of civil litigation is now the norm. Many civil proceedings never even reach a

courtroom because they are instead shuffled off to private arbitration. To the extent that civil litigation moves forward, it is increasingly simplified by new rules limiting discovery and new restrictions on aggregation of claims and parties. The general argument for simplifying litigation is that a simple system is less wasteful and more efficient. Litigation is too slow and too expensive, the courts are overburdened, and resources are being wasted. Returning to the access to justice context, commentators argue that litigation has grown too expensive for even middle- class people to afford; society cannot be expected to make first-class justice available to the poor.

Part II will offer a critique of the push for simplification. In particular, it will highlight a set of values that are sacrificed when the legal system is simplified. First, it will identify specific ways in which simplification impacts vulnerable and disenfranchised individuals and groups. For example, plaintiffs in civil rights cases face particular challenges when discovery is limited. Defendants in criminal prosecutions and eviction proceedings enjoy constitutional and statutorily created due process protections, and would lose out if processes were streamlined. Moreover, empirical evidence has repeatedly demonstrated judicial bias against poor people and people of color, and such parties often rely on rules to limit the application of such bias.

Second, beyond the impact on vulnerable individuals and groups, simplification of legal processes results in losses for society as a whole. Many devices of simplification result in the privatization of processes, which deprives society of public education, deterrence, deliberative dialogue, and the development of legal precedent. Additionally, the distributive implications of simplification trends deserve attention: who must accept simplified processes and who gets to retain complexity (and the precision, accuracy, and democratic participation that goes with it)?

Insights from critical theory might nonetheless support simplification from the perspective that lawyers, and indeed legal rights, legitimize inequality and undermine true social change. Part III will therefore examine a few case studies of simplified court systems, identifying some of the best models. Part IV will draw lessons for simplicity’s potential as a path to justice.

Social Media and Human Trafficking of Our Children

Nicola A. Boothe-Perry, Esq.

Associate Professor

Florida A&M University College of Law



During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, many Africans were tricked into slavery.   Today, trans-Continental trickery continues.  The victims of the trans-Atlantic trade were natives of Africa.  Today’s trans-continental victims come from every corner of the world and are usually the most vulnerable: children.   Thousands of children are ensnared daily by deception; trafficked and enslaved through violence and abuse. Many of these children are recruited, solicited and exploited via social media.  Social media has in fact become a primary tool in the arsenal of traffickers.

Social media in general has become a primary method of communication.  Statistics indicate that in 2016 an astounding 78 percent of U.S. Americans had a social network profile, representing a five percent growth compared to the previous year.  Increasingly, a significant amount of the 78 percent of social networkers are minors.  The convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices has contributed to the fact that 92% of teens (defined as those aged 13 – 17) report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly.”  Although Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat top the charts for most frequently used social media sites by teens, the worldwide web provides access to a world of other social media sites that teens and even tweens are using on a regular basis.  As our young people socialize and interact through social media with family and peers, they are also interacting and socializing with strangers and predators. 

These predators and strangers (who quickly become “friends” through social media) can often have ties to human trafficking within and outside the borders of the United States.   Noted as a growing problem worldwide, human trafficking has recently risen to the second most common criminal activity behind the illegal drug trade.  This is so despite the fact that the crime oftentimes remains hidden and is one of the “most underreported” crimes in the country. Although it is difficult to obtain exact statistics of the number of victims of human trafficking in the United States, it is well accepted that many of the victims are unfortunately minors who are trafficked within the country for sexual servitude and forced labor.   Oftentimes traffickers target minor victims through social media sites.

With the rapid increase of human trafficking locally and globally, measures need to be taken to thwart the number of victims that are being recruited by traffickers.  This article will seek to address possible methods to decrease the number of recruited victims specifically through social media.  Current applicable legislation will be discussed, with suggestions for additional legislation, as well as educational training resources, and increased penalties for social media-related trafficking of minors.  Part II of the article will discuss the ever-changing landscape of the social media world, providing information regarding those sites that most minors use of which many adults are unaware.  Part III will generally discuss the trafficking of children.  Part IV will discuss the current status of legislation and laws that directly impact the human trafficking of children.  Part V will offer suggestions for prevention of social media recruiting; and punishment of child traffickers using such medium.