By Shaun Prunotto American television audiences have long enjoyed “reality” programs that grant unfiltered access to emergency personnel at work. Police actions are frequently documented and broadcast by programs such as A&E’s Live PD and Cops, which recently aired its 1,000th episode. Production companies, including ABC News (“ABC”) and Discovery, expanded the genre by embedding camera crews in some of the nation’s busiest emergency rooms and trauma units. Mark Chanko’s death in 2011, however, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) and its subsequent broadcast on ABC’s NY Med has resulted in proposed legislation, a $2.2 million settlement between a federal agency and NYP for violations of the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, and an ongoing legal battle in New York’s state courts. While the effect this backlash will have on the genre’s overall feasibility is still unknown, the genre’s filming practices within New York are changing dramatically.
The Fountain Blog
March 13th, 2017
By Frank Kearl In the wake of President Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March sounded the beginning of a new progressive awakening with echoes of past political uprisings. American cities have always been central venues in fights for social justice. From the Boston Tea Party through the women’s suffrage movement, from the Birmingham Bus Boycott to Occupy Wall Street, people in urban centers have historically shaped the narrative around progressive movements and have helped catalyze change. Cities have begun to strike back against the anti-democratic efforts of their state courts and legislatures. By studying the organizational structures of prior social justice movements, today’s activists can build the foundation for a new era of radical social change.
February 25th, 2017
By Eric Hornbeck Through a program known as LinkNYC, slab-like kiosks are replacing the increasingly unused payphones on the sidewalks of New York City. The kiosks offer much more than the phone calls that can be made from payphones: the kiosks have tablets with internet access, charging stations and wifi service that expands as far as 150 feet. As more kiosks go up, it’s hard for New Yorkers not to notice them — or the ads targeted to the very pedestrians walking by.
January 24th, 2017
By Brendan Kreckel During his eight years as president, Barack Obama deported over 2.5 million people; the most of any president in the history of the United States. President Donald Trump has promised to outdo the Obama administration in an unrealistic plan to deport 2 to 3 million people in his first 100 days in office. While the specifics of a potential crackdown are unknown, some cities across the country have reasserted their determination to resist as “Sanctuary Cities.”
Slippery Slope of Suspicionless Searches: the “Special Needs Exception” and 10th Anniversary of MacWade
November 19th, 2016
By Shaun Prunotto In response to commuter train bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005), the NYPD implemented a policy involving random, suspicionless searches of bags and packages brought into the NYC subways. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) immediately challenged this policy, describing it as “unprecedented, unlawful,” and “unlikely to have any meaningful deterrent effect on terrorist activity.”Despite the organization’s best efforts, search checkpoints persist with the court’s blessing. Ten years out from the decision to allow subway checkpoints, and with subway ridership at its peak since 1948, record numbers of New Yorkers are vulnerable to subway searches.
November 17th, 2016
By Brendan Kreckel Earlier this year, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order to restore voting rights to more individuals convicted of felonies in his state. Republican lawmakers vehemently opposed the order, bringing the matter to the Virginia Supreme Court. The court invalidated the order and required that newly registered citizens have their rights revoked once again.
November 11th, 2016
By Eric Hornbeck New York City collects vast amounts of data every day on the activities of its agencies and citizens. For the last several years it has posted reams of that data, from restaurant health inspections to 311 calls, on its open data portal. As the availability and use of that data has increased, it’s also become a source of profit for one particular group of New Yorkers — those on Wall Street. That for-profit use of government data has raised some concerns, but it’s largely been off the city’s radar. Instead, the city wants to make sure its data is used by even more users, including community organizations and nonprofits.
November 5th, 2016
By Daniel Porat The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a joint plan to revise New York City’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps, stalling a flood insurance rate hike for many New York City property owners. The announcement came after FEMA accepted the City’s appeal of the agency’s preliminary flood map, which would have nearly doubled the structures covered in the mandatory zone and increased flood insurance premiums between $5,000 and $10,000 for many New Yorkers.
Ghomeshi Acquitted on All Charges: The Legal System’s Failure to Address Rape Trauma Syndrome in Prosecuting Sexual Assault
May 12th, 2016
By Kate Ross Last month, Canadian radio celebrity Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted of rape and assault, after three women who came forward faced antagonistic cross-examination on their memory lapses, delays in reporting the abuse, and failure to mention subsequent interactions with Ghomeshi. The complainants offered evidence that these gaps were irrelevant to the assaults or symptomatic of emotional confusion and trauma that often accompany experiences of sexual assault, but the judge found them fatal to the complainants’ credibility nevertheless.
May 2nd, 2016
The following post is a winning submission for the 2016 Jason Libou Online Writing Competition. Competitors were prompted to write a blog post on a topic of their choice relating to urban law and policy. By Immanuel Kim The College Board implemented a new version of the Standardized Admissions Test early this year, purportedly to even the playing field for students across various socioeconomic statuses. The test now focuses more on material that a typical high school student learns in school. In other words, it is another means of testing student progress under the Common Core, an educational standard followed and adopted by most of the country, including New York State. The redesign may leave New York City’s minority students less prepared for college than their recent predecessors.