Slideshow

Uncertainty for Sanctuary Cities Under Trump

January 24th, 2017

Uncertainty for Sanctuary Cities Under Trump

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

Slippery Slope of Suspicionless Searches: the “Special Needs Exception” and 10th Anniversary of MacWade

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.

A Battle to Restore Voting Rights To Those With Felony Convictions in Virginia

November 17th, 2016

A Battle to Restore Voting Rights To Those With Felony Convictions in Virginia

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.

NYC Looks To Open Data Portal To More Users

November 11th, 2016

NYC Looks To Open Data Portal To  More Users

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.

Mayor’s Flood Insurance Map Victory May Be Setback for Resiliency Initiative

November 5th, 2016

Mayor’s Flood Insurance Map Victory May Be Setback for Resiliency Initiative

  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.

Challenges to Achieving New York City’s Affordable Housing Goals: Reconciling Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, Community Preference Requirements, and Fair Housing Laws

May 26th, 2016

Challenges to Achieving New York City’s Affordable Housing Goals: Reconciling Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, Community Preference Requirements, and Fair Housing Laws

By Professor Andrea McArdle  I. Introduction Under the mayoral administration of Bill de Blasio, New York City has embarked on an ambitious affordable housing initiative mandating that real estate developers include below-market-rate units in rezoned areas of the city.  Although approved by the New York City Council, the policy faces continuing community opposition, the expiration of a state tax subsidy law that would have attracted developers to participate in the plan, and likely complications as a result of a lawsuit filed last year challenging a community preference provision the City enforces with its affordable housing projects. This series of developments presents a number of challenges to realizing   the City’s affordable housing goals.

Shut Out of Airbnb: A Proposal for Remedying Housing Discrimination in the Modern Sharing Economy

May 26th, 2016

Shut Out of Airbnb: A Proposal for Remedying Housing Discrimination in the Modern Sharing Economy

By Jamila Jefferson-Jones* Introduction The modern sharing economy[1] is a diverse marketplace made up of various types of organizations and structures, including shared housing.[2]  What ties these various components together is that they “generally facilitate community ownership, localized production, sharing, cooperation, [and] small scale enterprise.”[3]  The housing segment of the sharing economy is also a part of what has been termed the “experience economy.”[4]   Within the experience economy, “the crucial role of experiences [is] understood as (positive) emotions, values and identities in value creation.”[5]  Thus, in theory, the housing segment of the sharing economy combines both the community and trust elements of “sharing” and the freedom and adventure of the “experience.”

Ghomeshi Acquitted on All Charges: The Legal System’s Failure to Address Rape Trauma Syndrome in Prosecuting Sexual Assault

May 12th, 2016

Ghomeshi Acquitted on All Charges: The Legal System's Failure to Address Rape Trauma Syndrome in Prosecuting Sexual Assault

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.[1]  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.

Another SAT Overhaul May Fail NYC Minority Students

May 2nd, 2016

Another SAT Overhaul May Fail NYC Minority Students

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.

How States Are Dealing with Unconstitutional Life Sentences for Juvenile Offenders

March 28th, 2016

How States Are Dealing with Unconstitutional Life Sentences for Juvenile Offenders

By Claire Glass In its 2012 ruling in Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court of the United States found mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles violate the 8th Amendment, unfairly subjecting juveniles to the same sentences as their adult counterparts without giving  judges an opportunity to consider the defendant’s age and individual circumstances as mitigating factors. The landmark decision left unanswered, however, whether it would apply to the 2,500 some incarcerated people around the country already serving these unconstitutional sentences, and if so, what process should be employed for re-sentencing.