Volume 51, Issue 3

3 posts

The Patriarch and the Sovereign: The Malheur Occupations and the Hyper-Masculine Drive for Control

by Courtney Irons

On January 2, 2016, a group of armed protestors seized control of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The occupation followed a long tradition of resistance in western states of federal land management policy, but the members took a stricter approach to federalism than most. The group fully rejected federal sovereignty over the land, and in doing so demonstrated a particularly gendered approach to power and government.

The purpose of this Note is to explore how the occupier’s understanding of federalism relates to theories on masculinity. Drawing on statements made during the course of the occupation, news reports, and testimony during the subsequent legal proceedings, this Note will argue the occupiers’ patriarchal beliefs about masculinity influenced and informed their understanding of federalism with the belief that doing so may help us understand the growing nationalist and extremist views in conservative movements today.

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This House is Not Your Home: Litigating Landlord Rejections of Housing Choice Vouchers Under the Fair Housing Act

By Maia Hutt

Over 2.2 million low-income households participate in the federal Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Voucher holders, who are disproportionately people of color and individuals with disabilities, are frequently discriminated against or denied housing by landlords. This Note argues that prospective tenants who are rejected by landlords for participating in the HCV program have a right of action against landlords under the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact provisions. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Inclusive Communities provides the necessary framework for evaluating these claims, and suggests that federal courts’ historical rejection of disparate impact claims brought by voucher holders is no longer good law. Integrating state and local source of income protection laws into the Inclusive Communities burden-shifting resolves the tension between state and federal approaches to source of income protection, and vitiates the rights of voucher holders.

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Catalyzing the Separation of Black Families: A Critique of Foster Care Placements Without Prior Judicial Review

By Kathleen Simon

Although decades of efforts have realized significant progress toward the goal of eliminating racial discrimination in the child welfare system, black children continue to enter foster care at rates that exceed their level of need. This Note explores how the standard practice of removing a child without prior judicial authorization has quietly contributed to this civil rights crisis by enabling racial bias to go unchecked in the placement decision-making process.

In an attempt to understand how state legislatures can ensure that risk, rather than race, informs foster care placements, this Note introduces an original analysis comparing the racial disparity rates in foster care entries among states. Based on the study’s finding that greater racial disparities exist in jurisdictions with flexible emergency removal laws, this Note recommends that states excuse pre-deprivation hearings only when taking the time to seek an ex parte court order would jeopardize a child’s safety.

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