ABA Journal

Intersection

11 ABA Journal Intersection articles.

Debates about ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ often misconstrue democracy

Although we live in a democracy, that doesn’t mean we have a wholesale, unfettered endorsement to do whatever we want. Our democracy is a social contract—a compact that is the foundation of the U.S. political system. A government established by “We the People” is indeed required to serve the people. But in exchange, members cooperate to ensure the common welfare and social benefits, and they must sacrifice some individual liberty.

Brazen attacks on voting rights define America

In 2020, this country had what’s been hailed as the most secure election in American history. And yet, lies about voter fraud have opened the door to false claims that our electoral system lacks integrity.

The Chauvin conviction shows why diverse juries matter

When it comes to convicting police officers, clear and convincing evidence is only half the battle. But evidence—visual, circumstantial, forensic—has historically been irrelevant when a police officer is on trial, with law enforcement often accorded the benefit of the doubt and acquitted.

Bigoted attacks must be met with stronger protections

For a variety of reasons, including voluntary reporting and a lack of police training or acknowledgment of bias incidents, tracking hate crimes is challenging and imperfect.

Biden has an opportunity to reform and diversify federal courts

We have seen that courts can be an instrument for social and political change; they can be the sword and the shield. But they best serve justice when they are inclusive—a perennial challenge for the federal judiciary.

Reimagining Policing: Organizations and activists help drive law enforcement change

A new administration means a new approach to justice issues in America, but it remains to be seen what actions will be taken amid clamors for reform. There have been months of protests over police brutality and continued killings of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. And while President Joe Biden conducts triage, activists are seeking substantive change.

There will be blood: COVID-19, coup d’etat and capital punishment

As America is left reeling from the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the infamous last days of Donald J. Trump’s presidency will be remembered for lawlessness, incitement and a…

Firms team up to tackle systemic race issues

At the virtual summit of the recently formed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance this fall, Louisiana lawyer Jamila Johnson walked through the ways that post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws inscribed white supremacist beliefs into criminal law—and how the effects are still felt in practical and painful ways. LFAA formed in June as a collaboration of law firms interested in combining efforts to address long-standing systemic racism. At the beginning of October, 280 firms from every state had signed on to the organization.

Female lawyers face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

Female lawyers face unique work-from-home issues, compounding well-documented attrition and promotion challenges. Virtual work makes it harder to establish relationships with mentors and sponsors, and fractionalization can happen.

Could this be America’s tipping point?

America is struggling to emerge from dark and uncertain times. COVID-19, record unemployment, civil unrest. As the turmoil unfolds, there has been a seismic shift in the national discourse, and 2020 may be one of those defining years of resurgence that bends the arc, ever so slightly, toward justice.

Ballot box battles are more high-stakes than ever