The Urban Law Bulletin: June 19, 2019
The Urban Law Bulletin is a bi-weekly e-newsletter highlighting significant news and legal developments in the field of urban law.
Public Health #health
Recent federal litigation against opioid manufacturers in Cleveland, Ohio has introduced a proposal that could prompt a comprehensive national opioid settlement with the pharmaceutical industry. The proposal would create a “‘negotiation class’ consisting of every municipality in the country.” For the settlement to be accepted, 75% of the class would have to agree to a judicially approved offer.
Public Health #health
A recent study found that residents of redlined neighborhoods are at a higher risk of developing asthma. These neighborhoods were designated in the 1930s by the federal Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) to determine creditworthiness based in part on racial demographics, contributing to patterns of segregation. The study found that people in these redlined neighborhoods are 2.4 times more likely to go to the emergency room for asthma than residents of HOLC-determined “low-risk” areas.
Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion #equality
A growing number of cities and states are beginning to provide residents with the option to identify as gender nonbinary instead of male or female. In 2017, Washington, D.C. was the first U.S. jurisdiction to offer nonbinary gender driver’s licenses. Currently, at least thirteen states allow nonbinary identities through licenses or birth certificates.
Law and Justice #justice
The Hong Kong legislature delayed consideration of a controversial law which would allow for the extradition of people to mainland China after opponents called for a second mass protest. Following the protests, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive issued a public apology, but did not withdraw the bill from the legislature.
Law and Justice #justice
U.S. cities, including New York and Washington D. C., have begun to provide access to counsel for low income tenants facing eviction. Counsel can be particularly instrumental in helping tenants understand the complexities of eviction proceedings and their rights. However, many tenants facing eviction still do not have access to counsel. Other cities are pushing for legislative change and preventative programs such as the eviction diversion program Richmond, Virginia launched in January, “which will use taxpayer money to pay for attorneys who will help negotiate rent disputes between landlords and tenants.”
Scholarship Corner #scholarship
“As local governments are responsible for the lion’s share of land use decision-making and infrastructure development in coastal communities in the United States, local governments in the coastal zone will play a key role in adapting to the changing climate. Local decision makers are facing hard questions about whether to build new infrastructure, adapt existing infrastructure to new standards, continue maintaining existing infrastructure as is, or abandon infrastructure altogether.”
Shana Campbell Jones et. al., Roads to Nowhere in Four States: State and Local Governments in the Atlantic Southeast Facing Sea-Level Rise, 44 Colum. J. of Env’t L. (2019).
Now Available: Global Perspectives in Urban Law: The Legal Power of Cities
Global Perspectives in Urban Law: The Legal Power of Cities is a collaborative scholarly focus on comparative and global perspectives in the growing field of urban law. This brand new volume offers diverse insights into urban law, with emerging theories and analyses of topics ranging from criminal reform and urban housing, to social and economic inequality and financial crises, and democratization and freedom for individual identity and space. Particularly now, social, economic, and cultural issues must be closely examined in conjunction with the rule of law not only to address inadequate access to basic services but also to construct long-term plans for our cities and our world. The book is now available from Routledge here.
Global Perspectives in Urban Law: The Legal Power of Cities (Nestor M. Davidson & Geeta Tewari eds., Routledge 1st ed. 2018). #international
We thank the Urban Law Center’s Urban Law Student Fellows for assisting in preparation of The Bulletin, which provides news in major areas of urban law, and categorizes the stories as follows:
· City Administration and Urban Governance #administration
· City-State Relations and Preemption #preemption
· Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion #equality
· Environment and Sustainability #sustainability
· Housing and Development #housing
· International/Global Urban Law #international
· Law and Justice #justice
· Public Health #health
· Technology #technology
· Transportation and Infrastructure #transportation
· Urban Mobility #mobility
· Urban Planning and Space #planning
If you have an article, legal decision, or commentary that you would like to share in an upcoming Bulletin, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to The Urban Law Bulletin here.
Nestor M. Davidson
Faculty Director, Urban Law Center
Associate Director, Urban Law Center
Urban Law Student Fellow Contributors