HEJE Overview 11-15-17: Justice


As illogical as it sounds, courts routinely suspend the drivers’ licenses of those who are too poor to pay their fines and fees on time, typically with no notice or opportunity to be heard. It’s illogical because, without a drivers’ license, people lose their jobs and income – making it even harder to pay what they owe. … These policies that punish the poor have created staggering racial disparities and fueled a mass incarceration crisis that has cost billions of dollars and failed to make anyone safer.”

–“An Arkansas Town Agrees to Criminal Justice Reform to Ensure That the Poor Are Not Jailed

? There are some 3,140 counties and county-equivalents in the United States. Is this issue going to have to be re-fought 3,139 times?

In today’s survey of developments in (in)justice, we look at an interview with a man who successfully defended a death-row inmate in Texas (and got him exonerated), at the ongoing war on workers/unions (two links, one on the rather low-key Ricketts family, which shut down DNAInfo and Gothamist the second their reporters unionized, and a historical primer on Janus v. AFSCME), at a piece about why it might be preferable to sue polluters rather than attempt to legislate their infractions away, and finally, at a small city in Arkansas that’s agreed not to jail poor people for the crime of being poor. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-15-17: Justice”


Coffee Break 11-6-17: Sutherland Springs


We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation. We could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”

–the president, commenting on the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX Continue reading “Coffee Break 11-6-17: Sutherland Springs”

HEJE Overview 11-4-17: Justice


While writing my book … I met people who slept in their cars and waited in long lines for extractions at free clinics. I met people who had pulled out their own teeth and others who had lost loved ones to dental abscesses. I met a boy dying from complications of untreated tooth decay.”

Mary Otto, author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health

We’re breaking down the HEJE Overview today, starting with varieties of Justice/ Injustice: Ethnic, Housing, Economic, and Dental.

A range of topics, all ultimately traceable to the multitude of injustices suffered by the poor in America. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-4-17: Justice”

HEJE Overview 10-16-17

DSO: Today we review four long-form pieces, focusing on one per area: Healthcare (Why Medicare for All means freedom); Environment (A just rebuilding in the wake of Harvey, Irma, and Maria); Justice (How Chicago gets a few of its guns); Education (The demise of Midwestern flagship Research I universities).

Selections from Jacobin (Healthcare), The Center for American Progress (Environment), ProPublica Illinois (Justice), and The Atlantic (Education).

Oh, and a bonus piece in “Health” (courtesy Mother Jones) on the opioid epidemic as it plays out on a daily basis in northeastern Ohio.

Enjoy! Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-16-17”

HEJE Overview 10-14-17

Is Anybody Still Listening?

As a citizen, voter, and human being, I am writing this message to anybody who’s still listening to express my grave concern over a great many issues arising in the past few weeks/days/hours.

These include—but are not limited to—the following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-14-17”

HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Justice

Decimating Public Employee Unions: Janus v. AFSCME


“The Supreme Court’s decision to take Janus’ case has generated headlines across the country, with union leaders asserting that a decision in Janus’ favor will hurt government-worker unions. But that’s a distortion of what the case is about. Janus is about restoring First Amendment rights to government workers, giving them a choice whether to support a union. It’s about ensuring their ability to exercise the same rights as every other person in this country. And it does not mean the end of government-worker unions in Illinois.”

–Mailee Smith, “Janus v. AFSCME could mean more freedom for Illinois’ government workers,” Illinois Policy Institute (October 9, 2017)

Two words to watch out for in the title: “freedom” and “government”.  They have different meanings from those we were taught. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Justice”

HEJE Overview 9-21-17: Justice/Injustice


From this week’s annals of justice: “Naked from the waist down, mentally ill man throws flower pot through neighbor’s window, brandishes a garden hose with a metal nozzle and a garden basket at Hamilton County, Ohio, police. The officers Tase him, break his ribs after he declines to cooperate, struggles. Coroner: He died a natural death. Sixth Circuit (over a dissent): His wife can’t sue the police.”

–on Roell v. Hamilton, Cty., Ohio

Background of the case here. Roell died at the scene where he was tased and his ribs were broken. The Sixth deemed the amount of force used on Roell, who suffered from schizoaffective disorder, was not inappropriate.

Today’s Justice/Injustice overview considers the ongoing protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of Jason Stockley last week, the growing chasm between the view of law enforcement officers held by blacks and whites, an upcoming case filed on behalf of disabled veterans whose pensions have been “disappeared” by fraudulent loan companies, Georgia’s planned execution of a mentally-disabled man, one of whose original jurors expressed explicit racial bias pre-trial, plainclothes ICE agents onsite at the Brooklyn DA and refusing to identify themselves to a Brooklyn DA bureau chief, and the anti-civil rights recent legal career of the administration’s nominee to head up DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

It’s a veritable cornucopia of (In)justice we’re following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-21-17: Justice/Injustice”