Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Future of School Finance Litigation

Jay Willis This week, the Harvard Law & Policy Review published Aaron Tang’s excellent article on the landscape of litigation over public school funding.  Tang briefly provides a snapshot of the history of such litigation, before highlighting some of its challenges.  As the author notes, the major problem with recent suits challenging the adequacy of state educational funding is…

Coming to Terms with the Crisis

Anthony Kammer Earlier this week, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) issued a report of its inquiry into the causes of the recent financial crisis. Modeled after the bipartisan 9/11 Commission created to examine the background of the 9/11 attacks, the FCIC was established by Congress in 2009 as a bipartisan panel designed to investigate the causes of the country’s recent…

HLPR Blog Roundup: Hot Topics in Education

HLPR blog editorial staff  Few topics have received greater recent national attention than education, evidenced by the prominent role the theme played in President Obama’s State of the Union Address.   It’s not surprising, then, that education has also been a popular topic amongst HLPR bloggers:

Is there a rational basis for the Defense of Marriage Act?

Marshall Thompson Recent court challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have raised questions about the rational basis for the law. To combat the “threat” of legalized gay marriage in Hawaii, Congress passed DOMA in 1996. Among other things, DOMA forbids the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. At the time, the House Record listed…

More Fun with Taxes

Zach Luck Imagine you are in charge of an enterprise that has to process over 140 million forms each year.  Each form, on paper, costs about $2.87 to process.  Wait, you say, it is the 21st century and computers might not be a passing fad — shouldn’t there be a way to process the form…

You Can’t Be Deported for Misunderstanding Thanksgiving

Michael Stephan  Last week, the Ninth Circuit reversed an immigration court decision that denied political asylum to a Chinese immigrant who claimed to have been persecuted in China for practicing Christianity.  The immigrant, Lei Li, was initially denied asylum relief because the Immigration Judge found Li’s story of persecution to be not credible.  The reason for the…

Introducing Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

Jay Willis In the wake of November’s midterm elections, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was appointed this past January as Chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.  She takes over from Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), who chaired the subcommittee during the 111th Congress. Though she is undoubtedly qualified to chair the committee, some…

Holes in Gentrification

Yevgeny Shrago  I visited Washington, D.C. last weekend and walked around the rapidly gentrifying Columbia Heights neighborhood. While admiring the fantastic looking old houses and the shiny new development, I noticed dozens of abandoned houses dotting the streets.  These weren’t houses in the process of being gutted and rebuilt.  They were simply boarded up and vacant. With the…

Winners Never Lose

Anthony Kammer Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer was a good book and one that should be getting far more attention. Their thesis is that American inequality is at its base political—that is, inequality is not the result of rational market forces but is the byproduct of legislation lobbied for by…

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