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Category Archives: Legal Research

The Datafication of Law: How Technology Encodes Carceral Power and Affects Judicial Practice in the United States

Rothschild Elyassi, Gil, The Datafication of Law: How Technology Encodes Carceral Power and Affects Judicial Practice in the United States (April 10, 2022). Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4080216 “This inquiry explores how data analyses about US Federal sentences have transformed sentencing practice beginning in the mid-1980s. I… Continue Reading

Celebrating over 3,000 Historical and Contemporary Legal Reports Now Online

In Custodia Legis: “For more than eighty years, the Law Library of Congress has been engaged in the preparation of research reports on legal topics, with an emphasis on foreign, comparative, and international law, in response to requests from Congress, the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, and others. The Law Library has… Continue Reading

Open-source flight trackers have been repeatedly used to break news over the last few weeks

Vice: “More than 700,000 people were tracking the flight path of the U.S. military plane believed to be carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning. She touched down in Taiwan at 10:50 pm local time, making Pelosi the first high-ranking American official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years, amid threats of a military… Continue Reading

How flood maps can illuminate the risk from toxic waste sites

Fast Company: Climate science is clear: “Floodwaters are a growing risk for many American cities, threatening to displace not only people and housing but also the land-based pollution left behind by earlier industrial activities. In 2019, researchers at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated climate-related risks at the 1,571 most polluted properties in the… Continue Reading

Understanding Criminal Justice Innovations

Ryan, Meghan J., Understanding Criminal Justice Innovations (June 14, 2022). Journal of Law & Innovation (2022 Forthcoming), SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 562, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4136813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4136813 “Burgeoning science and technology have provided the criminal justice system with the opportunity to address some of its shortcomings. And the… Continue Reading

Report – Hidden Harms: The Misleading Promise of Monitoring Students Online

Center for Democracy & Technology: “The pressure on schools to keep students safe, especially to protect them physically and support their mental health, has never been greater. The mental health crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns about the increasing number of school shootings have led to questions about the role… Continue Reading

Policing Reimagined

Via LLRX – Policing Reimagined – The thesis of Albert Chang’s paper is the metaverse presents a unique opportunity for effective police reforms. Developers, data scientists and legal sector experts working within the metaverse may be able to implement changes more efficiently than Congress as they are not subject to constitutional constraints. Chang advocates a position… Continue Reading

There is a lot of antisemitic hate speech on social media—and algorithms are partly to blame

Fast Company: “Antisemitic incidents have shown a sharp rise in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based Jewish civil rights group that has been tracking cases since 1979, found that there were 2,717 incidents in 2021. This represents an increase of 34% over 2020. In Europe, the European Commission found a sevenfold increase in… Continue Reading

Infographic of the world’s $104 trillion economy

BoingBoing – “Fascinating at-a-glance look at the $104 trillion global economy, divvied up into slices of geographical pie. I wasn’t surprised that the United States has the biggest economy, at $25.3 trillion, and that China is close behind with $19.9 trillion (and is expected to surpass the United States by 2030). Things that surprised me:… Continue Reading

Cars Are Going Electric. What Happens to the Used Batteries?

Wired – “Used electric vehicle batteries could be the Achilles’ heel of the transportation revolution—or the gold mine that makes it real…Extracting the valuable materials from an EV battery is difficult and expensive. The recycling process typically involves shredding batteries, then breaking them down further with heat or chemicals at dedicated facilities. That part is… Continue Reading

The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview

CRS Report – The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview Updated August 1, 2022: “The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Act) generally provides the exclusive means by which a government employee may temporarily perform the functions and duties of a vacant advice-and-consent position in an executive agency. Unless an acting officer is serving in… Continue Reading