The eviction crisis in the United States is a serious public health issue that affects millions of people each year. The eviction process is regulated by a patchwork of state and local laws and court rules that govern the judicial process, but little is known about the ways in which these laws affect the likelihood of evictions.
This essay in The Regulatory Review examines the legacy of the US Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Author Scott Burris contends that the vision set by Jacobson — one of coexistence and cooperation in a democratic commonwealth — is in jeopardy as courts in recent COVID-19 constitutional cases have unveiled a new view based less on the social contract than on a strong form of libertarianism.
Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
Alexander Wagenaar, PhD •
University of Florida
In this commentary for the New England Journal of Medicine, Scott Burris, Evan Anderson, and Alexander Wagenaar draw attention to the chronic underfunding and neglect of legal epidemiology, which is essential to bolstering the use of law and policy as an intervention to improve health. The authors call for the scale-up of the infrastructure for at least three kinds of research: study of the mechanisms, effects, side effects and implementation of laws designed to influence health, such as COVID control measures; research on how the legal infrastructure of the U.S.
In this commentary for the American Journal of Public Health, Scott Burris calls on the public health community to support the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws, and to probe more deeply into why the United States and its citizens feels the need for these laws in the first place.
This map presents state-level statutes and regulations that regulate earned sick leave laws in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as of January 1, 2021. Specifically, the map identifies whether earned sick leave is regulated by state law, the probationary period an employer may impose before allowing an employee to use leave, the rate of accrual, the limit an employer may place on the use and accrual of leave, and under which circumstances leave may be used by an employee.
This dataset identifies whether a state-level Ban the Box law exists; whether it applies to private or public employers; the type of employers that are exempted; the point in the hiring process at which employers may consider an applicant’s criminal history, along with the penalties for violating those regulations. This dataset presents statutes, regulations, and executive orders that regulate Ban the Box policies in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as of January 1, 2021.
In the United States, preemption is a legal doctrine that allows upper levels of government to restrict or even prevent a lower-level government from self-regulating. While it is most often thought of in the context of the federal government’s preemption of states, preemption is increasingly being used as a tool by states to limit cities, counties and other lower-level municipalities from legislating across a broad array of issues.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for working people with low to moderate income regulated at the state and federal-level. The credit incentivizes work and reduces poverty for individuals and families by establishing credits that apply to an individual’s tax liability, with any excess potentially awarded as a cash refund. Studies of EITC laws have shown health improvements associated with the credits, most significantly among single mothers and children.
Inspired by the "Legal Levers for Health Equity in Housing" report series published by the Center for Public Health Law Research, this webinar series explores the goal of health equity in housing through the lens of laws, policies, and other legal mechanisms to understand how those “levers” may support broad-reaching systems change to establish access to safe, affordable housing in richly diverse and supportive neighborhoods.