Should pro-immigrant advocates pursue federally funded counsel for all immigrants facing deportation? For most pro-immigrant advocates and scholars, the answer is self-evident: More lawyers for immigrants would mean more justice for immigrants, and thus, the federal government should fund such lawyers. Moreover, the argument goes, federally funded counsel for immigrants would improve due process and fairness, as well as make immigration enforcement more efficient. This Article argues the opposite: Federally funded counsel is the wrong goal. The majority of expulsions of immigrants now happen outside immigration courts—and thus are impervious to immigration lawyering. Even for those who make it before an immigration judge, factors including geography, random judicial assignment, and the limited forms of deportation relief mean that most people represented by immigration lawyers are still ultimately deported. Gideon v. Wainwright’s guarantee of counsel in the criminal realm co-existed for nearly sixty years with the development of mass incarceration. Likewise, expanding federally funded counsel for immigrants could coexist with a vastly expanded deportation infrastructure without contradiction. In fact, federally funded counsel would provide cover for continued deportations, and the restrictions that would likely come with such funding would make it harder for attorneys to challenge the growth of the mass deportation regime effectively. Instead of investing in a strategy that risks normalizing expanded enforcement, pro-immigrant advocates and scholars must choose battles that aim at dismantling immigration enforcement. This means putting aside efforts that seek to add lawyers as one more mandated player in immigration court.
Volume 98, Number 2
A large body of scholarship has debated the constitutionality of criminalizing travel to seek abortions—an issue with new salience in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overrule Roe v. Wade. Increasingly, however, antiabortion activists are turning to civil remedies as a supplement or alternative to criminal prosecution in cases involving out-of-state abortions. In contrast to criminal jurisdiction, where the outer bounds of states’ authority to punish out-of-state conduct is highly uncertain, the extraterritorial application of state law in civil litigation is a common, routine effect of choice-of-law analysis that is unlikely to raise constitutional difficulties. As a result, it is reasonable to expect that courts in antiabortion states may give broad geographical effect to abortion-restrictive laws and policies in at least some civil litigation. The resulting decisions are likely to create substantial friction between states, as abortion-permissive states try to protect their own citizens from liability even as the Full Faith and Credit Clause demands recognition of foreign-state judgments that courts may be reluctant to give. Similar clashes between state policies have, to be sure, happened before, and this Article explores their outcomes in the areas of divorce liberalization, cannabis legalization, and the enforceability of noncompete clauses. At the same time, abortion is likely to give rise to broader and more intractable conflicts than any other issue courts have confronted in the recent past. Although individual judges can reduce occasions for interstate friction by applying restrained, conduct-focused conflicts principles, the states’ fundamental disunity on the underlying issue of abortion may prove to be a problem that our choice-of-law
system is simply not equipped to resolve.
The overruling of Roe v. Wade has unleashed a torrent of regulatory and punitive activity restricting previously lawful reproductive options. But the turn to the expansive criminal law and new schemes of civil liability creates novel concerns, quite distinct from the pre-Roe landscape a half-century ago. Reproductive choice, and its nemesis, turn upon information. For pregnant people, deciding on a choice of medical care entails a search for advice and services. Information is at a premium for them. Meanwhile, efforts to regulate abortion began with clinic closings. But they will quickly extend to civil actions and criminal indictments of patients, providers, and those who facilitate abortions. Like the pregnant themselves, criminal and civil enforcers depend on information. And in the contemporary context, the informational landscape, and hence access to counseling and services such as medication abortion, is largely mediated through digital forms of communication. In an era when most people use search engines or social media to access information, the digital architecture and data retention policies of those platforms will determine not only whether the pregnant can access medically accurate advice but also whether the act of seeking health information places them in legal peril.
This Article offers an in-depth analysis of the core legal issues concerning abortion related digital privacy after the end of Roe. It demonstrates first that digital privacy for pregnant persons in the United States has suddenly become a tremendously fraught and complex question. It then maps the treacherous social, legal, and economic terrain upon which firms, individuals, and states will make privacy-related decisions. Building on this political economy, we develop a set of moral and economic arguments to the effect that digital firms should maximize digital privacy for pregnant persons within the scope of the law and should actively resist states’ efforts to conscript them into a war on reproductive choice. We then lay out precise, tangible steps that firms should take to enact this active resistance. We explore here in particular a range of powerful yet legal options for firms to refuse cooperation with restriction-focused criminal and civil investigations. Finally, we present an original, concrete and immediately actionable proposal for federal and state legislative intervention: a statutory evidentiary privilege to shield abortion-relevant data from warrants, subpoenas, court orders, and judicial proceedings aimed at limiting the availability of reproductive care.
This Note argues that the Supreme Court has recently created a subsidized equality right in the Free Exercise Clause—by perceiving previously constitutional state action as discrimination against religion—and that this right’s logic is inconsistent with how the Court articulated funding rights in the abortion context prior to its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This Note’s goal is two-fold. First, it will explain the legal principle driving the change in Free Exercise Clause doctrine: an energized equality. Although the expanding anti-discrimination principle is having transformative effects in the law of religious exemptions, this Note’s primary aim is to explore the implications of this change in the religious funding context, as much public commentary already has focused on legal developments in the former category. This Note’s second goal is to demonstrate how the Court’s articulation and application of this energized equality principle in religious funding cases reflect its political prioritization of free exercise rights. In these cases, on the basis of religious equality, the Court is willing to recognize violations of free exercise rights, whereas in nearly identical factual scenarios not explicitly involving religion, it is blind to inequality. This Note focuses on abortion funding pre-Dobbs as an example to demonstrate this logical inconsistency.