On August 26, 2020, four experts presented on issues of COVID-19 and incarcerated populations, including how the pandemic has affected public health in prisons, the problem of mass incarceration, and the broader decarceral movement. Their presentations are available below.
Professor Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Liman Center for Public Interest Law at Yale Law School, presented on legal and economic forces driving mass incarceration and the claims that confinement of medically vulnerable individuals is unconstitutional under the Fifth and Eighth Amendments.
Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.) ’71, Retired United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts and Senior Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, presented on the bench’s response to compassionate release during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jaimie Meyer, Associate Professor of Medicine (AIDS) at Yale School of Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing at Yale School of Nursing, and Affiliated Faculty at the Liman Center for Public Interest Law at Yale Law School, presented on why depopulation of prisons is important from a clinical and public health perspective and advocated for finding ways to identify and seek the release of incarcerated people most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Professor Marisol Orihuela ’08, Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Former Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles, CA, presented on how the advocacy and litigation regarding COVID-19 and incarcerated populations has played across different carceral populations, including federal, state, and local prisons, immigration detention centers, and psychiatric hospitals.
On September 2, 2020, four experts presented on issues of COVID-19 and the 2020 Election, including issues of voting by mail, lost votes, postponing elections, and voting rights protections. Their presentations are available below.
Professor Nathaniel Persily, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, presented on the challenges of mail voting and in-person voting in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, presented on the challenges to voting rights protections discussed in his 2020 article Three Pathologies of American Voting Rights Illuminated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and How To Treat and Cure Them, published in the Election Law Journal.
Professor Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented on the risks of lost votes by mail in the 2020 election.
Professor Michael T. Morley ’03, Assistant Professor at Florida State University College of Law, presented on protecting the right to vote and the integrity of the election in responding to election emergencies.
Following the workshop, two students, Charlotte Blatt '22 and Solomon Center Student Fellow, Kate Hamilton '22, published To Get Out the Youth Vote, Start with a Stamp in the Election Law Blog.
On September 9, 2020, four experts presented on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected various issues of constitutional law, including religious liberty, civil liberties, gun rights, reproductive rights, and executive powers. Their presentations are available below.
Professor Joseph Blocher ’06, Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law at Duke Law School, presented on risks related to increased gun sales during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Second Amendment implications of gun shop closures during the pandemic.
Professor Melissa Murray ’02, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network at New York University School of Law, presented on the constitutional implications for abortion provision in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to state executive orders limiting access to elective procedures.
Professor Stephen Vladeck ’04, A. Dalton Cross Professor In Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, presented on federal and state executive power in the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the several cases on COVID and state constitutional powers and courts’ review and deference in applying Jacobson v. Massachusetts.
On September 16, 2020, four experts presented on issues related to ethics, medical rationing, and disability law implicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including disability rights, prioritization of care, rationing of care, and the ethics of immunity certificates. Their presentations are available below.
Dr. Joseph Fins, the E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics, Professor of Medicine (with Tenure), Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics, and the Law and Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School, discussed his experience consulting with physicians on ethical issues of care during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical considerations in administering and rationing care.
Professor Henry T. (Hank) Greely ’77, Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School;, Professor by courtesy of Genetics at Stanford School of Medicine; Director of the Stanford Program and Neuroscience and Society, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University, presented on immunity certificates as discussed in his article COVID-19 immunity certificates: science, ethics, policy, and law, published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences in 2020.
Professor Peter Littlejohns, Professor of Public Health in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London and Honorary Consultant to the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, presented on rationing and prioritization in health care, using the UK’s National Health Service as a case study, and argued that to prioritize fairly systems must articulate values and develop a fair process to ensure the best for individual patients and public health.
Professor Samuel Bagenstos, Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, presented on the ethical and legal issues of taking disability and quality of life assessments into account in medical rationing decisions.
On September 23, 2020, experts presented on issues related to FDA regulation of vaccines, tests, and therapeutics developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their presentations are available below.
Professor Nathan Grubaugh, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) at Yale School of Medicine, presented on his lab’s development of a test for COVID-19, the role of the FDA in the testing, screening, and diagnostics, and the issues in increasing testing capacity in the pandemic.
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg, Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine and former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, presented on the FDA’s responsibilities related to the regulation of food, drugs, and medical devices and the FDA’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular regarding vaccine development and approval.
Professor Aaron S. Kesselheim, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Sidley Austin-Robert D. McLean Visiting Professor in Law at Yale Law School, presented on the need to balance evidence and speed in developing therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 and the FDA’s role in overseeing development, approving, and promoting access to these therapeutics and vaccines.
On September 30, 2020, four experts presented on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the U.S. health care system, including state and federal responses to promote public health, how the pandemic has changed the use of telemedicine, and how courts have interpreted and applied traditional public health law doctrines, including Jacobson v. Massachusetts, in recent COVID-related cases. Their presentations are available below.
Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, discussed the state level public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the political and legal challenges to enforcing these responses.
Professor Lawrence Gostin, University Professor at Georgetown University, Founding Linda D. & Timothy J. O'Neill Professor of Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Faculty Director of the O'Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights, presented on the traditional public health law doctrines, including Jacobson v. Massachusetts, and how Jacobson and related cases have affected the public health interventions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Karen S. Rheuban, Professor of Pediatrics, Senior Associate Dean of Continuing Medical Education, and Director of the Karen S. Rheuban Center for Telehealth at the University of Virginia and former President of the American Telemedicine Association, presented on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the use of and access to telemedicine, including the federal policy changes that supported the increased access and the challenges to continued widespread use of telemedicine in the United States.
Andy Slavitt, General Partner at Town Hall Ventures, Distinguished Health Policy Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, addressed the federal government’s health policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges posed by the fragmented U.S. healthcare system and the populations’ perceptions of the pandemic.
On October 14, 2020, experts presented on the role of federalism and localism in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including challenges to city- and state-level responses and the role of federal aid and state bankruptcy to address the economic harms to governments. Their presentations are available below.
Professor Richard Florida, University Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, Distinguished Fellow at NYU and FIU, and Co-Founder and Senior Editor at The Atlantic City Lab, presented on how the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to change cities and factors that will enable cities to become more prosperous, inclusive, just, and resilient.
Professor David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, presented on the economic harms suffered by state and local governments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and compared options to support states, including federal aid packages and state bankruptcy.
Professor David N. Schleicher, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, posed questions to fellow speakers about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic on changing cities, on economic growth, local politics, and the critiques of state bankruptcy.
Professor Miriam Seifter, Associate Professor of Law and Rowe Faculty Fellow in Regulatory Law at University of Wisconsin Law School, responded to the presentations regarding state and local responses to COVID-19, emphasizing the importance of states’ capacity to govern and highlighting two obstacles to state capacity: partisan polarization and divergent visions of the role of government.