Law or Social Change tension in the law’s potential for promoting and hindering social change.
Which Came First: Law or Social Change tension in the law’s potential for promoting and hindering social change. What are the factors that she outlines to develop that argument? How does the concept of rights help us understand the possibilities and limits of law as an agent of social change? You could discuss one or two of these examples of ways that laws could change society:
- Environment: Citizens in Toledo, Ohio will soon vote to grant Lake Erie ‘rights’ such that cities or townships could sue entities that are polluting it on behalf of the lake. Do you think that would significantly change our society’s actions regarding environmental justice? If not, why? For more information, see this NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/17/us/lake-erie-legal-rights.html
- Health: The Affordable Health Care Act, passed in 2010, has transformed health care in some ways (e.g., coverage for pre-existing conditions) and not others (e.g., individual mandate to have health insurance, affordable insurance). How would you explain that development, using Calavita’s notion of law as pioneering social change or being held back by social forces?