Toward a Demosprudence of Poverty

by Monica Bell, Stephanie Garlock & Alexander Nabavi-Noori

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Abstract

This Article describes the rift between a due-process-focused jurisprudence on legal–financial obligations—the centerpiece of the current fight against criminalization of poverty—and the substantive and structural problems of poverty criminalization. It argues that judges can help address this disconnect while still operating within the scope of their authority by engaging in a demosprudence of poverty—“a democracy-enhancing jurisprudence” that actively seeks to learn from poor people themselves and movements for economic justice. This Article builds from demosprudential theory to offer guidance for judges in their reason-giving, rulemaking, and courtroom management practices.

Toward a Demosprudence of Poverty

by Monica Bell, Stephanie Garlock & Alexander Nabavi-Noori

Click here for a PDF file of this article

Abstract

This Article describes the rift between a due-process-focused jurisprudence on legal–financial obligations—the centerpiece of the current fight against criminalization of poverty—and the substantive and structural problems of poverty criminalization. It argues that judges can help address this disconnect while still operating within the scope of their authority by engaging in a demosprudence of poverty—“a democracy-enhancing jurisprudence” that actively seeks to learn from poor people themselves and movements for economic justice. This Article builds from demosprudential theory to offer guidance for judges in their reason-giving, rulemaking, and courtroom management practices.