The Yale Law Journal



Non-Reformist Reforms and Struggles over Life, Death, and Democracy

Amna A. Akbar

This Feature examines the turn of left social movements to “non-reformist reforms” as a framework for reconceiving reform: not as an end but within struggles to reconstitute the terms of life, death, and democracy.


Policing the Polity

Eisha Jain

Interior immigration enforcement reaches well beyond deportation. In practice, it also offers a rationale for policing U.S. residents stereotyped as foreign. This Essay shows how a “deportation-centric” approach limits the ability of courts to recognize and redress unjustified surveillance, and it a…


Fruit of the Racist Tree: A Super-Exclusionary Rule for Racist Policing Under California’s Racial Justice Act

Marnie Lowe

What would it take for a state to eliminate racial bias in policing? This Comment explores one intervention set forth in California’s new Racial Justice Act: a guarantee of charging or sentencing relief for anyone subjected to police racism during arrest or investigation.



Rethinking Police Expertise

Anna Lvovsky

Judicial reasoning about police expertise has toggled between two distinct conceptions of expertise itself: as a professional virtue or a professional technology. Taking stock of both views offers new strategies in a range of disputes about police misconduct. It also illuminates debates about expert…


The Ostensible (and, at Times, Actual) Virtue of Deference

Anthony O’Rourke

Rethinking Police Expertise reveals how litigators can use police officers’ assertions of expertise against them. This Response questions the value, however, of urging judges to treat police expertise as a “professional technology” as opposed to a “professional virtue.” Insisting on this conceptual …


Police Reform Through a Power Lens

Jocelyn Simonson

This Article examines recent social movements efforts to shift power over policing to those most harmed by mass criminalization. This focus on power-shifting—the power lens—opens up reform discussions to first-order questions about how the state should provide safety and security, with or without po…


The Wandering Officer

Ben Grunwald & John Rappaport

This Article conducts a systematic investigation of “wandering officers”—law-enforcement officers fired by one department who find work at another agency. It reports on the prevalence, labor mobility, and behavior of these officers. The Article also considers explanations for their continued employm…


The Power of Police Officers to Give “Lawful Orders”

James Mooney

Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government criminalize disobeying the “lawful orders” of police officers. But it is uncertain which orders are lawful. This Comment proposes a model statute that would clarify and limit police authority while informing civilians about the …


Disparate-Impact Liability for Policing

Alisa Tiwari

This Note develops the first analysis of the Safe Street Act’s (SSA’s) antidiscrimination power and argues that the SSA imposes disparate-impact liability on police departments. When conventional legal tools have proven inadequate in curbing disparate policing, the SSA presents an unrecognized path …