Emory Law Journal

Volume 62Issue 3

How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking

Mehrsa Baradaran | 62 Emory L.J. 483 (2013)

The United States currently has two banking systems—one for the rich, one for the poor. It was not always this way. In the past, the U.S. government has enlisted certain banking institutions to serve the needs of the poor and offer low-cost credit to enable low-income Americans to escape poverty. Credit unions, savings and loans, and Morris Banks are three prominent examples of government-supported institutions with a specific focus of helping the low-income. Unfortunately, these institutions are no longer fulfilling their missions, and high-cost, usurious, and sometimes predatory check cashers and payday lenders have quickly filled the void. These fringe banks do not provide the poor with useful credit and further bury them in debt.

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The Law of the Body

Meredith M. Render | 62 Emory L.J. 549 (2013)

In the absence of clarity about the legal status of the human body, courts have constructed a collection of circumstantially defined categories for resolving the question of human body ownership and use. This patchwork approach is awkward, unwieldy, incoherent, and, by many lights, ultimately unjust. Many able minds have been applied to critiquing the distributive consequences of a regime in which we cannot—at any point in our lives—“own” our own bodies (or its constituent parts), but other people can and do. But what has been missing from these conversations is a conceptual foundation for understanding the living human body as property.

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