Boston University Law Review Online

Boston University Law Review Online, formerly known as the Boston University Law Review Annex, is Boston University Law Review’s online publication featuring symposia, essays, perspectives, and student notes.


Law and Culture

Tamar Frankel* & Tomasz Braun**
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 157 (2021).

Boston University Law Review Online is proud to present an essay by our distinguished emeritus professor Tamar Frankel and her colleague Tomasz Braun. This piece, written in Professor Frankel’s distinctive and thought-provoking voice, is a sequel to her book, Living in Different Cultures, and examines how systems of law and culture relate to and affect each other.


Does Interest Convergence Today Offer Opportunities for the Working Class, Much As It Did for Minorities in the Fifties and Sixties?

Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic
A Comment on Spencer Bowley
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 148 (2021).

Delgado & Stefancic respond to Bowley’s article on class-based interest convergence in the United States. This response further explores the the ongoing class-forward movement and puts forward another theory for interest convergence based on Marxist economics.


Learning from History: Predicting the Development of Class-Based Interest Convergence

Spencer Bowley
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 125 (2021).

In this article, Bowley applies the interest-convergence theory first posited by Derrick Bell to class-based issues in the United States. The first analysis of its kind, Bowley explores the tenuous relationship between the United States and China and predicts interest convergence between the upper-class and America’s poor.


Rehabilitation Under the Rehabilitation Act: The Case for Medication-Assisted Treatment in Federal Correctional Facilities

Jaclyn S. Tayabji
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 79 (2021).


The Color Line: A Review and Reflection for Antiracist Scholars

Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 72 (2021).

In this comment on The Color Line by David Lyons, Gonzales Rose praises the insightful history of race and racism in the United States, while also critiquing the use of common conventions that antiracist authors should avoid. “I hope that antiracist authors and readers continue to supportively push each other to be thoughtful and inclusive in our use of language and analysis.”


Standing and Privacy Harms: A Critique of TransUnion v. Ramirez

Daniel J. Solove & Danielle Keats Citron
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 62 (2021).

Through the standing doctrine, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a new step toward severely limiting the effective enforcement of privacy laws.  The recent Supreme Court decision, TransUnion v. Ramirez (U.S. June 25, 2021) revisits the issue of standing and privacy harms under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that began with Spokeo v. Robins, 132 S. Ct. 1441 (2012). In TransUnion, a group of plaintiffs sued TransUnion under FCRA for falsely labeling them as potential terrorists in their credit reports. The Court concluded that only some plaintiffs had standing – those whose credit reports were disseminated. Plaintiffs whose credit reports weren’t disseminated lacked a “concrete” injury and accordingly lacked standing – even though Congress explicitly granted them a private right of action to sue for violations like this and even though a jury had found that TransUnion was at fault.

In this essay, Professors Daniel J. Solove and Danielle Keats Citron engage in an extensive critique of the TransUnion case. They contend that existing standing doctrine incorrectly requires concrete harm. For most of U.S. history, standing required only an infringement on rights. Moreover, when assessing harm, the Court has a crabbed and inadequate understanding of privacy harms. Additionally, allowing courts to nullify private rights of action in federal privacy laws is a usurpation of legislative power that upends the compromises and balances that Congress establishes in laws.  Private rights of action are essential enforcement mechanisms. 


Rodrigo’s Reappraisal

Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 48 (2021). 

“Actually, I was hoping to talk to you about one aspect of that very subject—categorization. That and critical race theory. Do you have a minute?” […]


Prophets for an Algorithmic Age

Nicholas Mignanelli
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 41 (2021). 

Adapting Nicholas F. Stump’s Critical Legal Research framework, I recommend that law librarians contend with this phenomenon by participating in algorithmic activism, practicing transgressive and archeological bibliography, and emphasizing the importance of “unplugged brainstorming” in their pedagogy. With my earlier article as a foundation, I will use the remaining pages of this Essay to further engage Professors Delgado and Stefancic’s commentary on the “triple helix dilemma” in the hope of suggesting where scholarship on AI and legal research might go from here. […]


Using Principles of Critical Information Theory to Teach Progressive Approaches to Regulatory Research

Julie Graves Krishnaswami
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 38 (2021). 

Regulatory research taught from the perspective of critical information theory is a pathway for the consideration of (1) regulatory transparency, (2) agency accountability, (3) due process and fundamental fairness in the context of agency adjudication and rulemaking, (4) private-public partnerships, and (5) agency expertise and discretion. […]


Biases in Law Library Subject Headings

Grace Lo
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 26 (2021). 

This Article focuses on the LCSH strand of the “triple helix” and how it continues to contribute to the “dilemma” identified by Delgado and Stefancic. Part I explains what the LCSH is and its role in codifying biases into research. Part II discusses two recent examples of movements to change specific subject headings in the LCSH as case studies in how different sources and perspectives are evaluated in canonizing authorized terms. Finally, Part III examines how long-standing, historical problems of bias in cataloging continue into modern day research tools like search engine algorithms. […]


Invisible Hands and the Triple (Quadruple?) Helix Dilemma: Helping Students Free Their Minds

Yasmin Sokkar Harker
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 17 (2021). 

Legal education should be liberating, and legal research classrooms and law libraries can be sites of liberation. They can be places where students discover the potential to oversee their own development, both professional and personal. They can be places where students see the possibilities in their world and envision themselves as agents of social change. They can be places where students discover their roles as lawyers and the potential to change the law itself. One way to foster liberatory thinking is through critical information literacy. […]


“Non-Reformist Reforms” in Radical Social Change: A Critical Legal Research Exploration

Nicholas F. Stump
Online Symposium: Critical Legal Research: The Next Wave (A Panel in Honor of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic).
101 B.U. L. Rev. Online 6 (2021). 

The contemporary Critical Legal Research (“CLR”) project exhibits much diverse and vital thought. However, this Essay draws, in particular, on CLR strains in the explicit Marxist- and socialist-steeped traditions. […]