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News Posted on July 10, 2015

Professor Pruitt Publishes Op-ed in National Law Journal

Professor Lisa R. Pruitt published an op-ed in the National Law Journal concerning the ways in which spatial inequalities impact the ability of poor, rural residents to exercise civil liberties. Recent rulings by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholding Texas laws that effectively require rural residents to travel several hours in order to exercise fundamental rights (e.g., the right to vote, the right to an abortion) fail to recognize the undue burden imposed by such laws, Pruitt writes.

"When it comes to constitutional rights that implicate spatiality, federal appellate courts appear largely clueless about the burden of distance," states Pruitt. "In ratcheting up the undue-burden standard as it recently has, the Fifth Circuit is a particular culprit, showing virtually no understanding of Texas's poor and rural populations, let alone solicitude for them."

Lisa R. Pruitt is a professor at UC Davis School of Law whose recent scholarship explores the legal relevance of rural spatiality, including how it inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity.  Pruitt's work also considers rural-urban difference in transnational and international contexts.

National Law Journal