Thursday, September 24, 2020
The Network, along with our partners and sponsors, are excited to announce that the 2021 National Public Health Law Conference will take place September 21 – 23 in Baltimore. At this critical moment for public health in the United States, come together with others to learn how the strategic use of legal and policy tools can address fundamental drivers of inequity, promote health and well-being, and save lives. Learn more and register.
Law and Policy Insights:
Restoring the Right to Vote is a Pathway to Better Health: A Look at Felon Re-enfranchisement and the 2020 Election
Across the U.S., an estimated 6.1 million Americans are denied the right to vote due to disenfranchisement laws. As the 2020 General Election approaches, one of the issues getting attention is the restoration of voting rights to people convicted of felonies. Research shows that restoration of civil rights helps support a transition back into the community and that civic participation is linked to lower recidivism rates among those previously incarcerated. While some states are following a recent trend to restore voting rights, others are continuing efforts to disenfranchise voters.
Withdrawal from the World Health Organization: Unconstitutional and Unhealthy
As the nation continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Network has joined with public health law partners to produce an expansive report, Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19, that includes critical analyses and recommendations from national experts convened to assess the U.S. policy response to the crisis to date. In this Q&A, the Network’s Sarah Wetter discusses some of the key elements in the chapter she co- authored for the report examining how a U.S. withdraw from the WHO would threaten both national and global health interests.
Equitable Law and Policy Solutions to Mitigate Health Risks from Climate Change and COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the United States, climate change and weather-related health risks, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and extreme heat, will put even greater pressure on the nation’s health and healthcare resources. There are short-term actions that can be taken to protect the health of vulnerable people along with longer-term solutions that can create equitable and resilient communities that can better respond to future disasters.
Law and Policy Pathways: Equity in Birth Outcomes
Every year, nearly 4 million women give birth in the United States. While most of these births are without significant complications, nearly 50,000 women a year suffer life-threatening pregnancy and birth complications, and more than 700 women die. There are significant disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, with higher rates among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women. This guide provides an at-a-glance overview of key law and policy measures that can help alleviate these disparities and assure that conditions for optimal birth outcomes are present for all.
From Global to Local: Guiding COVID-19 Laws and Policies
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged policymakers to make critical choices in a complex, changing environment. Amid uncertainties, legal decisions determining the fate of human lives and economies must be based on the best available scientific evidence, guided by principles of health justice, and reflective of evolving concepts of human rights. Watch a video recording of the closing plenary session from the 2020 Public Health Law Virtual Summit: COVID-19 Response and Recovery, held September 16-17, for a “global to local” perspective through identifying universal threats from the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing how varying countries’ responses support improved health through human rights, and applying key observations to local communities.
What We Learned From the First Wave
The All In Data for Community Health Network recently published “What We Learned From the First Wave,” which includes articles from the Network along with other contributors. The publication functions as a time capsule documenting the last 29 weeks of COVID in the US, and serves as a tactical manual with tips and tools for public health data-sharing during the pandemic. Articles profiling public health departments in Navajo Nation, Minneapolis during the BLM protests, Housing Displacements in California, and Tenant Advocacy projects all over the nation are featured in this publication.
Cherokee Nation Operational Solutions (CNOS) is hiring multiple Legal Epidemiologists to provide COVID-19 support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR). The Legal Epidemiologist will use relevant legal databases and other publicly available sources to collect, analyze, and monitor state, local, and territorial executive orders, administrative orders, statutes, regulations, judicial opinions, resolutions, and proclamations for COVID-19 public policies to implement community mitigation measures. Successful candidates should hold a JD with major study in an academic field relating to public health, the health sciences, or allied sciences, or a PhD with significant coursework in public health law analysis.
Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!
The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.