In the United States, preemption is a legal doctrine that allows upper levels of government to restrict or even prevent a lower-level government from self-regulating. While it is most often thought of in the context of the federal government’s preemption of states, preemption is increasingly being used as a tool by states to limit cities, counties and other lower-level municipalities from legislating across a broad array of issues.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for working people with low to moderate income regulated at the state and federal-level. The credit incentivizes work and reduces poverty for individuals and families by establishing credits that apply to an individual’s tax liability, with any excess potentially awarded as a cash refund. Studies of EITC laws have shown health improvements associated with the credits, most significantly among single mothers and children.
Inspired by the "Legal Levers for Health Equity in Housing" report series published by the Center for Public Health Law Research, this webinar series explores the goal of health equity in housing through the lens of laws, policies, and other legal mechanisms to understand how those “levers” may support broad-reaching systems change to establish access to safe, affordable housing in richly diverse and supportive neighborhoods.
Roads in the United States are rarely developed with consideration for users other than motorists. This can result in dangerous conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and users of public transit. Complete Streets policies seek to create safer roads by designing them to balance the needs and priorities of all users. These users typically include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. Complete Streets are often implemented through state or local transportation policies, state laws and regulations, or city ordinances.
This report offers policy recommendations on 35 wide-ranging topics from 50 national experts, from pandemic preparedness and health care to conducting sound elections and adapting immigration policy. Designed to advise leaders at the federal, state and local level, the report presents a timely examination of policy challenges and opportunities in light of the pandemic.
The global abortion field has a murky understanding of the impact of abortion laws. With legal epidemiology, legal and scientific researchers can together produce a clearer view of the relationships between laws and public health outcomes. Scientists study public health with a required degree of rigor, while the global study of abortion laws globally and how it they impacts public health outcomes remains less developed. Global abortion researchers tend to focus on the circumstances in which abortion is legal as the independent variable when investigating public health outcomes.
Public health research demonstrates that population health is shaped in large measure by numerous social factors, widely known as the social determinants of health. This Essay argues that immigration law acts as a social determinant that affects the health of both noncitizens and citizens.
The United States currently ranks last among high‑income countries for life expectancy. Since 2014, U.S. life expectancy has declined. By now, these alarming trends are well known to researchers, the public, and policymakers. Nevertheless, there is no consensus among researchers on the causes of the trends, and there has been no serious and effective bipartisan effort to solve the problem. The dominant narrative has implicated Americans’ behaviors, such as smoking, illicit drug use, and suicide; yet, this narrative is misguided and counterproductive.
This essay reflects on 10 years of legal epidemiology, and projects a research agenda for the next decade of work. Mello describes the innovations behind measuring the law, testing its effects, and disseminating discoveries. The essay was adapted from Mello's keynote address at the Center's 10th anniversary symposium in September 2019.
Policy is a powerful tool that can improve health and wellbeing by addressing specific risks or impacting social conditions that are drivers of health and quality of life. But governmental policies can vary immensely from one jurisdiction to another. Surveillance of policies at the local level can help facilitate evidence‑based policy adoption between cities, states, and beyond. This essay highlights the CityHealth model, which has successfully influenced policy change by illuminating the quality and quantity of nine key city policies in the forty most populous U.S. metropolitan areas.