Our nation - founded on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - is a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has revealed the gap between what we are as a society and that which we long to be. A new critical intersectional legal framework, guided by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of The Beloved Community, will allow legal scholars and policymakers to reframe health equality and health justice toward a more perfect union. By combining the philosophical rigor of dialectical thinking, critical theory, and intersectional analysis, analysts can meet this moment and create new legal frameworks to correct social injustice. Analysts can build a just society based on equality to address the disproportionate sickness, disability, and death of America’s historically oppressed peoples. With the goal of addressing oppression across multiple axes of identity at once, and in the spirit of Dr. King’s appropriation of eclectic theologies and philosophies, this Article proposes a new Critical Intersectional Legal Analysis that develops critical social theory by bringing an intersectional analysis to the principles of dialectical thought and indeterminacy. This Article’s framework will analyze power structures as they exist and work together through the power of the state to class, race, and disable people moment to moment. Finally, this Article’s framework is reconstructive through self-reflexive application of theory through praxis. This Article will apply that new framework to a specific condition of oppression - the privilege of space as it relates to the risks of viral transmission, infection, and disease during the current coronavirus pandemic for children in psychiatric institutional settings in North Carolina and the Southeast.



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