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2006

Faculty Scholarship

Law and Society

Constitutional law

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Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2006

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers an account of how courts respond to social change, with a specific focus on the process by which courts "tip" from one understanding of a social group and its constitutional claims to another. Adjudication of equal protection and due process claims, in particular, requires courts to make normative judgments regarding the effect of traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or mental retardation on group members' status and capacity. Yet, Professor Goldberg argues, courts commonly approach decisionmaking by focusing only on the "facts" about a social group, an approach that she terms "fact-based adjudication." Professor Goldberg critiques ...