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Judicial Diversity After Shelby County V. Holder, William Roth Sep 2014

Judicial Diversity After Shelby County V. Holder, William Roth

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In 2014, voters in ten of the fifteen states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") preclearance formula-including six of the nine states covered in their entirety-will go to the polls to elect or retain state supreme court justices. Yet despite the endemic underrepresentation of minorities on state benches and the judiciary's traditional role in fighting discrimination, scholars have seemingly paid little attention to how Shelby County v. Holder's suspension of the coverage formula in section 4(b) has left racial minorities vulnerable to retrogressive changes to judicial-election laws. The first election year following Shelby County thus ...


The Ninth Circuit's Treatment Of Sexual Orientation: Defining “Rational Basis Review With Bite”, Ian Bartrum Jun 2014

The Ninth Circuit's Treatment Of Sexual Orientation: Defining “Rational Basis Review With Bite”, Ian Bartrum

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

On February 10, Nevada's Democratic attorney general decided to stop defending the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which is currently under review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Perhaps even more surprising, Nevada's Republican governor agreed with that decision, concluding that the "case is no longer defensible in court." Ironically, all of this came after the plaintiffs had lost their case in the district court. But the federal constitutional landscape surrounding same-sex marriage is rapidly shifting, and in the nation's largest circuit change is coming quickly indeed. The latest upheaval ...


Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol Apr 2014

Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Globally speaking, international law and the vast majority of domestic legal systems strive to protect the right to freedom of expression. The United States' First Amendment provides an early historical protection of speech-a safeguard now embraced around the world. The extent of this protection, however, varies among states. The United States stands alone in excluding countervailing considerations of equality, dignitary, or privacy interests that would favor restrictions on speech. The gravamen of the argument supporting such American exceptionalism is that free expression is necessary in a democracy. Totalitarianism, the libertarian narrative goes, thrives on government control of information to the ...


When Will Race No Longer Matter In Jury Selection?, Bidish Sarma Jan 2011

When Will Race No Longer Matter In Jury Selection?, Bidish Sarma

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

We are coming upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court's opinion in Batson v. Kentucky, which made clear that our Constitution does not permit prosecutors to remove prospective jurors from the jury pool because of their race. The legal question in Batson-when, if ever, can governmental race discrimination in jury selection be tolerated?-was easy. The lingering factual question, however-when will prosecutors cease to discriminate on the basis of race?-has proven far more difficult to answer. The evidence that district attorneys still exclude minorities because of their race is so compelling that it is tempting to assume ...


Response To "Snyder V. Louisiana: Continuing The Historical Trend Towards Increased Scrutiny Of Peremptory Challenges", Bidish J. Sarma Oct 2010

Response To "Snyder V. Louisiana: Continuing The Historical Trend Towards Increased Scrutiny Of Peremptory Challenges", Bidish J. Sarma

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

John P. Bringewatt's recent note makes several important observations about the Supreme Court's opinion in Snyder v. Louisiana. Although he provides reasonable support for the claim that Snyder represents a sea change in Batson jurisprudence, the US Supreme Court's fresh opinion in Thaler v. Haynes (rendered on February 22, 2010) reads the Snyder majority opinion narrowly and suggests the possibility that Snyder is not as potent as it should be. The Haynes per curiam's guarded reading of Snyder signals the need for courts to continue to conduct the bird's-eye cumulative analysis that the Court performed ...


An Agenda For The Obama Administration On Gender Equality: Lessons From Abroad, Adrien K. Wing, Samuel P. Nielson Jan 2009

An Agenda For The Obama Administration On Gender Equality: Lessons From Abroad, Adrien K. Wing, Samuel P. Nielson

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

President Barack Obama came into office with a wealth of good will after winning the historic 2008 presidential election to become the first African-American commander-in-chief. Among the many daunting issues we hope he will tackle is one that Abigail Adams mentioned to her husband John in 1776: remember the ladies. How should our President and his new administration affect social justice for women?


The Developing Equality Jurisprudence In South Africa, Karthy Govender Jan 2009

The Developing Equality Jurisprudence In South Africa, Karthy Govender

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Apartheid was technically about separateness, but it was fundamentally about inequality. The founding premise of the ideology was to preserve the total hegemony of white South Africans. The liberation organizations opposing the apartheid regime sought to affirm that the country belonged to all those that lived in it. Thus, it is unsurprising that the commitment to equality is one of the founding values of the Constitution and an indelible thread woven throughout the fabric of the Bill of Rights. After some misstatements about certain rights being more important than others, courts have interpreted rights in the Bill of Rights to ...


Substantive Equality In The European Court Of Human Rights?, Dr. Rory O'Connell Jan 2009

Substantive Equality In The European Court Of Human Rights?, Dr. Rory O'Connell

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") has a distinguished track record. Established under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 ("ECHR"), it was the world's first international human rights court. It decides thousands of cases every year, and its opinions are cited world-wide. For most of its history, the Court's jurisprudence on equality was uninspiring, as it was based on a formal conception of equality. In recent years, however, the ECtHR has begun to give equality more substantive content.


Same-Sex Marriage In The Heartland: The Case For Legislative Minimalism In Crafting Religious Exemptions, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2009

Same-Sex Marriage In The Heartland: The Case For Legislative Minimalism In Crafting Religious Exemptions, Ian C. Bartrum

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In Varnum v. Brien, decided April 3rd of this year, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's statutory ban on same-sex marriage. In a remarkably clear and thoughtful opinion, Justice Mark Cady explored in depth the immutability of sexual identity and the appropriate standard of judicial review for legislative classifications based on sexual orientation-adopting (for now) an intermediate level of scrutiny. The decision marked the first significant legal victory for same-sex marriage outside of New England (with the exception of a short-term success in Hawaii), and served notice that the gay rights movement—once thought compelling only ...


Recognition Of Group Rights As Requisite To Substantive Equality Goals, Kathrina Szymborski Jan 2009

Recognition Of Group Rights As Requisite To Substantive Equality Goals, Kathrina Szymborski

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Courts, legislatures, and scholars are increasingly turning away from traditional Aristotelian thinking in favor of a substantive, pro-active approach to equality. Under the substantive approach, the identification and eradication of systematic discrimination replace an adherence to neutral principles. This Comment argues that while a substantive approach is the most effective way to bring about true equality, it will not succeed unless it centers on protecting group rights. State decision-makers and international human rights advocates must focus on group experiences in order to create societies where no one is favored based on immutable characteristics.


Disparate Impact And The Use Of Racial Proxies In Post-Mcri Admissions, Matthew S. Owen, Danielle S. Barbour Jan 2006

Disparate Impact And The Use Of Racial Proxies In Post-Mcri Admissions, Matthew S. Owen, Danielle S. Barbour

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”) amended the Michigan Constitution to provide that public universities, colleges, and school districts may not “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of . . . public education.” We argue that, in addition to prohibiting the overt use of racial preferences in admissions, the MCRI also prohibits using racial proxies such as socioeconomic status or a “Ten Percent Plan” that aim to prefer minorities in admissions. Though the MCRI does not expressly say so, we stipulate for this paper ...


A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing: The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative As The Savior Of Affirmative Action, Ryan C. Hess Jan 2006

A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing: The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative As The Savior Of Affirmative Action, Ryan C. Hess

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The University of Michigan has long been a place of important discussions about civil and human rights. On the steps of the Michigan Student Union, only a few paces from the Law School, lies an inconspicuous marker where then-President John F. Kennedy, Jr. dedicated the United States Peace Core. During the Vietnam War, the University played host to significant protests that changed how we think about war and its consequences. Most recently, the University litigated a series of Supreme Court cases that have helped define the role of educational institutions in the quest for equality. This role promises to continue ...


"Framing Affirmative Action", Kimberlé W. Crenshaw Jan 2006

"Framing Affirmative Action", Kimberlé W. Crenshaw

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

With the passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”), Michigan joins California and Washington to constitute the new postaffirmative action frontier. For proponents such as Ward Connerly, affirmative action is on the edge of extinction. Connerly plans to carry his campaign against what he calls “racial preferences” to eight states in 2008, scoring a decisive Super-Tuesday repudiation of a social policy that he portrays as the contemporary face of racial discrimination. On the other side of the issue, proponents of affirmative action are struggling to regroup, fearful that the confluence of lukewarm support among Democratic allies, messy presidential politics ...


What The Mcri Can Teach White Litigants About White Dominance, Adam Gitlin Jan 2006

What The Mcri Can Teach White Litigants About White Dominance, Adam Gitlin

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The ballots have barely been counted, but litigation to enjoin implementation of the now-codified Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”) or at least limit its effect on admissions practices in Michigan’s universities is already underway. One of the primary arguments against the MCRI—and the basis upon which some plaintiff professors assert standing—is that students will suffer an impaired education if current admissions practices are discarded. Assuming that the MCRI survives these legal challenges, educators should be consoled somewhat to know the MCRI may still offer some pedagogy as compensation: litigation will likely be brought to enforce its provisions ...


The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Carl Cohen Jan 2006

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Carl Cohen

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The underlying principle of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), adopted by state wide vote on 7 November 2006, is identical to that of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act provides: “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The recent passage of the MCRI results now in the inclusion [in Article 1, Section 26 of the Michigan constitution] of section ...