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Full-Text Articles in Law

Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas Sep 2015

Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the context of equal protection doctrine, race has become untethered from the criteria underlying its demarcation as a classification warranting heightened scrutiny. As a result, it is no longer an effective vehicle for challenging the existing social and political order; instead, its primary purpose under current doctrine is to signal the presence of an impermissible basis for differential treatment. This Symposium Article suggests that, to more effectively serve its underlying normative goals, equal protection should prohibit not discrimination based on race per se, but government actions that implicate the concerns leading to race’s designation as a suspect classification ...


Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian Jul 2014

Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article investigates the potential ramifications of Fisher v. Texas and the future of race-conscious university admissions. Although one cannot predict the ultimate significance of the Fisher decision, its brief and pregnant statements of law portends an increasingly perilous course for traditional affirmative action programs. Part I explores the opinions filed in Fisher, with a particular emphasis on Justice Kennedy’s opinion on behalf of the Court. We focus on the ways in which the Fisher decision departs from precedent, proscribes new limits on the use of race in university admissions, and tightens requirements for narrow tailoring. Part II investigates ...


The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman Jul 2014

The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court has stated that the narrow-tailoring inquiry of the Equal Protection Clause’s strict scrutiny analysis of racially disparate treatment by state actors requires courts to consider whether the defendant seriously considered race-neutral alternatives before adopting the race-conscious program at issue. This article briefly examines what that means in the context of race-conscious admissions programs at colleges and universities. Part I sets forth the basic concepts that the Supreme Court uses to analyze race-conscious decision-making by governmental actors and describes the role of “race-neutral alternatives” in that scheme. Part II examines the nature of “race-neutral alternatives” and identifies ...


The Future Of Disparate Impact, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

The Future Of Disparate Impact, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano foregrounded the question of whether Title VIl's disparate impact standard conflicts with equal protection. This Article shows that there are three ways to read Ricci, one of which is likely fatal to disparate impact doctrine but the other two of which are not.


Do Not (Re)Enter: The Rise Of Criminal Background Tenant Screening As A Violation Of The Fair Housing Act, Rebecca Oyama Jan 2009

Do Not (Re)Enter: The Rise Of Criminal Background Tenant Screening As A Violation Of The Fair Housing Act, Rebecca Oyama

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Increased landlord discrimination against housing applicants with criminal histories has made locating housing in the private market more challenging than ever for individuals with criminal records. Specifically, the increased use of widely available background information in the application process by private housing providers and high error rates in criminal record databases pose particularly difficult obstacles to securing housing. Furthermore, criminal record screening policies disproportionately affect people of color due to high incarceration rates and housing discrimination. This Note examines whether the policies and practices of private housing providers that reject applicants because of their prior criminal records have an unlawful ...


Eatin' Good? Not In This Neighborhood: A Legal Analysis Of Disparities In Food Availability And Quality At Chain Supermarkets In Poverty-Stricken Areas, Nareissa Smith Jan 2009

Eatin' Good? Not In This Neighborhood: A Legal Analysis Of Disparities In Food Availability And Quality At Chain Supermarkets In Poverty-Stricken Areas, Nareissa Smith

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Many Americans-especially the poor-face severe hurdles in their attempts to secure the most basic of human needs-food. One reason for this struggle is the tendency of chain supermarkets to provide a limited selection of goods and a lower quality of goods to patrons in less affluent neighborhoods. Healthier items such as soy milks, fresh fish, and lean meats are not present in these stores, and the produce that is present is typically well past the peak of freshness. Yet, if the same patron were to go to another supermarket owned by the same chain--but located in a wealthier neighborhood-she would ...


Splitting Hairs: Why Courts Uphold Prison Grooming Policies And Why They Should Not, Mara R. Schneider Jan 2004

Splitting Hairs: Why Courts Uphold Prison Grooming Policies And Why They Should Not, Mara R. Schneider

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Note describes the substance of prison grooming policies and provides a sampling of cases that have challenged these policies under the Equal Protection and Free Exercise Clauses. Part II explores three theories of discrimination that describe certain types of discriminatory conduct that could be prohibited by the Equal Protection and Free Exercise Clauses. These theories inform the definition of "equal protection of the laws" and impact the analysis of equal protection challenges to prison grooming policies. Part III explores the "religious exemptions" doctrine and explains how courts have interpreted the protections offered to religious groups by ...


Bolling Alone, Richard A. Primus Jan 2004

Bolling Alone, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Under the doctrine of reverse incorporation, generally identified with the Supreme Court's decision in Bolling v. Sharpe, equal protection binds the federal government even though the Equal Protection Clause by its terms is addressed only to states. Since Bolling, however, the courts have almost never granted relief to litigants claiming unconstitutional racial discrimination by the federal government. Courts have periodically found unconstitutional federal discrimination on nonracial grounds such as sex and alienage, and reverse incorporation has also limited the scope of affirmative action. But in the presumed core area of preventing federal discrimination against racial minorities, Boiling has virtually ...


Expressivism, Empathy And Equality, Rachel D. Godsil Jan 2003

Expressivism, Empathy And Equality, Rachel D. Godsil

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this article, Professor Godsil argues that the Supreme Court should not limit its application of heightened scrutiny to facially neutral government actions motivated by discriminatory intent, but rather, that the Court should apply such scrutiny when the challenged government action expresses contempt or hostility toward racial, ethnic, and gender groups or constitutes them as social inferiors or stigmatized classes. This article builds upon recent scholarship seeking to transplant this form of expressivism from the Establishment Clause to the Equal Protection context. However, this article contends that this scholarship has misconceived the test to be applied. For any expressive theory ...


Equal Protection And Disparate Impact: Round Three, Richard A. Primus Jan 2003

Equal Protection And Disparate Impact: Round Three, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Prior inquiries into the relationship between equal protection and disparate impact have focused on whether equal protection entails a disparate impact standard and whether laws prohibiting disparate impacts can qualify as legislation enforcing equal rotection. In this Article, Professor Primus focuses on a third question: whether equal protection affirmatively forbids the use of statutory disparate impact standards. Like affirmative action, a statute restricting racially disparate impacts is a race-conscious mechanism designed to reallocate opportunities from some racial groups to others. Accordingly, the same individualist view of equal protection that has constrained the operation of affirmative action might also raise questions ...


Minority Preferences Reconsidered, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1999

Minority Preferences Reconsidered, Terrance Sandalow

Reviews

During the academic year 1965-66, at the height of the civil rights movement, the University of Michigan Law School faculty looked around and saw not a single African-American student. The absence of any black students was not, it should hardly need saying, attributable to a policy of purposeful exclusion. A black student graduated from the Law School as early as 1870, and in the intervening years a continuous flow of African-American students, though not a large number, had been admitted and graduated. Some went on to distinguished careers in the law.


"What's So Magic[Al] About Black Women?" Peremptory Challenges At The Intersection Of Race And Gender, Jean Montoya Jan 1996

"What's So Magic[Al] About Black Women?" Peremptory Challenges At The Intersection Of Race And Gender, Jean Montoya

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article addresses the evolving constitutional restraints on the exercise of peremptory challenges in jury selection. Approximately ten years ago, in the landmark case of Batson v. Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause forbids prosecutors to exercise race-based peremptory challenges, at least when the excluded jurors and the defendant share the same race. Over the next ten years, the Court extended Batson's reach.


Reconsidering Strict Scrutiny Of Affirmative Action, Brent E. Simmons Jan 1996

Reconsidering Strict Scrutiny Of Affirmative Action, Brent E. Simmons

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Under the artificial constraints of strict scrutiny, however, the courts are free to veto the government's choice of more effective, race-conscious means. The Supreme Court's unfortunate and ill-conceived adoption of strict scrutiny as the constitutional standard for reviewing race-conscious affirmative action should be reconsidered for several reasons. This Article examines those reasons.


Can Minority Voting Rights Survive Miller V. Johnson, Laughlin Mcdonald Jan 1996

Can Minority Voting Rights Survive Miller V. Johnson, Laughlin Mcdonald

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Article reviews the congressional redistricting process in Georgia, particularly the State's efforts to comply with the Voting Rights Act and avoid the dilution of minority voting strength. Part II describes the plaintiffs' constitutional challenge and the State's asserted defenses, or more accurately its lack of asserted defenses. Part III argues that the decision of the majority rests upon wholly false assumptions about the colorblindness of the political process and the harm caused by remedial redistricting. Part IV notes the expansion in Miller of the cause of action first recognized in Shaw v. Reno. Part ...


Expressive Harms, "Bizarre Districts," And Voting Rights: Evaluating Election-District Appearances After Shaw V. Reno, Richard H. Pildes, Richard G. Niemi Dec 1993

Expressive Harms, "Bizarre Districts," And Voting Rights: Evaluating Election-District Appearances After Shaw V. Reno, Richard H. Pildes, Richard G. Niemi

Michigan Law Review

This article attempts to define the constitutional principles that characterize Shaw and to suggest how those principles might be applied in a consistent, meaningful way. Part I, in which we argue that Shaw must be understood to rest on a distinctive conception of the kinds of harms against which the Constitution protects, is the theoretical heart of the article. We call these expressive harms, as opposed to more familiar, material harms. In Part II, we briefly survey the history of previous, largely unsuccessful, efforts in other legal contexts to give principled content to these kinds of harms in redistricting. Parts ...


Race And Redistricting: Drawing Constitutional Lines After Shaw V. Reno, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Samuel Isaacharoff Dec 1993

Race And Redistricting: Drawing Constitutional Lines After Shaw V. Reno, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Samuel Isaacharoff

Michigan Law Review

Shaw is no doubt a major opinion that attempts to define limits on the use of racial or ethnic classifications in electoral redistricting. The main thrust of this article is to assess the critical question of whether Shaw renders unconstitutional the type of race-conscious realignment of electoral configurations that have given meaning to the voting rights reforms of the past two decades. In making this assessment, we try to ascertain exactly how the Court has limited the use of race-conscious districting, and we try to determine whether there is any jurisprudential coherence to the Court's latest confrontation with the ...


Ugly: An Inquiry Into The Problem Of Racial Gerrymandering Under The Voting Rights Act, Daniel D. Polsby, Robert D. Popper Dec 1993

Ugly: An Inquiry Into The Problem Of Racial Gerrymandering Under The Voting Rights Act, Daniel D. Polsby, Robert D. Popper

Michigan Law Review

In the discussion that follows, we focus on the case of congressional districting rather than on districting in general. Although we proceed in this manner for the sake of clarity, it is also true that no single, all-purpose normative theory of electoral mechanics will cover every case of democratic representation, from county commissions to mosquito control districts to sovereign legislatures. We do not claim that one can generalize our argument to every sort of election to which the VRA might apply. Yet we think our argument does approximate a theory of general application.


If The Eye Offend Thee, Turn Off The Color, John Harrison May 1993

If The Eye Offend Thee, Turn Off The Color, John Harrison

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Color-Blind Constitution by Andrew Kull


English-Only Rules And The Right To Speak One's Primary Language In The Workplace, Juan F. Perea Jan 1990

English-Only Rules And The Right To Speak One's Primary Language In The Workplace, Juan F. Perea

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article analyzes the issues raised by English-only rules and the decisions discussing these rules. Part I reviews the leading cases on English-only rules. The Article then explores several issues that must be considered in deciding any English-only rule case under Title VII. Part II addresses whether speaking one's primary language should constitute a protected right as an aspect of national origin under Title VII. This Article argues that primary language should be protected under Title VII for several reasons: the courts and the EEOC construe the term "national origin" broadly; primary language constitutes a fundamental aspect of ethnicity ...


Racial Vote Dilution In Multimember Districts: The Constitutional Standard After Washington V. Davis, Michigan Law Review Mar 1978

Racial Vote Dilution In Multimember Districts: The Constitutional Standard After Washington V. Davis, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that the effect-oriented standard for multimember-district vote-dilution claims is unaffected by the Washington intent requirement. Part I outlines the manner in which multimember districts can dilute minority voting strength. After summarizing Washington's intent requirement, Part II surveys the post-Washington vote dilution cases and demonstrates that the applicability of the intent standard to vote dilution claims is uncertain. Part III first suggests two ways in which White and Washington may be reconciled. That section then argues that White is unaffected by the intent requirement because the standard for vote dilution fits within a fundamental interest analysis ...


Bakke: A Compelling Need To Discriminate, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1977

Bakke: A Compelling Need To Discriminate, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Two of America's most cherished values collided head-on a few months ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court began to come to grips with the most significant civil rights suit since the school desegregation cases of 1954. Arrayed on one side is the principle of governmental "color-blindness," the appealing notion that the color of a person's skin should have nothing to do with the distribution of benefits or burdens by the state. Set against it is the goal of a truly integrated society, and the tragic realization that this objective cannot be achieved within the foreseeable future unless ...


Racial Preferences In Higher Education: Political Responsibility And The Judicial Role, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1975

Racial Preferences In Higher Education: Political Responsibility And The Judicial Role, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

Controversy continues unabated over the question left unresolved by DeFunis v. Odegaard: whether in its admissions process a state law school may accord preferential treatment to certain racial and ethnic minorities. In the pages of two journals published by the University of Chicago, Professors John Hart Ely and Richard Posner have established diametrically opposed positions in the debate. Their contributions are of special interest because each undertakes to answer the question within the framework of a theory concerning the proper distribution of authority between the judiciary and the other institutions of government. Neither position, in my judgment, adequately confronts the ...


Effective Representation And Multimember Districts, Michigan Law Review Aug 1970

Effective Representation And Multimember Districts, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court has not decided a case involving an assertion of the claim that a multimember district denies the right of effective representation since Fortson and Burns. However, there have been several subsequent challenges in lower courts to the validity of such districts, and these challenges have generally failed because the factual evidence did not demonstrate conclusively that the voting strength of a legally cognizable racial or political element had been minimized or cancelled. In Chavis v. Whitcomb, however, a three-judge federal district court in Indiana found that the plaintiff had presented sufficient factual evidence to sustain his claim ...