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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert Feb 2014

Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert

Michigan Law Review

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of American constitutionalism. It empowers judges to check the other branches of government and resolve cases impartially and in accordance with law. Yet independence comes with a hazard. Precisely because they are independent, judges can ignore law and pursue private agendas. For two centuries, scholars have debated those ideas and the underlying tradeoff: independence versus accountability. They have achieved little consensus, in part because independence raises difficult antecedent questions. We cannot decide how independent to make a judge until we agree on what a judge is supposed to do. That depends on one’s views ...


Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin Jan 2008

Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin

Articles

In Judging the Voting Rights Act, Professors Adam B. Cox and Thomas J. Miles report that judges are more likely to find liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) when they are African American, appointed by a Democratic president, or sit on an appellate panel with a judge who is African American or a Democratic appointee. Cox and Miles posit that their findings “contrast” and “cast doubt” on much of the “conventional wisdom” about the Voting Rights Act, by which they mean the core findings we reported in Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 ...


From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2006

From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

LULAC v. Perry held that Texas violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act when it displaced nearly 100,000 Latino residents from a congressional district in Laredo to protect the Republican incumbent they refused to support. At the same time, the Justices let stand the dismantling of a so-called “coalition” district in Fort Worth where African-American voters comprising a minority of the district’s population allegedly enjoyed effective control in deciding the district’s representative. Only Justice Kennedy supported the outcome in both Laredo and Fort Worth. His opinion marks the first time that he, or indeed a majority ...


Brennan Center For Justice Symposium Introduction: Diversity, Impartiality, And Representation On The Bench, Kele Williams Jan 2004

Brennan Center For Justice Symposium Introduction: Diversity, Impartiality, And Representation On The Bench, Kele Williams

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

As is evident from these articles, the question of judicial diversity is far more complex and nuanced than the current debate suggests. Many unanswered questions remain. The scholars in this issue and the others who presented their work at our convening have begun to reframe the debate and identify the hardest questions. We hope that this symposium issue will provoke further thought and provide a context for additional scholarship that will help us to answer those questions.


A Principled Approach To The Quest For Racial Diversity On The Judiciary, Kevin R. Johnson, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer Jan 2004

A Principled Approach To The Quest For Racial Diversity On The Judiciary, Kevin R. Johnson, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Article considers the different voices and perspectives added to the judiciary by the appointment of minorities. Part II analyzes the many impacts of diversity on the bench, including greater judicial impartiality. Part III sets forth the arguments supporting a diverse jury pool and discusses how they inform the analysis of the quest for racial diversity among judges. Part IV outlines a principled approach to the pursuit of judicial diversity.


Does A Diverse Judiciary Attain A Rule Of Law That Is Inclusive?: What Grutter V. Bollinger Has To Say About Diversity On The Bench, Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas Jan 2004

Does A Diverse Judiciary Attain A Rule Of Law That Is Inclusive?: What Grutter V. Bollinger Has To Say About Diversity On The Bench, Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article concludes that political dialogue engendered by controversial minority judicial nominations, like those of Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown, could be an avenue to educating the polity as to why it is important to achieve greater minority representation on the bench. The pluralistic process-based model of judging advocates that a critical mass of diverse judges be achieved, not that the minority judges be liberal rather than conservative, communitarian rather than individualist, or Democrat rather than Republican. The goal is that there be a critical mass of minority judges on benches that make decisions as a group, like circuit ...


Toward An Understanding Of Judicial Diversity In American Courts, Barbara L. Graham Jan 2004

Toward An Understanding Of Judicial Diversity In American Courts, Barbara L. Graham

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Article explores the utility of descriptive representation as an important concept in understanding why judicial diversity matters from a political perspective. Part II begins an empirical examination of judicial diversity at the federal level while Part III presents an analysis of state court diversity. The data presented in Parts II and III indicate that judges of color are underrepresented at all levels of the federal and state court systems and that particular racial and ethnic groups are virtually excluded from federal and state benches. The conclusion argues that the data presented in this Article support a ...


Constitutional Sunsetting?: Justice O'Connor's Closing Comments On Grutter, Evan H. Caminker, Vikram David Amar Jan 2003

Constitutional Sunsetting?: Justice O'Connor's Closing Comments On Grutter, Evan H. Caminker, Vikram David Amar

Articles

Most Supreme Court watchers were unsurprised that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's vote proved pivotal in resolving the University of Michigan affirmative action cases; indeed, Justice O'Connor has been in the majority in almost every case involving race over the past decade, and was in the majority in each and every one of the 5-4 decisions the Court handed down across a broad range of difficult issues last Term. Some smaller number of observers were unsurprised that Justice O'Connor decided (along with the four Justices who in the past have voted to allow latitude with regard to ...


What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner Jan 1999

What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article is aimed at the general question: whether having a woman judge would make a difference in sexual harassment cases. This article is aimed at this general question, the response to which has been elusive: Does the race, gender, or other background characteristics of a judge make a difference in the outcome of cases? The effects of diversity on the bench are just becoming measurable. Many legal scholars have assumed diversity will make a difference. While this conclusion may seem commonsensical, it is important to be able to support such assertions with actual data. The supposition has been that ...


Dream Makers: Black Judges On Justice, Julian Abele Cook Jr. May 1996

Dream Makers: Black Judges On Justice, Julian Abele Cook Jr.

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Linn Washington, Black Judges on Justice


Judicial Protection Of Minorities, Terrance Sandalow May 1977

Judicial Protection Of Minorities, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

In United States v. Carolene Products Co., Justice Stone suggested by indirection that there "may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality" when courts are called upon to determine the validity "of statutes directed at particular religious . . . or national . . . or racial minorities."' In such cases, he explained, "prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry."' Forty years later, that cautious suggestion has ripened into ...


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 ...