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Full-Text Articles in Law

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher ...


Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils Of Muslim Women's Identity Performance In The Workplace, Sahar F. Aziz Oct 2014

Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils Of Muslim Women's Identity Performance In The Workplace, Sahar F. Aziz

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Should employees have the legal right to “be themselves” at work? Most Americans would answer in the negative because work is a privilege, not an entitlement. But what if being oneself entails behaviors, mannerisms, and values integrally linked to the employee’s gender, race, or religion? And what if the basis for the employer’s workplace rules and professionalism standards rely on negative racial, ethnic or gender stereotypes that disparately impact some employees over others? Currently, Title VII fails to take into account such forms of second-generation discrimination, thereby limiting statutory protections to phenotypical or morphological bases. Drawing on social ...


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 ...


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 ...


Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin Jul 2014

Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ultimately, I argue that one important response to the demise of race-based affirmative action should be to incorporate the experience of segregation into diversity strategies. A college applicant who has thrived despite exposure to poverty in his school or neighborhood deserves special consideration. Those blessed to come of age in poverty-free havens do not. I conclude that use of place, rather than race, in diversity programming will better approximate the structural disadvantages many children of color actually endure, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. While I propose substituting ...


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 ...


Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander Jul 2014

Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Our exploration is organized as follows. In Part I, we sympathetically consider the very difficult dilemmas facing higher education leaders. Understanding the often irreconcilable pressures that constrain university administrators is essential if we are to envision the plausible policies they might undertake. In Part II, we draw on a range of data to illustrate some of the “properties” of admissions systems and, in particular, the ways in which race, SES, and academic preparation interact dynamically both within individual schools and across the educational spectrum. Partly because the questions we examine here have been so little studied, ideal data does not ...


Bottlenecks And Antidiscrimination Theory, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jun 2014

Bottlenecks And Antidiscrimination Theory, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Reviews

In American antidiscrimination theory, two positions have competed for primacy. One, anticlassification, sees the proper goal of antidiscrimination law as being essentially individualistic. The problem with discrimination, in this view, is that it classifies individuals on the basis of an irrelevant or arbitrary characteristic—and that it, as a result, denies them opportunities for which they are otherwise individually qualified. The other position, antisubordination, sees the proper goal of antidiscrimination law as being more group oriented. The problem with discrimination, in this view, is that it helps constitute a social system in which particular groups are systematically subject to disadvantage ...


Cultivating Inclusion, Patrick S. Shin, Mitu Gulati Apr 2014

Cultivating Inclusion, Patrick S. Shin, Mitu Gulati

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Twenty-five years ago, law schools were in the developing stages of a pitched battle for the future of legal education and academia. Faculties fought over the tenure cases of minority candidates, revealing deep divisions within legal academia on questions about the urgency of racial diversification and the merits of critical race scholarship. The students in charge of the law reviews where this scholarship was emerging engaged in their own battles, arguing over the use of affirmative action in the selection of law review editors and then, as neophyte editors, staking their own positions in the "What is legal scholarship?" debates ...


Retaining Color, Veronica Root Apr 2014

Retaining Color, Veronica Root

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

It is no secret that large law firms are struggling in their efforts to retain attorneys of color. This is despite two decades of aggressive tracking of demographic rates, mandates from clients to improve demographic diversity, and the implementation of a variety of diversity efforts within large law firms. In part, law firm retention efforts are stymied by the reality that elite, large law firms require some level of attrition to function properly under the predominant business model. This reality, however, does not explain why firms have so much difficulty retaining attorneys of color — in particular black and Hispanic attorneys ...


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 ...


The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler Jan 2014

The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

How far does Justice Kennedy’s “moral and ethical obligation” to avoid racial isolation extend? Does the obligation flow primarily from Supreme Court case law, does it derive from an evolving consensus in the social sciences, or does it also have a statutory basis in Title VI and other federal law? In addition to its value as a justification for non-individualized, race-conscious remedial efforts by state and local governments, does the compelling interest identified in Parents Involved also suggest an affirmative duty on the part of the federal government? And if so, how far does this affirmative duty extend, and ...