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University of Michigan Law School

Law and Race

1994

Castes

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The Anticaste Principle, Cass R. Sunstein Aug 1994

The Anticaste Principle, Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

In this essay, I seek to defend a particular understanding of equality, one that is an understanding of liberty as well. I call this conception "the anticaste principle." Put too briefly, the anticaste principle forbids social and legal practices from translating highly visible and morally irrelevant differences into systemic social disadvantage, unless there is a very good reason for society to do so. On this view, a special problem of inequality arises when members of a group suffer from a range of disadvantages because of a group-based characteristic that is both visible for all to see and irrelevant from a ...