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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 ...


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 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.


Subordination And The Fortuity Of Our Circumstances, Sergio J. Campos May 2008

Subordination And The Fortuity Of Our Circumstances, Sergio J. Campos

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The antisubordination principle exists at the margins of equality law. This Article seeks to revive the antisubordination principle by taking a fresh look at its structure and underlying justification. First, the Article provides an account of the harm of subordination that focuses on one's position in society, rejecting the focus on groups popular in the existing antisubordination literature. Second, it argues for a theory of state obligation that goes beyond both the existing state action doctrine of the Equal Protection Clause and the failure to protect doctrine associated with Charles Black. The Article argues instead that the antisubordination principle ...


Affirmative Action & Negative Action: How Jian Li's Case Can Benefit Asian Americans, Adrian Liu Jan 2008

Affirmative Action & Negative Action: How Jian Li's Case Can Benefit Asian Americans, Adrian Liu

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In October 2006, Asian American student Jian D filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton University claiming that Princeton's affirmative action policies were discriminatory. Li argues that affirmative action gives preferences to non-Asian minorities at the expense of Asian students. Li's case aligns the interests of Asian Americans with Whites who challenge affirmative action and suggests that such policies are inherently discriminatory because they exclude students based on race and sacrifice merit. This Article argues that Li's exclusion is not due to affirmative action but is likely due to "negative action," the unfavorable treatment of Asian Americans ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


"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 ...


Post-Admissions Educational Programming In A Post-Grutter World: A Response To Professor Brown, Evan H. Caminker Jan 2006

Post-Admissions Educational Programming In A Post-Grutter World: A Response To Professor Brown, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

When asked to provide commentary on another scholar's reflections on Grutterl and Gratz and affirmative action, I am usually struck by two fears. First, because so much ink has been spilled on this topic, I worry the main presenter will have nothing new and interesting to say. Today this worry has been put to rest; I am so pleased that Professor Dorothy Brown offers a number of novel and intriguing observations and, in the end, advances a novel and intriguing proposal about the role Critical Race Theory ought to play in our nation's law school classrooms. Second, for ...


Justifying The Disparate Impact Standard Under A Theory Of Equal Citizenship, Rebecca S. Giltner Jan 2005

Justifying The Disparate Impact Standard Under A Theory Of Equal Citizenship, Rebecca S. Giltner

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Note outlines the limitations on congressional power under Section V and their implications for justifying the constitutionality of the disparate impact standard. Part II explores the prohibition of intentional discrimination as a justification for the disparate impact standard and argues that justifying the disparate impact standard through this theory, as some courts currently do, may eventually narrow disparate impact doctrine and thus constrain the possibilities for substantive equality in employment. This Part also analogizes the limits of using an intentional discrimination rationale to justify the disparate impact standard to the limits of using the diversity rationale ...


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 ...


A Glimpse Behind And Beyond Grutter, Evan H. Caminker Jan 2004

A Glimpse Behind And Beyond Grutter, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

Many people have suggested that the recent battle over affirmative action was a defining moment for the contemporary relevance of Brown v. Board of Education and that it would determine the promise and potential for widespread societal integration. In my remarks, I want to comment upon a couple of comparisons and links between the Brown, Bakke, Grutter, and Gratz cases.


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 ...


Some Effects Of Identity-Based Social Movements On Constitutional Law In The Twentieth Century, William N. Eskridge Jr. Aug 2002

Some Effects Of Identity-Based Social Movements On Constitutional Law In The Twentieth Century, William N. Eskridge Jr.

Michigan Law Review

What motivated big changes in constitutional law doctrine during the twentieth century? Rarely did important constitutional doctrine or theory change because of formal amendments to the document's text, and rarer still because scholars or judges "discovered" new information about the Constitution's original meaning. Precedent and common law reasoning were the mechanisms by which changes occurred rather than their driving force. My thesis is that most twentieth century changes in the constitutional protection of individual rights were driven by or in response to the great identity-based social movements ("IBSMs") of the twentieth century. Race, sex, and sexual orientation were ...


A Rational Basis For Affirmative Action: A Shaky But Classical Liberal Defense, Richard A. Epstein Aug 2002

A Rational Basis For Affirmative Action: A Shaky But Classical Liberal Defense, Richard A. Epstein

Michigan Law Review

I am honored to participate in a symposium on the occasion of the lOOth anniversary of one of America's preeminent law reviews. I am saddened, however, to write, at what should be a moment of celebration, with the knowledge that both the Law School and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts are enmeshed in extensive litigation over the critical and explosive issue of affirmative action. To find striking evidence of the deep split of learned judicial views on this issue, it is necessary to look no further than the sequence of opinions in Gratz v. Bollinger and ...


A General Theory Of Cultural Diversity, Steven A. Ramirez Jan 2001

A General Theory Of Cultural Diversity, Steven A. Ramirez

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article seeks to extend the analysis of these developments in the corporate world to anti-discrimination law under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This Article will show that discrimination based upon cultural insights or experiences is distinct from race discrimination and will articulate a general theory of why and under what circumstances this holds true. The difference between culture-based discrimination and using culture as a proxy for race (Which would then be race discrimination) requires a careful and non-mythological understanding of what race is, and what race is not. Moreover, showing that culture discrimination is not prohibited ...


Affirmative Action, Caste, And Cultural Comparisons, Cass R. Sunstein Mar 1999

Affirmative Action, Caste, And Cultural Comparisons, Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

What is permitted, and what is prohibited, by the equality principle of a liberal democracy? Does affirmative action run afoul of that principle? And where should we look to answer these questions? Many critics of affirmative action take it as axiomatic that affirmative action violates the equality principle. But this is far from clear. Every law classifies. The current law of equality itself classifies by, for example, treating discrimination on the basis of race differently from discrimination on the basis of age. No one thinks that the law of equality is, for this reason, inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause ...


Race, Class, Caste…? Rethinking Affirmative Action, Clark D. Cunningham, N.R. Madhava Menon Mar 1999

Race, Class, Caste…? Rethinking Affirmative Action, Clark D. Cunningham, N.R. Madhava Menon

Michigan Law Review

Many who oppose affirmative action programs in the United States because they use "racial" categories such as black, African American, or Latino, claim that equally effective and more equitable programs can be developed using only class categories, such as "low income." A key test case for the "race v. class" debate is admission to law schools, made urgent by recent legal prohibitions on the use of "race" in the admission procedures to state universities in California, Washington, and Texas. An empirical study by Linda Wightman, the former director of research for the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), has shown that ...


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.


Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath Jan 1999

Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath

Michigan Law Review

There is a familiar egalitarian constitutional tradition and another we have largely forgotten. The familiar one springs from Brown v. Board of Education; its roots lie in the Reconstruction era. Court-centered and countermajoritarian, it takes aim at caste and racial subordination. The forgotten one also originated with Reconstruction, but it was a majoritarian tradition, addressing its arguments to lawmakers and citizens, not to courts. Aimed against harsh class inequalities, it centered on decent work and livelihoods, social provision, and a measure of economic independence and democracy. Borrowing a phrase from its Progressive Era proponents, I will call it the social ...


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.


Progressive And Conservative Constitutionalism, Robin West Feb 1990

Progressive And Conservative Constitutionalism, Robin West

Michigan Law Review

The article's central thesis is that the understandings of the constitutional tradition most central to both paradigms are determined by sometimes implicit, but more often explicit, political dispositions toward various forms of social and private power, and the normative authority to which social and private power gives rise. Very broadly, conservative constitutionalists view private or social normative authority as the legitimate and best source of guidance for state action; accordingly, they view both the Constitution and constitutional adjudication as means of preserving and protecting that authority and the power that undergirds it against either legislative or judicial encroachment. Progressive ...


A New Dimension In Equal Protection?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1977

A New Dimension In Equal Protection?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Two of America's most cherished values will collide head-on this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court comes 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 race and color ...


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 ...