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Full-Text Articles in Law

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus Jan 2019

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In The Accumulation of Advantages, the picture that Professor Owen Fiss paints about equality during and since the Second Reconstruction is largely a picture in black and white. That makes some sense. The black/white experience is probably the most important throughline in the story of equal protection. It was the central theme of both the First and Second Reconstructions. In keeping with that orientation, the picture of disadvantage described by Fiss’s theory of cumulative responsibility is largely drawn from the black/white experience. Important as it is, however, the black/white experience does not exhaust the subject of ...


Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2019

Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

International human rights law seeks to eliminate racial discrimination in the world through treaties that bind and norms that transform. Yet law’s impact on eradicating racism has not matched its intent. Racism, in all of its forms, remains a massive cause of discrimination, indignity, and lack of equality for millions of people in the world today. This Article investigates why. Applying a critical race theory analysis of the legal history and doctrinal development of race and racism in international law, Professor Spain Bradley identifies law’s historical preference for framing legal protections around the concept of racial discrimination. She ...


Environmental Justice And The Possibilities For Environmental Law, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2019

Environmental Justice And The Possibilities For Environmental Law, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

Climate change and extreme inequality combine to cause disproportionate harms to poor communities throughout the world. Further, unequal resource allocation is shot through with the structures of racism and other forms of discrimination. This Essay explores these phenomena in two different places in the United States, and traces law’s role in constructing environmental and economic vulnerability. The Essay then proposes that solutions, if there are any to be had, lie in expanding our notions of what kinds of laws are relevant to achieving environmental justice, and in seeing law as a possible tactic for instigating broader social change but ...


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


The Poverty Of Clinical Canonic Texts, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2019

The Poverty Of Clinical Canonic Texts, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.


Black, Poor, And Gone: Civil Rights Law’S Inner-City Crisis, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2019

Black, Poor, And Gone: Civil Rights Law’S Inner-City Crisis, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

In recent years, academics committed to a new law and sociology of poverty and inequality have sounded a call to revisit the inner city as a site of cultural and socio-legal research. Both advocates in anti-poverty and civil rights organizations, and scholars in law school clinical and university social policy programs, have echoed this call. Together they have embraced the inner city as a context for experiential learning, qualitative research, and legal-political advocacy regarding concentrated poverty, neighborhood disadvantage, residential segregation, and mass incarceration. Indeed, for academics, advocates, and activists alike, the inner city stands out as a focal point of ...


Implicit Bias's Failure, Samuel Bagenstos Jun 2018

Implicit Bias's Failure, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

The 2016 presidential election was a coming-out party of sorts for the concept of implicit bias-and not necessarily in a good way. In answering a question about race relations and the police during the vice-presidential debate, Mike Pence introduced the topic. Offering his explanation for why the Fraternal Order of Police had endorsed the Trump-Pence ticket, Pence said:


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


Leveraging Social Science Expertise In Immigration Policymaking, Ming H. Chen Jan 2018

Leveraging Social Science Expertise In Immigration Policymaking, Ming H. Chen

Articles

The longstanding uncertainty about how policymakers should grapple with social science demonstrating racism persists in the modern administrative state. This Essay examines the uses and misuses of social science and expertise in immigration policymaking. More specifically, it highlights three immigration policies that dismiss social scientific findings and expertise as part of presidential and agency decision-making: border control, crime control, and extreme vetting of refugees to prevent terrorism. The Essay claims that these rejections of expertise undermine both substantive and procedural protections for immigrants and undermine important functions of the administrative state as a curb on irrationality in policymaking. It concludes ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


Public Lands, Conservation, And The Possibility Of Justice, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2018

Public Lands, Conservation, And The Possibility Of Justice, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

On December 28, 2016, President Obama issued a proclamation designating the Bears Ears National Monument pursuant to his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows the President to create monuments on federal public lands. Bears Ears, which is located in the heart of Utah’s dramatic red rock country, contains a surfeit of ancient Puebloan cliff-dwellings, petroglyphs, pictographs, and archeological artifacts. The area is also famous for its paleontological finds and its desert biodiversity. Like other national monuments, Bears Ears therefore readily meets the statutory objective of preserving “historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr May 2017

The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This paper adds to the empirical evidence that criminal records are a barrier to employment. Using data from 2,655 online applications sent on behalf of fictitious male applicants, we show that employers are 60 percent more likely to call applicants that do not have a felony conviction. We further investigate whether this effect varies based on applicant race (black versus white), crime type (drug versus property crime), industry (restaurants versus retail), jurisdiction (New Jersey versus New York City), local crime rate, and local racial composition. Although magnitudes vary somewhat, in every subsample the conviction effect is large, significant, and ...


Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2017

Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This Article considers firearms prohibitions for domestic violence offenders, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions and the larger, national debate about gun control. Unlike other scholarship in the area, it confronts the costs of ratcheting up the scope and enforcement of such firearms bans and argues that the politicization of safety has come at the expense of a sound approach to gun control in the context of intimate-partner abuse. In doing so, it expands scholarly arguments against mandatory, one-size-fits-all criminal justice responses to domestic violence in a direction that other critics have been reluctant to go, perhaps because of ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


Performative Privacy, Scott Skinner-Thompson Jan 2017

Performative Privacy, Scott Skinner-Thompson

Articles

Broadly speaking, privacy doctrine suggests that the right to privacy is non-existent once one enters the public realm. Although some scholars contend that privacy ought to exist in public, “public privacy” has been defended largely with reference to other, ancillary values privacy may serve. For instance, public privacy may be necessary to make the freedom of association meaningful in practice.

This Article identifies a new dimension of public privacy, supplementing extant justifications for the right, by arguing that many efforts to maintain privacy while in “public” are properly conceptualized as forms of performative, expressive resistance against an ever-pervasive surveillance society ...


They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2017

They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

In American law, Native nations (denominated in the Constitution and elsewhere as “tribes”) are sovereigns with a direct relationship with the federal government. Tribes’ governmental status situates them differently from other minority groups for many legal purposes, including equal protection analysis. Under current equal protection doctrine, classifications that further the federal government’s unique relationship with tribes and their members are subject to rationality review. Yet this deferential approach has recently been subject to criticism and is currently being challenged in the courts. Swept up in the larger drift toward colorblind or race-neutral understandings of the Constitution, advocates and commentators ...


Valuing Identity, Osamudia R. James Jan 2017

Valuing Identity, Osamudia R. James

Articles

No abstract provided.


Essay: Terrorists Are Always Muslim But Never White: At The Intersection Of Critical Race Theory And Propaganda, Caroline Mala Corbin Jan 2017

Essay: Terrorists Are Always Muslim But Never White: At The Intersection Of Critical Race Theory And Propaganda, Caroline Mala Corbin

Articles

When you hear the word "terrorist" who do you picture? Chances are, it is not a white person. In the United States, two common though false narratives about terrorists who attack America abound. We see them on television, in the movies, on the news, and, currently, in the Trump administration. The first is that "terrorists are always (brown) Muslims." The second is that "white people are never terrorists.

Different strands of critical race theory can help us understand these two narratives. One strand examines the role of unconscious cognitive biases in the production of stereotypes, such as the stereotype of ...


Criminalization As Governance In The American Racial State, Charlton C. Copeland Jan 2017

Criminalization As Governance In The American Racial State, Charlton C. Copeland

Articles

No abstract provided.


Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott Dec 2016

Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

In case after case, prosecutors, judges and juries therefore still struggle to come up with a definition of slavery, looking for some set of criteria or indicia that will enable them to discern whether the phenomenon they are observing constitutes enslavement. In this definitional effort, contemporary jurists may imagine that in the past, surely the question was simpler: someone either was or was not a slave. However, the existence of a set of laws declaring that persons could be owned as property did not, even in the nineteenth century, answer by itself the question of whether a given person was ...


Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos Jan 2016

Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

At least since the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, disparate-impact liability has faced a direct constitutional threat. This Article argues that the Court’s decision last Term in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which held that disparate-impact liability is available under the Fair Housing Act, has resolved that threat, at least for the time being. In particular, this Article argues, Inclusive Communities is best read to adopt the understanding of equal protection that Justice Kennedy previously articulated in his pivotal concurrence in the 2007 Parents Involved case—which argued ...


Owning Red: A Theory Of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation, Angela R. Riley, Kristen A. Carpenter Jan 2016

Owning Red: A Theory Of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation, Angela R. Riley, Kristen A. Carpenter

Articles

In a number of recent controversies, from sports teams’ use of Indian mascots to the federal government’s desecration of sacred sites, American Indians have lodged charges of “cultural appropriation” or the unauthorized use by members of one group of the cultural expressions and resources of another. While these and other incidents make contemporary headlines, American Indians often experience these claims within a historical and continuing experience of dispossession. For hundreds of years, the U.S. legal system has sanctioned the taking and destruction of Indian lands, artifacts, bodies, religions, identities, and beliefs, all toward the project of conquest and ...


Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article argues that the increasingly prevalent critiques of the War on Drugs apply to other areas of criminal law. To highlight the broader relevance of these critiques, this Article uses as its test case the criminal regulation of gun possession. This Article identifies and distills three lines of drug war criticism and argues that they apply to possessory gun crimes in much the same way that they apply to drug crimes. Specifically, this Article focuses on: (1) race- and class-based critiques; (2) concerns about police and prosecutorial power; and (3) worries about the social and economic costs of mass ...


Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Response to Andrew Manuel Crespo's Systemic Facts: Toward Institutional Awareness in Criminal Courts proceeds in two Parts. In Part I, I argue that Crespo presents a compelling case for the importance of systemic factfinding to the task of criminal court judges. If, as a range of scholars has argued, criminal courts are increasingly serving a quasi-administrative function, then shouldn’t they at least be administrating accurately? Systemic Facts provides a novel account of how — with comparatively little institutional reform — courts might begin to serve as more effective administrators. However, in Part II, I also argue that Crespo’s ...


Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2016

Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

In this Article, I explore why measuring disparate-treatment discrimination by police is so difficult, and consider the ways that researchers' existing tools can make headway on these challenges and the ways they fall short. Lab experiments have provided useful information about implicit racial bias, but they cannot directly tell us how these biases actually affect real-world behavior. Meanwhile, for observational researchers, there are various hurdles, but the hardest one to overcome is generally the absence of data on the citizen conduct that at least partially shapes policing decisions. Most crime, and certainly most noncriminal "suspicious" or probable-cause-generating behavior, goes unreported ...


What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz Nov 2015

What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Two years ago, United States u. Windsor tossed out the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"). Thereafter, proponents of marriage equality secured dozens of notable victories in the lower courts, a smattering of setbacks, and last June, the victory they sought in Obergefell v. Hodges. During this same period, opponents of electoral restrictions such as voter identification have seen far less sustained success. Decided the day before Windsor, Shelby County v. Holder scrapped a key provision of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") while making clear that plaintiffs might still challenge disputed voting regulations under Section 2 of the VRA and the ...