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Michigan Journal of Race and Law

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Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart Sep 2020

Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The use of dogs as tools of oppression against African Americans has its roots in slavery and persists today in everyday life and police interactions. Due to such harmful practices, African Americans are not only disproportionately terrorized by officers with dogs, but they are also subject to instances of misplaced sympathy, illsuited laws, and social exclusion in their communities. Whether extreme and violent or subtle and pervasive, the use of dogs in oppressive acts is a critical layer of racial bias in the United States that has consistently built injustices that impede social and legal progress. By recognizing this pattern ...


Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Sep 2020

Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article attempts to address why textualism distorts the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in Indian law. I start with describing textualism in federal public law. I focus on textualism as described by Justice Scalia, as well as Scalia’s justification for textualism and discussion about the role of the judiciary in interpreting texts. The Court is often subject to challenges to its legitimacy rooted in its role as legal interpreter that textualism is designed to combat.


Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin Sep 2020

Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article assesses the legality of an alarming practice: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely detains noncitizen criminal defendants soon after they have been released on bail, depriving them of their court-ordered freedom. Since the District of Oregon’s decision in United States v. Trujillo-Alvarez, 900 F. Supp. 2d 1167 (D. Or. 2012), a growing group of federal courts has held that when ICE detains federal criminal defendants released under the Bail Reform Act (BRA), it violates their BRA rights. These courts have ordered that the government either free the defendants from ICE custody or dismiss their criminal charges. This ...


Regarding Narrative Justice, Womxn, Geeta Tewari Jan 2020

Regarding Narrative Justice, Womxn, Geeta Tewari

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The story within this article explores how narrative justice can be applied as a form of advocacy for persons seeking access to justice. The questions—what is narrative justice? How do we define it?—deserve a separate space, which will be shared in a forthcoming article. Meanwhile, in short, narrative justice is the power of the word—written, spoken, articulated with the emotion or experience of an individual or collective, to shape or express reaction to law and policy.


Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle Jan 2020

Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

One of the debates often encountered by native southerners centers around our historical symbols. There are heated opinions on both sides of the issue as to what these symbols mean and whether they should be allowed to be displayed. The latter question has begun making its way into the courts, with many southern symbols and memorials being accused of promoting the philosophy of racial supremacy. Despite the growing public concern, modern courts refuse to rule on the question. They claim they are forestalled by Article III’s standing requirement that plaintiffs must have suffered a concrete injury in fact. They ...


Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart Jan 2020

Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In Charlottesville, Virginia, the University Cemetery serves as the final resting place of many of the most prominent community members of the University of Virginia. In 2011, the University planned an expansion. During archaeological research to this end, sixty-seven previously unidentified interments, in both adult and child-sized grave shafts, were discovered on the proposed site of expansion, to the northeast of the University Cemetery. Further archival research revealed that “at least two late nineteenth century references note that enslaved African Americans were buried north of but outside the enclosed University, in an adjacent wooded area.” In one, Col. Charles Christian ...


The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters Jan 2020

The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The right to privacy is one of the most fundamental rights in American jurisprudence. In 1890, Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis conceptualized the right to privacy as the right to be let alone and inspired privacy jurisprudence that tracked their initial description. Warren and Brandeis conceptualized further that this right was not exclusively meant to protect one’s body or physical property. Privacy rights were protective of “the products and the processes of the mind” and the “inviolate personality.” Privacy was further understood to protect the ability to “live one’s life as one chooses, free from assault ...


Digital Colonialism: The 21st Century Scramble For Africa Through The Extraction And Control Of User Data And The Limitations Of Data Protection Laws, Danielle Coleman May 2019

Digital Colonialism: The 21st Century Scramble For Africa Through The Extraction And Control Of User Data And The Limitations Of Data Protection Laws, Danielle Coleman

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

As Western technology companies increasingly rely on user data globally, extensive data protection laws and regulations emerged to ensure ethical use of that data. These same protections, however, do not exist uniformly in the resource-rich, infrastructure-poor African countries, where Western tech seeks to establish its presence. These conditions provide an ideal landscape for digital colonialism.

Digital colonialism refers to a modern-day “Scramble for Africa” where largescale tech companies extract, analyze, and own user data for profit and market influence with nominal benefit to the data source. Under the guise of altruism, large scale tech companies can use their power and ...


Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton May 2019

Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The media reports of police shootings of unarmed Black men and women; unprovoked attacks on innocent Jews, Muslims, religious minority groups, and LGBTQ persons; and current pervasive, divisive, and misogynistic rhetoric all cause fear and anxiety in impacted communities and frustrate other concerned citizens. Law students, and especially law students of color and of historically marginalized groups, are often directly or indirectly impacted by these reports and discrimination in all its iterations. As a result, they are stressed because they are fearful and anxious. Research shows that stress impairs learning and cognition. Research also shows that beneficial changes are made ...


Virtual Hatred: How Russia Tried To Start A Race War In The United States, William J. Aceves May 2019

Virtual Hatred: How Russia Tried To Start A Race War In The United States, William J. Aceves

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Russian government engaged in a sophisticated strategy to influence the U.S. political system and manipulate American democracy. While most news reports have focused on the cyber-attacks aimed at Democratic Party leaders and possible contacts between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign, a more pernicious intervention took place. Throughout the campaign, Russian operatives created hundreds of fake personas on social media platforms and then posted thousands of advertisements and messages that sought to promote racial divisions in the United States. This was a coordinated propaganda effort. Some Facebook and Twitter posts ...


Under Coyote’S Mask: Environmental Law, Indigenous Identity, And #Nodapl, Danielle Delaney May 2019

Under Coyote’S Mask: Environmental Law, Indigenous Identity, And #Nodapl, Danielle Delaney

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article studies the relationship between the three main lawsuits filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DaPL) and the mass protests launched from the Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin protest camps. The use of environmental law as the primary legal mechanism to challenge the construction of the pipeline distorted the indigenous demand for justice as U.S. federal law is incapable of seeing the full depth of the indigenous worldview supporting their challenge. Indigenous activists constantly re-centered the direct actions and protests within indigenous ...


White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah Jan 2019

White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Over the past year, reports to the police about Black persons engaged in innocuous behaviors have bombarded the American consciousness. What do we make of them? And, equally important, what are the consequences of such reports?

This Article is the first to argue that the recent spike in calls to the police against Black persons who are simply existing must be understood as a systematic phenomenon which it dubs racialized police communication. The label captures two related practices. First, racially motivated police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made when Black persons are engaged in behavior that would not have been ...


Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat Oct 2018

Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

National fair housing legislation opened up higher opportunity neighborhoods to multitudes of middle-class African Americans. In actuality, the FHA offered much less to the millions of poor, Black residents in inner cities than it did to the Black middle class. Partly in response to the FHA’s inability to provide quality housing for low-income blacks, Congress has pursued various mobility strategies designed to facilitate the integration of low-income Blacks into high-opportunity neighborhoods as a resolution to the persistent dilemma of the ghetto. These efforts, too, have had limited success. Now, just over fifty years after the passage of the Fair ...


From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel Oct 2018

From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Hunger-strikes present a challenge to state authority and abuse from powerless individuals with limited access to various forms of protest and speech—those in detention. For as long as hunger-strikes have occurred throughout history, governments have force-fed strikers out of a stated obligation to preserve life. Some of the earliest known hunger-strikers, British suffragettes, were force-fed and even died as a result of these invasive procedures during the second half of the 19th century.

This Article examines the rationale and necessity behind hunger strikes for imprisoned individuals, the prevailing issues behind force-feeding, the international public response to force-feeding, and the ...


Whiteness At Work, Lihi Yona Oct 2018

Whiteness At Work, Lihi Yona

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

How do courts understand Whiteness in Title VII litigation? This Article argues that one fruitful site for such examination is same-race discrimination cases between Whites. Such cases offer a peek into what enables regimes of Whiteness and White supremacy in the workplace, and the way in which Whiteness is theorized within Title VII adjudication. Intra-White discrimination cases may range from associational discrimination cases to cases involving discrimination against poor rural Whites, often referred to as “White trash.” While intragroup discrimination is acknowledged in sex-discrimination cases and race-discrimination cases within racial minority groups, same-race discrimination between Whites is currently an under-theorized ...


Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck Oct 2018

Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, advocates and activists called for greater oversight and accountability for police. One of the measures called for and adopted in many jurisdictions was the implementation of body cameras in police departments. Many treated this implementation as a sign of change that police officers would be held accountable for the violence they perpetrate. This Note argues that although body-camera footage may be useful as one form of evidence in cases of police violence, lawyers and judges should be extremely careful about how it is presented to the jury. Namely, the ...


Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell Jun 2018

Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article builds on theories of the fragmented state and of human and institutional vulnerability to create a new, structural theory of “functional fragmentation” and its role in access to justice work. Expanding on previous concepts of fragmentation in access to justice scholarship, fragmentation is understood in the Article as a complex phenomenon existing within as well as between state institutions like courts. Further, it is examined in terms of its relationship to the state’s coercive power over poor people in legal systems. In this view, fragmentation in state operations creates not only challenges for access, but also opportunities ...


Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel Jun 2018

Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I compares the nineteenth century cases of the Antelope and the Amistad to identify why they resulted in different outcomes despite having similar fact patterns. The Antelope concerned the fate of approximately 280 African captives discovered on a slave trade ship upon its interception by a U.S. revenue cutter. Since the slave trade in the United States was illegal at the time, the captives were transported to Savannah for trial through which their status—free or slave—would be determined. After a lengthy trial and appeals process in which Spain and Portugal laid claim to the captives, the ...


Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins Jun 2018

Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In our representative democracy we guarantee equal participation for all, but we fall short of this promise in so many domains of our civic life. From the schoolhouse, to the jailhouse, to the courthouse, racial minorities are underrepresented among key public decision-makers, such as judges, police officers, and teachers. This gap between our aspirations for representative democracy and the reality that our judges, police officers, and teachers are often woefully under-representative of the racially diverse communities they serve leaves many citizens of color wanting for the democratic guarantee of equal participation. This critical failure of our democracy threatens to undermine ...


The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar Jun 2018

The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

We usually think there is a difference between the police and the military. Recently, however, the police have become increasingly militarized – a process which is likely to intensify in coming years. Unsurprisingly, many find this process alarming and call for its reversal. However, while most of the objections to police militarization are framed as instrumental arguments, these arguments are unable to capture the core problem with militarization.

This Article remedies this shortcoming by developing a novel and principled argument against police militarization. Contrary to arguments that are preoccupied with the consequences of militarization, the real problem with police militarization is ...


Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks Jun 2018

Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Implicit bias research indicates that despite our expressly endorsed values, Americans share a pervasive bias disfavoring Black Americans and favoring White Americans. This bias permeates legislative as well as judicial decision-making, leading to the possibility of verdicts against Black defendants that are tainted with racial bias. The Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado provides an ex post remedy for blatant racism that impacts jury verdicts, while jury nullification provides an ex ante remedy by empowering jurors to reject convicting Black defendants when to do so would reinforce racially biased laws. Both remedies exist alongside a trend limiting ...


"When They Enter, We All Enter": Opening The Door To Intersectional Discrimination Claims Based On Race And Disability, Alice Abrokwa Jan 2018

"When They Enter, We All Enter": Opening The Door To Intersectional Discrimination Claims Based On Race And Disability, Alice Abrokwa

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article explores the intersection of race and disability in the context of employment discrimination, arguing that people of color with disabilities can and should obtain more robust relief for their harms by asserting intersectional discrimination claims. Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw first articulated the intersectionality framework by explaining that Black women can experience a form of discrimination distinct from that experienced by White women or Black men, that is, they may face discrimination as Black women due to the intersection of their race and gender. Likewise, people of color with disabilities can experience discrimination distinct from that felt by people of ...


A Modest Memo, Yxta Maya Murray Mar 2017

A Modest Memo, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

A Modest Memo is a satire in the form of a legal memo written for President-Elect Donald Trump circa November 2016. It counsels Mr. Trump to obtain Mexican funding for a United States-Mexico “Wall” via United Nations Security Council sanctions. These sanctions would freeze remittances (that is, “hold them hostage”) until Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wired the United States sufficient monies for construction. The memo, which is entirely the product of my imagination and legal study, contemplates one of the many possible worst case scenarios threatened by the Trump presidency. Through the arts of law and literature, I aim ...


The Resilience Of Noxious Doctrine: The 2016 Election, The Marketplace Of Ideas, And The Obstinacy Of Bias, Leonard M. Niehoff, Deeva Shah Mar 2017

The Resilience Of Noxious Doctrine: The 2016 Election, The Marketplace Of Ideas, And The Obstinacy Of Bias, Leonard M. Niehoff, Deeva Shah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The Supreme Court has recognized the central role that free expression plays in our democratic enterprise. In his dissenting opinion in United States v. Abrams, Justice Holmes offered a theory of how free expression advances our search for truth and our cultivation of an informed electorate. That model—often called the “marketplace of ideas,” based upon the metaphor used by Holmes—has proven to be one of the most persistent and influential concepts in First Amendment jurisprudence.

The marketplace of ideas model essentially holds that free expression serves our democratic goals by allowing differing proposed truths and versions of the ...


Legacy In Paradise: Analyzing The Obama Administration’S Efforts Of Reconciliation With Native Hawaiians, Troy J.H. Andrade Mar 2017

Legacy In Paradise: Analyzing The Obama Administration’S Efforts Of Reconciliation With Native Hawaiians, Troy J.H. Andrade

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article analyzes President Barack Obama’s legacy for an indigenous people—nearly 125 years in the making—and how that legacy is now in considerable jeopardy with the election of Donald J. Trump. This Article is the first to specifically critique the hallmark of Obama’s reconciliatory legacy for Native Hawaiians: an administrative rule that establishes a process in which the United States would reestablish a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians, the only indigenous people in America without a path toward federal recognition. In the Article, Obama’s rule—an attempt to provide Native Hawaiians with recognition and greater ...


“Why Should I Go Vote Without Understanding What I Am Going To Vote For?” The Impact Of First Generation Voting Barriers On Alaska Natives, James Thomas Tucker, Natalie A. Landreth, Erin Dougherty Lynch Mar 2017

“Why Should I Go Vote Without Understanding What I Am Going To Vote For?” The Impact Of First Generation Voting Barriers On Alaska Natives, James Thomas Tucker, Natalie A. Landreth, Erin Dougherty Lynch

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This article explores the many forms of discrimination that have persisted in Alaska, the resulting first generation voting barriers faced by Alaska Native voters, and the two contested lawsuits it took to attain a measure of equality for those voters in four regions of Alaska: Nick v. Bethel and Toyukak v. Treadwell. In the end, the court’s decision in Toyukak came down to a comparison of just two pieces of evidence: (1) the Official Election Pamphlet that English-speaking voters received that was often more than 100 pages long; and (2) the single sheet of paper that Alaska Native language ...


Executive Disorder: The Muslim Ban, Emergency Advocacy, And The Fires Next Time, Abed Ayoub, Khaled Beydoun Mar 2017

Executive Disorder: The Muslim Ban, Emergency Advocacy, And The Fires Next Time, Abed Ayoub, Khaled Beydoun

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

On January 27, 2017, one week into his presidency, Donald Trump enacted Executive Order No. 13769, popularly known as the “Muslim Ban.” The Order named seven Muslim-majority nations and restricted, effective immediately, the reentry into the United States of visa and green card holders from these states. With the Muslim Ban, President Trump delivered on a central campaign promise, and as a result, injected Islamophobia into American immigration law and policy.

The Muslim Ban had an immediate impact on tens of thousands of Muslims, directly affecting U.S. visa and green card holders currently outside of the country, while exacerbating ...


Concealed Motives: Rethinking Fourteenth Amendment And Voting Rights Challenges To Felon Disenfranchisement, Lauren Latterell Powell Mar 2017

Concealed Motives: Rethinking Fourteenth Amendment And Voting Rights Challenges To Felon Disenfranchisement, Lauren Latterell Powell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Felon disenfranchisement provisions are justified by many Americans under the principle that voting is a privilege to be enjoyed only by upstanding citizens. The provisions are intimately tied, however, to the country’s legacy of racism and systemic disenfranchisement and are at odds with the values of American democracy. In virtually every state, felon disenfranchisement provisions affect the poor and communities of color on a grossly disproportionate scale. Yet to date, most challenges to the provisions under the Equal Protection Clause and Voting Rights Act have been unsuccessful, frustrating proponents of re-enfranchisement and the disenfranchised alike.

In light of those ...


The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray Oct 2016

The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In this legal-literary essay, I recount a day I spent watching criminal sentencings in an Alhambra, California courthouse, highlighting the sometimes mundane, sometimes despairing, imports of those proceedings. I note that my analysis resembles that of other scholars who tackle state over-criminalization and selective law enforcement. My original addition exists in the granular attention I pay to the moment-by-moment effects of a sometimes baffling state power on poor and minority people. In this approach, I align myself with advocates of the law and literature school of thought, who believe that the study (or, in this case, practice) of literature will ...


Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt Oct 2016

Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Sanctuary jurisdictions refer to city, town, and state governments (collectively, localities or local governments) that have passed provisions to limit their enforcement of federal immigration laws. Such local governments execute limiting provisions in order to bolster community cooperation, prevent racial discrimination, focus on local priorities for enforcement, or even to a show a local policy that differs from federal policy. The provisions are in the forms of executive orders, municipal ordinances, and state resolutions. Additionally, the scope of the provisions vary by locality: some prohibit law enforcement from asking about immigration status, while others prohibit the use of state resources ...