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Full-Text Articles in Law

Race And Bankruptcy, Edward R. Morrison, Belisa Pang, Antoine Uettwiller Jan 2018

Race And Bankruptcy, Edward R. Morrison, Belisa Pang, Antoine Uettwiller

Faculty Scholarship

Among consumers who file for bankruptcy, African Americans file Chapter 13 petitions at substantially higher rates than other racial groups. Some have hypothesized that the difference is attributable to discrimination by attorneys. We show that the difference may be attributable, in substantial part, to a selection effect: Among distressed consumers, African Americans have longer commutes to work, rely more heavily on cars for the commute, and therefore have greater demand for a bankruptcy process (Chapter 13) that allows them to retain their cars. We begin by showing that African Americans tend to have longer commuting times than other consumers and ...


Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

At a time of heightened concern about agency overreach, this Article highlights a less appreciated development in agency equality regulation. Moving beyond traditional bureaucratic forms of regulation, civil rights agencies in recent years have experimented with new forms of regulation to advance inclusion. This new “inclusive regulation” can be described as more open ended, less coercive, and more reliant on rewards, collaboration, flexibility, and interactive assessment than traditional modes of civil rights regulation. This Article examines the power and limits of this new inclusive regulation and suggests a framework for increasing the efficacy of these new modes of regulation.


Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

At a time of heightened concern about agency overreach, this Article highlights a less appreciated development in agency equality regulation. Moving beyond traditional bureaucratic forms of regulation, civil rights agencies in recent years have experimented with new forms of regulation to advance inclusion. This new "inclusive regulation" can be described as more open ended, less coercive, and more reliant on rewards, collaboration, flexibility, and interactive assessment than traditional modes of civil rights regulation. This Article examines the power and limits of this new inclusive regulation and suggests a framework for increasing the efficacy of these new modes of regulation.


Equality Law Pluralism, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Equality Law Pluralism, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to the Constance Baker Motley Symposium examines the future of civil rights reform at a time in which longstanding limitations of the antidiscrimination law framework, as well as newer pressures such as the rise of economic populism, are placing stress on the traditional antidiscrimination project. This Essay explores the openings that nevertheless remain in public law for confronting persistent forms of exclusion and makes the case for greater pluralism in equality law frameworks. In particular, this Essay examines innovations that widen the range of regulatory levers for promoting inclusion, such as competitive grants, tax incentives, contests for labor ...


The Local Turn; Innovation And Diffusion In Civil Rights Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2016

The Local Turn; Innovation And Diffusion In Civil Rights Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Is the future of civil rights subnational? If one is looking for civil rights innovation, much of this innovation might be happening through legislation, regulatory frameworks, and policies adopted by state and local governments. In recent years, states and cities have adopted legislation banning discrimination in housing based on the source of an individual's income, regulating the consideration of arrest or conviction in employment decisions, and prohibiting discrimination in employment based on an applicant's credit history.

This deployment of subnational power is not new to civil rights. Many of the laws and regulatory frameworks that are now core ...


Inclusion, Exclusion, And The "New" Economic Inequality, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2016

Inclusion, Exclusion, And The "New" Economic Inequality, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Is racial inequality an unwelcome intruder to the new discourse on economic inequality? The present discourse on economic inequality emphasizes decades-long trends that have increased economic inequality, whether as a result of reoccurring features in the structure of capitalist economies or more recent changes in institutional, structural, and economic conditions. Researchers direct us to the rising fortunes of the top earners and asset holders relative to the rest, the declining fortunes of the middle class harmed by stagnating wages, and the declining share of industries (like manufacturing) in the economy. This new economic inequality discourse has preoccupied economists, garnered its ...


Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina Jan 2016

Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina

Faculty Scholarship

The use of proactive tactics to disrupt criminal activities, such as Terry street stops and concentrated misdemeanor arrests, are essential to the "new policing." This model applies complex metrics, strong management, and aggressive enforcement and surveillance to focus policing on high crime risk persons and places. The tactics endemic to the "newpolicing"gave rise in the 1990s to popular, legal, political, and social science concerns about disparate treatment of minority groups in their everyday encounters with law enforcement. Empirical evidence showed that minorities were indeed stopped and arrested more frequently than similarly situated Whites, even when controlling for local social ...


Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon Jan 2016

Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the charge that activist judging is inconsistent with democracy in the light of two recent perspectives in legal scholarship. The perspectives – Democratic Constitutionalism and Democratic Experimentalism – suggest in convergent and complementary ways that the charge ignores or oversimplifies relevant features of both judging and democracy. In particular, the charge exaggerates the pre-emptive effect of activist judging, and it implausibly conflates democracy with electoral processes. In addition, it understands consensus as a basis for judicial legitimacy solely in terms of pre-existing agreement and ignores the contingent legitimacy that can arise from the potential for subsequent agreement.


The Local Turn; Innovation And Diffusion In Civil Rights Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2016

The Local Turn; Innovation And Diffusion In Civil Rights Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Is the future of civil rights subnational? If one is looking for civil rights innovation, much of this innovation might be happening through legislation, regulatory frameworks, and policies adopted by state and local governments. In recent years, states and cities have adopted legislation banning discrimination in housing based on the source of an individual’s income, regulating the consideration of arrest or conviction in employment decisions, and prohibiting discrimination in employment based on an applicant’s credit history. While the deployment of subnational power is not new to civil rights, what does appear novel is the number of these initiatives ...


A Conversation With Edie Windsor, Edie Windsor, Suzanne B. Goldberg, Madeline M. Gomez, Andrew Chesley Jan 2015

A Conversation With Edie Windsor, Edie Windsor, Suzanne B. Goldberg, Madeline M. Gomez, Andrew Chesley

Faculty Scholarship

Suzanne Goldberg [SG]: It is not often that a law school gets to welcome a rock star. But in our world, Edie Windsor is a rock star. She is one of the major civil rights plaintiffs of our lifetime, whose lawsuit challenged – and triumphed over – the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Her victory in that suit has been vital to changing the landscape of marriage equality for all Americans. It is a tremendous honor, Edie, to have you here at Columbia Law School, and we welcome you.


When The Curtain Must Be Drawn: American Experience With Proceedings Involving Information That, For Reasons Of National Security, Cannot Be Disclosed, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2015

When The Curtain Must Be Drawn: American Experience With Proceedings Involving Information That, For Reasons Of National Security, Cannot Be Disclosed, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

In numerous contexts today, ranging from no-fly lists, to the designation of foreign terrorist organizations, to controls over foreign investments in the United States, federal authorities reach decisions having dramatic consequences for individuals’ liberty and property on the basis of information that those individuals cannot obtain, even in summary form. Recent and pending litigation has challenged these deprivations on due process grounds, with only moderate success. Perhaps unclassified information on which the government has acted must be revealed, with an opportunity given to challenge it and to submit contrary evidence; but in the words of the DC Circuit writing last ...


Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2015

Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

A judicial decision striking down formalized discrimination marks a crucial moment for those it affects and, in some instances, for the surrounding society as well. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was unquestionably one of those instances. This essay considers the distinct ways in which the civil rights and social movements for marriage equality gave rise to this durable socio-political transformation. While some scholarship is skeptical about whether rights-focused advocacy can bring meaningful change to people’s day-to-day lives, I argue that the marriage equality movements demonstrate a synergistic relationship between law reform and social change efforts ...


Gender Politics And Child Custody: The Puzzling Persistence Of The Best-Interest Standard Child Custody Decisionmaking, Elizabeth S. Scott, Robert E. Emery Jan 2014

Gender Politics And Child Custody: The Puzzling Persistence Of The Best-Interest Standard Child Custody Decisionmaking, Elizabeth S. Scott, Robert E. Emery

Faculty Scholarship

The best-interests-of-the-child standard has been the prevailing legal rule for resolving child-custody disputes between parents for nearly forty years. Almost from the beginning, it has been the target of academic criticism. As Robert Mnookin famously argued in a 1976 article, "best interests" are vastly indeterminate – more a statement of an aspiration than a legal rule to guide custody decisionmaking. The vagueness and indeterminacy of the standard make outcomes uncertain and gives judges broad discretion to consider almost any factor thought to be relevant to the custody decision. This encourages litigation in which parents are motivated to produce hurtful evidence of ...


Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2014

Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay takes up the puzzle of the risky argument or, more precisely, the puzzle of why certain arguments do not get much traction in advocacy and adjudication even when some judges find them to be utterly convincing. Through a close examination of the sex discrimination argument’s evanescence in contemporary marriage litigation, I draw lessons about how and why arguments become risky in social justice cases and whether they should be made nonetheless. This context is particularly fruitful because some judges, advocates and scholars find it “obviously correct” that laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage discriminate facially based on ...


Following The Script: Narratives Of Suspicion In Terry Stops In Street Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2014

Following The Script: Narratives Of Suspicion In Terry Stops In Street Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

Regulation of Terry stops of pedestrians by police requires articulation of the reasonable and individualized bases of suspicion that motivate their actions. Nearly five decades after Terry, courts have found it difficult to articulate the boundaries or parameters of reasonable suspicion. The behavior and appearances of individuals combine with the social and spatial contexts where police observe them to create an algebra of suspicion. Police can proceed to approach and temporarily detain a person at a threshold of suspicion that Courts have been unable and perhaps unwilling to articulate. The result has been sharp tensions within Fourth Amendment doctrine as ...


The Duty Of Responsible Administration And The Problem Of Police Accountability, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon Jan 2014

The Duty Of Responsible Administration And The Problem Of Police Accountability, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Many contemporary civil rights claims arise from institutional activity that, while troubling, is neither malicious nor egregiously reckless. When law-makers find themselves unable to produce substantive rules for such activity, they often turn to regulating the actors’ exercise of discretion. The consequence is an emerging duty of responsible administration that requires managers to actively assess the effects of their conduct on civil rights values and to make reasonable efforts to mitigate harm to protected groups. This doctrinal evolution partially but imperfectly converges with an increasing emphasis in public administration on the need to reassess routines in the light of changing ...


Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley Jan 2014

Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This comment letter was submitted by U.C. Berkeley corporate law professors in response to a request for comment by the Health and Human Services Department on the definition of "eligible organization" under the Affordable Care Act in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. "Eligible organizations" will be permitted under the Hobby Lobby decision to assert the religious principles of their shareholders to exempt themselves from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate for employees.

In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that the nexus of identity between several closely-held, for-profit corporations and their ...


Uncivil Obedience, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, David Pozen Jan 2014

Uncivil Obedience, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and activists have long been interested in conscientious law-breaking as a means of dissent. The civil disobedient violates the law in a bid to highlight its illegitimacy and motivate reform. A less heralded form of social action, however, involves nearly the opposite approach. As a wide range of examples attest, dissenters may also seek to disrupt legal regimes through hyperbolic, literalistic, or otherwise unanticipated adherence to their formal rules.

This Article asks how to make sense of these more paradoxical protests, involving not explicit law-breaking but rather extreme law-following. We seek to identify, elucidate, and call attention to the ...


Lawyering That Has No Name: Title Vi And The Meaning Of Private Enforcement, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2014

Lawyering That Has No Name: Title Vi And The Meaning Of Private Enforcement, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this Essay examines the problem of private enforcement of Title VI. The Essay reviews the unduly constrained approach to private enforcement taken by courts in prominent decisions such as Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and Alexander v. Sandoval. Yet the Essay argues that to focus primarily on private court enforcement of Title VI will continue to relegate the provision to the margins of civil rights discourse, to make the provision appear largely as the "sleeping giant" of civil rights law. The practice of ...


Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2014

Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay takes up the puzzle of the risky argument or, more precisely, the puzzle of why certain arguments do not get much traction in advocacy and adjudication even when some judges find them to be utterly convincing. Through a close examination of the sex discrimination argument's evanescence in contemporary marriage litigation, this Essay draws lessons about how and why arguments become risky in social-justice cases and whether they should be made nonetheless. The marriage context is particularly fruitful because some judges, advocates, and scholars find it "obviously correct" that laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage discriminate facially based ...


Leveraging Antidiscrimination, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2014

Leveraging Antidiscrimination, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

As the Civil Rights Act of 1964 turns fifty, antidiscrimination law has become unfashionable. Civil rights strategies are posited as not up to the serious task of addressing contemporary problems of inequality such as improving mobility for low-wage workers or providing access into entry-level employment. This Article argues that there is a danger in casting aside the Civil Rights Act as one charts new courses to address inequality. This Article revisits the implementation strategies that emerged in the first decade of the Act to reveal that the Act was not limited to addressing formal discrimination or bias, but rather drew ...


(Anti)Canonizing Courts, Jamal Greene Jan 2013

(Anti)Canonizing Courts, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Within U.S. constitutional culture, courts stand curiously apart from the society in which they sit. Among the many purposes this process of alienation serves is to “neutralize” the cognitive dissonance produced by Americans’ current self-conception and the role our forebears’ social and political culture played in producing historic injustice. The legal culture establishes such dissonance in part by structuring American constitutional argument around anticanonical cases: most especially “Dred Scott v. Sandford,” “Plessy v. Ferguson,” and “Lochner v. New York.” The widely held view that these decisions were “wrong the day they were decided” emphasizes the role of independent courts ...


Compulsory Sexuality, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2013

Compulsory Sexuality, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Asexuality is an emerging identity category that challenges the common assumption that everyone is defined by some type of sexual attraction. Asexuals — those who report feeling no sexual attraction to others — constitute one percent of the population, according to one prominent study. In recent years, some individuals have begun to identify as asexual and to connect around their experiences interacting with a sexual society. Asexuality has also become a protected classification under the antidiscrimination law of one state and several localities, but legal scholarship has thus far neglected the subject. This Article introduces asexuality to the legal literature as a ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Professors Nan D. Hunter, Et Al., Addressing The Merits In Support Of Respondents, Nan D. Hunter, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2013

Brief Of Amici Curiae Professors Nan D. Hunter, Et Al., Addressing The Merits In Support Of Respondents, Nan D. Hunter, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In this amicus brief filed in United States v. Windsor, pending before the Supreme Court, amici constitutional law professors argue that all classifications that carry the indicia of invidiousness should trigger a more searching inquiry than the traditional rational basis test under the Equal Protection Clause would suggest. Classifications that already receive heightened scrutiny, such as race or sex, fit easily into this approach. But the Court’s equal protection jurisprudence has become muddied in a series of cases in which it says rational basis review, but appears to do a more rigorous review. Sexual orientation classifications seemingly were analyzed ...


Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2013

Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

American civil rights regulation is generally understood as relying on private enforcement in courts, rather than imposing positive duties on state actors to further equity goals. This Article argues that this dominant conception of American civil rights regulation is incomplete. Rather, American civil rights regulation also contains a set of “equality directives,” whose emergence and reach in recent years have gone unrecognized in the commentary. These federal-level equality directives use administrative tools of conditioned spending, policymaking, and oversight powerfully to promote substantive inclusion with regard to race, ethnicity, language, and disability. These directives move beyond the constraints of the standard ...


Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2012

Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

American civil rights regulation is generally understood as relying on private enforcement in courts rather than imposing positive duties on state actors to further equity goals. This Article argues that this dominant conception of American civil rights regulation is incomplete. American civil rights regulation also contains a set of "equality directives," whose emergence and reach in recent years have gone unrecognized in the commentary. These federal-level equality directives use administrative tools of conditioned spending, policymaking, and oversight powerfully to promote substantive inclusion with regard to race, ethnicity, language, and disability. These directives move beyond the constraints of the standard private ...


Keynote: The Crisis And Criminal Justice, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2012

Keynote: The Crisis And Criminal Justice, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

There has been a lot of recent debate over whether the economic crisis presents an opportunity to reduce prison populations and improve the state of criminal justice in this country. Some commentators suggest that the financial crisis has already triggered a move towards reducing the incarcerated population. Some claim that there is a new climate of bipartisanship on punishment. Kara Gotsch of the Sentencing Project, for example, suggests that we are now in a unique political climate embodied by the passage of the Second Chance Act under President George W. Bush – a climate that is substantially different than the era ...


Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Thirteenth Amendment optimism is the view that the Thirteenth Amendment may be used to reach doctrinal outcomes neither specifically intended by the Amendment's drafters nor obvious to contemporary audiences. In prominent legal scholarship, Thirteenth Amendment optimism has supported constitutional rights to abortion and health care and constitutional powers to prohibit hate speech and domestic violence, among other things. This Essay examines the practical utility of Thirteenth Amendment optimism in the face of dim prospects for adaption by courts. The Essay argues that Thirteenth Amendment optimism is most valuable, both historically and today, as a means of motivating the political ...


Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Thirteenth Amendment optimism is the view that the Thirteenth Amendment may be used to reach doctrinal outcomes neither specifically intended by the amendment's drafters nor obvious to contemporary audiences. In prominent legal scholarship, Thirteenth Amendment optimism has supported constitutional rights to abortion and health care and constitutional powers to prohibit hate speech and domestic violence, among other things. This article examines the practical utility of Thirteenth Amendment optimism in the face of dim prospects for adoption by courts. I argue that Thirteenth Amendment optimism is most valuable, both historically and today, as a means of motivating the political process ...


Race And Selective Enforcement In Public Housing, Jeffrey Fagan, Garth Davies, Adam Carlis Jan 2012

Race And Selective Enforcement In Public Housing, Jeffrey Fagan, Garth Davies, Adam Carlis

Faculty Scholarship

Drugs, crime and public housing are closely linked in policy and politics, and their nexus has animated several intensive drug enforcement programs targeted at public housing residents. In New York City, police systematically conduct “vertical patrols” in public housing buildings, making tens of thousands of Terry stops each year. During these patrols, both uniformed and undercover officers systematically move through the buildings, temporarily detaining and questioning residents and visitors, often at a low threshold of suspicion, and usually alleging trespass to justify the stop. We use a case-control design to identify the effects of living in one of New York ...