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Columbia Law School

Law and Race

Equal protection

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2007

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers an account of how courts respond to social change, with a specific focus on the process by which courts "tip" from one understanding of a social group and its constitutional claims to another. Adjudication of equal protection and due process claims, in particular, requires courts to make normative judgments regarding the effect of traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or mental retardation on group members' status and capacity. Yet, Professor Goldberg argues, courts commonly approach decisionmaking by focusing only on the 'facts" about a social group, an approach that she terms 'fact-based adjudication." Professor Goldberg critiques ...


Disparity Rules, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2007

Disparity Rules, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

In 1992, Congress required states receiving federal juvenile justice funds to reduce racial disparities in the confinement rates of minority juveniles. This provision, now known as the disproportionate minority contact standard (DMC), is potentially more far-reaching than traditional disparate impact standards: It requires the reduction of racial disparities regardless of whether those disparities were motivated by intentional discrimination orjustified by "legitimate" agency interests. Instead, the statute encourages states to address how their practices exacerbate racial disadvantage.

This Article casts the DMC standard as a partial response to the failure of constitutional and statutory standards to discourage actions that produce racial ...


Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2004

Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

New reporting requirements and data collection efforts by over four hundred law enforcement agencies across the country – including entire states such as Maryland, Missouri, and Washington – are producing a continuous flow of new evidence on highway police searches. For the most part, the data consistently show disproportionate searches of African-American and Hispanic motorists in relation to their estimated representation on the road. Economists, civil liberties advocates, legal and constitutional scholars, political scientists, lawyers, and judges are poring over the new data and reaching, in many cases, quite opposite conclusions about racial profiling.


Equality Without Tiers, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2004

Equality Without Tiers, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Equality Without Tiers offers a comprehensive analysis of tiered equal protection review and argues that the current framework has outlived its utility and functions in many respects as a barrier to equality. As an alternative to the current ossified test, the article develops and tests a single standard of review aimed to provide a more finely calibrated response to the complexities of discrimination in the 21st century.

To support this argument, the article focuses first on tensions in the current tiered framework for equal protection review, pointing to, among others, the Court's variously weak and strong approaches to rational ...


Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2003

Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

New data on highway stops and searches from across the country have spawned renewed debate over racial profiling on the roads. The new data reveal consistently disproportionate searches of minority motorists, but, very often, an equal or lower general success rate – or "hit rate" – associated with those searches. Economists are developing new models of racial profiling to test whether the data are consistent with policing efficiency or racial prejudice, and argue that equal hit rates reflect that the police are maximizing the success rate of their searches. Civil liberties advocates are scrutinizing the same data and, in most cases, reaching ...