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Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that ...


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.


What Counts As 'Discrimination' In Ledbetter And The Implications For Sex Equality Law, Deborah L. Brake Jan 2008

What Counts As 'Discrimination' In Ledbetter And The Implications For Sex Equality Law, Deborah L. Brake

Articles

This article, presented at a Symposium, The Roberts Court and Equal Protection: Gender, Race and Class held at the University of South Carolina School of Law in the Spring of 2008, explores the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for sex equality law more broadly, including equal protection. There is more interrelation between statutory and constitutional equality law as a source of discrimination protections than is generally acknowledged. Although the Ledbetter decision purports to be a narrow procedural ruling regarding the statute of limitations for Title VII pay discrimination claims, at its ...


The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In 1870, a black man named Hiram Revels was named to represent Mississippi in the Senate. Senate Democrats objected to seating him and pointed out that the Constitution specifies that no person may be a senator who has not been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Democrats argued, Revels had not been a citizen on account of the Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Thus, even if Revels were a citizen in 1870, he had held that status for only two ...


Resurrecting The White Primary, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2004

Resurrecting The White Primary, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

An unprecedented number of noncompetitive or "safe" electoral districts operate in the United States today. Noncompetitive districts elect officials with more extreme political views and foster more polarized legislatures than do competitive districts. More fundamentally, they inhibit meaningful political participation. That is because participating in an election that is decided before it begins is an empty exercise. Voting in a competitive election is not, even though a single vote will virtually never decide the outcome. What a competitive election offers to each voter is the opportunity to be the coveted swing voter, the one whose support candidates most seek, the ...


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 ...


Note, Two Wrongs Make A Right: Hybrid Claims Of Discrimination, Ming Hsu Chen Jan 2004

Note, Two Wrongs Make A Right: Hybrid Claims Of Discrimination, Ming Hsu Chen

Articles

This Note reinterprets and recontextualizes the pronouncement in Employment Division v. Smith (Smith II) that exemptions from generally applicable laws will not be granted unless claims of free exercise are accompanied by the assertion of another constitutional right. It argues that when Arab American Muslims, and others who are of minority race and religion, bring claims for exemption from generally applicable laws on the basis of free exercise and equal protection principles, they ought to be able to invoke Smith II's hybridity exception, thus meriting heightened judicial scrutiny and increased solicitude from courts.


Reinforcing Representation: Enforcing The Fourteenth And Fifteenth Amendments In The Rehnquist And Waite Courts, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2003

Reinforcing Representation: Enforcing The Fourteenth And Fifteenth Amendments In The Rehnquist And Waite Courts, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

A large body of academic scholarship accuses the Rehnquist Court of "undoing the Second Reconstruction," just as the Waite Court has long been blamed for facilitating the end of the First. This critique captures much of what is meant by those generally charging the Rehnquist Court with "conservative judicial activism." It posits that the present Court wants to dismantle decades' worth of federal antidiscrimination measures that are aimed at the "reconstruction" of public and private relationships at the local level. It sees the Waite Court as having similarly nullified the civil-rights initiatives enacted by Congress following the Civil War to ...


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 ...


Race And The Right To Vote After Rice V. Cayetano, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2000

Race And The Right To Vote After Rice V. Cayetano, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Last Term, the Supreme Court relied on Gomillion [v. Lightfoot] to hold that Hawaii, like Alabama before it, had segregated voters by race in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. The state law at issue in Rice v. Cayetano provided that only "Hawaiians" could vote for the trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs ("OHA"), a public agency that oversees programs designed to benefit the State's native people. Rice holds that restricting the OHA electorate to descendants of the 1778 inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands embodied a racial classification that effectively "fenc[ed] out whole classes of ...ci ...


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 ...


Nonpopulation Factors Relevant To An Acceptable Standard For Apportionment, Jerold H. Israel Jan 1963

Nonpopulation Factors Relevant To An Acceptable Standard For Apportionment, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

Of the many problems left unanswered in Baker v. Carr,' the one that has received the most attention both from lower courts and commentators is that of prescribing a specific standard for determining what constitutes a denial of "equal protection" in legislative apportionment.2 The starting point universally accepted - indeed, probably required by Baker - for attacking this problem is the definition of apportionment equality in terms of mathematical measurement of the individual's "voting power."3 Perfect equality in apportionment is viewed as requiring that each election district contain an equal population, so that every individual's vote in his ...


On Charting A Course Through The Mathematical Quagmire: The Future Of Baker V. Carr, Jerold H. Israel Jan 1962

On Charting A Course Through The Mathematical Quagmire: The Future Of Baker V. Carr, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

The Tennessee reapportionment decision, Baker v. Carr,' has been popularly characterized as one of the "very few judicial decisions which have fundamentally reshaped our constitutional system."'2 Newspaper and magazine commentators generally have predicted that the decision of last March is likely to "change the course of our history" by producing a drastic alteration in the balance of power on the state political scene.3 While this end may be desirable,4 any such estimate of the future impact of the Baker decision, at least insofar as its legal consequence is concerned,5 seems not only premature but somewhat exaggerated ...


Race Segregation Ordinance Invalid, Henry M. Bates Jan 1918

Race Segregation Ordinance Invalid, Henry M. Bates

Articles

The opinion in Buchanan v. Warley reflects the confusion and difficulty of that troublesome problem, the place of the negro race in the United States, with which the case and the segregation ordinance of Louisville discussed therein are essentially concerned. The decision by a unanimous court reverses the holding of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and declares that the ordinance violates the Fourteenth Amendment. This result is reached by one of those anomalous and objectionable devices which characterize our methods of solving fundamental constitutional questions. The case arose upon a bill for specific performance of a contract, whereby the plaintiff ...