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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mission Accomplished?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Mission Accomplished?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

My study of voting rights violations nationwide suggests that voting problems are more prevalent in places “covered” by the Act than elsewhere. Professor Persily’s careful and measured defense of the renewed statute posits that this evidence is the best available to support reauthorization. The evidence matters because if, as critics charge, the regional provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) are no longer needed, minority voters should confront fewer obstacles to political participation in places where additional federal safeguards protect minority interests than in places where these safeguards do not operate. In fact, minority voters confront more.


Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Losers in partisan districting battles have long challenged the resulting districting plans under seemingly unrelated legal doctrines. They have filed lawsuits alleging malapportionment, racial gerrymandering, and racial vote dilution, and they periodically prevail. Many election law scholars worry about these lawsuits, claiming that they needlessly "racialize" fundamentally political disputes, distort important legal doctrines designed for other purposes, and provide an inadequate remedy for a fundamentally distinct electoral problem. I am not convinced. This Article argues that the application of distinct doctrines to invalidate or diminish what are indisputably partisan gerrymanders is not necessarily problematic, and that the practice may well ...


Race, Rights, And The Thirteenth Amendment: Defining The Badges And Incidents Of Slavery, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2007

Race, Rights, And The Thirteenth Amendment: Defining The Badges And Incidents Of Slavery, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Supreme Court has held that the Thirteenth Amendment prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude and also empowers Congress to end any lingering "badges and incidents of slavery." The Court, however, has failed to provide any guidance as to defining the badges and incidents of slavery when Congress has failed to identify a condition or form of discrimination as such. This has led the lower courts to conclude that the judiciary's role under the Thirteenth Amendment is limited to enforcing only the Amendment's prohibition of literal enslavement.

This article has two primary objectives. First, it offers an interpretive framework ...


Fighting Discrimination While Fighting Litigation: A Tale Of Two Supreme Courts, Scott A. Moss Jan 2007

Fighting Discrimination While Fighting Litigation: A Tale Of Two Supreme Courts, Scott A. Moss

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an odd mix of pro-plaintiff and pro-defendant employment law rulings. It has disallowed harassment lawsuits against employers even with failed antiharassment efforts, construed statutes of limitations narrowly to bar suits about ongoing promotion and pay discrimination, and denied protection to public employee internal complaints. Yet the same Court has issued significant unanimous rulings easing discrimination plaintiffs' burdens of proof.

This jurisprudence is often miscast in simple pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant terms. The Court's duality traces to its inconsistent and unaware adoption of competing policy arguments:

Policy 1: Employees must try internal dispute resolution ...


The Possibility Of Avoiding Discrimination: Considering Compliance And Liability, Melissa Hart Jan 2007

The Possibility Of Avoiding Discrimination: Considering Compliance And Liability, Melissa Hart

Articles

The gender discrimination class action Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., whose certification was recently affirmed in the Ninth Circuit, presents a large-scale challenge to the company's excessive reliance on subjective judgment in employment decision-making. It is one in a growing number of similar suits, all of which are fundamentally attacks on the continued operation of entrenched gender stereotypes in the allocation of workplace opportunities. The breadth of this aim is one of the strengths of these suits, but it also raises a significant question: because this kind of litigation targets a broad social phenomenon, is it reasonably possible to ...


Derrick Bell's Narratives As Parables, George H. Taylor Jan 2007

Derrick Bell's Narratives As Parables, George H. Taylor

Articles

Use of the narrative form in law and legal analysis remains controversial, especially by advocates of critical race theory. Critics maintain that narratives can distort if they are not sufficiently based on empirical fact or reason. Narratives, the claim goes, must be evaluated on the basis of objective standards. My Article argues that this posture critical of narrative is mistaken. I contend that to comprehend how narratives should be interpreted, their literary character must first be understood.

The Article examines the narratives of Derrick Bell, the preeminent critical race and narrative scholar, and maintains that Bell's narratives should be ...


Perceiving Subtle Sexism: Mapping The Social-Psychological Forces And Legal Narratives That Obscure Gender Bias, Deborah L. Brake Jan 2007

Perceiving Subtle Sexism: Mapping The Social-Psychological Forces And Legal Narratives That Obscure Gender Bias, Deborah L. Brake

Articles

This essay seeks to explain the Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education case as an interpretation of discrimination that notably and correctly focuses on how institutions cause sex-based harm, rather than on whether officials within chosen institutions act with a discriminatory intent. In the process, I discuss what appears to be the implicit theory of discrimination underlying the Davis decision: that schools cause the discrimination by exacerbating the harm that results from sexual harassment by students. I then explore the significance of the deliberate indifference requirement in this context, concluding that the standard, for all its flaws, is distinct ...