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Full-Text Articles in Law

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


Understanding Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz Jan 2014

Understanding Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz

Articles

Insurance companies are in the business of discrimination. Insurers attempt to segregate insureds into separate risk pools based on the differences in their risk profiles, first, so that different premiums can be charged to the different groups based on their differing risks and, second, to incentivize risk reduction by insureds. This is why we let insurers discriminate. There are limits, however, to the types of discrimination that are permissible for insurers. But what exactly are those limits and how are they justified? To answer these questions, this Article (a) articulates the leading fairness and efficiency arguments for and against limiting ...


Immutability And Innateness Arguments About Lesbian, Gay, And Bisexual Rights, Edward Stein Jan 2014

Immutability And Innateness Arguments About Lesbian, Gay, And Bisexual Rights, Edward Stein

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

There seems to be a broad consensus that Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination in “place[s] of public accommodation,” was a remarkable success. But the consensus is illusory. Laws prohibiting discrimination by public accommodations currently exist under a significant legal threat. And this threat is merely the latest iteration in the controversy over public accommodations laws that began as early as Reconstruction. This Article begins by discussing the controversy in the Reconstruction and Civil Rights Eras over the penetration of antidiscrimination principles into the realm of private businesses’ choice of customers. Although ...


Towards A Universal Framework For Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz Jan 2014

Towards A Universal Framework For Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz

Articles

Discrimination in insurance is principally regulated at the state level. Surprisingly, there is a great deal of variation across coverage lines and policyholder characteristics in how and the extent to which risk classification by insurers is limited. Some statutes expressly permit insurers to consider certain characteristics, while other characteristics are forbidden or limited in various ways. What explains this variation across coverage lines and policyholder characteristics? Drawing on a unique, hand-collected data-set consisting of the laws regulating insurer risk classification in fifty-one U.S. jurisdictions, this Article argues that much of the variation in state-level regulation of risk classification can ...


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 ...


Formalism And Employer Liability Under Title Vii, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Formalism And Employer Liability Under Title Vii, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

Most lawyers, law professors, and judges are familiar with two standard critiques of formalism in legal reasoning. One is the unacknowledged-policymaking critique. This critique argues that formalist reasoning purports to be above judicial policymaking but instead simply hides the policy decisions offstage. The other is the false-determinacy critique. This critique observes that formalist reasoning purports to reduce decision costs in the run of cases by sorting cases into defined categories, but argues that instead of going away the difficult questions of application migrate to the choice of the category in which to place a particular case.


Regulating The Internet Of Things: First Steps Toward Managing Discrimination, Privacy, Security, And Consent, Scott R. Peppet Jan 2014

Regulating The Internet Of Things: First Steps Toward Managing Discrimination, Privacy, Security, And Consent, Scott R. Peppet

Articles

The consumer "Internet of Things" is suddenly reality, not science fiction. Electronic sensors are now ubiquitous in our smartphones, cars, homes, electric systems, health-care devices, fitness monitors, and workplaces. These connected, sensor-based devices create new types and unprecedented quantities of detailed, high-quality information about our everyday actions, habits, personalities, and preferences. Much of this undoubtedly increases social welfare. For example, insurers can price automobile coverage more accurately by using sensors to measure exactly how you drive (e.g., Progressive 's Snapshot system), which should theoretically lower the overall cost of insurance. But the Internet of Things raises new and difficult ...