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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 ...


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

This Article presents new empirical evidence concerning the effects of United States v. Booker, which loosened the formerly mandatory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, on racial disparities in federal criminal cases. Two serious limitations pervade existing empirical literature on sentencing disparities. First, studies focus on sentencing in isolation, controlling for the “presumptive sentence” or similar measures that themselves result from discretionary charging, plea-bargaining, and fact-finding processes. Any disparities in these earlier processes are excluded from the resulting sentence-disparity estimates. Our research has shown that this exclusion matters: pre-sentencing decision-making can have substantial sentence-disparity consequences. Second, existing studies have used loose causal ...


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

In this Essay, Professors Starr and Rehavi respond to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s empirical staff’s criticisms of their recent article, which found, contrary to the Commission’s prior work, no evidence that racial disparity in sentences increased in response to United States v. Booker. As Starr and Rehavi suggest, their differences with the Commission perhaps relate to differing objectives. The Commission staff’s reply expresses a lack of interest in identifying Booker’s causal effects; in contrast, that is Starr and Rehavi’s central objective. In addition, Starr and Rehavi’s approach also accounts for disparities arising ...


Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2013

Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

The Sentencing Commission’s recent report on the effects of United States v.Booker makes a number of very worri- some claims.The most alarming is that the gap in sen- tences between otherwise similar Black and White men has nearly quadrupled: from 4.5 percent before Booker, to 15 percent after it, to 19.5 percent after United States v. Kimbrough and United States v.Gall. 1 The Commission further claims that interjudge disparity has increased in two-thirds of the federal districts, and that interdistrict variation has also increased.2 If its findings were accurate, and if these changes ...


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


Discrimination Inward And Upward: Lessons On Law And Social Inequality From The Troubling Case Of Women Coaches, Deborah L. Brake Jan 2013

Discrimination Inward And Upward: Lessons On Law And Social Inequality From The Troubling Case Of Women Coaches, Deborah L. Brake

Articles

In the Title IX success story, women’s opportunities in coaching jobs have not kept pace with the striking gains made by female athletes. Women’s share of jobs coaching female athletes has declined substantially in the years since the law was enacted, moving from more than 90% to below 43% today. As a case study, the situation of women coaches contains important lessons about the ability of discrimination law to promote social equality. This article highlights one feature of bias against women coaches — gender bias by female athletes — as a counter-paradigm that presents a challenge to the dominant frame ...


The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2013

The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article, an expanded version of the author's remarks at the 2013 Honorable Clifford Scott Green Lecture at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, illuminates the history and the context of the Thirteenth Amendment. This article contends that the full scope of the Thirteenth Amendment has yet to be realized and offers reflections on why it remains an underenforced constitutional norm. Finally, this article demonstrates the relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment to addressing contemporary forms of racial inequality and subordination.


Democrats At Doj: Why Partisan Use Of The Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

Democrats At Doj: Why Partisan Use Of The Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

In notable ways, the ongoing dispute over redistricting in Texas offers a mirror image to one of the major redistricting battles of the last decade, only with Democratic and Republican roles reversed. In both Texas v. United States and Georgia v. Ashcroft, a state attorney general (AG) decided he would not ask the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve new redistricting plans enacted in his state. In both cases, the state AGs were well aware that the Voting Rights Act (VRA) required them to obtain federal approval, known as preclearance, before changing any aspect of their state's ...


Queer Cases Make Bad Law, James C. Hathaway, Jason Pobjoy Jan 2012

Queer Cases Make Bad Law, James C. Hathaway, Jason Pobjoy

Articles

The Refugee Convention, now adopted by 147 states, is the primary instrument governing refugee status under international law. The Convention sets a binding and nonamendable definition of which persons are entitled to recognition as refugees, and thus to enjoy the surrogate or substitute national protection of an asylum state. The core of the article 1A(2) definition provides that a refugee is a person who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.” A person is thus a refugee, and entitled to the non-refoulement and other ...


The Past And Future Of Deinstitutionalization Litigation, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2012

The Past And Future Of Deinstitutionalization Litigation, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

Two conflicting stories have consumed the academic debate regarding the impact of deinstitutionalization litigation. The first, which has risen almost to the level of conventional wisdom, is that deinstitutionalization was a disaster. The second story challenges the suggestion that deinstitutionalization has uniformly been unsuccessful, as well as the causal link critics seek to draw with the growth of the homeless population. This Article, which embraces the second story, assesses the current wave of deinstitutionalization litigation. It contends that things will be different this time. The particular outcomes of the first wave of deinstitutionalization litigation, this Article contends, resulted from the ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2012

The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment’s Framers envisioned the Amendment as providing federal authority to eliminate the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The freemen and their descendants are the most likely to be burdened with the effects of stigma, stereotypes, and structural discrimination arising from the slave system. Because African Americans are therefore the most obvious beneficiaries of the Amendment’s promise to eliminate the legacy of slavery, it is often mistakenly assumed that federal power to eradicate the badges and incidents of slavery only permits remedies aimed at redressing the subordination of African Americans. While African Americans were the primary victims ...


From Wards Cove To Ricci: Struggling Against The Built-In Headwinds Of A Skeptical Court, Melissa Hart Jan 2011

From Wards Cove To Ricci: Struggling Against The Built-In Headwinds Of A Skeptical Court, Melissa Hart

Articles

When the Supreme Court in 1971 first recognized disparate impact as a legal theory under Title VII, the Court explained that the "absence of discriminatory intent does not redeem employment procedures or testing mechanisms that operate as ‘built-in headwinds’ for minority groups and are unrelated to measuring job capability." Forty years later, it is the built-in headwinds of a Supreme Court skeptical of - perhaps even hostile to - the goals of disparate impact theory that pose the greatest challenge to continued movement toward workplace equality. The essay examines the troubled trajectory that disparate impact law has taken in the Court's ...


Is Integration A Discriminatory Purpose?, Michelle Adams Jan 2011

Is Integration A Discriminatory Purpose?, Michelle Adams

Articles

Is integration a form of discrimination? Remarkably, recent Supreme Court doctrine suggests that the answer to this question may well be yes. In Ricci v. DeStefano, the Court characterizes - for the very first time - government action taken to avoid disparate-impact liability and to integrate the workplace as "race-based," and then invalidates that action under a heightened level of judicial review. Consequently, Ricci suggests that the Court is open to the "equivalence doctrine," which posits that laws intended to racially integrate are morally and constitutionally equivalent to laws intended to racially separate. Under the equivalence doctrine, integration is simply another form ...


On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris Jan 2011

On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris

Articles

In just a few years, seven decades will have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. U.S., one of the most reviled of all of the Court’s cases. Despised or not, however, similarities between the World War II era and our own have people looking at Korematsu in a new light. When the Court decided Korematsu in 1944, we were at war with the Japanese empire, and with this came considerable suspicion of anyone who shared the ethnicity of our foreign enemies. Since 2001, we have faced another external threat – from the al ...


Front Loading And Heavy Lifting: How Pre-Dismissal Discovery Can Address The Detrimental Effect Of Iqbal On Civil Rights Cases, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2010

Front Loading And Heavy Lifting: How Pre-Dismissal Discovery Can Address The Detrimental Effect Of Iqbal On Civil Rights Cases, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are trans-substantive, they have a greater detrimental effect on certain substantive claims. In particular, the Supreme Court’s recent interpretation of Rule 8(a)(2)’s pleading requirement and Rule 12(b)(6)’s dismissal criteria - in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal - sets forth a plausibility pleading standard which makes it more difficult for potentially meritorious civil rights claims alleging intentional discrimination to survive dismissal. Such claims are more vulnerable to dismissal because: plaintiffs alleging intentional discrimination often plead facts consistent with both legal and illegal conduct; discriminatory intent is ...


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.


Negotiating The Situation: The Reasonable Person In Context, Lu-In Wang Jan 2010

Negotiating The Situation: The Reasonable Person In Context, Lu-In Wang

Articles

This Essay argues that our understanding of the reasonable person in economic transactions should take into account an individual’s race, gender, or other group-based identity characteristics - not necessarily because persons differ on account of those characteristics, but because of how those characteristics influence the situations a person must negotiate. That is, individuals’ social identities constitute features not just of themselves, but also of the situations they inhabit. In economic transactions that involve social interaction, such as face-to-face negotiations, the actor’s race, gender, or other social identity can affect both an individual actor and those who interact with him ...


The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2009

The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

In many respects the US is a deeply conservative country. Unique among the major industrial democracies of the world, it imposes the death penalty, provides no national health insurance, fixes a high legal drinking age, and subscribes to the doctrine of employment at will. Perhaps not surprisingly, its labor movement is also one of the most conservative on earth, eschewing class warfare and aiming largely at the bread-and-butter goal of improved wages, benefits, and working conditions. Yet American employers have generally never been as accepting of unionization as their counterparts in other countries (Bok 1971; Freeman and Medoff 1984). Over ...


How The New Economics Can Improve Employment Discrimination Law, And How Economics Can Survive The Demise Of The Rational Actor, Scott A. Moss, Peter H. Huang Jan 2009

How The New Economics Can Improve Employment Discrimination Law, And How Economics Can Survive The Demise Of The Rational Actor, Scott A. Moss, Peter H. Huang

Articles

Much employment discrimination law is premised on a purely money-focused "reasonable" employee, the sort who can be made whole with damages equal to lost wages, and who does not hesitate to challenge workplace discrimination. This type of "rational" actor populated older economic models but has been since modified by behavioral economics and research on happiness. Behavioral and traditional economists alike have analyzed broad employment policies, such as the wisdom of discrimination statutes, but the devil is in the details of employment law. On the critical damages-and-liability issues the Supreme Court and litigators face regularly, the law essentially ignores the lessons ...


Instead Of Enda, A Course Correction For Title Vii, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2008

Instead Of Enda, A Course Correction For Title Vii, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

In September 2008, the D.C. federal court issued a landmark decision holding that discrimination against a transgender person was sex discrimination under Title VII. This decision throws into sharp relief the ongoing debates among supporters of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act about whether the compromise on including protection for gender identity claims. Consideration of ENDA in some form will likely be early on the agenda of the next Congress, especially under a Democratic administration likely to support the bill. This essay proposes an alternative to ENDA that would embrace the theoretical connections between sex, gender, and sexual orientation, with important ...


Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin Jan 2008

Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin

Articles

In Judging the Voting Rights Act, Professors Adam B. Cox and Thomas J. Miles report that judges are more likely to find liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) when they are African American, appointed by a Democratic president, or sit on an appellate panel with a judge who is African American or a Democratic appointee. Cox and Miles posit that their findings “contrast” and “cast doubt” on much of the “conventional wisdom” about the Voting Rights Act, by which they mean the core findings we reported in Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 ...


Genes As Tags: The Tax Implications Of Widely Available Genetic Information, Kyle D. Logue, Joel Slemrod Jan 2008

Genes As Tags: The Tax Implications Of Widely Available Genetic Information, Kyle D. Logue, Joel Slemrod

Articles

Advances in genetic research promise to loosen the tradeoff between progressivity and effi ciency by allowing tax liability (or transfer eligibility) to be based in part on immutable characteristics of individuals (“tags”) that are correlated with their expected lot in life. Use of genetic tags would reduce reliance on tax bases (such as income) that are subject to individual choices and, therefore, subject to ineffi cient distortion to those choices. If genetic information can be used by private employers and insurers, the case for basing tax in part on it becomes more compelling, as genetic inequalities would be exacerbated by ...


The Heart Of The Game: Putting Race And Educational Equity At The Center Of Title Ix, Deborah Brake, Verna L. Williams Jan 2008

The Heart Of The Game: Putting Race And Educational Equity At The Center Of Title Ix, Deborah Brake, Verna L. Williams

Articles

This article examines how race and educational equity issues shape women's sports experiences, building upon the narrative of Darnellia Russell, a high school basketball player profiled in the documentary The Heart of the Game. Darnellia is a star player who, because of an unintended pregnancy, has to fight to play the game she loves.

This girl's story provides a unique and underutilized lens through which to examine gender and athletics, as well as evaluate the legal framework for gender equality in sport. In focusing on this narrative, we seek to give voice to black female athletes and to ...


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 Failure Of Title Vii As A Rights-Claiming System, Deborah Brake, Joanna L. Grossman Jan 2008

The Failure Of Title Vii As A Rights-Claiming System, Deborah Brake, Joanna L. Grossman

Articles

This Article takes a comprehensive look at the failure of Title VII as a system for claiming nondiscrimination rights. The Supreme Court's recent decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, 127 S. Ct. 2162 (2007), requiring an employee to assert a Title VII pay discrimination claim within 180 days of when the discriminatory pay decision was first made, marks the tip of the iceberg in this flawed system. In the past decade, Title VII doctrines at both ends of the rights-claiming process have become increasing hostile to employees. At the front end, Title VII imposes strict requirements on ...


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.