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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Equality Leaves Everyone Worse Off: The Problem Of Leveling Down In Equality Law, Deborah L. Brake Nov 2004

When Equality Leaves Everyone Worse Off: The Problem Of Leveling Down In Equality Law, Deborah L. Brake

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

This Article addresses the problem of leveling down as a response to discrimination. Existing case law and legal scholarship generally assume that inequality may be remedied in one of two ways: improving the lot of the disfavored group to match that of the most favored group, or worsening the treatment of the favored group until they fare as badly as everyone else. The term “leveling down” refers to the latter response. This Article contends that courts and commentators have overstated the flexibility of equality rights in accepting leveling down as a response to inequality, and proposes a new framework that ...


Racism As "The Nation's Crucial Sin": Theology And Derrick Bell, George H. Taylor Apr 2004

Racism As "The Nation's Crucial Sin": Theology And Derrick Bell, George H. Taylor

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

The Article probes a paradox that lies at the heart of the work of critical race scholar Derrick Bell. Bell claims on the one hand that racism is permanent, and yet on the other he argues that the fight against racism is both necessary and meaningful. Although Bell’s thesis of racism’s permanence has been criticized for rendering action for racial justice unavailing, the Article advances an understanding of Bell that supports and defends the integrity of his paradox. The Article draws upon the work of Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and Niebuhr’s paradox that social action is both ...


Foster Care Placement: Reducing The Risk Of Sibling Incest, David J. Herring Feb 2004

Foster Care Placement: Reducing The Risk Of Sibling Incest, David J. Herring

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

The Westermarck theory maintains that incest avoidance arises from the physical proximity of siblings during a critical period of early childhood. This proximity gives rise to an inhibiting effect on post childhood sexual interest. Two recent studies of sibling relationships have verified and refined the Westermarck theory, indicating that the critical period extends through the first four years of childhood.

The theory and the studies have implications for child welfare laws, policies and practices surrounding the placement of siblings in foster care. Namely, the findings provide powerful reasons for placing siblings together during the critical period in order to minimize ...