Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

What Can Brown Do For You?: Addressing Mccleskey V. Kemp As A Flawed Standard For Measuring The Constitutionally Significant Risk Of Race Bias Aug 2019

What Can Brown Do For You?: Addressing Mccleskey V. Kemp As A Flawed Standard For Measuring The Constitutionally Significant Risk Of Race Bias

Erwin Chemerinsky

This Essay asserts that in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court created a problematic standard for the evidence of race bias necessary to uphold an equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. First, the Court’s opinion reinforced the cramped understanding that constitutional claims require evidence of not only disparate impact but also discriminatory purpose, producing significant negative consequences for the operation of the U.S. criminal justice system. Second, the Court rejected the Baldus study’s findings of statistically significant correlations between the races of the perpetrators and victims and the imposition of the ...


Blind Justice: Why The Court Refused To Accept Statistical Evidence Of Discriminatory Purpose In Mccleskey V. Kemp—And Some Pathways For Change, Reva B. Siegel Jun 2018

Blind Justice: Why The Court Refused To Accept Statistical Evidence Of Discriminatory Purpose In Mccleskey V. Kemp—And Some Pathways For Change, Reva B. Siegel

Northwestern University Law Review

In McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court refused to accept statistical evidence of race discrimination in an equal protection challenge to the death penalty. This lecture, on the decision’s thirtieth anniversary, locates McCleskey in cases of the Burger and Rehnquist Courts that restrict proof of discriminatory purpose in terms that make it exceedingly difficult for minority plaintiffs successfully to assert equal protection claims.

The lecture’s aims are both critical and constructive. The historical reading I offer shows that portions of the opinion justify restrictions on evidence to protect prosecutorial discretion, while others limit proof of discrimination in ways ...


Foreword, Daniel B. Rodriguez Jun 2018

Foreword, Daniel B. Rodriguez

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Equal Protection And The Social Sciences Thirty Years After Mccleskey V. Kemp, Destiny Peery, Osagie K. Obasogie Jun 2018

Equal Protection And The Social Sciences Thirty Years After Mccleskey V. Kemp, Destiny Peery, Osagie K. Obasogie

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


What Can Brown Do For You?: Addressing Mccleskey V. Kemp As A Flawed Standard For Measuring The Constitutionally Significant Risk Of Race Bias, Mario L. Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky Jun 2018

What Can Brown Do For You?: Addressing Mccleskey V. Kemp As A Flawed Standard For Measuring The Constitutionally Significant Risk Of Race Bias, Mario L. Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay asserts that in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court created a problematic standard for the evidence of race bias necessary to uphold an equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. First, the Court’s opinion reinforced the cramped understanding that constitutional claims require evidence of not only disparate impact but also discriminatory purpose, producing significant negative consequences for the operation of the U.S. criminal justice system. Second, the Court rejected the Baldus study’s findings of statistically significant correlations between the races of the perpetrators and victims and the imposition of the ...


Equal Protection And White Supremacy, Paul Butler Jun 2018

Equal Protection And White Supremacy, Paul Butler

Northwestern University Law Review

The project of using social science to help win equal protection claims is doomed to fail if its premise is that the Supreme Court post-McCleskey just needs more or better evidence of racial discrimination. Everyone—including the Justices of the Court—already knows that racial discrimination is endemic in the criminal justice system. Social science does help us to understand the role of white supremacy in U.S. police and punishment practices. Social science also can help us understand how to move people to resist, and can inform our imagination of the transformation needed for equal justice under the ...


"Playing It Safe" With Empirical Evidence: Selective Use Of Social Science In Supreme Court Cases About Racial Justice And Marriage Equality, Russell K. Robinson, David M. Frost Jun 2018

"Playing It Safe" With Empirical Evidence: Selective Use Of Social Science In Supreme Court Cases About Racial Justice And Marriage Equality, Russell K. Robinson, David M. Frost

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay seeks to draw connections between race, sexual orientation, and social science in Supreme Court litigation. In some respects, advocates for racial minorities and sexual minorities face divergent trajectories. Among those asserting civil rights claims, LGBT rights claimants have been uniquely successful at the Court ever since Romer v. Evans in the mid-1990s. During this period, advocates for racial minorities have fought to preserve earlier victories in cases such as Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and have failed to overturn precedents that strictly limit equal protection possibilities, such as McCleskey v. Kemp. Nonetheless, we argue that ...


Diversity Entitlement: Does Diversity-Benefits Ideology Undermine Inclusion?, Kyneshawau Hurd, Victoria C. Plaut Jun 2018

Diversity Entitlement: Does Diversity-Benefits Ideology Undermine Inclusion?, Kyneshawau Hurd, Victoria C. Plaut

Northwestern University Law Review

Ideologies are most successful (or most dangerous) when they become common-sense—when they become widely accepted, taken-for-granted truths—because these truths subsequently provide implicit guidelines and expectations about what is moral, legitimate, and necessary in our society. In Regents of University of California v. Bakke, the Court, without a majority opinion, considered and dismissed all but one of several “common-sense” rationales for affirmative action in admissions. While eschewing rationales that focused on addressing discrimination and underrepresentation, the Court found that allowing all students to obtain the educational benefits that flow from diversity was a compelling rationale—essential, even, for a ...


Eyes Wide Open: What Social Science Can Tell Us About The Supreme Court's Use Of Social Science, Jonathan P. Feingold, Evelyn R. Carter Jun 2018

Eyes Wide Open: What Social Science Can Tell Us About The Supreme Court's Use Of Social Science, Jonathan P. Feingold, Evelyn R. Carter

Northwestern University Law Review

The Northwestern University Law Review’s 2017 Symposium asked whether McCleskey v. Kemp closed the door on social science’s ability to meaningfully contribute to equal protection deliberations. This inquiry is understandable; McCleskey is widely understood to have rendered statistical racial disparities doctrinally irrelevant in the equal protection context. We suggest, however, that this account overstates McCleskey and its doctrinal impact. Roughly fifteen years after McCleskey, Chief Justice William Rehnquist—himself part of the McCleskey majority—invoked admissions data to support his conclusion that the University of Michigan Law School unconstitutionally discriminated against white applicants.

Chief Justice Rehnquist’s disparate ...


Judicial Decision-Making, Social Science Evidence, And Equal Educational Opportunity: Uneasy Relations And Uncertain Futures, Michael Heise Jan 2008

Judicial Decision-Making, Social Science Evidence, And Equal Educational Opportunity: Uneasy Relations And Uncertain Futures, Michael Heise

Seattle University Law Review

The full extent of what the Court decided in Grutter and Parents Involved remains in some dispute. What is far more certain is that both cases continue to stir deeply held passions that help frame public and legal debates about the Court and its role in affirmative action and school desegregation disputes. Amid these increasingly raucous debates, this Article expressly side steps the many questions (and controversies) about what the Court decided in those cases and seeks to escape from the frequently politically charged and volatile context of governmental uses of race. This Article instead focuses on how the Court ...


Payton, Practical Wisdom, And The Pragmatist Judge: Is Payton's Goal To Prevent Unreasonable Entries Or To Effectuate Home Arrests?, Christos Papapetrou Jan 2007

Payton, Practical Wisdom, And The Pragmatist Judge: Is Payton's Goal To Prevent Unreasonable Entries Or To Effectuate Home Arrests?, Christos Papapetrou

Fordham Urban Law Journal

This Comment analyzes the conflicting "objective" and "subjective" tests that courts use to determine if a law enforcement officer's entry into a suspect's home is valid following the Supreme Court's holding in Payton v. New York that an arrest warrant implicitly carries with it a right to enter a suspect's home when there is "reason to believe" it is the suspect's residence and that the suspect is inside. The Comment questions how courts should interpret the "reason to believe" standard and analyzes an approach put forth by Professor Matthew A. Edwards in his article, Posner ...


Comparative Constitutionalism In A New Key, Paul W. Kahn Aug 2003

Comparative Constitutionalism In A New Key, Paul W. Kahn

Michigan Law Review

Law is a symbolic system that structures the political imagination. The "rule of law" is a shorthand expression for a cultural practice that constructs a particular understanding of time and space, of subjects and groups, as well as of authority and legitimacy. It is a way of projecting, maintaining, and discovering meaning in the world of historical events and political possibilities. The rule of law - as opposed to the techniques of lawyering - is not the possession of lawyers. It is a characterization of the polity, which operates both descriptively and normatively in public perception. Ours, we believe, is a nation ...


Child Witness Policy: Law Interfacing With Social Science, Louise E. Graham, Dorothy F. Marsil, Jean Montoya, David Ross Jan 2002

Child Witness Policy: Law Interfacing With Social Science, Louise E. Graham, Dorothy F. Marsil, Jean Montoya, David Ross

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The number of children testifying in court has posed serious practical and legal problems for the judicial system. One problem confronting the courts is how to protect children from experiencing the psychological trauma resulting from a face-to-face confrontation with a defendant who may have physically harmed the child or threatened future harm to the child. Another concern is that this trauma may impair children's memory performance and their willingness to disclose the truth. In response to these concerns, child witness innovations proliferated throughout the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. Among the innovations were: placing a screen between ...


Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt Mar 1999

Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt

Michigan Law Review

In his James Madison Lecture on Constitutional Law, Chief Judge Richard Posner chides both professors and judges for devoting too much attention to constitutional theory and too little time to empiricism. Although I agree with Judge Posner's endorsement of empiricism, I dispute the roles he assigns empiricism and theory. Social science matters when interpreting the Constitution, but not in the way Posner posits. Facts cannot replace constitutional theories, nor can they mechanically resolve questions posed by theory. Instead, empirical knowledge is most useful in unmasking the theoretical assumptions that undergird constitutional law, in focusing those theories, and in contributing ...


Book Review: Constitutional Change: Amendment Politics And Supreme Court Litigation Since 1900, By Clement E. Vose, Edward A. Purcell Jr. Jan 1973

Book Review: Constitutional Change: Amendment Politics And Supreme Court Litigation Since 1900, By Clement E. Vose, Edward A. Purcell Jr.

Other Publications

No abstract provided.


Predicting Court Cases Quantitatively, Stuart Nagel Jun 1965

Predicting Court Cases Quantitatively, Stuart Nagel

Michigan Law Review

This article illustrates and systematically compares three methods for quantitatively predicting case outcomes. The three methods are correlation, regression, and discriminant analysis, all of which involve standard social science research techniques. Two prior articles have generated requests for a study dealing with the problems involved in handling a larger number of cases and predictive variables. The present article is also designed to provide such a study. It does not presuppose that the reader has read the earlier articles, although such a reading might help to clarify further some of the points made here. The cases used to illustrate the methods ...