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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

American Exceptionalism In Mass Incarceration, Isabell Murray Jun 2019

American Exceptionalism In Mass Incarceration, Isabell Murray

Global Honors Theses

American exceptionalism is often positively connotated; America’s exceptionalism often refers to the nation’s unique, progressive ideals of liberty during the nation’s founding, as well as the premise of a free Democratic Republic. While the United States of America has many positive and exceptional qualities, this research illustrates an unfortunate exceptional American quality: the mass incarceration of over 2.3 million people in the United States of America. This paper reviews the literature to understand the evolution of mass incarceration on the basis of three lines: the United States’ history of race, the nation’s governmental structure and ...


Professional-Identity/Professional-Formation/Professionalism Learning Outcomes: What Can We Learn About Assessment From Medical Education, Neil Hamilton Jun 2018

Professional-Identity/Professional-Formation/Professionalism Learning Outcomes: What Can We Learn About Assessment From Medical Education, Neil Hamilton

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Bait Questions As Source Of Misinformation In Police Interviews: Does Race Or Age Of The Suspect Increase Jurors' Memory Errors?, Matilde Ascheri Jun 2018

Bait Questions As Source Of Misinformation In Police Interviews: Does Race Or Age Of The Suspect Increase Jurors' Memory Errors?, Matilde Ascheri

Student Theses

Bait questions—hypothetical questions about evidence, often used by detectives during interrogations—can activate the misinformation effect and alter jurors’ perceptions of the evidence of a case. Here, we were interested in investigating whether mock jurors’ implicit biases could amplify the magnitude of the misinformation effect. We accomplished this by manipulating the age and race of the suspect being interrogated. As an extension of Luke et al. (2017), we had participants read a police report describing evidence found at a crime scene, then read a transcript of a police interrogation where the detective used bait questions to introduce new evidence ...


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.


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 ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jun 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Northwestern University Law Review

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


Mccleskey V. Kemp: Field Notes From 1977-1991, John Charles Boger Jun 2018

Mccleskey V. Kemp: Field Notes From 1977-1991, John Charles Boger

Northwestern University Law Review

The litigation campaign that led to McCleskey v. Kemp did not begin as an anti-death-penalty effort. It grew in soil long washed in the blood of African-Americans, lynched or executed following rude semblances of trials and hasty appeals, which had prompted the NAACP from its very founding to demand “simple justice” in individual criminal cases. When the Warren Court signaled, in the early 1960s, that it might be open to reflection on broader patterns of racial discrimination in capital sentencing, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) began to gather empirical evidence and craft appropriate constitutional responses. As that effort built, other deficiencies in state capital states became apparent, and LDF eventually asserted a broader constitutional critique of state capital structures and processes. By 1967, LDF and its allies had developed a nationwide “moratorium” campaign that challenged death sentencing statutes in virtually every state.

Though the campaign appeared poised for partial success in 1969, changes in Court personnel and shifts in the nation’s mood dashed LDF’s initial hopes. Yet unexpectedly, in 1972, five Justices ruled in Furman v. Georgia that all death sentences and all capital statutes nationwide would fall under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. Each of the nine Furman Justices wrote separately, without a single governing rationale beyond their expressed uneasiness that the death penalty was being imposed infrequently, capriciously, and in an arbitrary manner. Thirty-five states promptly enacted new and revised capital statutes. Four years later, a majority of the Court held that three of those new state statutes met Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment standards. The 1976 Court majority expressed confidence that the states’ newly revised procedures should work to curb the arbitrariness and capriciousness that had earlier troubled the Furman majority.

The McCleskey case emerged from subsequent review of post-Furman sentencing patterns in the State of Georgia. A brilliant and exhaustive study by Professor David Baldus and his colleagues demonstrated that the Court’s assumptions in 1976 were wrong; strong racial disparities in capital sentencing continued to persist statewide in Georgia—especially in cases in ...


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 ...


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 ...


Combating Discrimination Against The Formerly Incarcerated In The Labor Market, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2018

Combating Discrimination Against The Formerly Incarcerated In The Labor Market, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Northwestern University Law Review

Both discrimination by private employers and governmental restrictions in the form of statutes that prohibit professional licensing serve to exclude the formerly incarcerated from much of the labor market. This Essay explores and analyzes potential legislative and contractual means for removing these barriers to labor market participation by the formerly incarcerated. First, as a means of addressing discrimination by the state, Part I of this Essay explores the ways in which the adoption of racial impact statements—which mandate that legislators consider statistical analyses of the potential impact their proposed legislation may have on racial and ethnic groups prior to ...


The Futile Fourth Amendment: Understanding Police Excessive Force Doctrine Through An Empirical Assessment Of Graham V. Connor, Osagie K. Obasogie, Zachary Newman Jun 2018

The Futile Fourth Amendment: Understanding Police Excessive Force Doctrine Through An Empirical Assessment Of Graham V. Connor, Osagie K. Obasogie, Zachary Newman

Northwestern University Law Review

Graham v. Connor established the modern constitutional landscape for police excessive force claims. The Supreme Court not only refined an objective reasonableness test to describe the constitutional standard, but also held that the Fourth Amendment is the sole avenue for courts to adjudicate claims that police violated a person’s constitutional rights in using force. In this Essay, we ask: What impact did this decision have on the nature of police excessive force claims in federal courts? To address this, we engaged in a qualitative examination of 500 federal cases (250 in the twenty-six years before Graham and 250 in ...


"Our Taxes Are Too Damn High": Institutional Racism, Property Tax Assessment, And The Fair Housing Act, Bernadette Atuahene Jun 2018

"Our Taxes Are Too Damn High": Institutional Racism, Property Tax Assessment, And The Fair Housing Act, Bernadette Atuahene

Northwestern University Law Review

To prevent inflated property tax bills, the Michigan Constitution prohibits property tax assessments from exceeding 50% of a property’s market value. Between 2009 and 2015, the City of Detroit assessed 55%–85% of its residential properties in violation of the Michigan Constitution, and these unconstitutional assessments have had dire consequences. Between 2011 and 2015, one in four Detroit properties have been foreclosed upon for nonpayment of illegally inflated property taxes. In addition to Detroit, the other two cities in Michigan’s Wayne County where African-Americans comprise 70% or more of the population—Highland Park and Inkster—have similarly experienced ...


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 ...


"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 ...


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 ...


Sky Is The Limit: Protecting Unaccompanied Minors By Not Subjecting Them To Numerical Limitations, Deborah S. Gonzalez Esq. Jun 2018

Sky Is The Limit: Protecting Unaccompanied Minors By Not Subjecting Them To Numerical Limitations, Deborah S. Gonzalez Esq.

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Accelerated Civil Rights Settlements In The Shadow Of Section 1983, Katherine A. Macfarlane Jun 2018

Accelerated Civil Rights Settlements In The Shadow Of Section 1983, Katherine A. Macfarlane

Utah Law Review

The families of Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have obtained multimillion dollar settlements from the cities in which their family members lost their lives. This Article identifies and labels these settlements as a legal response unique to high-profile policeinvolved deaths: accelerated civil rights settlement. It defines accelerated civil rights settlement as a resolution strategy that uses the threat of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 litigation rather than litigation itself to compensate police-involved shooting victims’ family members. This Article explains how accelerated civil rights settlement involves no complaint or case—nothing is filed. Also, the goal ...


Things Invisible To See: State Action & Private Property, Joseph William Singer, Isaac Saidel-Goley Jun 2018

Things Invisible To See: State Action & Private Property, Joseph William Singer, Isaac Saidel-Goley

Texas A&M Law Review

This Article revisits the state action doctrine, a judicial invention that shields “private” or “non-governmental” discrimination from constitutional scrutiny. Traditionally, this doctrine has applied to discrimination even in places of public accommodation, like restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. Born of overt racial discrimination, the doctrine has inflicted substantial injustice throughout its inglorious history, and courts have continuously struggled in vain to coherently apply the doctrine. Yet, the United States Supreme Court has not fully insulated “private” or “horizontal” relations among persons from constitutional scrutiny. The cases in which it has applied constitutional norms to non-governmental actors should be celebrated rather ...


The Rhetorical Allure Of Post-Racial Process Discourse And The Democratic Myth, Cedric Merlin Powell Jun 2018

The Rhetorical Allure Of Post-Racial Process Discourse And The Democratic Myth, Cedric Merlin Powell

Utah Law Review

We are witnessing the power of distorted and neutral rhetoric that rings with deceptive clarity. This post-racial process discourse is advanced on many levels: in political discourse, by a distrustful citizenry energized by hateful rhetoric that appeals to their concerns of being “left behind” on the basis of “preferences” for minorities that diminish America’s “greatness,” and a Court that seeks to constitutionalize a mythic democracy that promises participation while implicitly endorsing structural exclusion.

Voter initiatives should not determine the substantive core of the Fourteenth Amendment. While democratic participation is essential to our Republic, decisions like Schuette perpetuate a democratic ...


Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell Jun 2018

Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article builds on theories of the fragmented state and of human and institutional vulnerability to create a new, structural theory of “functional fragmentation” and its role in access to justice work. Expanding on previous concepts of fragmentation in access to justice scholarship, fragmentation is understood in the Article as a complex phenomenon existing within as well as between state institutions like courts. Further, it is examined in terms of its relationship to the state’s coercive power over poor people in legal systems. In this view, fragmentation in state operations creates not only challenges for access, but also opportunities ...


Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel Jun 2018

Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I compares the nineteenth century cases of the Antelope and the Amistad to identify why they resulted in different outcomes despite having similar fact patterns. The Antelope concerned the fate of approximately 280 African captives discovered on a slave trade ship upon its interception by a U.S. revenue cutter. Since the slave trade in the United States was illegal at the time, the captives were transported to Savannah for trial through which their status—free or slave—would be determined. After a lengthy trial and appeals process in which Spain and Portugal laid claim to the captives, the ...


Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks Jun 2018

Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Implicit bias research indicates that despite our expressly endorsed values, Americans share a pervasive bias disfavoring Black Americans and favoring White Americans. This bias permeates legislative as well as judicial decision-making, leading to the possibility of verdicts against Black defendants that are tainted with racial bias. The Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado provides an ex post remedy for blatant racism that impacts jury verdicts, while jury nullification provides an ex ante remedy by empowering jurors to reject convicting Black defendants when to do so would reinforce racially biased laws. Both remedies exist alongside a trend limiting ...


Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins Jun 2018

Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In our representative democracy we guarantee equal participation for all, but we fall short of this promise in so many domains of our civic life. From the schoolhouse, to the jailhouse, to the courthouse, racial minorities are underrepresented among key public decision-makers, such as judges, police officers, and teachers. This gap between our aspirations for representative democracy and the reality that our judges, police officers, and teachers are often woefully under-representative of the racially diverse communities they serve leaves many citizens of color wanting for the democratic guarantee of equal participation. This critical failure of our democracy threatens to undermine ...


The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar Jun 2018

The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

We usually think there is a difference between the police and the military. Recently, however, the police have become increasingly militarized – a process which is likely to intensify in coming years. Unsurprisingly, many find this process alarming and call for its reversal. However, while most of the objections to police militarization are framed as instrumental arguments, these arguments are unable to capture the core problem with militarization.

This Article remedies this shortcoming by developing a novel and principled argument against police militarization. Contrary to arguments that are preoccupied with the consequences of militarization, the real problem with police militarization is ...


The Concept Of “Unusual Punishments” In Anglo-American Law: The Death Penalty As Arbitrary, Discriminatory, And Cruel And Unusual, John D. Bessler May 2018

The Concept Of “Unusual Punishments” In Anglo-American Law: The Death Penalty As Arbitrary, Discriminatory, And Cruel And Unusual, John D. Bessler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, like the English Bill of Rights before it, safeguards against the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.” To better understand the meaning of that provision, this Article explores the concept of “unusual punishments” and its opposite, “usual punishments.” In particular, this Article traces the use of the “usual” and “unusual” punishments terminology in Anglo-American sources to shed new light on the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause. The Article surveys historical references to “usual” and “unusual” punishments in early English and American texts, then analyzes the development of American constitutional ...


“Indian” As A Political Classification: Reading The Tribe Back Into The Indian Child Welfare Act, Allison Krause Elder May 2018

“Indian” As A Political Classification: Reading The Tribe Back Into The Indian Child Welfare Act, Allison Krause Elder

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In the summer of 2018, the Ninth Circuit will consider an appeal from the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Brought by a conservative think-tank, this case frames the ICWA as race-based legislation, violating equal protection by depriving Indian children of the same procedures as non-Indian children in child custody cases. In reality, the ICWA seeks to protect the interests of tribes, Indian families, and Indian children by establishing special procedures and obligations in Indian child custody cases. On its face, the ICWA is concerned not with the race of children, but with the ...


Equal Work, Stephanie Bornstein May 2018

Equal Work, Stephanie Bornstein

Maryland Law Review

Most Americans have heard of the gender pay gap and the statistic that, today, women earn on average eighty cents to every dollar men earn. Far less discussed, there is an even greater racial pay gap. Black and Latino men average only seventy-one cents to the dollar of white men. Compounding these gaps is the “polluting” impact of status characteristics on pay: as women and racial minorities enter occupations formerly dominated by white men, the pay for those occupations goes down. Improvement in the gender pay gap has been stalled for nearly two decades; the racial pay gap is actually ...


A Tribute To Hope Lewis, Karen E. Bravo May 2018

A Tribute To Hope Lewis, Karen E. Bravo

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Disenfranchisement 2.0: Recent Voter Id Laws And The Implications Thereof, Erin A. Penrod May 2018

Disenfranchisement 2.0: Recent Voter Id Laws And The Implications Thereof, Erin A. Penrod

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


The Invisible Victims Of The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Understanding Black Girls, School Push-Out, And The Impact Of The Every Student Succeeds Act, Bianca A. White May 2018

The Invisible Victims Of The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Understanding Black Girls, School Push-Out, And The Impact Of The Every Student Succeeds Act, Bianca A. White

William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law

No abstract provided.