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How Was That Reasonable? The Misguided Development Of Qualified Immunity And Excessive Force By Law Enforcement Officers, Marcus R. Nemeth Mar 2019

How Was That Reasonable? The Misguided Development Of Qualified Immunity And Excessive Force By Law Enforcement Officers, Marcus R. Nemeth

Boston College Law Review

Under the qualified immunity doctrine, current policy shields law enforcement officers who utilize excessive force against ordinary American citizens. As a result, police departments and enforcement officers lack incentives to change their behavior, leaving victims and grieving families powerless in the face of an unforgiving legal doctrine that provides little to no justice. This Note explores the creation and development of the qualified immunity doctrine within the policing context and argues that its near-impossible and unjust standards have been problematically overextended and drastically need reform by the Supreme Court. The countless lives lost at the hands of those who are ...


Extending The Sex-Plus Discrimination Doctrine To Age Discrimination Claims Involving Multiple Discriminatory Motives, Marc Chase Mcallister Feb 2019

Extending The Sex-Plus Discrimination Doctrine To Age Discrimination Claims Involving Multiple Discriminatory Motives, Marc Chase Mcallister

Boston College Law Review

Federal employment discrimination statutes make it unlawful to discriminate against employees on the basis of certain protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and age. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not discriminate against an employee based on a combination of two protected traits, such as race and sex. Nevertheless, these claims—which this Article refers to as multiple-motive claims—tend to fail when one of the protected traits is age. Whether brought under Title VII or under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), this Article argues ...


Discriminatory Job Knowledge Tests, Police Promotions, And What Title Vii Can Learn From Tort Law, Mark S. Brodin Oct 2018

Discriminatory Job Knowledge Tests, Police Promotions, And What Title Vii Can Learn From Tort Law, Mark S. Brodin

Boston College Law Review

Nationally, the continued use of selection devices by police departments—such as multiple-choice examinations requiring memorization of police manuals—stifles advancement for a disproportionate number of otherwise qualified minority candidates, and hinders the desired diversification of the upper ranks. These exams have little to do with predicting success as a sergeant or other police supervisor. The traditional Title VII approach, a disparate impact challenge, has proven unsatisfactory given the relative ease with which the exams can be “content validated” in court. This Article proposes a new approach familiar to tort lawyers—the inference of intent from actions taken with foreseeable ...


The Legacy Of Civil Rights And The Opportunity For Transactional Law Clinics, Lynnise E. Pantin Oct 2018

The Legacy Of Civil Rights And The Opportunity For Transactional Law Clinics, Lynnise E. Pantin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

At the end of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously paraphrased abolitionist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker stating, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” The implication of the phrase is that the social justice goals of the Civil Rights Movement would eventually be achieved. His prayer was that servants of justice would be rewarded in due time. In other words, that the goals of the Civil Rights Movement would be achievable at some point in the future. President Obama resurrected the phrase throughout ...


The Wealth Gap And The Racial Disparities In The Startup Ecosystem, Lynnise E. Pantin Aug 2018

The Wealth Gap And The Racial Disparities In The Startup Ecosystem, Lynnise E. Pantin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Although much attention has been given to structural inequality as it manifests in the criminal justice context, little has been said about economic inequality as it relates to the startup ecosystem. This Article details how the historic creation of the wealth gap affects entrepreneurship, highlighting how the wealth gap adversely impacts entrepreneurs of color. Entrepreneurship is a compelling solution to wealth inequality, but wealth inequality can be an impediment to success in entrepreneurship. This Article explains how the United States’ history of bolstering wealth creation for some, while inhibiting wealth creation for people of color, matters for understanding the startup ...


Criminalizing Race: Racial Disparities In Plea-Bargaining, Carlos Berdejó Apr 2018

Criminalizing Race: Racial Disparities In Plea-Bargaining, Carlos Berdejó

Boston College Law Review

Most of the empirical research examining racial disparities in the criminal justice process has focused on its two endpoints—the arrest and initial charging of defendants and judges’ sentencing decisions. Few studies have assessed disparities in the steps leading up to a defendant’s conviction, where various actors make choices that often constrain judges’ ultimate sentencing discretion. This Article addresses this gap by examining racial disparities in the plea-bargaining process, focusing on the period between the initial filing of charges and the defendant’s conviction. The results presented in this Article reveal significant racial disparities in this stage of the ...


The Symmetry Principle, Bradley A. Areheart Sep 2017

The Symmetry Principle, Bradley A. Areheart

Boston College Law Review

Title VII provides symmetrical protection against discrimination in that both blacks and whites, and men and women may avail themselves of the law’s protections. In contrast, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act operates asymmetrically, shielding workers over the age of forty from discrimination yet offering no reciprocal protection for younger workers. Why do some antidiscrimination laws protect symmetrically while others do not? More importantly, why does this design choice matter? These are questions that scholars, courts, and legislators have generally ignored. This Article proceeds in two parts. First, it identifies symmetry as an important, yet frequently overlooked, way in ...


From Dog-Whistle To Megaphone: The Trump Regime’S Cynical Assault On Affirmative Action, Mark S. Brodin Jul 2017

From Dog-Whistle To Megaphone: The Trump Regime’S Cynical Assault On Affirmative Action, Mark S. Brodin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


One Mortgage: A Model Of Success For Low-Income Homeownership, Clark L. Ziegler, Elliot Schmiedl, Thomas Callahan May 2017

One Mortgage: A Model Of Success For Low-Income Homeownership, Clark L. Ziegler, Elliot Schmiedl, Thomas Callahan

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

A 1989 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston identified major racial disparities in mortgage lending in the City of Boston that could not be explained by income, credit scores, or other objective underwriting factors. In response, city and state officials, community organizations, and major banking institutions joined together in 1990 to design and launch what is now the Massachusetts ONE Mortgage program. The program is built around a low down payment mortgage loan with discounted interest rates, a state funded loan loss reserve that eliminates the need for mortgage insurance, retention of servicing and credit risk by the ...


The Racialization Of Juvenile Justice And The Role Of The Defense Attorney, Tamar R. Birckhead Apr 2017

The Racialization Of Juvenile Justice And The Role Of The Defense Attorney, Tamar R. Birckhead

Boston College Law Review

The existence of structural racism is not new. In fact, as the second decade of the twenty-first century comes to a close, there is evidence of a national political openness to acknowledging the phenomenon. This Article seizes upon this openness as it seeks to provide a fuller understanding of how structural racism operates within a branch of the criminal justice system that is often overlooked—the juvenile justice system. The Article offers a definition of racialization that acknowledges its multi-dimensional and fluid nature and the ways it is perpetuated via juvenile court rhetoric, processing, and procedure. It demonstrates how the ...


Discriminatory Intent And Implicit Bias: Title Vii Liability For Unwitting Discrimination, Amelia M. Wirts Apr 2017

Discriminatory Intent And Implicit Bias: Title Vii Liability For Unwitting Discrimination, Amelia M. Wirts

Boston College Law Review

Studies consistently show that African Americans face more employment scrutiny and negative employment actions than their white coworkers. Recognizing that much of the explicit racism of the twentieth century has given way to subtle and often unconscious discriminatory biases, this Note argues that current Title VII jurisprudence contains the tools and legal distinctions to provide legal redress for this implicit bias. Discriminatory intent, a requisite showing for plaintiffs bringing Title VII disparate treatment claims, should not be understood to require proof of a particular mental state. Instead, the current law should—and could—simply require that plaintiffs demonstrate a causal ...


“Slurring” The Lines Between Insensitivity And Hostility: Boyer-Liberto V. Fontainebleau Corp. And The Evaluation Of Title Vii Racial Harassment Claims, Kayla Acklin Apr 2016

“Slurring” The Lines Between Insensitivity And Hostility: Boyer-Liberto V. Fontainebleau Corp. And The Evaluation Of Title Vii Racial Harassment Claims, Kayla Acklin

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc, held in favor of Reya C. Boyer-Liberto, an African American cocktail waitress employed by defendant Fontainebleau Corporation, who claimed racial harassment in violation of Title VII by fellow employee, Trudi Clubb. In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., the majority based its analysis on Clubb’s use of a racial epithet, twice in a twenty-four hour period, which they determined was severe or pervasive enough to create a racially hostile work environment, even in isolation. The separate concurring and dissenting opinions emphasized the majority’s ...


Using Data To Reduce Police Violence, Stephen Rushin Jan 2016

Using Data To Reduce Police Violence, Stephen Rushin

Boston College Law Review

Congress passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act in 2014, which created a national database on civilian deaths caused by law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have subsequently also announced new efforts to collect data on the frequency of deadly encounters between law enforcement and civilians. This Article explores how the federal government could use these newly amassed datasets to reduce police violence. This Article makes two contributions. The first Part of the Article argues that data alone will be insufficient to bring about widespread reform in local police departments. By making these ...


Article 32 Hearings: A Road Map For Grand Jury Reform, Claire P. Donohue Jan 2016

Article 32 Hearings: A Road Map For Grand Jury Reform, Claire P. Donohue

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.