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How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras Sep 2020

How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras

Faculty Scholarship

In Voices Across the Spectrum, our goal is to explore issues, perspectives, and resources that focus on promoting diversity, equality, anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, multicultural outreach and recruitment into the profession, inclusive workplaces, and more. While the first installments of this new column will focus on systemic racism issues, each column will examine different diversity and inclusion issues to help prompt conversations and break down silos within the profession.


Crisis? Whose Crisis?, Jack Beermann Mar 2020

Crisis? Whose Crisis?, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

Every moment in human history can be characterized by someone as “socially and politically charged.” For a large portion of the population of the United States, nearly the entire history of the country has been socially and politically charged, first because they were enslaved and then because they were subjected to discriminatory laws and unequal treatment under what became known as “Jim Crow.” The history of the United States has also been a period of social and political upheaval for American Indians, the people who occupied the territory that became the United States before European settlement. Although both African-Americans and ...


Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2020

Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Every week brings a new story about racialized linguistic discrimination. It happens in restaurants, on public transportation, and in the street. It also happens behind closed courtroom doors during jury selection. While it is universally recognized that dismissing prospective jurors because they look like racial minorities is prohibited, it is too often deemed acceptable to exclude jurors because they sound like racial minorities. The fact that accent discrimination is commonly racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination is overlooked. This Article critically examines sociolinguistic scholarship to explain the relationship between accent, race, and racism. It argues that accent discrimination in jury ...


Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan P. Feingold Apr 2019

Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

One can understand constitutional doctrine as a tool designed to effectuate the Constitution and its various provisions. Equal protection doctrine, in turn, comprises a set of Justice-made rules designed to realize the promise of equal protection under the law. The substance of that promise remains a topic of deep contestation. Nonetheless, more than forty years of constitutional jurisprudence have entrenched a vision of constitutional equality that privileges what I refer to herein as the “right to compete.” Simply put, the Supreme Court has repeatedly embraced the view that the Equal Protection Clause mandates the government to allocate public benefits — such ...


Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan P. Feingold Apr 2019

Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In the ongoing litigation of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, Harvard faces allegations that its once-heralded admissions process discriminates against Asian Americans. Public discourse has revealed a dominant narrative: affirmative action is viewed as the presumptive cause of Harvard’s alleged “Asian penalty.” Yet this narrative misrepresents the plaintiff’s own theory of discrimination. Rather than implicating affirmative action, the underlying allegations portray the phenomenon of “negative action” — that is, an admissions regime in which White applicants take the seats of their more qualified Asian-American counterparts. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a broad failure to see this case for ...


Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2019

Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

For four decades, the diversity rationale has offered a lifeline to affirmative action in higher education. Yet even after forty years, this critical feature of equal protection doctrine remains constitutionally insecure and politically fraught. Legal challenges persist, the Justice Department has launched a new assault on race-conscious admissions, and an impending shift on the Supreme Court could usher in an era of increased hostility toward the concept of diversity itself. The future of race-conscious admissions arguably hangs in the balance.

In this Article, I argue that the diversity rationale’s present fragility rests, in part, on its defenders’ failure to ...


Diversity Drift, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2019

Diversity Drift, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Diversity may be under attack in the age of Trump, but higher education in America has its own diversity problem. If mission statements and strategic plans offer any guidance, many of America’s colleges and universities actively value diversity. Yet even as calls for diversity grow, these calls far too often lack a clear and coherent normative anchor. Institutions often seek “diversity” without first having done the work to define, precisely, why they want diversity, or to identify, concretely, what sorts of diversity will get them there.

As a result, universities have become susceptible to diversity drift, whereby good intentions ...


What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2018

What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Women involved in the most recent wave of the #MeToo movement have rightly received praise for breaking long-held silences about harassment in the workplace. The movement, however, has also rightly received criticism for both initially ignoring the role that a woman of color played in founding the movement ten years earlier and in failing to recognize the unique forms of harassment and the heightened vulnerability to harassment that women of color frequently face in the workplace. This Essay highlights and analyzes critical points at which the contributions and experiences of women of color, particularly black women, were ignored in the ...


Martin Luther King Jr. And Pretext Stops (And Arrests): Reflections On How Far We Have Not Come Fifty Years Later, Tracey Maclin, Maria Savarese Jun 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. And Pretext Stops (And Arrests): Reflections On How Far We Have Not Come Fifty Years Later, Tracey Maclin, Maria Savarese

Faculty Scholarship

By January, 1956, the Montgomery Bus boycott was in full-swing. Black citizens in Montgomery, Alabama were refusing to ride the city’s private buses to protest racially segregated seating. On the afternoon of January 26, 1956, twenty-seven-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. had finished his day of work at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. On his drive home, King stopped his vehicle to offer a ride to a group of bus boycotters standing at a downtown car-pool location. After the boycotters entered King’s car, two motorcycle policemen pulled-in behind King’s vehicle. While everyone in King’s car ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship

In McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court rendered statistical evidence of racial disparities doctrinally irrelevant to a criminal defendant’s equal protection claim. Fifteen years later in Grutter v. Bollinger, Chief Justice Rehnquist—part of the McCleskey majority—invoked admissions data to support his conclusion that the University of Michigan Law School had unconstitutionally discriminated against White applicants. This facially inconsistent treatment of statistical data invites the following inquiry: Why do judges (including Supreme Court Justices) rely on social science in some cases, yet reject it in others? We suggest that one answer lies at the intersection of Critical Race ...


Excavating Race-Based Disadvantage Among Class-Privileged People Of Color, Khiara Bridges Jan 2018

Excavating Race-Based Disadvantage Among Class-Privileged People Of Color, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

The aim of this article is to begin to theorize the fraught space within which class-privileged racial minorities exist — the disadvantage within their privilege. The article posits that the invisibility of the racial subordination of wealthier people of color (that is, their marginalization on account of their race) is fertile soil for the germination of post-racialism — the sense that we, as a nation, have overcome our racial problems. The dramatic visibility of the minority poor’s suffering, combined with the relative invisibility of the suffering of those minorities who are not poor, breeds the belief that class is now the ...


Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2018

Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a twofold crisis: police killings of people of color and unaccountability for these killings in the criminal justice system. In many instances, the officers’ use of deadly force is captured on video and often appears clearly unjustified, but grand and petit juries still fail to indict and convict, leaving many baffled. This Article provides an explanation for these failures: juror reliance on “racial character evidence.” Too often, jurors consider race as evidence in criminal trials, particularly in police killing cases where the victim was a person of color. Instead of focusing on admissible evidence, jurors ...


Toward A Critical Race Theory Of Evidence, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jun 2017

Toward A Critical Race Theory Of Evidence, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars, judges, and lawyers have long believed that evidence rules apply equally to all persons regardless of race. This Article challenges this assumption and reveals how evidence law structurally disadvantages people of color. A critical race analysis of stand-your-ground defenses, cross-racial eyewitness misidentifications, and minority flight from racially-targeted police profiling and violence uncovers the existence of a dual-race evidentiary system. This system is reminiscent of nineteenth century race-based witness competency rules that barred people of color from testifying against white people. I deconstruct this problem and introduce the original concept of “racialized reality evidence.” This construct demonstrates how evidence of ...


Policing The Boundaries Of Whiteness: The Tragedy Of Being “Out Of Place” From Emmett Till To Trayvon Martin, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Mar 2017

Policing The Boundaries Of Whiteness: The Tragedy Of Being “Out Of Place” From Emmett Till To Trayvon Martin, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

This Article takes what many view as an extraordinary case about racial hatred from 1955, the Emmett Till murder and trial, and analyzes it against the Trayvon Martin killing and trial outcome in 2012 and 2013. Specifically, this Article exposes one important, but not yet explored similarity between the two cases: their shared role in policing the boundaries of whiteness as a means of preserving the material and the psychological benefits of whiteness. This policing occurred in a variety of forms, including: (1) maintaining white racial separation; (2) facilitating cross-class, white racial solidarity; (3) articulating blackness, and specifically black maleness ...


On Empathy, Ronald Wheeler Jul 2016

On Empathy, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Wheeler discusses the deadly mass shooting of June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, and his belief that more empathy is needed in the world. Wheeler then relates, through personal anecdotes, his own journey toward empathy. He concedes that there is no recipe for empathy, but believes that sharing personal stories can spur conversation, thinking, and collective action.


Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges Jan 2016

Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

This Article conducts a critique of class-based affirmative action, identifying and problematizing the narrative that it tells about racial progress. The Article argues that class-based affirmative action denies that race is a significant feature of American life. It denies that individuals - and groups - continue to be advantaged and disadvantaged on account of race. It denies that there is such a thing called race privilege that materially impacts people’s worlds. Moreover, this Article suggests that at least part of the reason why class-based affirmative action has been embraced by those who oppose race-based affirmative action is precisely because it denies ...


Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman Dec 2015

Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman

Faculty Scholarship

Racial minorities are disproportionately imprisoned in the United States. This disparity is unlikely to be due solely to differences in criminal behavior. Behavioral science research has documented that prosecutors harbor unconscious racial biases. These unconscious biases play a role whenever prosecutors exercise their broad discretion, such as in choosing what crimes to charge and when negotiating plea bargains. To reduce this risk of unconscious racial bias, we propose a policy change: Prosecutors should be blinded to the race of criminal defendants wherever feasible. This could be accomplished by removing information identifying or suggesting the defendant’s race from police dossiers ...


Reparations For Slavery And Jim Crow, Its Assumptions And Implications, David Lyons Oct 2015

Reparations For Slavery And Jim Crow, Its Assumptions And Implications, David Lyons

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops the case for reparations to African Americans today, based on wrongdoing that began with slavery, that was not repaired by Reconstruction, that was continued in new forms under Jim Crow, and that left a deeply-entrenched legacy of disadvantage despite civil rights reforms of the twentieth century. It reviews relevant aspects of U.S. history and policies since 1607 and lays out the moral considerations that call for a system of reparations far beyond anything yet contemplated by American society. It argues that cash payments, while needed, would not suffice, because slavery and Jim Crow were not just ...


Michael Brown, Eric Garner, And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler Jul 2015

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Wheeler discusses the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. He posits that racialized fear is part of what fuels such violence and discusses examples of how racialized fear have impacted his personal life. Wheeler then discusses how and why law librarians can and should be prepared to discuss such events with their law library patrons.


We All Do It: Unconscious Behavior, Bias, And Diversity, Ronald Wheeler Apr 2015

We All Do It: Unconscious Behavior, Bias, And Diversity, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Mr. Wheeler suggests that many of our behaviors, in the workplace and elsewhere, are motivated by unconscious triggers and emotions, including racial biases. These behaviors, however, can be prevented by making conscious choices that enhance diversity.


Judging Opportunity Lost: Assessing The Viability Of Race-Based Affirmative Action After Fisher V. University Of Texas, Austin, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mario Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky Feb 2015

Judging Opportunity Lost: Assessing The Viability Of Race-Based Affirmative Action After Fisher V. University Of Texas, Austin, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mario Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, Mario Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Angela Onwuachi-Willig examine and analyze one recent, affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin, as a means of highlighting why the anti-subordination or equal opportunity approach, as opposed to the anti-classification approach, is the correct approach for analyzing equal protection cases. In so doing, these authors highlight several opportunities that the U.S. Supreme Court missed to acknowledge and explicate the way in which race, racism, and racial privilege operate in society and thus advance the anti-subordination approach to equal protection. In the end, the authors suggest that, with regard ...


Windsor, Surrogacy, And Race, Khiara Bridges Dec 2014

Windsor, Surrogacy, And Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and activists interested in racial justice have long been opposed to surrogacy arrangements, wherein a couple commissions a woman to become pregnant, give birth to a baby, and surrender the baby to the couple to raise as its own. Their fear has been that surrogacy arrangements will magnify racial inequalities inasmuch as wealthy white people will look to poor women of color to carry and give birth to the white babies that the couples covet. However, perhaps critical thinkers about race should reconsider their contempt for surrogacy following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor ...


Competitive Federalism: Five Clarifying Questions, Larry Yackle Jul 2014

Competitive Federalism: Five Clarifying Questions, Larry Yackle

Faculty Scholarship

Before I looked into the two fine books we are reviewing here,1 I would have said that arguments from federalism are typically fraudulent, neither more nor less than deliberate attempts to cloud the discussion of real issues. Now that I have read what Sotirios A. Barber and Michael S. Greve have written, I am largely confirmed in my prejudices. But my suspicions about federalism contentions have been shaken a bit – enough to ask some questions of Professor Greve, whose answers might persuade me that there is some good in this federalism business, after all. I doubt it, but I ...


Introduction: Challenging Authority: A Symposium Honoring Derrick Bell, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jul 2014

Introduction: Challenging Authority: A Symposium Honoring Derrick Bell, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

This is the Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh Law Review’s Challenging Authority: A Symposium Honoring Derrick Bell (L.L.B. 1957). This special symposium issue of the 75th volume of the Law Review celebrates and seeks to continue Bell’s critical inquiry into and fight against racial injustice. It features leading and emerging voices that examine and build upon some of Bell’s most eminent concepts, such as the permanence of racism and Interest Convergence Theory; explore Bell’s impact as a professor and activist; and look ahead to the next wave of critical race study.


Let's Talk About Race, Ronald Wheeler Apr 2014

Let's Talk About Race, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Despite other scholars’ suggestions that law librarianship and the American Association of Law Libraries lack diversity, Mr. Wheeler examines numerical and anecdotal data indicating that efforts to promote racial and ethnic diversity within AALL and the profession are beginning to show positive results.


Language Disenfranchisement In Juries: A Call For Constitutional Remediation, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Apr 2014

Language Disenfranchisement In Juries: A Call For Constitutional Remediation, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Approximately thirteen million U.S. citizens, mostly Latinos and other people of color, are denied the right to serve on juries due to English language requirements and despite the possibility (and centuries-old tradition) of juror language accommodation. This exclusion results in the underrepresentation of racial minorities on juries and has a detrimental impact on criminal defendants, the perceived legitimacy of the justice system, and citizen participation in democracy. Yet, it has been virtually ignored. This Article examines the constitutionality of juror language requirements, focusing primarily on equal protection and the fair cross section requirement of the Sixth Amendment. Finding the ...


Race Inequity Fifty Years Later: Language Rights Under The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2014

Race Inequity Fifty Years Later: Language Rights Under The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

As Latinos have become the largest racialized minority in the United States, we should ask whether the civil rights laws of yesterday are equipped to address the race problems of today. Half a century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racial discrimination still exists, but it manifests itself differently. Rather than explicitly barring someone from employment, education, public accommodations, or civic participation on the basis of his or her race, racially discriminatory exclusion is often couched in seemingly race-neutral terms. English language requirements are one example of this. A sign outside a restaurant stating, “No Mexicans ...


The Dangerous Law Of Biological Race, Khiara Bridges Oct 2013

The Dangerous Law Of Biological Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

The idea of biological race -- a conception of race that postulates that racial groups are distinct, genetically homogenous units -- has experienced a dramatic resurgence in popularity in recent years. It is commonly understood, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the idea that races are genetically uniform groupings of individuals. Almost a century ago, the Court famously appeared to recognize the socially constructed nature of race. Moreover, the jurisprudence since then appears to reaffirm this disbelief: within law, race is understood to be a social construction, having no biological truth to it at all. Yet upon closer examination ...


A Room With Many Views: A Response To Essays On According To Our Hearts: Rhinelander V. Rhinelander And The Multiracial Family, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jul 2013

A Room With Many Views: A Response To Essays On According To Our Hearts: Rhinelander V. Rhinelander And The Multiracial Family, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

At the outset, l should note that I am very grateful to all contributors in this issue-Professors Kerry Abrams, Jacquelyn Bridgeman, Jennifer Chacon, Robin Lenhardt, and Laura Rosenbury for their insightful, powerful, and stirring reactions to my book According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family, and to Professor Melissa Murray for her elegant Foreword to this issue. Reading the responses of these scholars whom I admire and respect has been exhilarating and affirming. Indeed, seeing the many ways in which just a small group of these reviewers have examined, interpreted, and even "felt ...


Israel’S Rosit The Riveter: Between Secular Law And Jewish Law, Pnina Lahav May 2013

Israel’S Rosit The Riveter: Between Secular Law And Jewish Law, Pnina Lahav

Faculty Scholarship

In the world of Judaism, the “end of men” is not in sight. Surely, tectonic plates are sliding and shifting, and a great deal of change is unfolding, but men are fighting hard to keep patriarchy alive. Deep inside, the Orthodox patriarchal man may be motivated by the sheer impulse to maintain his power, but outwardly he projects a profound commitment to his religious law, the law of God. He believes that his fight is a noble one ordained by divine will and that God is on his side. The problem is global; it appears in every Jewish community around ...