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Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus Jan 2019

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In The Accumulation of Advantages, the picture that Professor Owen Fiss paints about equality during and since the Second Reconstruction is largely a picture in black and white. That makes some sense. The black/white experience is probably the most important throughline in the story of equal protection. It was the central theme of both the First and Second Reconstructions. In keeping with that orientation, the picture of disadvantage described by Fiss’s theory of cumulative responsibility is largely drawn from the black/white experience. Important as it is, however, the black/white experience does not exhaust the subject of ...


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

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 ...


They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2017

They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

In American law, Native nations (denominated in the Constitution and elsewhere as “tribes”) are sovereigns with a direct relationship with the federal government. Tribes’ governmental status situates them differently from other minority groups for many legal purposes, including equal protection analysis. Under current equal protection doctrine, classifications that further the federal government’s unique relationship with tribes and their members are subject to rationality review. Yet this deferential approach has recently been subject to criticism and is currently being challenged in the courts. Swept up in the larger drift toward colorblind or race-neutral understandings of the Constitution, advocates and commentators ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2017

Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This Article considers firearms prohibitions for domestic violence offenders, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions and the larger, national debate about gun control. Unlike other scholarship in the area, it confronts the costs of ratcheting up the scope and enforcement of such firearms bans and argues that the politicization of safety has come at the expense of a sound approach to gun control in the context of intimate-partner abuse. In doing so, it expands scholarly arguments against mandatory, one-size-fits-all criminal justice responses to domestic violence in a direction that other critics have been reluctant to go, perhaps because of ...


Performative Privacy, Scott Skinner-Thompson Jan 2017

Performative Privacy, Scott Skinner-Thompson

Articles

Broadly speaking, privacy doctrine suggests that the right to privacy is non-existent once one enters the public realm. Although some scholars contend that privacy ought to exist in public, “public privacy” has been defended largely with reference to other, ancillary values privacy may serve. For instance, public privacy may be necessary to make the freedom of association meaningful in practice.

This Article identifies a new dimension of public privacy, supplementing extant justifications for the right, by arguing that many efforts to maintain privacy while in “public” are properly conceptualized as forms of performative, expressive resistance against an ever-pervasive surveillance society ...


Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott Dec 2016

Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

In case after case, prosecutors, judges and juries therefore still struggle to come up with a definition of slavery, looking for some set of criteria or indicia that will enable them to discern whether the phenomenon they are observing constitutes enslavement. In this definitional effort, contemporary jurists may imagine that in the past, surely the question was simpler: someone either was or was not a slave. However, the existence of a set of laws declaring that persons could be owned as property did not, even in the nineteenth century, answer by itself the question of whether a given person was ...


Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2016

Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

In this Article, I explore why measuring disparate-treatment discrimination by police is so difficult, and consider the ways that researchers' existing tools can make headway on these challenges and the ways they fall short. Lab experiments have provided useful information about implicit racial bias, but they cannot directly tell us how these biases actually affect real-world behavior. Meanwhile, for observational researchers, there are various hurdles, but the hardest one to overcome is generally the absence of data on the citizen conduct that at least partially shapes policing decisions. Most crime, and certainly most noncriminal "suspicious" or probable-cause-generating behavior, goes unreported ...


Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article is adapted from remarks presented at CWRU Law School's symposium marking the 20th anniversary of Whren v. United States. The article critiques Whren’s constitutional methodology and evident willful blindness to issues of social psychology, unconscious bias, and the lengthy American history of racialized conceptions of crime and criminalized conceptions of race. The article concludes by suggesting a possible path forward: reconceptualizing racially motivated pretextual police encounters as a badge or incident of slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment issue rather than as abstract Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment issues.


Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

As part of a symposium marking the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment, this Article briefly explores whether the Thirteenth Amendment applies to class-based subordination. While recognizing that the increasingly rigid class-based stratification of our society, rampant discrimination against the poor, increasing income inequality, and the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of so few are all pressing social challenges that the legal system must address, this Article concludes that generalized class-based discrimination likely would not fall within the scope of the “badges and incidents of slavery” that the Amendment prohibits.

This Article argues, however, that the Thirteenth Amendment's ...


Revoking Rights, Craig J. Konnoth Jan 2015

Revoking Rights, Craig J. Konnoth

Articles

In important areas of law, such as the vested rights doctrine, and in several important cases--including those involving the continued validity of same-sex marriages and the Affordable Care Act--courts have scrutinized the revocation of rights once granted more closely than the failure to provide the rights in the first place. This project claims that in so doing, courts seek to preserve important constitutional interests. On the one hand, based on our understanding of rights possession, rights revocation implicates autonomy interests of the rights holder to a greater degree than a failure to afford rights at the outset. On the other ...


Constitutional Concern, Membership, And Race, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2014

Constitutional Concern, Membership, And Race, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

American Indian Tribes in the United States have a unique legal and political status shaped by fluctuating federal policies and the over-arching history of this country’s brand of settler-colonialism. One of the several legacies of this history is that federally recognized tribes have membership rules that diverge significantly from typical state or national citizenship criteria. These rules and their history are poorly understood by judges and members of the public, leading to misunderstandings about the “racial” status of tribes and Indian people, and on occasion to incoherent and damaging decisions on a range of Indian law issues. This article ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2014

The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article builds upon remarks the author originally delivered at the Nineteenth Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society at NYU Law in November of 2014. The Article describes the history and purpose of the Thirteenth Amendment’s proscription of the badges and incidents of slavery and argues that an understanding of the Amendment's context and its Framers' intent can provide the basis for a more progressive vision for advancing civil rights. The Article discusses how the Thirteenth Amendment could prove to be more effective in addressing persisting forms of inequality that have escaped the reach of ...


Grutter's Denouement: Three Templates From The Roberts Court, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Grutter's Denouement: Three Templates From The Roberts Court, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Precedent from the Roberts Court shows the Justices taking three distinct approaches to precedent they dislike. Each provides a template for the Court to criticize race-based affirmative action in higher education, as Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is widely expected to do. Most narrowly, the Court might use Fisher to issue a warning, much like it did in 2009 when it sidestepped a constitutional challenge to the Voting Rights Act; under this approach, the opinion would spell out why the Justices think the diversity celebrated in Grutter v. Bollinger no longer provides sufficient justification for the use of ...


The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2013

The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article, an expanded version of the author's remarks at the 2013 Honorable Clifford Scott Green Lecture at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, illuminates the history and the context of the Thirteenth Amendment. This article contends that the full scope of the Thirteenth Amendment has yet to be realized and offers reflections on why it remains an underenforced constitutional norm. Finally, this article demonstrates the relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment to addressing contemporary forms of racial inequality and subordination.


On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The State of Texas is presently staking out two positions that are not typically pursued by a single litigant. On the one hand, Texas is seeking the invalidation of the Voting Rights Act, and, on the other, the State is now defending the validity of the expansive race-based affirmative action policy it uses at its flagship university. This Essay presses the claim that Texas has increased the chance it will lose in bothTexas v. Holder andFisher v. University of Texas because it has opted to stake out markedly extreme positions in each. I argue that Texas would be more likely ...


Inextricably Political: Race, Membership, And Tribal Sovereignty, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2012

Inextricably Political: Race, Membership, And Tribal Sovereignty, Sarah Krakoff

Articles

Courts address equal protection questions about the distinct legal treatment of American Indian tribes in the following dichotomous way: are classifications concerning American Indians "racial or political?" If the classification is political (i.e., based on federally recognized tribal status or membership in a federally recognized tribe) then courts will not subject it to heightened scrutiny. If the classification is racial rather than political, then courts may apply heightened scrutiny. This Article challenges the dichotomy itself. The legal categories "tribe" and "tribal member" are themselves political, and reflect the ways in which tribes and tribal members have been racialized by ...


The Paradox Of Political Power: Post-Racialism, Equal Protection, And Democracy, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2012

The Paradox Of Political Power: Post-Racialism, Equal Protection, And Democracy, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Racial minorities have achieved unparalleled electoral success in recent years. Simultaneously, they have continued to rank at or near the bottom in terms of health, wealth, income, education, and the effects of the criminal justice system. Social conservatives, including those on the Supreme Court, have latched onto evidence of isolated electoral success as proof of “post-racialism,” while ignoring the evidence of continued disparities for the vast majority of people of color.

This Essay will examine the tension between the Court's conservatives' repeated calls for minorities to achieve their goals through the political process and the Supreme Court's increasingly ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2012

The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment’s Framers envisioned the Amendment as providing federal authority to eliminate the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The freemen and their descendants are the most likely to be burdened with the effects of stigma, stereotypes, and structural discrimination arising from the slave system. Because African Americans are therefore the most obvious beneficiaries of the Amendment’s promise to eliminate the legacy of slavery, it is often mistakenly assumed that federal power to eradicate the badges and incidents of slavery only permits remedies aimed at redressing the subordination of African Americans. While African Americans were the primary victims ...


Documentary Disenfranchisement, Jessie Allen Jan 2011

Documentary Disenfranchisement, Jessie Allen

Articles

In the generally accepted picture of criminal disenfranchisement in the United States today, permanent voting bans are rare. Laws on the books in most states now provide that people with criminal convictions regain their voting rights after serving their sentences. This Article argues that the legal reality may be significantly different. Interviews conducted with county election officials in New York suggest that administrative practices sometimes transform temporary voting bans into lifelong disenfranchisement. Such de facto permanent disenfranchisement has significant political, legal, and cultural implications. Politically, it undermines the comforting story that states’ legislative reforms have ameliorated the antidemocratic interaction of ...


On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris Jan 2011

On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris

Articles

In just a few years, seven decades will have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. U.S., one of the most reviled of all of the Court’s cases. Despised or not, however, similarities between the World War II era and our own have people looking at Korematsu in a new light. When the Court decided Korematsu in 1944, we were at war with the Japanese empire, and with this came considerable suspicion of anyone who shared the ethnicity of our foreign enemies. Since 2001, we have faced another external threat – from the al ...


Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article seeks to transform how we think about “affirmative action.” The Supreme Court’s affirmative action jurisprudence appears to be a seamless whole, but closer examination reveals important differences. Government race-consciousness sometimes grants a benefit to members of a minority group for remedial or diversifying purposes. But the government may also undertake remedial or diversifying race-conscious action without it resulting in unequal treatment or disadvantage to non-minorities. Under the Court’s current equal protection doctrine, both categories of cases are treated as presumptively unconstitutional. Race-consciousness itself has become a constitutional harm, regardless of tangible effects.

Prior scholarship has suggested ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment was intended to eliminate the institution of slavery and to eliminate the legacy of slavery. Having accomplished the former, the Amendment has only rarely been extended to the latter. The Thirteenth Amendment’s great promise therefore remains unrealized.

This Article explores the gap between the Thirteenth Amendment’s promise and its implementation. Drawing on Critical Race Theory, this Article argues that the relative underdevelopment of Thirteenth Amendment doctrine is due in part to a lack of perceived interest convergence in eliminating what the Amendment’s Framers called the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The theory of interest ...


Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2010

Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1 has been extensively analyzed as the latest step in the Court's long struggle with the desegregation of public schools. This Article examines the decision's implications for the full range of equal protection doctrine dealing with benign or remedial race and sex classifications. Parents Involved revealed a sharp division on the Court over whether government may consciously try to promote substantive equality. In the past, such efforts have been subject to an equal protection analysis that allows race-conscious or sex-conscious state action, contingent ...


The Supreme Court's Post-Racial Turn Towards A Zero-Sum Understanding Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2010

The Supreme Court's Post-Racial Turn Towards A Zero-Sum Understanding Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

The Supreme Court--along with the rest of the country--has long divided over the question whether the United States has yet achieved a 'post-racial" society in which race no longer matters in significant ways. How, if at all, this debate is resolved carries enormous implications for constitutional and statutory antidiscrimination law. Indeed, a post-racial discomfort with noticing and acting upon race supports a zero-sum approach to equality: if race no longer matters to the distribution of life opportunities, a decision maker's concern for the disparities experienced by members of one racial group may be seen as inextricable from its intent ...


The Missing Minority Judges, Pat K. Chew, Luke T. Kelley-Chew Jan 2010

The Missing Minority Judges, Pat K. Chew, Luke T. Kelley-Chew

Articles

This essay documents the lack of Asian-American judges and considers the consequences.


Treaties As Law And The Rule Of Law: The Judicial Power To Compel Domestic Treaty Implementation, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2010

Treaties As Law And The Rule Of Law: The Judicial Power To Compel Domestic Treaty Implementation, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Supremacy Clause makes the Constitution, federal statutes, and ratified treaties part of the "supreme law of the land." Despite the textual and historical clarity of the Supremacy Clause, some courts and commentators have suggested that the "non-self-executing treaty doctrine" means that ratified treaties must await implementing legislation before they become domestic law. The non-self-executing treaty doctrine has in particular been used as a shield to claims under international human rights treaties.

This Article does not seek to provide another critique of the non-self-executing treaty doctrine in the abstract. Rather, I suggest that a determination that a treaty is non-self-executing ...