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United States Supreme Court

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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

The New Impartial Jury Mandate, Richard Lorren Jolly Feb 2019

The New Impartial Jury Mandate, Richard Lorren Jolly

Michigan Law Review

Impartiality is the cornerstone of the Constitution’s jury trial protections. Courts have historically treated impartiality as procedural in nature, meaning that the Constitution requires certain prophylactic procedures that secure a jury that is more likely to reach verdicts impartially. But in Peña- Rodriguez v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 855 (2017), the Supreme Court recognized for the first time an enforceable, substantive component to the mandate. There, the Court held that criminal litigants have a Sixth Amendment right to jury decisions made without reliance on extreme bias, specifically on the basis of race or national origin. The Court did not ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


The Color Of Perspective: Affirmative Action And The Constitutional Rhetoric Of White Innocence, Cecil J. Hunt Ii Feb 2018

The Color Of Perspective: Affirmative Action And The Constitutional Rhetoric Of White Innocence, Cecil J. Hunt Ii

Cecil J. Hunt II

This Article discusses the Supreme Court's use of the rhetoric of White innocence in deciding racially-inflected claims of constitutional shelter. It argues that the Court's use of this rhetoric reveals its adoption of a distinctly White-centered perspective, representing a one-sided view of racial reality that distorts the Court's ability to accurately appreciate the true nature of racial reality in contemporary America. This Article examines the Court's habit of using a White-centered perspective in constitutional race cases. Specifically, it looks at the Court's use of the rhetoric of White innocence in the context of the Court ...


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.


The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii Sep 2015

The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article advocates for a fundamental re-understanding about the way that the history of race is understood by the current Supreme Court. Represented by the racial rights opinions of Justice John Roberts that celebrate racial progress, the Supreme Court has equivocated and rendered obsolete the historical experiences of people of color in the United States. This jurisprudence has in turn reified the notion of color-blindness, consigning racial discrimination to a distant and discredited past that has little bearing to how race and inequality is experienced today. The racial history of the Roberts Court is centrally informed by the context and ...


Backsliding: The United States Supreme Court, Shelby County V. Holder And The Dismantling Of Voting Rights Act Of 1965, Bridgette Baldwin Apr 2015

Backsliding: The United States Supreme Court, Shelby County V. Holder And The Dismantling Of Voting Rights Act Of 1965, Bridgette Baldwin

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John Powell, Stephen Menendian Mar 2015

Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John Powell, Stephen Menendian

john a. powell

This Article investigates the potential ramifications of Fisher v. Texas and the future of race-conscious university admissions. Although one cannot predict the ultimate significance of the Fisher decision, its brief and pregnant statements of law portends an increasingly perilous course for traditional affirmative action programs. Part I explores the opinions filed in Fisher, with a particular emphasis on Justice Kennedy’s opinion on behalf of the Court. We focus on the ways in which the Fisher decision departs from precedent, proscribes new limits on the use of race in university admissions, and tightens requirements for narrow tailoring. Part II investigates ...


A Nation Of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act At 50, Ellen D. Katz, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2015

A Nation Of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act At 50, Ellen D. Katz, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Books

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an extraordinary achievement of law, politics, and human rights. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Act's passage, it is appropriate to reflect on the successes and failures of the civil rights project reflected in the statute, as well as on its future directions. This volume represents an attempt to assess the Civil Rights Act's legacy.

On October 11, 2013, a diverse group of civil rights scholars met at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor to assess the interpretation, development, and administration of civil rights law in the five ...


Justice Ginsburg's Umbrella, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Justice Ginsburg's Umbrella, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

Near the end of her dissent in Shelby County v. Holder, Justice Ginsburg suggested a simple analogy to illustrate why the regional protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) were still necessary. She wrote that “[t]hrowing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”


On Class-Not-Race, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2015

On Class-Not-Race, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Book Chapters

Throughout the civil rights era, strong voices have argued that policy interventions should focus on class or socioeconomic status, not race. At times, this position-taking has seemed merely tactical, opportunistic, or in bad faith. Many who have opposed race-based civil rights interventions on this basis have not turned around to support robust efforts to reduce class-based or socioeconomic inequality. That sort of opportunism is interesting and important for understanding policy debates in civil rights, but it is not my focus here. I am more interested here in the people who clearly mean it. For example, President Lyndon Baines Johnson—who ...


Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

This chapter examines efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment in the period from United States v. Reese through Shelby County v. Holder. Reese and Shelby County expose the most rigorous stance the Court has employed to review congressional efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, while the years in-between show Congress and the Court working more in tandem, at times displaying remarkable indifference to blatant violations of the Fifteenth Amendment, and elsewhere working cooperatively to help vindicate the Amendment’s promise. Defying simple explanation, this vacillation between cooperation and resistance captures the complex and deeply consequential way concerns about federal power ...


Racial Profiling In The War On Drugs Meets The Immigration Removal Process: The Case Of Moncrieffe V. Holder, Kevin R. Johnson Jan 2015

Racial Profiling In The War On Drugs Meets The Immigration Removal Process: The Case Of Moncrieffe V. Holder, Kevin R. Johnson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In Moncrieffe v. Holder, the Supreme Court held that the Board of Immigration Appeals could not remove a long-term lawful permanent resident from the United States based on a single misdemeanor conviction for possession of a small amount of marijuana. The decision clarified the meaning of an “aggravated felony” for purposes of removal, an important question under the U.S. immigration laws. In the removal proceedings, Adrian Moncrieffe, a black immigrant from Jamaica, did not challenge his arrest and drug conviction. Consequently, the Supreme Court did not review the facts surrounding, or the lawfulness of, the criminal prosecution. Nonetheless, the ...


The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman Jul 2014

The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court has stated that the narrow-tailoring inquiry of the Equal Protection Clause’s strict scrutiny analysis of racially disparate treatment by state actors requires courts to consider whether the defendant seriously considered race-neutral alternatives before adopting the race-conscious program at issue. This article briefly examines what that means in the context of race-conscious admissions programs at colleges and universities. Part I sets forth the basic concepts that the Supreme Court uses to analyze race-conscious decision-making by governmental actors and describes the role of “race-neutral alternatives” in that scheme. Part II examines the nature of “race-neutral alternatives” and identifies ...


Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian Jul 2014

Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article investigates the potential ramifications of Fisher v. Texas and the future of race-conscious university admissions. Although one cannot predict the ultimate significance of the Fisher decision, its brief and pregnant statements of law portends an increasingly perilous course for traditional affirmative action programs. Part I explores the opinions filed in Fisher, with a particular emphasis on Justice Kennedy’s opinion on behalf of the Court. We focus on the ways in which the Fisher decision departs from precedent, proscribes new limits on the use of race in university admissions, and tightens requirements for narrow tailoring. Part II investigates ...


Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin Jul 2014

Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ultimately, I argue that one important response to the demise of race-based affirmative action should be to incorporate the experience of segregation into diversity strategies. A college applicant who has thrived despite exposure to poverty in his school or neighborhood deserves special consideration. Those blessed to come of age in poverty-free havens do not. I conclude that use of place, rather than race, in diversity programming will better approximate the structural disadvantages many children of color actually endure, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. While I propose substituting ...


Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander Jul 2014

Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Our exploration is organized as follows. In Part I, we sympathetically consider the very difficult dilemmas facing higher education leaders. Understanding the often irreconcilable pressures that constrain university administrators is essential if we are to envision the plausible policies they might undertake. In Part II, we draw on a range of data to illustrate some of the “properties” of admissions systems and, in particular, the ways in which race, SES, and academic preparation interact dynamically both within individual schools and across the educational spectrum. Partly because the questions we examine here have been so little studied, ideal data does not ...


Bottlenecks And Antidiscrimination Theory, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jun 2014

Bottlenecks And Antidiscrimination Theory, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Reviews

In American antidiscrimination theory, two positions have competed for primacy. One, anticlassification, sees the proper goal of antidiscrimination law as being essentially individualistic. The problem with discrimination, in this view, is that it classifies individuals on the basis of an irrelevant or arbitrary characteristic—and that it, as a result, denies them opportunities for which they are otherwise individually qualified. The other position, antisubordination, sees the proper goal of antidiscrimination law as being more group oriented. The problem with discrimination, in this view, is that it helps constitute a social system in which particular groups are systematically subject to disadvantage ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler Jan 2014

The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

How far does Justice Kennedy’s “moral and ethical obligation” to avoid racial isolation extend? Does the obligation flow primarily from Supreme Court case law, does it derive from an evolving consensus in the social sciences, or does it also have a statutory basis in Title VI and other federal law? In addition to its value as a justification for non-individualized, race-conscious remedial efforts by state and local governments, does the compelling interest identified in Parents Involved also suggest an affirmative duty on the part of the federal government? And if so, how far does this affirmative duty extend, and ...


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


Beyond The Civil Rights Act Of 1965: Confronting Structural Racism In The Workplace, William Wiecek, Judy Hamilton Dec 2013

Beyond The Civil Rights Act Of 1965: Confronting Structural Racism In The Workplace, William Wiecek, Judy Hamilton

William M. Wiecek

No abstract provided.


The Court Loses Its Way With The Global Positioning System: United States V. Jones Retreats To The “Classic Trespassory Search”, George M. Dery Iii, Ryan Evaro Dec 2013

The Court Loses Its Way With The Global Positioning System: United States V. Jones Retreats To The “Classic Trespassory Search”, George M. Dery Iii, Ryan Evaro

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article analyzes United States v. Jones, in which the Supreme Court considered whether government placement of a global positioning system (GPS) device on a vehicle to follow a person’s movements constituted a Fourth Amendment “search.” The Jones Court ruled that two distinct definitions existed for a Fourth Amendment “search.” In addition to Katz v. United States’s reasonable-expectation-of-privacy standard, which the Court had used exclusively for over four decades, the Court recognized a second kind of search that it called a “classic trespassory search.” The second kind of search occurs when officials physically trespass or intrude upon a ...


Categorically Black, White, Or Wrong: 'Misperception Discrimination' And The State Of Title Vii Protection, D. Wendy Greene Sep 2013

Categorically Black, White, Or Wrong: 'Misperception Discrimination' And The State Of Title Vii Protection, D. Wendy Greene

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article exposes an inconspicuous, categorically wrong movement within antidiscrimination law. A band of federal courts have denied Title VII protection to individuals who allege “categorical discrimination”: invidious, differential treatment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, or sex. Per these courts, a plaintiff who self-identifies as Christian but is misperceived as Muslim cannot assert an actionable claim under Title VII if she suffers an adverse employment action as a result of this misperception and related animus. Though Title VII expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, courts have held that such a plaintiff’s claim of ...


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


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 ...


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...