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"Our Taxes Are Too Damn High": Institutional Racism, Property Tax Assessment, And The Fair Housing Act, Bernadette Atuahene 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

"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 ...


"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 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

"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 ...


Mccleskey V. Kemp: Field Notes From 1977-1991, John Charles Boger 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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 ...


Sky Is The Limit: Protecting Unaccompanied Minors By Not Subjecting Them To Numerical Limitations, Deborah S. Gonzalez Esq. 2018 Roger Williams University School of Law

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


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

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 ...


Mass Incarceration: Slavery Renamed, Samantha Pereira 2018 San Jose State University

Mass Incarceration: Slavery Renamed, Samantha Pereira

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

This paper aims to analyze the connections between slavery and mass incarceration. It begins by giving background information regarding the topic and setting the framework to argue that slavery was never abolished, but was instead continued using mass incarceration. The paper then goes on to further explain this concept by examining the constitutional and judicial laws in the United States, slave plantations and prisons, with regard to geographical, architectural, and operational design, and finally, the role of society in both systems. The framework for continuing slavery was set with the passing of the 13th Amendment and has since been expanded ...


Increasing Police Accountability And Improving Use Of Force Policies In The United States, Leica Kwong 2018 San Jose State University

Increasing Police Accountability And Improving Use Of Force Policies In The United States, Leica Kwong

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

Communities, and their respective police departments, have significant impacts on the social and legal matters they are involved with, making it crucial for both parties to strive to maintain strong, collaborative relationships. Positive interactions between police and the public are therefore extremely vital and beneficial to all involved. Police officers should be held accountable for their transgressions and subject to transparency for their on-duty actions through legal records. Several issues lie in the policies and procedures which requires more attention in its analysis. Changing policies and procedure in the United States regarding police use of force to remedy inconsistencies calls ...


Medical Apartheid: A Book Review, Carmen Kennedy 2018 San Jose State University

Medical Apartheid: A Book Review, Carmen Kennedy

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

No abstract provided.


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

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 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

“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 2018 University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

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 2018 Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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 2018 University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

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 2018 College of William & Mary Law School

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 Race, Gender, and Social Justice

No abstract provided.


Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Elevating A Constitutional Exception Above The Tanner Framework, Caroline Covington 2018 University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Elevating A Constitutional Exception Above The Tanner Framework, Caroline Covington

Maryland Law Review

No abstract provided.


Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu 2018 St. Mary's University School of Law

Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


Dead Canaries In The Coal Mines: The Symbolic Assailant Revisited, Jeannine Bell 2018 Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Dead Canaries In The Coal Mines: The Symbolic Assailant Revisited, Jeannine Bell

Georgia State University Law Review

The well-publicized deaths of several African-Americans—Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling among others—at the hands of police stem from tragic interactions predicated upon well-understood practices analyzed by police scholars since the 1950s. The symbolic assailant, a construct created by police scholar Jerome Skolnick in the mid-1960s to identify persons whose behavior and characteristics the police view as threatening, is especially relevant to contemporary policing. This Article explores the societal roots of the creation of a Black symbolic assailant in contemporary American policing.

The construction of African-American men as symbolic assailants is one of the most important factors ...


The School To Deportation Pipeline, Laila L. Hlass 2018 Tulane University

The School To Deportation Pipeline, Laila L. Hlass

Georgia State University Law Review

The United States immigration regime has a long and sordid history of explicit racism, including limiting citizenship to free whites, excluding Chinese immigrants, deporting massive numbers of Mexican immigrants and U.S. citizens of Mexican ancestry, and implementing a national quotas system preferencing Western Europeans. More subtle bias has seeped into the system through the convergence of the criminal and immigration law regimes.

Immigration enforcement has seen a rise in mass immigrant detention and deportation, bolstered by provocative language casting immigrants as undeserving undesirables: criminals, gang members, and terrorists. Immigrant children, particularly black and Latino boys, are increasingly finding themselves ...


Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing 2018 University of San Francisco

Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing

Texas A&M Law Review

During the early stages of the Trump ICE age, America seemed to be witnessing and experiencing an unparalleled era of immigration enforcement. But is it unparalleled? Did we not label Barack Obama the “deporter-inchief?” Was it not George W. Bush who used the authority of the Patriot Act to round up nonimmigrants from Muslim and Arab countries, and did his ICE not commonly engage in armed raids at factories and other worksites? Are there not strong parallels that can be drawn between Trump enforcement plans and actions and those of other eras? What about the fear and hysteria that seems ...


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