Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 49

Full-Text Articles in Law

Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert Mar 2023

Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert

Articles

This article presents results from the most comprehensive study to date of the resolution of qualified immunity in the federal courts of appeals and the US Supreme Court. By analyzing more than 4000 appellate decisions issued between 2004 and 2015, this study provides novel insights into how courts of appeals resolve arguments for qualified immunity. Moreover, by conducting an unprecedented analysis of certiorari practice, this study reveals how the US Supreme Court has exercised its discretionary jurisdiction in the area of qualified immunity. The data presented here have significant implications for civil rights enforcement and the uniformity of federal law. …


Qualified Immunity’S Flawed Foundation, Alexander A. Reinert Feb 2023

Qualified Immunity’S Flawed Foundation, Alexander A. Reinert

Articles

Qualified immunity has faced trenchant criticism for decades, but recent events have renewed focus on this powerful defense to liability for constitutional violations. This Article takes aim at the roots of the doctrine—fundamental errors that have never been excavated. First, this Article demonstrates that the Supreme Court’s qualified immunity jurisprudence is premised on a flawed application of a dubious canon of statutory construction—namely, that statutes in “derogation” of the common law should be strictly construed. Applying the Derogation Canon, the Court has held that 42 U.S.C. § 1983’s silence regarding immunity should be taken as an implicit adoption of common …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The concept and naming of “hate crime,” and the adoption of special laws to address it, provoked controversy and raised fundamental questions when they were introduced in the 1980s. In the decades since, neither hate crime itself nor those hotly debated questions have abated. To the contrary, hate crime has increased in recent years—although the prominent target groups have shifted over time—and the debate over hate crime laws has reignited as well. The still-open questions range from the philosophical to the doctrinal to the pragmatic: What justifies the enhanced punishment that hate crime laws impose based on the perpetrator’s motivation? …


Pandemic Rules: Covid-19 And The Prison Litigation Reform Act’S Exhaustion Requirement, Betsy Ginsberg, Margo Schlanger Jan 2022

Pandemic Rules: Covid-19 And The Prison Litigation Reform Act’S Exhaustion Requirement, Betsy Ginsberg, Margo Schlanger

Articles

For over twenty-five years, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) has undermined the constitutional rights of incarcerated people. For people behind bars and their allies, the PLRA makes civil rights cases harder to bring and harder to win—regardless of merit. We have seen the result in the wave of litigation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning March 2020, incarcerated people facing a high risk of infection because of their incarceration, and a high risk of harm because of their medical status, began to bring lawsuits seeking changes to the policies and practices augmenting the danger to them. Time and again, …


The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2021

The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Constitutional doctrine generally proceeds from the premise that the original intent and public understanding of pre-Civil War constitutional provisions carries forward unchanged from the colonial Founding era. This premise is flawed because it ignores the Nation’s Second Founding: i.e., the constitutional moment culminating in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments and the civil rights statutes enacted pursuant thereto. The Second Founding, in addition to providing specific new individual rights and federal powers, also represented a fundamental shift in our constitutional order. The Second Founding’s constitutional regime provided that the underlying systemic rules and norms of the First Founding’s Constitution …


Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen Jan 2021

Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen

Articles

This article investigates an anomalous legal ethics rule, and in the process exposes how current equal protection doctrine distorts civil rights regulation. When in 2016 the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct finally adopted its first ever rule forbidding discrimination in the practice of law, the rule carried a strange exemption: it does not apply to lawyers’ acceptance or rejection of clients. The exemption for client selection seems wrong. It contradicts the common understanding that in the U.S. today businesses may not refuse service on discriminatory grounds. It sends a message that lawyers enjoy a professional prerogative to discriminate against …


Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit Jan 2020

Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit

Articles

This Article is an interdisciplinary response to an entrenched legal and cultural problem. It incorporates legal analysis, religious study and the anthropological notion of “culture work” to consider death penalty abolitionism and prospects for abolishing the death penalty in the United States. The Article argues that abolitionists must reimagine their audiences and repackage their message for broader social consumption, particularly for Christian and conservative audiences. Even though abolitionists are characterized by some as “bleeding heart” liberals, this is not an accurate portrayal of how the death penalty maps across the political spectrum. Abolitionists must learn that conservatives are potential allies …


The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse: Origins And Goals, Margo Schlanger Nov 2018

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse: Origins And Goals, Margo Schlanger

Articles

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse (http://clearinghouse.net) solves a significant information deficit related to civil rights litigation by posting information about thousands of ongoing and closed large-scale civil rights cases. Documents are OCR’d and searchable; cases are searchable by metadata tags as well as full-text searching. Each case has a litigation summary by a law student. We live in a civil rights era—a time when people are using the courts, among other strategies, to fight for civil rights. The Clearinghouse posts the records of those fights, the stories of civil rights cases—across topics, across regions, across organizations—and makes them searchable, usable, …


The Technologies Of Race: Big Data, Privacy And The New Racial Bioethics, Christian Sundquist Jan 2018

The Technologies Of Race: Big Data, Privacy And The New Racial Bioethics, Christian Sundquist

Articles

Advancements in genetic technology have resurrected long discarded conceptualizations of “race” as a biological reality. The rise of modern biological race thinking – as evidenced in health disparity research, personal genomics, DNA criminal forensics, and bio-databanking - not only is scientifically unsound but portends the future normalization of racial inequality. This Article articulates a constitutional theory of shared humanity, rooted in the substantive due process doctrine and Ninth Amendment, to counter the socio-legal acceptance of modern genetic racial differentiation. It argues that state actions that rely on biological racial distinctions undermine the essential personhood of individuals subjected to such taxonomies, …


The Rugged Individual's Guide To The Fourth Amendment: How The Court's Idealized Citizen Shapes, Influences, And Excludes The Exercise Of Constitutional Rights, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2018

The Rugged Individual's Guide To The Fourth Amendment: How The Court's Idealized Citizen Shapes, Influences, And Excludes The Exercise Of Constitutional Rights, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

Few figures inspire us like individuals who stand up for their rights and beliefs despite the peril that may follow. One cannot help but feel awe looking at the famous photograph of the lone Tiananmen

Square protestor facing down a line of Red Army tanks, his willowy frame clothed in a simple white shirt and black pants as he holds a shopping bag. Or who can help but feel humbled by the courage of Rosa Parks, a seamstress, who was willing to be arrested rather than sit in the back of the bus?

But while these stories of everyday individuals …


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 prohibition …


Bridging The Gap Between Unmet Legal Needs And An Oversupply Of Lawyers: Creating Neighborhood Law Offices - The Philadelphia Experiment, Jules Lobel, Matthew Chapman Jan 2015

Bridging The Gap Between Unmet Legal Needs And An Oversupply Of Lawyers: Creating Neighborhood Law Offices - The Philadelphia Experiment, Jules Lobel, Matthew Chapman

Articles

In the United States there is, simultaneously, an abundance of unemployed lawyers and a significant unmet need for legal care among middle-class households. This unfortunate paradox is protected by ideological, cultural, and practical paradigms both inside the legal community and out. These paradigms include the legal chase for prestige, the consumer’s inability to recognize a legal need, and the growing mountain of debt new lawyers enter the profession with. This article will discuss a very successful National Lawyers Guild experiment from 1930s-era Philadelphia that addressed a similar situation, in a time with similar paradigms, by emphasizing community-connected lawyering. That is, …


Fifty Years After The Passage Of Title Vii: Is It Time For The Government To Use The Bully Pulpit To Enact A Status-Blind Harassment Statute, Marcia L. Narine Jan 2015

Fifty Years After The Passage Of Title Vii: Is It Time For The Government To Use The Bully Pulpit To Enact A Status-Blind Harassment Statute, Marcia L. Narine

Articles

No abstract provided.


Giving Meaning To 'Meaningful Access' In Medicaid Managed Care, Mary Crossley Jan 2014

Giving Meaning To 'Meaningful Access' In Medicaid Managed Care, Mary Crossley

Articles

As states seek to shift Medicaid recipients with disabilities out of traditional fee-for-service settings and into managed care plans, vexing questions arise about the impact on access to needed care and providers for beneficiaries with medically complex needs. With many states expanding their Medicaid program as part of health care reform and cost-containment pressures continuing to mount, this movement will likely accelerate over the next several years. This Article examines the possibility that disability discrimination law might provide a mechanism for prodding states in the planning stage to anticipate and plan for likely access issues, as well as for challenging …


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 the Equal …


Paternalistic Interventions In Civil Rights And Poverty Law: A Case Study Of Environmental Justice, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2014

Paternalistic Interventions In Civil Rights And Poverty Law: A Case Study Of Environmental Justice, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.


Objecting To Race, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2014

Objecting To Race, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.


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.


Legal Punishment As Civil Ritual: Making Cultural Sense Of Harsh Punishment, Spearit Jan 2013

Legal Punishment As Civil Ritual: Making Cultural Sense Of Harsh Punishment, Spearit

Articles

This work examines mass incarceration through a ritual studies perspective, paying explicit attention to the religious underpinnings. Conventional analyses of criminal punishment focus on the purpose of punishment in relation to legal or moral norms, or attempt to provide a general theory of punishment. The goals of this work are different, and instead try to understand the cultural aspects of punishment that have helped make the United States a global leader in imprisonment and execution. It links the boom in incarceration to social ruptures of the 1950s and 1960s and posits the United States’ world leader status as having more …


"He Is The Darkey With The Glasses On": Race Trials Revisited, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2013

"He Is The Darkey With The Glasses On": Race Trials Revisited, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 restrictive "colorblind" …


The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley Jan 2012

The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley

Articles

American society is becoming increasingly diverse. At the same time, the federal judiciary continues to be predominantly White. What difference does this make? This article offers an empirical answer to that question through an extensive study of workplace racial harassment cases. It finds that judges of different races reach different conclusions, with non-African American judges less likely to hold for the plaintiffs. It also finds that plaintiffs of different races fare differently, with African Americans the most likely to lose and Hispanics the most likely to be successful. Finally, countering the formalism model’s tenet that judges are color-blind, the results …


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 of slavery …


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 convergence, in its …


Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

In this article, I take a novel approach to the question of what constitutes a "tax." I argue that the unique burdens placed on same-sex couples by the federal and state "defense of marriage" acts (the DOMAs) constitute a tax on gay and lesbian families.

Classifying the DOMAs as a "tax" has important substantive and rhetorical consequences. As a tax, the DOMAs are subject to the same constitutional restrictions as other taxes. This opens them to challenge under the federal constitution's direct tax clauses and the uniformity clauses present in many state constitutions. Where such constitutional challenges are unavailable or …


Myth Of The Color-Blind Judge: An Empirical Analysis Of Racial Harassment Cases, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley Jan 2009

Myth Of The Color-Blind Judge: An Empirical Analysis Of Racial Harassment Cases, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley

Articles

This empirical study of over 400 federal cases, representing workplace racial harassment jurisprudence over a twenty-year period, found that judges' race significantly affects outcomes in these cases. African American judges rule differently than White judges, even when we take into account their political affiliation and case characteristics. At the same time, our findings indicate that judges of all races are attentive to relevant facts of the cases but interpret them differently. Thus, while we cannot predict how an individual judge might act, our study results strongly suggest that African American judges as a group and White judges as a group …


The Heart Of The Game: Putting Race And Educational Equity At The Center Of Title Ix, Deborah L. Brake, Verna L. Williams Jan 2008

The Heart Of The Game: Putting Race And Educational Equity At The Center Of Title Ix, Deborah L. Brake, Verna L. Williams

Articles

This article examines how race and educational equity issues shape women's sports experiences, building upon the narrative of Darnellia Russell, a high school basketball player profiled in the documentary The Heart of the Game. Darnellia is a star player who, because of an unintended pregnancy, has to fight to play the game she loves.

This girl's story provides a unique and underutilized lens through which to examine gender and athletics, as well as evaluate the legal framework for gender equality in sport. In focusing on this narrative, we seek to give voice to black female athletes and to express their …


The Inter-American Human Rights System: A Primer, Caroline Bettinger-López Jan 2008

The Inter-American Human Rights System: A Primer, Caroline Bettinger-López

Articles

No abstract provided.


Perceiving Subtle Sexism: Mapping The Social-Psychological Forces And Legal Narratives That Obscure Gender Bias, Deborah L. Brake Jan 2007

Perceiving Subtle Sexism: Mapping The Social-Psychological Forces And Legal Narratives That Obscure Gender Bias, Deborah L. Brake

Articles

This essay seeks to explain the Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education case as an interpretation of discrimination that notably and correctly focuses on how institutions cause sex-based harm, rather than on whether officials within chosen institutions act with a discriminatory intent. In the process, I discuss what appears to be the implicit theory of discrimination underlying the Davis decision: that schools cause the discrimination by exacerbating the harm that results from sexual harassment by students. I then explore the significance of the deliberate indifference requirement in this context, concluding that the standard, for all its flaws, is distinct …