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Law and Race

2021

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Full-Text Articles in Law

In The Name Of Diversity: Why Mandatory Diversity Statements Violate The First Amendment And Reduce Intellectual Diversity In Academia, Daniel M. Ortner Dec 2021

In The Name Of Diversity: Why Mandatory Diversity Statements Violate The First Amendment And Reduce Intellectual Diversity In Academia, Daniel M. Ortner

Catholic University Law Review

In the 1950s and 1960s in many parts of the country, a professor could be fired or never hired if he refused to denounce communism or declare loyalty to the United States Constitution. The University of California system took the lead in enforcing these loyalty oaths. These loyalty oaths were challenged all the way up to the United States Supreme Court and were soundly rejected, establishing the centrality of academic freedom and open inquiry on the university campus. So why are loyalty oaths making their resurgence in the form of mandatory diversity statements? Universities have begun requiring faculty members to …


Admitting A Wrong: Apology For The Historical Injustice Of The Dred Scott Case, Laura Kyte Dec 2021

Admitting A Wrong: Apology For The Historical Injustice Of The Dred Scott Case, Laura Kyte

BYU Law Review

No abstract provided.


Challenging Solitary Confinement Through State Constitutions, Alison Gordon Dec 2021

Challenging Solitary Confinement Through State Constitutions, Alison Gordon

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Eighth Amendment jurisprudence has resulted in limited scrutiny of solitary confinement despite the known harms associated with the practice. The two-part test established by the federal courts to evaluate Eighth Amendment claims and limitations on challenging prison conditions under the Prison Litigation Reform Act can make it difficult to establish that solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment.

State constitutional challenges to solitary confinement are underexplored. Nearly all state constitutions contain an equivalent provision to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. State courts need not be bound by federal jurisprudence in interpreting the scope of the state …


Korematsu’S Ancestors, Mark A. Graber Dec 2021

Korematsu’S Ancestors, Mark A. Graber

Arkansas Law Review

Mark Killenbeck’s Korematsu v. United States has important affinities with Dred Scott v. Sandford. Both decisions by promoting and justifying white supremacy far beyond what was absolutely mandated by the constitutional text merit their uncontroversial inclusion in the anticanon of American constitutional law.3 Dred Scott held that former slaves and their descendants could not be citizens of the United States and that Congress could not ban slavery in American territories acquired after the Constitution was ratified.5 Korematsu held that the military could exclude all Japanese Americans from portions of the West Coast during World War II.6 Both decisions nevertheless provided …


Introduction To Re-Imagining “We The People" Part Two: Transcripts From The Aaj Education’S Civil Rights And Police Misconduct Litigation Seminar, Sarah Guidry Dec 2021

Introduction To Re-Imagining “We The People" Part Two: Transcripts From The Aaj Education’S Civil Rights And Police Misconduct Litigation Seminar, Sarah Guidry

The Bridge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Legal & Social Policy

With this issue of The Bridge, we continue the discussions raised in our Spring 2021 issue: Police Misconduct & Qualified Immunity: Reimagining "We the People”, Vol.6, Issue 1. That issue shared the transcription of the virtual national conference by the same name, and featured an esteemed group of experts who discussed the state of racial unrest in this country, historically and currently. To promote further dialogue and support those who work to establish stronger protections against the use and misuse of police violence, we herein highlight several key sessions featured at the recent American Association for Justice Civil Rights and …


Ute Indian Tribe Of The Uintah & Ouray Reservation V. U.S. Dep't Of Interior, Valan Anthos Dec 2021

Ute Indian Tribe Of The Uintah & Ouray Reservation V. U.S. Dep't Of Interior, Valan Anthos

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation brought 16 claims against federal agencies and the State of Utah for alleged mismanagement of water resources held in trust and for alleged discrimination in water allocation. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed several of the claims as time-barred and others as lacking a proper statutory basis to create an enforceable trust duty. The remaining claims were transferred to the United States District Court of the District of Utah because the events occurred in Utah and most of the parties reside there.


Migration And Mortality: Social Death, Dispossession, And Survival In The Americas, Miranda Cady Hallett, Joseph Nevins, Jamie Longazel, Amelia Frank-Vitale, Alicia Yvonne Estrada, Abby C. Wheatley Dec 2021

Migration And Mortality: Social Death, Dispossession, And Survival In The Americas, Miranda Cady Hallett, Joseph Nevins, Jamie Longazel, Amelia Frank-Vitale, Alicia Yvonne Estrada, Abby C. Wheatley

Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

This panel presents research from the new edited volume Migration and Mortality (edited by Longazel and Hallett, Temple University Press, 2021). Death threatens migrants physically during perilous border crossings between Central and North America, but many also experience legal, social, and economic mortality. Rooted in histories of colonialism and conquest, exclusionary policies and practices deliberately take aim at racialized, dispossessed people in transit. Once in the new land, migrants endure a web of systems across every facet of their world—work, home, healthcare, culture, justice—that strips them of their personhood, denies them resources, and creates additional obstacles that deprive them of …


Suspicionless Policing, Julian A. Cook Dec 2021

Suspicionless Policing, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

The tragic death of Elijah McClain—a twenty-three-year-old, slightly built, unarmed African American male who was walking home along a sidewalk when he was accosted by three Aurora, Colorado police officers—epitomizes the problems with policing that have become a prominent topic of national conversation. Embedded within far too many police organizations is a culture that promotes aggressive investigative behaviors and a disregard for individual liberties. Incentivized by a Supreme Court that has, over the course of several decades, empowered the police with expansive powers, law enforcement organizations have often tested—and crossed—the constitutional limits of their investigative authorities. And too often it …


Civil Asset Forfeitures: How Prosecutors Can Facilitate Community-Based Criminal Justice Reform, Lane Waples Dec 2021

Civil Asset Forfeitures: How Prosecutors Can Facilitate Community-Based Criminal Justice Reform, Lane Waples

Journal of Law and Policy

Criminal justice reform is elusive in the United States. Despite evidence that the system is broken, change remains ephemeral at best. This is partially attributable to the fact that most attempts to reform the criminal legal system have occurred through the political process. However, another method of criminal justice reform is to assist communities as they address the root causes of crime. Undergirding this approach is the belief that building stronger communities contributes to less crime and reduces recidivism. After seizing $250 million via prosecutions of financial crimes in 2016, the New York County District Attorney’s Office created a “first-of-its-kind” …


High Time For A Change: How The Relationship Between Signatory Countries And The United Nations Conventions Governing Narcotic Drugs Must Adapt To Foster A Global Shift In Cannabis Law, Alexander Clementi Dec 2021

High Time For A Change: How The Relationship Between Signatory Countries And The United Nations Conventions Governing Narcotic Drugs Must Adapt To Foster A Global Shift In Cannabis Law, Alexander Clementi

Brooklyn Journal of International Law

Since the early 1970’s, the inclusion of cannabis and its byproducts in the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has mandated a strict prohibition on cultivation and use of the substance, which has led to a largely global practice of criminalization and imprisonment of anyone found to be in its possession. Yet recently, mostly in response to growing public health concerns, countries like Uruguay, Portugal, The Netherlands, Canada, and the United States have enacted laws which seek to decriminalize or even legalize cannabis use and possession. Yet, cannabis remains classified as a Schedule IV narcotic under the Single Convention, …


The War On Drugs And Its Legal Effects On Black Americans, Alexia L. Howard-Mullins Dec 2021

The War On Drugs And Its Legal Effects On Black Americans, Alexia L. Howard-Mullins

2022 Symposium

The differences in treatment between Black and white Americans in the past fifty years has been a topic of thought in the minds of political and sociological scholars since the inception of the War on Drugs in 1971. These differences in treatment may lead to discrimination legally, resulting in longer prison sentences and a higher proportion of Black Americans in prison. This study analyzes the results of the War on Drugs that led to disproportionate imprisonment of Black Americans, including mandatory sentencing laws, drug classifications, and discrimination within law enforcement and the legal system. This study will use primary sources …


Deadly 'Toxins': A National Empirical Study Of Racial Bias And Future Dangerousness Determinations, Justin D. Levinson, G. Ben Cohen, Koichi Hioki Dec 2021

Deadly 'Toxins': A National Empirical Study Of Racial Bias And Future Dangerousness Determinations, Justin D. Levinson, G. Ben Cohen, Koichi Hioki

Georgia Law Review

Since the beginning of the modern Death Penalty Era, one of the most important—and fraught—areas of capital punishment has been the so-called “future dangerousness” determination, a threshold inquiry that literally rests the defendant’s life or death on jurors’ predictions of the future. An overwhelming majority of capital executions have occurred in jurisdictions that embrace the perceived legitimacy of the future dangerousness inquiry, despite its obvious flaws and potential connection to the age-old racial disparities that continue to plague capital punishment. This Article presents, and empirically tests, the hypothesis that jurors’ future dangerousness assessments cannot be separated from their racial and …


Black Deaths Matter: The Race-Of-Victim Effect And Capital Punishment, Daniel S. Medwed Dec 2021

Black Deaths Matter: The Race-Of-Victim Effect And Capital Punishment, Daniel S. Medwed

Brooklyn Law Review

The racial dimensions of the death penalty are well-documented. Many observers assume this state of affairs derives from bias—often implicit and occasionally explicit—against black defendants in particular. Research points to an even more alarming factor. The race of the victim, not the defendant, steers cases in the direction of death. Regardless of the perpetrator’s race, those who kill whites are more likely to face capital charges, receive a death sentence, and die by execution than those who murder blacks. This short Essay adds a contemporary gloss to the race-of-victim effect literature, placing it in the context of the Black Lives …


Through A Glass, Darkly: Systemic Racism, Affirmative Action, And Disproportionate Minority Contact, Robin Walker Sterling Dec 2021

Through A Glass, Darkly: Systemic Racism, Affirmative Action, And Disproportionate Minority Contact, Robin Walker Sterling

Michigan Law Review

This Article is the first to describe how systemic racism persists in a society that openly denounces racism and racist behaviors, using affirmative action and disproportionate minority contact as contrasting examples. Affirmative action and disproportionate minority contact are two sides of the same coin. Far from being distinct, these two social institutions function as two sides of the same ideology, sharing a common historical nucleus rooted in the mythologies that sustained chattel slavery in the United States. The effects of these narratives continue to operate in race-related jurisprudence and in the criminal legal system, sending normative messages about race and …


Constance Baker Motley’S Forgotten Housing Legacy, Donovan J. Stone Dec 2021

Constance Baker Motley’S Forgotten Housing Legacy, Donovan J. Stone

Utah Law Review

Constance Baker Motley led the legal assault on Jim Crow and became the first Black woman appointed to the federal bench. She spent two decades with the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, assisting Thurgood Marshall in Brown v. Board of Education. Afterward, she desegregated the South’s public schools and universities and argued ten cases before the Supreme Court, winning nine. Motley also represented countless protestors jailed for their activism, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

Despite Motley’s achievements, scholars have largely overlooked her career. And those who have examined Motley’s work have generally focused on her efforts to dismantle school …


The Myth Of The Great Writ, Leah M. Litman Dec 2021

The Myth Of The Great Writ, Leah M. Litman

Articles

Habeas corpus is known as the “Great Writ” because it supposedly protects individual liberty against government overreach and guards against wrongful detentions. This idea shapes habeas doctrine, federal courts theories, and habeas-reform proposals.

It is also incomplete. While the writ has sometimes protected individual liberty, it has also served as a vehicle for the legitimation of excesses of governmental power. A more complete picture of the writ emerges when one considers traditionally neglected areas of public law that are often treated as distinct—the law of slavery and freedom, Native American affairs, and immigration. There, habeas has empowered abusive exercises of …


The Extraordinary Criminal Law Jurisprudence Of Justice Ralph Gants, Nancy Gertner Nov 2021

The Extraordinary Criminal Law Jurisprudence Of Justice Ralph Gants, Nancy Gertner

Boston College Law Review

The untimely passing of Chief Justice Ralph Gants represented a tremendous loss to the Massachusetts court system and communities throughout the Commonwealth. Ralph Gants positively impacted countless lives through his work both on and off the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. From his advocacy against minimum mandatory sentencing and his promotion of racial justice, to his efforts to advance eyewitness identification, first-degree murder theory, and Brady protections for criminal defendants, Chief Justice Gants’s legacy reflects the visionary grandeur with which he tackled every issue presented to him. This Article honors his immense judicial legacy by considering several of the areas …


Reflections On A Revolution: How Chief Justice Gants Made Massachusetts A Leader In Eyewitness Identification Law, Radha Natarajan, Erik Doughty Nov 2021

Reflections On A Revolution: How Chief Justice Gants Made Massachusetts A Leader In Eyewitness Identification Law, Radha Natarajan, Erik Doughty

Boston College Law Review

Radha Natarajan and Erik Doughty reflect on the revolutionary contributions Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants made to eyewitness identification law in Massachusetts. From convening the Study Group on Eyewitness Evidence to authoring several seminal eyewitness identification cases, Chief Justice Gants’s contributions represented a seismic shift in how eyewitness evidence would be treated in Massachusetts. That sea change, which included rewriting jury instructions, restricting in-court identifications, and reexamining how to assess eyewitness reliability, developed from a rigorous fidelity to scientific development. This foray into the scientific study behind eyewitness identifications has created a template for tackling other complex issues in the …


"Diversity, Equity And Inclusion"—Catchy Slogans And Buzzwords With Little Proof That They Matter To The Legal Profession In Massachusetts!, Sheriece M. Perry Nov 2021

"Diversity, Equity And Inclusion"—Catchy Slogans And Buzzwords With Little Proof That They Matter To The Legal Profession In Massachusetts!, Sheriece M. Perry

Boston College Law Review

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants dedicated his life and much of his work on the bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to racial equity and justice. Sheriece Perry credits the late Chief Justice with his support of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, and discusses the work this committee has done since his passing. Principally, the committee issued a Town Hall Report in February 2021 that revealed a disappointing underrepresentation of women and people of color among Massachusetts attorneys. Diversity, equity, and inclusion, Perry explains, have become buzzwords in society and the workplace, but the Town …


Trauma, André Douglas Pond Cummings Nov 2021

Trauma, André Douglas Pond Cummings

Faculty Scholarship

Meek Mill’s life and career have been punctuated by trauma. From childhood through his current adulthood, Mill has experienced excruciating trauma even as a well-known hip hop artist. In 2018’s track of that name Trauma, Mill describes in illuminating prose just how these traumatic experiences harmed and impacted him personally describing the very same harms that impact so many similarly situated young black people in the United States. Meek Mill, as a child, witnessed violent death and experienced poverty while as a young man he was arrested and incarcerated (wrongly). Despite his star turn as a true hip hop icon, …


Bahr V. Regan, Aspen B. Ward Nov 2021

Bahr V. Regan, Aspen B. Ward

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In June 2015, the Lake Fire burned through California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Three hundred miles east of the fire, six air quality monitors exceeded NAAQS in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality petitioned the EPA to exclude those exceedances to avoid stricter regulatory burdens and the need for contingency measures. Applying the Exceptional Events Rule, the EPA permitted the petition to exclude the data therefore allowing Phoenix to successfully demonstrate attainment of the ozone NAAQS by the July 2018 deadline. Petitioners sought review of the EPA’s final decision and were denied their petition for review by the Ninth …


Integrating Doctrine And Diversity Speaker Series: Making Space, Taking Space 11-16-2021, Roger Williams University School Of Law Nov 2021

Integrating Doctrine And Diversity Speaker Series: Making Space, Taking Space 11-16-2021, Roger Williams University School Of Law

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander Nov 2021

New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander

Northwestern University Law Review

Calls for change to the infrastructure of civil rights enforcement have grown more insistent in the past several years, attracting support from a wide range of advocates, scholars, and federal, state, and local officials. Much of the attention has focused on federal-level reforms, including proposals to overrule Supreme Court doctrines that stop many civil rights lawsuits in their tracks. But state and local officials share responsibility for the enforcement of civil rights and have underappreciated powers to adopt reforms of their own. This Article evaluates a range of state and local interventions, including the adoption of state law causes of …


The Washington Post Interviews Vinay Harpalani: The Courts Have Served As An Anti-Democratic Force For Much Of U.S. History, Vinay Harpalani, David A. Love Nov 2021

The Washington Post Interviews Vinay Harpalani: The Courts Have Served As An Anti-Democratic Force For Much Of U.S. History, Vinay Harpalani, David A. Love

Faculty Scholarship

Certainly there are examples in which the high court has upheld the rights of the marginalized and disadvantaged. However, as Vinay Harpalani, associate professor of law at the University of New Mexico, has noted, “even when the U.S. Supreme Court makes rulings that seem to favor people of color, those rulings usually serve the interests of wealthy, elite White Americans.”

Harpalani cited how the Brown decision stemmed in part from Cold War strategy and the need for the United States to appeal to people in African, Asian and Latin American countries. “Racial segregation at home did not bode well …


Justice For Venezuela: The Human Rights Violations That Are Isolating An Entire Country, Andrea Matos Nov 2021

Justice For Venezuela: The Human Rights Violations That Are Isolating An Entire Country, Andrea Matos

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

Abstract forthcoming.


Testing Privilege: Coaching Bar Takers Towards “Minimum Competency” During The 2020 Pandemic, Benjamin Afton Cavanaugh Nov 2021

Testing Privilege: Coaching Bar Takers Towards “Minimum Competency” During The 2020 Pandemic, Benjamin Afton Cavanaugh

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

Abstract forthcoming.


Book Review: Forever Prisoners: How The United States Made The World’S Largest Immigration Detention System, Mary P. Holper Nov 2021

Book Review: Forever Prisoners: How The United States Made The World’S Largest Immigration Detention System, Mary P. Holper

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This is a book review written by Professor Holper of a new book about immigration detention by Elliot Young, titled Forever Prisoners: How the United States Made the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System.


"Slack" In The Data Age, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring Nov 2021

"Slack" In The Data Age, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article examines how increasingly ubiquitous data and information affect the role of “slack” in the law. Slack is the informal latitude to break the law without sanction. Pockets of slack exist for various reasons, including information imperfections, enforcement resource constraints, deliberate nonenforcement of problematic laws, politics, biases, and luck. Slack is important in allowing flexibility and forbearance in the legal system, but it also risks enabling selective and uneven enforcement. Increasingly available data is now upending slack, causing it to contract and exacerbating the risks of unfair enforcement.

This Article delineates the various contexts in which slack arises and …


Black On Black Representation, Alexis Hoag Nov 2021

Black On Black Representation, Alexis Hoag

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


On Time, (In)Equality, And Death, Fred O. Smith Jr. Nov 2021

On Time, (In)Equality, And Death, Fred O. Smith Jr.

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, American institutions have inadvertently encountered the bodies of former slaves with increasing frequency. Pledges of respect are common features of these discoveries, accompanied by cultural debates about what “respect” means. Often embedded in these debates is an intuition that there is something special about respecting the dead bodies, burial sites, and images of victims of mass, systemic horrors. This Article employs legal doctrine, philosophical insights, and American history to both interrogate and anchor this intuition.

Law can inform these debates because we regularly turn to legal settings to resolve disputes about the dead. Yet the passage of …