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Unifying Concepts: Critical Race Theory, Academic Freedom Of Speech, And Democracy, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Nov 2023

Unifying Concepts: Critical Race Theory, Academic Freedom Of Speech, And Democracy, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

BU Law Presentations

Poster for Jasmine Gonzales Rose's 2023 University lecture.


Foreword: Finding Balance In The Fight Against Gun Violence, Michael Ulrich Apr 2023

Foreword: Finding Balance In The Fight Against Gun Violence, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is distinct among high-income countries for its problem with gun violence, with Americans 25 times more likely to be killed by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries.1 Suicides make up a majority of annual gun deaths — though that gap is closing as homicides are on the rise — and the U.S. accounts for 35% of global firearm suicides despite making up only 4% of the world’s population.2 More concerning, gun deaths are only getting worse. In 2021, firearm fatalities approached 50,000, the highest we have seen in at least 40 years.3 …


Beyond More Accurate Algorithms: Takeaways From Mccleskey Revisited, Ngozi Okidegbe Apr 2023

Beyond More Accurate Algorithms: Takeaways From Mccleskey Revisited, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

McCleskey v. Kemp1 operates as a barrier to using the Equal Protection Clause to achieve racial justice in criminal administration.2 By restricting the use of statistical evidence in equal protection challenges, McCleskey stifled the power of the discriminatory intent doctrine to combat the colorblind racism emanating from facially neutral criminal law statutes and governmental actions.3 But what if McCleskey had been decided differently? Given that Washington v. Davis4 held that the challenged law or governmental action had to be “traced to a discriminatory racial purpose,”5 could McCleskey have articulated an approach to equal protection doctrine …


Pov: Yes, Filling Out The Race Box On Forms Is Tiresome, But Here’S Why It Matters, Jasmine Gonzales Rose, Neda Khoshkhoo Mar 2023

Pov: Yes, Filling Out The Race Box On Forms Is Tiresome, But Here’S Why It Matters, Jasmine Gonzales Rose, Neda Khoshkhoo

Shorter Faculty Works

Filling out your race and ethnicity on a form may feel tiresome, and even uncomfortable. You have been checking these boxes for years, as has everyone else, and the questions may seem irrelevant.

“What does race have to do with my doctor’s appointment?” you might ask. Or a form may be inaccurate: “I’m Middle Eastern, why don’t I get a box to check?” Perhaps it feels intrusive: “How is this information going to be used?” And you may wonder, “Why are we always talking about race?”

The truth is, we need to keep talking about race. Even more than we …


Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2023

Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

The question “what is equality?”, applied to the distribution of resources across races, suggests the following answer: when there appears to be no need for a policy that focuses on improving the welfare of one race relative to another. There is another way to approach the same question: equality is when traditionally-recognized paths to advancement do not give preference to or disadvantage an individual because of his race. Notice the difference here is between end-state and process-based notions of equality, a distinction Nozick emphasized in his examination of justice in distribution. Nozick rejected end-state theories of justice in distribution. I …


Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

“The end of affirmative action.” The headline is near. When it arrives, scholars will explain that a controversial set of policies could not withstand unfriendly doctrine and less friendly Justices. This story is not wrong. But it is incomplete. Critically, this account masks an underappreciated source of affirmative action’s enduring instability: elite universities, affirmative action’s formal champions, have always been ambivalent advocates.

Elite universities are uniquely positioned to shape legal and lay opinions about affirmative action. They are formal defendants in affirmative action litigation and objects of public obsession. And yet, schools like Harvard and the University of North Carolina—embroiled …


Surrey's Silence: Subpart F And The Swiss Subsidiary Tax That Never Was, Steven Dean Jan 2023

Surrey's Silence: Subpart F And The Swiss Subsidiary Tax That Never Was, Steven Dean

Faculty Scholarship

Was Stanley Surrey racist? Was he a coward for not speaking as plainly about the Swiss tax haven problem in public as the Surrey Papers reveal his team did in private? In the broad sweep of history Surrey’s silence may have mattered a great deal or it may have mattered very little. The quiet aspect of the Liberia problem that it highlights undoubtedly does. Exploiting the public’s misunderstanding of the term tax haven as Surrey quickly learned to do has become second nature to scholars and policymakers alike. No less powerful than the loud aspect of the Liberia problem, the …


Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In SFFA v. Harvard (SFFA), the Supreme Court further restricted a university’s right to consider the racial identity of individual applicants during admissions. The ruling has spawned considerable confusion regarding a university’s ongoing ability to pursue racial diversity, racial inclusion, and other equality-oriented goals—whether through “raceconscious” or “race-neutral” means. To assist institutions attempting to navigate the ruling, this article outlines a set of key legal rights and responsibilities that universities continue to possess following SFFA.


Colorblind Capture, Jonathan Feingold Oct 2022

Colorblind Capture, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

We are facing two converging waves of racial retrenchment. The first, which arose following the Civil Rights Movement, is nearing a legal milestone. This term or the next, the Supreme Court will prohibit affirmative action in higher education. When it does, the Court will cement decades of conservative jurisprudence that has systematically eroded the right to remedy racial inequality.

The second wave is more recent but no less significant. Following 2020’s global uprising for racial justice, rightwing forces launched a coordinated assault on antiracism itself. The campaign has enjoyed early success. As one measure, GOP officials have passed, proposed or …


Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich Jul 2022

Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

Last month, the federal government passed the first gun safety legislation in decades, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, while at the same time, the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to carry guns in public. It is important then to assess where this country finds itself with regard to gun policy after these two seemingly contrasting and momentous events.


The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jul 2022

The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Critical Race Theory ("CR T"), or at least its principles, stands at the core of most prominent social movements of today-from the resurgence of the #MeToo Movement, which was founded by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, to the Black Lives Matter Movement, which was founded by three Black women: Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors. In fact, Critical Race Theorists have long defined CRT itself as a movement, one that has not only provided theoretical interventions regarding the relationship between race, racism, power, and the law, but that has also encouraged and, in fact, inspired and guided social movements. …


An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor Jun 2022

An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor

Faculty Scholarship

Protesting is supposed to be revered in our democracy, considered “as American as apple pie” in our nation’s mythology. But the actual experiences of the 2020 racial justice protesters showed that this supposed reverence for political dissent and protest is more akin to American folklore than reality on the streets. The images from those streets depicted police officers clad in riot gear and armed with shields, batons, and “less than” lethal weapons aggressively arresting protesters, often en masse. In the first week of the George Floyd protests, police arrested roughly 10,000 people, and approximately 78 percent of those arrests were …


Toward Evidence-Based Antiracist Policymaking: Problems And Proposals For Better Racial Data Collection And Reporting, Neda Khoshkhoo, Aviva Geiger Schwarz, Luisa Godinez Puig, Caitlin Glass, Geoffrey S. Holtzman, Elaine O. Nsoesie, Jasmine Gonzales Rose May 2022

Toward Evidence-Based Antiracist Policymaking: Problems And Proposals For Better Racial Data Collection And Reporting, Neda Khoshkhoo, Aviva Geiger Schwarz, Luisa Godinez Puig, Caitlin Glass, Geoffrey S. Holtzman, Elaine O. Nsoesie, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The study of data concerning racial and ethnic inequities and disparities allows us to better understand experiences of racism, and to see more clearly how and where racism manifests. Studying the effects of racism, in turn, allows us to more easily identify racist policies, so that we can craft antiracist interventions.

Existing race and ethnicity data collection efforts are riddled with gaps and errors, including missing and incomplete data, insufficiently disaggregated data, lack of meaningful longitudinal data, infrequently updated data, non-standardized methodologies, and other problems. These deficiencies significantly hinder evidence-based antiracist policymaking.

This policy report examines the state of racial …


Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado Apr 2022

Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado

Faculty Scholarship

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Whren v. United States—a unanimous opinion in which the Court effectively constitutionalized racial profiling. Despite its enduring consequences, Whren remains good law today. This Article rewrites the opinion. We do so, in part, to demonstrate how one might incorporate racial justice concerns into Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, a body of law that has long elided and marginalized the racialized dimensions of policing. A separate aim is to reveal the “false necessity” of the Whren outcome. The fact that Whren was unanimous, and that even progressive Justices signed on, might lead one to conclude that …


“She’S Earned This”: Angela Onwuachi-Willig Rejoices In Historic Confirmation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Apr 2022

“She’S Earned This”: Angela Onwuachi-Willig Rejoices In Historic Confirmation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Shorter Faculty Works

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, the dean of Boston University’s School of Law—the first Black woman to be dean of a top-20 law school—is rejoicing. The first Black woman has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court.

Onwuachi-Willig has had Ketanji Brown Jackson’s back from the moment President Biden announced he would nominate the federal judge to the nation’s highest court.


Reclaiming Equality: How Regressive Laws Can Advance Progressive Ends, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2022

Reclaiming Equality: How Regressive Laws Can Advance Progressive Ends, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Since the fall of 2020, right-wing forces have targeted Critical Race Theory ("CR T') through a sustained disinformation campaign. This offensive has deployed anti-CRT rhetoric to justify a host of "Backlash Bills" designed to chill conversations about race and racism in the classroom. Concerned stakeholders have assailed these laws as morally bankrupt and legally suspect. These responses are natural and appropriate. But challenging a bill's moral or legal mooring is insufficient to counter a primary purpose of this legislative onslaught: to further erode, within our public discourse and collective consciousness, the ability to distinguish between racism and antiracism. To meet …


The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe Mar 2022

The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly embracing the use of pretrial risk assessment algorithms as a solution to the problem of mass pretrial incarceration. Conversations about the use of pretrial algorithms in legal scholarship have tended to focus on their opacity, determinativeness, reliability, validity, or their (in)ability to reduce high rates of incarceration as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities within the pretrial system. This Article breaks from this tendency, examining these algorithms from a democratization of criminal law perspective. Using this framework, it points out that currently employed algorithms are exclusionary of the viewpoints and values of the racially marginalized communities most …


Law Dean’S Letter Urges Confirmation Of Biden’S Historic Scotus Pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Feb 2022

Law Dean’S Letter Urges Confirmation Of Biden’S Historic Scotus Pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Shorter Faculty Works

In a letter citing Black women’s underrepresentation on the federal bench, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, dean of the BU School of Law, and more than 200 other Black women law deans and professors urged the US Senate on Friday to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the nation’s highest court “swiftly and with bipartisan support.”


Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe Jan 2022

Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Algorithms are proliferating in criminal legal structures. The predictions produced by these algorithms inform life-altering decisions around surveillance and incarceration. Their continued use poses a challenge to ongoing racial justice efforts. Contesting how algorithms of today maintain the racial status quo requires a fundamental rethinking of the algorithm project. This essay explores how Afrofuturism can facilitate such a rethinking. It imagines how applying an Afrofuturist paradigm to the adoption, construction, implementation, and oversight of algorithms could radically change the kind of algorithms developed and the purposes for which they are developed. Tapping into this potential offers the chance for members …


E-Racing Tobacco & Nicotine-Related Health Disparities, Michael Ulrich Jan 2022

E-Racing Tobacco & Nicotine-Related Health Disparities, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

In the past, tobacco companies used targeted advertising to integrate menthol cigarettes and addict the Black community, generating tobacco-related health disparities. As Juul has come under attack, they have utilized the tobacco playbook to protect itself and deflect criticism by donating to a historically Black medical school and recruiting leaders in the Black community. This helped to create a "Black shield" for menthol cigarettes, which are only now at risk of being regulated, and has the potential to do the same in the vape industry. If proactive steps are not undertaken, health tobacco-related health disparities will continue.


Filing While Black: The Casual Racism Of The Tax Law, Steven Dean Jan 2022

Filing While Black: The Casual Racism Of The Tax Law, Steven Dean

Faculty Scholarship

The tax law's race-blind approach produces bad tax policy.' This Essay uses three very different examples to show how failing to openly and honestly address race generates bias, and how devastating the results can be.2 Ignoring race does not solve problems; it creates them. ProPublica has shown, for example, that because of the perils of filing income taxes while Black, the five most heavily audited counties in the United States are Black and poor.

The racial bias long tolerated-and sometimes exploited-by tax scholars and policymakers affects all aspects of the tax law. In 1986, Sam Gilliam was denied tax …


Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2022

Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Civil rights advocates have long viewed litigation as a vital path to social change. In many ways, it is. But in key respects that remain underexplored in legal scholarship, even successful litigation can hinder remedial projects. This perverse effect stems from civil rights doctrines that incentivize litigants (or their attorneys) to foreground community plight—such as academic underachievement or overincarceration. Rational plaintiffs, responding in kind, deploy legal narratives that tend to track racial stereotypes and regressive theories of inequality. When this occurs, even successful lawsuits can harden the structural and behavioral forces that produce and perpetuate racial inequality.

I refer to …


Title 42, Asylum, And Politicising Public Health, Michael Ulrich, Sondra S. Crosby Nov 2021

Title 42, Asylum, And Politicising Public Health, Michael Ulrich, Sondra S. Crosby

Faculty Scholarship

President Biden has continued the controversial immigration policy of the Trump era known as Title 42, which has caused harm and suffering to scores of asylum seekers under the guise of public health.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ordered the policy in March 2020 with the stated purpose of limiting the spread of the coronavirus into the U.S.; though, CDC and public health officials have admitted this policy has no scientific basis and there is no evidence it has protected the public.2,3 Instead, the impetus behind the policy appears to be a desire to keep out or …


"Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! These Mass Arrests Have Got To Go!": The Expressive Fourth Amendment Argument, Karen Pita Loor Oct 2021

"Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! These Mass Arrests Have Got To Go!": The Expressive Fourth Amendment Argument, Karen Pita Loor

Faculty Scholarship

The racial justice protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 constitute the largest protest movement in the United States. Estimates suggest that between fifteen and twenty-six million people protested across the country during the summer of 2020 alone. Not only were the number of protestors staggering, but so were the number of arrests. Within one week of when the video of George Floyd’s murder went viral, police arrested ten thousand people demanding justice on American streets, with police often arresting activists en masse. This Essay explores mass arrests and how they square with Fourth Amendment …


A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro Jun 2021

A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I examine the lack of scholarly attention given to the role of civil procedure in racial subordination. I posit that a dearth of critical thought interrogating the connections between procedure and the subjugation of marginalized peoples might be due to the limited experiences of procedural scholars; a misconception that procedural rules are a technical, objective, neutral area; and avoidance of discussion of race or other aspects of identity unless there is a case, material, or scholarly topic that meets an unreasonably high standard. I emphasize the importance of a critical race analysis of civil procedure.


Experimental Meets Intersectional: Visionary Black Feminist Pragmatism And Practicing Constitutional Democracy, Linda C. Mcclain Jan 2021

Experimental Meets Intersectional: Visionary Black Feminist Pragmatism And Practicing Constitutional Democracy, Linda C. Mcclain

Faculty Scholarship

That pragmatism can do-and already is doing-real work to repair and improve constitutional democracy in the United States is a conviction voiced in the academy, in social movements, and in social media. But what does pragmatism mean, as used in these contexts? Sometimes, pragmatism seems to connote simply being practical (rather than idealistic) and focusing on results. But sometimes, commentators are saying more: pragmatism as a distinctive political philosophy has the power to fuel meaningful democratic change. This Article focuses on the creative and productive melding of classical American pragmatism (as exemplified by John Dewey and others) with feminism. In …


The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2021

The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

In The Color Line: A Short Introduction, David Lyons provides a valuable service to students and academics in law, social sciences, and humanities by providing a concise history of the development and maintenance of race and racial order through law, policy, and discrimination in the United States. Lyons effectively outlines how race and racism were developed through these mechanisms in an effort to facilitate and maintain white supremacy.


Race, Risk, And Personal Responsibility In The Response To Covid-19, Aziza Ahmed, Jason Jackson Jan 2021

Race, Risk, And Personal Responsibility In The Response To Covid-19, Aziza Ahmed, Jason Jackson

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 crisis has tragically revealed the depth of racial inequities in the United States. This Piece argues that the disproportion­ate impact of the pandemic on racial minorities is a symptom of a failing approach to public health, one that privileges individual behaviors over the structural conditions that generate vulnerability and inequitable health outcomes. Despite clear racial disparities in illness and deaths, the neoliberal ideology of personal responsibility shifts the onus for mitigation of risk away from the social and legal determinants of health and onto the individual. To understand how and why these disparate racial outcomes arise, this Piece …


"All (Poor) Lives Matter": How Class-Not-Race Logic Reinscribes Race And Class Privilege, Jonathan Feingold Oct 2020

"All (Poor) Lives Matter": How Class-Not-Race Logic Reinscribes Race And Class Privilege, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In An Intersectional Critique of Tiers of Scrutiny, Professors Devon Carbado and Kimberlé Crenshaw infuse affirmative action with an overdue dose of intersectionality theory. Their intervention, which highlights the disfavored remedial status of Black women, exposes equality law as an unmarked intersectional project that “privileges the intersectional identities of white antidiscrimination claimants.”

This latent racial privilege rests on two doctrinal pillars. First, single-axis tiers of scrutiny, which force claimants and courts to view discrimination in either/or terms (that is, race-based or gender-based or class-based), contravene intersectionality’s core insight that “people live their lives co-constitutively as ‘both/and,’ rather than fragmentarily …


Desnatada: Latina Illumination Of Breastfeeding, Race, And Injustice, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Oct 2020

Desnatada: Latina Illumination Of Breastfeeding, Race, And Injustice, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

In Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice, Andrea Freeman brilliantly explains how racism results in lower breastfeeding rates by Black mothers,1 which in turn results in poorer health outcomes--including higher mortality rates--for Black babies.2 She provides four primary reasons for this phenomenon: (1) the history and legacy of slavery, (2) the imposition of racist gender stereotypes on Black women, (3) racially-targeted formula promotion by manufacturers and hospitals, and (4) government benefits and employment policies that obstruct poor people's ability to breastfeed. The first two of these reasons are particularly devastating: the legacy of slavery and misogynoiristic3 stereotypes …