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Columbia Law School

Supreme Court of the United States

2018

Law and Ethics of Human Rights

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A Private Law Court In A Public Law System, Jamal Greene Jan 2018

A Private Law Court In A Public Law System, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court’s approach to human rights is a global outlier. In conceiving of rights adjudication in categorical terms rather than embracing proportionality analysis, the Court limits its ability to make the kinds of qualitative judgments about rights application required to adjudicate claims of disparate impact, social and economic rights, and horizontal effects, among others. This approach, derivative of a private-law model of dispute resolution, sits in tension with the rights claims typical of a pluralistic jurisdiction with a mature rights culture, in which litigants more often disagree, reasonably, about the scope of rights rather than deny that others …