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Columbia Law School

2013

Litigation

Administrative Law

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Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2013

Beyond The Private Attorney General: Equality Directives In American Law, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

American civil rights regulation is generally understood as relying on private enforcement in courts, rather than imposing positive duties on state actors to further equity goals. This Article argues that this dominant conception of American civil rights regulation is incomplete. Rather, American civil rights regulation also contains a set of “equality directives,” whose emergence and reach in recent years have gone unrecognized in the commentary. These federal-level equality directives use administrative tools of conditioned spending, policymaking, and oversight powerfully to promote substantive inclusion with regard to race, ethnicity, language, and disability. These directives move beyond the constraints of the standard ...