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Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells Apr 2021

Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells

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Qualified immunity protects officials from damages for constitutional violations unless they have violated "clearly established" rights. Local governments enjoy no immunity, but they may not be sued on a vicarious liability theory for constitutional violations committed by their employees. Critics of the current regime would overturn these rules in order to vindicate constitutional rights and deter violations.

This Article argues that across-the-board abolition of these limits on liability would be unwise as the costs would outweigh the benefits. In some contexts, however, exceptions may be justified. Much of the recent controversy surrounding qualified immunity involves suits in which police officers …


Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii Jan 2021

Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii

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Although originalism’s emergence as an important theory of constitutional interpretation is usually attributed to efforts by the Reagan administration, the role the theory played in the South’s determined resistance to civil rights legislation in the 1960s actually helped create the Reagan coalition in the first place. North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin Jr., the constitutional theorist of the Southern Caucus, developed and deployed originalism because he saw its potential to stymie civil rights legislation and stabilize a Democratic coalition under significant stress. Ervin failed in those efforts, but his turn to originalism had lasting effects. The theory helped Ervin and other …


The Music Of Mass Incarceration, Andrea L. Dennis Nov 2020

The Music Of Mass Incarceration, Andrea L. Dennis

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Intellectual property law reaches every aspect of the world, society, and creativity. Sometimes, creative expression is at the very crux of societal conflict and change. Through its history, rap music has demonstrated passionate creative expression, exploding with emotion and truths. Now the most popular musical genre in America, rap has always shared—and consistently critiqued—disproportionate effects of the criminal legal system on Black communities. The world is increasingly hearing these tunes with special acuity and paying more attention to the lyrics. Virtually every music recording artist would consider the following numbers a major career achievement: 500 percent increase; 222 percent growth; …


Detention By Any Other Name, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2020

Detention By Any Other Name, Sandra G. Mayson

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An unaffordable bail requirement has precisely the same effect as an order of pretrial detention: the accused person is jailed pending trial. It follows as a logical matter that an order requiring an unaffordable bail bond as a condition of release should be subject to the same substantive and procedural protections as an order denying bail altogether. Yet this has not been the practice.

This Article lays out the logical and legal case for the proposition that an order that functionally imposes detention must be treated as an order of detention. It addresses counterarguments and complexities, including both empirical and …


Aging On Air: Sex, Age, And Television News, Rebecca H. White Jan 2020

Aging On Air: Sex, Age, And Television News, Rebecca H. White

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The best piece of advice I received when I began teaching law was to adopt Charlie Sullivan's and Mike Zimmer's casebook for my Employment Discrimination class. Before I became a law professor, I had no clue how important choosing the right textbook is, not only for the students but for the teacher. I also was unaware of how much I had to learn about a subject I thought I knew well. I had been litigating employment discrimination cases for several years, but when I began teaching, I quickly learned how much I did not know. Charlie's and Mike's casebook, through …


Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts Jan 2020

Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts

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This Article presents a mixed-methods study of misdemeanor bail practice across Georgia in the wake of reform. We observed bail hearings and interviewed system actors in a representative sample of fifty-five counties in order to assess the extent to which pretrial practice conforms to legal standards clarified in Senate Bill 407 and Walker v. Calhoun. We also analyzed jail population data published by county jails and by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. We found that a handful of counties have made promising headway in adhering to law and best practices, but that the majority have some distance to …


Reconceptualizing Hybrid Rights, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2020

Reconceptualizing Hybrid Rights, Dan T. Coenen

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In landmark decisions on religious liberty and same-sex marriage, and many other cases as well, the Supreme Court has placed its imprimatur on so called “hybrid rights.” These rights spring from the interaction of two or more constitutional clauses, none of which alone suffices to give rise to the operative protection. Controversy surrounds hybrid rights in part because there exists no judicial account of their justifiability. To be sure, some scholarly treatments suggest that these rights emanate from the “structures” or “penumbras” of the Constitution. But critics respond that hybrid rights lack legitimacy for that very reason because structural and …


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2019

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson

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Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impact. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race, (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines, and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive, because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment lies …


A Homestead Act For The 21st Century, Mehrsa Baradaran Jan 2019

A Homestead Act For The 21st Century, Mehrsa Baradaran

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The goal of the 21st century Homestead Act is to counteract the longstanding legacy of racially discriminatory housing policies by revitalizing distressed communities through public investment. The basic structure of the program is a wholesale transfer of land to residents who meet certain criteria. Accompanied by a holistic plan at the city level to revitalize the community through public investments in infrastructure and jobs, this proposal would benefit people who live in select small and medium-sized cities that are experiencing high vacancies.


Title Vii And The #Metoo Movement, Rebecca White Jan 2018

Title Vii And The #Metoo Movement, Rebecca White

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The #MeToo movement has drawn unprecedented attention to sexual harassment in the workplace. But there is a disconnect between sexual harassment as popularly understood and sexual harassment as prohibited by Title VII. This Essay identifies those areas where the law and the public understanding of it most starkly diverge. These include the requirements of severity or pervasiveness, the issue of unwelcomeness, the availability of an affirmative defense for hostile work environment claims, and the time limits within which claims must be brought. Additionally, those making claims of sexual harassment fare poorly when they suffer retaliation for stepping forward. Internal complaints …


The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2018

The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

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This Article seeks to provide the most comprehensive national-level empirical analysis of misdemeanor criminal justice that is currently feasible given the state of data collection in the United States. First, we estimate that there are 13.2 million misdemeanor cases filed in the United States each year. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, this number is not rising. Both the number of misdemeanor arrests and cases filed have declined markedly in recent years. In fact, national arrest rates for almost every misdemeanor offense category have been declining for at least two decades, and the misdemeanor arrest rate was lower in 2014 than …


The Grand Jury: A Shield Of A Different Sort, R. Michael Cassidy, Julian A. Cook Jan 2017

The Grand Jury: A Shield Of A Different Sort, R. Michael Cassidy, Julian A. Cook

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According to the Washington Post, 991 people were shot to death by police officers in the United States during calendar year 2015, and 957 people were fatally shot in 2016. A disproportionate percentage of the citizens killed in these police-civilian encounters were black. Events in Ferguson, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Staten Island, New York - to name but a few affected cities - have now exposed deep distrust between communities of color and law enforcement. Greater transparency is necessary to begin to heal this culture of distrust and to inform the debate going forward …


Different Lyrics, Same Song: Watts, Ferguson, And The Stagnating Effect Of The Politics Of Law And Order, Lonnie T. Brown Jan 2017

Different Lyrics, Same Song: Watts, Ferguson, And The Stagnating Effect Of The Politics Of Law And Order, Lonnie T. Brown

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This Article critically examines the Watts riots and their aftermath in comparison to the Ferguson situation, and demonstrates how little progress America has made in a span of fifty years in the area of race relations. More importantly, the Article points to the politics of “law and order” as the primary culprit for this static social condition.


Decriminalizing Childhood, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2017

Decriminalizing Childhood, Andrea L. Dennis

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Even though the number of juveniles arrested, tried and detained has recently declined, there are still a large number of delinquency cases, children under supervision by state officials, and children living in state facilities for youth and adults. Additionally, any positive developments in juvenile justice have not been evenly experienced by all youth. Juveniles living in urban areas are more likely to have their cases formally processed in the juvenile justice system rather than informally resolved. Further, the reach of the justice system has a particularly disparate effect on minority youth who tend to live in heavily-policed urban areas.

The …


The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2017

The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook

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On June 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held in Utah v. Strieff that evidence discovered incident to an unconstitutional arrest of an individual should not be suppressed given that the subsequent discovery of an outstanding warrant attenuated the taint from the unlawful detention. Approximately two weeks later the issue of aggressive policing was again thrust into the national spotlight when two African-American individuals — Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — were killed by policemen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, respectively, under questionable circumstances. Though connected by proximity in time, this article will demonstrate that these …


Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2016

Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook

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On April 4, 2015, Walter L. Scott was driving his vehicle when he was stopped by Officer Michael T. Slager of the North Charleston, South Carolina, police department for a broken taillight. A dash cam video from the officer’s vehicle showed the two men engaged in what appeared to be a rather routine verbal exchange. Sometime after Slager returned to his vehicle, Scott exited his car and ran away from Slager, prompting the officer to pursue him on foot. After he caught up with Scott in a grassy field near a muffler establishment, a scuffle between the men ensued, purportedly …


Police Reform And The Judicial Mandate, Julian A. Cook Jan 2016

Police Reform And The Judicial Mandate, Julian A. Cook

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In response to a crisis that threatens his tenure as Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel announced in December 2015 reform measures designed to curb aggressive police tactics by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The reform measures are limited, but aim to reduce deadly police-citizen encounters by arming the police with more tasers, and by requiring that officers undergo deescalation training. Though allegations of excessive force have plagued the department for years, the death of Laquan McDonald, an African-American teenager who was fatally shot by Jason Van Dyke, a white officer with the CPD, was the impetus for the Mayor’s reforms. …


Black Contemporary Social Movements, Resource Mobilization, And Black Musical Activism, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2016

Black Contemporary Social Movements, Resource Mobilization, And Black Musical Activism, Andrea L. Dennis

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In the last few years a grassroots social movement has emerged from the Black community. This movement aims to eliminate police and vigilante violence against Blacks nationwide. Blacks in America have long been subjected to this violence, and the issue has recently captured the country’s attention. Multiple groups are pressing for change, including Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, Say Her Name, and the leaderless social media effort organized by DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, to name a few. These fledgling activist groups have already experienced some success, garnering public attention and government response. As it currently stands, this nascent civil-rights …


How Congress Could Defend Doma In Court (And Why The Blag Cannot), Matthew I. Hall Jan 2013

How Congress Could Defend Doma In Court (And Why The Blag Cannot), Matthew I. Hall

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In one of the most closely watched litigation matters in recent years, the Supreme Court will soon consider Edith Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court surprised many observers by granting certiorari, not only on the merits of Windsor's equal protection and due process claims, but also on the question whether the defendants — the United States and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives (the BLAG) — have Article III standing to defend DOMA. The United States has agreed with plaintiffs that DOMA is unconstitutional, prompting the BLAG to intervene for the …


A Snitch In Time: An Historical Sketch Of Black Informing During Slavery, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2013

A Snitch In Time: An Historical Sketch Of Black Informing During Slavery, Andrea L. Dennis

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This article sketches the socio-legal creation, use, and regulation of informants in the Black community during slavery and the Black community’s response at that time. Despite potentially creating benefits such as crime control and sentence reduction, some Blacks today are convinced that cooperation with government investigations and prosecutions should be avoided. One factor contributing to this perspective is America’s reliance on Black informants to police and socially control Blacks during slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Wars on Drugs, Crime and Gangs. Notwithstanding this historical justification for non-cooperation, only a few informant law and policy scholars have examined closely …


A Tale Of Prosecutorial Indiscretion: Ramsey Clark And The Selective Non-Prosecution Of Stokely Carmichael, Lonnie T. Brown Oct 2010

A Tale Of Prosecutorial Indiscretion: Ramsey Clark And The Selective Non-Prosecution Of Stokely Carmichael, Lonnie T. Brown

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During the height of the Vietnam War and one of the most volatile periods of the civil rights movement, then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark controversially resisted intense political pressure to prosecute Black Power originator and antiwar activist Stokely Carmichael. Taken in isolation, this decision may seem courageous and praiseworthy, but when considered against the backdrop of Clark’s contemporaneous prosecution of an all-white group of similarly situated anti-draft leaders (the so-called Boston Five), his exercise of prosecutorial discretion becomes suspect. Specifically, the Boston Five were prosecuted in 1968 for conspiracy to aid and abet draft evasion, a charge for which the evidence …


Introduction: Dukes V. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Oct 2010

Introduction: Dukes V. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

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This short introduction to Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. aims to explain the case and to set the table for what promises to be thought-provoking roundtable discussion hosted by Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc. Accordingly, what follows is a concise overview of the legal background and current debate over the two procedural issues that the Ninth Circuit explored in detail – how to evaluate Rule 23(a)(2)’s commonality when common questions heavily implicate the case’s merits, and when a Rule 23(b)(2) class can include relief apart from injunctive or declaratory relief without endangering due process.


Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans After Parents Involved: Bringing State Action Principles To Bear On The De Jure/De Facto Distinction, Michael Wells Jan 2008

Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans After Parents Involved: Bringing State Action Principles To Bear On The De Jure/De Facto Distinction, Michael Wells

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In Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, a sharply divided Supreme Court struck down two race-conscious school assignment plans aimed at achieving greater racial integration of the public schools. Taking Parents Involved as a starting point, this Article looks ahead to the future of litigation over student assignment plans. By striking down the Seattle and Louisville plans, the decision may "require hundreds of school districts to rethink race-based policies that they use voluntarily to desegregate schools." At the very least, the 5-4 ruling almost certainly did not put an end to race-conscious integration plans or …


Bibliography Of Law Review Articles On Disability Law, Ann Puckett Jan 2007

Bibliography Of Law Review Articles On Disability Law, Ann Puckett

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Bibliography of law review articles discussing legal issues pertaining to disabilities, originally presented as a continuously updated online database.


International Law And Rehnquist-Era Reversals, Diane Marie Amann Jun 2006

International Law And Rehnquist-Era Reversals, Diane Marie Amann

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In the last years of Chief Justice Rehnquist's tenure, the Supreme Court held that due process bars criminal prosecution of same-sex intimacy and that it is cruel and unusual to execute mentally retarded persons or juveniles. Each of the later decisions not only overruled precedents set earlier in Rehnquist's tenure, but also consulted international law as an aid to construing the U.S. Constitution. Analyzing that phenomenon, the article first discusses the underlying cases, then traces the role that international law played in Atkins, Lawrence, and Simmons. It next examines backlash to consultation, and demonstrates that critics tended to overlook the …


Of Offers Not (Frequently) Made And (Rarely) Accepted: The Mystery Of Federal Rule 68, Harold S. Lewis Jr., Thomas A. Eaton Jan 2006

Of Offers Not (Frequently) Made And (Rarely) Accepted: The Mystery Of Federal Rule 68, Harold S. Lewis Jr., Thomas A. Eaton

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This Symposium brings together, from around the nation, eight civil rights and employment discrimination lawyers, four legal academics, and an eminent federal judge, all with deep experience and interest in the promise and pitfalls of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68. We gather to unravel a mystery. In an oversimplified nutshell, Rule 68, as construed, enables the defendants to say to the plaintiffs in employment discrimination and civil rights cases: "If you don't beat my offer at trial, you forfeit your right to any future statutory attorney fees." Rule 68 would, therefore, appear to give the defendants a significant incentive …


Race And Equality Across The Law School Curriculum: The Law Of Tax Exemption, David A. Brennen Sep 2004

Race And Equality Across The Law School Curriculum: The Law Of Tax Exemption, David A. Brennen

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What is the relevance of race to tax law? The race issues are apparent when one studies a subject like constitutional law. The Constitution concerns itself explicitly with such matters as defining rights of citizenship, allocating powers of government, and determining rights with respect to property. Given the history of our country -- with slavery followed by periods of de jure and de facto racial discrimination -- these constitutional law matters obviously must have racial dimensions.

Tax law, however, does not generally concern itself explicitly with matters of race. Tax law is often thought of as completely race neutral in …


Fifteen Famous Supreme Court Cases From Georgia, Dan T. Coenen Jun 2004

Fifteen Famous Supreme Court Cases From Georgia, Dan T. Coenen

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John Inscoe, UGA professor of history and editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia, invited Hosch Professor Dan T. Coenen to contribute a series of essays on the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases that originated in the state of Georgia. This article, which proposes an unranked top 15 list, is built on this work.


Affirmative Action In The Workplace: The Signficance Of Grutter?, Rebecca H. White Jan 2004

Affirmative Action In The Workplace: The Signficance Of Grutter?, Rebecca H. White

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The Supreme Court's decision last term in Grutter v. Bollinger answered important questions about the affirmative use of race in the educational context. I have been asked by the editors of the Kentucky Law Journal to explore the impact the decision is like to have on affirmative action in a different context--employment. Simply put, to what extent does Grutter affect a public or private employer's ability to voluntarily adopt an affirmative action plan in order to diversify its workplace? The short answer, of course, is that the Grutter decision does not directly apply to the affirmative use of race or …


Race And The Georgia Courts: Implications Of The Georgia Public Trust And Confidence Survey For Batson V. Kentucky And Its Progeny, George W. Dougherty, Randy Beck, Mark D. Bradbury Apr 2003

Race And The Georgia Courts: Implications Of The Georgia Public Trust And Confidence Survey For Batson V. Kentucky And Its Progeny, George W. Dougherty, Randy Beck, Mark D. Bradbury

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Put simply, there is a perception among many Georgians that the court system treats minorities worse than whites. This Essay considers implications of the Georgia findings for a line of United States Supreme Court decisions designed to prevent racial discrimination by trial lawyers in the selection of trial juries.