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University of Michigan Law School

Civil Rights and Discrimination

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Reviving Negotiated Rulemaking For An Accessible Internet, Julie Moroney May 2021

Reviving Negotiated Rulemaking For An Accessible Internet, Julie Moroney

Michigan Law Review

Web accessibility requires designing and developing websites so that people with disabilities can use them without barriers. While the internet has become central to daily life, websites have overwhelmingly remained inaccessible to the millions of users who have disabilities. Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to combat discrimination against people with disabilities. Passed in 1990, it lacks any specific mention of the internet Courts are split as to whether the ADA applies to websites, and if so, what actions businesses must take to comply with the law. Further complicating matters, the Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated the rulemaking ...


Excluding 'Undesirable' Immigrants: Public Charge As Disability Discrimination, Alessandra N. Rosales May 2021

Excluding 'Undesirable' Immigrants: Public Charge As Disability Discrimination, Alessandra N. Rosales

Michigan Law Review

Public charge is a ground of inadmissibility based upon the likelihood that a noncitizen will become dependent on government benefits in the future. Once designated as a public charge, a noncitizen is ineligible to be admitted to the United States or to obtain lawful permanent residence. In August 2019, the Trump Administration published a regulation regarding this inadmissibility ground. Among its mandates, the rule expanded the definition of a public charge to include any noncitizen who receives one or more public benefits for more than twelve months in a thirty-six-month period It also instructed immigration officers to weigh medical conditions ...


The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries May 2021

The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries

Michigan Law Review

The meaning of sex matters. The interpretive methodology by which the meaning of sex is determined matters Both of these were at issue in the Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, where the Court held that Title VII protects lesbians, gay men, transgender persons, and other sexual and gender minorities against workplace discrimination. Despite unanimously agreeing that Title VII should be interpreted in accordance with its original public meaning in 1964, the opinions in Bostock failed to properly define sex or offer a coherent theory of how long-standing statutes like Title VII should be interpreted ...


Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges Apr 2021

Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. by Michele Goodwin.


White Tape And Indian Wards: Removing The Federal Bureaucracy To Empower Tribal Economies And Self-Government, Adam Crepelle Apr 2021

White Tape And Indian Wards: Removing The Federal Bureaucracy To Empower Tribal Economies And Self-Government, Adam Crepelle

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

American Indians have the highest poverty rate in the United States, and dire poverty ensnares many reservations. With no private sector and abysmal infrastructure, reservations are frequently likened to third-world countries. Present-day Indian poverty is a direct consequence of present-day federal Indian law and policy. Two-hundred-year-old laws premised on Indian incompetency remain a part of the U.S. legal system; accordingly, Indian country is bound by heaps of federal regulations that apply nowhere else in the United States. The federal regulatory structure impedes tribal economic development and prevents tribes from controlling their own resources.

This Article asserts the federal regulatory ...


Conflict Preemption: A Remedy For The Disparate Impact Of Crime-Free Nuisance Ordinances, Meredith Joseph Apr 2021

Conflict Preemption: A Remedy For The Disparate Impact Of Crime-Free Nuisance Ordinances, Meredith Joseph

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Thousands of municipalities across the country have adopted crime-free nuisance ordinances—laws that sanction landlords for their tenants’ behaviors, coercing them to evict tenants for actions as innocuous as calling 9-1-1 in an emergency. These facially neutral ordinances give wide discretion to municipal officials, leading to discriminatory enforcement of evictions. As a result, these ordinances have a devastating impact on victims of domestic violence and are used as a tool to inhibit integration in majority-white municipalities. Many plaintiffs have brought lawsuits alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution and the Fair Housing Act. However, bringing lawsuits under various anti-discrimination protections ...


The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham Apr 2021

The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. by Stuart Schrader.


The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj Mar 2021

The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj

Michigan Law Review

Children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable students in public schools. They are the most likely to be bullied, harassed, restrained, or segregated. For these and other reasons, they also have the poorest academic outcomes. Overcoming these challenges requires full use of the laws enacted to protect these students’ affirmative right to equal access and an environment free from discrimination. Yet, courts routinely deny their access to two such laws—the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504).

Courts too often overlook the affirmative obligations contained in these two disability ...


#Fortheculture: Generation Z And The Future Of Legal Education, Tiffany D. Atkins Feb 2021

#Fortheculture: Generation Z And The Future Of Legal Education, Tiffany D. Atkins

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Generation Z, with a birth year between 1995 and 2010, is the most diverse generational cohort in U.S. history and is the largest segment of our population. Gen Zers hold progressive views on social issues and expect diversity and minority representation where they live, work, and learn. American law schools, however, are not known for their diversity, or for being inclusive environments representative of the world around us. This culture of exclusion has led to an unequal legal profession and academy, where less than 10 percent of the population is non-white. As Gen Zers bring their demands for inclusion ...


The Scales Of Reproductive Justice: Casey’S Failure To Rebalance Liberty Interests In The Racially Disparate State Of Maternal Medicine, Mallori D. Thompson Feb 2021

The Scales Of Reproductive Justice: Casey’S Failure To Rebalance Liberty Interests In The Racially Disparate State Of Maternal Medicine, Mallori D. Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Despite the maternal medicine crisis in the U.S., especially for Black women, legislatures are challenging constitutional abortion doctrine and forcing women to interact with a system that may cost them their lives. This Article proposes that because of abysmal maternal mortality rates and the arbitrary nature of most abortion restrictions, the right to choose an abortion is embedded in our Fourteenth Amendment right to not be arbitrarily deprived of life by the State. This Article is a call to abortion advocates to begin submitting state maternal mortality data when challenging abortion restrictions. The call for attention to life was ...


Medical Violence, Obstetric Racism, And The Limits Of Informed Consent For Black Women, Colleen Campbell Jan 2021

Medical Violence, Obstetric Racism, And The Limits Of Informed Consent For Black Women, Colleen Campbell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Essay critically examines how medicine actively engages in the reproductive subordination of Black women. In obstetrics, particularly, Black women must contend with both gender and race subordination. Early American gynecology treated Black women as expendable clinical material for its institutional needs. This medical violence was animated by biological racism and the legal and economic exigencies of the antebellum era. Medical racism continues to animate Black women’s navigation of and their dehumanization within obstetrics. Today, the racial disparities in cesarean sections illustrate that Black women are simultaneously overmedicalized and medically neglected—an extension of historical medical practices rooted in ...


Toward A Race-Conscious Critique Of Mental Health-Related Exclusionary Immigration Laws, Monika Batra Kashyap Jan 2021

Toward A Race-Conscious Critique Of Mental Health-Related Exclusionary Immigration Laws, Monika Batra Kashyap

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article employs the emergent analytical framework of Dis/ability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) to offer a race-conscious critique of a set of immigration laws that have been left out of the story of race-based immigrant exclusion in the United States—namely, the laws that exclude immigrants based on mental health-related grounds. By centering the influence of the white supremacist, racist,and ableist ideologies of the eugenics movement in shaping mental health-related exclusionary immigration laws, this Article locates the roots of these restrictive laws in the desire to protect the purity and homogeneity of the white Anglo- Saxon race against ...


Towards An Urban Disability Agenda, Samuel R. Bagenstos Nov 2020

Towards An Urban Disability Agenda, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

The overwhelming majority of Americans with disabilities live in metropolitan areas. Yet those areas continue to contain significant barriers that keep disabled people from fully participating in city life. Although political and social debate has periodically turned its attention to urban issues or problems — or even the so-called “urban crisis” — during the past several decades, it has too rarely attended to the issues of disability access. When political debate has focused on disability issues, it has tended to address them in a nationally uniform way, without paying attention to the particular concerns of disabled people in cities. Even when city ...


Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie Nov 2020

Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie

Michigan Law Review

In this Article, we provide a new statistical and legal framework to understand the legality and fairness of predictive algorithms under the Equal Protection Clause. We begin by reviewing the main legal concerns regarding the use of protected characteristics such as race and the correlates of protected characteristics such as criminal history. The use of race and nonrace correlates in predictive algorithms generates direct and proxy effects of race, respectively, that can lead to racial disparities that many view as unwarranted and discriminatory. These effects have led to the mainstream legal consensus that the use of race and nonrace correlates ...


On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah Oct 2020

On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah

Articles

This Essay examines the legal profession’s role in sexual harassment, particularly in the federal courts. It argues that individuals in the profession have both an individual and collective responsibility for the professional norms that have allowed harassment to happen with little recourse for the people subject to the harassment. It suggests that the legal profession should engage in a sustained, public reflection about how our words, actions, attitudes, and institutional arrangements allow harassment to happen, and about the many different ways that we can prevent and address harassment.


Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart Sep 2020

Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The use of dogs as tools of oppression against African Americans has its roots in slavery and persists today in everyday life and police interactions. Due to such harmful practices, African Americans are not only disproportionately terrorized by officers with dogs, but they are also subject to instances of misplaced sympathy, illsuited laws, and social exclusion in their communities. Whether extreme and violent or subtle and pervasive, the use of dogs in oppressive acts is a critical layer of racial bias in the United States that has consistently built injustices that impede social and legal progress. By recognizing this pattern ...


Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin Sep 2020

Jail By Another Name: Ice Detention Of Immigrant Criminal Defendants On Pretrial Release, Kerry Martin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article assesses the legality of an alarming practice: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely detains noncitizen criminal defendants soon after they have been released on bail, depriving them of their court-ordered freedom. Since the District of Oregon’s decision in United States v. Trujillo-Alvarez, 900 F. Supp. 2d 1167 (D. Or. 2012), a growing group of federal courts has held that when ICE detains federal criminal defendants released under the Bail Reform Act (BRA), it violates their BRA rights. These courts have ordered that the government either free the defendants from ICE custody or dismiss their criminal charges. This ...


Legitimacy And Agency Implementation Of Title Ix, Samuel R. Bagenstos Sep 2020

Legitimacy And Agency Implementation Of Title Ix, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination by programs receiving federal education funding. Primary responsibility for administering that statute lies in the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (OCR). Because Title IX involves a subject that remains highly controversial in our polity (sex roles and interactions among the sexes more generally), and because it targets a highly sensitive area (education), OCR’s administration of the statute has long drawn criticism. The critics have not merely noted disagreements with the legal and policy decisions of the agency, however. Rather, they have attacked the agency ...


Incrementalist Vs. Maximalist Reform: Solitary Confinement Case Studies, Margo Schlanger Aug 2020

Incrementalist Vs. Maximalist Reform: Solitary Confinement Case Studies, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Among criminal justice reformers, it has long been hotly contested whether moderate reform helps or harms more efforts to achieve more thoroughgoing change. With respect to solitary confinement, do partial and ameliorative measures undermine the goal of solitary confinement abolition? Or do reformist campaigns advance—albeit incrementally—that ultimate goal? Call this a debate between “incrementalists” and “maximalists.” I offer this Essay as an appeal for empirical rather than aesthetic inquiry into the question. After summarizing nationwide reform litigation efforts that began in the 1970s, I try to shed some factual light by examining solitary reform efforts in two states ...


Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman Jul 2020

Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This Article, prepared for a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the Nineteenth Amendment’s one-hundred-year anniversary, explores and defends a “thick” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment right to vote and Congress’s power to enforce it. A “thin” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that the Amendment merely prohibits states from enacting laws that prohibit women from voting once the state decides to hold an election. And a “thin” conception of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that Congress may only supply remedies for official acts that violate the Amendment’s substantive guarantees. This Article argues the ...


Putting The Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, And Pregnancy, Emma Milne Jun 2020

Putting The Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, And Pregnancy, Emma Milne

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The fetus-first mentality advocates that pregnant women and women who could become pregnant should put the needs and well-being of their fetuses before their own. As this Article will illustrate, this popular public perception has pervaded criminal law, impacting responses to women deemed to be the “irresponsible” pregnant woman and so the “bad” mother. The Article considers cases from Alabama and Indiana in the United States and from England in the United Kingdom, providing clear evidence that concerns about the behavior of pregnant women now hang heavily over criminal justice responses to women who experience a negative pregnancy outcome or ...


Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet Jun 2020

Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Increasing social and political polarization in our society continues to exact a heavy toll marked by, among other social ills, a rise in uncivility, an increase in reported hate crimes, and a more pronounced overall climate of intolerance—for viewpoints, causes, and identities alike. Intolerance, either a cause or a consequence of our fraying networks of social engagement, is rampant, hindering our ability to live up to our de facto national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One” and prompting calls for how best to build a cohesive civil society. Within the public school—an institution conceived primarily ...


Disability And Reproductive Justice, Samuel Bagenstos Jun 2020

Disability And Reproductive Justice, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

In the spring of 2019, disability and abortion rights collided at the Supreme Court in a case involving an Indiana ban on “disability-selective abortions.” In a lengthy concurrence in the denial of certiorari, Justice Thomas argued that the ban was constitutional because it “promote[s] a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.” Just a few months earlier, disability and reproductive rights issues had intersected in a very different way in the debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Disability rights advocates drew attention to an opinion then-Judge Kavanaugh ...


Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz Jun 2020

Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

The Philadelphia and Houston Police Departments are similarly sized, but over a recent two-year period, ten times more civil rights suits were filed against Philadelphia and its officers than were filed against Houston and its officers. Plaintiffs in cases brought against Philadelphia and its officers were awarded one hundred times more in settlements and judgments. What accounts for these differences? Although the frequency and severity of misconduct and injury may play some role, I contend that the volume and outcome of civil rights litigation against any given jurisdiction should be understood as a product of what I call its civil ...


Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy Jun 2020

Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy

Michigan Law Review

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is widely regarded as one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. Among its requirements, Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals. Many questions about the scope of the reasonable-accommodation mandate remain, however, as federal circuit courts disagree over whether extended medical leave may be considered a reasonable accommodation and whether an employee on leave is a qualified individual. This Note argues that courts should presume finite unpaid medical leaves of absence are ...


Who Gets The Ventilator? Disability Discrimination In Covid-19 Medical-Rationing Protocols, Samuel Bagenstos May 2020

Who Gets The Ventilator? Disability Discrimination In Covid-19 Medical-Rationing Protocols, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to reckon with the possibility of having to ration life-saving medical treatments. In response, many health systems have employed protocols that explicitly de-prioritize people for these treatments based on pre-existing disabilities. This Essay argues that such protocols violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Affordable Care Act. Such explicit discrimination on its face violates these statutes. Nor can medical providers simply define disabled patients as being “unqualified” because of disabilities that do not affect the ability to ameliorate the condition for which treatment is sought. A proper interpretation of the ...


Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff May 2020

Revisiting Immutability: Competing Frameworks For Adjudicating Asylum Claims Based On Membership In A Particular Social Group, Talia Shiff

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as any person who has a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” An emerging issue in U.S. asylum law is how to define the category “membership of a particular social group.” This question has become ever-more pressing in light of the fact that the majority of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border are claiming persecution on account of their “membership in a particular social group.” The INA does not define the meaning of “particular ...


Dignity Transacted: Emotional Labor And The Racialized Workplace, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster May 2020

Dignity Transacted: Emotional Labor And The Racialized Workplace, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In interactive customer service encounters, the dignity of the parties becomes the currency of a commercial transaction. Service firms that profit from customer satisfaction place great emphasis on emotional labor, the work that service providers do to make customers feel cared for and esteemed. But performing emotional labor can deny dignity to workers by highlighting their subservience and requiring them to suppress their own emotions in an effort to elevate the status and experiences of their customers. Paradoxically, the burden of performing emotional labor may also impose transactional costs on some customers by facilitating discrimination in service delivery. Drawing on ...


Equality's Understudies, Aziz Z. Huq May 2020

Equality's Understudies, Aziz Z. Huq

Michigan Law Review

Review of Robert L. Tsai's Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation.


Redefining Reproductive Rights And Justice, Leah Litman May 2020

Redefining Reproductive Rights And Justice, Leah Litman

Michigan Law Review

Review of Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories edited by Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw, and Reva B. Siegel.