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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Soul Savers: A 21st Century Homage To Derrick Bell’S Space Traders Or Should Black People Leave America?, Katheryn Russell-Brown Feb 2021

The Soul Savers: A 21st Century Homage To Derrick Bell’S Space Traders Or Should Black People Leave America?, Katheryn Russell-Brown

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Note: Narrative storytelling is a staple of legal jurisprudence. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers by Lon Fuller and The Space Traders by Derrick Bell are two of the most well-known and celebrated legal stories. The Soul Savers parable that follows pays tribute to Professor Bell’s prescient, apocalyptic racial tale. Professor Bell, a founding member of Critical Race Theory, wrote The Space Traders to instigate discussions about America’s deeply rooted entanglements with race and racism. The Soul Savers is offered as an attempt to follow in Professor Bell’s narrative footsteps by raising and pondering new and old ...


Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson Jan 2021

Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review (MBELR) has always strived to provide a platform for legal scholars, professionals, and students to publish business-related legal scholarship. Yet, little legal business scholarship focusing on the Black business community exists, despite the extraordinary impact that Black communities have in the U.S. business landscape. In a year of revolutionary social change, we are excited to feature in this special issue the work of Professor Dana Thompson, a Michigan Law alumna, in an effort to remedy this gap. Professor Thompson’s career, professional values, and day-to-day work demonstrate genuine, commanding, and inspiring commitment to ...


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 ...


Excerpt Of Law And Anti-Blackness, Michele Goodwin Jan 2021

Excerpt Of Law And Anti-Blackness, Michele Goodwin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Professor Michele Goodwin’s essay here (and the article from which it came, to be published in full in our Winter issue) explicitly identifies the development of American law as a project of cementing racial caste. This piece is a call for conversation and asks us all to consider: “How has the failure to acknowledge and address the carnage and prurience of America’s racial origin story impacted life today?” For 26 volumes, we have attempted to answer that question. In publishing this story in this issue, we are excited to be joined by our peers in that effort.


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Nov 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Michigan Law Review

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


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 ...


Dismantling The Master’S House: Toward A Justice-Based Theory Of Community Economic Development, Etienne C. Toussaint Apr 2020

Dismantling The Master’S House: Toward A Justice-Based Theory Of Community Economic Development, Etienne C. Toussaint

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Since the end of the American Civil War, scholars have debated the efficacy of various models of community economic development, or CED. Historically, this debate has tracked one of two approaches: place-based models of CED, seeking to stimulate community development through market-driven economic growth programs, and people-based models of CED, focused on the removal of structural barriers to social and economic mobility that prevent human flourishing. More recently, scholars and policymakers have turned to a third model from the impact investing community—the social impact bond, or SIB. The SIB model of CED ostensibly finds a middle ground by leveraging ...


The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters Jan 2020

The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The right to privacy is one of the most fundamental rights in American jurisprudence. In 1890, Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis conceptualized the right to privacy as the right to be let alone and inspired privacy jurisprudence that tracked their initial description. Warren and Brandeis conceptualized further that this right was not exclusively meant to protect one’s body or physical property. Privacy rights were protective of “the products and the processes of the mind” and the “inviolate personality.” Privacy was further understood to protect the ability to “live one’s life as one chooses, free from assault ...


Dispossessing Detroit: How The Law Takes Property, Mary Kathlin Sickel Jan 2020

Dispossessing Detroit: How The Law Takes Property, Mary Kathlin Sickel

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Introduction for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform's Symposium “Dispossessing Detroit: How the Law Takes Property,” hosted on November 9 and 10, 2019.


Dispossessing Resident Voice: Municipal Receiverships And The Public Trust, Juliet M. Moringiello Jan 2020

Dispossessing Resident Voice: Municipal Receiverships And The Public Trust, Juliet M. Moringiello

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The residents of struggling cities suffer property dispossessions both as individual owners and as municipal residents. Their individual dispossessions are part of a cycle that often begins with industrial decline. In Detroit, for example, more than 100,000 residents have lost their homes to tax foreclosure over a four-year period that bracketed the city’s bankruptcy filing. Falling property values, job losses, and foreclosures affect municipal budgets by reducing tax revenues. As individual dispossessions exacerbate municipal financial crises, residents can also face the loss of municipal property. Struggling cities and towns often sell publicly owned property—from parks to parking ...


Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart Jan 2020

Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In Charlottesville, Virginia, the University Cemetery serves as the final resting place of many of the most prominent community members of the University of Virginia. In 2011, the University planned an expansion. During archaeological research to this end, sixty-seven previously unidentified interments, in both adult and child-sized grave shafts, were discovered on the proposed site of expansion, to the northeast of the University Cemetery. Further archival research revealed that “at least two late nineteenth century references note that enslaved African Americans were buried north of but outside the enclosed University, in an adjacent wooded area.” In one, Col. Charles Christian ...


The Changing Student Body At The University Of Michigan Law School, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

The Changing Student Body At The University Of Michigan Law School, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

Most of the content of the memo that follows has been previously published in the article "Who We Were and Who We Are: How Michigan Law Students Have Changed Since the 1950s: Findings from 40 Years of Alumni Surveys." T. K. Adams, co-author. Law Quad. Notes 51, no. 1 (2009): 74-80, available through this website. This memo provides more detail about changing entry credentials and about the great expansion beginning in the 1970s in the numbers of women students and of racial/ethnic minority students. It also provides information not in the article about the patterns over time in students ...


White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah Jan 2019

White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Over the past year, reports to the police about Black persons engaged in innocuous behaviors have bombarded the American consciousness. What do we make of them? And, equally important, what are the consequences of such reports?

This Article is the first to argue that the recent spike in calls to the police against Black persons who are simply existing must be understood as a systematic phenomenon which it dubs racialized police communication. The label captures two related practices. First, racially motivated police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made when Black persons are engaged in behavior that would not have been ...


Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat Oct 2018

Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

National fair housing legislation opened up higher opportunity neighborhoods to multitudes of middle-class African Americans. In actuality, the FHA offered much less to the millions of poor, Black residents in inner cities than it did to the Black middle class. Partly in response to the FHA’s inability to provide quality housing for low-income blacks, Congress has pursued various mobility strategies designed to facilitate the integration of low-income Blacks into high-opportunity neighborhoods as a resolution to the persistent dilemma of the ghetto. These efforts, too, have had limited success. Now, just over fifty years after the passage of the Fair ...


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


An Invisible Crisis In Plain Sight: The Emergence Of The "Eviction Economy," Its Causes, And The Possibilities For Reform In Legal Regulation And Education, David A. Dana Apr 2017

An Invisible Crisis In Plain Sight: The Emergence Of The "Eviction Economy," Its Causes, And The Possibilities For Reform In Legal Regulation And Education, David A. Dana

Michigan Law Review

Review of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.


Slaves As Plaintiffs, Alfred L. Brophy Apr 2017

Slaves As Plaintiffs, Alfred L. Brophy

Michigan Law Review

Review of Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom Before Dred Scott by Lea VanderVelde.


Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens Mar 2017

Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens

Other Publications

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” We see this racial disparity for all major crime categories, but we examine it in this report in the context of the three types of crime that produce the ...


Concealed Motives: Rethinking Fourteenth Amendment And Voting Rights Challenges To Felon Disenfranchisement, Lauren Latterell Powell Mar 2017

Concealed Motives: Rethinking Fourteenth Amendment And Voting Rights Challenges To Felon Disenfranchisement, Lauren Latterell Powell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Felon disenfranchisement provisions are justified by many Americans under the principle that voting is a privilege to be enjoyed only by upstanding citizens. The provisions are intimately tied, however, to the country’s legacy of racism and systemic disenfranchisement and are at odds with the values of American democracy. In virtually every state, felon disenfranchisement provisions affect the poor and communities of color on a grossly disproportionate scale. Yet to date, most challenges to the provisions under the Equal Protection Clause and Voting Rights Act have been unsuccessful, frustrating proponents of re-enfranchisement and the disenfranchised alike.

In light of those ...


Racism Didn't Stop At Jim Crow, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2017

Racism Didn't Stop At Jim Crow, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Reviews

Nearly 50 years ago, the Kerner Commission famously declared that “[o]ur nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” The picture has changed distressingly little since then. In the 1950 Census, the average African American in a metropolitan area lived in a neighborhood that was 35 percent white—the same figure as in the 2010 Census. In 2010, the average white American still lived in a neighborhood that was more than 75 percent white. America’s largest metropolitan areas—particularly, but not exclusively, in the North—continue to score high on many common measures ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


Implicit Bias In Daily Perceptions And Legal Judgments, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers Jan 2017

Implicit Bias In Daily Perceptions And Legal Judgments, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In today’s demonstration, we explored the audience’s positive and negative associations with blacks and whites. The demonstration is an adaptation of the Implicit Association Test (www.projectimplicit.net), a computer-based task designed to explore mental connections between various concepts. Participants were presented with a list of concepts (stereotypically black and white names, pleasant and unpleasant concepts) in a column down the middle of a screen along with the response categories (black/white or Pleasant/Unpleasant) along the left and right sides. When reading a word, participants were asked to categorize it by slapping the knee (left or right ...


Legal Aid's Once And Future Role For Impacting The Criminalization Of Poverty And The War On The Poor, Aneel L. Chablani May 2016

Legal Aid's Once And Future Role For Impacting The Criminalization Of Poverty And The War On The Poor, Aneel L. Chablani

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Recent media coverage and advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals subjected to criminal sanctions as a result of their poverty status has resulted in increased attention on this nation’s troubled history of oppression and control of the poor and people of color. At the federal, state, and local levels, a growing number of policies create criminal sanctions for poverty-related circumstances. These, in turn, result in collateral consequences that unfairly affect those who lack the means to afford their criminal justice experience (i.e., processing costs, fees, and fines), or affect their ability to access employment, housing, or other basic ...


Closing The Gap Between What Is Lawful And What Is Right In Police Use Of Force Jurisprudence By Making Police Departments More Democratic Institutions, Jonathan M. Smith May 2016

Closing The Gap Between What Is Lawful And What Is Right In Police Use Of Force Jurisprudence By Making Police Departments More Democratic Institutions, Jonathan M. Smith

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, by police officer Darren Wilson. Members of the Ferguson community rose up in response. Protests demanding that police violence against African Americans cease and that accountability for police misconduct be addressed erupted across the country, and they have not subsided since. Incidents in Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; WallerCounty, Texas; and elsewhere have kept the movement alive. The mass media, the political elite, and the White middle class woke up to a reality that had been long known to communities of color – force is used disproportionately against people ...


On Black South Africans, Black Americans, And Black West Indians: Some Thoughts On We Want What’S Ours, Eleanor Marie Lawrence Brown Apr 2016

On Black South Africans, Black Americans, And Black West Indians: Some Thoughts On We Want What’S Ours, Eleanor Marie Lawrence Brown

Michigan Law Review

Most modern constitutions have eminent domain provisions that mandate just compensation for forced deprivations of land and require such deprivations to be for a public use or public purpose. The Takings Clause is a classic example of such a provision. The takings literature is essentially focused on outlining the outer boundaries within which the state can take property from an owner. But there are other takings that have been deemed “extraordinary”; in such circumstances, the state takes away property without just compensation and simultaneously makes a point about a person or a group’s standing in the community of citizens.


Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2016

Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

In this Article, I explore why measuring disparate-treatment discrimination by police is so difficult, and consider the ways that researchers' existing tools can make headway on these challenges and the ways they fall short. Lab experiments have provided useful information about implicit racial bias, but they cannot directly tell us how these biases actually affect real-world behavior. Meanwhile, for observational researchers, there are various hurdles, but the hardest one to overcome is generally the absence of data on the citizen conduct that at least partially shapes policing decisions. Most crime, and certainly most noncriminal "suspicious" or probable-cause-generating behavior, goes unreported ...


Mens Rea, Criminal Responsibility, And The Death Of Freddie Gray, Michael Serota Oct 2015

Mens Rea, Criminal Responsibility, And The Death Of Freddie Gray, Michael Serota

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Who (if anyone) is criminally responsible for the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died from injuries suffered while in the custody of Baltimore police? This question has been at the forefront of the extensive coverage of Gray’s death, which has inspired a national discussion about law enforcement’s relationship with black communities. But it is also a question that may never be fairly resolved for reasons wholly unrelated to the topic of community policing, with which Gray’s death has become synonymous. What may ultimately hamper the administration of justice in the prosecution of the ...


Strip Searching In The Age Of Colorblind Racism: The Disparate Impact Of Florence V. Board Of Chosen Freeholders Of The County Of Burlington, André Keeton Oct 2015

Strip Searching In The Age Of Colorblind Racism: The Disparate Impact Of Florence V. Board Of Chosen Freeholders Of The County Of Burlington, André Keeton

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington. The Court held that full strip searches, including cavity searches, are permissible regardless of the existence of basic reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is in possession of contraband. Further, the Court held that law enforcement may conduct full strip searches after arresting an individual for a minor offense and irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the arrest. These holdings upended typical search jurisprudence. Florence sanctions the overreach of state power and extends to law enforcement and corrections officers the unfettered ...


Barriers To The Ballot Box: Implicit Bias And Voting Rights In The 21st Century, Arusha Gordon, Ezra D. Rosenberg Oct 2015

Barriers To The Ballot Box: Implicit Bias And Voting Rights In The 21st Century, Arusha Gordon, Ezra D. Rosenberg

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

While much has been written regarding unconscious or “implicit bias” in other areas of law, there is a scarcity of scholarship examining how implicit bias impacts voting rights and how advocates can move courts to recognize evidence of implicit bias within the context of a voting rights claim. This Article aims to address that scarcity. After reviewing research on implicit bias, this Article examines how implicit bias might impact different stages of the electoral process. It then argues that “results test” claims under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) present an opportunity for plaintiffs to introduce evidence regarding ...