Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 81

Full-Text Articles in Law

Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks Jun 2018

Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Implicit bias research indicates that despite our expressly endorsed values, Americans share a pervasive bias disfavoring Black Americans and favoring White Americans. This bias permeates legislative as well as judicial decision-making, leading to the possibility of verdicts against Black defendants that are tainted with racial bias. The Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado provides an ex post remedy for blatant racism that impacts jury verdicts, while jury nullification provides an ex ante remedy by empowering jurors to reject convicting Black defendants when to do so would reinforce racially biased laws. Both remedies exist alongside a trend limiting ...


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.


The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr May 2017

The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This paper adds to the empirical evidence that criminal records are a barrier to employment. Using data from 2,655 online applications sent on behalf of fictitious male applicants, we show that employers are 60 percent more likely to call applicants that do not have a felony conviction. We further investigate whether this effect varies based on applicant race (black versus white), crime type (drug versus property crime), industry (restaurants versus retail), jurisdiction (New Jersey versus New York City), local crime rate, and local racial composition. Although magnitudes vary somewhat, in every subsample the conviction effect is large, significant, and ...


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 ...


Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt Oct 2016

Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Sanctuary jurisdictions refer to city, town, and state governments (collectively, localities or local governments) that have passed provisions to limit their enforcement of federal immigration laws. Such local governments execute limiting provisions in order to bolster community cooperation, prevent racial discrimination, focus on local priorities for enforcement, or even to a show a local policy that differs from federal policy. The provisions are in the forms of executive orders, municipal ordinances, and state resolutions. Additionally, the scope of the provisions vary by locality: some prohibit law enforcement from asking about immigration status, while others prohibit the use of state resources ...


Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos Jan 2016

Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

At least since the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, disparate-impact liability has faced a direct constitutional threat. This Article argues that the Court’s decision last Term in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which held that disparate-impact liability is available under the Fair Housing Act, has resolved that threat, at least for the time being. In particular, this Article argues, Inclusive Communities is best read to adopt the understanding of equal protection that Justice Kennedy previously articulated in his pivotal concurrence in the 2007 Parents Involved case—which argued ...


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 ...


There Are No Racists Here: The Rise Of Racial Extremism, When No One Is Racist, Jeannine Bell Sep 2015

There Are No Racists Here: The Rise Of Racial Extremism, When No One Is Racist, Jeannine Bell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

At first glance hate murders appear wholly anachronistic in post-racial America. This Article suggests otherwise. The Article begins by analyzing the periodic expansions of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the protection for racist expression in First Amendment doctrine. The Article then contextualizes the case law by providing evidence of how the First Amendment works on the ground in two separate areas —the enforcement of hate crime law and on university campuses that enact speech codes. In these areas, those using racist expression receive full protection for their beliefs. Part III describes social spaces—social media and employment where slurs ...


Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas Sep 2015

Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the context of equal protection doctrine, race has become untethered from the criteria underlying its demarcation as a classification warranting heightened scrutiny. As a result, it is no longer an effective vehicle for challenging the existing social and political order; instead, its primary purpose under current doctrine is to signal the presence of an impermissible basis for differential treatment. This Symposium Article suggests that, to more effectively serve its underlying normative goals, equal protection should prohibit not discrimination based on race per se, but government actions that implicate the concerns leading to race’s designation as a suspect classification ...


The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii Sep 2015

The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article advocates for a fundamental re-understanding about the way that the history of race is understood by the current Supreme Court. Represented by the racial rights opinions of Justice John Roberts that celebrate racial progress, the Supreme Court has equivocated and rendered obsolete the historical experiences of people of color in the United States. This jurisprudence has in turn reified the notion of color-blindness, consigning racial discrimination to a distant and discredited past that has little bearing to how race and inequality is experienced today. The racial history of the Roberts Court is centrally informed by the context and ...


Disparaging Trademarks: Who Matters, Jasmine Abdel-Khalik Sep 2015

Disparaging Trademarks: Who Matters, Jasmine Abdel-Khalik

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

For more than a century, non-majority groups have protested the use of trademarks comprised of or containing terms referencing the group—albeit for various reasons. Under the 1946 Lanham Act, Congress added a prohibition against registering disparaging trademarks, which could offer protection to non-majority groups targeted by the use of trademarks offensive to members of the group. The prohibition remained relatively unclear, however, and rarely applied in that context until a group of Native Americans petitioned to cancel the Washington NFL team’s trademarks as either scandalous, offensive to the general population, or disparaging, offensive to the referenced group. In ...


A Nation Of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act At 50, Ellen D. Katz, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2015

A Nation Of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act At 50, Ellen D. Katz, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Books

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an extraordinary achievement of law, politics, and human rights. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Act's passage, it is appropriate to reflect on the successes and failures of the civil rights project reflected in the statute, as well as on its future directions. This volume represents an attempt to assess the Civil Rights Act's legacy.

On October 11, 2013, a diverse group of civil rights scholars met at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor to assess the interpretation, development, and administration of civil rights law in the five ...


Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

This chapter examines efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment in the period from United States v. Reese through Shelby County v. Holder. Reese and Shelby County expose the most rigorous stance the Court has employed to review congressional efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, while the years in-between show Congress and the Court working more in tandem, at times displaying remarkable indifference to blatant violations of the Fifteenth Amendment, and elsewhere working cooperatively to help vindicate the Amendment’s promise. Defying simple explanation, this vacillation between cooperation and resistance captures the complex and deeply consequential way concerns about federal power ...


Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin Jul 2014

Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ultimately, I argue that one important response to the demise of race-based affirmative action should be to incorporate the experience of segregation into diversity strategies. A college applicant who has thrived despite exposure to poverty in his school or neighborhood deserves special consideration. Those blessed to come of age in poverty-free havens do not. I conclude that use of place, rather than race, in diversity programming will better approximate the structural disadvantages many children of color actually endure, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. While I propose substituting ...


The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman Jul 2014

The Quixtoic Search For Race-Neutral Alternatives, Michael E. Rosman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court has stated that the narrow-tailoring inquiry of the Equal Protection Clause’s strict scrutiny analysis of racially disparate treatment by state actors requires courts to consider whether the defendant seriously considered race-neutral alternatives before adopting the race-conscious program at issue. This article briefly examines what that means in the context of race-conscious admissions programs at colleges and universities. Part I sets forth the basic concepts that the Supreme Court uses to analyze race-conscious decision-making by governmental actors and describes the role of “race-neutral alternatives” in that scheme. Part II examines the nature of “race-neutral alternatives” and identifies ...


Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian Jul 2014

Fisher V. Texas: The Limits Of Exhaustion And The Future Of Race-Conscious University Admissions, John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article investigates the potential ramifications of Fisher v. Texas and the future of race-conscious university admissions. Although one cannot predict the ultimate significance of the Fisher decision, its brief and pregnant statements of law portends an increasingly perilous course for traditional affirmative action programs. Part I explores the opinions filed in Fisher, with a particular emphasis on Justice Kennedy’s opinion on behalf of the Court. We focus on the ways in which the Fisher decision departs from precedent, proscribes new limits on the use of race in university admissions, and tightens requirements for narrow tailoring. Part II investigates ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Richard H. Sander, Aaron Danielson Jan 2014

Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Richard H. Sander, Aaron Danielson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Our exploration is organized as follows. In Part I, we sympathetically consider the very difficult dilemmas facing higher education leaders. Understanding the often irreconcilable pressures that constrain university administrators is essential if we are to envision the plausible policies they might undertake. In Part II, we draw on a range of data to illustrate some of the “properties” of admissions systems and, in particular, the ways in which race, SES, and academic preparation interact dynamically both within individual schools and across the educational spectrum. Partly because the questions we examine here have been so little studied, ideal data does not ...


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

There seems to be a broad consensus that Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination in “place[s] of public accommodation,” was a remarkable success. But the consensus is illusory. Laws prohibiting discrimination by public accommodations currently exist under a significant legal threat. And this threat is merely the latest iteration in the controversy over public accommodations laws that began as early as Reconstruction. This Article begins by discussing the controversy in the Reconstruction and Civil Rights Eras over the penetration of antidiscrimination principles into the realm of private businesses’ choice of customers. Although ...


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2013

Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

The Sentencing Commission’s recent report on the effects of United States v.Booker makes a number of very worri- some claims.The most alarming is that the gap in sen- tences between otherwise similar Black and White men has nearly quadrupled: from 4.5 percent before Booker, to 15 percent after it, to 19.5 percent after United States v. Kimbrough and United States v.Gall. 1 The Commission further claims that interjudge disparity has increased in two-thirds of the federal districts, and that interdistrict variation has also increased.2 If its findings were accurate, and if these changes ...


On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The State of Texas is presently staking out two positions that are not typically pursued by a single litigant. On the one hand, Texas is seeking the invalidation of the Voting Rights Act, and, on the other, the State is now defending the validity of the expansive race-based affirmative action policy it uses at its flagship university. This Essay presses the claim that Texas has increased the chance it will lose in bothTexas v. Holder andFisher v. University of Texas because it has opted to stake out markedly extreme positions in each. I argue that Texas would be more likely ...


David Baldus And The Legacy Of Mccleskey V. Kemp, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2012

David Baldus And The Legacy Of Mccleskey V. Kemp, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

The first major empirical challenge to racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty in the United States was presented in federal court in the case of William L. Maxwell, who was sentenced to death in Arkansas in 1962 for the crime of rape.1 It was based on a landmark study by Marvin Wolfgang, a distinguished criminologist who had collected data on some 3000 rape convictions from 1945 through 1965 in selected counties across eleven southern states.2 He found that black men who were convicted of rape were seven times more likely to be sentenced to death ...


Racial Cartels, Daria Roithmayr Sep 2010

Racial Cartels, Daria Roithmayr

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article argues that we can better understand the dynamic of historical racial exclusion if we describe it as the anti-competitive work of "racial cartels." We can define racial cartels to include a range of all-White groups - homeowners' associations, school districts, trade unions, real estate boards and political parties - who gained signficant social, economic and political profit from excluding on the basis of race. Far from operating on the basis of irrational animus, racial cartels actually derived significant profit from racial exclusion. By creating racially segmented housing markets, for example, exclusive White homeowners' associations enjoyed higher property values that depended ...


Citizen Police: Using The Qui Tam Provision Of The False Claims Act To Promote Racial And Economic Integration In Housing, Jan P. Mensz Jul 2010

Citizen Police: Using The Qui Tam Provision Of The False Claims Act To Promote Racial And Economic Integration In Housing, Jan P. Mensz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Economic and racial integration in housing remains elusive more than forty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Recalcitrant municipal governments and exclusionary zoning ordinances have played a large role in maintaining and exacerbating segregated housing patterns. After discussing some of the persistent causes of segregated housing patterns, this Note presents a novel approach to enforcing the Fair Housing Act and the "affirmatively furthering fair housing" requirement on recipients of federal housing grants. This Note presents a citizen suit that emerged from the Southern District of New York in Anti-Discrimination Center v. Westchester County, where a private plaintiff ...


Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2010

Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article uses the term contingent equal protection to describe the constitutional analysis that applies to a range of governmental efforts to ameliorate race and sex hierarchies. "Contingent" refers to the fact that the equal protection analysis is contingent upon the existence of structural, de facto inequality. Contingent equal protection cases include those that involve explicit race and sex classifications, facially neutral efforts to reduce inequality, and accommodation of sex differences to promote equality. Uniting all three kinds of cases under a single conceptual umbrella reveals the implications that developments in one area can have for the other two.