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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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Disability Rights And The Discourse Of Justice., Samuel Bagenstos Apr 2020

Disability Rights And The Discourse Of Justice., Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

Although the ADA has changed the built architecture of America and dramatically increased the visibility of disabled people, it has not meaningfully increased disability employment rates. And the statute continues to provoke a backlash. Disability rights advocates and sympathizers offer two principal stories to explain this state of affairs. One, the “lost-bipartisanship” story, asserts that disability rights were once an enterprise broadly endorsed across the political spectrum but that they have fallen prey to the massive rise in partisan polarization in the United States. The other, the “legal-change-outpacing-social- change” story, asserts that the ADA was essentially adopted too soon—that ...


Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll Jan 2019

Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll

Articles

The federal class-action rule contains a provision, Rule 23(b)(2), that authorizes class-wide injunctive or declaratory relief for class-wide wrongs. The procedural needs of civil rights litigation motivated the adoption of the provision in 1966, and in the intervening years, it has played an important role in managing efforts to bring about systemic change. At the same time, courts have sometimes struggled to articulate what plaintiffs must show in order to invoke Rule 23(b)(2). A few years ago, the Supreme Court weighed in, stating that the key to this type of class action is the “indivisible” nature ...


Implicit Bias's Failure, Samuel Bagenstos Jun 2018

Implicit Bias's Failure, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

The 2016 presidential election was a coming-out party of sorts for the concept of implicit bias-and not necessarily in a good way. In answering a question about race relations and the police during the vice-presidential debate, Mike Pence introduced the topic. Offering his explanation for why the Fraternal Order of Police had endorsed the Trump-Pence ticket, Pence said:


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.


Disability Rights And Labor: Is This Conflict Really Necessary?, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jun 2017

Disability Rights And Labor: Is This Conflict Really Necessary?, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

In this Essay, I hope to do two things: First, I try to put the current labor-disability controversy into that broader context. Second, and perhaps more important, I take a position on how disability rights advocates should approach both the current controversy and labor-disability tensions more broadly. As to the narrow dispute over wage-and-hour protections for personal-assistance workers, I argue both that those workers have a compelling normative claim to full FLSA protection—a claim that disability rights advocates should recognize—and that supporting the claim of those workers is pragmatically in the best interests of the disability rights movement ...


The Eeoc, The Ada, And Workplace Wellness Programs, Samuel R. Bagenstos May 2017

The Eeoc, The Ada, And Workplace Wellness Programs, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

It seems that everybody loves workplace wellness programs. The Chamber of Commerce has firmly endorsed those progarms, as have other business groups. So has President Obama, and even liberal firebrands like former Senator Tom Harkin. And why not? After all, what's not to like about programs that encourage people to adopt healthy habits like exercise, nutritious eating, and quitting smoking? The proponents of these programs speak passionately, and with evident good intentions, about reducing the crushing burden that chronic disease places on individuals, families, communities, and the economy as a whole. What's not to like? Plenty. Workplace wellness ...


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 ...


Equality Adds Quality: On Upgrading Higher Education And Research In The Field Of Law, Susanne Baer Jan 2017

Equality Adds Quality: On Upgrading Higher Education And Research In The Field Of Law, Susanne Baer

Articles

Much has been attempted, and many pro1ects are still underway aimed at achieving equality in higher education and research. Today, the key argument to demand and support the integration of gender in academia is that equality is indeed about the quality on which academic work is supposed to be based. Although more or less national political, social and cultural contexts matter as much as academic environments, regarding higher education and research, the integration of gender into the field of law seems particularly interesting. Faculties of law enjoy a certain standing and status, are closely connected to power and politics, and ...


From Integrationism To Equal Protection: Tenbroek And The Next 25 Years Of Disability Rights, Samuel R. Bagenstos Sep 2016

From Integrationism To Equal Protection: Tenbroek And The Next 25 Years Of Disability Rights, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

If there is one person who we can say is most responsible for the legal theory of the disability rights movement, that person is Jacobus tenBroek. Professor tenBroek was an influential scholar of disability law, whose writings in the 1960s laid the groundwork for the disability rights laws we have today. He was also an influential disability rights activist. He was one of the founders and the president for more than two decades of the National Federation of the Blind, one of the first-and for many years undisputedly the most effective-of the organizations made up of people with disabilities that ...


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 ...


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 ...


What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz Nov 2015

What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Two years ago, United States u. Windsor tossed out the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"). Thereafter, proponents of marriage equality secured dozens of notable victories in the lower courts, a smattering of setbacks, and last June, the victory they sought in Obergefell v. Hodges. During this same period, opponents of electoral restrictions such as voter identification have seen far less sustained success. Decided the day before Windsor, Shelby County v. Holder scrapped a key provision of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") while making clear that plaintiffs might still challenge disputed voting regulations under Section 2 of the VRA and the ...


Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger

Articles

This Article is part of the University of Miami Law Review’s Leading from Below Symposium. It canvasses prisoners’ lawyers’ strategies prompted by the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). The strategies comply with the statute’s limits yet also allow U.S. district courts to remain a forum for the vindication of the constitutional rights of at least some of the nation’s millions of prisoners. After Part I’s introduction, Part II summarizes in several charts the PLRA’s sharp impact on the prevalence and outcomes of prison litigation, but demonstrates that there are still many cases and ...


Trends In Prisoner Litigation, As The Plra Enters Adulthood, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Trends In Prisoner Litigation, As The Plra Enters Adulthood, Margo Schlanger

Articles

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), enacted in 1996 as part of the Newt Gingrich "Contract with America," is now as old as some prisoners. In the year after the statute's passage, some commenters labeled it merely "symbolic." In fact, as was evident nearly immediately, the PLRA undermined prisoners' ability to bring, settle, and win lawsuits. The PLRA conditioned court access on prisoners' meticulously correct prior use of onerous and error-inviting prison grievance procedures. It increased filing fees, decreased attorneys' fees, and limited damages. It subjected injunctive settlements to the scope limitations usually applicable only to litigated injunctions. It ...


The Ada And The Supreme Court: A Mixed Record, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2015

The Ada And The Supreme Court: A Mixed Record, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

According to conventional wisdom, the Supreme Court has resisted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at every turn. The Court, the story goes, has read the statute extremely narrowly and, as a result, stripped away key protections that Congress intended to provide. Its departure from congressional intent, indeed, was so extreme that Congress passed a statute that overturned several key decisions and codified broad statutory protections. That statute, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). passed with widespread bipartisan support, and President George W. Bush signed it into law. The conventional wisdom leaves out a major part of the story ...


Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher ...


Offices Of Goodness: Influence Without Authority In Federal Agencies, Margo Schlanger Oct 2014

Offices Of Goodness: Influence Without Authority In Federal Agencies, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Inducing governmental organizations to do the right thing is the central problem of public administration. Especially sharp challenges arise when “the right thing” means executing not only a primary mission but also constraints on that mission (what Philip Selznick aptly labeled “precarious values”). In a classic example, we want police to prevent and respond to crime and maintain public order, but to do so without infringing anyone’s civil rights. In the federal government, if Congress or another principal wants an executive agency to pay attention not only to its mission, but also to some other constraining or even conflicting ...


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.


Understanding Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz Jan 2014

Understanding Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz

Articles

Insurance companies are in the business of discrimination. Insurers attempt to segregate insureds into separate risk pools based on the differences in their risk profiles, first, so that different premiums can be charged to the different groups based on their differing risks and, second, to incentivize risk reduction by insureds. This is why we let insurers discriminate. There are limits, however, to the types of discrimination that are permissible for insurers. But what exactly are those limits and how are they justified? To answer these questions, this Article (a) articulates the leading fairness and efficiency arguments for and against limiting ...


Towards A Universal Framework For Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz Jan 2014

Towards A Universal Framework For Insurance Anti-Discrimination Laws, Ronen Avraham, Kyle D. Logue, Daniel Schwarcz

Articles

Discrimination in insurance is principally regulated at the state level. Surprisingly, there is a great deal of variation across coverage lines and policyholder characteristics in how and the extent to which risk classification by insurers is limited. Some statutes expressly permit insurers to consider certain characteristics, while other characteristics are forbidden or limited in various ways. What explains this variation across coverage lines and policyholder characteristics? Drawing on a unique, hand-collected data-set consisting of the laws regulating insurer risk classification in fifty-one U.S. jurisdictions, this Article argues that much of the variation in state-level regulation of risk classification can ...


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 ...


Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that ...