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Full-Text Articles in Law

Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2022

Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Qualified immunity has become a central target of the movement for police reform and racial justice since George Floyd’s murder. And rightly so. Qualified immunity, which shields government officials from damages for constitutional violations even in many egregious cases, should have no place in federal law. But in critical respects, qualified immunity has become too much a focus of the conversation about constitutional-enforcement reform. The recent reappraisal offers unique opportunities to explore deeper problems and seek deeper solutions.

This Article argues that the public and policymakers should reconsider other aspects of the constitutional-tort system—especially sovereign immunity and related protections for …


The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher Jan 2022

The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher

Faculty Publications

This Article offers a new conceptual framework to understand the connection between law and violence in emergencies. It is by now well-established that governments often commit state violence in times of national security crisis by implementing excessive emergency measures. The Article calls this type of legal violence “Emergency-Affirming Violence.” But Emergency Violence can also be committed through governmental non-action. This type of violence, which this Article calls, “Emergency-Denying Violence,” has manifested in the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Article offers a taxonomy to better understand the phenomenon of Emergency Violence. Using 9/11 and COVID-19 as examples, the Article proposes …


Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

2020 forced scholars, policymakers, and activists alike to grapple with the impact of “twin pandemics”—the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated Black and Indigenous communities, and the scourge of structural and physical state violence against those same communities—on American society. As atrocious acts of anti-Black violence and harassment by law enforcement officers and white civilians are captured on recording devices, the gap between Black people’s human and civil rights and their living conditions has become readily apparent. Less visible human rights abuses camouflaged as private commercial matters, and thus out of the reach of the state, are also increasingly exposed as …


Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States. This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race Theory and other manifestations of Black intellectualism as a campaign for perpetual absolution of white guilt, and even redemption of white supremacy, that is openly embraced by white nationalists but also secretly nourished—and cherished—by the white liberal elite.