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

Law Commons

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

Articles 1 - 30 of 33

Full-Text Articles in Law

History's Speech Acts, Jessie Hill Jan 2023

History's Speech Acts, Jessie Hill

Faculty Publications

This Essay considers the historic relationship between symbolic public expressions of racial and religious identity—in particular, Confederate symbols and Christian religious displays. These displays sometimes comprise shared symbology, and the adoption of this symbology overlaps at distinct moments in U.S. history in which Confederate and Christian symbolism converged to express messages of combined religious and racial superiority. This Essay argues that these forms of expression can best be understood as “speech acts” that seek to construct a particular social reality, often in defiance of political and social fact. They thus not only express but also enact social hierarchies. It further …


The Color Of Property And Auto Insurance: Time For Change, Jennifer B. Wriggins Jan 2022

The Color Of Property And Auto Insurance: Time For Change, Jennifer B. Wriggins

Faculty Publications

Insurance company executives issued statements condemning racism and urging change throughout society and in the insurance industry after the huge Black Lives Matter demonstrations in summer 2020. The time therefore is ripe for examining insurance as it relates to race and racism, including history and current regulation. Two of the most important types of personal insurance are property and automobile. Part I begins with history, focusing on property insurance, auto insurance, race, and racism in urban areas around the mid-twentieth century. Private insurers deemed large areas of cities where African Americans lived to be “blighted” and refused to insure all …


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 …


How To Include Issues Of Race And Racism In The 1-L Torts Course: A Call For Reform, Jennifer Wriggins Jan 2021

How To Include Issues Of Race And Racism In The 1-L Torts Course: A Call For Reform, Jennifer Wriggins

Faculty Publications

Race and racism have always played a significant role in the U.S. tort system as research has long shown and as hundreds of published decisions demonstrate. Do torts casebooks reflect the importance of race and racism in torts? The article first surveys 23 torts casebooks published from 2016 to 2021 to see whether and to what extent they discuss race and racism. Most avoid discussions of race and racism in torts; and although they always discuss tort history, they omit the racial history of torts. Although publishers frequently issue new editions of torts casebooks, newer editions generally have not expanded …


Of American Fragility: Public Rituals, Human Rights, And The End Of Invisible Man, Etienne C. Toussaint Jan 2020

Of American Fragility: Public Rituals, Human Rights, And The End Of Invisible Man, Etienne C. Toussaint

Faculty Publications

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of American democracy in at least two important ways. First, the coronavirus has ravaged Black communities across the United States, unmasking decades of inequitable laws and public policies that have rendered Black lives socially and economically isolated from adequate health care services, educational resources, housing stability, environmental security, stable and living wage jobs, generational wealth, and other institutional structures necessary for resilience. Second, government-mandated social distancing in response to the coronavirus has failed to dampen America’s racially biased, violent, and supervisory policing culture, reigniting demands from the Movement for Black Lives for police …


Trauma-Centered Social Justice, Noa Ben-Asher Jan 2020

Trauma-Centered Social Justice, Noa Ben-Asher

Faculty Publications

This Article identifies a new and growing phenomenon in the American legal system. Many leading agendas for gender, racial, and climate justice are centered on emotional trauma as the primary injury of contemporary social injustices. By focusing on three social justice movements–#BlackLivesMatter; #MeToo, and Climate Justice–the Article offers the first comprehensive diagnosis and assessment of how emotional trauma has become an engine for legal and policy social justice reforms. From a nineteenth century psychoanalytic theory about repressed childhood sexual memories that manifest in female hysteria, through extensive medicalization and classification in the twentieth century, emotional trauma has evolved and expanded …


Supbrime Lending/Foreclosure Crisis, Jacob Rugh Apr 2019

Supbrime Lending/Foreclosure Crisis, Jacob Rugh

Faculty Publications

Subprime mortgage lending in the USA rose alongside home prices and lasted about 15 years, ending abruptly in late 2007, setting off a national foreclosure crisis. Between 2007 and 2012 there were 9 to 12 million foreclosures filings and 4 to 5 million completed foreclosures. The ensuing foreclosure crisis stemmed more from falling home prices but its unequal distribution across society by race and space was also the product of legacies of exclusion and a shared consensus on the expansion of mortgage credit and home ownership. Modest federal interventions to buffer communities and homeowners from the crisis likely reinforced the …


A Wall Of Hate: Eminent Domain And Interest-Convergence, Philip Lee Jan 2019

A Wall Of Hate: Eminent Domain And Interest-Convergence, Philip Lee

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Donald Trump is no stranger to eminent domain. In the 1990s, Trump wanted land around Trump Plaza to build a limousine parking lot. Many of the private owners agreed to sell, but one elderly widow and two brothers who owned a small business refused. Trump then got a government agency—the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA)—to take the properties through eminent domain, offering them a quarter of what they had previously paid or been offered for their land.

The property owners fought back and finally won. Although the CRDA named several justifications, from economic development to traffic alleviation and additional …


Gender, Race & The Inadequate Regulation Of Cosmetics, Marie C. Boyd Jan 2018

Gender, Race & The Inadequate Regulation Of Cosmetics, Marie C. Boyd

Faculty Publications

Scholars and other commentators have identified failures in the regulation of cosmetics-which depends heavily on voluntary industry self- regulation-and called for more stringent regulation of these products. Yet these calls have largely neglected an important dimension of the problem: the current laissez-faire approach to the regulation of cosmetics disproportionally places women, and particularly women who are members of other excluded groups, at risk. This Article examines federal cosmetics law and regulation through a feminist lens. It argues that cosmetics law and regulation have lagged behind that of the other major product categories regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under …


In The Shadow Of Gaslight: Reflections On Identity, Diversity, And The Distribution Of Power In The Academy, Cyra Akila Choudhury Jan 2017

In The Shadow Of Gaslight: Reflections On Identity, Diversity, And The Distribution Of Power In The Academy, Cyra Akila Choudhury

Faculty Publications

This essay explores identity and diversity in the Academy through the work of feminist philosopher, Sara Ahmed. It makes two interventions. First, it sketches the use of identity politics from the 1980s and 1990s as a tool of resistance against assimilation and erasure to its current uses sometimes as a tool of discipline within minority groups. Second, it raises the problem of the cooptation of identity by institutions to maintain the status quo. In the hands of institutions and as a metric for progress, diversity can mask ongoing subordination and create doubt in the minds of minorities about whether what …


Race, Rhetoric, And Judicial Opinions: Missouri As A Case Study, Brad Desnoyer, Anne Alexander Jan 2017

Race, Rhetoric, And Judicial Opinions: Missouri As A Case Study, Brad Desnoyer, Anne Alexander

Faculty Publications

This Essay studies the relationship between race, rhetoric, and history in three twentieth century segregation cases: State ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, Kraemer v. Shelley, and Liddell v. Board of Education. Part I gives a brief overview of the scholarship of Critical Race Theory, majoritarian narratives and minority counter-narratives, and the judiciary’s rhetoric in race-based cases. Part II analyzes the narratives and language of Gaines, Kraemer, and Liddell, provides the social context of these cases, and traces their historical outcomes.

The Essay contends that majoritarian narratives with problematic themes continue to perpetuate even though court opinions have evolved to use …


A New American Dream For Detroit, Andrea Boyack Oct 2016

A New American Dream For Detroit, Andrea Boyack

Faculty Publications

The problem of neighborhood deterioration is keenly visible in Detroit today, but Detroit’s housing struggles are not unique. Like most of America, the Detroit metropolitan area is racially fragmented, and minority neighborhoods are the most likely to be impoverished and failing. Detroit’s problems of housing abandonment and neighborhood decay are both caused and exacerbated by decades of housing segregation and inequality. The “American Dream” has always been one of equal opportunity, but there can be no equality of opportunity when there is such stark inequality among home environments. Detroit’s neighborhood decline is a symptom of the city’s population loss and …


Response To Keeping Cases From Black Juries: An Empirical Analysis Of How Race, Income Inequality, And Regional History Affect Tort Law, Jennifer Wriggins Jan 2016

Response To Keeping Cases From Black Juries: An Empirical Analysis Of How Race, Income Inequality, And Regional History Affect Tort Law, Jennifer Wriggins

Faculty Publications

Issues of race and racism in the U.S. torts system continue to deserve much more attention from legal scholarship than they receive, and Keeping Cases from Black Juries is a valuable contribution. Studying racism as it infects the torts system is difficult because explicit de jure exclusions of black jurors are in the past; race is no longer on the surface of tort opinions; and court records do not reveal the race of tort plaintiffs, defendants, or jurors. Yet it is essential to try and understand the workings of race and racism in the torts system. The authors pose a …


Counting Casualties In Communities Hit Hardest By The Foreclosure Crisis, Matthew Rossman Jan 2016

Counting Casualties In Communities Hit Hardest By The Foreclosure Crisis, Matthew Rossman

Faculty Publications

Recent statistics suggest that the U.S. housing market has largely recovered from the Foreclosure Crisis. A closer look reveals that the country is composed not of one market, but of thousands of smaller, local housing markets that have experienced dramatically uneven levels of recovery. Repeated waves of home mortgage foreclosures inundated certain communities (the “Hardest Hit Communities”), causing their housing markets to break rather than bend and resulting in what amounts to a permanent transition to a lower value plateau. Homeowners in these predominantly low and middle income and/or minority communities who endured the Foreclosure Crisis lost significant equity in …


Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination And Segregation Through Physical Design Of The Built Environment, Sarah B. Schindler Jan 2015

Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination And Segregation Through Physical Design Of The Built Environment, Sarah B. Schindler

Faculty Publications

The built environment is characterized by man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals — often poor people and people of color — to access certain places. Bridges were designed to be so low that buses could not pass under them in order to prevent people of color from accessing a public beach. Walls, fences, and highways separate historically white neighborhoods from historically black ones. Wealthy communities have declined to be served by public transit so as to make it difficult for individuals from poorer areas to access their neighborhoods. Although the law has addressed the exclusionary impacts …


Identity Property: Protecting The New Ip In A Race-Relevant World, Philip Lee Jan 2015

Identity Property: Protecting The New Ip In A Race-Relevant World, Philip Lee

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

This Article explores the relatively new idea in American legal thought that people of color are human beings whose dignity and selfhood are worthy of legal protection. While the value and protection of whiteness throughout American legal history is undeniable, non-whiteness has had a more turbulent history. For most of American history, the concept of non-whiteness was constructed by white society and reinforced by law—i.e., through a process of socio-legal construction—in a way that excluded its possessor from the fruits of citizenship. However, people of color have resisted this negative construction of selfhood. This resistance led to the development …


'Lonesome Road': Driving Without The Fourth Amendment, Lewis R. Katz Jan 2013

'Lonesome Road': Driving Without The Fourth Amendment, Lewis R. Katz

Faculty Publications

American states and municipalities have so many minor traffic regulations that every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a car he or she is likely to commit multiple violations. The violation of any traffic regulation empowers police officers to stop the vehicle, ticket and, in some states, arrest the motorist. Police are physically unable to stop and ticket, let alone arrest, every motorist committing a traffic violation. Instead, police are vested with unlimited discretion when choosing which motorists to stop, warn, ticket, or arrest. So long as there is probable cause for a traffic violation, courts will not …


Middle Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black Mar 2012

Middle Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Concentrated poverty in public schools continues to be a leading determinate of the educational opportunities that minority students receive. Since the effective end of mandatory desegregation, advocates have lacked legal tools to address it. As an alternative, some advocates and scholars have attempted to incorporate the concerns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation into educational litigation under state constitutions, but these efforts have been slow to take hold. Thus, all that has remained for students in poor and minority schools is the hope that school finance litigation could direct sufficient resources to mitigate their plight. This Article offers another solution. …


Middle-Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black Jan 2012

Middle-Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Concentrated poverty in public schools continues to be a leading determinate of the educational opportunities that minority students receive. Since the effective end of mandatory desegregation, advocates have lacked legal tools to address it. As an alternative, some advocates and scholars have attempted to incorporate the concerns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation into educational litigation under state constitutions, but these efforts have been slow to take hold. Thus, all that has remained for students in poor and minority schools is the hope that school finance litigation could direct sufficient resources to mitigate their plight. This Article offers another solution. …


From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde Mar 2011

From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde

Faculty Publications

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States was widely considered to be a world leader in matters of child protection and welfare, a reputation lost by the century’s end. This paper suggests that the United States’ loss of international esteem concerning child welfare was directly related to its practice of executing juvenile offenders. The paper analyzes why the United States continued to carry out the juvenile death penalty after the establishment of juvenile courts and other protections for child criminals. Two factors allowed the United States to continue the juvenile death penalty after most states in …


Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Landlords, Latinos, Anti-Illegal Immigrant Ordinances, And Housing Discrimination, Rigel C. Oliveri Jan 2009

Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Landlords, Latinos, Anti-Illegal Immigrant Ordinances, And Housing Discrimination, Rigel C. Oliveri

Faculty Publications

In the face of federal inability to effectively police our national borders and to remove unauthorized immigrants, many local governments have recently sought to take measures into their own hands by passing anti-illegal immigrant ("AII") ordinances. These ordinances usually contain a combination of provisions restricting housing, employment, and public benefits for unauthorized immigrants, among other things.This Article focuses on AII provisions that are targeted at private rental housing, which typically take the form of sanctions against landlords who rent to unauthorized immigrants.


Race And Wealth Disparity: The Role Of Law And The Legal System, Beverly Moran, Stephanie Wildman Apr 2007

Race And Wealth Disparity: The Role Of Law And The Legal System, Beverly Moran, Stephanie Wildman

Faculty Publications

In response to the prevalent view that American law and legal institutions are class and color blind, this Article provides examples of how legal institutions sometimes do create and maintain racialized wealth disparities. The Article offers examples of this phenomenon by examining a sequence of federal judicial decisions, the federal taxing statutes, the role of legal education, and access to legal services. These examples are instructive because they cut across a broad spectrum of components of the American legal system. By revisiting issues of race and wealth in different legal settings from the Constitution to federal cases, the tax system, …


Undermining Individual And Collective Citizenship: The Impact Of Exclusion Laws On The African-American Community, S. David Mitchell Jan 2007

Undermining Individual And Collective Citizenship: The Impact Of Exclusion Laws On The African-American Community, S. David Mitchell

Faculty Publications

The purpose of this article is to expose felon exclusion laws as a method for undermining the individual and collective citizenship rights of the African-American community, and to call for their abolition.


Racially-Tailored’ Medicine Unraveled, Sharona Hoffman Mar 2006

Racially-Tailored’ Medicine Unraveled, Sharona Hoffman

Faculty Publications

In June 2005, the FDA approved BiDil, a heart failure medication that is labeled for use only by African-Americans and thus is the first treatment of its kind. The drug likely portends a future of growing interest in "race-based" medicine. This phenomenon is emerging at the same time that scientists, in light of the Human Genome Project, are reaching an understanding that "race" has no biological meaning, and consequently, "racially-tailored" medicine is both puzzling and troubling.

This Article explores the reasons for the new focus on "racial-profiling" in medicine. It analyzes the risks and dangers of this approach, including medical …


Do Ask And Do Tell: Rethinking The Lawyer’S Duty To Warn In Domestic Violence Cases, Margaret B. Drew, Sarah Buel Jan 2006

Do Ask And Do Tell: Rethinking The Lawyer’S Duty To Warn In Domestic Violence Cases, Margaret B. Drew, Sarah Buel

Faculty Publications

Empirical data document that while domestic violence victims face high risk of recurring abuse, batterers’ lawyers may be privy to information that could avert further harm. Attorneys owe a duty of confidentiality to their clients that can be breached only in extraordinary circumstances, such as when counsel learns her client plans to commit a crime. To resolve the tension between client confidentiality and victim safety, this Article argues that, in the context of domestic violence cases, lawyers have an affirmative duty to (1) screen battering clients who have indicated a likelihood of harming others, (2) attempt to dissuade them from …


Is It Too Late For Title Vi Enforcement?: Seeking Redemption Of The Unequal United States‟ Long Term Care System Through International Means, Ruqaiijah Yearby Jan 2005

Is It Too Late For Title Vi Enforcement?: Seeking Redemption Of The Unequal United States‟ Long Term Care System Through International Means, Ruqaiijah Yearby

Faculty Publications

Legal and medical experts have noted continued racism in the health care system that prevents the equal distribution of quality care. Initially most racism was intentional and expressed through de jure segregation, as evidenced by federal funding of the construction of racial segregated health care facilities. Now most racism, expressed through de facto segregation, is subtly incorporated into the daily practices of institutions causing an adverse disparate impact on African-Americans. This institutional racism establishes separate and independent barriers through the neutral denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of the institutions …


Race, Trust, Altruism, And Reciprocity, George W. Dent Jan 2005

Race, Trust, Altruism, And Reciprocity, George W. Dent

Faculty Publications

Trust, altruism and reciprocity are attracting growing attention from scholars. Interest began with psychological experiments showing that people often are altruistic, trust others, and reciprocate the benevolence of others far more than economic models of "rational" human selfishness predict. These findings inspired social scientists to discover what factors promote or hinder cooperation. Legal scholars have employed this learning to determine how the law does or could facilitate or discourage cooperation in many contexts, including business transactions and the workplace. The influence of race on cooperation has been studied in specific areas, but so far no one has considered how the …


Is There A Place For Race As A Legal Concept, Sharona Hoffman Jan 2004

Is There A Place For Race As A Legal Concept, Sharona Hoffman

Faculty Publications

What does "race" mean? The word "race" is omnipresent in American social, political, and legal discourse. The concept of "race" is central to contemporary debate about affirmative action, racial profiling, hate crimes, health inequities, and many other issues. Nevertheless, the best research in genetics, medicine, and the social sciences reveals that the concept of "race" is elusive and has no reliable definition.

This article argues that "race" is an unnecessary and potentially pernicious concept. As evidenced by the history of slavery, segregation, the Holocaust, and other human tragedies, the idea of "race" can perpetuate prejudices and misconceptions and serve as …


A Race Approach To International Law (Rail): Is There A Need For Yet Another Critique Of International Law, Ediberto Román Jan 2000

A Race Approach To International Law (Rail): Is There A Need For Yet Another Critique Of International Law, Ediberto Román

Faculty Publications

This work reviews an important shortcoming of the dominant public international paradigm and the recent methodical responses to that edifice. Specifically, this article argues that issues of race have not been significantly addressed in international law discourse. In particular, this Article notes that in the theoretical discourse some writers have discussed race, but the thrust of the discourse marginalizes the importance of race. In the practice of international law, people of color are affected but rarely recognized in policy debates. Additionally, this work attempts to explain how a discourse that positions race at the center of the discourse increases the …


Small Numbers, Black Men, Precipitous Responses, Big Problems, Michael A. Middleton Jan 1994

Small Numbers, Black Men, Precipitous Responses, Big Problems, Michael A. Middleton

Faculty Publications

Professor Culp has aptly warned us that in our discussion of employment discrimination we should not lose sight of the need to address the spectrum of policies affecting the status of African-Americans. Without serious efforts in all aspects of American life (e.g., housing, education, health care, political and economic empowerment) our chances of significantly improving the future for African-American men are slim.