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Full-Text Articles in Law

Prison And Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021, Margo Schlanger Apr 2022

Prison And Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021, Margo Schlanger

Law & Economics Working Papers

These tables relating to prison and jail civil rights litigation in federal court update prior-published versions, using data available as of April 6, 2022.

The Tables show longitudinal statistics about case filings, features, and outcomes, for jail/prison civil rights and conditions cases and for the entire federal civil docket, grouped by case category.
List of tables:
Table A: Incarcerated Population and Prison/Jail Civil Rights Filings, FY1970–FY2021
Table B: Pro Se Litigation in U.S. District Courts by Case Type, Cases Terminated Fiscal Years 1996–2021
Table C: Outcomes in Prisoner Civil Rights Cases in Federal District Court ...


Exploring Race And Racism In The Law School Curriculum: An Administrator's View On Adopting An Antiracist Curriculum, Amy Gaudion Jan 2022

Exploring Race And Racism In The Law School Curriculum: An Administrator's View On Adopting An Antiracist Curriculum, Amy Gaudion

Faculty Scholarly Works

This article provides a candid assessment of the demanding, and rewarding, work that is required to put into action the written words of institutional support for implementing an Antiracist curriculum. This article starts by describing the two Penn State Dickinson Law faculty resolutions that committed the faculty to condemn racism and bias against our Black and Brown brothers and sisters, while committing to teach and learn according to Antiracist pedagogy and best practices. It then describes the resolve to become Antiracist teachers, discusses the investments in curricular policy and reform, and details the bureaucratic processes to accomplish the following: adding ...


Uneasy Lies The Head: Tracking A Loophole In Racial Discrimination Law, Kate E. Britt Jan 2022

Uneasy Lies The Head: Tracking A Loophole In Racial Discrimination Law, Kate E. Britt

Law Librarian Scholarship

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Historically, courts have ruled in favor of workplace grooming policies that prohibit most natural Black hairstyles as not unlawfully discriminatory within the scope of Title VII. This article discusses hair discrimination in workplaces and how federal, state, and local legislators are attempting to close this loophole.


Colorblind Capture, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2022

Colorblind Capture, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

We are facing two converging waves of racial retrenchment. The first, which arose following the Civil Rights Movement, is nearing a legal milestone. This term or the next, the Supreme Court will prohibit affirmative action in higher education. When it does, the Court will cement decades of conservative jurisprudence that has systematically eroded the right to remedy racial inequality.

The second wave is more recent but no less significant. Following 2020’s global uprising for racial justice, rightwing forces launched a coordinated assault on antiracism itself. The campaign has enjoyed early success. As one measure, GOP officials have passed, proposed ...


Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2022

Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Civil rights advocates have long viewed litigation as a vital path to social change. In many ways, it is. But in key respects that remain underexplored in legal scholarship, even successful litigation can hinder remedial projects. This perverse effect stems from civil rights doctrines that incentivize litigants (or their attorneys) to foreground community plight—such as academic underachievement or overincarceration. Rational plaintiffs, responding in kind, deploy legal narratives that tend to track racial stereotypes and regressive theories of inequality. When this occurs, even successful lawsuits can harden the structural and behavioral forces that produce and perpetuate racial inequality.

I refer ...


Bargaining For Integration, Shirley Lin Dec 2021

Bargaining For Integration, Shirley Lin

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to restructure exclusionary environments upon the request of their employees with disabilities so that they may continue working. Under a virtually unexamined aspect of the mandate, however, the parties must negotiate in good faith over every accommodation request. This “interactive process,” while decentralized and potentially universal, occurs on a private, individualized basis.

Although the very existence of the mandate has been heavily debated, the scholarship has yet to acknowledge that the ADA is actually ambivalent to individuals’ relative power to effect organizational change through bargaining. This Article is the first to critique ...


Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani Aug 2021

Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

This is an Introduction to a Journal of Legal Education symposium on "Disabled Law Students and the Future of Legal Education." The symposium's focal point is a set of first-person essays by disabled lawyers. Writing thirty years after the inclusive promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also amidst powerful evidence (via the pandemic) of the devaluation of people with disabilities, contributors reflect on their experiences in law school and the legal profession. The symposium pairs these essays with commentary from some of the nation’s leading scholars of disability law. The overarching goals of the symposium are ...


A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro Jun 2021

A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I examine the lack of scholarly attention given to the role of civil procedure in racial subordination. I posit that a dearth of critical thought interrogating the connections between procedure and the subjugation of marginalized peoples might be due to the limited experiences of procedural scholars; a misconception that procedural rules are a technical, objective, neutral area; and avoidance of discussion of race or other aspects of identity unless there is a case, material, or scholarly topic that meets an unreasonably high standard. I emphasize the importance of a critical race analysis of civil procedure.


Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells Apr 2021

Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells

Scholarly Works

Qualified immunity protects officials from damages for constitutional violations unless they have violated "clearly established" rights. Local governments enjoy no immunity, but they may not be sued on a vicarious liability theory for constitutional violations committed by their employees. Critics of the current regime would overturn these rules in order to vindicate constitutional rights and deter violations.

This Article argues that across-the-board abolition of these limits on liability would be unwise as the costs would outweigh the benefits. In some contexts, however, exceptions may be justified. Much of the recent controversy surrounding qualified immunity involves suits in which police officers ...


Who Protects Whom: Federal Law As A Floor, Not A Ceiling, To Protect Students From Inappropriate Use Of Force By School Resource Officers, Elsa Haag Mar 2021

Who Protects Whom: Federal Law As A Floor, Not A Ceiling, To Protect Students From Inappropriate Use Of Force By School Resource Officers, Elsa Haag

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Over the past forty years, students in the U.S. have experienced increasingly strict school discipline policies and increased police presence in schools. Sent into schools with the aim of improving security in the wake of mass shootings, school resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement regularly assigned to schools. But there is a paucity of evidence that SROs are effective in preventing mass shootings or provide other significant benefits. Instead, research shows that the presence of SROs results in students achieving less and experiencing more physical and emotional harm, with long-term implications and costs for individuals and communities. As ...


The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2021

The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

Most Fourth Amendment cases arise under a basic fact pattern. Police decide to do something--say, stop and frisk a suspect. They find some crime--say, a gun or drugs--they arrest the suspect, and the suspect is subsequently charged with a crime. The suspect--who is all too often Black--becomes a defendant and challenges the police officers' initial decision as unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. The defendant seeks to suppress the evidence against them or perhaps to recover damages for serious injuries under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The courts subsequently constitutionalize the police officers' initial decision with little or no scrutiny. Effectively ...


Federal (De)Funding Of Local Police, Stephen Rushin, Roger Mikalski Jan 2021

Federal (De)Funding Of Local Police, Stephen Rushin, Roger Mikalski

Faculty Publications & Other Works

Across the political spectrum, politicians, commentators, and activists frequently invoke federal funding as a lever to induce changes in local police behavior. But can federal funding function as an effective policy lever at the local level? Is federal funding or the threat of defunding a sufficiently strong tool to effectuate deeply contentious policy goals over local opposition?

This Essay conducts an empirical examination of federal funding for local and state police agencies in the United States. It finds that the federal government remains a relatively minor contributor to local police budgets. We find that federal funding only reaches a minority ...


Federal (De)Funding Of Local Police, Roger Michalski, Stephen Rushin Jan 2021

Federal (De)Funding Of Local Police, Roger Michalski, Stephen Rushin

Faculty Publications & Other Works

Across the political spectrum, politicians, commentators, and activists frequently invoke federal funding as a lever to induce changes in local police behavior. But can federal funding function as an effective policy lever at the local level? Is federal funding or the threat of defunding a sufficiently strong tool to effectuate deeply contentious policy goals over local opposition?

This Essay conducts an empirical examination of federal funding for local and state police agencies in the United States. It finds that the federal government remains a relatively minor contributor to local police budgets. We find that federal funding only reaches a minority ...


Educating Antiracist Lawyers: The Race And The Equal Protection Of The Laws Program At Dickinson Law, Dermot M. Groome Jan 2021

Educating Antiracist Lawyers: The Race And The Equal Protection Of The Laws Program At Dickinson Law, Dermot M. Groome

Faculty Scholarly Works

The year 2020 has forced us, as a nation, to recognize painful realities about systemic racism in our country and our legal system. The fallacies in our founding documents and the vestiges of our slave past are so woven into our national culture that they became hard to see except for those who suffered their daily indignities, hardships, and fears. As legal educators, we must face the role we have played in helping build the machinery of structural racism by supplying generation after generation of those who maintain that machinery and prosper within it. In this critical moment of our ...


Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii Jan 2021

Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii

Scholarly Works

Although originalism’s emergence as an important theory of constitutional interpretation is usually attributed to efforts by the Reagan administration, the role the theory played in the South’s determined resistance to civil rights legislation in the 1960s actually helped create the Reagan coalition in the first place. North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin Jr., the constitutional theorist of the Southern Caucus, developed and deployed originalism because he saw its potential to stymie civil rights legislation and stabilize a Democratic coalition under significant stress. Ervin failed in those efforts, but his turn to originalism had lasting effects. The theory helped Ervin ...


Closing The Health Justice Gap: Access To Justice In Furtherance Of Health Equity, Yael Cannon Jan 2021

Closing The Health Justice Gap: Access To Justice In Furtherance Of Health Equity, Yael Cannon

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A massive civil “justice gap” plagues the United States. Every day, low-income Americans—and disproportionately people of color—go without the legal information and representation they need to enforce their rights. This can cost them their homes, jobs, food security, or children. But unmet civil legal needs in housing, employment, and public benefits, for example, are not simply injustices—they are well-documented drivers of poor health, or social determinants of health. Those marginalized by virtue of both race and socioeconomic status are particularly harmed by inaccessibility to justice and also by chronic health conditions and lower life expectancy. When a ...


Social Justice, Civil Rights, And Bioethics, Kathy Cerminara Jan 2021

Social Justice, Civil Rights, And Bioethics, Kathy Cerminara

Faculty Scholarship

A stunning confluence of events in the United States in the first few months of 2020 have illustrated pervasive systemic prejudice against vulnerable people resulting in increased risk of death. Combined and situated among other, similar incidents too numerous to mention here, they present an opportunity for bioethicists to help change the impact of implicit bias, white privilege, and prejudice in shaping the very ability to live a healthy life in America. The current lack of care and even outright cruelty rendering a variety of vulnerable populations susceptible to early death illustrate why there must be more attention paid to ...


Is There A "Mulatto Escape Hatch" Out Of Racism?: A Reflection On Multiracial Exceptionalism During A Time Of #Blacklivesmatter, Tanya K. Hernandez Jan 2021

Is There A "Mulatto Escape Hatch" Out Of Racism?: A Reflection On Multiracial Exceptionalism During A Time Of #Blacklivesmatter, Tanya K. Hernandez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


And What Of The “Black” In Black Letter Law?: A Blaqueer Reflection, T. Anansi Wilson Jan 2021

And What Of The “Black” In Black Letter Law?: A Blaqueer Reflection, T. Anansi Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

This is a reflective, analytical essay remarking on the role that Blackness has and continues to play in the construction, understanding and application of "black letter law." This essay is written from a Black and BlaQueer perspective and displays how a shift in standpoint--moving from the invisible, standard white "reasonable person"--underscores and illuminates the current legal and sociopolitical crisis we find ourselves in. It is continuation of the discussion began in my earlier articles "Furtive Blackness: On Blackness & Being," "The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life" and the working paper "Sexual Profiling & BlaQueer Furtivity: BlaQueers On The Run."


Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2021

Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Civil rights advocates have long viewed litigation as an essential, if insufficient, catalyst of social change. In part, it is. But in critical respects that remain underexplored in legal scholarship, civil rights litigation can hinder short- and long-term projects of racial justice.

Specifically, certain civil rights doctrines reward plaintiffs for emphasizing community deficits—or what I term a “deficit frame.” Legal doctrine, in other words, invites legal narratives that track, activate, and reinforce pernicious racial stereotypes. This dynamic, even in the context of well-intended litigation, risks entrenching conditions that drive racial inequality—including the conditions that litigation is often intended ...


Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen Jan 2021

Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen

Articles

This article investigates an anomalous legal ethics rule, and in the process exposes how current equal protection doctrine distorts civil rights regulation. When in 2016 the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct finally adopted its first ever rule forbidding discrimination in the practice of law, the rule carried a strange exemption: it does not apply to lawyers’ acceptance or rejection of clients. The exemption for client selection seems wrong. It contradicts the common understanding that in the U.S. today businesses may not refuse service on discriminatory grounds. It sends a message that lawyers enjoy a professional prerogative to discriminate ...


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wise Legal Giant, Thomas A. Schweitzer Jan 2021

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wise Legal Giant, Thomas A. Schweitzer

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2021

Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

After the City of Detroit underwent financial takeover and filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history in 2013, the city’s emergency manager encouraged mass water shutoffs as a way of making the city’s water utility a more attractive asset for sale— and for privatization—by ridding the water department of its association with bad debt. The sale never took place, but the water shutoff, too, became the largest ever in American history, with over 141,000 homes subjected to water disconnections over a period of over six years. The governor of the State of Michigan ordered that ...


Causation In Civil Rights Legislation, Hillel J. Bavli Jan 2021

Causation In Civil Rights Legislation, Hillel J. Bavli

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Employees are often left unprotected from discrimination because they are unable to satisfy the requirement of causation. Courts have made clear that to obtain legal redress for discrimination, it is generally insufficient to show that a protected characteristic such as race or sex was a “motivating factor” of an adverse employment decision. Rather, under Supreme Court precedent—including the Court’s Comcast and Babb decisions in the 2020 term—the antidiscrimination statutes generally require a showing of “but-for” causation. Consequently, many victims of discrimination will be unable to prevail because an employer can readily refute allegations of discrimination by asserting ...


Politics, Identity, And Pleading Decisions On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2021

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

We report the results of an empirical study of appeals from rulings on motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly and Iqbal. We first describe the role that pleading was intended to play in the original (1938) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, review the Court’s decisions in Twombly and Iqbal, and offer a brief discussion of common themes in normative scholarship that is critical of Twombly and Iqbal, including the claim that they threaten to amplify ideological and subjective decision-making ...


Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller Jan 2021

Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2021

Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Noah Kazis’s important article, Fair Housing for a Non-sexist City, shows how law shapes the contours of neighborhoods and embeds forms of inequality, and how fair housing law can provide a remedy. Kazis surfaces two dimensions of housing that generate inequality and that are sometimes invisible. Kazis highlights the role of planning and design rules – the seemingly identity-neutral zoning, code enforcement, and land-use decisions that act as a form of law. Kazis also reveals how gendered norms underlie those rules and policies. These aspects of Kazis’s project link to commentary on the often invisible, gendered norms that shape ...


Two Concepts Of Gun Liberty, Joseph Blocher Jan 2021

Two Concepts Of Gun Liberty, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2021

The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Constitutional doctrine generally proceeds from the premise that the original intent and public understanding of pre-Civil War constitutional provisions carries forward unchanged from the colonial Founding era. This premise is flawed because it ignores the Nation’s Second Founding: i.e., the constitutional moment culminating in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments and the civil rights statutes enacted pursuant thereto. The Second Founding, in addition to providing specific new individual rights and federal powers, also represented a fundamental shift in our constitutional order. The Second Founding’s constitutional regime provided that the underlying systemic rules and norms of the First ...


Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax Oct 2020

Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

A central pillar of the Supreme Court’s educational affirmative-action jurisprudence is that the pedagogical benefits of being educated with students from diverse backgrounds are sufficiently “compelling” to justify some degree of race-conscious selection in university admissions.

This essay argues that the blanket permission to advance educational diversity, defensible or not, should not be extended to employment. The purpose of the workplace is not pedagogical. Rather, employees are hired and paid to do a job, deliver a service, produce a product, and complete specified tasks efficiently and effectively. Whether race-conscious practices for the purpose of creating a more diverse workforce ...