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Civil Rights and Discrimination

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Social Justice, Civil Rights, And Bioethics, Kathy Cerminara Feb 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn 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 ...


(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Sep 2020

(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri

Faculty Scholarship

A review of Henry Louis Gates, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow (Penguin Press, 2019). The Review proceeds in four parts. Part I parses Gates’s analysis of the rise of white supremacist ideology and the accompanying concept of the “Old Negro” during the Redemption era and the countervailing emergence of the concept of a “New Negro” culminating in the Harlem Renaissance. Part II examines the lawyering process as a rhetorical site for constructing racialized narratives and racially subordinating visions of client, group, and community identity through acts of representing, prosecuting, and defending people ...


Access To Justice In Furtherance Of Health, Yael Cannon Jul 2020

Access To Justice In Furtherance Of Health, Yael Cannon

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The health justice framework envisions the leveraging of law and policy to advance racial and socioeconomic health equity. Health justice scholars have examined structures in need of legislative and policy reforms, both within healthcare and with regards to the social determinants of health. My article argues that access to justice is an under-examined and critical component of health justice.

This country is plagued by a massive civil "justice gap," documented extensively by the American Bar Association and just recently in a report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, through which individuals marginalized by virtue of race and socioeconomic ...


Toward Establishing A Pre-Extinction Definition Of 'Nationwide Injunctions', Portia Pedro Jul 2020

Toward Establishing A Pre-Extinction Definition Of 'Nationwide Injunctions', Portia Pedro

Faculty Scholarship

Some define “nationwide injunctions” as injunctions with: (1) no geographic limitations and (2) benefits to people beyond named plaintiffs or plaintiff classes. In this Article, I pose several questions central to figuring out what these so-called “nationwide injunctions” are. I argue that continuing to debate about injunctions in isolation from any developed, conceptual framework leads to potentially misguided arguments. The balance of criticisms regarding the targeted injunctions involve issues that are structural, jurisprudential, prudential, and formalist in ways that would curtail “nationwide injunctions” to protect Article II actors, to the relative detriment of those injured by Article II actors. There ...


Reconstructing Liberty, Equality, And Marriage: The Missing Nineteenth Amendment Argument, Nan D. Hunter Jun 2020

Reconstructing Liberty, Equality, And Marriage: The Missing Nineteenth Amendment Argument, Nan D. Hunter

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The social movement that led to adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment sought not only women’s right to vote but also the end to a system of marriage law based on coverture. Under coverture, married women were deprived of property and contract rights and were de jure subservient to their husbands. Coverture also provided the predicate for denial of the vote. The model voter was the independent yeoman or worker able to express his own interests in a democratic system. Women were thought to be properly confined to the domestic sphere and dependent on their husbands, who were presumed to ...


The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton Feb 2020

The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today we know much more about the effects of pretrial detention than we did even five years ago. Multiple empirical studies have emerged that shed new light on the far-reaching impacts of bail decisions made at the earliest stages of the criminal adjudication process. The takeaway from this new generation of studies is that pretrial detention has substantial downstream effects on both the operation of the criminal justice system and on defendants themselves, causally increasing the likelihood of a conviction, the severity of the sentence, and, in some jurisdictions, defendants’ likelihood of future contact with the criminal justice system. Detention ...


Procedural Law, The Supreme Court, And The Erosion Of Private Rights Enforcement, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2020

Procedural Law, The Supreme Court, And The Erosion Of Private Rights Enforcement, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2020

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


Medical Civil Rights As A Site Of Activism: A Reply To Critics, Craig Konnoth Jan 2020

Medical Civil Rights As A Site Of Activism: A Reply To Critics, Craig Konnoth

Articles

See Craig Konnoth, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, 72 Stan. L. Rev. 1165 (2020).

See also Rabia Belt & Doron Dorfman, Response, Reweighing Medical Civil Rights, 72 Stan. L. Rev. Online 176 (2020), https://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/reweighing-medical-civil-rights/; Allison K. Hoffman, Response, How Medicalization of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, 72 Stan. L. Rev. Online 165 (2020), https://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/how-medicalization-of-civil-rights-could-disappoint/.


Telehealth And Telework Accessibility In A Pandemic-Induced Virtual World, Blake E. Reid, Christian Vogler, Zainab Alkebsi Jan 2020

Telehealth And Telework Accessibility In A Pandemic-Induced Virtual World, Blake E. Reid, Christian Vogler, Zainab Alkebsi

Articles

This short essay explores one dimension of disability law’s COVID-related “frailty”: how the pandemic has undermined equal access to employment and healthcare for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing as healthcare and employment migrate toward telehealth and telework activities. This essay’s authors—a clinical law professor; a computer scientist whose research focuses on accessible technology; and a deaf policy attorney for the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States—have collaborated over the past months on detailed advocacy documents aimed at helping deaf ...


Medicalization And The New Civil Rights, Craig Konnoth Jan 2020

Medicalization And The New Civil Rights, Craig Konnoth

Articles

In the last several decades, individuals have advanced civil rights claims that rely on the language of medicine. This Article is the first to define and defend these “medical civil rights” as a unified phenomenon.

Individuals have increasingly used the language of medicine to seek rights and benefits, often for conditions that would not have been cognizable even a few years ago. For example, litigants have claimed that discrimination against transgender individuals constitutes illegal disability discrimination. Others have argued that their fatigue constitutes chronic fatigue syndrome (which was, until recently, a novel and contested diagnosis) to obtain Social Security disability ...


Foreword, National Injunctions: What Does The Future Hold?, Suzette Malveaux Jan 2020

Foreword, National Injunctions: What Does The Future Hold?, Suzette Malveaux

Articles

This Foreword is to the 27th Annual Ira C. Rothgerber Jr. Conference, National Injunctions: What Does the Future Hold?, which was hosted by The Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado Law School, on Apr. 5, 2019.


Discrimination, The Speech That Enables It, And The First Amendment, Helen Norton Jan 2020

Discrimination, The Speech That Enables It, And The First Amendment, Helen Norton

Articles

Imagine that you’re interviewing for your dream job, only to be asked by the hiring committee whether you’re pregnant. Or HIV positive. Or Muslim. Does the First Amendment protect your interviewers’ inquiries from government regulation? This Article explores that question.

Antidiscrimination laws forbid employers, housing providers, insurers, lenders, and other gatekeepers from relying on certain characteristics in their decision-making. Many of these laws also regulate those actors’ speech by prohibiting them from inquiring about applicants’ protected class characteristics; these provisions seek to stop illegal discrimination before it occurs by preventing gatekeepers from eliciting information that would enable them ...


Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2020

Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Every week brings a new story about racialized linguistic discrimination. It happens in restaurants, on public transportation, and in the street. It also happens behind closed courtroom doors during jury selection. While it is universally recognized that dismissing prospective jurors because they look like racial minorities is prohibited, it is too often deemed acceptable to exclude jurors because they sound like racial minorities. The fact that accent discrimination is commonly racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination is overlooked. This Article critically examines sociolinguistic scholarship to explain the relationship between accent, race, and racism. It argues that accent discrimination in jury ...


Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen Jan 2020

Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen

Book Chapters

Rules and tricks are generally seen as different things. Rules produce order and control; tricks produce chaos. Rules help us predict how things will work out. Tricks are deceptive and transgressive, built to surprise us and confound our expectations in ways that can be entertaining or devastating. But rules can be tricky. General prohibitions and prescriptions generate surprising results in particular contexts. In some situations, a rule produces results that seem far from what the rule makers expected and antagonistic to the interests the rule is understood to promote. This contradictory aspect of rules is usually framed as a downside ...


The Unnecessary And Unfortunate Focus On “Animus,” “Bare Desire To Harm,” And “Bigotry” In Analyzing Opposition To Gay And Lesbian Rights, James Fleming Dec 2019

The Unnecessary And Unfortunate Focus On “Animus,” “Bare Desire To Harm,” And “Bigotry” In Analyzing Opposition To Gay And Lesbian Rights, James Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

I am delighted to participate in this symposium on Professor Linda C. McClain’s wonderful new book, Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law. All of the other papers in this symposium focus on Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (and thus connect with Chapter Eight of her book, on claims of religious exemptions from protections of gay and lesbian rights), while my piece will join issue with the related Chapter Seven, on bigotry, motives, and morality in the Supreme Court’s gay and lesbian rights cases. In this brief Essay, I ...


Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay Oct 2019

Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the ...


Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part Iii: Framing The Second Amendment: Gun Rights, Civil Rights, And Civil Liberties, Timothy Zick Aug 2019

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part Iii: Framing The Second Amendment: Gun Rights, Civil Rights, And Civil Liberties, Timothy Zick

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason Jun 2019

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason

AI-DR Collection

Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impact. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race, (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines, and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive, because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment ...


Jim Crow Credit, Mehrsa Baradaran May 2019

Jim Crow Credit, Mehrsa Baradaran

Faculty Scholarship

The New Deal created a separate and unequal credit market—high-interest, non-bank, installment lenders in black ghettos and low-cost, securitized, and revolving credit card market in the white suburbs. Organized protest against this racialized inequality was an essential but forgotten part of the civil rights movement. After protests and riots drew attention to the reality that the poor were paying more for essential consumer products than the wealthy, the nation’s policymakers began to pay attention. Congress held hearings and agencies, and academics issued reports examining the economic situation. These hearings led to new federal agencies and programs, executive actions ...


Conditionality And Constitutional Change, Felix B. Chang May 2019

Conditionality And Constitutional Change, Felix B. Chang

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The burgeoning field of Critical Romani Studies explores the persistent subjugation of Europe’s largest minority, the Roma. Within this field, it has become fashionable to draw parallels to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Yet the comparisons are often one-sided; lessons tend to flow from Civil Rights to Roma Rights more than the other way around. It is an all-too-common hagiography of Civil Rights, where our history becomes a blueprint for other movements for racial equality.

To correct this trend, this Essay reveals what American scholars can learn from Roma Rights. Specifically, this Essay argues that the European Union ...


Religious Courts In Secular Jurisdictions: How Jewish And Islamic Courts Adapt To Societal And Legal Norms, Rabea Benhalim Jan 2019

Religious Courts In Secular Jurisdictions: How Jewish And Islamic Courts Adapt To Societal And Legal Norms, Rabea Benhalim

Articles

At first glance, religious courts, especially Sharia courts, seem incompatible with secular, democratic societies. Nevertheless, Jewish and Islamic courts operate in countries like the United States, England, and Israel. Scholarship on these religious courts has primarily focused on whether such religious legal pluralism promotes the value of religious freedom, and if so, whether these secular legal systems should accommodate the continued existence of these courts. This article shifts the inquiry to determine whether religious courts in these environments accommodate litigants’ popular opinions and the secular, procedural, and substantive justice norms of the country in which they are located. This article ...


Slouching Toward Universality: A Brief History Of Race, Voting, And Political Participation, Guy-Uriel E. Charles, Luis E. Fuentes-Rohwer Jan 2019

Slouching Toward Universality: A Brief History Of Race, Voting, And Political Participation, Guy-Uriel E. Charles, Luis E. Fuentes-Rohwer

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Antidiscriminatory Algorithms, Stephanie Bornstein Jan 2019

Antidiscriminatory Algorithms, Stephanie Bornstein

UF Law Faculty Publications

Can algorithms be used to advance equality goals in the workplace? A handful of legal scholars have raised concerns that the use of big data at work may lead to protected class discrimination that could fall outside the reach of current antidiscrimination law. Existing scholarship suggests that, because algorithms are “facially neutral,” they pose no problem of unequal treatment. As a result, algorithmic discrimination cannot be challenged using a disparate treatment theory of liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Instead, it presents a problem of unequal outcomes, subject to challenge using Title VII ...


Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Bridget J. Crawford, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay Jan 2019

Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Bridget J. Crawford, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay

Articles

This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the ...


Immigration Unilateralism And American Ethnonationalism, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2019

Immigration Unilateralism And American Ethnonationalism, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This paper arose from an invited symposium on "Democracy in America: The Promise and the Perils," held at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in Spring 2019. The essay places the Trump administration’s immigration and refugee policy in the context of a resurgent ethnonationalist movement in America as well as the constitutional politics of the past. In particular, it argues that Trumpism’s suspicion of foreigners who are Hispanic or Muslim, its move toward indefinite detention and separation of families, and its disdain for so-called “chain migration” are best understood as part of an assault on the political settlement ...