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

Law Commons

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

Series

Equal protection

Law and Race

Articles 1 - 30 of 63

Full-Text Articles in Law

Ochoa, Big Ten Law Deans Pledge Support For Diversity Ahead Of Scotus Affirmative Action Ruling, The Indiana Lawyer Jun 2023

Ochoa, Big Ten Law Deans Pledge Support For Diversity Ahead Of Scotus Affirmative Action Ruling, The Indiana Lawyer

Christiana Ochoa (7/22-10/22 Acting; 11/2022-)

s the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hand down a decision that could fundamentally alter affirmative action, a group of law school deans — including Dean Christiana Ochoa of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law — has issued a statement affirming the deans’ commitment to diversity.

The group of 15 deans represent Big Ten law schools, including IU Maurer. In their statement — which IU Maurer posted to its official Facebook page — the deans say they are “joining together to affirm our commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through legally permissible means, regardless of the outcome of …


Democratizing Abolition, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2023

Democratizing Abolition, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

When abolitionists discuss remedies for past and present injustices, they are frequently met with apparently pragmatic objections to the viability of such bold remedies in U.S. legislatures and courts held captive by reactionary forces. Previous movements have seen their lesser reforms dashed by the white supremacist capitalist order that retains its grip on power in America. While such objectors contend that abolitionists should not ask for so much justice, abolitionists should in fact demand significantly more.

Remedying our country’s history of subordination will not be complete without establishing abolition democracy. While our classical conception of a liberal republic asks us …


“The Cruelty Is The Point”: Using Buck V. Bell As A Tool For Diversifying Instruction In The Law School Classroom, Tiffany C. Graham Jan 2023

“The Cruelty Is The Point”: Using Buck V. Bell As A Tool For Diversifying Instruction In The Law School Classroom, Tiffany C. Graham

Scholarly Works

Instructors who are looking for opportunities to expose their students to the ways in which intersectional forms of bias impact policy and legal rules can use Buck v. Bell to explore, for instance, the impact of disability and class on the formation of doctrine. A different intersectional approach might use the discussion of the case as a gateway to a broader conversation about the ways in which race and gender bias structured the implementation of sterilization policies around the nation. Finally, those who wish to examine the global impact of American forms of bias can use this case and the …


Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

“The end of affirmative action.” The headline is near. When it arrives, scholars will explain that a controversial set of policies could not withstand unfriendly doctrine and less friendly Justices. This story is not wrong. But it is incomplete. Critically, this account masks an underappreciated source of affirmative action’s enduring instability: elite universities, affirmative action’s formal champions, have always been ambivalent advocates.

Elite universities are uniquely positioned to shape legal and lay opinions about affirmative action. They are formal defendants in affirmative action litigation and objects of public obsession. And yet, schools like Harvard and the University of North Carolina—embroiled …


Hope Dies Last: The Progressive Potential And Regressive Reality Of The Antibalkanization Approach To Racial Equality, David Simson Mar 2022

Hope Dies Last: The Progressive Potential And Regressive Reality Of The Antibalkanization Approach To Racial Equality, David Simson

Articles & Chapters

This Article relies on Critical Race Theory concepts and social science research to make an important and timely contribution to a debate in law and public policy that is both longstanding and of immense current importance: What is the relationship between social cohesion on the one hand, and racial equality progress on the other. Events over the last year have put this question into sharp relief. On the one hand, portions of the general public and at least some policymakers have signaled support for the demands of racial justice activists to reduce and eliminate systemic racism after too many tragedies …


Eminent Domain And Unfettered Discretion: Lessons From A History Of U.S. Territorial Takings, Jill M. Fraley Jan 2022

Eminent Domain And Unfettered Discretion: Lessons From A History Of U.S. Territorial Takings, Jill M. Fraley

Scholarly Articles

Eminent domain is a minimal constitutional protection for private property and one that is subject to far more discretion than previously recognized by scholars. This Article traces a novel legal history of land takings within the U.S. Territories, focusing on some of the most egregious and controversial incidents and problematic patterns originating within eminent domain law. Comparing this history to recent research that demonstrates how takings in the States have disproportionately impacted Black communities, this Article articulates three patterns of injustices in takings echoing between Black mainland communities and indigenous communities in the Territories: large-scale federally funded actions, local government …


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, the …


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 against …


Identity: Obstacles And Openings, Osamudia R. James Jan 2020

Identity: Obstacles And Openings, Osamudia R. James

Articles

Progress regarding equality and social identities has moved in a bipolar fashion: popular engagement with the concept of social identities has increased even as courts have signaled decreasing interest in engaging identity. Maintaining and deepening the liberatory potential of identity, particularly in legal and policymaking spheres, will require understanding trends in judicial hostility toward "identity politics," the impact of status hierarchy even within minoritized identity groups, and the threat that white racial grievance poses to identitarian claims.


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 …


Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2019

Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

One can understand constitutional doctrine as a tool designed to effectuate the Constitution and its various provisions. Equal protection doctrine, in turn, comprises a set of Justice-made rules designed to realize the promise of equal protection under the law. The substance of that promise remains a topic of deep contestation. Nonetheless, more than forty years of constitutional jurisprudence have entrenched a vision of constitutional equality that privileges what I refer to herein as the “right to compete.” Simply put, the Supreme Court has repeatedly embraced the view that the Equal Protection Clause mandates the government to allocate public benefits — …


Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2019

Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In the ongoing litigation of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, Harvard faces allegations that its once-heralded admissions process discriminates against Asian Americans. Public discourse has revealed a dominant narrative: affirmative action is viewed as the presumptive cause of Harvard’s alleged “Asian penalty.” Yet this narrative misrepresents the plaintiff’s own theory of discrimination. Rather than implicating affirmative action, the underlying allegations portray the phenomenon of “negative action” — that is, an admissions regime in which White applicants take the seats of their more qualified Asian-American counterparts. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a broad failure to see this case for what …


Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus Jan 2019

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In The Accumulation of Advantages, the picture that Professor Owen Fiss paints about equality during and since the Second Reconstruction is largely a picture in black and white. That makes some sense. The black/white experience is probably the most important throughline in the story of equal protection. It was the central theme of both the First and Second Reconstructions. In keeping with that orientation, the picture of disadvantage described by Fiss’s theory of cumulative responsibility is largely drawn from the black/white experience. Important as it is, however, the black/white experience does not exhaust the subject of constitutional equality. So in …


Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2019

Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

For four decades, the diversity rationale has offered a lifeline to affirmative action in higher education. Yet even after forty years, this critical feature of equal protection doctrine remains constitutionally insecure and politically fraught. Legal challenges persist, the Justice Department has launched a new assault on race-conscious admissions, and an impending shift on the Supreme Court could usher in an era of increased hostility toward the concept of diversity itself. The future of race-conscious admissions arguably hangs in the balance.

In this Article, I argue that the diversity rationale’s present fragility rests, in part, on its defenders’ failure to center …


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Publications

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety …


Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2018

Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a twofold crisis: police killings of people of color and unaccountability for these killings in the criminal justice system. In many instances, the officers’ use of deadly force is captured on video and often appears clearly unjustified, but grand and petit juries still fail to indict and convict, leaving many baffled. This Article provides an explanation for these failures: juror reliance on “racial character evidence.” Too often, jurors consider race as evidence in criminal trials, particularly in police killing cases where the victim was a person of color. Instead of focusing on admissible evidence, jurors …


Reflection: How Multiracial Lives Matter, Lauren Sudeall Jun 2017

Reflection: How Multiracial Lives Matter, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Race plays an important organizing function in society, and one over which we have little control as individuals; this can be difficult to reconcile with the self-determination many multiracial individuals possess to control their own racial identity and how it is perceived by others. While some are dismissive of that premise, instead favoring a racial solidarity approach that minimizes the relevance of subcategories, I have contended that it is important to allow multiracial individuals to define their own identity. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by Justice Kennedy's language in several recent opinions discussing racial identity (if not …


Undignified: The Supreme Court, Racial Justice, And Dignity Claims, Darren L. Hutchinson Jan 2017

Undignified: The Supreme Court, Racial Justice, And Dignity Claims, Darren L. Hutchinson

Faculty Articles

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause as a formal equality mandate. In response, legal scholars have advocated alternative conceptions of equality, such as antisubordination theory, that interpret equal protection in more substantive terms. Antisubordination theory would consider the social context in which race-based policies emerge and recognize material distinctions between policies intended to oppress racial minorities and those designed to ameliorate past and current racism. Antisubordination theory would also closely scrutinize facially neutral state action that systemically disadvantages vulnerable social groups. The Court has largely ignored these reform proposals. Modern Supreme Court rulings, however, have invoked the …


They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2017

They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, And The Constitutional Minimum, Sarah Krakoff

Publications

In American law, Native nations (denominated in the Constitution and elsewhere as “tribes”) are sovereigns with a direct relationship with the federal government. Tribes’ governmental status situates them differently from other minority groups for many legal purposes, including equal protection analysis. Under current equal protection doctrine, classifications that further the federal government’s unique relationship with tribes and their members are subject to rationality review. Yet this deferential approach has recently been subject to criticism and is currently being challenged in the courts. Swept up in the larger drift toward colorblind or race-neutral understandings of the Constitution, advocates and commentators are …


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

All Faculty Scholarship

Marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—is, and always has been, deeply intertwined with inequalities of race, class, gender, and region. Many if not most of the plaintiffs who challenged legal discrimination based on family status in the 1960s and 1970s were impoverished women, men, and children of color who made constitutional equality claims. Yet the constitutional law of the family is largely silent about the status-based impact of laws that prefer marriage and disadvantage non-marital families. While some lower courts engaged with race-, sex-, and wealth-based discrimination arguments in family status cases, the Supreme Court largely avoided recognizing, much less …


Undignified: The Supreme Court, Racial Justice, And Dignity Claims, Darren Lenard Hutchinson Jan 2017

Undignified: The Supreme Court, Racial Justice, And Dignity Claims, Darren Lenard Hutchinson

UF Law Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause as a formal equality mandate. In response, legal scholars have advocated alternative conceptions of equality, such as antisubordination theory, that interpret equal protection in more substantive terms. Antisubordination theory would consider the social context in which race-based policies emerge and recognize material distinctions between policies intended to oppress racial minorities and those designed to ameliorate past and current racism. Antisubordination theory would also closely scrutinize facially neutral state action that systemically disadvantages vulnerable social groups. The Court has largely ignored these reform proposals. Modern Supreme Court rulings, however, have invoked the …


Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol Feb 2016

Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

Debtors’ prisons should no longer exist. While imprisonment for debt was common in colonial times in the United States, subsequent constitutional provisions, legislation, and court rulings all called for the abolition of incarcerating individuals to collect debt. Despite these prohibitions, individuals who are unable to pay debts are now regularly incarcerated, and the vast majority of them are indigent. In 2015, at least ten lawsuits were filed against municipalities for incarcerating individuals in modern-day debtors’ prisons. Criminal justice debt is the primary source for this imprisonment.

Criminal justice debt includes fines, restitution charges, court costs, and fees. Monetary charges exist …


Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Address: The Honorable Carlton W. Reeves, United States District Court For The Southern District Of Mississippi, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Address: The Honorable Carlton W. Reeves, United States District Court For The Southern District Of Mississippi, Roger Williams University School Of Law

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton

Publications

No abstract provided.


Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges Jan 2016

Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

This Article conducts a critique of class-based affirmative action, identifying and problematizing the narrative that it tells about racial progress. The Article argues that class-based affirmative action denies that race is a significant feature of American life. It denies that individuals - and groups - continue to be advantaged and disadvantaged on account of race. It denies that there is such a thing called race privilege that materially impacts people’s worlds. Moreover, this Article suggests that at least part of the reason why class-based affirmative action has been embraced by those who oppose race-based affirmative action is precisely because it …


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 that …


The Ironies Of Affirmative Action, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

The Ironies Of Affirmative Action, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

All Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s most recent confrontation with race-based affirmative action, Fisher v. University of Texas, did not live up to people’s expectations—or their fears. The Court did not explicitly change the current approach in any substantial way. It did, however, signal that it wants race-based affirmative action to be subject to real strict scrutiny, not the watered-down version featured in Grutter v. Bollinger. That is a significant signal, because under real strict scrutiny, almost all race-based affirmative action programs are likely unconstitutional. This is especially true given the conceptual framework the Court has created for such programs—the way …


Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri

All Faculty Scholarship

Despite a transformative half century of social change, marital status still matters. The marriage equality movement has drawn attention to the many benefits conferred in law by marriage at a time when the “marriage gap” between affluent and poor Americans widens and rates of nonmarital childbearing soar. This Essay explores the contested history of marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—through the lens of the “illegitimacy” cases of the 1960s and 1970s. Often remembered as a triumph for nonmarital families, these decisions defined the constitutional harm of illegitimacy classifications as the unjust punishment of innocent children for the “sins” of their …


Undoing Race? Reconciling Multiracial Identity With Equal Protection, Lauren Sudeall Oct 2014

Undoing Race? Reconciling Multiracial Identity With Equal Protection, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The number of multiracial individuals in America, many of whom define their racial identity in different ways, has grown dramatically in recent years and continues to increase. From this demographic shift a movement seeking unique racial status for multiracial individuals has emerged. The multiracial movement is distinguishable from other race-based movements in that it is primarily driven by identity rather than the quest for political, social, or economic equality. It is not clear how equal protection doctrine, which is concerned primarily with state-created racial classifications, will or should accommodate multiracialism. Nor is it clear how to best reconcile the recognition …


Language Disenfranchisement In Juries: A Call For Constitutional Remediation, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Apr 2014

Language Disenfranchisement In Juries: A Call For Constitutional Remediation, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Approximately thirteen million U.S. citizens, mostly Latinos and other people of color, are denied the right to serve on juries due to English language requirements and despite the possibility (and centuries-old tradition) of juror language accommodation. This exclusion results in the underrepresentation of racial minorities on juries and has a detrimental impact on criminal defendants, the perceived legitimacy of the justice system, and citizen participation in democracy. Yet, it has been virtually ignored. This Article examines the constitutionality of juror language requirements, focusing primarily on equal protection and the fair cross section requirement of the Sixth Amendment. Finding the existing …