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Equal protection

Law and Society

Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit Jan 2022

Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit

Book Chapters

Access to the legal system does not come easily for people in prison. There are administrative procedures that must be exhausted; federal legislation like the Prison Litigation Reform Act disadvantages prisoner-petitioners in multiple ways, including by imposing significant limits on damages and creating financial disincentives for lawyers to take on cases. Such onerous legislation and lack of legal aid ensure genuine issues evade redress. Sometimes, however, the law itself is the cause of evasion. Sometimes doctrine prevents the Rule of Law from functioning in prison, particularly when a prison-transfer moots a legal claim. In the most egregious situations, a transfer …


Equal Protection And Abortion: Brief Of Equal Protection Constitutional Law Scholars Serena Mayeri, Melissa Murray, And Reva Siegel As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents In Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Reva Siegel, Melissa Murray, Serena Mayeri Sep 2021

Equal Protection And Abortion: Brief Of Equal Protection Constitutional Law Scholars Serena Mayeri, Melissa Murray, And Reva Siegel As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents In Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Reva Siegel, Melissa Murray, Serena Mayeri

All Faculty Scholarship

Equal Protection changes the questions we ask about abortion restrictions. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an amicus brief filed on our behalf demonstrated that Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The brief continues a tradition of equality arguments that preceded Roe v. Wade and will continue, in new forms, after Dobbs. Our brief shows how the canonical equal protection cases United States v. Virginia and Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs extend to the regulation of pregnancy, hence provide an independent constitutional basis for abortion rights.

Under equal …


Second-Trimester Abortion Dangertalk, Greer Donley, Jill Wieber Lens Jan 2021

Second-Trimester Abortion Dangertalk, Greer Donley, Jill Wieber Lens

Articles

Abortion rights are more vulnerable now than they have been in decades. This Article focuses specifically on the most assailable subset of those rights: the right to a pre-viability, second-trimester abortion. Building on Carhart v. Gonzales, where the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on a safe and effective second-trimester abortion procedure, states have passed new second-trimester abortion restrictions that rely heavily on the woman-protective rationale—the idea that the restrictions will benefit women. These newer second-trimester abortion restrictions include bans on the Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) procedure, bans on disability-selective abortions, and mandatory perinatal hospice and palliative care counseling …


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 …


Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2020

Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

States have increasingly resorted to statistically-derived risk algorithms to determine when diversion from prison should occur, whether sentences should be enhanced, and the level of security and treatment a prisoner requires. The federal government has jumped on the bandwagon in a big way with the First Step Act, which mandated that a risk assessment instrument be developed to determine which prisoners can be released early on parole. Policymakers are turning to these algorithms because they are thought to be more accurate and less biased than judges and correctional officials, making them useful tools for reducing prison populations through identification of …


How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting in medical rights-seeking. …


Griffin V. Illinois: Justice Independent Of Wealth, Neil Sobol May 2020

Griffin V. Illinois: Justice Independent Of Wealth, Neil Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

More than sixty years ago in Griffin v. Illinois, Justice Hugo Black opined that equal justice cannot exist as long as “the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” While Griffin dealt with the limited issue of the inability of a defendant to pay for an appellate transcript, the Supreme Court and legislatures would subsequently extend Black’s equal justice analysis to cases involving other forms of criminal justice debt assessed at trial, appeal, incarceration, and probation. Despite the promise of these judicial and legislative pronouncements, indigent defendants, relative to defendants with financial …


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.


Against Progress: Interventions About Equality In Supreme Court Cases About Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey Jan 2020

Against Progress: Interventions About Equality In Supreme Court Cases About Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium essay is adapted from my forthcoming book Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age (Stanford University Press 2021 forthcoming). The book’s primary argument is that, with the rise of digital technology and the ubiquity of the internet, intellectual property law is becoming a mainstream part of law and culture. This mainstreaming of IP has particular effects, one of which is the surfacing of on-going debates about “progress of science and the useful arts,” which is the constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights.

In brief, Against Progress describes how in the 20th century intellectual property …


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 …


Religious Arguments, Religious Purposes, And The Gay And Lesbian Rights Cases, Steve Sanders Jan 2018

Religious Arguments, Religious Purposes, And The Gay And Lesbian Rights Cases, Steve Sanders

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol Apr 2017

Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

Although media and academic sources often describe mass incarceration as the primary challenge facing the American criminal justice system, the imposition of criminal justice debt may be a more pervasive problem. On March 14, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that state chief justices forward a letter to all judges in their jurisdictions describing the constitutional violations associated with the illegal assessment and enforcement of fines and fees. The DOJ’s concerns include the incarceration of indigent individuals without determining whether the failure to pay is willful and the use of bail practices that result in impoverished defendants remaining in …


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 …


What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux Jan 2016

What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux

All Faculty Scholarship

Many accounts of Gideon v. Wainwright’s legacy focus on what Gideon did not do—its doctrinal and practical limits. For constitutional theorists, Gideon imposed a preexisting national consensus upon a few “outlier” states, and therefore did not represent a dramatic doctrinal shift. For criminal procedure scholars, advocates, and journalists, Gideon has failed, in practice, to guarantee meaningful legal help for poor people charged with crimes.

Drawing on original historical research, this Article instead chronicles what Gideon did—the doctrinal and institutional changes it inspired between 1963 and the early 1970s. Gideon shifted the legal profession’s policy consensus on indigent defense away from …


Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol Oct 2015

Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

On March 4, 2015, the Department of Justice released its scathing report of the Ferguson Police Department calling for “an entire reorientation of law enforcement in Ferguson” and demanding that Ferguson “replace revenue-driven policing with a system grounded in the principles of community policing and police legitimacy, in which people are equally protected and treated with compassion, regardless of race.” Unfortunately, abusive collection of criminal justice debt is not limited to Ferguson. This Article, prepared for a discussion group at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference in July 2015, identifies the key findings in the Department of Justice’s report …


Does The Public Care How The Supreme Court Reasons? Empirical Evidence From A National Experiment And Normative Concerns In The Case Of Same-Sex Marriage, Courtney Megan Cahill, Geoffrey Christopher Rapp Jan 2015

Does The Public Care How The Supreme Court Reasons? Empirical Evidence From A National Experiment And Normative Concerns In The Case Of Same-Sex Marriage, Courtney Megan Cahill, Geoffrey Christopher Rapp

Scholarly Publications

Can the Supreme Court influence the public’s reception of decisions vindicating rights in high-salience contexts, like samesex marriage, by reasoning in one way over another? Will the people’s disagreement with those decisions—and, by extension, societal backlash against them—be dampened if the Court deploys universalizing liberty rationales rather than essentializing equality rationales? Finally, even if Supreme Court reasoning does resonate with the people as a descriptive matter, should the Court minimize anxiety-producing characteristics in decisions vindicating civil rights—such as homosexuality in the marriage-equality context—simply in order to assuage the people?

This Article combines constitutional theory and empirical legal analysis to ask …


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 …


Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal Jan 2014

Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This Article exposes the ways in which noncustodial pre-crime restraints have proliferated over the past decade, focusing in particular on three notable examples — terrorism-related financial sanctions, the No Fly List, and the array of residential, employment, and related restrictions imposed on sex offenders. Because such restraints do not involve physical incapacitation, they are rarely deemed to infringe core liberty interests. Because they are preventive, not punitive, criminal law procedural protections do not apply. They have exploded largely unchecked — subject to little more than bare rationality review and negligible procedural protections — and without any coherent theory as to …


The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2014

The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article builds upon remarks the author originally delivered at the Nineteenth Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society at NYU Law in November of 2014. The Article describes the history and purpose of the Thirteenth Amendment’s proscription of the badges and incidents of slavery and argues that an understanding of the Amendment's context and its Framers' intent can provide the basis for a more progressive vision for advancing civil rights. The Article discusses how the Thirteenth Amendment could prove to be more effective in addressing persisting forms of inequality that have escaped the reach of the Equal …


The Law And Economics Of Stop-And-Frisk, David S. Abrams Jan 2014

The Law And Economics Of Stop-And-Frisk, David S. Abrams

All Faculty Scholarship

The relevant economic and legal research relating to police use of stop-and-frisk has largely been distinct. There is much to be gained by taking an interdisciplinary approach. This Essay emphasizes some of the challenges faced by those seeking to evaluate the efficacy and legality of stop-and-frisk, and suggests some ways forward and areas of exploration for future research.


Debate: The Constitutionality Of Stop-And-Frisk In New York City, David Rudovsky, Lawrence Rosenthal Jan 2013

Debate: The Constitutionality Of Stop-And-Frisk In New York City, David Rudovsky, Lawrence Rosenthal

All Faculty Scholarship

Stop-and-frisk, a crime prevention tactic that allows a police officer to stop a person based on “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity and frisk based on reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous, has been a contentious police practice since first approved by the Supreme Court in 1968. In Floyd v. City of New York, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices violate both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Professors David Rudovsky and Lawrence Rosenthal debate the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk in New York City in light of …


Notes Toward A Critical Contemplation Of Law, Sonia K. Katyal Jan 2012

Notes Toward A Critical Contemplation Of Law, Sonia K. Katyal

Faculty Scholarship

In this tribute to Professor Derrick Bell’s legacy, Professor Katyal reflects on one of Bell’s greatest gifts: the necessary, and perhaps unfinished gift of critical contemplation of law, along with its possibilities and its concomitant limitations. In her paper, Katyal reflects on two seemingly disparate areas of civil rights that might benefit from Bell’s critical vision: the area of LGBT rights and equality, and federal Indian law. Relying on some of Bell’s most valuable insights, Katyal calls for the creation of a “critical sexuality studies” and a “critical indigenous studies” that employs some of Bell’s groundbreaking lessons in reimagining broader …


Same-Sex Marriage, Second-Class Citizenship, And Law's Social Meanings, Michael C. Dorf Oct 2011

Same-Sex Marriage, Second-Class Citizenship, And Law's Social Meanings, Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Government acts, statements, and symbols that carry the social meaning of second-class citizenship may, as a consequence of that fact, violate the Establishment Clause or the constitutional requirement of equal protection. Yet social meaning is often contested. Do laws permitting same-sex couples to form civil unions but not to enter into marriage convey the social meaning that gays and lesbians are second-class citizens? Do official displays of the Confederate battle flag unconstitutionally convey support for slavery and white supremacy? When public schools teach evolution but not creationism, do they show disrespect for creationists? Different audiences reach different conclusions about the …


Introduction: Appreciating Bill Stuntz, Michael Klarman, David A. Skeel Jr., Carol Steiker Jul 2011

Introduction: Appreciating Bill Stuntz, Michael Klarman, David A. Skeel Jr., Carol Steiker

All Faculty Scholarship

The past several decades have seen a renaissance in criminal procedure as a cutting edge discipline, and as one inseparably linked to substantive criminal law. The renaissance can be traced in no small part to the work of a single scholar: William Stuntz. This essay is the introductory chapter to The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2012), which brings together twelve leading American criminal justice scholars whose own writings have been profoundly influenced by Stuntz and his work. After briefly chronicling the arc of Stuntz’s career, the essay provides …


The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment was intended to eliminate the institution of slavery and to eliminate the legacy of slavery. Having accomplished the former, the Amendment has only rarely been extended to the latter. The Thirteenth Amendment’s great promise therefore remains unrealized.

This Article explores the gap between the Thirteenth Amendment’s promise and its implementation. Drawing on Critical Race Theory, this Article argues that the relative underdevelopment of Thirteenth Amendment doctrine is due in part to a lack of perceived interest convergence in eliminating what the Amendment’s Framers called the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The theory of interest convergence, in its …


The First Principles Of Standing: Privilege, System Justification, And The Predictable Incoherence Of Article Iii, Christian Sundquist Jan 2011

The First Principles Of Standing: Privilege, System Justification, And The Predictable Incoherence Of Article Iii, Christian Sundquist

Articles

This Article examines the indeterminacy of standing doctrine by deconstructing recent desegregation, affirmative action, and racial profiling cases. This examination is an attempt to uncover the often unstated meta-principles that guide standing jurisprudence. The Article contends that the inherent indeterminacy of standing law can be understood as reflecting an unstated desire to protect racial and class privilege, which is accomplished through the dogma of individualism, equal opportunity (liberty), and “white innocence.” Relying on insights from System Justification Theory, a burgeoning field of social psychology, the Article argues that the seemingly incoherent results in racial standing cases can be understood as …


Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article seeks to transform how we think about “affirmative action.” The Supreme Court’s affirmative action jurisprudence appears to be a seamless whole, but closer examination reveals important differences. Government race-consciousness sometimes grants a benefit to members of a minority group for remedial or diversifying purposes. But the government may also undertake remedial or diversifying race-conscious action without it resulting in unequal treatment or disadvantage to non-minorities. Under the Court’s current equal protection doctrine, both categories of cases are treated as presumptively unconstitutional. Race-consciousness itself has become a constitutional harm, regardless of tangible effects.

Prior scholarship has suggested that the …


Outsiders Inside The Beltway: Latcrit Xiv - Critical Outsider Theory And Praxis In The Policy Making Of The New American Regime, Anthony E. Varona Jan 2010

Outsiders Inside The Beltway: Latcrit Xiv - Critical Outsider Theory And Praxis In The Policy Making Of The New American Regime, Anthony E. Varona

Articles

No abstract provided.