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Critical Race Theory Bans And The Changing Canon: Cultural Appropriation In Narrative, Susan Ayres Jun 2024

Critical Race Theory Bans And The Changing Canon: Cultural Appropriation In Narrative, Susan Ayres

Faculty Scholarship

Thirty-five states have enacted critical race theory bans at the level of elementary and secondary public education, and seven states have extended these to the university level. One way to resist these attempts to repress a healthy democracy by whitewashing history is through a pedagogy of antiracism, including literary works. The question of what that would look like involves questions of cultural appropriation, which occurs when one takes from another culture, such as a writer creating a narrative about a character outside of the writer’s cultural identity. This Article considers the story of Ota Benga, brought from the Congo to …


Expanding The Ban On Forced Arbitration To Race Claims, Michael Z. Green Mar 2024

Expanding The Ban On Forced Arbitration To Race Claims, Michael Z. Green

Faculty Scholarship

When Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (“EFASASHA”) in March 2022, it signaled a major retreat from the Supreme Court’s broad enforcement of agreements to force employees and consumers to arbitrate discrimination claims. But the failure to cover protected discriminatory classes other than sex, especially race, tempers any exuberance attributable to the passage of EFASASHA. This Article prescribes an approach for employees and consumers to rely upon EFASASHA as a tool to prevent both race and sex discrimination claims from being forced into arbitration by employers and companies. This approach relies upon procedural …


Racial Targets, Atinuke O. Adediran Jan 2024

Racial Targets, Atinuke O. Adediran

Faculty Scholarship

It is common scholarly and popular wisdom that racial quotas are illegal. However, the reality is that since 2020’s racial reckoning, many of the largest companies have been touting specific, albeit voluntary, goals to hire or promote people of color, which this Article refers to as “racial targets.” The Article addresses this phenomenon and shows that companies can defend racial targets as distinct from racial quotas, which involve a rigid number or proportion of opportunities reserved exclusively for minority groups. The political implications of the legal defensibility of racial targets are significant in this moment in American history, where race …


Black And Blue Police Arbitration Reforms, Michael Z. Green Jun 2023

Black And Blue Police Arbitration Reforms, Michael Z. Green

Faculty Scholarship

The racial justice protests that engulfed the country after seeing a video of the appalling killing of a Black male, George Floyd, by a Minnesota police officer in 2020 has led to a tremendous number of questions about dealing with racial issues in policing. Similar concerns arose a little more than fifty years ago when police unions gained power to respond to the civil rights protests occurring during those times by establishing strong protections for their officers in light of brutality claims. This rhythmic progression of protests and union responses is destined to continue without any lasting reforms focused on …


Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2023

Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

The question “what is equality?”, applied to the distribution of resources across races, suggests the following answer: when there appears to be no need for a policy that focuses on improving the welfare of one race relative to another. There is another way to approach the same question: equality is when traditionally-recognized paths to advancement do not give preference to or disadvantage an individual because of his race. Notice the difference here is between end-state and process-based notions of equality, a distinction Nozick emphasized in his examination of justice in distribution. Nozick rejected end-state theories of justice in distribution. I …


Race-Ing Antitrust, I. Bennett Capers, Gregory Day Jan 2023

Race-Ing Antitrust, I. Bennett Capers, Gregory Day

Faculty Scholarship

Antitrust law has a race problem. To spot an antitrust violation, courts inquire into whether an act has degraded consumer welfare. Since anticompetitive practices are often assumed to enhance consumer welfare, antitrust offenses are rarely found. Key to this framework is that antitrust treats all consumers monolithically; that consumers are differently situated, especially along lines of race, simply is ignored.

We argue that antitrust law must disaggregate the term “consumer” to include those who disproportionately suffer from anticompetitive practices via a community welfare standard. As a starting point, we demonstrate that anticompetitive conduct has specifically been used as a tool …


Abandoning Animus, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2023

Abandoning Animus, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay presents a preliminary set of arguments against the legal concept of animus grounded in actual practice. After considering the major reasons advanced in support of the animus approach as well as the main objections, I argue that the end of animus may come once we confront the limits of judicial capacity. First, judges have not been willing or able to resort to the animus rationale to call out bigotry where the evidence of hostility is robust. These failures suggest that projects founded upon judicial review to reduce hateful motivations may be overly optimistic. Second, on the occasions 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 …


Race, Gatekeeping, Magical Words, And The Rules Of Evidence, I. Bennett Capers Jan 2023

Race, Gatekeeping, Magical Words, And The Rules Of Evidence, I. Bennett Capers

Faculty Scholarship

Although it might not be apparent from the Federal Rules of Evidence themselves, or the common law that preceded them, there is a long history in this country of tying evidence—what is deemed relevant, what is deemed trustworthy—to race. And increasingly, evidence scholars are excavating that history. Indeed, not just excavating, but showing how that history has racial effects that continue into the present.

One area that has escaped racialized scrutiny—at least of the type I am interested in—is that of expert testimony. In this brief Essay written for the Vanderbilt Law Review Symposium, Reimagining the Rules of Evidence at …


Policing "Bad" Mothers, I. Bennett Capers Jan 2023

Policing "Bad" Mothers, I. Bennett Capers

Faculty Scholarship

Jessamine Chan’s The School for Good Mothers — a speculative novel about a mother who abandons her child for a few hours and is required to attend a school for good mothers to regain custody — may not be a great book, but it is a good yarn, and a page turner, and thought-provoking. Thought-provoking, because to measure her fitness to be a mother, the protagonist is assigned a robot doppelganger of her child — one that is sentient, one that seems almost real, one that might even pass the Turing test, and one that she is required not only …


Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In SFFA v. Harvard (SFFA), the Supreme Court further restricted a university’s right to consider the racial identity of individual applicants during admissions. The ruling has spawned considerable confusion regarding a university’s ongoing ability to pursue racial diversity, racial inclusion, and other equality-oriented goals—whether through “raceconscious” or “race-neutral” means. To assist institutions attempting to navigate the ruling, this article outlines a set of key legal rights and responsibilities that universities continue to possess following SFFA.


Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe Nov 2022

Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly employing pretrial algorithms as a solution to the racial and socioeconomic inequities in the bail system. But in practice, pretrial algorithms have reproduced the very inequities they were intended to correct. Scholars have diagnosed this problem as the biased data problem: pretrial algorithms generate racially and socioeconomically biased predictions, because they are constructed and trained with biased data.

This Article contends that biased data is not the sole cause of algorithmic discrimination. Another reason pretrial algorithms produce biased results is that they are exclusively built and trained with data from carceral knowledge sources – the police, pretrial …


Colorblind Capture, Jonathan Feingold Oct 2022

Colorblind Capture, Jonathan 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 or …


Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich Jul 2022

Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

Last month, the federal government passed the first gun safety legislation in decades, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, while at the same time, the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to carry guns in public. It is important then to assess where this country finds itself with regard to gun policy after these two seemingly contrasting and momentous events.


The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jul 2022

The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Critical Race Theory ("CR T"), or at least its principles, stands at the core of most prominent social movements of today-from the resurgence of the #MeToo Movement, which was founded by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, to the Black Lives Matter Movement, which was founded by three Black women: Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors. In fact, Critical Race Theorists have long defined CRT itself as a movement, one that has not only provided theoretical interventions regarding the relationship between race, racism, power, and the law, but that has also encouraged and, in fact, inspired and guided social movements. …


The Black-White Paradigm’S Continuing Erasure Of Latinas: See Women Law Deans Of Color, Laura M. Padilla Jul 2022

The Black-White Paradigm’S Continuing Erasure Of Latinas: See Women Law Deans Of Color, Laura M. Padilla

Faculty Scholarship

The Black-white paradigm persists with unintended consequences. For example, there have been only six Latina law deans to date with only four presently serving. This Article provides data about women law deans of color, the dearth of Latina law deans, and explanations for the data. It focuses on the enduring Black-white paradigm, as well as other external and internal forces. This Article suggests how to increase the number of Latina law deans and emphasizes why it matters.


An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor Jun 2022

An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor

Faculty Scholarship

Protesting is supposed to be revered in our democracy, considered “as American as apple pie” in our nation’s mythology. But the actual experiences of the 2020 racial justice protesters showed that this supposed reverence for political dissent and protest is more akin to American folklore than reality on the streets. The images from those streets depicted police officers clad in riot gear and armed with shields, batons, and “less than” lethal weapons aggressively arresting protesters, often en masse. In the first week of the George Floyd protests, police arrested roughly 10,000 people, and approximately 78 percent of those arrests were …


Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman Apr 2022

Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

People of color and women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) fields in the United States. Through both intentional and unintentional structural barriers, universities continue to lose valuable intellectual resources by perpetuating a lack of gender, racial, and ethnic diversity as people climb the academic ladder. Identifying racial and gender disparities between university campus populations and their patent representation quantifies the qualitatively observed systemic racism and sexism plaguing STEM. Although many have written about racial and gender underrepresentation in STEM, no author has ever endeavored to simultaneously quantify the racial and gender gap at universities in the …


Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe Jan 2022

Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Algorithms are proliferating in criminal legal structures. The predictions produced by these algorithms inform life-altering decisions around surveillance and incarceration. Their continued use poses a challenge to ongoing racial justice efforts. Contesting how algorithms of today maintain the racial status quo requires a fundamental rethinking of the algorithm project. This essay explores how Afrofuturism can facilitate such a rethinking. It imagines how applying an Afrofuturist paradigm to the adoption, construction, implementation, and oversight of algorithms could radically change the kind of algorithms developed and the purposes for which they are developed. Tapping into this potential offers the chance for members …


Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2022

Civil Rights Catch 22s, Jonathan 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 to …


The Democratic (Il)Legitimacy Of Assembly-Line Litigation, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark Jan 2022

The Democratic (Il)Legitimacy Of Assembly-Line Litigation, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

Millions of debt cases are filed in the civil courts every year. In debt actions, asymmetrical representation is the norm, with the plaintiff almost always represented by counsel and the defendant very rarely so. A number of jurisdictions report that up to ninety-nine percent of defendants in debt cases appear pro se — a figure that calls into question the basic legitimacy of these proceedings.

Professor Daniel Wilf-Townsend’s central contribution to the literature on debt collection, and state civil justice more broadly, is to demonstrate through sophisticated empirics what has long been anecdotally reported: that a cluster of corporate plaintiffs …


Getting To Death: Race And The Paths Of Capital Cases After Furman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Garth Davies, Ray Paternoster Jan 2022

Getting To Death: Race And The Paths Of Capital Cases After Furman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Garth Davies, Ray Paternoster

Faculty Scholarship

Decades of research on the administration of the death penalty have recognized the persistent arbitrariness in its implementation and the racial inequality in the selection of defendants and cases for capital punishment. This Article provides new insights into the combined effects of these two constitutional challenges. We show how these features of post-Furman capital punishment operate at each stage of adjudication, from charging death-eligible cases to plea negotiations to the selection of eligible cases for execution and ultimately to the execution itself, and how their effects combine to sustain the constitutional violations first identified 50 years ago in Furman …


How Agencies Can Better Regulate For Racial Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2022

How Agencies Can Better Regulate For Racial Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

On his first day in office, President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order to advance racial equity throughout the federal government by taking a “systematic approach to embedding fairness in decision-making,” redressing inequities, and advancing equal opportunity in agency policies and programs.

This order is an important step. President Biden’s executive order promises new, proactive engagement by the administrative state to promote racial equity and other dimensions of inclusion in agency programs. But federal administrative agencies have played a key role in structuring racial segregation and sustaining racial inequality in housing, health care, access to transit, and wealth. President …


The Intersectional Race And Gender Effects Of The Pandemic In Legal Academia, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Aug 2021

The Intersectional Race And Gender Effects Of The Pandemic In Legal Academia, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic helped to expose the inequities that already existed between students at every level of education based on race and socioeconomic class status, it has exposed existing inequities among faculty based on gender and the intersection of gender and race. The legal academy has been no exception to this reality. The widespread loss of childcare and the closing of both public and private primary and secondary schools have disproportionately harmed women law faculty, who are more likely than their male peers to work a “second shift” in terms of childcare and household responsibilities. Similarly, women law …


(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Jun 2021

(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 of …


The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2021

The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

In The Color Line: A Short Introduction, David Lyons provides a valuable service to students and academics in law, social sciences, and humanities by providing a concise history of the development and maintenance of race and racial order through law, policy, and discrimination in the United States. Lyons effectively outlines how race and racism were developed through these mechanisms in an effort to facilitate and maintain white supremacy.


Introduction: What Matters For Black Workers After 2020?, Michael Z. Green Jan 2021

Introduction: What Matters For Black Workers After 2020?, Michael Z. Green

Faculty Scholarship

This paper operates as the Introduction to a Symposium that resulted from a Call for Papers discussing the topic of "What Matters for Black Workers after 2020?" to be published in the 25th volume of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal for 2021. This paper briefly discusses the papers in that Symposium publication authored by Jamillah Bowman Williams, Michael Duff, and Henry Chambers that address this topic. I thank Noah Zatz, Marty Malin, Michael Oswalt, Marcia McCormick, and Tristan Kirvan for their dedicated efforts, feedback, and encouragement in completing this Symposium issue for the journal on this very important …


Mine The Gap: Using Racial Disparities To Expose And Eradicate Racism, James S. Liebman, Kayla C. Butler, Ian Buksunski Jan 2021

Mine The Gap: Using Racial Disparities To Expose And Eradicate Racism, James S. Liebman, Kayla C. Butler, Ian Buksunski

Faculty Scholarship

For decades, lawyers and legal scholars have disagreed over how much resource redistribution to expect from federal courts and Congress in satisfaction of the Fourteenth Amendment's promise of equal protection. Of particular importance to this debate and to the nation given its kaleidoscopic history of inequality, is the question of racial redistribution of resources. A key dimension of that question is whether to accept the Supreme Court's limitation of equal protection to public actors' disparate treatment of members of different races or instead demand constitutional remedies for the racially disparate impact of public action.

For a substantial segment of the …


The Racial Architecture Of Criminal Justice, I. Bennett Capers Jan 2021

The Racial Architecture Of Criminal Justice, I. Bennett Capers

Faculty Scholarship

One of the pleasures of contributing to symposia—especially symposia where each contribution is brief—is the ability to engage in new explorations, test new ideas, and offer new provocations. I do that now in this essay about race, architecture, and criminal justice. I begin by discussing how race is imbricated in the architecture of courthouses, the quintessential place of supposed justice. I then take race and architecture a step further. If we think of architecture expansively—Lawrence Lessig’s definition of architecture as “the physical world as we find it” comes to mind—then it becomes clear that race is also imbricated in the …


Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2021

Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan 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 to address. …