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How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras Sep 2020

How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras

Faculty Scholarship

In Voices Across the Spectrum, our goal is to explore issues, perspectives, and resources that focus on promoting diversity, equality, anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, multicultural outreach and recruitment into the profession, inclusive workplaces, and more. While the first installments of this new column will focus on systemic racism issues, each column will examine different diversity and inclusion issues to help prompt conversations and break down silos within the profession.


(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 ...


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 ...


Race And Class: A Randomized Experiment With Prosecutors, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Megan Wright Dec 2019

Race And Class: A Randomized Experiment With Prosecutors, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Megan Wright

Faculty Scholarship

Disparities in criminal justice outcomes are well known, and prior observational research has shown correlations between the race of defendants and prosecutors’ decisions about how to charge and resolve cases. Yet causation is questionable: other factors, including unobserved variation in case facts, may account for some of the disparity. Disparities may also be driven by socio-economic class differences, which are highly correlated with race.

This article presents the first blinded, randomized controlled experiment that tests for race and class effects in prosecutors’ charging decisions. Case-vignettes are manipulated between-subjects in five conditions to test effects of defendants’ race and class status ...


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

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


Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan P. Feingold Apr 2019

Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan P. 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 — such ...


Diversity Drift, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2019

Diversity Drift, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Diversity may be under attack in the age of Trump, but higher education in America has its own diversity problem. If mission statements and strategic plans offer any guidance, many of America’s colleges and universities actively value diversity. Yet even as calls for diversity grow, these calls far too often lack a clear and coherent normative anchor. Institutions often seek “diversity” without first having done the work to define, precisely, why they want diversity, or to identify, concretely, what sorts of diversity will get them there.

As a result, universities have become susceptible to diversity drift, whereby good intentions ...


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

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


What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2018

What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Women involved in the most recent wave of the #MeToo movement have rightly received praise for breaking long-held silences about harassment in the workplace. The movement, however, has also rightly received criticism for both initially ignoring the role that a woman of color played in founding the movement ten years earlier and in failing to recognize the unique forms of harassment and the heightened vulnerability to harassment that women of color frequently face in the workplace. This Essay highlights and analyzes critical points at which the contributions and experiences of women of color, particularly black women, were ignored in the ...


Why Courts Fail To Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, And Technology, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell, Catherine Durso Jan 2018

Why Courts Fail To Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, And Technology, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell, Catherine Durso

Faculty Scholarship

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable “searches and seizures,” but in the digital age of stingray devices and IP tracking, what constitutes a search or seizure? The Supreme Court has held that the threshold question is supposed to depend on and reflect the “reasonable expectations” of ordinary members of the public concerning their own privacy. For example, the police now exploit the “third party” doctrine to access data held by email and cell phone providers, without securing a warrant, on the Supreme Court’s intuition that the public has no expectation of privacy in that information. Is that assumption correct ...


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 ...


Bureaucracy As The Border: Administrative Law And The Citizen Family, Kristin Collins May 2017

Bureaucracy As The Border: Administrative Law And The Citizen Family, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to the symposium on administrative law and practices of inclusion and exclusion examines the complex role of administrators in the development of family-based citizenship and immigration laws. Official decisions regarding the entry of noncitizens into the United States are often characterized as occurring outside of the normal constitutional and administrative rules that regulate government action. There is some truth to that description. But the historical sources examined in this Article demonstrate that in at least one important respect, citizenship and immigration have long been similar to other fields of law that are primarily implemented by agencies: officials operating ...


Extending The Normativity Of The Extended Family: Reflections On Moore V. City Of East Cleveland, Angela Onwuachi-Willig May 2017

Extending The Normativity Of The Extended Family: Reflections On Moore V. City Of East Cleveland, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Part I of this Article briefly recounts the plurality decision in Moore before analyzing Justice Brennan’s concurring opinion and detailing how the concurrence affirms, rather than deconstructs, the notion of African American deviance in families. Next, Part II specifies the ways in which Justice Brennan could have truly uplifted African American families and other families of color by identifying and explicating the strengths of extended or multigenerational family forms among people of color and by showing how such family forms can be a model, or even the model (if one must be chosen), for all families. Then, Part III ...


Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman Dec 2015

Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman

Faculty Scholarship

Racial minorities are disproportionately imprisoned in the United States. This disparity is unlikely to be due solely to differences in criminal behavior. Behavioral science research has documented that prosecutors harbor unconscious racial biases. These unconscious biases play a role whenever prosecutors exercise their broad discretion, such as in choosing what crimes to charge and when negotiating plea bargains. To reduce this risk of unconscious racial bias, we propose a policy change: Prosecutors should be blinded to the race of criminal defendants wherever feasible. This could be accomplished by removing information identifying or suggesting the defendant’s race from police dossiers ...


Michael Brown, Eric Garner, And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler Jul 2015

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Wheeler discusses the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. He posits that racialized fear is part of what fuels such violence and discusses examples of how racialized fear have impacted his personal life. Wheeler then discusses how and why law librarians can and should be prepared to discuss such events with their law library patrons.


We All Do It: Unconscious Behavior, Bias, And Diversity, Ronald Wheeler Apr 2015

We All Do It: Unconscious Behavior, Bias, And Diversity, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Mr. Wheeler suggests that many of our behaviors, in the workplace and elsewhere, are motivated by unconscious triggers and emotions, including racial biases. These behaviors, however, can be prevented by making conscious choices that enhance diversity.


From Outsider Status To Insider And Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory And Normalization Of Lgbt Identity, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Alexander Nourafshan Jan 2015

From Outsider Status To Insider And Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory And Normalization Of Lgbt Identity, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Alexander Nourafshan

Faculty Scholarship

After the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional,and after the granting of certiorari in Obergell v. Hodges, where the Supreme Court will decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to provide a marriage license to same-sex couples, national marriage equality seems like a legal inevitability.However, Windsor and Obergell, along with other state-level advances toward marriage equality, are not equally promising for all members of the lesbian and gay community. Although Windsor and the revolution of cases that have led to Obergell hold significant promise for ...


Windsor, Surrogacy, And Race, Khiara Bridges Dec 2014

Windsor, Surrogacy, And Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and activists interested in racial justice have long been opposed to surrogacy arrangements, wherein a couple commissions a woman to become pregnant, give birth to a baby, and surrender the baby to the couple to raise as its own. Their fear has been that surrogacy arrangements will magnify racial inequalities inasmuch as wealthy white people will look to poor women of color to carry and give birth to the white babies that the couples covet. However, perhaps critical thinkers about race should reconsider their contempt for surrogacy following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor ...


Stereotype Threat And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler Jul 2014

Stereotype Threat And Law Librarianship, Ronald Wheeler

Faculty Scholarship

Mr. Wheeler looks at the concept of stereotype threat and discusses ways to confront and combat it in a diverse society. He proposes some simple solutions within the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the law librarianship profession to help diminish the effects of this psychological barrier.


Illegitimate Borders: Jus Sanguinis Citizenship And The Legal Construction Of Family, Race, And Nation, Kristin Collins May 2014

Illegitimate Borders: Jus Sanguinis Citizenship And The Legal Construction Of Family, Race, And Nation, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

The citizenship status of children born to American parents outside the United States is governed by a complex set of statutes. When the parents of such children are not married, these statutes encumber the transmission of citizenship between father and child while readily recognizing the child of an American mother as a citizen. Much of the debate concerning the propriety and constitutionality of those laws has centered on the extent to which they reflect gender-traditional understandings of fathers’ and mothers’ respective parental roles, or instead reflect “real differences” between men and women. Based on extensive archival research, this Article demonstrates ...


The Dangerous Law Of Biological Race, Khiara Bridges Oct 2013

The Dangerous Law Of Biological Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

The idea of biological race -- a conception of race that postulates that racial groups are distinct, genetically homogenous units -- has experienced a dramatic resurgence in popularity in recent years. It is commonly understood, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the idea that races are genetically uniform groupings of individuals. Almost a century ago, the Court famously appeared to recognize the socially constructed nature of race. Moreover, the jurisprudence since then appears to reaffirm this disbelief: within law, race is understood to be a social construction, having no biological truth to it at all. Yet upon closer examination ...


Measuring The Racial Unevenness Of Law School, Jonathan P. Feingold, Doug Souza Jan 2013

Measuring The Racial Unevenness Of Law School, Jonathan P. Feingold, Doug Souza

Faculty Scholarship

In "Measuring the Racial Unevenness of Law School," Jonathan Feingold and Doug Souza introduce and analyze the concept of racial unevenness, which refers to the particularized burdens an individual encounters as a result of her race. These burdens, which often arise because an individual falls outside of the racial norm, manifest across a spectrum. At one end lie obvious forms of overt and invidious racial discrimination. At the other end, racial unevenness arises from environmental factors and institutional culture independent from any identifiable perpetrator. As the authors detail, race-dependent burdens can arise in institutions and communities that expressly promote racial ...


Do Female “Firsts” Still Matter?: Why They Do For Women Of Color, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Amber Shanahan-Fricke Jan 2012

Do Female “Firsts” Still Matter?: Why They Do For Women Of Color, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Amber Shanahan-Fricke

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that diversifying the federal judiciary with more women and men of color, but particularly with more women of color, is essential to moving forward and strengthening this country’s democracy. Specifically, this Article responds to arguments by prominent feminists that having female “firsts” on the bench is not as critical as having the “right” women on the bench—“right” meaning those women who are invested in and supportive of what are traditionally viewed as women’s issues. In so responding, this Article acknowledges the appeal of such arguments regarding judicial service from the “right” women, but contends ...


Defusing Implicit Bias, Jonathan P. Feingold, Karen Lorang Jan 2012

Defusing Implicit Bias, Jonathan P. Feingold, Karen Lorang

Faculty Scholarship

The February 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin has slowly reignited the national conversation about race and violence. Despite the sheer volume of debate arising from this tragedy, insufficient attention has been paid to the potentially deadly mix of guns and implicit bias. Evidence of implicit bias, and its power to alter real-world behavior, is stronger now than ever. A growing body of research on “shooter bias” reveals that, as a result of implicit bias, White and Black Americans are more likely to shoot unarmed Black men than unarmed White men. The problem has been diagnosed. What remains to be determined ...


Racing Towards Colorblindness: Stereotype Threat And The Myth Of Meritocracy, Jonathan P. Feingold Oct 2011

Racing Towards Colorblindness: Stereotype Threat And The Myth Of Meritocracy, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Education law and policy debates often focus on whether college and graduate school admissions offices should take race into account. Those who advocate for a strictly merits-based regime emphasize the importance of colorblindness. The call for colorblind admissions relies on the assumption that our current admissions criteria are fair measures, which accurately capture talent and ability. Recent social science research into standardized testing suggests that this is not the case.

Part I of this Article explores the psychological phenomenon of stereotype threat. Stereotype threat has been shown to detrimentally impact the performance of individuals from negatively stereotyped groups when performing ...


Class, Classes, And Classic Race Baiting: What’S In A Definition?, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Amber Fricke Jan 2011

Class, Classes, And Classic Race Baiting: What’S In A Definition?, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Amber Fricke

Faculty Scholarship

Overall, in this Article, we briefly lay out each of our challenges to Sander's arguments in Class in American Legal Education. In Part I, we first address the very problems that Sander's article highlights about the difficulties of defining class and SES, problems that may make classbased affirmative action programs less feasible and effective than Sander suggests. In so doing, we identify what we consider to be defects in Sander's class/SES groupings. We also highlight the complexities around class and race that already exist within law student populations, answering in part the important questions about to ...


Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands Of Analysis Under Title Vii, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Apr 2010

Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands Of Analysis Under Title Vii, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay re-examines antidiscrimination case law that allows employers to enforce hair grooming policies that prohibit natural hairstyles for black women, such as braids, locks, and twists. In so doing, this Essay sets forth an intersectional, biological - as opposed to cultural - argument for why such bans are discriminatory under Title VII. Specifically, this Essay argues that antidiscrimination law fails to address intersectional race and gender discrimination against black women through such grooming restrictions because it does not recognize braided, twisted, and locked hairstyles as black-female equivalents of Afros, which are protected as racial characteristics under existing law. The claim here ...


Complimentary And Complementary Discrimination In Faculty Hiring, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jan 2010

Complimentary And Complementary Discrimination In Faculty Hiring, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

This Article focuses on one form of discrimination in faculty hiring. Specifically, this Article concentrates on discrimination against the "overqualified" minority faculty candidate, the candidate who is presumed to have too many opportunities and thus gets excluded from faculty interview lists and consideration. In so doing, this Article poses and answers the question: "Can exclusion from interviewing pools and selection based upon the notion that one is just 'too good' to recruit to a particular department constitute an actionable form of discrimination?" Part I of this Article begins by briefly reviewing the changes in faculty diversity and inclusion at colleges ...


Go West Young Woman!: The Mercer Girls And Legal Historiography, Kristin Collins Jan 2010

Go West Young Woman!: The Mercer Girls And Legal Historiography, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

This essay is a response to Professor Kerry Abrams’s article The Hidden Dimension of Nineteenth-Century Immigration Law, published in Vanderbilt Law Review. The Hidden Dimension tells the story of Washington Territory’s entrepreneurial Asa Shinn Mercer, who endeavored to bring hundreds of young women from the East Coast to the tiny frontier town of Seattle as prospective brides for white men who had settled there. Abrams locates the story of the Mercer Girls, as they were called, in the history of American immigration law. My response locates The Hidden Dimension in American legal historiography, both that branch of American ...


All In The Family, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Jacob Willig-Onwuachi Jan 2010

All In The Family, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Jacob Willig-Onwuachi

Faculty Scholarship

Your essay “Pregnant Man?” highlights many significant issues concerning the intersection of law, gender, sexuality, race, class, and family. In an earlier article A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family, we explored many of these issues as they relate to multiracial families, including our own. Specifically, we, a black female-white male married couple, analyzed the language in housing discrimination statutes to demonstrate how law and society function together to frame the normative ideal of family as heterosexual and monoracial. Our article examined the daily social privileges of monoracial, heterosexual couples as a means of revealing the invisibility of ...