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2018

Constitutional law

Civil Rights and Discrimination

Faculty Scholarship

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Constitutional Law—Do Black Lives Matter To The Constitution?, Bruce K. Miller Jan 2018

Constitutional Law—Do Black Lives Matter To The Constitution?, Bruce K. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

Do Black lives matter to the Constitution? To the original Constitution, premised as it is on white supremacy, they plainly do not. But do the post-Civil War Amendments, sometimes characterized as a "Second Founding," provide a basis for a more optimistic reading? The Supreme Court's application of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection guarantee, shaped by the long discredited (and now formally overruled) decision in Korematsu v. U.S., has seriously diminished the likelihood that our basic law can redeem the promise of racial equality. Korematsu's embrace of a purely formal account of racial discrimination, its blindness to the history and present …