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The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii Sep 2015

The Keyes To Reclaiming The Racial History Of The Roberts Court, Tom I. Romero, Ii

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article advocates for a fundamental re-understanding about the way that the history of race is understood by the current Supreme Court. Represented by the racial rights opinions of Justice John Roberts that celebrate racial progress, the Supreme Court has equivocated and rendered obsolete the historical experiences of people of color in the United States. This jurisprudence has in turn reified the notion of color-blindness, consigning racial discrimination to a distant and discredited past that has little bearing to how race and inequality is experienced today. The racial history of the Roberts Court is centrally informed by the context and …


Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin Jul 2014

Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ultimately, I argue that one important response to the demise of race-based affirmative action should be to incorporate the experience of segregation into diversity strategies. A college applicant who has thrived despite exposure to poverty in his school or neighborhood deserves special consideration. Those blessed to come of age in poverty-free havens do not. I conclude that use of place, rather than race, in diversity programming will better approximate the structural disadvantages many children of color actually endure, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. While I propose substituting …


"The Prejudice Of Caste": The Misreading Of Justice Harlan And The Ascendency Of Anticlassificaiton, Scott Grinsell Jan 2010

"The Prejudice Of Caste": The Misreading Of Justice Harlan And The Ascendency Of Anticlassificaiton, Scott Grinsell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article reconsiders the familiar reading of Justice Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson as standing for the principle of constitutional colorblindness by examining the significance of Harlan's use of the metaphor "caste" in the opinion. By overlooking Harlan's invocation of "caste," it argues that conservative proponents of anticlassification have reclaimed the opinion for "colorblindness," and buried a powerful statement of the antisubordination principle that is at the heart of our equality law. The Article begins by examining the emergence of a reading of the opinion as articulating a view of equality law based in anticlassification. The Article then returns …


From Pedagogical Sociology To Constitutional Adjudication: The Meaning Of Desegregation In Social Science Research And Law, Anne Richardson Oakes Jan 2008

From Pedagogical Sociology To Constitutional Adjudication: The Meaning Of Desegregation In Social Science Research And Law, Anne Richardson Oakes

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the United States following the case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) federal judges with responsibility for public school desegregation but no expertise in education or schools management appointed experts from the social sciences to act as court advisors. In Boston, MA, educational sociologists helped Judge W. Arthur Garrity design a plan with educational enhancement at its heart, but the educational outcomes were marginalized by a desegregation jurisprudence conceptualized in terms of race rather than education. This Article explores the frustration of outcomes in Boston by reference to the differing conceptualizations of desegregation in law and social science. …


The Current Landscape Of Race: Old Targets, New Opportunities, Richard Delgado May 2006

The Current Landscape Of Race: Old Targets, New Opportunities, Richard Delgado

Michigan Law Review

It is difficult enough identifying areas within a current field of scholarship that are underdeveloped and in need of further attention. In science, one thinks of missing elements in the periodic table or planets in a solar system that our calculations tell us must be there but that our telescopes have not yet spotted. In civil-rights law, one thinks of such areas as women's sports or the problems of intersectional groups, such as women of color or gay black men. One also thinks of issues that current events are constantly thrusting forward, such as discrimination against Arabs or execution of …


Brown And Lawrence (And Goodridge), Michael J. Klarman Dec 2005

Brown And Lawrence (And Goodridge), Michael J. Klarman

Michigan Law Review

One year shy of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Justices issued another equality ruling that is likely to become a historical landmark. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Court invalidated a state law that criminalized same-sex sodomy. This article contrasts these historic rulings along several dimensions, with the aim of shedding light on how Supreme Court Justices decide cases and how Court decisions influence social reform movements. Part I juxtaposes Brown and Lawrence to illustrate how judicial decisionmaking often involves an uneasy reconciliation of traditional legal sources with broader social and political mores and …


For Whom Does The Bell Toll: The Bell Tolls For Brown?, Angela Onwuachi-Willig May 2005

For Whom Does The Bell Toll: The Bell Tolls For Brown?, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Michigan Law Review

Fifty years after the landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education, black comedian and philanthropist Dr. Bill Cosby astonished guests at a gala in Washington, D.C., when he stated, "'Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. (Black people] have got to take the neighborhood back . . . . (Lower economic Blacks] are standing on the comer and they can't speak English.'" Cosby, one of the wealthiest men in the United States, complained about "lower economic" Blacks "not holding up their end in this deal." He then asked the question, "'Well, Brown …


Does The Supreme Court Matter? Civil Rights And The Inherent Politicization Of Constitutional Law, Matthew D. Lassiter Jan 2005

Does The Supreme Court Matter? Civil Rights And The Inherent Politicization Of Constitutional Law, Matthew D. Lassiter

Michigan Law Review

More than a decade ago, in a colloquium sponsored by the Virginia Law Review, scholars of the civil rights movement launched a fierce assault on Michael J. Klarman's interpretation of the significance of the Supreme Court's famous school desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Klarman's "backlash thesis," initially set forth in a series of law review and history journal articles and now serving as the centerpiece of his new book, revolves around two central claims. First, he argues that the advancements toward racial equality generally attributed to Brown were instead the inevitable products of long-term political, …


Are Single-Sex Schools Inherently Unequal?, Michael Heise May 2004

Are Single-Sex Schools Inherently Unequal?, Michael Heise

Michigan Law Review

In chess, a "fork" occurs when a player, in a single move, attacks two or more of an opponent's pieces simultaneously, forcing a necessary choice between unappealing outcomes. Similar to the potentially devastating chess move, single-sex public schooling forks many constitutionalists and feminists. Constitutionalists are forced to reexamine the "separate but equal" doctrine's efficacy, this time through the prism of gender. Although the doctrine - forged in the crucible of race and overcome in the monumental triumph we know as Brown v. Board of Education - rested dormant for generations, persistent (and increasing) single-sex education options are forcing scholars to …


What's A Judge To Do? Remedying The Remedy In Institutional Reform Litigation, Susan Poser May 2004

What's A Judge To Do? Remedying The Remedy In Institutional Reform Litigation, Susan Poser

Michigan Law Review

Democracy by Decree is the latest contribution to a scholarly literature, now nearly thirty-years old, which questions whether judges have the legitimacy and the capacity to oversee the remedial phase of institutional reform litigation. Previous contributors to this literature have come out on one side or the other of the legitimacy and capacity debate. Abram Chayes, Owen Fiss, and more recently, Malcolm Feeley and Edward Rubin, have all argued that the proper role of judges is to remedy rights violations and that judges possess the legitimate institutional authority to order structural injunctions. Lon Fuller, Donald Horowitz, William Fletcher, and Gerald …


The Journey From Brown V. Board Of Education To Grutter V. Bollinger: From Racial Assimilation To Diversity, Harry T. Edwards Jan 2004

The Journey From Brown V. Board Of Education To Grutter V. Bollinger: From Racial Assimilation To Diversity, Harry T. Edwards

Michigan Law Review

Fifty years ago, in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court confronted a precise and straightforward question: "Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities?" The Court's answer was precise and straightforward: "We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs ... are, by reason of the segregation complained of, …


White Interests And Civil Rights Realism: Rodrigo's Bittersweet Epiphany, Richard Delgado Mar 2003

White Interests And Civil Rights Realism: Rodrigo's Bittersweet Epiphany, Richard Delgado

Michigan Law Review

I had just settled down, taken off my tie, and was about to go over the two-page handout entitled "Information for Wedding Parties " that the minister of the small church had handed me minutes earlier, when I heard a knock and familiar voice from the other side of the anteroom door.


Cleansing Moments And Retrospective Justice, Margaret M. Russell Mar 2003

Cleansing Moments And Retrospective Justice, Margaret M. Russell

Michigan Law Review

We live in an era of questioning and requestioning long-held assumptions about the role of race in law, both in criminal prosecutions specifically and in the legal process generally. Certainly, the foundational framework is not new; for decades, both legal literature and jurisprudence have explored in great detail the realities of racism in the legal system. Even among those who might prefer to ignore the role of race discrimination in more than two centuries of American law, denial is no longer a viable or intellectually defensible option. Rather, debate now centers upon whether or not the extensive history of American …


American Racial Jusice On Trial - Again: African American Reparations, Human Rights, And The War On Terror, Eric K. Yamamoto, Susan K. Serrano, Michelle Natividad Rodriguez Mar 2003

American Racial Jusice On Trial - Again: African American Reparations, Human Rights, And The War On Terror, Eric K. Yamamoto, Susan K. Serrano, Michelle Natividad Rodriguez

Michigan Law Review

Much has been written recently on African American reparations and reparations movements worldwide, both in the popular press and scholarly publications. Indeed, the expanding volume of writing underscores the impact on the public psyche of movements for reparations for historic injustice. Some of that writing has highlighted the legal obstacles faced by proponents of reparations lawsuits, particularly a judicial system that focuses on individual (and not group-based) claims and tends to squeeze even major social controversies into the narrow litigative paradigm of a two-person auto collision (requiring proof of standing, duty, breach, causation, and direct injury). Other writings detail the …


The Principle And Practice Of Women's "Full Citizenship": A Case Study Of Sex-Segregated Public Education, Jill Elaine Hasday Dec 2002

The Principle And Practice Of Women's "Full Citizenship": A Case Study Of Sex-Segregated Public Education, Jill Elaine Hasday

Michigan Law Review

For more than a quarter century, the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that sex-based state action is subject to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. But the Court has always been much less clear about what that standard allows and what it prohibits. For this reason, it is especially noteworthy that one of the Court's most recent sex discrimination opinions, United States v. Virginia, purports to provide more coherent guidance. Virginia suggests that the constitutionality of sex-based state action turns on whether the practice at issue denies women "full citizenship stature" or "create[s) or perpetuate[s) the legal, social, …


Some Effects Of Identity-Based Social Movements On Constitutional Law In The Twentieth Century, William N. Eskridge Jr. Aug 2002

Some Effects Of Identity-Based Social Movements On Constitutional Law In The Twentieth Century, William N. Eskridge Jr.

Michigan Law Review

What motivated big changes in constitutional law doctrine during the twentieth century? Rarely did important constitutional doctrine or theory change because of formal amendments to the document's text, and rarer still because scholars or judges "discovered" new information about the Constitution's original meaning. Precedent and common law reasoning were the mechanisms by which changes occurred rather than their driving force. My thesis is that most twentieth century changes in the constitutional protection of individual rights were driven by or in response to the great identity-based social movements ("IBSMs") of the twentieth century. Race, sex, and sexual orientation were markers of …


A Grand Theory Of Constitutional Law, Erwin Chemerinsky May 2002

A Grand Theory Of Constitutional Law, Erwin Chemerinsky

Michigan Law Review

Jeb Rubenfeld's book is nothing if not ambitious. In just 250 pages, Rubenfeld seeks to: justify the authority of the Constitution, establish the legitimacy of judicial review, resolve the countermajoritarian difficulty, offer a method of constitutional interpretation and judicial review, uphold the constitutionality of affirmative action, and explain the legitimacy of judicial protection of privacy, including abortion rights. Scattered throughout the book, he offers philosophical insights as to the meaning of life, discussing a central issue for all of us: dealing with time. Rubenfeld's book is elegant, relying on history, continental philosophy, game theory, and even Supreme Court cases, to …


What's Wrong With Our Talk About Race? On History, Particularity, And Affirmative Action, James Boyd White Jan 2002

What's Wrong With Our Talk About Race? On History, Particularity, And Affirmative Action, James Boyd White

Michigan Law Review

One of the striking and original achievements of the Michigan Law Review in its first century was the publication in 1989 of a Symposium entitled Legal Storytelling. Organized by the remarkable editor-in-chief, Kevin Kennedy - who tragically died not long after his graduation - the Symposium not only brought an important topic to the forefront of legal thinking, it did so in an extraordinarily interesting way. For this was not a mere collection of papers; the authors met in small editorial groups to discuss their work in detail, and as a result the whole project has a remarkable coherence and …


A Political History Of The Establishment Clause, John C. Jeffries Jr., James E. Ryan Nov 2001

A Political History Of The Establishment Clause, John C. Jeffries Jr., James E. Ryan

Michigan Law Review

Now pending before the Supreme Court is the most important church-state issue of our time: whether publicly funded vouchers may be used at private, religious schools without violating the Establishment Clause. The last time the Court considered school aid, it overruled precedent and upheld a government program providing computers and other instructional materials to parochial schools. In a plurality opinion defending that result, Justice Thomas dismissed as irrelevant the fact that some aid recipients were "pervasively sectarian." That label, said Thomas, had a "shameful pedigree." He traced it to the Blaine Amendment, proposed in 1875, which would have altered the …


Integration Without Classification: Moving Toward Race-Neutrality In The Pursuit Of Public Elementary And Secondary School Diversity, Paul Diller Aug 2001

Integration Without Classification: Moving Toward Race-Neutrality In The Pursuit Of Public Elementary And Secondary School Diversity, Paul Diller

Michigan Law Review

Ever since the Supreme Court's invalidation of racially segregated public schools in Brown v. Board of Education, America has wrestled with the challenge of successfully dismantling educational apartheid. In recent years, the federal judiciary has largely retreated from enforcing desegregation in school districts that were once under court supervision for engaging in intentional racial discrimination, finding that the vestiges of past discrimination have been satisfactorily ameliorated. In some such unitary school districts, as well as in districts in which no intentional segregation was ever identified by the courts, boards of education, have voluntarily implemented student assignment plans designed to increase …


Healing The Blind Goddess: Race And Criminal Justice, Mark D. Rosenbaum, Daniel P. Tokaji May 2000

Healing The Blind Goddess: Race And Criminal Justice, Mark D. Rosenbaum, Daniel P. Tokaji

Michigan Law Review

Once again, issues of race, ethnicity, and class within our criminal justice system have been thrust into the public spotlight. On both sides of the country, in our nation's two largest cities, police are being called to account for acts of violence directed toward poor people of color. In New York City, a West African immigrant named Amadou Diallo was killed by four white police officers, who fired forty-one bullets at the unarmed man as he stood in the vestibule of his apartment building in a poor section of the Bronx. Did race influence the officers' decisions to fire the …


Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky May 2000

Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky

Michigan Law Review

In the last decade, it has become increasingly trendy to question whether the Supreme Court and constitutional judicial review really can make a difference. Gerald Rosenberg, for example, in The Hollow Hope, expressly questions whether judicial review achieves effective social change. Similarly, Michael Klarman explores whether the Supreme Court's desegregation decisions were effective, except insofar as they produced a right-wing backlash that induced action to desegregate. In Taking the Constitution Away from the Courts, Mark Tushnet approvingly invokes these arguments (pp. 137, 145), but he goes much further. Professor Tushnet contends that, on balance, constitutional judicial review is harmful. He …


Positivism, Emergent And Triumphant, Vincent A. Wellman May 1999

Positivism, Emergent And Triumphant, Vincent A. Wellman

Michigan Law Review

Positivism is one of those words that triggers passionate and often contradictory responses. For some, positivism is a pejorative. Lon Fuller, perhaps more than anyone, charged that positivism was confused about the nature of law, blind to law's inherent morality, and morally corrupting to boot. He even suggested, in different ways, that positivism helped promote the rise of fascism in Europe. Others, in contrast, have treated positivism as a modest and undeniable truth about law. Law, they argued, is morally fallible, and accordingly, the existence and validity of law is a matter of social fact rather than moral necessity. H.L.A. …


Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt Mar 1999

Constitutional Fact And Theory: A Response To Chief Judge Posner, Deborah Jones Merritt

Michigan Law Review

In his James Madison Lecture on Constitutional Law, Chief Judge Richard Posner chides both professors and judges for devoting too much attention to constitutional theory and too little time to empiricism. Although I agree with Judge Posner's endorsement of empiricism, I dispute the roles he assigns empiricism and theory. Social science matters when interpreting the Constitution, but not in the way Posner posits. Facts cannot replace constitutional theories, nor can they mechanically resolve questions posed by theory. Instead, empirical knowledge is most useful in unmasking the theoretical assumptions that undergird constitutional law, in focusing those theories, and in contributing to …


Turning The Tide In The Civil Rights Revolution: Elbert Tuttle And The Desegregation Of The University Of Georgia, Anne S. Emanuel Jan 1999

Turning The Tide In The Civil Rights Revolution: Elbert Tuttle And The Desegregation Of The University Of Georgia, Anne S. Emanuel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. So it was in 1960 when Elbert Tuttle became the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over most of the Deep South. Part of the genius of the Republic lies in the carefully calibrated structure of the federal courts of appeal. One assumption underlying the structure is that judges from a particular state might bear an allegiance to the interests of that state, which would be reflected in their opinions. Forming panels of judges from each of several states is supposed …


Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath Jan 1999

Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath

Michigan Law Review

There is a familiar egalitarian constitutional tradition and another we have largely forgotten. The familiar one springs from Brown v. Board of Education; its roots lie in the Reconstruction era. Court-centered and countermajoritarian, it takes aim at caste and racial subordination. The forgotten one also originated with Reconstruction, but it was a majoritarian tradition, addressing its arguments to lawmakers and citizens, not to courts. Aimed against harsh class inequalities, it centered on decent work and livelihoods, social provision, and a measure of economic independence and democracy. Borrowing a phrase from its Progressive Era proponents, I will call it the social …


Law's Territory (A History Of Jurisdiction), Richard T. Ford Jan 1999

Law's Territory (A History Of Jurisdiction), Richard T. Ford

Michigan Law Review

Pop quiz: New York City. The United Kingdom. The East Bay Area Municipal Utilities District. Kwazulu, South Africa. The Cathedral of Notre Dame. The State of California. Vatican City. Switzerland. The American Embassy in the U.S.S.R. What do the foregoing items have in common? Answer: they are, or were, all territorial jurisdictions. A thesis of this Article is that territorial jurisdictions - the rigidly mapped territories within which formally defined legal powers are exercised by formally organized governmental institutions - are relatively new and intuitively surprising technological developments. New, because until the development of modern cartography, legal authority generally followed …


Pure Politics, Girardeau A. Spann Jun 1990

Pure Politics, Girardeau A. Spann

Michigan Law Review

Part I of this article considers the impact that judicial discretion has on the traditional model of judicial review, and that model's reliance on the Supreme Court as the primary guardian of minority interests. Part II argues that the interests of racial minorities can be better advanced through the ordinary political process than through the process of Supreme Court adjudication. Part Ill emphasizes that minority participation in Supreme Court proceedings cannot ultimately be avoided and, accordingly, suggests a political model of the Court that minorities can use in an effort to neutralize the Court's distortion of the political process. Part …


The Burden Of Brown: Thirty Years Of School Desegregation, Michigan Law Review Feb 1985

The Burden Of Brown: Thirty Years Of School Desegregation, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Burden of Brown: Thirty Years of School Desegregation by Raymond Wolters


Trial And Error: The Detroit School Segregation Case, Michigan Law Review Mar 1982

Trial And Error: The Detroit School Segregation Case, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Trial and Error: The Detroit School Segregation Case by Eleanor P. Wolf