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Civil rights

Civil Rights and Discrimination

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

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Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani Aug 2021

Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is an Introduction to a Journal of Legal Education symposium on "Disabled Law Students and the Future of Legal Education." The symposium's focal point is a set of first-person essays by disabled lawyers. Writing thirty years after the inclusive promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also amidst powerful evidence (via the pandemic) of the devaluation of people with disabilities, contributors reflect on their experiences in law school and the legal profession. The symposium pairs these essays with commentary from some of the nation’s leading scholars of disability law. The overarching goals of the symposium are ...


Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax Oct 2020

Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A central pillar of the Supreme Court’s educational affirmative-action jurisprudence is that the pedagogical benefits of being educated with students from diverse backgrounds are sufficiently “compelling” to justify some degree of race-conscious selection in university admissions.

This essay argues that the blanket permission to advance educational diversity, defensible or not, should not be extended to employment. The purpose of the workplace is not pedagogical. Rather, employees are hired and paid to do a job, deliver a service, produce a product, and complete specified tasks efficiently and effectively. Whether race-conscious practices for the purpose of creating a more diverse workforce ...


The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton Feb 2020

The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today we know much more about the effects of pretrial detention than we did even five years ago. Multiple empirical studies have emerged that shed new light on the far-reaching impacts of bail decisions made at the earliest stages of the criminal adjudication process. The takeaway from this new generation of studies is that pretrial detention has substantial downstream effects on both the operation of the criminal justice system and on defendants themselves, causally increasing the likelihood of a conviction, the severity of the sentence, and, in some jurisdictions, defendants’ likelihood of future contact with the criminal justice system. Detention ...


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the title suggests, the article examines Morrison’s creation of the rule that the Section Five power cannot be used to regulate private individuals. This is one of the most meaningful and, thus far, durable constraints that the Court has placed on federal power. It is the more surprising, then, that it turns out to be based on essentially nothing at all. The Morrison Court asserted that its rule was derived by—indeed, “controlled by”—precedent, but a closer reading of the Reconstruction-era decisions it cites shows that this is simply not the case. An independent evaluation of the ...


Processing Disability, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2015

Processing Disability, Jasmine E. Harris

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article argues that the practice of holding so many adjudicative proceedings related to disability in private settings (e.g., guardianship, special education due process, civil commitment, and social security) relative to our strong normative presumption of public access to adjudication may cultivate and perpetuate stigma in contravention of the goals of inclusion and enhanced agency set forth in antidiscrimination laws. Descriptively, the law has a complicated history with disability — initially rendering disability invisible, later, legitimizing particular narratives of disability synonymous with incapacity, and, in recent history, advancing full socio-economic visibility of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act ...


A Revolution At War With Itself? Preserving Employment Preferences From Weber To Ricci, Sophia Z. Lee Jun 2014

A Revolution At War With Itself? Preserving Employment Preferences From Weber To Ricci, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two aspects of the constitutional transformation Bruce Ackerman describes in The Civil Rights Revolution were on a collision course, one whose trajectory has implications for Ackerman’s account and for his broader theory of constitutional change. Ackerman makes a compelling case that what he terms “reverse state action” (the targeting of private actors) and “government by numbers” (the use of statistics to identify and remedy violations of civil rights laws) defined the civil rights revolution. Together they “requir[ed] private actors, as well as state officials, to . . . realize the principles of constitutional equality” and allowed the federal government to “actually ...


Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2014

Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today, most American workers do not have constitutional rights on the job. As The Workplace Constitution shows, this outcome was far from inevitable. Instead, American workers have a long history of fighting for such rights. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights advocates sought constitutional protections against racial discrimination by employers and unions. At the same time, a conservative right-to-work movement argued that the Constitution protected workers from having to join or support unions. Those two movements, with their shared aim of extending constitutional protections to American workers, were a potentially powerful combination. But they sought to use those protections to ...


Prison, Foster Care, And The Systemic Punishment Of Black Mothers, Dorothy E. Roberts Aug 2012

Prison, Foster Care, And The Systemic Punishment Of Black Mothers, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is part of a UCLA Law Review symposium, “Overpoliced and Underprotected: Women, Race, and Criminalization.” It analyzes how the U.S. prison and foster care systems work together to punish black mothers in a way that helps to preserve race, gender, and class inequalities in a neoliberal age. The intersection of these systems is only one example of many forms of overpolicing that overlap and converge in the lives of poor women of color. I examine the statistical overlap between the prison and foster care populations, the simultaneous explosion of both systems in recent decades, the injuries that ...


Collegiality And Individual Dignity, Tobias Barrington Wolff Mar 2012

Collegiality And Individual Dignity, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay identifies and describes the tension between the norms of collegiality and basic principles of individual dignity that LGBT scholars and lawyers encounter when confronted with the dehumanizing arguments that are regularly advanced by opponents of equal treatment under law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is a transcript of remarks delivered at a March 2012 symposium on the Defense of Marriage Act at Fordham Law School, with minimal edits for publication.


Civil Rights Reform And The Body, Tobias Barrington Wolff Mar 2012

Civil Rights Reform And The Body, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression has emerged as a major focus of civil rights reform. Opponents of these reforms have structured their opposition around one dominant image: the bathroom. With striking consistency, opponents have invoked anxiety over the bathroom -- who uses bathrooms, what happens in bathrooms, and what traumas one might experience while occupying a bathroom -- as the reason to permit discrimination in the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. This rhetoric of the bathroom in the debate over gender-identity protections seeks to exploit an underlying anxiety that has played a role in many efforts ...


Women’S Unequal Citizenship At The Border: Lessons From Three Nonfiction Films About The Women Of Juárez, Regina Austin Jan 2009

Women’S Unequal Citizenship At The Border: Lessons From Three Nonfiction Films About The Women Of Juárez, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is no better illustration of the impact of borders on women’s equal citizenship than the three documentaries reviewed in this essay. All three deal with the femicides that befell the young women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico between 1993 and 2005. Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Performing the Border (1999) stimulates the viewer’s imagination regarding the ephemeral nature of borders and their impact on the citizenship of women who live at the intersection of local, regional, national and international legal regimes. Señorita Extraviada (2001) is an intimate portrait of the victims which illustrates ...


A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Jan 2009

A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars have largely treated the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) after its ratification failure in 1982 as a mere postscript to a long, hard-fought, and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to enshrine women’s legal equality in the federal constitution. This Article argues that “ERA II” was instead an important turning point in the history of legal feminism and of constitutional amendment advocacy. Whereas ERA I had once attracted broad bipartisan support, ERA II was a partisan political weapon exploited by advocates at both ends of the ideological spectrum. But ERA II also became a vehicle for feminist reinvention. Congressional ...


The Strange Career Of Jane Crow: Sex Segregation And The Transformation Of Anti-Discrimination Discourse, Serena Mayeri Jan 2006

The Strange Career Of Jane Crow: Sex Segregation And The Transformation Of Anti-Discrimination Discourse, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article examines the causes and consequences of a transformation in anti-discrimination discourse between 1970 and 1977 that shapes our constitutional landscape to this day. Fears of cross-racial intimacy leading to interracial marriage galvanized many white Southerners to oppose school desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s. In the wake of Brown v. Board of Education, some commentators, politicians, and ordinary citizens proposed a solution: segregate the newly integrated schools by sex. When court-ordered desegregation became a reality in the late 1960s, a smattering of southern school districts implemented sex separation plans. As late as 1969, no one saw sex-segregated schools ...


Where Shall We Live? Class And The Limitations Of Fair Housing Law, Wendell Pritchett Jan 2003

Where Shall We Live? Class And The Limitations Of Fair Housing Law, Wendell Pritchett

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper examines the effort to secure fair housing laws at the local, state and federal levels in the 1950s, focusing in particular on New York City and state. It will examine the arguments that advocates made regarding the role the law should play in preventing housing discrimination, and the relationship of these views to advocates' understanding of property rights in general. My paper will argue that fair housing advocates had particular conceptions about the importance of housing in American society that both supported and limited their success. By arguing that minorities only sought what others wanted - a single-family home ...