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Law and Race

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist Jan 2023

Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist

Articles

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has expanded public surveillance measures in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus. As the pandemic wears on, racialized communities and other marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by this increased level of surveillance. This article argues that increases in public surveillance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic give rise to the normalization of surveillance in day-to-day life, with serious consequences for racialized communities and other marginalized groups. This article explores the legal and regulatory effects of surveillance normalization, as well as how to protect civil rights and liberties …


Evading A Race-Conscious Constitution, Cara Mcclellan Jan 2023

Evading A Race-Conscious Constitution, Cara Mcclellan

All Faculty Scholarship

The idea of a “colorblind” Constitution is front and center in cases before the Supreme Court this term, including Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (UNC). In these cases, the same plaintiff organization, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), has asked the Supreme Court to rule that the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit universities from considering race as one of many factors in admissions to pursue the educational benefits that flow from diversity. In support …


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 …


On The Meaning Of Color And The End Of White(Ness), William J. Aceves Jan 2022

On The Meaning Of Color And The End Of White(Ness), William J. Aceves

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the history of the term “people of color” and its current status in a country struggling to overcome its racist origins. The murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other victims of state violence have generated profound anger, calls for action, and demands for dialogue. It is undoubtedly simplistic to assert that words matter. But accurate descriptions are essential for honest conversations, and words convey meanings beyond their syntax. In discussions about race and racial identity, the term “people of color” is routinely used as the antipode to the white community. …


Uneasy Lies The Head: Tracking A Loophole In Racial Discrimination Law, Kate E. Britt Jan 2022

Uneasy Lies The Head: Tracking A Loophole In Racial Discrimination Law, Kate E. Britt

Law Librarian Scholarship

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Historically, courts have ruled in favor of workplace grooming policies that prohibit most natural Black hairstyles as not unlawfully discriminatory within the scope of Title VII. This article discusses hair discrimination in workplaces and how federal, state, and local legislators are attempting to close this loophole.


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 …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The concept and naming of “hate crime,” and the adoption of special laws to address it, provoked controversy and raised fundamental questions when they were introduced in the 1980s. In the decades since, neither hate crime itself nor those hotly debated questions have abated. To the contrary, hate crime has increased in recent years—although the prominent target groups have shifted over time—and the debate over hate crime laws has reignited as well. The still-open questions range from the philosophical to the doctrinal to the pragmatic: What justifies the enhanced punishment that hate crime laws impose based on the perpetrator’s motivation? …


A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro Jun 2021

A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I examine the lack of scholarly attention given to the role of civil procedure in racial subordination. I posit that a dearth of critical thought interrogating the connections between procedure and the subjugation of marginalized peoples might be due to the limited experiences of procedural scholars; a misconception that procedural rules are a technical, objective, neutral area; and avoidance of discussion of race or other aspects of identity unless there is a case, material, or scholarly topic that meets an unreasonably high standard. I emphasize the importance of a critical race analysis of civil procedure.


Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells Apr 2021

Some Objections To Strict Liability For Constitutional Torts, Michael Wells

Scholarly Works

Qualified immunity protects officials from damages for constitutional violations unless they have violated "clearly established" rights. Local governments enjoy no immunity, but they may not be sued on a vicarious liability theory for constitutional violations committed by their employees. Critics of the current regime would overturn these rules in order to vindicate constitutional rights and deter violations.

This Article argues that across-the-board abolition of these limits on liability would be unwise as the costs would outweigh the benefits. In some contexts, however, exceptions may be justified. Much of the recent controversy surrounding qualified immunity involves suits in which police officers …


Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2021

Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

After the City of Detroit underwent financial takeover and filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history in 2013, the city’s emergency manager encouraged mass water shutoffs as a way of making the city’s water utility a more attractive asset for sale— and for privatization—by ridding the water department of its association with bad debt. The sale never took place, but the water shutoff, too, became the largest ever in American history, with over 141,000 homes subjected to water disconnections over a period of over six years. The governor of the State of Michigan ordered that the shutoffs be temporarily …


The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2021

The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

Most Fourth Amendment cases arise under a basic fact pattern. Police decide to do something--say, stop and frisk a suspect. They find some crime--say, a gun or drugs--they arrest the suspect, and the suspect is subsequently charged with a crime. The suspect--who is all too often Black--becomes a defendant and challenges the police officers' initial decision as unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. The defendant seeks to suppress the evidence against them or perhaps to recover damages for serious injuries under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The courts subsequently constitutionalize the police officers' initial decision with little or no scrutiny. Effectively, the …


And What Of The “Black” In Black Letter Law?: A Blaqueer Reflection, T. Anansi Wilson Jan 2021

And What Of The “Black” In Black Letter Law?: A Blaqueer Reflection, T. Anansi Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

This is a reflective, analytical essay remarking on the role that Blackness has and continues to play in the construction, understanding and application of "black letter law." This essay is written from a Black and BlaQueer perspective and displays how a shift in standpoint--moving from the invisible, standard white "reasonable person"--underscores and illuminates the current legal and sociopolitical crisis we find ourselves in. It is continuation of the discussion began in my earlier articles "Furtive Blackness: On Blackness & Being," "The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life" and the working paper "Sexual Profiling & BlaQueer Furtivity: BlaQueers On The …


Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller Jan 2021

Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2021

Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Noah Kazis’s important article, Fair Housing for a Non-sexist City, shows how law shapes the contours of neighborhoods and embeds forms of inequality, and how fair housing law can provide a remedy. Kazis surfaces two dimensions of housing that generate inequality and that are sometimes invisible. Kazis highlights the role of planning and design rules – the seemingly identity-neutral zoning, code enforcement, and land-use decisions that act as a form of law. Kazis also reveals how gendered norms underlie those rules and policies. These aspects of Kazis’s project link to commentary on the often invisible, gendered norms that shape …


Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen Jan 2021

Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen

Articles

This article investigates an anomalous legal ethics rule, and in the process exposes how current equal protection doctrine distorts civil rights regulation. When in 2016 the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct finally adopted its first ever rule forbidding discrimination in the practice of law, the rule carried a strange exemption: it does not apply to lawyers’ acceptance or rejection of clients. The exemption for client selection seems wrong. It contradicts the common understanding that in the U.S. today businesses may not refuse service on discriminatory grounds. It sends a message that lawyers enjoy a professional prerogative to discriminate against …


The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2021

The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Constitutional doctrine generally proceeds from the premise that the original intent and public understanding of pre-Civil War constitutional provisions carries forward unchanged from the colonial Founding era. This premise is flawed because it ignores the Nation’s Second Founding: i.e., the constitutional moment culminating in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments and the civil rights statutes enacted pursuant thereto. The Second Founding, in addition to providing specific new individual rights and federal powers, also represented a fundamental shift in our constitutional order. The Second Founding’s constitutional regime provided that the underlying systemic rules and norms of the First Founding’s Constitution …


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

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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 will …


Crisis? Whose Crisis?, Jack M. Beermann Mar 2020

Crisis? Whose Crisis?, Jack M. Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

Every moment in human history can be characterized by someone as “socially and politically charged.” For a large portion of the population of the United States, nearly the entire history of the country has been socially and politically charged, first because they were enslaved and then because they were subjected to discriminatory laws and unequal treatment under what became known as “Jim Crow.” The history of the United States has also been a period of social and political upheaval for American Indians, the people who occupied the territory that became the United States before European settlement. Although both African-Americans and …


Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen Jan 2020

Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen

Book Chapters

Rules and tricks are generally seen as different things. Rules produce order and control; tricks produce chaos. Rules help us predict how things will work out. Tricks are deceptive and transgressive, built to surprise us and confound our expectations in ways that can be entertaining or devastating. But rules can be tricky. General prohibitions and prescriptions generate surprising results in particular contexts. In some situations, a rule produces results that seem far from what the rule makers expected and antagonistic to the interests the rule is understood to promote. This contradictory aspect of rules is usually framed as a downside …


The Strict Scrutiny Of Black And Blaqueer Life, T. Anansi Wilson Jan 2020

The Strict Scrutiny Of Black And Blaqueer Life, T. Anansi Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

Furtive Blackness: On Blackness and Being (“Furtive Blackness”) and The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life (“Strict Scrutiny”) take a fresh approach to both criminal law and constitutional law; particularly as they apply to African descended peoples in the United States. This is an intervention as to the description of the terms of Blackness in light of the social order but, also, an exposure of the failures and gaps of law. This is why the categories as we have them are inefficient to account for Black life. The way legal scholars have encountered and understood the language of law …


Furtive Blackness: On Blackness And Being, T. Anansi Wilson Jan 2020

Furtive Blackness: On Blackness And Being, T. Anansi Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

Furtive Blackness: On Blackness and Being (“Furtive Blackness”) and The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life (“Strict Scrutiny”) take a fresh approach to both criminal law and constitutional law; particularly as they apply to African descended peoples in the United States. This is an intervention as to the description of the terms of Blackness in light of the social order but, also, an exposure of the failures and gaps of law. This is why the categories as we have them are inefficient to account for Black life. The way legal scholars have encountered and understood the language of law …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 of …


Race And Reasonableness In Police Killings, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Alexis D. Campbell Jan 2020

Race And Reasonableness In Police Killings, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Alexis D. Campbell

Faculty Scholarship

Police officers in the United States have killed over 1000 civilians each year since 2013. The constitutional landscape that regulates these encounters defaults to the judgments of the reasonable police officer at the time of a civilian encounter based on the officer’s assessment of whether threats to their safety or the safety of others requires deadly force. As many of these killings have begun to occur under similar circumstances, scholars have renewed a contentious debate on whether police disproportionately use deadly force against African Americans and other nonwhite civilians and whether such killings reflect racial bias. We analyze data on …


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 …


Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay Oct 2019

Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the phenomena, …


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason Jun 2019

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason

AI-DR Collection

Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impact. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race, (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines, and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive, because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment lies …


Reconceptualizing The Harms Of Discrimination: How Brown V. Board Of Education Helped To Further White Supremacy, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Apr 2019

Reconceptualizing The Harms Of Discrimination: How Brown V. Board Of Education Helped To Further White Supremacy, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

For decades, literature has played a vital role in revealing weaknesses in law. The classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is no different. The long-revered work of fiction contains several key scenes that illuminate significant gaps in the analysis of one of our most celebrated decisions: Brown v. Board of Education, the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that state-mandated racial segregation in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. In particular, the novel opens a pathway that enables its readers to visualize the full harms of white supremacy, which include …


A Wall Of Hate: Eminent Domain And Interest-Convergence, Philip Lee Jan 2019

A Wall Of Hate: Eminent Domain And Interest-Convergence, Philip Lee

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Donald Trump is no stranger to eminent domain. In the 1990s, Trump wanted land around Trump Plaza to build a limousine parking lot. Many of the private owners agreed to sell, but one elderly widow and two brothers who owned a small business refused. Trump then got a government agency—the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA)—to take the properties through eminent domain, offering them a quarter of what they had previously paid or been offered for their land.

The property owners fought back and finally won. Although the CRDA named several justifications, from economic development to traffic alleviation and additional …


Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Bridget J. Crawford, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay Jan 2019

Talking About Black Lives Matter And #Metoo, Linda S. Greene, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Bridget J. Crawford, Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, I. Bennett Capers, Osamudia R. James, Keisha Lindsay

Publications

This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the phenomena, …


Close The Workhouse: A Plan To Close The Workhouse & Promote A New Vision For St. Louis, Close The Workhouse Campaign [In Collaboration With], Thomas Harvey, John Mcannar, Michael-John Voss, Action St. Louis, Bail Project Sep 2018

Close The Workhouse: A Plan To Close The Workhouse & Promote A New Vision For St. Louis, Close The Workhouse Campaign [In Collaboration With], Thomas Harvey, John Mcannar, Michael-John Voss, Action St. Louis, Bail Project

All Faculty Scholarship

The City of St. Louis condemns hundreds of mostly poor and Black people to suffer in unspeakably hellish and inhumane conditions at the "Workhouse," officially known as the Medium Security Institution. Over 95% of people at the Workhouse are awaiting trial and remain incarcerated due to their inability to afford unusually high and unconstitutional cash bonds. They face horrific conditions in the jail, including extreme heat and cold, abysmal medical care, rats and cockroach infestations, and mold. The City of St. Louis spends over $16 million every year operating this facility with little public benefit. The arrest-and-incarcerate approach to public …