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Full-Text Articles in Law

Anti-Transgender Constitutional Law, Katie Eyer May 2024

Anti-Transgender Constitutional Law, Katie Eyer

Vanderbilt Law Review

Over the course of the last three decades, gender identity anti-discrimination protections and other transgender-supportive government policies have increased, as government entities have sought to protect and support the transgender community. But constitutional litigation by opponents of transgender equality has also proliferated, seeking to limit or eliminate such trans-protective measures. Such litigation has attacked as unconstitutional everything from laws prohibiting anti-transgender employment discrimination to the efforts of individual public school teachers to support transgender teens.

This Article provides the first systematic account of the phenomenon of anti-transgender constitutional litigation. As described herein, such litigation is surprisingly novel: while trans-protective measures …


When Fines Don't Go Far Enough: The Failure Of Prison Settlements And Proposals For More Effective Enforcement Methods, Tori Collins Jan 2024

When Fines Don't Go Far Enough: The Failure Of Prison Settlements And Proposals For More Effective Enforcement Methods, Tori Collins

Maine Law Review

The Eighth Amendment’s Punishments Clause provides the basis on which prisoners may bring suit alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Only a small number of these suits are successful. The suits that do survive typically end in a settlement in which prison authorities agree to address the unconstitutional conditions. However, settlements such as these are easily flouted for two primary reasons: prison authorities are not personally held liable when settlements are broken, and prisoners largely lack the political and practical leverage to self-advocate beyond the courtroom. Because of this, unconstitutional prison conditions may linger for years after prison authorities have agreed …


Brief Of Amici Curiae In Support Of The United States: Moyle & Idaho V. United States, David S. Cohen, Greer Donley, Rachel Rebouché Jan 2024

Brief Of Amici Curiae In Support Of The United States: Moyle & Idaho V. United States, David S. Cohen, Greer Donley, Rachel Rebouché

Amici Briefs

This amicus brief, submitted to the Supreme Court in Moyle v. United States, argues that Moyle, and the impending circuit split surrounding it, is a symptom of a larger workability problem with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization framework. Dobbs is already proving, in its brief existence, to be unworkable, and must be overturned. In short order, the Dobbs ruling has ushered in an era of unprecedented legal and doctrinal chaos, precipitating a fury of disorienting legal battles across the country. The Dobbs framework has created destabilizing conflicts between federal and state authorities, as in the current …


The New Gender Panic In Sport: Why State Laws Banning Transgender Athletes Are Unconstitutional, Deborah Brake Jan 2024

The New Gender Panic In Sport: Why State Laws Banning Transgender Athletes Are Unconstitutional, Deborah Brake

Articles

The scope and pace of legislative activity targeting transgender individuals is nothing short of a gender panic. From restrictions on medical care to the regulation of library books and the use of pronouns in schools, attacks on the transgender community have reached crisis proportions. A growing number of families with transgender children are being forced to leave their states of residence to keep their children healthy and their families safe and intact. The breadth and pace of these developments is striking. Although the anti-transgender backlash now extends broadly into health and family governance, sport was one of the first settings—the …


A New Cobell: The Need For A Continued Buy-Back Program, Liam C. Conrad Dec 2023

A New Cobell: The Need For A Continued Buy-Back Program, Liam C. Conrad

American Indian Law Journal

The General Allotment Act of 1887 divided Indian reservations into smaller plots for the supposed benefit of individual Indians. Today, these allotments are severely fractionated, with some 160-acre plots having as many as a thousand owners. Since allotment, Congress has repeatedly attempted to solve this problem. However, only the Cobell Land Buy-Back Program has made any sizeable impact on fractionation levels. This paper examines the fractionation problem and the Cobell Program. Now that the Cobell Program has ended in November 2022, this paper argues that Congress must quickly reauthorize a similar program or fractionation will soon exceed pre-Cobell levels.


(E)Racing Speech In School, Francesca I. Procaccini Jul 2023

(E)Racing Speech In School, Francesca I. Procaccini

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Speech on race and racism in our nation’s public schools is under attack for partisan gain. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment teaches a lot about the wisdom and legality of laws that chill such speech in the classroom. But more importantly, a First Amendment analysis of these laws reveals profound insights about the health and meaning of our free speech doctrine.

Through a First Amendment analysis of “anti-critical race theory” laws, this essay illuminates the first principles of free speech law. Specifically, it shows that the First Amendment offers little refuge to teachers or parents looking to …


The New Intersectional And Anti-Racist Lgbtqia + Politics: Some Thoughts On The Path Ahead, Marc Spindelman May 2023

The New Intersectional And Anti-Racist Lgbtqia + Politics: Some Thoughts On The Path Ahead, Marc Spindelman

ConLawNOW

This article examines the changes to LGBTQIA+ consciousness and the politics they are producing. One result of these consciousness shifts is the increasing number of LGBTQIA+-identified people and organizations reconstituting themselves, their identities, and their politics around pro-Black, anti-racist positions, and doing so as foundational elements of their LGBTQIA+ liberation work. At the same time as these developments are unfolding, however, they are on a collision course with emergent social conservative positions and obstacles. These obstacles include developments at a Supreme Court that is increasingly deciding based on constitutional originalism. This article begins to show how the Court’s conservative originalism …


The Problem Is The Court, Not The Constitution, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2023

The Problem Is The Court, Not The Constitution, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

“But first, we must believe.” So concludes The Antiracist Constitution, where Brandon Hasbrouck confronts an uneasy question: In the quest for racial justice, is the Constitution friend or foe? Even the casual observer knows that constitutional law is no friend to racial justice. In the nineteenth century, Plessy v. Ferguson blessed Jim Crow. In the twentieth century, Washington v. Davis insulated practices that reproduce Jim Crow. Now in the twenty-first century, pending affirmative action litigation invites the Supreme Court to outlaw efforts to remedy Jim Crow.


God, Guns, And Hair Salons: Public Perceptions Of Rights And Liberties During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Jessica R. Graham, Kyle J. Morgan Jan 2023

God, Guns, And Hair Salons: Public Perceptions Of Rights And Liberties During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Jessica R. Graham, Kyle J. Morgan

West Virginia Law Review

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, elected officials across the United States took efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Some of these efforts raised constitutional questions about the ability of the government to curtail rights during a crisis. This project makes use of an original dataset—letters to the editor submitted to 33 of the nation’s largest newspapers during the early months of the pandemic—to analyze public attitudes about these restrictions. Like much of the previous work regarding attitudes towards rights and liberties during a crisis, we find that these concerns are not front of mind to the public. …


Hair Me Out: Why Discrimination Against Black Hair Is Race Discrimination Under Title Vii, Alexis Boyd Jan 2023

Hair Me Out: Why Discrimination Against Black Hair Is Race Discrimination Under Title Vii, Alexis Boyd

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

In May 2010, Chastity Jones sought employment as a customer service representative at Catastrophe Management Solutions (“CMS”), a claims processing company located in Mobile, Alabama. When asked for an inperson interview, Jones, a Black woman, arrived in a suit and her hair in “short dreadlocks,” or locs, a type of natural hairstyle common in the Black community. Despite being qualified for the position, Jones would later have her offer rescinded because of her hair. CMS claimed that locs “tend to get messy” and violated the “neutral” dress code and hair policy requiring employees to be “professional and business-like.” Therefore, CMS …


Alito Versus Roe V. Wade: Dobbs As A Means Of Circumvention, Avoidance, Attenuation And Betrayal Of The Constitution, Antony Hilton Jan 2023

Alito Versus Roe V. Wade: Dobbs As A Means Of Circumvention, Avoidance, Attenuation And Betrayal Of The Constitution, Antony Hilton

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

There can be no argument that Justice Alito is a learned justice of great knowledge and reason, and has a superb grasp of the law. As such, despite any opposition to or disagreement with his legal opinions, he is deserving of respect for his intellectual prowess, in general and as it relates to the Constitution. Notwithstanding all the aforementioned, wrong is wrong.


Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton Jan 2023

Two Approaches To Equality, With Implications For Grutter, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

The question “what is equality?”, applied to the distribution of resources across races, suggests the following answer: when there appears to be no need for a policy that focuses on improving the welfare of one race relative to another. There is another way to approach the same question: equality is when traditionally-recognized paths to advancement do not give preference to or disadvantage an individual because of his race. Notice the difference here is between end-state and process-based notions of equality, a distinction Nozick emphasized in his examination of justice in distribution. Nozick rejected end-state theories of justice in distribution. I …


Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Affirmative Action After Sffa, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In SFFA v. Harvard (SFFA), the Supreme Court further restricted a university’s right to consider the racial identity of individual applicants during admissions. The ruling has spawned considerable confusion regarding a university’s ongoing ability to pursue racial diversity, racial inclusion, and other equality-oriented goals—whether through “raceconscious” or “race-neutral” means. To assist institutions attempting to navigate the ruling, this article outlines a set of key legal rights and responsibilities that universities continue to possess following SFFA.


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 …


Reckless Abandon: The Shadow Of Model Rule 8.4(G) And A Path Forward, Margaret Tarkington Apr 2022

Reckless Abandon: The Shadow Of Model Rule 8.4(G) And A Path Forward, Margaret Tarkington

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

In August 2016, the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Board of Governors approved Model Rule of Professional Conduct (“MRPC”) 8.4(g) as a model for state adoption. The Rule makes it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in “harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status.” Curbing harassment and discrimination is a critically important goal. However, the actual Rule as promulgated reaches far beyond prohibiting sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination. Instead the comments to the Rule define discrimination and harassment broadly to prohibit speech …


Answering The Call: A History Of The Emergency Power Doctrine In Texas And The United States, P. Elise Mclaren Feb 2022

Answering The Call: A History Of The Emergency Power Doctrine In Texas And The United States, P. Elise Mclaren

St. Mary's Law Journal

During times of emergency, national and local government may be allowed to take otherwise impermissible action in the interest of health, safety, or national security. The prerequisites and limits to this power, however, are altogether unknown. Like the crises they aim to deflect, courts’ modern emergency power doctrines range from outright denial of any power of constitutional circumvention to their flagrant use. Concededly, courts’ approval of emergency powers has provided national and local government opportunities to quickly respond to emergency without pause for constituency approval, but how can one be sure the availability of autocratic power will not be abused? …


Appealing Compelled Disclosures In Discovery That Threaten First Amendment Rights, Richard L. Heppner Jr. Jan 2022

Appealing Compelled Disclosures In Discovery That Threaten First Amendment Rights, Richard L. Heppner Jr.

Law Faculty Publications

Last year, the Supreme Court held in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta that a California anti-fraud policy compelling charities to disclose the identities of their major donors violated the First Amendment. That holding stems from the 1958 case NAACP v. Alabama where the Court held that a discovery order compelling the NAACP to disclose the names of its members violated the First Amendment right of free association because of the members’ justifiable fear of retaliation.

In the over sixty years since NAACP v. Alabama, the Court has only decided a handful of cases about how compelled disclosures of …


Revitalizing The Ban On Conversion Therapy: An Affirmation Of The Constitutionality Of Conversion Therapy Bans, Logan Kline Dec 2021

Revitalizing The Ban On Conversion Therapy: An Affirmation Of The Constitutionality Of Conversion Therapy Bans, Logan Kline

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


Menstrual Dignity And The Bar Exam, Margaret E. Johnson, Marcy L. Karin, Elizabeth Cooper Nov 2021

Menstrual Dignity And The Bar Exam, Margaret E. Johnson, Marcy L. Karin, Elizabeth Cooper

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the issue of menstruation and the administration of the bar exam. Although such problems are not new, over the summer and fall of 2020, test takers and commentators took to social media to critique state board of law examiners’ (“BOLE”) policies regarding menstruation. These problems persist. Menstruators worry that if they unexpectedly bleed during the exam, they may not have access to appropriately sized and constructed menstrual products or may be prohibited from accessing the bathroom. Personal products that are permitted often must be carried in a clear, plastic bag. Some express privacy concerns that the see-through …


Symposium: Examining Black Citizenship From Reconstruction To Black Lives Matter: Falling Short Of The Promise Of The Thirteenth Amendment: Time For Change, Michael A. Lawrence Apr 2021

Symposium: Examining Black Citizenship From Reconstruction To Black Lives Matter: Falling Short Of The Promise Of The Thirteenth Amendment: Time For Change, Michael A. Lawrence

ConLawNOW

This Essay seeks to shine additional light on the potential of the underutilized Thirteenth Amendment (as contrasted to the much-litigated Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause) for advancing racial justice and equity. The Essay suggests the Thirteenth Amendment provides strong constitutional basis for an unapologetic embrace of the sorts of new, race-conscious measures that will be necessary to begin to achieve true racial equity in a country that for centuries has erected massive structural barriers to Black opportunity and advancement


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 …


Marriage Equality's Lessons For Social Movements And Constitutional Change, William N. Eskridge Jr. Apr 2021

Marriage Equality's Lessons For Social Movements And Constitutional Change, William N. Eskridge Jr.

William & Mary Law Review

The marriage equality movement won its first state victory in 2003, and within a dozen years fifty states were handing out marriage licenses. The swiftness of the constitutional triumph was only possible because public opinion underwent a sea change in that period. Sexual and gender minorities achieved this remarkable turnaround once a critical mass, widely dispersed in the country, came out of their closets as committed couples (often raising children), and mainstream America found their stories more consistent with their own lives than they did a generation earlier. Other lessons of marriage equality’s success, however, are how hard it is …


From Civil Rights To Blackmail: How The Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act Of 1976 (42 U.S.C. § 1988) Has Perverted One Of America's Most Historic Civil Rights Statutes, Steven W. Fitschen Feb 2021

From Civil Rights To Blackmail: How The Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act Of 1976 (42 U.S.C. § 1988) Has Perverted One Of America's Most Historic Civil Rights Statutes, Steven W. Fitschen

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

For fourteen years, members of Congress repeatedly introduced legislation directed at a single subject. A key underpinning for the necessity of the legislation was provided by the opinions of two Supreme Court justices. Yet, for the past nine years, Congress has gone silent on the same topic. This Article argues that it is past time for Congress to reconsider this topic, and that if it will not do so, the Supreme Court can rectify the situation without engaging in judicial legislation.

Perhaps the best view of Congress's efforts can be seen by examining the high-water mark of those efforts, which …


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 …


A Proper Burial, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2021

A Proper Burial, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is an invited response to Professor Mark Killenbeck's article, "Sober Second Thoughts? Korematsu Reconsidered." In his contrarian piece, Killenbeck argues that Korematsu was defensible, albeit on narrow grounds: it advanced the development of strict scrutiny. He goes on to argue that comparisons between the internment case and the Supreme Court's Muslim travel ban case are overwrought and that the latter case, too, is defensible. I'm not convinced. First, to say that a ruling is defensible is not saying much; far better for critiques to be tethered to sterner standards. Second, after all these years, Korematsu remains a poorly reasoned …


Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller Jan 2021

Tainted Precedent, Darrell A. H. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Bostock Was Bogus: Textualism, Pluralism, And Title Vii, Mitchell N. Berman, Guha Krishnamurthi Jan 2021

Bostock Was Bogus: Textualism, Pluralism, And Title Vii, Mitchell N. Berman, Guha Krishnamurthi

All Faculty Scholarship

In Bostock v. Clayton County, one of the blockbuster cases from its 2019 Term, the Supreme Court held that federal antidiscrimination law prohibits employment discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Unsurprisingly, the result won wide acclaim in the mainstream legal and popular media. Results aside, however, the reaction to Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion, which purported to ground the outcome in a textualist approach to statutory interpretation, was more mixed. The great majority of commentators, both liberal and conservative, praised Gorsuch for what they deemed a careful and sophisticated—even “magnificent” and “exemplary”—application of textualist principles, while …


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Jan 2021

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

Table of Contents and Special Thanks.


Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii Jan 2021

Originalism From The Soft Southern Strategy To The New Right: The Constitutional Politics Of Sam Ervin Jr, Logan E. Sawyer Iii

Scholarly Works

Although originalism’s emergence as an important theory of constitutional interpretation is usually attributed to efforts by the Reagan administration, the role the theory played in the South’s determined resistance to civil rights legislation in the 1960s actually helped create the Reagan coalition in the first place. North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin Jr., the constitutional theorist of the Southern Caucus, developed and deployed originalism because he saw its potential to stymie civil rights legislation and stabilize a Democratic coalition under significant stress. Ervin failed in those efforts, but his turn to originalism had lasting effects. The theory helped Ervin and other …


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 …