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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 …


Abandoning Animus, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2023

Abandoning Animus, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay presents a preliminary set of arguments against the legal concept of animus grounded in actual practice. After considering the major reasons advanced in support of the animus approach as well as the main objections, I argue that the end of animus may come once we confront the limits of judicial capacity. First, judges have not been willing or able to resort to the animus rationale to call out bigotry where the evidence of hostility is robust. These failures suggest that projects founded upon judicial review to reduce hateful motivations may be overly optimistic. Second, on the occasions the …


Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2023

Ambivalent Advocates: Why Elite Universities Compromised The Case For Affirmative Action, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

“The end of affirmative action.” The headline is near. When it arrives, scholars will explain that a controversial set of policies could not withstand unfriendly doctrine and less friendly Justices. This story is not wrong. But it is incomplete. Critically, this account masks an underappreciated source of affirmative action’s enduring instability: elite universities, affirmative action’s formal champions, have always been ambivalent advocates.

Elite universities are uniquely positioned to shape legal and lay opinions about affirmative action. They are formal defendants in affirmative action litigation and objects of public obsession. And yet, schools like Harvard and the University of North Carolina—embroiled …


Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe Nov 2022

Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly employing pretrial algorithms as a solution to the racial and socioeconomic inequities in the bail system. But in practice, pretrial algorithms have reproduced the very inequities they were intended to correct. Scholars have diagnosed this problem as the biased data problem: pretrial algorithms generate racially and socioeconomically biased predictions, because they are constructed and trained with biased data.

This Article contends that biased data is not the sole cause of algorithmic discrimination. Another reason pretrial algorithms produce biased results is that they are exclusively built and trained with data from carceral knowledge sources – the police, pretrial …


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 …


Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich Jul 2022

Pov: As A Nation, Where Are We Now On Gun Policy?, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

Last month, the federal government passed the first gun safety legislation in decades, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, while at the same time, the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to carry guns in public. It is important then to assess where this country finds itself with regard to gun policy after these two seemingly contrasting and momentous events.


The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jul 2022

The Crt Of Black Lives Matter, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Critical Race Theory ("CR T"), or at least its principles, stands at the core of most prominent social movements of today-from the resurgence of the #MeToo Movement, which was founded by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, to the Black Lives Matter Movement, which was founded by three Black women: Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors. In fact, Critical Race Theorists have long defined CRT itself as a movement, one that has not only provided theoretical interventions regarding the relationship between race, racism, power, and the law, but that has also encouraged and, in fact, inspired and guided social movements. …


An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor Jun 2022

An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen Pita Loor

Faculty Scholarship

Protesting is supposed to be revered in our democracy, considered “as American as apple pie” in our nation’s mythology. But the actual experiences of the 2020 racial justice protesters showed that this supposed reverence for political dissent and protest is more akin to American folklore than reality on the streets. The images from those streets depicted police officers clad in riot gear and armed with shields, batons, and “less than” lethal weapons aggressively arresting protesters, often en masse. In the first week of the George Floyd protests, police arrested roughly 10,000 people, and approximately 78 percent of those arrests were …


Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman Apr 2022

Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

People of color and women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) fields in the United States. Through both intentional and unintentional structural barriers, universities continue to lose valuable intellectual resources by perpetuating a lack of gender, racial, and ethnic diversity as people climb the academic ladder. Identifying racial and gender disparities between university campus populations and their patent representation quantifies the qualitatively observed systemic racism and sexism plaguing STEM. Although many have written about racial and gender underrepresentation in STEM, no author has ever endeavored to simultaneously quantify the racial and gender gap at universities in the …


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 …


Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe Jan 2022

Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Algorithms are proliferating in criminal legal structures. The predictions produced by these algorithms inform life-altering decisions around surveillance and incarceration. Their continued use poses a challenge to ongoing racial justice efforts. Contesting how algorithms of today maintain the racial status quo requires a fundamental rethinking of the algorithm project. This essay explores how Afrofuturism can facilitate such a rethinking. It imagines how applying an Afrofuturist paradigm to the adoption, construction, implementation, and oversight of algorithms could radically change the kind of algorithms developed and the purposes for which they are developed. Tapping into this potential offers the chance for members …


The Intersectional Race And Gender Effects Of The Pandemic In Legal Academia, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Aug 2021

The Intersectional Race And Gender Effects Of The Pandemic In Legal Academia, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic helped to expose the inequities that already existed between students at every level of education based on race and socioeconomic class status, it has exposed existing inequities among faculty based on gender and the intersection of gender and race. The legal academy has been no exception to this reality. The widespread loss of childcare and the closing of both public and private primary and secondary schools have disproportionately harmed women law faculty, who are more likely than their male peers to work a “second shift” in terms of childcare and household responsibilities. Similarly, women law …


(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Jun 2021

(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri

Faculty Scholarship

A review of Henry Louis Gates, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow (Penguin Press, 2019). The Review proceeds in four parts. Part I parses Gates’s analysis of the rise of white supremacist ideology and the accompanying concept of the “Old Negro” during the Redemption era and the countervailing emergence of the concept of a “New Negro” culminating in the Harlem Renaissance. Part II examines the lawyering process as a rhetorical site for constructing racialized narratives and racially subordinating visions of client, group, and community identity through acts of representing, prosecuting, and defending people of …


The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2021

The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

In The Color Line: A Short Introduction, David Lyons provides a valuable service to students and academics in law, social sciences, and humanities by providing a concise history of the development and maintenance of race and racial order through law, policy, and discrimination in the United States. Lyons effectively outlines how race and racism were developed through these mechanisms in an effort to facilitate and maintain white supremacy.


Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2021

Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Civil rights advocates have long viewed litigation as an essential, if insufficient, catalyst of social change. In part, it is. But in critical respects that remain underexplored in legal scholarship, civil rights litigation can hinder short- and long-term projects of racial justice.

Specifically, certain civil rights doctrines reward plaintiffs for emphasizing community deficits—or what I term a “deficit frame.” Legal doctrine, in other words, invites legal narratives that track, activate, and reinforce pernicious racial stereotypes. This dynamic, even in the context of well-intended litigation, risks entrenching conditions that drive racial inequality—including the conditions that litigation is often intended to address. …


Othering Across Borders, Steven Arrigg Koh Jan 2021

Othering Across Borders, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

Our contemporary moment of reckoning presents an opportunity to evaluate racial subordination and structural inequality throughout our three-tiered domestic, transnational, and international criminal law system. In particular, this Essay exposes a pernicious racial dynamic in contemporary U.S. global criminal justice policy, which I call othering across borders. First, this othering may occur when race emboldens political and prosecutorial actors to prosecute foreign defendants. Second, racial animus may undermine U.S. engagement with international criminal legal institutions, specifically the International Criminal Court. This Essay concludes with measures to mitigate such othering.


How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald E. Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras Sep 2020

How Law Libraries Can Help Tell The Black Lives Matter Movement’S Story, Ronald E. Wheeler, Phebe Huderson-Poydras

Faculty Scholarship

In Voices Across the Spectrum, our goal is to explore issues, perspectives, and resources that focus on promoting diversity, equality, anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, multicultural outreach and recruitment into the profession, inclusive workplaces, and more. While the first installments of this new column will focus on systemic racism issues, each column will examine different diversity and inclusion issues to help prompt conversations and break down silos within the profession.


When They Hear Us: Race, Algorithms And The Practice Of Criminal Law, Ngozi Okidegbe Jul 2020

When They Hear Us: Race, Algorithms And The Practice Of Criminal Law, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

We are in the midst of a fraught debate in criminal justice reform circles about the merits of using algorithms. Proponents claim that these algorithms offer an objective path towards substantially lowering high rates of incarceration and racial and socioeconomic disparities without endangering community safety. On the other hand, racial justice scholars argue that these algorithms threaten to entrench racial inequity within the system because they utilize risk factors that correlate with historic racial inequities, and in so doing, reproduce the same racial status quo, but under the guise of scientific objectivity.

This symposium keynote address discusses the challenge that …


Racial Purges, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2020

Racial Purges, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

In a two-year period, 1885-86, over 168 communities in America forcibly expelled Chinese residents from their midst. This essay, inspired by historian Beth Lew-Williams's book, THE CHINESE MUST GO, investigates the nineteenth-century purges of Chinese residents that occurred throughout the American west. I make three arguments. First, these acts of racial and political terror complicate our understanding of racial violence in America. Many of the actions were denounced, but they were also surprisingly effective in forcing business and political leaders to support the indefinite suspension of Chinese migration. Perpetrators faced almost no legal repercussions, and unlike for freed persons, racial …


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 …


Race And Class: A Randomized Experiment With Prosecutors, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Megan Wright Nov 2019

Race And Class: A Randomized Experiment With Prosecutors, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Megan Wright

Faculty Scholarship

Disparities in criminal justice outcomes are well known, and prior observational research has shown correlations between the race of defendants and prosecutors’ decisions about how to charge and resolve cases. Yet causation is questionable: other factors, including unobserved variation in case facts, may account for some of the disparity. Disparities may also be driven by socio-economic class differences, which are highly correlated with race.

This article presents the first blinded, randomized controlled experiment that tests for race and class effects in prosecutors’ charging decisions. Case-vignettes are manipulated between-subjects in five conditions to test effects of defendants’ race and class status. …


Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2019

Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In the ongoing litigation of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, Harvard faces allegations that its once-heralded admissions process discriminates against Asian Americans. Public discourse has revealed a dominant narrative: affirmative action is viewed as the presumptive cause of Harvard’s alleged “Asian penalty.” Yet this narrative misrepresents the plaintiff’s own theory of discrimination. Rather than implicating affirmative action, the underlying allegations portray the phenomenon of “negative action” — that is, an admissions regime in which White applicants take the seats of their more qualified Asian-American counterparts. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a broad failure to see this case for what …


Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan Feingold Apr 2019

Equal Protection Design Defects, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

One can understand constitutional doctrine as a tool designed to effectuate the Constitution and its various provisions. Equal protection doctrine, in turn, comprises a set of Justice-made rules designed to realize the promise of equal protection under the law. The substance of that promise remains a topic of deep contestation. Nonetheless, more than forty years of constitutional jurisprudence have entrenched a vision of constitutional equality that privileges what I refer to herein as the “right to compete.” Simply put, the Supreme Court has repeatedly embraced the view that the Equal Protection Clause mandates the government to allocate public benefits — …


Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2019

Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

For four decades, the diversity rationale has offered a lifeline to affirmative action in higher education. Yet even after forty years, this critical feature of equal protection doctrine remains constitutionally insecure and politically fraught. Legal challenges persist, the Justice Department has launched a new assault on race-conscious admissions, and an impending shift on the Supreme Court could usher in an era of increased hostility toward the concept of diversity itself. The future of race-conscious admissions arguably hangs in the balance.

In this Article, I argue that the diversity rationale’s present fragility rests, in part, on its defenders’ failure to center …


Diversity Drift, Jonathan Feingold Jan 2019

Diversity Drift, Jonathan Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Diversity may be under attack in the age of Trump, but higher education in America has its own diversity problem. If mission statements and strategic plans offer any guidance, many of America’s colleges and universities actively value diversity. Yet even as calls for diversity grow, these calls far too often lack a clear and coherent normative anchor. Institutions often seek “diversity” without first having done the work to define, precisely, why they want diversity, or to identify, concretely, what sorts of diversity will get them there.

As a result, universities have become susceptible to diversity drift, whereby good intentions invite …


What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2018

What About #Ustoo?: The Invisibility Of Race In The #Metoo Movement, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

Women involved in the most recent wave of the #MeToo movement have rightly received praise for breaking long-held silences about harassment in the workplace. The movement, however, has also rightly received criticism for both initially ignoring the role that a woman of color played in founding the movement ten years earlier and in failing to recognize the unique forms of harassment and the heightened vulnerability to harassment that women of color frequently face in the workplace. This Essay highlights and analyzes critical points at which the contributions and experiences of women of color, particularly black women, were ignored in the …


Race And Assisted Reproduction: Implications For Population Health, Aziza Ahmed May 2018

Race And Assisted Reproduction: Implications For Population Health, Aziza Ahmed

Faculty Scholarship

This Article emerges from Fordham Law Review's Symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,1 the case that found antimiscegenation laws unconstitutional. 2 Inspired by the need to interrogate the regulation of race in the context of family, this Article examines the diffuse regulatory environment around assisted reproductive technology (ART) that shapes procreative decisions and the inequalities that these decisions may engender. 3 ART both centers biology and raises questions about how we imagine our racial futures in the context of family, community, and nation. 4 Importantly, ART demonstrates how both the state and private actors shape family …


Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2018

Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a twofold crisis: police killings of people of color and unaccountability for these killings in the criminal justice system. In many instances, the officers’ use of deadly force is captured on video and often appears clearly unjustified, but grand and petit juries still fail to indict and convict, leaving many baffled. This Article provides an explanation for these failures: juror reliance on “racial character evidence.” Too often, jurors consider race as evidence in criminal trials, particularly in police killing cases where the victim was a person of color. Instead of focusing on admissible evidence, jurors …


Why Courts Fail To Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, And Technology, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell, Catherine Durso Jan 2018

Why Courts Fail To Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, And Technology, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell, Catherine Durso

Faculty Scholarship

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable “searches and seizures,” but in the digital age of stingray devices and IP tracking, what constitutes a search or seizure? The Supreme Court has held that the threshold question is supposed to depend on and reflect the “reasonable expectations” of ordinary members of the public concerning their own privacy. For example, the police now exploit the “third party” doctrine to access data held by email and cell phone providers, without securing a warrant, on the Supreme Court’s intuition that the public has no expectation of privacy in that information. Is that assumption correct? If …


Bureaucracy As The Border: Administrative Law And The Citizen Family, Kristin Collins May 2017

Bureaucracy As The Border: Administrative Law And The Citizen Family, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to the symposium on administrative law and practices of inclusion and exclusion examines the complex role of administrators in the development of family-based citizenship and immigration laws. Official decisions regarding the entry of noncitizens into the United States are often characterized as occurring outside of the normal constitutional and administrative rules that regulate government action. There is some truth to that description. But the historical sources examined in this Article demonstrate that in at least one important respect, citizenship and immigration have long been similar to other fields of law that are primarily implemented by agencies: officials operating …