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The Soul Savers: A 21st Century Homage To Derrick Bell’S Space Traders Or Should Black People Leave America?, Katheryn Russell-Brown Feb 2021

The Soul Savers: A 21st Century Homage To Derrick Bell’S Space Traders Or Should Black People Leave America?, Katheryn Russell-Brown

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Note: Narrative storytelling is a staple of legal jurisprudence. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers by Lon Fuller and The Space Traders by Derrick Bell are two of the most well-known and celebrated legal stories. The Soul Savers parable that follows pays tribute to Professor Bell’s prescient, apocalyptic racial tale. Professor Bell, a founding member of Critical Race Theory, wrote The Space Traders to instigate discussions about America’s deeply rooted entanglements with race and racism. The Soul Savers is offered as an attempt to follow in Professor Bell’s narrative footsteps by raising and pondering new and old frameworks about the …


“We Are Asking Why You Treat Us This Way. Is It Because We Are Negroes?” A Reparations-Based Approach To Remedying The Trump Administration’S Cancellation Of Tps Protections For Haitians, Sarah E. Baranik De Alarcón, David H. Secor, Norma Fuentes-Mayorga Feb 2021

“We Are Asking Why You Treat Us This Way. Is It Because We Are Negroes?” A Reparations-Based Approach To Remedying The Trump Administration’S Cancellation Of Tps Protections For Haitians, Sarah E. Baranik De Alarcón, David H. Secor, Norma Fuentes-Mayorga

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article places the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel TPS for Haitians within the longer history of U.S. racism and exclusion against Haiti and Haitians, observes the legal challenges against this decision and their limitations, and imagines a future that repairs the harms caused by past and current racist policies. First, this Article briefly outlines the history of exclusionary, race-based immigration laws in the United States, and specifically how this legal framework, coupled with existing anti-Black ideologies in the United States, directly impacted Haitians and Haitian immigrants arriving in the United States. Next, the Article provides an overview of the …


How To Sue An Asue? Closing The Racial Wealth Gap Through The Transplantation Of A Cultural Institution, Cyril A.L. Heron Feb 2021

How To Sue An Asue? Closing The Racial Wealth Gap Through The Transplantation Of A Cultural Institution, Cyril A.L. Heron

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Asues, academically known as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (or ROSCAs for short), are informal cultural institutions that are prominent in developing countries across the globe. Their utilization in those countries provide rural and ostracized communities with a means to save money and invest in the community simultaneously. Adoption of the asue into the United States could serve as the foundation by which to close the racial wealth gap. Notwithstanding the benefits, wholesale adoption of any asue model runs the risk of cultural rejection because the institution is foreign to the African American community.

Drawing upon principles of cultural and …


The Scales Of Reproductive Justice: Casey’S Failure To Rebalance Liberty Interests In The Racially Disparate State Of Maternal Medicine, Mallori D. Thompson Feb 2021

The Scales Of Reproductive Justice: Casey’S Failure To Rebalance Liberty Interests In The Racially Disparate State Of Maternal Medicine, Mallori D. Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Despite the maternal medicine crisis in the U.S., especially for Black women, legislatures are challenging constitutional abortion doctrine and forcing women to interact with a system that may cost them their lives. This Article proposes that because of abysmal maternal mortality rates and the arbitrary nature of most abortion restrictions, the right to choose an abortion is embedded in our Fourteenth Amendment right to not be arbitrarily deprived of life by the State. This Article is a call to abortion advocates to begin submitting state maternal mortality data when challenging abortion restrictions. The call for attention to life was central …


Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson Jan 2021

Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review (MBELR) has always strived to provide a platform for legal scholars, professionals, and students to publish business-related legal scholarship. Yet, little legal business scholarship focusing on the Black business community exists, despite the extraordinary impact that Black communities have in the U.S. business landscape. In a year of revolutionary social change, we are excited to feature in this special issue the work of Professor Dana Thompson, a Michigan Law alumna, in an effort to remedy this gap. Professor Thompson’s career, professional values, and day-to-day work demonstrate genuine, commanding, and inspiring commitment to social …


Looking Toward Restorative Justice For Redlined Communities Displaced By Eco-Gentrification, Helen H. Kang Jan 2021

Looking Toward Restorative Justice For Redlined Communities Displaced By Eco-Gentrification, Helen H. Kang

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

MJEAL chose to publish Helen Kang’s piece, Looking Toward Restorative Justice for Redlined Communities Displaced by Eco-Gentrification, because it offers a unique analytic approach for analyzing the roots of environmental racism and the appropriate tools to help rectify it. She offers an argument for why restorative justice needs to be the framework and explains how we can accomplish this in the context of a whole government solution. MJEAL is excited to offer what will be an influential approach for environmental restorative justice to the broader activist and academic community.


Excerpt Of Law And Anti-Blackness, Michele Goodwin Jan 2021

Excerpt Of Law And Anti-Blackness, Michele Goodwin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Professor Michele Goodwin’s essay here (and the article from which it came, to be published in full in our Winter issue) explicitly identifies the development of American law as a project of cementing racial caste. This piece is a call for conversation and asks us all to consider: “How has the failure to acknowledge and address the carnage and prurience of America’s racial origin story impacted life today?” For 26 volumes, we have attempted to answer that question. In publishing this story in this issue, we are excited to be joined by our peers in that effort.


Medical Violence, Obstetric Racism, And The Limits Of Informed Consent For Black Women, Colleen Campbell Jan 2021

Medical Violence, Obstetric Racism, And The Limits Of Informed Consent For Black Women, Colleen Campbell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Essay critically examines how medicine actively engages in the reproductive subordination of Black women. In obstetrics, particularly, Black women must contend with both gender and race subordination. Early American gynecology treated Black women as expendable clinical material for its institutional needs. This medical violence was animated by biological racism and the legal and economic exigencies of the antebellum era. Medical racism continues to animate Black women’s navigation of and their dehumanization within obstetrics. Today, the racial disparities in cesarean sections illustrate that Black women are simultaneously overmedicalized and medically neglected—an extension of historical medical practices rooted in the logic …


Toward A Race-Conscious Critique Of Mental Health-Related Exclusionary Immigration Laws, Monika Batra Kashyap Jan 2021

Toward A Race-Conscious Critique Of Mental Health-Related Exclusionary Immigration Laws, Monika Batra Kashyap

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article employs the emergent analytical framework of Dis/ability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) to offer a race-conscious critique of a set of immigration laws that have been left out of the story of race-based immigrant exclusion in the United States—namely, the laws that exclude immigrants based on mental health-related grounds. By centering the influence of the white supremacist, racist,and ableist ideologies of the eugenics movement in shaping mental health-related exclusionary immigration laws, this Article locates the roots of these restrictive laws in the desire to protect the purity and homogeneity of the white Anglo- Saxon race against the threat of …


Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart Sep 2020

Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The use of dogs as tools of oppression against African Americans has its roots in slavery and persists today in everyday life and police interactions. Due to such harmful practices, African Americans are not only disproportionately terrorized by officers with dogs, but they are also subject to instances of misplaced sympathy, illsuited laws, and social exclusion in their communities. Whether extreme and violent or subtle and pervasive, the use of dogs in oppressive acts is a critical layer of racial bias in the United States that has consistently built injustices that impede social and legal progress. By recognizing this pattern …


The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters Jan 2020

The Right To Be And Become: Black Home-Educators As Child Privacy Protectors, Najarian R. Peters

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The right to privacy is one of the most fundamental rights in American jurisprudence. In 1890, Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis conceptualized the right to privacy as the right to be let alone and inspired privacy jurisprudence that tracked their initial description. Warren and Brandeis conceptualized further that this right was not exclusively meant to protect one’s body or physical property. Privacy rights were protective of “the products and the processes of the mind” and the “inviolate personality.” Privacy was further understood to protect the ability to “live one’s life as one chooses, free from assault, intrusion or …


Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart Jan 2020

Equality At The Cemetery Gates: Study Of An African American Burial Ground, William A. Engelhart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In Charlottesville, Virginia, the University Cemetery serves as the final resting place of many of the most prominent community members of the University of Virginia. In 2011, the University planned an expansion. During archaeological research to this end, sixty-seven previously unidentified interments, in both adult and child-sized grave shafts, were discovered on the proposed site of expansion, to the northeast of the University Cemetery. Further archival research revealed that “at least two late nineteenth century references note that enslaved African Americans were buried north of but outside the enclosed University, in an adjacent wooded area.” In one, Col. Charles Christian …


Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle Jan 2020

Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

One of the debates often encountered by native southerners centers around our historical symbols. There are heated opinions on both sides of the issue as to what these symbols mean and whether they should be allowed to be displayed. The latter question has begun making its way into the courts, with many southern symbols and memorials being accused of promoting the philosophy of racial supremacy. Despite the growing public concern, modern courts refuse to rule on the question. They claim they are forestalled by Article III’s standing requirement that plaintiffs must have suffered a concrete injury in fact. They state …


Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton May 2019

Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The media reports of police shootings of unarmed Black men and women; unprovoked attacks on innocent Jews, Muslims, religious minority groups, and LGBTQ persons; and current pervasive, divisive, and misogynistic rhetoric all cause fear and anxiety in impacted communities and frustrate other concerned citizens. Law students, and especially law students of color and of historically marginalized groups, are often directly or indirectly impacted by these reports and discrimination in all its iterations. As a result, they are stressed because they are fearful and anxious. Research shows that stress impairs learning and cognition. Research also shows that beneficial changes are made …


Virtual Hatred: How Russia Tried To Start A Race War In The United States, William J. Aceves Jan 2019

Virtual Hatred: How Russia Tried To Start A Race War In The United States, William J. Aceves

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Russian government engaged in a sophisticated strategy to influence the U.S. political system and manipulate American democracy. While most news reports have focused on the cyber-attacks aimed at Democratic Party leaders and possible contacts between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign, a more pernicious intervention took place. Throughout the campaign, Russian operatives created hundreds of fake personas on social media platforms and then posted thousands of advertisements and messages that sought to promote racial divisions in the United States. This was a coordinated propaganda effort. Some Facebook and Twitter posts denounced the …


White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah Jan 2019

White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Over the past year, reports to the police about Black persons engaged in innocuous behaviors have bombarded the American consciousness. What do we make of them? And, equally important, what are the consequences of such reports?

This Article is the first to argue that the recent spike in calls to the police against Black persons who are simply existing must be understood as a systematic phenomenon which it dubs racialized police communication. The label captures two related practices. First, racially motivated police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made when Black persons are engaged in behavior that would not have been read …


Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat Oct 2018

Urban Decolonization, Norrinda Brown Hayat

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

National fair housing legislation opened up higher opportunity neighborhoods to multitudes of middle-class African Americans. In actuality, the FHA offered much less to the millions of poor, Black residents in inner cities than it did to the Black middle class. Partly in response to the FHA’s inability to provide quality housing for low-income blacks, Congress has pursued various mobility strategies designed to facilitate the integration of low-income Blacks into high-opportunity neighborhoods as a resolution to the persistent dilemma of the ghetto. These efforts, too, have had limited success. Now, just over fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing …


Whiteness At Work, Lihi Yona Oct 2018

Whiteness At Work, Lihi Yona

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

How do courts understand Whiteness in Title VII litigation? This Article argues that one fruitful site for such examination is same-race discrimination cases between Whites. Such cases offer a peek into what enables regimes of Whiteness and White supremacy in the workplace, and the way in which Whiteness is theorized within Title VII adjudication. Intra-White discrimination cases may range from associational discrimination cases to cases involving discrimination against poor rural Whites, often referred to as “White trash.” While intragroup discrimination is acknowledged in sex-discrimination cases and race-discrimination cases within racial minority groups, same-race discrimination between Whites is currently an under-theorized …


Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel Jun 2018

Distant Voices Then And Now: The Impact Of Isolation On The Courtroom Narratives Of Slave Ship Captives And Asylum Seekers, Tara Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I compares the nineteenth century cases of the Antelope and the Amistad to identify why they resulted in different outcomes despite having similar fact patterns. The Antelope concerned the fate of approximately 280 African captives discovered on a slave trade ship upon its interception by a U.S. revenue cutter. Since the slave trade in the United States was illegal at the time, the captives were transported to Savannah for trial through which their status—free or slave—would be determined. After a lengthy trial and appeals process in which Spain and Portugal laid claim to the captives, the Supreme Court determined …


Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins Jun 2018

Batson For Judges, Police Officers & Teachers: Lessons In Democracy From The Jury Box, Stacy L. Hawkins

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In our representative democracy we guarantee equal participation for all, but we fall short of this promise in so many domains of our civic life. From the schoolhouse, to the jailhouse, to the courthouse, racial minorities are underrepresented among key public decision-makers, such as judges, police officers, and teachers. This gap between our aspirations for representative democracy and the reality that our judges, police officers, and teachers are often woefully under-representative of the racially diverse communities they serve leaves many citizens of color wanting for the democratic guarantee of equal participation. This critical failure of our democracy threatens to undermine …


Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell Jun 2018

Vulnerability, Access To Justice, And The Fragmented State, Elizabeth L. Macdowell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article builds on theories of the fragmented state and of human and institutional vulnerability to create a new, structural theory of “functional fragmentation” and its role in access to justice work. Expanding on previous concepts of fragmentation in access to justice scholarship, fragmentation is understood in the Article as a complex phenomenon existing within as well as between state institutions like courts. Further, it is examined in terms of its relationship to the state’s coercive power over poor people in legal systems. In this view, fragmentation in state operations creates not only challenges for access, but also opportunities for …


Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks Jun 2018

Fairness In The Exceptions: Trusting Juries On Matters Of Race, Virginia Weeks

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Implicit bias research indicates that despite our expressly endorsed values, Americans share a pervasive bias disfavoring Black Americans and favoring White Americans. This bias permeates legislative as well as judicial decision-making, leading to the possibility of verdicts against Black defendants that are tainted with racial bias. The Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado provides an ex post remedy for blatant racism that impacts jury verdicts, while jury nullification provides an ex ante remedy by empowering jurors to reject convicting Black defendants when to do so would reinforce racially biased laws. Both remedies exist alongside a trend limiting the …


"When They Enter, We All Enter": Opening The Door To Intersectional Discrimination Claims Based On Race And Disability, Alice Abrokwa Jan 2018

"When They Enter, We All Enter": Opening The Door To Intersectional Discrimination Claims Based On Race And Disability, Alice Abrokwa

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article explores the intersection of race and disability in the context of employment discrimination, arguing that people of color with disabilities can and should obtain more robust relief for their harms by asserting intersectional discrimination claims. Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw first articulated the intersectionality framework by explaining that Black women can experience a form of discrimination distinct from that experienced by White women or Black men, that is, they may face discrimination as Black women due to the intersection of their race and gender. Likewise, people of color with disabilities can experience discrimination distinct from that felt by people of …


The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray Oct 2016

The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In this legal-literary essay, I recount a day I spent watching criminal sentencings in an Alhambra, California courthouse, highlighting the sometimes mundane, sometimes despairing, imports of those proceedings. I note that my analysis resembles that of other scholars who tackle state over-criminalization and selective law enforcement. My original addition exists in the granular attention I pay to the moment-by-moment effects of a sometimes baffling state power on poor and minority people. In this approach, I align myself with advocates of the law and literature school of thought, who believe that the study (or, in this case, practice) of literature will …


Am I My Client? Revisited: The Role Of Race In Intra-Race Legal Representation, Julie D. Lawton Oct 2016

Am I My Client? Revisited: The Role Of Race In Intra-Race Legal Representation, Julie D. Lawton

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article examines the challenges of intra-race legal representation for lawyers of color, law students of color, and those teaching law students of color by analyzing how the dynamics of the lawyer’s and client’s racial sameness impact legal representation. This Article brings together three strands of lawyering theory – the role of race in lawyering, critical race theory, and the role of the lawyer in intra-race legal representation. In doing so, this Article explores a number of provocative questions: Does being the same race as their clients make lawyers better legal representatives? Should lawyers of color embrace or resist race’s …


Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Oct 2016

Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article examines how military automated surveillance and intelligence systems and techniques, when used by civilian police departments to enhance predictive policing programs, have reinforced racial bias in policing. I will focus on two facets of this problem. First, I investigate the role played by advanced military technologies and methods within civilian police departments. These approaches have enabled a new focus on deterrence and crime prevention by creating a system of structural surveillance where decision support relies increasingly upon algorithms and automated data analysis tools and automates de facto penalization and containment based on race. Second, I will explore these …


Black Health Matters: Disparities, Community Health, And Interest Convergence, Mary Crossley Oct 2016

Black Health Matters: Disparities, Community Health, And Interest Convergence, Mary Crossley

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Health disparities represent a significant strand in the fabric of racial injustice in the United States, one that has proven exceptionally durable. Many millions of dollars have been invested in addressing racial disparities over the past three decades. Researchers have identified disparities, unpacked their causes, and tracked their trajectories, with only limited progress in narrowing the health gap between whites and racial and ethnic minorities. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the movement toward value-based payment methods for health care may supply a new avenue for addressing disparities. This Article argues that the ACA’s requirement that tax-exempt …


Disparaging Trademarks: Who Matters, Jasmine Abdel-Khalik Sep 2015

Disparaging Trademarks: Who Matters, Jasmine Abdel-Khalik

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

For more than a century, non-majority groups have protested the use of trademarks comprised of or containing terms referencing the group—albeit for various reasons. Under the 1946 Lanham Act, Congress added a prohibition against registering disparaging trademarks, which could offer protection to non-majority groups targeted by the use of trademarks offensive to members of the group. The prohibition remained relatively unclear, however, and rarely applied in that context until a group of Native Americans petitioned to cancel the Washington NFL team’s trademarks as either scandalous, offensive to the general population, or disparaging, offensive to the referenced group. In clarifying the …


Blackness As Character Evidence, Mikah K. Thompson Sep 2015

Blackness As Character Evidence, Mikah K. Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Federal Rule of Evidence 404 severely limits the government’s ability to offer evidence of a defendant’s character trait of violence to prove action in conformity with that trait on the occasion in question. The Rule states that such character evidence is generally inadmissible when offered to prove propensity. The Rule also allows the government to offer evidence of an alleged victim’s character for peacefulness in homicide cases where the defendant asserts the self-defense privilege. Although criminal defendants may offer character evidence under limited circumstances, Rule 404 creates a significant disincentive for doing so. Where a defendant offers evidence of an …


There Are No Racists Here: The Rise Of Racial Extremism, When No One Is Racist, Jeannine Bell Sep 2015

There Are No Racists Here: The Rise Of Racial Extremism, When No One Is Racist, Jeannine Bell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

At first glance hate murders appear wholly anachronistic in post-racial America. This Article suggests otherwise. The Article begins by analyzing the periodic expansions of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the protection for racist expression in First Amendment doctrine. The Article then contextualizes the case law by providing evidence of how the First Amendment works on the ground in two separate areas —the enforcement of hate crime law and on university campuses that enact speech codes. In these areas, those using racist expression receive full protection for their beliefs. Part III describes social spaces—social media and employment where slurs and epithets …