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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


"The More Things Change . . .": New Moves For Legitimizing Racial Discrimination In A "Post-Race" World, Mario L. Barnes Jan 2016

"The More Things Change . . .": New Moves For Legitimizing Racial Discrimination In A "Post-Race" World, Mario L. Barnes

Articles

No abstract provided.


Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos Jan 2016

Disparate Impact And The Role Of Classification And Motivation In Equal Protection Law After Inclusive Communities, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

At least since the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, disparate-impact liability has faced a direct constitutional threat. This Article argues that the Court’s decision last Term in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which held that disparate-impact liability is available under the Fair Housing Act, has resolved that threat, at least for the time being. In particular, this Article argues, Inclusive Communities is best read to adopt the understanding of equal protection that Justice Kennedy previously articulated in his pivotal concurrence in the 2007 Parents Involved case—which argued ...


From Access To Success: Affirmative Action Outcomes In A Class-Based System, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart Jan 2015

From Access To Success: Affirmative Action Outcomes In A Class-Based System, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart

Articles

Scholarly discussion about affirmative action policy has been dominated in the past ten years by debates over "mismatch theory'"--the claim that race-conscious affirmative action harms those it is intended to help by placing students who receive preferences among academically superior peers in environments where they will be overmatched and unable to compete. Despite serious empirical and theoretical challenges to this claim in academic circles, mismatch has become widely accepted outside those circles, so much so that the theory played prominently in Justice Clarence Thomas's concurring opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas. This Article explores whether mismatch occurs ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


Considering Class: College Access And Diversity, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart Jan 2013

Considering Class: College Access And Diversity, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart

Articles

Each time that the continued legality of race-conscious affirmative action is threatened, colleges and universities must confront the possibility of dramatically changing their admissions policies. Fisher v. University of Texas, which the Supreme Court will hear this year, presents just such a moment. In previous years when affirmative action has been outlawed by ballot initiative in specific states or when the Court has seemed poised to reject it entirely, there have been calls for replacing race-conscious admissions with class-based affirmative action. Supporters of race-conscious affirmative action have typically criticized the class-based alternative as ineffective at maintaining racial diversity. This article ...


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


Grutter's Denouement: Three Templates From The Roberts Court, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Grutter's Denouement: Three Templates From The Roberts Court, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Precedent from the Roberts Court shows the Justices taking three distinct approaches to precedent they dislike. Each provides a template for the Court to criticize race-based affirmative action in higher education, as Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is widely expected to do. Most narrowly, the Court might use Fisher to issue a warning, much like it did in 2009 when it sidestepped a constitutional challenge to the Voting Rights Act; under this approach, the opinion would spell out why the Justices think the diversity celebrated in Grutter v. Bollinger no longer provides sufficient justification for the use of ...


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

In this Essay, Professors Starr and Rehavi respond to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s empirical staff’s criticisms of their recent article, which found, contrary to the Commission’s prior work, no evidence that racial disparity in sentences increased in response to United States v. Booker. As Starr and Rehavi suggest, their differences with the Commission perhaps relate to differing objectives. The Commission staff’s reply expresses a lack of interest in identifying Booker’s causal effects; in contrast, that is Starr and Rehavi’s central objective. In addition, Starr and Rehavi’s approach also accounts for disparities arising ...


Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

This Article presents new empirical evidence concerning the effects of United States v. Booker, which loosened the formerly mandatory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, on racial disparities in federal criminal cases. Two serious limitations pervade existing empirical literature on sentencing disparities. First, studies focus on sentencing in isolation, controlling for the “presumptive sentence” or similar measures that themselves result from discretionary charging, plea-bargaining, and fact-finding processes. Any disparities in these earlier processes are excluded from the resulting sentence-disparity estimates. Our research has shown that this exclusion matters: pre-sentencing decision-making can have substantial sentence-disparity consequences. Second, existing studies have used loose causal ...


On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The State of Texas is presently staking out two positions that are not typically pursued by a single litigant. On the one hand, Texas is seeking the invalidation of the Voting Rights Act, and, on the other, the State is now defending the validity of the expansive race-based affirmative action policy it uses at its flagship university. This Essay presses the claim that Texas has increased the chance it will lose in bothTexas v. Holder andFisher v. University of Texas because it has opted to stake out markedly extreme positions in each. I argue that Texas would be more likely ...


Clearing Civil Procedure Hurdles In The Quest For Justice, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2011

Clearing Civil Procedure Hurdles In The Quest For Justice, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


From Wards Cove To Ricci: Struggling Against The Built-In Headwinds Of A Skeptical Court, Melissa Hart Jan 2011

From Wards Cove To Ricci: Struggling Against The Built-In Headwinds Of A Skeptical Court, Melissa Hart

Articles

When the Supreme Court in 1971 first recognized disparate impact as a legal theory under Title VII, the Court explained that the "absence of discriminatory intent does not redeem employment procedures or testing mechanisms that operate as ‘built-in headwinds’ for minority groups and are unrelated to measuring job capability." Forty years later, it is the built-in headwinds of a Supreme Court skeptical of - perhaps even hostile to - the goals of disparate impact theory that pose the greatest challenge to continued movement toward workplace equality. The essay examines the troubled trajectory that disparate impact law has taken in the Court's ...


On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris Jan 2011

On The Contemporary Meaning Of Korematsu: 'Liberty Lies In The Hearts Of Men And Women', David A. Harris

Articles

In just a few years, seven decades will have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. U.S., one of the most reviled of all of the Court’s cases. Despised or not, however, similarities between the World War II era and our own have people looking at Korematsu in a new light. When the Court decided Korematsu in 1944, we were at war with the Japanese empire, and with this came considerable suspicion of anyone who shared the ethnicity of our foreign enemies. Since 2001, we have faced another external threat – from the al ...


Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2010

Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1 has been extensively analyzed as the latest step in the Court's long struggle with the desegregation of public schools. This Article examines the decision's implications for the full range of equal protection doctrine dealing with benign or remedial race and sex classifications. Parents Involved revealed a sharp division on the Court over whether government may consciously try to promote substantive equality. In the past, such efforts have been subject to an equal protection analysis that allows race-conscious or sex-conscious state action, contingent ...


The Supreme Court's Post-Racial Turn Towards A Zero-Sum Understanding Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2010

The Supreme Court's Post-Racial Turn Towards A Zero-Sum Understanding Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

The Supreme Court--along with the rest of the country--has long divided over the question whether the United States has yet achieved a 'post-racial" society in which race no longer matters in significant ways. How, if at all, this debate is resolved carries enormous implications for constitutional and statutory antidiscrimination law. Indeed, a post-racial discomfort with noticing and acting upon race supports a zero-sum approach to equality: if race no longer matters to the distribution of life opportunities, a decision maker's concern for the disparities experienced by members of one racial group may be seen as inextricable from its intent ...


The Future Of Disparate Impact, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

The Future Of Disparate Impact, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano foregrounded the question of whether Title VIl's disparate impact standard conflicts with equal protection. This Article shows that there are three ways to read Ricci, one of which is likely fatal to disparate impact doctrine but the other two of which are not.


Procedural Extremism: The Supreme Court's 2008-2009 Labor And Employment Cases, Melissa Hart Jan 2009

Procedural Extremism: The Supreme Court's 2008-2009 Labor And Employment Cases, Melissa Hart

Articles

It has become nearly a commonplace to say that the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts is a court of “incrementalism.” The 2008 Term, however, featured several opinions that showcase the procedural extremism of the current conservative majority. In a series of sharply divided decisions, the Court re-shaped the law that governs the workplace - or more specifically the law that governs whether and how employees will be permitted access to the courts to litigate workplace disputes. At least as important as the Court’s changes to the substantive legal standards are the procedural hurdles the five ...


Business As Usual: The Roberts Court's Continued Neglect Of Adequacy And Equity Concerns In American Education, Osamudia R. James Jan 2008

Business As Usual: The Roberts Court's Continued Neglect Of Adequacy And Equity Concerns In American Education, Osamudia R. James

Articles

No abstract provided.


Public Rights, Social Equality, And The Conceptual Roots Of The Plessy Challenge, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2008

Public Rights, Social Equality, And The Conceptual Roots Of The Plessy Challenge, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

This Article argues that the test case that gave rise to the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson is best understood as part of a wellestablished, cosmopolitan tradition of anticaste activism in Louisiana rather than as a quixotic effort that contradicted nineteenth-century ideas of the boundaries of citizens' rights. By drawing a dividing line between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and social rights, on the other, the Supreme Court construed challenges to segregation as claims to a "social equality" that was beyond the scope of judicially cognizable rights. The Louisiana constitutional convention of 1867-68, however, had defined ...


Keynote Address: Indigenous Peoples And Their Mark On The International Legal System, S. James Anaya Jan 2007

Keynote Address: Indigenous Peoples And Their Mark On The International Legal System, S. James Anaya

Articles

No abstract provided.


Congressional Power To Extend Preclearance: A Response To Professor Karlan, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Congressional Power To Extend Preclearance: A Response To Professor Karlan, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Is the core provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional? Many people now think that the Act's preclearance requirement is invalid, but Professor Karlan is not among them. In part, that is because she is not convinced the problems that originally motivated Congress to impose preclearance have been fully remedied. Professor Karlan points out the many ways section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) shapes behavior in the jurisdictions subject to the statute--not just by blocking discriminatory electoral changes, but also by influencing less transparent conduct by various political actors operating in these regions. Do not be so ...


Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Losers in partisan districting battles have long challenged the resulting districting plans under seemingly unrelated legal doctrines. They have filed lawsuits alleging malapportionment, racial gerrymandering, and racial vote dilution, and they periodically prevail. Many election law scholars worry about these lawsuits, claiming that they needlessly "racialize" fundamentally political disputes, distort important legal doctrines designed for other purposes, and provide an inadequate remedy for a fundamentally distinct electoral problem. I am not convinced. This Article argues that the application of distinct doctrines to invalidate or diminish what are indisputably partisan gerrymanders is not necessarily problematic, and that the practice may well ...


Raising The Red Flag: The Continued Relevance Of The Japanese Internment In The Post-Hamdi World, Aya Gruber Jan 2006

Raising The Red Flag: The Continued Relevance Of The Japanese Internment In The Post-Hamdi World, Aya Gruber

Articles

In the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the Japanese interment has re-emerged as a topic of serious discourse among legal scholars, politicians, civil libertarians, and society in general. Current national security policies have created concerns that the government has stepped dangerously close to the line crossed by the Roosevelt administration during World War II. Civil libertarians invoke the internment to caution policy-makers against two of the most serious dangers of repressive national security policies: racial decision-making and incarceration without process. Bush defenders advance several arguments in response to internment comparisons. The most conservative is an ardent defense ...


From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2006

From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

LULAC v. Perry held that Texas violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act when it displaced nearly 100,000 Latino residents from a congressional district in Laredo to protect the Republican incumbent they refused to support. At the same time, the Justices let stand the dismantling of a so-called “coalition” district in Fort Worth where African-American voters comprising a minority of the district’s population allegedly enjoyed effective control in deciding the district’s representative. Only Justice Kennedy supported the outcome in both Laredo and Fort Worth. His opinion marks the first time that he, or indeed a majority ...