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University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis Jan 2022

White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis

Articles

Although the United States tends to treat crimes against humanity as a danger that exists only in authoritarian or war-torn states, in fact, there is a real risk of crimes against humanity occurring within the United States, as illustrated by events such as systemic police brutality against Black Americans, the federal government’s family separation policy that took thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border, and the dramatic escalation of White supremacist and extremist violence culminating in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In spite of this risk, the United States does ...


Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen Jan 2021

Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen

Articles

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


Prisons, Nursing Homes, And Medicaid: A Covid-19 Case Study In Health Injustice, Mary Crossley Jan 2021

Prisons, Nursing Homes, And Medicaid: A Covid-19 Case Study In Health Injustice, Mary Crossley

Articles

The unevenly distributed pain and suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic present a remarkable case study. Considering why the coronavirus has devastated some groups more than others offers a concrete example of abstract concepts like “structural discrimination” and “institutional racism,” an example measured in lives lost, families shattered, and unremitting anxiety. This essay highlights the experiences of Black people and disabled people, and how societal choices have caused them to experience the brunt of the pandemic. It focuses on prisons and nursing homes—institutions that emerged as COVID-19 hotspots –and on the Medicaid program.

Black and disabled people are disproportionately represented ...


Race, Dignity, And Commerce, Lu-In Wang Jan 2021

Race, Dignity, And Commerce, Lu-In Wang

Articles

This Essay was written at the invitation of the Journal of Law and Commerce to contribute a piece on racism and commerce—an invitation that was welcome and well timed. It arrived as renewed attention was focused on racialized policing following the killing of George Floyd and in the midst of the worsening pandemic that highlighted unrelenting racial, social, and economic inequities in our society.

The connections between racism and commerce are potentially numerous, but the relationship between discriminatory policing and commerce might not be apparent. This Essay links them through the concept of dignity. Legal scholar John Felipe Acevedo ...


Reproducing Dignity: Race, Disability, And Reproductive Controls, Mary Crossley Jan 2020

Reproducing Dignity: Race, Disability, And Reproductive Controls, Mary Crossley

Articles

Human rights treaties and American constitutional law recognize decisions about reproduction as central to human dignity. Historically and today, Black women and women with disabilities have endured numerous impairments of their freedom to form and maintain families. Other scholars have examined these barriers to motherhood. Unexplored, however, are parallels among the experiences of women in these two groups or the women for whom Blackness and disability are overlapping identities. This Article fills that void. The disturbing legacy of the Eugenics movement is manifest in many settings. Black and disabled women undergo sterilizations at disproportionately high rates. Public benefit programs discourage ...


Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris Jan 2020

Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris

Articles

It has been more than two decades since the introduction of the first bill in Congress that addressed racial profiling in 1997. Between then and now, Congress never passed legislation on the topic, but more than half the states passed laws and many police departments put anti-profiling policies in place to combat it. The research and data on racial profiling has grown markedly over the last twenty-plus years. We know that the practice is real (contrary to many denials), and the data reveal racial profiling’s shortcomings and great social costs. Nevertheless, racial profiling persists. While it took root most ...


The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney Jan 2020

The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney

Articles

Fifty years ago, Congress enacted the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to regulate charitable activity of the rich. Congress constricted the influence of the wealthy on private foundations and hindered the abuse of dollars put into charitable solution through income tax rules. Concerned that the likes of the Mellons, the Rockefellers, and the Fords were putting substantial wealth into foundations for huge tax breaks while continuing to control those funds for their own private ends, Congress revamped the tax rules to force charitable foundations created and controlled by the wealthy to pay out charitable dollars annually and avoid self-dealing. Today ...


Foreword: The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting The Second Redemption In América Posfascista (Postfascist America) With Latcrit Scholarship, Community, And Praxis Amidst The Global Pandemic, Sheila I. Velez Martinez Jan 2020

Foreword: The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting The Second Redemption In América Posfascista (Postfascist America) With Latcrit Scholarship, Community, And Praxis Amidst The Global Pandemic, Sheila I. Velez Martinez

Articles

As LatCrit reaches its twenty-fifth anniversary, we aspire for this symposium Foreword to remind its readers of LatCrit’s foundational propositions and ongoing efforts to cultivate new generations of ethical advocates who can systemically analyze the sociolegal conditions that engender injustice and intervene strategically to help create enduring sociolegal, and cultural, change. Working for lasting social change from an antisubordination perspective enables us to see the myriad laws, regulations, policies, and practices that, by intent or effect, enforce the inferior social status of historically- and contemporarily-oppressed groups. In turn, working with a perspective and principle of antisubordination can inspire us ...


Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster Jan 2019

Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster

Articles

In interactive customer service encounters, the dignity of the parties becomes the currency of a commercial transaction. Service firms that profit from customer satisfaction place great emphasis on emotional labor, the work that service providers do to make customers feel cared for and esteemed. But performing emotional labor can deny dignity to workers, by highlighting their subservience and requiring them to suppress their own emotions in an effort to elevate the status and experiences of their customers. Paradoxically, the burden of performing emotional labor may also impose transactional costs on some customers by facilitating discrimination in service delivery. Drawing on ...


Foreword To Latcrit 2017 Symposium: What's Next? Resistance Resilience And Community In The Trump Era, Sarudzayi M. Matambanadzo, Jorge R. Roig, Sheila I. Velez Martinez Jan 2019

Foreword To Latcrit 2017 Symposium: What's Next? Resistance Resilience And Community In The Trump Era, Sarudzayi M. Matambanadzo, Jorge R. Roig, Sheila I. Velez Martinez

Articles

In this Foreword, we strive to contextualize “LatCrit XXI: What’s Next?” against the backdrop of two crises: the current political crisis in the United States and the continuing crisis of scarcity that impacts the legal academy. Through an examination of these crises, we will reveal how LatCrit scholars, in their efforts to build community and in their commitment to critical outsider scholarship, are part of the constellations of resistance that struggle against el mundo malo. We will argue that LatCrit has become a necessary institution for those seeking to engage in persistent resistance and dissent in the critical and ...


Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley Jan 2019

Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley

Articles

Written as part of Seton Hall Law Review’s Symposium on “Race and the Opioid Crisis: History and Lessons,” this Essay considers whether applying the lens of Professor Derrick Bell’s interest convergence theory to the opioid crisis offers some hope of advancing racial justice. After describing Bell’s interest convergence thesis and identifying racial justice interests that African Americans have related to the opioid crisis, I consider whether these interests might converge with white interests to produce real racial progress. Taken at face value, white politicians’ statements of compassion toward opioid users might signal a public health-oriented approach to ...


Threats To Medicaid And Health Equity Intersections, Mary Crossley Jan 2019

Threats To Medicaid And Health Equity Intersections, Mary Crossley

Articles

2017 was a tumultuous year politically in the United States on many fronts, but perhaps none more so than health care. For enrollees in the Medicaid program, it was a “year of living precariously.” Long-promised Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act also took aim at Medicaid, with proposals to fundamentally restructure the program and drastically cut its federal funding. These proposals provoked pushback from multiple fronts, including formal opposition from groups representing people with disabilities and people of color and individual protesters. Opposition by these groups should not have surprised the proponents of “reforming” Medicaid. Both people of ...


Ending-Life Decisions: Some Disability Perspectives, Mary Crossley Jan 2017

Ending-Life Decisions: Some Disability Perspectives, Mary Crossley

Articles

In the forty years since Quinlan, disability has been present in the conversation within medicine, bioethics, and law about the acceptability of death-hastening medical decisions, but it has at times been viewed as an interloper, an uninvited guest to the party, or perhaps the guest whom the host was obliged to invite, but whose presence was not entirely welcomed. Notwithstanding some short-term reversals and counter-currents, the steady arc of end-of-life law during the past four decades has been towards liberalization of ending-life choices by and for patients who are severely compromised or near the end of their lives. During that ...


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

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

Articles

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 ...


When The Customer Is King: Employment Discrimination As Customer Service, Lu-In Wang Jan 2016

When The Customer Is King: Employment Discrimination As Customer Service, Lu-In Wang

Articles

Employers profit from giving customers opportunities to discriminate against service workers. Employment discrimination law should not, but in many ways does, allow them to get away with it. Employers are driven by self-interest to please customers, whose satisfaction is critical to business success and survival. Pleasing customers often involves cultivating and catering to their discriminatory expectations with respect to customer service — including facilitating customers’ direct discrimination against workers.

Current doctrine allows employers to escape responsibility for customers’ discrimination against workers because it takes an overly narrow view of the employment relationship. The doctrine focuses on the formal lines of authority ...


Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article is adapted from remarks presented at CWRU Law School's symposium marking the 20th anniversary of Whren v. United States. The article critiques Whren’s constitutional methodology and evident willful blindness to issues of social psychology, unconscious bias, and the lengthy American history of racialized conceptions of crime and criminalized conceptions of race. The article concludes by suggesting a possible path forward: reconceptualizing racially motivated pretextual police encounters as a badge or incident of slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment issue rather than as abstract Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment issues.


Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

As part of a symposium marking the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment, this Article briefly explores whether the Thirteenth Amendment applies to class-based subordination. While recognizing that the increasingly rigid class-based stratification of our society, rampant discrimination against the poor, increasing income inequality, and the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of so few are all pressing social challenges that the legal system must address, this Article concludes that generalized class-based discrimination likely would not fall within the scope of the “badges and incidents of slavery” that the Amendment prohibits.

This Article argues, however, that the Thirteenth Amendment's ...


At The Tipping Point: Race And Gender Discrimination In A Common Economic Transaction, Lu-In Wang Jan 2014

At The Tipping Point: Race And Gender Discrimination In A Common Economic Transaction, Lu-In Wang

Articles

This Article examines the ubiquitous, multibillion dollar practice of tipping as a vehicle for race and gender discrimination by both customers and servers and as a case study of the role that organizations play in producing and promoting unequal treatment. The unique structure of tipped service encounters provides plenty of opportunities and incentives for the two parties to discriminate against one another. Neither customers nor servers are likely to find legal redress for the kinds of discrimination that are most likely to occur in tipped service transactions, however, because many of the same features of the transaction that promote discrimination ...


A Critical Research Agenda For Wills, Trusts And Estates, Bridget J. Crawford, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2014

A Critical Research Agenda For Wills, Trusts And Estates, Bridget J. Crawford, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

The law of wills, trusts, and estates could benefit from consideration of its development and impact on people of color; women of all colors; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; low-income and poor individuals; the disabled; and nontraditional families. One can measure the law’s commitment to justice and equality by understanding the impact on these historically disempowered groups of the laws of intestacy, spousal rights, child protection, will formalities, will contests, and will construction; the creation, operation and construction of trusts; fiduciary administration; creditors’ rights; asset protection; nonprobate transfers; planning for incapacity and death; and wealth transfer taxation. This ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2014

The Thirteenth Amendment And Constitutional Change, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article builds upon remarks the author originally delivered at the Nineteenth Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society at NYU Law in November of 2014. The Article describes the history and purpose of the Thirteenth Amendment’s proscription of the badges and incidents of slavery and argues that an understanding of the Amendment's context and its Framers' intent can provide the basis for a more progressive vision for advancing civil rights. The Article discusses how the Thirteenth Amendment could prove to be more effective in addressing persisting forms of inequality that have escaped the reach of ...


Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris Jan 2013

Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris

Articles

This article presents the results of a survey conducted by the author of 56 police departments across the country concerning the practice of data collection on stop and frisk practices of those police departments. These results are discussed against the backdrop of the debate on stop and frisk, examined in this article through a review of the legal basis for the practice and its use by police departments. The article then argues that greater data collection efforts in places other than New York City, where such efforts have been more robust than elsewhere, could broaden and deepen the debate on ...


The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2013

The Promises Of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance Of The Thirteenth Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article, an expanded version of the author's remarks at the 2013 Honorable Clifford Scott Green Lecture at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, illuminates the history and the context of the Thirteenth Amendment. This article contends that the full scope of the Thirteenth Amendment has yet to be realized and offers reflections on why it remains an underenforced constitutional norm. Finally, this article demonstrates the relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment to addressing contemporary forms of racial inequality and subordination.


The Paradox Of Political Power: Post-Racialism, Equal Protection, And Democracy, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2012

The Paradox Of Political Power: Post-Racialism, Equal Protection, And Democracy, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Racial minorities have achieved unparalleled electoral success in recent years. Simultaneously, they have continued to rank at or near the bottom in terms of health, wealth, income, education, and the effects of the criminal justice system. Social conservatives, including those on the Supreme Court, have latched onto evidence of isolated electoral success as proof of “post-racialism,” while ignoring the evidence of continued disparities for the vast majority of people of color.

This Essay will examine the tension between the Court's conservatives' repeated calls for minorities to achieve their goals through the political process and the Supreme Court's increasingly ...


The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley Jan 2012

The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley

Articles

American society is becoming increasingly diverse. At the same time, the federal judiciary continues to be predominantly White. What difference does this make? This article offers an empirical answer to that question through an extensive study of workplace racial harassment cases. It finds that judges of different races reach different conclusions, with non-African American judges less likely to hold for the plaintiffs. It also finds that plaintiffs of different races fare differently, with African Americans the most likely to lose and Hispanics the most likely to be successful. Finally, countering the formalism model’s tenet that judges are color-blind, the ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2012

The Thirteenth Amendment And Pro-Equality Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment’s Framers envisioned the Amendment as providing federal authority to eliminate the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The freemen and their descendants are the most likely to be burdened with the effects of stigma, stereotypes, and structural discrimination arising from the slave system. Because African Americans are therefore the most obvious beneficiaries of the Amendment’s promise to eliminate the legacy of slavery, it is often mistakenly assumed that federal power to eradicate the badges and incidents of slavery only permits remedies aimed at redressing the subordination of African Americans. While African Americans were the primary victims ...


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 ...


Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family For Tax Purposes, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2011

Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family For Tax Purposes, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Family can bring us joy, and it can bring us grief. It can also bring us tax benefits and tax detriments. Often, as a means of ensuring compliance with Internal Revenue Code provisions that turn on a family relationship, taxpayers are required to document their relationship with a family member. Most visibly, taxpayers are denied an additional personal exemption for a child or other dependent unless they furnish the individual’s name, Social Security number, and relationship to the taxpayer.

In this article, I undertake the first systematic examination of these documentation requirements. Given the privileging of the “traditional” family ...


The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

The Thirteenth Amendment And Interest Convergence, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

The Thirteenth Amendment was intended to eliminate the institution of slavery and to eliminate the legacy of slavery. Having accomplished the former, the Amendment has only rarely been extended to the latter. The Thirteenth Amendment’s great promise therefore remains unrealized.

This Article explores the gap between the Thirteenth Amendment’s promise and its implementation. Drawing on Critical Race Theory, this Article argues that the relative underdevelopment of Thirteenth Amendment doctrine is due in part to a lack of perceived interest convergence in eliminating what the Amendment’s Framers called the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The theory of interest ...


Arbitral And Judicial Proceedings: Indistinguishable Justice Or Justice Denied?, Pat K. Chew Jan 2011

Arbitral And Judicial Proceedings: Indistinguishable Justice Or Justice Denied?, Pat K. Chew

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This is an exploratory study comparing the processes and outcomes in the arbitration and the litigation of workplace racial harassment cases. Drawing from an emerging large database of arbitral opinions, this article indicates that arbitration outcomes yield a lower percentage of employee successes than in litigation of these types of cases. At the same time, while arbitration proceedings have some of the same legal formalities (legal representation, legal briefs), they do not have other protective procedural safeguards.


Documentary Disenfranchisement, Jessie Allen Jan 2011

Documentary Disenfranchisement, Jessie Allen

Articles

In the generally accepted picture of criminal disenfranchisement in the United States today, permanent voting bans are rare. Laws on the books in most states now provide that people with criminal convictions regain their voting rights after serving their sentences. This Article argues that the legal reality may be significantly different. Interviews conducted with county election officials in New York suggest that administrative practices sometimes transform temporary voting bans into lifelong disenfranchisement. Such de facto permanent disenfranchisement has significant political, legal, and cultural implications. Politically, it undermines the comforting story that states’ legislative reforms have ameliorated the antidemocratic interaction of ...