Articles

Rap Exegesis: Interpreting the Rapper in an Internet Society

Published Apr 27, 2017

Abstract The law and literature movement has had limited influence on the work of lawyers and judges.  But a rap lyric’s dual quality as aesthetic and “truth” document makes it uniquely amenable to literary interpretation.  The competing problems:  lyrics are meant to be heard and not read, and the ambition of the contemporary rapper is… Read more

From Status to Agency: Abolishing the “Very Spirit of Slavery”

Published Apr 27, 2017

Abstract In response to challenges that the disparate impact doctrine violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, the Thirteenth Amendment provides a constitutional foundation that deflects the equal protection argument.  Early interpreters of the Thirteenth Amendment envisioned the provision as a means to abolish chattel as well as civil slavery, which was the condition of… Read more

Race, Class, and Religion: Creaming and Cropping in Religious, Ethnic, and Cultural Charter Schools

Published Dec 7, 2016

Abstract This Article is devoted to one of the most fascinating contemporary developments in American public education—the phenomenal rise of religious, ethnic, and cultural charter schools.  Religious, ethnic, and cultural charter schools are established by a religious or ethnic community with the aim of providing an education saturated with the respective values and culture of… Read more

Puerto Rico Before the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Colonialism in Action

Published Dec 7, 2016

Abstract The United States Supreme Court’s October 2015 Term will go down in history as the most significant one for Puerto Rico-United States relations in more than a century.  By opting to address the issues presented in Puerto Rico v. Sánchez Valle, a constitutional case arising from the Commonwealth courts, and Puerto Rico v. Franklin… Read more

The Power of the Body: Analyzing the Logic of Law and Social Change in the Arab Spring

Published Sep 8, 2016

Abstract Under conditions of extreme social and political injustice—when human rights are most threatened—rational   arguments rooted in the language of human rights are often unlikely to spur reform or to ensure government adherence to citizens’ rights.  When those entrusted with securing human dignity, rights, and freedoms fail to do so, and when other actors—such as… Read more

Religious Exemptions to Neutral Laws of General Applicability and the Theory of Disparate Impact Discrimination

Published Sep 8, 2016

Abstract This Article argues that the theory undergirding religious exemptions to neutral laws of general applicability represents a viable theoretical and legal justification for race-based disparate-impact policies such as Title VII.  Though not always expressly stated as such, one can best understand the theory underpinning the exemptions approach to religious free exercise as a paradigm… Read more

Race, Death, and Justice: Capital Sentencing in Washington State, 1981-2014

Published Sep 8, 2016

Abstract This Article examines the role of race in the application of the death penalty in the wake of the Furman v. Georgia decision.  Although contemporary death penalty statutes were designed to reduce arbitrariness and discrimination in capital sentencing, many studies indicate that race continues to play a significant role in determining which capital defendants… Read more

Demystifying Employment Authorization and Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases

Published May 9, 2016

Abstract On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of immigration programs aimed to reform the immigration system. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans or Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) represent two such programs announced by the President. Both programs extend deferred action (one form of prosecutorial discretion) to qualifying… Read more

Cherokee Freedmen and the Color of Belonging

Published Oct 19, 2015

Abstract This Article addresses the Cherokee Nation and its historic conflict with the descendants of its former black slaves, designated Cherokee Freedmen. This Article specifically addresses how historic discussions of black, red, and white skin colors, designating the African-ancestored, aboriginal (Native American), and European ancestored people of the United States, have helped to shape the contours of color-based… Read more

A Critique of the Motivations Behind Negative Action Against Asian Americans in U.S. Universities: The Model Victims

Published Oct 19, 2015

Abstract To deal effectively with negative action against Asian Americans, it is crucial to first understand the motivations behind negative action. This Article posits that these motivations are complex—they are an intricate tapestry of racism and benevolence interwoven with both conscious and unintentional aspects. In theorizing about and critiquing these motivations by unpacking a 4-quadrant matrix, it seeks… Read more

The Rise of Speed Deportation and the Role of Discretion

Published Jun 25, 2015

Abstract In 2013, the majority of people deported never saw a courtroom or immigration judge. Instead, they were quickly removed by the Department of Homeland Security via one of several procedures collectively referred to as “speed deportation.” The policy goals of speed deportation are economic; these processes save government resources from being spent on procedural… Read more

Foreclosures and Financial Aid: Mind Over Mortgages in Closing the Plus Loan Gap

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Renewed discussion has recently emerged to help strengthen the middle class by increasing access to college. President Barack Obama is at the forefront of the discussion to make college more affordable by prompting universities to become more efficient. Using education as a gateway to success, the Obama Administration proposed a number of initiatives to… Read more

China’s Apologetic Justice: Lessons for the United States?

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Many scholars have criticized Congressional apology resolutions for slavery as inadequate and ineffective. Ironically, Congress may look to China’s apologetic justice in intentional intellectual property infringements to learn valuable lessons about apologies and how to incorporate them into righting wrongs. China requires that the wrongdoer who intentionally harms or infringes the intellectual property rights… Read more

Rethinking Rewriting: Tribal Constitutional Amendment And Reform

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract This Essay examines the recent wave of American Indian tribal constitutional change through the framework of subnational constitutional theory. When tribes rewrite their constitutions, they not only address internal tribal questions and communicate tribal values, but also engage with other subnational entities, i.e. states, and the federal government. This Essay applies that framework to… Read more

There Is No Santa Claus: The Challenge Of Teaching The Next Generation Of Civil Rights Lawyers In A “Post-Racial” Society

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract This Essay takes a fresh look at the scholarship on the practice of cross-cultural and client-centered lawyering. The current scholarship explores methods of training law students to be mindful of the ways that cultural differences can impact legal representation. However, this scholarship has not addressed how to equip students to address issues of racial… Read more

The Politics Of Equality: The Limits Of Collective Rights Litigation And The Case Of The Palestinian-Arab Minority In Israel

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Human and civil rights organizations have long used litigation in an attempt to advance a particular cause, to bolster a certain right, or to bring about social change. A prominent example is strategic litigation filed on behalf of minority groups–including national and indigenous minorities. Such cases typically seek remedies from the government or public… Read more

Diversity In The Legal Profession: From Rhetoric To Reality

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract The legal profession, more than others, is uniquely positioned at the helm of social change. The law is shaped by cultural shifts, and it is the lawyer that plays the role of architect. Yet, the legal profession is the least diverse and inclusive profession of all, failing to adapt to the ever changing demographics… Read more

Intersectional Discrimination In U Visa Certification Denials: An Irremediable Violation Of Equal Protection?

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Through the U visa, the Immigration and Nationality Act offers a means to obtain legal immigration status for undocumented victims of domestic violence and other specified crimes who cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of those crimes. In order to apply for such a visa, a crime victim must obtain law… Read more

We Built This City: The Legality Of Community Benefit Agreements For Big Box Construction Under Title VII And The Equal Protection Clause

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Community groups have begun to employ Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) to combat the legacy of discrimination and segregation in the construction industry. The U.S. Government as well as state and city governments have implemented various plans since the 1960s to try to eradicate discrimination and segregation with a varied pattern of success. In light… Read more

Stolen Happiness

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract The wrongful arrest and conviction of Fernando Bermudez demonstrates the American criminal justice system being forced to correct itself, despite public faith in jury trials, because Mr. Bermudez fought to exonerate himself after losing ten appeals. Mr. Bermudez’s essay entails his over eighteen-year wrongful incarceration in New York until proven “actually innocent” in 2009…. Read more

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Legacy Establishing A Case For International Reparations

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract This Article examines the legal principle of restitution (reparations) as applied to crimes against humanity that were committed as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, as enumerated in international conventions and statutes. The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade’s peculiar attractiveness to Western nation-states that implemented the institution placed a long-term social, mental, and economic hindrance… Read more

Road To The Poll: How The Wisconsin Voter ID Law of 2011 Is Disenfranchising Its Poor, Minority, and Elderly Citizens

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract The right to vote has been irrefutably established as one of the most treasured and fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens by the United States Constitution, and Wisconsin’s Act 23 (“Act 23”) violates this standard. In May 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed this act, which mandated that any person attempting to vote in person or… Read more

Citizenship In Name Only: The Coloring of Democracy While Redefining Rights, Liberties And Self Determination For The 21st Century

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract In recent times there has been an explosion of interest in the concept of citizenship. This renewed theoretical focus was sparked by voter ID statutes and jury obstruction. Defining the term “full citizenship” as it relates to African Americans has been a focus of controversy since the writing of the U.S. Constitution. Do African… Read more

Checking Out Of The Exception To 3-104: Why Parties Should Be Able to Negotiate Whether Checks Should Be Payable On Demand

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Obvious examples include inequities in our criminal justice system and in school funding. Much has been written on those and other topics. This article focuses on another example, specifically on how a sweeping change to an obscure banking rule regulating the check collection process has negatively affected consumers in general, and minority groups in… Read more

Race and Income Disparity: An Ideologiy-Neutral Approach To Reconciling Capitalism And Economic Justice

Published Jun 21, 2015

Abstract Income and wealth disparities along racial lines in the United States constitute a continuing threat to the political and democratic stability upon which the economy and government of the United States fundamentally depends. The quest for solutions to these economic disparities has thus far been frustrated by ideological battles between political groups and coalitions…. Read more