Racial Equality

President Trump has stereotyped and insulted many racial and ethnic groups in the United States, and has shown little concern for advancing racial equality in this nation.

Aiming the Bully Podium at Minority Communities

10/11/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Mark Joseph Stern: From the NFL to Puerto Rico to the impending ban on transgender troops, Trump uses his “free speech rights” to bully minority communities into silence.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

The NAACP is preparing to sue the Commerce Department over preparations for the 2020 census.

Honor Killings and the Travel Bans

10/4/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Anti-Muslim animus on the face of the second travel ban requires clear proof that the third one is free of such bigotry.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration continues to push for increased voter restrictions that restrict minorities' ability to vote. The argument that Congress has to “unambiguously” state funding conditions in the text of statutes could threaten protections imposed by regulation under Titles VI and IX.

Proving Intentional Discrimination, Redux

8/30/17  //  Commentary

Insights from a recent lawsuit about Arizona’s decision to force the Tucson Unified School District to eliminate its successful Mexican American Studies program

Charlotte Garden

Seattle University School of Law

The Problem(s) With The Arpaio Pardon

8/29/17  //  Commentary

Like so much of what Trump has done, the Arpaio pardon raises multiple challenges to our constitutional system.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Court Finds Discriminatory Purpose in Law Backed by Sessions DOJ

8/28/17  //  Commentary

DOJ's troubling shift on voting rights rightly failed to save a discriminatory Texas law

The Debate Over Confederate Monuments

8/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Why State Anti-Removal Laws are Oppressive and Unconstitutional

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

Robert W. Tuttle

George Washington University Law School

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary on President Trump's response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville continued.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

The violence in Charlottesville raises questions about the First Amendment and domestic terrorism. The President's responses drew sharp and widespread criticism from public officials and corporate leaders.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

The DOJ signaled its intention to initiate investigations targeting affirmative action programs.

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

The Legal Defense Fund filed a FOIA request seeking information on the Department of Education's policing of race- and disability-based discipline disparities in school.

The Unsettling Of Affirmative Action

8/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

DOJ’s investigation into Harvard’s affirmative action program is bigger than it looks (and it already looked big).

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The Sessions DOJ Turns a Blind Eye to Discrimination

3/22/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

In the landmark Texas Voter ID case, DOJ has begun its official retreat from the protection of minority voting rights. This is the wrong decision and an ominous sign for the future.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

No, Department of Justice, a Law Designed to Discriminate Against Minority Voters Should Not Remain on the Books

7/10/17  //  Commentary

In a challenge to Texas's strict voter ID law, DOJ has just turned its back on minority voters and victims of discrimination in Texas.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

Neo-Nazis, Wedding Cakes, and Compelled Speech

8/24/17  //  Commentary

Here I explore the interests asserted by GoDaddy and Google in denying service to neo-Nazis and their ilk. I then consider implications of my analysis for the pending Supreme Court case of Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

What President Trump Hasn’t Learned from the Rodney King Riots

5/2/17  //  Commentary

100 days in and 25 years after the unrest in Los Angeles, the Trump Administration is failing communities entitled to fair and just policing.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

What Happened on United Is Terrible, But What’s Going to Happen Everywhere Is Worse

4/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

The video of the United flight reveals more than just what happened. It also shows why DOJ oversight is so important.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

No Peeking? Korematsu and Judicial Credulity

3/22/17  //  Commentary

The Supreme Court's decision in the Japanese Internment Cases offers a chilling reminder of why courts cannot close their eyes to clear evidence of bigotry in executive orders supposedly justified by security concerns.

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Slavery and the Right to Travel Armed: A Short History Lesson

7/31/17  //  Commentary

By Saul Cornell: The opinion striking down D.C.'s gun law under the Second Amendment relies heavily on a selective culling of historical evidence—and a shocking ignorance of the most important facts about Anglo-American criminal law and its history.

Take Care

7 Ways Trump Plans to Transform the Civil Rights Division

5/30/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The president’s proposed budget reveals an intent to roll back protections for the most vulnerable members of society.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

The Problem with Palmer

5/7/17  //  Commentary

In its Muslim Ban brief, DOJ favorably cites Palmer v. Thompson (1971)—which allowed Jackson, Mississippi to close public pools rather than integrate them. The Fourth Circuit should question DOJ about this stunning citation and make clear that Palmer, an odious ruling, has no place in anti-discrimination law today.

John-Paul Schnapper-Casteras

The NAACP LDF, Inc.

Ten Minutes of History on: The Constitutionality of Funding HBCUs

5/12/17  //  Commentary

President Donald Trump is known for changing his political views after a ten-minute history lesson. In this continuing feature, I encourage the president to take a few minutes to learn about the historical background of things he says. This first edition, on his signing statement regarding HBCUs, concerns one of his favorite historical topics: A nineteenth-century general who saw the Civil War coming, was angry, and did something about it.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Allowing Felons to Vote Could Prevent Crime

7/27/17  //  Commentary

The case against felon disenfranchisement is overwhelming as a matter of public policy. This matters for the constitutional analysis.

Nancy Leong

Sturm College of Law

Pipelines, Presidents, and Policing Plenary Power

3/30/17  //  Commentary

The Trump Administration's recent reversal on the Dakota Access Pipeline can (and must) be carefully examined in court.

Seth Davis

U.C. Irvine School of Law

What's the Difference Between Confederate Leaders and Slave-owning Founding Fathers?

8/17/17  //  Commentary

We honor Washington and Jefferson despite the fact that they owned slaves, whereas memorials to the likes of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson honor them because they fought for a secessionist movement that had the preservation of slavery as its organizing principle.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

The Trump Administration May Already Have What It Needs for a Serviceable (and Unconstitutional) “Muslim Registry”

4/19/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump Administration may already have the tools it would need to predict with high accuracy the religious identity of a significant percentage of U.S. citizens and visiting Muslims. And software engineers, not lawyers, may be our first line of alarm and defense.

Animus, Past and Present

5/9/17  //  Commentary

In a new op-ed, Erwin Chemerinsky and I argue that the entry ban is unconstitutional because it was driven by animus toward Muslims.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump: Versus Kobach

7/20/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss the litigation against the newly-created Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that has Kansas Secretary of State—and repeat defendant in voting rights litigation—Kris Kobach as its now-infamous Vice Chair. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Kris Kobach is a Menace to Democracy. Boycott his Vote-Rigging Commission.

5/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

By Jed Shugerman. Trump is using the Comey firestorm as a smoke screen for a potentially more dangerous move: appointing Kris Kobach vice chair of a new “election integrity” commission, with Mike Pence as chair. Kobach will make it a voter-suppression/vote rigging commission, fomenting anti-immigrant and racist fears.

Take Care

District Court Holds that Texas Discriminated Against Minority Voters, Again.

4/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

Cutting-edge analysis by Gerry Hebert and Danielle Lang of yesterday's ruling that the controversial Texas Voter ID law was enacted with racially discriminatory intent.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

DOJ Begins to Turn Its Back on Policing Reform

4/4/17  //  Quick Reactions

AG Sessions’s eleventh-hour effort to avoid a consent decree in Baltimore is indefensible and unmistakably political. The court should not allow it.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

The Pence Policy And The Trump Administration’s Views on Anti-Discrimination

4/3/17  //  Commentary

Vice President Mike Pence’s policy of not dining with women is unconstitutional. It also suggests how far this administration will go to cut back on anti-discrimination law.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The Voting Rights Agenda Must Include Felon Reenfranchisement

7/10/17  //  Commentary

As disenfranchisement and voter suppression efforts are on the rise, one partial response is reenfranchisement.

Nancy Leong

Sturm College of Law

A Department of Justice, But For Whom?

4/7/17  //  Commentary

A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division simultaneously maintains that we live in a “post-racial world” and urges the Division to take measures that will disenfranchise people of color.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Echoes of History in Objections to Federal Enforcement of Voting Rights

4/21/17  //  Commentary

A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has some interesting parallels to a recent voting rights dissent.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump: The Voting Wars (Interview With Marc Elias)

8/17/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we have an interview about voting laws and litigation with former Hillary for America General Counsel and current voting rights superlawyer Marc Elias. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Resisting Calls for Illegal Hiring Practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

4/11/17  //  Commentary

Even in these strange and trying times, we would like to think that our Attorney General will follow the law while staffing the division of DOJ charged with realizing the Constitution’s promise of a democracy that’s worth a damn—one open to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Those Who Do Not Know History

4/12/17  //  Commentary

On the first full day of Passover, the Trump Administration offered several lessons about institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Reinvigorating Civil Rights in the Era of Trump

4/13/17  //  Commentary

Given the nativist overtones of his campaign and his administration’s signature policies — from the Muslim ban to an immigration crackdown that equates being a foreign-born minority with criminality — Trump has exploded the fiction that we live in a post-racial society.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment

3/16/17  //  Commentary

The president has continued existing policies, but also signaled a misplaced (and dangerous) reliance on immigration enforcement and incarceration to protect the public.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Mitch Landrieu and the Anti-Denigration Constitution

5/25/17  //  Commentary

Mitch Landrieu’s speech defending the removal of Confederate war monuments in the heart of New Orleans is an eloquent reminder that the Constitution forbids acts that subordinate or denigrate, whether in the context of religion, LGBT rights, or racial equality.

Richard C. Schragger

UVA School of Law

Micah Schwartzman

University of Virginia School of Law

Nelson Tebbe

Brooklyn Law School

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's proposed budget would significantly hurt people of color.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

On Monday, a federal judge in Texas found discriminatory purpose behind the Texas Voter ID law. On Take Care, Joshua Matz and Leah Litman argued that the Trump Administration's plans for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division raise grave concerns. Nikolas Bowie explained that the internal review of the Civil Rights Division's consent decrees threatens its value as an unbiased source. Danielle Lang noted that courts are still rooting out racial discrimination behind state laws relating to districting and voter identification, despite a shift by the Department of Justice.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump’s statements questioning the constitutionality of providing federal funding to historically black colleges and universities could seriously threaten these institutions.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a nationwide review of consent decrees implemented to curb civil rights abuses. Chiraag Bains offered analysis of the Department of Justice's request to delay a hearing on a consent decree regarding the Baltimore police force.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

Multiple race- and religion-related hate incidents this week highlight the sharp rise of hate in the Trump era.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17