Mitch Landrieu and the Anti-Denigration Constitution
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.
Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017
President Trump’s statements questioning the constitutionality of providing federal funding to historically black colleges and universities could seriously threaten these institutions.
Ten Minutes of History on: The Constitutionality of Funding HBCUs
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.
Kris Kobach is a Menace to Democracy. Boycott his Vote-Rigging Commission.
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.
Animus, Past and Present
In a new op-ed, Erwin Chemerinsky and I argue that the entry ban is unconstitutional because it was driven by animus toward Muslims.
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
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.
Reinvigorating Civil Rights in the Era of Trump
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.
Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017
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.
No Peeking? Korematsu and Judicial Credulity
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.
The Problem with Palmer
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.
A Department of Justice, But For Whom?
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.
Resisting Calls for Illegal Hiring Practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division
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.
Those Who Do Not Know History
On the first full day of Passover, the Trump Administration offered several lessons about institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing.
Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment
The president has continued existing policies, but also signaled a misplaced (and dangerous) reliance on immigration enforcement and incarceration to protect the public.