Pinkwashing the Supreme Court
The Court’s LGBTQ rulings should not distract from the broader trajectory of its jurisprudence in favor of the privileged.
Versus Trump: Easha's Back, To Talk Qualified Immunity and Police Reform
On this week’s Versus Trump, Easha Anand makes her triumphant return to talk qualified immunity and police reform. The trio talk about the proposal to reform qualified immunity and debate whether that will do much. They then break down other new legal innovations in the various proposals and ask: is it enough to create new grounds for people to sue? Or are other reforms more important? Listen now!
Rucho and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act
The Court’s decision in Rucho will have profound and disastrous implications for the 2020 redistricting cycle and beyond. But it may also foreshadow the endgame for Section 2
Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017
President Trump's Muslim ban echoes Japanese internment in the U.S. during World War II, and the Supreme Court should not make the same mistake today. The Education Department is proposing to delay by two years an Obama-era rule that would push states to ensure that students of color are not over-represented in special education and put in programs because of racial bias.
Update | The Week of November 27, 2017
President Trump shared videos from a fringe British ultranationalist party purportedly showing Muslims committing acts of violence. The tax bill poses a serious threat to diversity in academia.
Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017
DOJ announced plans to investigate Harvard's admissions policies. Attorney General Sessions indicated that DOJ will no longer offer binding administrative guidance to any groups or entities aside from executive agencies.
Updates | The Week of October 16
A lawsuit filed against the organizers of the Charlottesville rally is a serious suit and deserves to be covered as such. The FBI may be scrutinizing activities of black activists.
Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017
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.
The Travel Ban and Inter-Branch Conflict
The real problem is the Trump Administration itself. What feels like damage today is largely the echo of damage that already happened, rather than something new.
Michigan’s Discriminatory Work Requirements
Michigan legislators want to exempt rural residents from Medicaid work requirements, but not extend the same accommodation to people who live in cities. The racial disparities are obvious—and unlawful.
In increasingly vile and shocking ways, Trump has proven himself an unreformed racist on the model of the authors of Massive Resistance.
Neo-Nazis, Wedding Cakes, and Compelled Speech
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.
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.
Slavery and the Right to Travel Armed: A Short History Lesson
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.
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.
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.
Trump’s Newest Attack on the Rule of the Law
Trump isn’t just reckless, and he doesn’t just seem to think he is above the law. He has an authoritarian’s hostility to the very idea of a principled inquiry into the truth.
A Lone Star Bail-in?
Key takeaways from the briefs in the ongoing litigation to "bail-in" Texas under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act
Versus Trump: Ask Charlie About The Census
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason asks Charlie to take us through the mammothly long, massively important opinion from the Southern District of New York invalidating the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Listen now!
Disparate Impact and the Administrative Procedure Act
The Supreme Court has held that there's no private right of action to enforce Title VI. But the civil rights laws can still form the basis of a challenge to a waiver allowing states to impose work requirements.
Reproductive Rights and Justice
The story of reproductive justice extends far beyond courts and involves all the conditions in which individuals make decisions about having and not having children
Key Context for Trump's Rhetoric About Immigrants
President Trump's rhetoric draw upon a familiar narrative that pathologizes immigration and immigrant reproduction as a threat while protecting and supporting the nation’s “good” mothers, families, and neighborhood
What’s the Price of Tolerance?
Robust protection of speech does not require gutting laws that help ensure that all persons—regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation—can buy the good and services they desire, free from discrimination.
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.
Versus Trump: Versus Kobach
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!
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.
Versus Trump: The Citizenship Question
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Easha discuss lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration's decision to ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Borderline Searches + Response To First Mondays
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss a new lawsuit that forces courts to answer the question of whether the federal government needs a warrant to search people's electronic devices at the U.S. border, and they also respond to a discussion on the Supreme Court podcast First Mondays regarding the government's recent filing in the Hargan v. Garza abortion case. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Trump Versus Facebook
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about an unusual and surprising case where the Trump Administration has filed a brief in support of fair housing advocates who have sued Facebook for its part in enabling discriminatory advertising. Listen now!
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.
Proving Intentional Discrimination, Redux
Insights from a recent lawsuit about Arizona’s decision to force the Tucson Unified School District to eliminate its successful Mexican American Studies program
Versus Trump: N.Y. Versus Wilbur Ross
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about the fight over Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's potential testimony in an important lawsuit over the census. Listen now!
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.
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.
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.
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 July 10, 2017
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.
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.
Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017
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 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.
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.