Thursday, July 4, 2013

Recent scholarship

Symposium: One Generation under Hazelwood: A 25-Year Retrospective on Student First Amendment Rights

Address by Erwin Chemerinsky; articles by Frank D. LoMonte, Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., Emily Gold Waldman and R. George Wright. 11 First Amend. L. Rev. 291-440 (2013). UNC Chapel Hill’s First Amendment Law Review held a symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of  Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1987). The symposium speakers were asked, among other things, if the decision in favor of school censorship affected young people’s civic readiness.

We have the power to make change: the role of community lawyering in challenging anti-Asian harassment at South Philadelphia High School

Cecilia Chen (Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellow, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights) and Andrew Leong (U. Mass. Boston), encourage legal educators to expose their students to community lawyering and values in We have the power to make change: the role of community lawyering in challenging anti-Asian harassment at South Philadelphia High School, 19 Asian Am. L.J. 61-115 (2012). Excerpted from the introduction:

This Article will explore the inner workings and philosophical differences of a community lawyering approach using the South Philadelphia High School ("SPHS") Anti-Harassment Campaign - where several students of different races were assaulted, racial epithets were used, physical and emotional scars were created, and the consequences were met with complete denial from school administrators. Asian immigrant students of Vietnamese and Chinese descent were the victims, not only of peer-on-peer harassment, but of a school system that deliberately turned a blind eye to the harassment taking place. What followed was a momentous grassroots campaign that drew national attention and galvanized a community. While there are many facets of this case that deserve exploration, this Article will limit its focus to the role and importance of "community lawyering" in empowering Asian immigrant youth and the broader community.

The Inevitable Irrelevance of Affirmative Action Jurisprudence

Leslie Yalof Garfield (Pace) discusses the potential impact of Fisher v. Univ. of Texas at Austin in her article (written before Fisher's release), 39 J.C. & U.L. 1 (2013). An excerpt from Professor Garfield's article:

Sadly, the current trend in post-secondary education to race to the top of the rankings combined with the increase in applications at most academic institutions is diametrically opposed to constructing a flexible, individualized, and therefore, constitutionally permissible race-preference program. Ensuring elite status by admitting students with the highest standardized test scores yields a racially homogenous entering class. The need for efficiency mandates that colleges and universities define a standardized test cutoff point for admission to their school, thereby decreasing the number of students whom the school must consider. Despite some reports to the contrary, school admissions boards remain unwilling or uninterested in removing themselves from the ratings game. For this reason, regardless of how the Court decides, Fisher will ultimately be inconsequential to school admissions decision-making and, therefore, will do little more than highlight the growing irrelevance of affirmative action jurisprudence.

The Wire and Alternative Stories of Law and Inequality

In The Wire and Alternative Stories of Law and Inequality, Robert C. Power (Widener-Harrisburg) examines the Supreme Court's educational funding decision in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1972) and how inequality was presented in the HBO series The Wire. Professor Power argues that the Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez failed to acknowledge some of the implications of the facts in the case and "[left] out some truths that are sometimes best explored through fiction."46 Ind. L. Rev. 425, 428 (2013). From Professor Power’s abstract:

This Article examines The Wire for what it says about inequality in the United States today and what society can do to bring about greater equality. [It] identifies several themes explored over the five seasons of the series-the failure of law enforcement in the inner city, the harsh life and inadequate education of impoverished children in such areas, and Baltimore as an example of inefficient and corrupt city government [and] reviews the Rodriguez case to consider the extent to which it defined the nature and scope of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause in terms of funding and providing public services. ...The Wire's ... stories stand as examples of inequality that are particularly corrosive to society [and the article identifies] possible responses to the unequal society portrayed in the series. ... The conclusion argues that The Wire reveals the need for legal reform, and the seven alternative approaches to action leave open the possibility of legal reform notwithstanding Rodriguez. Like The Wire, however, the Article recognizes that happy endings are rare and ephemeral. Even if the Court had ruled differently in Rodriguez, it is likely that the Baltimore of today would still be poor, dangerous, under-educated, and badly governed. Law can only do so much to equalize things. But it is necessary to try.


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