Thursday, February 17, 2022

Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia & Margaret Hu, Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women, U. Colorado L. Rev., forthcoming.

The Page Act of 1875 excluded Asian women immigrants from entering the United States, presuming they were prostitutes. This presumption was tragically replicated in the 2021 Atlanta Massacre of six Asian and Asian American women, reinforcing the same harmful prejudices. This Article seeks to illuminate how the Atlanta Massacre is symbolic of larger forms of discrimination, including the harms of decitizenship. These harms include limited access to full citizenship rights due to legal barriers, restricted cultural and political power, and a lack of belonging. The Article concludes that these harms result from the structure of past and present immigration laws and enforcement policies that, though initially targeting Asian women, now result in discrimination more broadly against Asian Pacific American (APA) women. The marginalization of this community, and the degrading stereotypes integrated within this marginalization, are designed to decitizenize. This Article illustrates how decitizenizing processes that are uniquely aimed at APA women can lead to the justification and excusal of legal and social discrimination.

February 17, 2022 in Legal History, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 7, 2022

Jordan Woods on "Destabilizing Policing's Masculinity Project"

Jordan Blair Woods has published Destabilizing Policing’s Masculinity Project in volume 89 of the George Washington Law Review. The abstract summarizes: 

In the wake of national calls for police reform and nationwide protests of police killings of unarmed people of color, and unarmed Black men in particular, there is a renewed focus on the relationship between masculinity and police violence. This Article, prepared for a symposium on “Addressing the Crisis in Policing Today: Race, Masculinity, and Police Use of Force in America,” evaluates how scholars inside and outside of law have approached issues of masculinity and police violence. The analysis places special emphasis on where these approaches leave us in terms of police reform. As discussed, how police-civilian encounters relate to the social construction of gender and the enactment of masculinity are major focal points of recent literature on masculinity and police violence. From this perspective, interventions are geared towards negating gender hierarchies through processes of professional resocialization and degendering that aim to replace dominant masculinist cultural norms with antimasculinist ones. When adopted for the specific purpose of changing masculinist police culture, antimasculinist officer training and enhanced diversity recruitment (especially aimed at enhancing gender diversity) are noteworthy examples of these professional re-socialization strategies.

 

This Article aims to incite a conversation about moving discussions of masculinity and policing to a different plane. It evaluates the limits of social constructionist views of masculinity in policing contexts, and more specifically, the types of police reforms that follow from those views. To accomplish these goals, this Article looks outside the field of law to the discipline of criminology. As discussed, criminology is a useful comparative space to consider masculinity issues because for over a century the field has been concerned with its own “sex question” about crime, which revolves around the acknowledgment that most known criminal offenders, especially violent offenders, are men. Looking to literature outside of law, this Article argues that critical theoretical frameworks that move beyond the sex/gender distinction, such as those in postmodern feminism and queer theory, offer promise to dismantle gender hierarchies in policing on a deeper level through discursive and political strategies that challenge basic assumptions about the existing order and structure of contemporary policing. Although this Article is exploratory and invites further reflection and development, its analysis reveals the value in continually scrutinizing and reevaluating the discursive and political strategies in policing’s masculinity project.

 

 

February 7, 2022 in Gender, Masculinities, Race, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Study Shows that Women and Non-White Judges are Substantially More Likely to Rule in Favor of Plaintiff Reaching Discovery

Stephen Burbank & Sean Farhang, Politics, Identity, and Pleadings Decisions on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, U Penn. L. Rev. (forthcoming

 We report the results of an empirical study of appeals from rulings on motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly and Iqbal. ***

In our random sample of cases, we find that panels with women and non-white judges are substantially more likely to rule in favor of a plaintiff reaching discovery in other civil rights claims, an important and cross-cutting civil rights category amounting to a quarter of 12(b)(6) appeals in our data, but that race and gender are insignificant outside that substantive area. Party is insignificant across the board in the random sample.

The results are different when the panel is making law. In precedential cases, we find that Democratic panels were significantly more likely to decide in favor of plaintiffs in non-civil rights claims. We also find that panels with one woman were more likely to decide precedential other civil rights claims in favor of plaintiffs, and that panels with two women (but not one) were more likely to do so in non-civil rights claims.

Our results for gender contradict conventional wisdom in the literature that women judges’ preferences differ from men’s only in cases implicating discrimination. They add to evidence suggesting the possibility that procedural law affecting access to justice may itself be a policy domain in which women have different (more pro-access) preferences that extend beyond discrimination claims. Gender, alone among the judge characteristics we study, is significant in both random sample and precedential-only models, and in both civil rights and non-civil rights models, revealing a distinctive propensity among women on the Courts of Appeal to support plaintiffs’ access to discovery.

Finally, significant variation in our results across the random sample and precedential cases highlights the risk of error in drawing general inferences from either significant or null results in precedential cases—general inferences that are widespread in the literature on the Courts of Appeals.

February 3, 2022 in Courts, Gender, Judges, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Biden's Commitment to a Black Woman Supreme Court Justice Was Necessary

Why President Biden's Commitment to a Black Woman Supreme Court Justice Was Necessary

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement announcement is not even one week old, yet Republican senators and prominent conservatives are already attacking Biden’s unnamed nominee. Instead of celebrating the president’s historic commitment to picking the nation’s first Black woman justice, conservatives have already made up their minds that Biden’s choice of a Black woman makes her automatically unqualified.***

The answer has little to do with Black women’s qualifications to serve on the highest court in the land. For the first 100 years of our country’s history, women and people of color couldn’t even attend law school. The first female federal judge was only appointed in 1928. The first Black federal judge was only appointed in 1949. The first Black woman federal judge was only appointed in 1966. And by 2020, there had still only ever been eight Black women to serve on the courts of appeals—a traditional prerequisite for a seat on the Supreme Court.

That systematic exclusion of Black women lawyers from the judiciary has clearly conditioned many conservatives to believe that there are no Black women good enough to be a Supreme Court justice. The nation is about to learn just how wrong they are.

 

February 3, 2022 in Judges, Race, SCOTUS, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Hierarchy, Race & Gender in Legal Scholarly Networks

Hierarchy, Race & Gender in Legal Scholarly Networks

Keerthana Nunna - University of Michigan Law School

W. Nicholson Price II - University of Michigan Law School

Jonathan Tietz - University of Michigan Law School

A potent myth of legal academic scholarship is that it is mostly meritocratic and that it is mostly solitary. Reality is more complicated. In this Article, we plumb the networks of knowledge co-production in legal academia by analyzing the star footnotes that appear at the beginning of most law review articles. Acknowledgements paint a rich picture of both the currency of scholarly credit and the relationships among scholars. Building on others’ prior work characterizing the potent impact of hierarchy, race, and gender in legal academia more generally, we examine the patterns of scholarly networks and probe the effects of those factors. The landscape we illustrate is depressingly unsurprising in basic contours but awash in details. Hierarchy, race, and gender all have substantial impacts on who gets acknowledged and how, what networks of knowledge co-production get formed, and who is helped on their path through the legal academic world.

The traditional myth is that legal scholarship is largely meritocratic and largely solitary. Under such a view, what gets you ahead is simply a good idea: a head-turning paper that generates a whirlwind of citations and chatter with its brilliance. Under such a view, demographic considerations like an author’s race, gender, and academic pedigree should matter little in the marketplace of ideas. That myth may comfort those who ended up atop the tower, but it is belied by reality. Hierarchy, race, and gender matter to a legal academic’s success; they matter to the acceptance of her ideas; they matter to her own experience. Against a rich backdrop of theoretical and qualitative work examining these issues, we present here a quantitative study of one way to observe the impact of hierarchy, race, and gender: the acknowledgements sections of law review footnotes, and what they can tell us about legal scholarly networks.

The author footnote—variously known as the star, dagger, biographical, vanity, or bug footnote—gives a peek into who contributed (nominally, at least) to the intellectual product that is the final, published law review article. They provide small, partial portraits of the author’s professional and social networks. Taken in the aggregate, these footnotes give a peek (cloudy, to be sure) into the underlying relationships, interactions, and social networks that make up legal academia. And we can examine that picture for signs of the impact of hierarchy, race, and gender to see whether they show up in a quantitatively observable fashion. (Spoiler alert: they do.)

Here, we examine the star footnotes for nearly 30,000 law review articles published in generalist law journals over about a decade. We probe who acknowledges whom; how school rank matters; and what racial and gender based disparities exist in who gets asked, or who gets credit (it’s hard to tell) for feedback in scholarly papers. Not to hide the ball: we find that authors tend to acknowledge scholars from peer schools, most of all their own school, but also to typically acknowledge folks from somewhat fancier schools. We find that men are acknowledged more than women and nonbinary scholars, and white scholars more than scholars of color. We examine intersectional effects, which are complex; read on to find out more. One bright spot here: networks of scholars of color appear to be particularly robust.

 

February 1, 2022 in Education, Gender, Law schools, Race, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 31, 2022

Can Criminal Justice Reform Measures Help Halt Police Sexual Assault on Black Women?

Michelle S. Jacobs has published Sometimes They Don't Die: Can Criminal Justice Reform Measures Help Halt Police Sexual Assault on Black Women in Volume 44 of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. Here is the abstract: 

In the eighteen months between March 2019 and August 2020, at least eight Black women were murdered by the police. Breonna Taylor was one of them. Officer Brett Hankison, one of the three officers who murdered Breonna Taylor, was eventually discharged from the Louisville Police Department. In the memo discharging him, the police chief cited behavior that amounted to an extreme indifference to the value of human life: Hankison blindly fired ten rounds into the home of Ms. Taylor's neighbor. Additionally, in the aftermath of Ms. Taylor's death, two women came forward and accused Hankison of sexually assaulting them while he was in uniform. Breonna Taylor's case highlights the intersection of police violence and sexual violence against Black women. Police who are accused of brutal violence often have histories of misconduct, with numerous complaints from civilians. For many women, the police misconduct is sexual assault. The women don't die, but the assault strips away their dignity and sense of security.

This paper will challenge the belief that police sexual misconduct is an infrequent, hidden crime. In fact, it is a common occurrence and is allowed to continue in most police departments. Both adult women and children are victims of police sexual misconduct. The unwillingness of federal and state authorities to tackle this issue forced researchers and journalists to create their own databases of police officers who commit crimes, including sexual misconduct.

Our nation is primed to tackle the issue of police reform in a way it has not been in recent years.This paper will argue that unless police reform efforts look beyond a narrow, male-centered understanding of police violence, the opportunity to create reform that helps protect Black women from police sexual misconduct will be lost.

January 31, 2022 in Race, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

CFP Symposium State Violence and Womxn - Defining the Reaches of Modern Policing

California Western School of Law, State Violence and Womxn: Defining the Reaches of Modern Policing

TOPIC SUMMARY

The protests against police killings during the summer of 2020 emphasized that race plays a critical role in understanding the nature of state-sanctioned violence. To date, much of the conversation regarding such violence has focused on Black and Latinx men. Nevertheless, there is much to be said about the topic as it relates to race and gender, particularly with respect to cis-women of color and trans women. Moreover, discussions regarding this issue often center around the actions of police, despite such violence also appearing in various law enforcement contexts such as, but not limited to, within prison walls and at border crossings.

To this end, the California Western Law Review is hosting a virtual symposium on March 24, 2022, for the purpose of facilitating a comprehensive discussion on the topic of state-inflicted violence against cis-women of color and trans women in various law enforcement contexts. Ultimately, the goals of the symposium are to identify and bring awareness to critical legal issues underlying this topic and to consider the possibility of positive change for all womxn by adapting current law enforcement practices to incorporate features of restorative justice.

Registration and additional symposium details are forthcoming.


CALL FOR PAPERS

The Law Review Symposium Committee invites those interested in participating in the symposium to submit an abstract that introduces an article (hereinafter “manuscript”) related to the topic described above to be published in the symposium issue of the California Western Law Review.

Abstract Due Date: February 7, 2022
Final Paper Due Date: May 2, 2022

Abstract submissions should include:

  • The title of the submitted manuscript;

  • 300 to 500-word abstract that discusses the proposed symposium topic and outlines the contents of the paper;

  • The name and email address of the author;

  • The curriculum vitae of the author; and

  • A statement indicating whether the author would like their topic to be considered as a featured topic* for a discussion panel at the symposium.
    *Please see below for more details regarding discussion panel topics.

Final Manuscript Requirements:

  • 10,000 maximum word limit (approximately 20 single-spaced pages);

  • Citations must be contained in footnotes and conform to the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System

    of Citation;

  • Manuscripts should be timely and provide an original in-depth analysis of the topic above;

  • The title page should include the author’s full name, their academic/professional affiliations, and complete contact

    information where correspondence can be made.

Featured Topics for Discussion Panels:

The symposium will feature three discussion panels, each consisting of no more than three panelists. To determine the topic for each panel, the committee will select four abstracts/manuscripts to be featured as discussion topics. The respective authors will also be invited to participate as panelists for the panel that features their topic.

Author-speakers will receive an honorarium for their contributions.

Prior to the symposium, the four authors will submit a “Symposium Draft” consisting of a general overview of the author’s ideas to be featured in their manuscript as well as potential talking points. This document will be provided to the moderator and fellow panelists for reading. The reason for this is to ensure robust and consistent dialogue during each panel. As a result, the authors and audience members alike will benefit from the overall discussion and engagement that follows. Moreover, all authors will have the opportunity to revisit their manuscripts with potentially new insights and ideas to incorporate in their final drafts due May 2, 2022.

How to Submit:

Please submit abstracts to jacisneros@law.cwsl.edu or with “State Violence and Womxn” in the subject line.


January 26, 2022 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Virtual Town Hall on Black Maternal Health, Jan. 19th at 4:00 EST

Join the ERA Coalition on Wednesday, January 19th at 4:00 for a town hall focused on "prioritizing Black mothers in the fight for health equity, and the ways forward."

Speakers include 

  • Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Il), Co-Chair, Black Maternal Health Caucus
  • Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), Co-Chair Black Maternal Health Caucus
  • Breanna Lipscomb, Senior Advisor of Maternal Health & Rights, Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Charles Johnson, Founder, 4 Kira 4 Moms
  • Linda Villarosa, Writer on Black maternal health, NYT Magazine

 

January 17, 2022 in Healthcare, Pregnancy, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sexual Exploitation and the Adultified Black Girl

Mikah K. Thompson has published Sexual Exploitation and the Adultified Black Girl in volume 94 of the St. John's Law Review (2022). The abstract is here: 

Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of entertainers Sean “Jay Z” Carter and Beyoncé Knowles Carter, celebrated her eighth birthday in January of 2020. To commemorate the occasion, Blue’s grandfather, Matthew Knowles, posted a picture of Blue on Instagram. Fans and journalists alike marveled that Blue looked so much like her famous mother, and many noted that she looked much older in the photograph. E! News tweeted Blue’s picture along with a question: “Can someone please explain to us when Blue Ivy became an adult?” The post went viral, and many people criticized E! News for referring to eight-year-old Blue as an adult, with some arguing that blurring the line between childhood and adulthood “ ‘perpetuates pedophilia.’ ” Others asserted that referring to a Black girl as an adult is especially dangerous because it reinforces the perception that Black girls are adult-like. E! News eventually deleted the tweet.

A recent research study confirms that society tends to view Black girls as older and more adult-like than they actually are. Thus, E! News’ description of Blue Ivy may reflect a larger problem that can have devastating effects for Black girls. This piece asserts that a two-tiered justice system exists for victims of sexual exploitation depending on their race. As we commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted white women the right to vote but kept Black women disenfranchised, we must address the racial disparities that persist among girls and women today.

Part I of this piece describes adultification bias, a societal phenomenon that can result in the unfair treatment of Black girls who experience sexual exploitation, including statutory rape. Part II discusses the traditional and contemporary policy reasons that underpin the nation’s statutory rape laws. Part II also defines reasonable mistake of age, an affirmative defense to a charge of statutory rape, and addresses the effectiveness of the defense where the alleged victim is an adultified Black girl. Part III of this piece examines the policy reasons that support the continued use of the mistake of age defense when the alleged victim is a teenager and the alleged offender a minor or a young adult. Part III concludes with my proposal for the enactment of a limited mistake of age defense that would be available to young defendants who may be more likely to overestimate the age of any sexual partner but unavailable to defendants who are significantly older than their alleged victims. This proposal increases protections for the adultified Black girl while recognizing the sexual autonomy of teen girls and avoiding the potential weaponization of statutory rape laws against young Black defendants.

January 17, 2022 in Race, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 10, 2022

Doulas Supporting Black Oklahomans to Improve Health Outcomes

The Frontier published a news story by Kassie McClung titled In Oklahoma, Black families turn to doulas for better births.  The article explains that:

Black Oklahomans are turning to doulas as a way to combat the disproportionately high rates of adverse health outcomes among Black Americans.  

 

Oklahoma reported the fourth-highest rate of maternal mortality in the country in 2018, and Black women die of pregnancy-related complications at a rate more than 60 percent higher than that of white Oklahomans. The crisis is closely tied to infant mortality. Black infants in Oklahoma are more than twice as likely as white infants to die before their first birthday. * * * Research shows that patients with continuous labor support were less likely to have C-sections or use pain medications. Those who delivered babies with doulas also experienced fewer labor complications and were less likely to have babies with low birth weights, researchers have found. 

 

Medicaid programs in at least four states — Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey and Florida — already cover doula services, and many states have passed legislation to offer Medicaid reimbursements for services or launched pilot programs in recent years. At least 20 states introduced legislation related to the issue in 2021, according to the National Health Law Program. But Oklahoma lawmakers haven’t authored similar bills, and the state has just begun to take preliminary steps to expand access to doula services, despite higher death rates among Black mothers in the state.  * * * 

 

Almost 70 percent of the women who died between 2009 and 2017 were covered by Medicaid, according to the state’s Maternal Mortality Review committee. 

 

 
 

January 10, 2022 in Healthcare, Pregnancy, Race, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 27, 2021

Hair Rules: Race, Gender, and Stigmatization in Schools

Patricia A. Banks has published Hair Rules: Race, Gender, and Stigmatization in Schools in Volume 25 of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change. The abstract summarizes: 

As laws banning racial hair discrimination in schools are proposed across the United States, it is increasingly important to understand how grooming policies can stigmatize students. This essay engages social science theory and research on stigmatization and the case of Arnold v. Barbers Hill Independent School District to investigate the cultural constructions of male students who wear long locs. Drawing on content analysis of court documents around this Texas lawsuit involving two black male cousins who were disciplined in school because of refusing to cut their locs, I examine how school officials justified the school district’s hair rules through associating the defendants’ hairstyle with a range of stigmatizing attributes. The conclusion considers the potential for this court case, as well as hair discrimination legislation, to mitigate the stigmatization of boys who wear long locs, long braids, and long twists. I argue that to fully address the stigmatization of boys who wear these styles, laws and policies must be attentive to race as well as gender.

December 27, 2021 in Constitutional, Education, Gender, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Black Women and Girls and the Twenty-Sixth Amendment

Mae Quinn, Black Women & Girls and the Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Constitutional Connections, Activist Intersections, and the First Wave Youth Suffrage Movement, 43 Seattle L. 1237 (2020).

On this 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment—and on the cusp of the fiftieth anniversary of the Twenty-sixth Amendment—this article seeks to expand the voting rights canon. It complicates our understanding of voting rights history in the United States, adding layers to the history of federal constitutional enfranchisement and encouraging a more intersectional telling of our suffrage story in the days ahead.

 

Thus, this work not only seeks to acknowledge the Twenty-sixth Amendment as important constitutional content; it also expands upon the historical sections in that work to draw connections among different civil rights movements and move beyond the limited dualistic narratives that have been offered to date regarding suffrage in this country. Although there is much more to learn and tell, this Article advances the important ongoing project of lifting up and celebrating the multilayered identities and contributions of Black women and girls who impacted United States youth enfranchisement—including Diane Nash, Carolyn Quilloin, and Philomena Queen.

December 22, 2021 in Constitutional, Legal History, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 20, 2021

Report on the Impacts of Racism and Colonialism on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

The International Center for Research on Women published its report titled Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice: A Closer Look at the Historical Impacts of Racism & Colonialism. The key findings include: 

Global racial justice is inextricably linked to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality. Histories of slavery and colonialism have shaped our current public and global health system and its existing hierarchies – all rooted in multiple and intersecting forms of exclusion.

Efforts to advance SRHR should incorporate a reproductive justice lens to address the structural impacts of slavery and colonialism that are linked to negative health outcomes and disruptions in access to affordable quality care. This history has shaped restrictive abortion policies and programs and has been linked to population control and non-rights based family planning.

* * * 

Our review of current literature on global health and racial justice demonstrates that a reproductive justice lens is a critical component in advancing SRHR and gender equality. As access to safe abortion and critical sexual and reproductive health services are increasingly disrupted and politicized, it is imperative that the U.S. Government and SRHR sector integrates intersectionality in funding and policy decisions and reverse harms done domestically and globally.

December 20, 2021 in Healthcare, Pregnancy, Race, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Podcast Unsung History, Suffragist Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Unsung History: Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Cover for Unsung History

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was born in China in 1896 but lived most of her life in the United States, where, due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, she had no path to naturalization until the law changed in 1943. Even though it would not benefit her for decades, Mabel Lee worked for women’s suffrage, leading the New York City Suffrage Parade on horseback at the age of only 16. Lee was the first Chinese woman to earn a PhD in Economics in the United States, graduating from Columbia University in 1921 with a dissertation entitled: “The Economic History of China: With Special Reference to Agriculture,” and then spent her life helping the Chinese community in New York City through her work with as director of the First Chinese Baptist Church of New York City. 

Joining me to help us learn more about Mabel Lee is Dr. Cathleen Cahill, Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University and author of the 2020 book Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement.

December 15, 2021 in Books, Legal History, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Florida law school creates Ben Crump social justice center with goal of increasing racial and gender diversity in the profession

Florida law school creates Ben Crump social justice center

A South Florida law school on Thursday announced the creation of a social justice center named after Ben Crump, the Black civil rights attorney who has gained national prominence representing victims of police brutality and vigilante violence.

The Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice, housed at the St. Thomas University College of Law in Miami Gardens, aims to nurture the next generation of civil rights lawyers while also pushing more racial and gender diversity in the legal profession, school officials told The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.

. . .

As a past president of the National Bar Association, the largest network of predominantly Black attorneys and judges, Crump said civil rights and social justice lawyering isn't seen as a lucrative area of practice for aspiring attorneys. He said he hopes that lending his name to the center inspires law school students to consider social justice as a worthy, career-long pursuit.

December 7, 2021 in Education, Gender, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 3, 2021

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - Intersectionality's Role

Jamillah Bowman Williams, Maximizing #MeToo: Intersectionality & the Movement, 62 B.C. L. Rev. 1797 (2021).

This article addresses the intersectionality of identities in the context of sexual harassment, and how the failure to recognize the impact of this intersection results in responses to sexual harassment in the workplace that do not adequately protect women of color.  “Given the high rate at which women of color experience harassment and assault, the unique types of racialized sex harassment they experience, and the compounded forms of structural disadvantage they face in a range of domains, it is particularly important for anti-discrimination law to address their concerns.”  This is because, “the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism” and thus legal and social frameworks to address sexual harassment must “acknowledge the complex and overlapping web of racism and sexism.”  For example, current Title VII forces plaintiffs to choose whether to bring their discrimination case “because of race” or “because of sex” but not both, and “[e]mpirical research has found that plaintiffs bringing intersectional claims are less than half as likely as plaintiffs bringing single claims to win their cases.” Social reform movements have similarly fallen short.

Given broad access to social media, lower barriers to participation, and increased demands for an intersectional approach to feminism, #MeToo had the potential to have very inclusive participation across demographics, strong alliances, and coalitions, but the movement has fallen short of this opportunity.  The experiences of white affluent, and educated women have dominated the narrative with a focus on bringing down high-profile assailants [ ].

In response, Professor Williams proposes legal reform, organizational reform, and cultural reform to address the failure to account for intersectionality in the current response to sexual harassment.  “This strategy will benefit all victims of harassment and is particularly critical for women of color.”  Professor Williams warns that absent these “significant organizational and cultural changes, proposed legal remedies will continue to fail.”

December 3, 2021 in Equal Employment, Gender, Race, Women lawyers, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 29, 2021

Women of Color in Immigration Enforcement

Kit Johnson has posted her recent article on SSRN, Women of Color in Immigration EnforcementThis article was just published in volume 21 of the Nevada Law Journal 997 (2021). The article makes several important findings about gender diversity in immigration enforcement: 

Immigration enforcement agencies do not employ large numbers of female agents. The majority of female agents, however, are women of color. This is consistent with the remarkable diversity of immigration enforcement agencies. Women of color have the potential to benefit immigration enforcement agencies. Such agents have unique skills and abilities that can enhance their work, their engagement with the migrants they police, and the growth of agencies they operate within. Yet women of color also face barriers to their recruitment and retention that tie to their training, work, and workplace culture. DHS has been taking steps to diversify its law enforcement ranks. But it can do more. Just looking at the issues outlined in this Essay, the agency could: establish a daycare at the Artesia training center; eliminate training requirements that rest on upper-body strength if not a necessary component of immigration enforcement work; actively oversee training to expose and eliminate any sexist behavior by trainers; and aggressively work to end misogynist culture within the agency. All would make immigration enforcement agencies more welcoming to women of color, and that, in turn, could benefit the agencies. Finally, this Essay has led me to conclude that there is a real need for empirical focused on women of color in immigration enforcement, particularly within the OFO and ICE. It is my hope that this Essay may spark further investigation.

 

November 29, 2021 in Equal Employment, Race, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Race AND Gender AND Policing

Race AND Gender AND Policing

By: Stewart Chang, Frank Rudy Cooper, Addie Rolnick

Published in: Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2021

This title of this Introduction to the Nevada Law Journal’s symposium on Race AND Gender AND Policing, is not a typographical or grammatical error. It conceives of race and gender and policing as intersectional in the strong sense of being co-constituted concepts wherein each element mutually constructs the meaning of each of the others in a never-ending circuit. The purported threat of crime by blacks has long been racialized so that black men are the threat, white women are the protected, white men are the protectors, and black women are left unprotected. Only when race AND gender AND policing are considered together—tied to one another not so much as points on a triangle converging towards the center, but instead coexisting on the same planar continuum—does the picture become significantly clearer.

To demonstrate the utility of this approach, this article looks at a series of contemporary threats of white-on-black violence. We begin with “white-caller-crime,” in which white women like Amy Cooper use calls to 9-1-1 to threaten blacks with police violence, as in the case of Christian Cooper. We then examine how police officers use their authority to sexually assault civilians, particularly cisgender and transgender women of color, such as in the stories of Jannie Ligons and an anonymous transgender woman. We continue on to other situations that turn deadly because the now predominant proactive form of policing leads to unnecessary encounters with blacks that sometimes turn violent, such as in the stories of Sandra Bland and Elijah McClain. Our analysis of the cycle of policing violence then turns to encounters where the police use overwhelming force to enter black homes, and black women are killed as collateral damage, as was the case with Breonna Taylor and Charleena Lyles. Only then do we finally assess stories like George Floyd’s, where black men’s assumed dangerousness is used to justify subduing them with deadly force. We note, however, how this type of police violence has private parallels, such as in the case of the stalking and killing of Ahmaud Arbery, again based on assumed dangerousness of black men. In this way, white private actors feel empowered to defend their property with deadly force and are shielded from prosecution in much the same way police officers are, as in the initial lack of justice in the case of Black Lives Matter protester James Scurlock. Our understanding of these incidents does not end there, though, as the aforementioned white-caller crime is another means of private violence against blacks, and it also reinitiates this cycle of policing violence.

We say all of this to demonstrate that policing’s involvement in the maintenance of race-gender hierarchy is larger in scope than has traditionally been portrayed. Our case studies show that policing should be understood as anti-black, but anti-blackness should itself be understood as co-constituted with the meanings of whiteness in general and white womanhood in particular. Harkening back to the Kerner Commission, we call for a new perspective on race and gender and policing. We conclude by proudly describing the nine essays in this symposium, which both critique the present and provide an outline for a better future.

November 16, 2021 in Gender, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 15, 2021

Critical Lawyering

Laila L. Hlass and Lindsay M. Harris have posted their article Critical Lawyering published in the 2021 volume of the Utah Law Review. The abstract previews the article's powerful contributions to pedagogy and theory.   

Critical lawyering—also at times called rebellious, community, and movement lawyering—attempts to further social justice alongside impacted communities. While much has been written about the contours of this form of lawyering and case examples illustrating core principles, little has been written about the mechanics of teaching critical lawyering skills. This Article seeks to expand critical lawyering theory, and in doing so, provide an example of a pedagogical approach to teaching what we term “critical interviewing.” Critical interviewing means using an intersectional lens to collaborate with clients, communities, interviewing partners, and interpreters in a legal interview. Critical interviewers identify and take into account historical and structural biases, privileges, and the role they play in the attorney-client relationship. This Article urges law professors and legal professionals to operationalize critical legal theories into practice, and ultimately to develop experiential pedagogies to teach these critical lawyering skills. This call to developing new pedagogies is particularly urgent in the wake of nationwide uprisings in response to the killing of George Floyd and others, as well as corresponding law schools’ commitments to identify and dismantle institutional racism. In this Article, we first set forth the contours of the canonical client interviewing pedagogy. Second, we outline the tenets of critical lawyering—a lawyering practice animated by critical legal theories. Next, we advance the pedagogy of critical interviewing, building upon client-centered lawyering texts. We describe one methodology of teaching critical interviewing: the Legal Interviewing and Language Access films. Ideally positioned to use with virtual, hybrid, or in person learning, these videos raise a multitude of issues, including addressing bias and collaborating with clinic partners, interpreters, and clients. Finally, the Article considers areas ripe for further exploration within critical interviewing, concluding with a call for engagement with new pedagogical tools to teach critical interviewing, along with other aspects of critical lawyering.

November 15, 2021 in Law schools, Race, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 8, 2021

Justice for Victims of the Guatemalan Sexually Transmitted Disease Experiments

Susan S. Lee & Aurora J. Grutman have published a new article Seeking Justice for Victims of the Guatemalan Sexually Transmitted Disease Experiments 1946-1948 in Volume 39 of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. The abstract states that: 

Between 1946 and 1948, researchers sponsored by the United States government intentionally exposed more than 1,300 Guatemalan men and women to sexually transmitted diseases without their informed consent. Many of the surviving victims and their descendants suffer from the effects of untreated syphilis, gonorrhea, and similar illnesses. But the general public did not become aware of these non-consensual human experiments for more than sixty years. After a researcher uncovered the experiments, the United States government apologized to the Guatemalan victims, but the victims received no compensation for their injuries. So far, the efforts of the victims to receive legal redress for their injuries have been unsuccessful.
 
This Article has two aims—one descriptive and the other conceptual. First, it seeks to bring awareness to the history and legacy of the Guatemalan sexually transmitted disease experiments. Second, it argues that litigation—even if unsuccessful—can play a role in amplifying the victims’ voices in a way that acknowledges their pain and helps to repair harm that was done. Even if the United States government is immune from formal legal liability, the government and the corporate interests that benefitted from the Guatemalan experiments, have a moral obligation to compensate the victims. The lens of reproductive justice makes clear this obligation. By critically investigating the Guatemalan sexually transmitted disease experiments and their legacy, one can better understand how gender, race, socioeconomic class, geopolitical power, and even geography informed the initial decision to conduct non-consensual human experimentation in that country and why the victims have been unable to obtain formal legal recognition for their suffering. 
 

November 8, 2021 in Gender, Healthcare, International, Legal History, Race, Reproductive Rights, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)