racial equality

  • May 16, 2018

    by Eric J. Segall, Kathy and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law

    In the last few weeks, five Trump nominees to the federal bench refused to say at their confirmation hearings whether they thought Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. Of course, judicial nomination hearings have become thoroughly cynical affairs where most nominees refuse to comment on anything important. Nevertheless, all nine current Supreme Court Justices said they agreed with Brown, and the authors of an important book on judicial nominations said only a few years ago that no nominee could be confirmed without signaling assent to the decision that ended formal segregation. Yet, here we are with multiple nominees refusing to do exactly that. There was some media outcry, but not very much, and that absence reveals a lot about the state of race relations in America. We can’t even publicly agree that Brown was correctly decided?

  • April 19, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Eva Paterson, President, Equal Justice Society

    Latino and Black students and their families and local community groups reached a settlement with the Kern High School District (KHSD) about their disproportionate discipline and transfer policies. However, the plaintiffs are appealing the dismissal of the California Department of Education from the lawsuit, arguing that the CDE failed in its independent oversight responsibilities by not acting to remedy the disproportionate discipline.

    The state allowed the school district to suspend and expel Latino and Black students in disproportionate numbers. The school reported the highest number of expulsions of any district in the state of California, including school districts with much larger enrollment. KHSD’s average expulsion rate for White students was 18.70 per 1,000 students; for Latino students, 65.85 expulsions per 1,000 students (20.84% higher than the average rate for all students and 352% higher than the average rate for White students); and for African-American students, 110.21 expulsions per 1,000 students (102% higher than the average rate for all students and 589% higher than the average rate for White students).>

  • April 3, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of National Association, Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund

    While the task of counting our nation’s residents only takes up a few words in Section 2 of Article I and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the Census’s impact on the day-to-day lives of Americans is fundamental. Never are the high stakes of a few words in the Constitution and a few minutes spent on a questionnaire once every ten years more apparent than when the Census nears, and debates once again arise over how to count the nation’s population. Last week, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce inserted itself in one of the fiercest such debates in decades by directing the U.S. Census Bureau to add an untested question about U.S. citizenship in the 2020 Census questionnaire.

    The mandate to conduct a Census in the U.S. Constitution is found in one of the most egregious original passages in our founding document:  the statement that enslaved persons were to count as 3/5 of one person for the purposes of reapportionment of Congressional seats. This misguided course was corrected with the adoption of the Reconstruction Amendments, leaving in place the requirement that the nation take an actual enumeration of every member of the population, on an equal basis, every ten years.

  • April 3, 2018
    Guest Post

    Gregg Ivers, Professor of Government, American University. He is currently working on a book, Swingin’ at Jim Crow: How Jazz Became a Civil Rights Movement.

    Linda Brown, who passed away early last week, became the most famous school-age child in American history when, in September 1950, her father, Oliver, attempted to enroll her at the all-white Sumner School in Topeka, Kansas. Although the Browns lived just a few blocks from Sumner, Linda was not permitted to attend school with white children. The Browns lived in an integrated neighborhood and played with white children who attended Sumner. But, like all black children, Linda was required by law to attend the all-black Monroe School, located about a mile and a half further away. Linda literally walked by Sumner to catch a bus, if it showed up, to get to Monroe. If not, Linda would walk to Monroe, whether in the bitter cold of winter or the oppressive heat of late summer. Less than a year later, Oliver Brown would take the witness stand in a federal courtroom after the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which had been carefully recruiting African American plaintiffs around the country to challenge racial segregation in elementary and secondary public education, made him the principal litigant in what would become, less than three years later, the most famous case ever decided by the Supreme Court.

  • July 8, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    David A. Graham writes for The Atlantic about a new study that reveals that most states do not have any black elected prosecutors, a fact that likely contributes to racial gaps in justice.

    At Salon, Matthew Rozsa explains the truth behind the most significant myths about the death penalty.

    Michelle Chen considers at The Nation how the new overtime rules will benefit the large number of “overworked and underpaid” in America’s workforce.

    At Slate, Andrew Kahn examines the different meanings of “dignity” used by Justice Thomas and Justice Kennedy in the marriage equality case.

    Emily Badger reports for The Washington Post on the White House’s new rules aimed at repairing the Fair Housing Act.