Seeking an End to Racial Profiling

In the past year, we have seen successful challenges to racial profiling under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, most recently in the New York City “stop and frisk” case Floyd v. City of New York and Arizona’s Melendres v. Arpaio. Yet prevailing constitutional interpretations allow profiling and biased policing to continue in domestic law enforcement, immigration, and national security. Advocates have called upon Congress to pass the “End Racial Profiling Act” and have asked the Department of Justice to review its guidance on the use of race by federal law enforcement, with the Department recently announcing that it will expand the prohibited categories used in profiling to include religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation. This panel considered whether recent executive, judicial and legislative actions suggest a positive shift away from racial profiling and police bias. Are new equal protection or Fourth Amendment standards emerging? In what ways might popular mobilization or the actions of representative government make a difference in the ways courts interpret constitutional safeguards against profiling?


Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
Devon Carbado, Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Keenan R. Keller, Senior Democratic Counsel, Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives
Sunita Patel, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
Alessandra Soler, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona