Can antidiscrimination law effect changes in public attitudes toward minority groups? Could learning, for instance, that employment discrimination against people with clinical depression is legally prohibited cause members of the public to be more accepting toward people with mental health conditions? In this Article, we report the results of a series of experiments that test the effect of inducing the belief that discrimination against a given group is legal (versus illegal) on interpersonal attitudes toward members of that group. We find that learning that discrimination is unlawful does not simply lead people to believe that an employer is more likely to face punishment for discriminatory behavior.
For a wide variety of claims against the government, the federal courthouse doors are closed to all but those brought by powerful, organized interests. This is because hundreds of laws—colloquially known as “channeling statutes”—require disaffected groups to contest government bodies directly in appellate courts that hear cases individually. In theory, these laws promise quick, consistent, and authoritative legal decisions in appellate courts. In fact, without class actions, government bodies avoid judicial review by selectively avoiding claims brought by some of the most vulnerable people in the administrative state—from veterans and immigrants to coal miners, laborers, and the disabled. This Article proposes a novel solution: courts of appeals should hear class actions themselves.
This dynamic echoes a central theme in Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life before Stonewall, an important new work of legal history by Professor Anna Lvovsky. Vice Patrol is a study of antihomosexual policing in U.S. cities between the fall of Prohibition and the Stonewall Rebellion. It expands historical understanding by following antihomosexual enforcement through the rungs of the legal system—from municipal police tactics to appellate review at the Supreme Court. Beyond these contributions to the history of sexuality, however, the book reveals how public discourse filters into and through the judiciary.
In recent years, public universities have promulgated pronoun policies designed to encourage professors and students to respect the pronouns that others use to identify themselves. A professor who does not follow the pronoun policy and instead misgenders a student—or uses gendered words or pronouns that do not match that student’s gender identity—may be disciplined by their university for violating the pronoun policy. This Comment argues that professorial speech misgendering students in the classroom should not be protected by a professor’s First Amendment right to academic freedom, which traditionally covers teaching and scholarship.
This Comment argues that minors possess a qualified autonomy right to consent to recommended vaccines. It outlines the legal background of this autonomy right by discussing the history of vaccination laws, parental rights, and children’s rights in the United States.