Civil Rights

SEX ASSIGNED AT BIRTH

Jessica A. Clarke*

Transgender rights discussions often turn on the distinction between “gender identity” and “sex assigned at birth.” Gender identity is a person’s own internal sense of whether they are a man, a woman, or nonbinary. “Sex assigned at birth” means the male or female designation that doctors ascribe to infants based on genitalia and is marked on their birth records. Sex assigned at birth is intended to displace the concept of “biological...

In Borrowing Equality, Professor Atkinson deftly demonstrates Congress’s nonsensical bifurcation of the twin concepts of “credit” and “debt,” whereby it celebrates and encourages the former and regulates and punishes the latter. She then shows that, in refusing to acknowledge the harmful consequences of indebtedness while legislating credit-based solu­tions to inequality, these credit policies in fact entrench the very hierar­chies...

BORROWING EQUALITY

Abbye Atkinson*

For the last fifty years, Congress has valorized the act of borrowing money as a catalyst for equality, embracing the proposition that equality can be bought with a loan. In a series of bedrock statutes aimed at democ­ratizing access to loans and purchase money for marginalized groups, Congress has evinced a “borrowing-as-equality” policy that has largely focused on the capacity of “credit,” while acoustically separating...

As the courts continue to restrict and further restrict the availability of Bivens remedies, one category of claims has been left behind—medical-care claims brought by people detained pretrial. Because of the way the Supreme Court structured the Bivens analysis in Ziglar v. Abbasi, people incarcerated postconviction can, and do, bring claims under the Eighth Amendment for damages resulting from constitutionally defective...

Varying enforcement of school hair policies and other grooming regulations against students has contributed, at least in part, to disparate exclusion of Black students from classroom and extracurricular activities. The consequences arising out of exclusion from school activities can be severe, ranging from lower academic performance to early involvement with the criminal justice system. Generally, disputes around such policies have been settled...

The Supreme Court’s qualified immunity jurisprudence provides little guidance on a central component of the doctrine: the proper sources of “clearly established law.” As a result, lower courts often resort to a restrictive definition of clearly established law, requiring a control­ling precedent in the jurisdiction where the violation took place. This formalist approach unmoors qualified immunity from its intended pur­pose: ensuring that...

Introduction Partisan gerrymandering has a lengthy history, as political parties in power have repeatedly sought to construct electoral districts in ways that disfavor the minority party and ensure majority-party dominance. While more recently it appears that Republicans have reaped more of the bene­fits of partisan gerrymandering, over the past fifty years, each major politi­cal party, […]

Batson v. Kentucky is widely regarded as a failure. In the thirty-plus years since it was decided by the Supreme Court, the doctrine has been subjected to unrelenting criticism for its inability to stop the dis­criminatory use of peremptory challenges. The scholarly literature is nearly unanimous: Batson is broken. But this Article approaches Batson from a different perspective, focusing on Batson’s appellate...