President’s weekly report — December 5, 2014

Property Rights — The Public Trust Doctrine like The Blob? PLF attorneys filed an amicus brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Kramer v. City of Lake Oswego—a case in which two public access activists argue that the “public … Continue reading

Elite universities sued over race-based admissions

Yesterday, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were sued over their race-based admissions practices. The complaints (here and here) describe, in detail, the divisive use of race at both universities. … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — November 14, 2014

Clean Water Act This week, we submitted comments on the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA’s proposed rule redefining the term “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The rule, if adopted, would be the largest expansion of power … Continue reading

Fifth Circuit denies rehearing en banc in Fisher v. University of Texas

The case of Abigail Fisher may be on its way to the Supreme Court a second time.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied her petition for rehearing en banc. Judge Garza filed a short dissent reiterating the points he made in his … Continue reading

Democracy, distrust, and the Schuette dissent

Today is Election Day. As Justice Sotomayor noted in her dissent in Schuette v. BAMN, “we are fortunate to live in a democratic society. But without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups. For that reason, our Constitution places limits on … Continue reading

Moneyball Sentencing

University of New Mexico School of Law Professor Dawinder Sidhu has an excellent article available at SSRN about the criminal justice’s system increasing use of statistics to predict a defendant’s future dangerousness.  Professor Sidhu analogizes to the concept of Moneyball—or … Continue reading

Understanding the difference between disparate treatment and disparate impact

There are two types of discrimination recognized by our various civil rights laws: disparate treatment and disparate impact. The former is conscious, intentional discrimination.  The latter is unintentional, and is demonstrated through statistical disparities.  Here on the Liberty Blog we have often … Continue reading

Analysis of the teacher tenure case

As reported earlier on the Liberty Blog, the Superior Court for Los Angeles County issued a decision striking down three California statutes that relate to employment of California’s public school teachers.  The lawsuit was brought by Students Matter on behalf of … Continue reading

Schools illegally suspended students to comply with feds’ disparate-impact mandate?

A few months ago, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s announcement that it would apply disparate-impact theory to schools’ discipline policies. According to the Administration, a school presumably violates multiple federal laws if it punishes students of any particular race … Continue reading

Support for disparate-impact doctrine is based on misconceptions

While support for racial preferences is declining across all demographics, disparate-impact theory continues to grow. Attorney General Eric Holder recently reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to the doctrine when speaking at Morgan State University. If Americans are staunchly opposed to … Continue reading