Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1099472
 


 



The Constitutional Ghetto


Robert L. Hayman Jr.


Widener University - School of Law

Nancy Levit


University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law


Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 1993, p. 627, 1993

Abstract:     
The goal of this Article is to assess two Supreme Court desegregation decisions. It is our view that Board of Education v. Dowell and Freeman v. Pitts are, by almost every measure, seriously flawed decisions. The opinions of the Court rest on epistemic premises - reductionist views of race and racism, and an absurdly formalistic conception of equality - that are by turns either anachronistic, cramped and inauthentic, or demonstrably wrong. Worse, they promote a vision of American society - fragmented, hierarchical, and shamelessly individualistic - that is fundamentally inconsistent both with the egalitarian norms embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment and with the moral mandate that the Court once assumed on behalf of all Americans. And if our own jurisprudential leanings do not permit us to declare that these decisions are in error, they do not preclude us from insisting that Freeman and Dowell are, in human terms, utterly tragic. In the end, what Freeman and Dowell achieve may be nothing less than the virtual death of desegregation. The project is torn from its constitutional moorings; stripped of its history; isolated from its cultural contexts; and divorced, finally, from its moral underpinnings. What is left is an empty shell: a jurisprudence that is isolated, marginalized, and vacant. Consigned, perhaps, to irrelevance, the law of desegregation survives, for now, in a constitutional ghetto: an insular doctrinal realm where comprehension is impoverished and compassion subordinated. It is a place where human initiative seems futile, a place fast running out of hope.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 102

Keywords: Desegregation, Race, Racism, Racial, Equality, Inequality, Fourteenth Amendment, Equal Protection, Race neutrality, Segregation, Public schools, School system, School district, Constitutional law

JEL Classification: D63, H52, I21, I28, K31, K32, J15, J18, J71, K00

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: January 28, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Hayman, Robert L. and Levit, Nancy, The Constitutional Ghetto. Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 1993, p. 627, 1993. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1099472

Contact Information

Robert L. Hayman Jr.
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
Nancy Levit (Contact Author)
University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 557
Downloads: 31

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.329 seconds