Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1845925
 
 

Footnotes (385)



 


 



The Lost Origins of American Fair Employment Law: Regulatory Choice and the Making of Modern Civil Rights, 1943-1972


David Freeman Engstrom


Stanford Law School


Stanford Law Review, Vol. 63, May 2011
Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1845925

Abstract:     
By the time Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, roughly two dozen states had already passed fully enforceable employment discrimination laws and engaged in nearly two decades worth of enforcement efforts. But this early state-level scheme was very different from what most lawyers know as Title VII. Title VII vests primary enforcement authority in the federal courts. By contrast, beginning in the mid-1940s, civil rights groups championed, and states enacted, employment discrimination laws that vested exclusive enforcement authority in administrative agencies. In this Article, I ask why civil rights groups in the 1940s preferred an administrative approach to regulating job discrimination over available (and potentially more effective) court- and litigation-centered approaches. Drawing on extensive original archival research, I trace the agency choice to a series of strategic conflicts among civil rights groups about how best to attack job discrimination as well as a troubled but necessary alliance with organized labor. Understanding the social movement and coalition dynamics at work in the early drive for fair employment, I argue, has important implications for how we think about the legal strategies civil rights groups pursued before and after Brown v. Board of Education, the form Title VII ultimately took, the subsequent emergence of “affirmative action” policies, and the broader postwar move away from administrative regulation and toward private litigation as a regulatory tool.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 73

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 24, 2011 ; Last revised: January 23, 2014

Suggested Citation

Engstrom, David Freeman, The Lost Origins of American Fair Employment Law: Regulatory Choice and the Making of Modern Civil Rights, 1943-1972. Stanford Law Review, Vol. 63, May 2011; Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1845925. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1845925

Contact Information

David Freeman Engstrom (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 627
Downloads: 191
Download Rank: 91,681
Footnotes:  385

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.235 seconds