The 'Inexorable Zero'

22 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

Date Written: February 1, 2004

Abstract

For over a quarter century, legal arguments about segregation, discrimination, and affirmative action have invoked the image of the "inexorable zero" - complete absence of any women or minorities at a given school or workplace. Yet as evocative as the phrase might be, its precise doctrinal import has remained elusive. This Note recounts the original use of the concept in a landmark Title VII case and documents a current circuit split. It then articulates theoretical grounds upon which the concept’s intuitive appeal might rest. Finally, it excavates a further, more complex rationale that the Supreme Court may have contemplated at the concept’s genesis.

Suggested Citation

Huang, Bert I., The 'Inexorable Zero' (February 1, 2004). Harvard Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 4, p. 1215, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1371103

Bert I. Huang (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Bert_Huang

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