Justice Matthew O. Tobriner Memorial Lecture - 'Here Come De Judge': The Role of Faith in Progressive Decision-making

Posted: 3 Jan 2001  

Derrick A. Bell

New York University School of Law

Abstract

In this year's Tobriner Memorial Lecture, "Here Come de Judge: The Role of Faith in Progressive Decision-Making," Professor Bell examines the role of minority judges (and the criticisms lodged against them) in judicial efforts to eliminate discrimination and exploitation. Professor Bell argues that decisions that help correct past abuses, such as those upholding affirmative action, are temporary at best because society quickly renders them ineffectual and marginal. Professor Bell further argues that even the minorities who occupy positions of stature within the legal system, such as judges and scholars, are used against the larger minority population because they are held up as living proof that there is no color bar in America. Given this, Professor Bell questions whether the struggle is worth the effort. Concluding that there is no cure for racism, he concludes, nonetheless, that minority judges must continue to struggle for its own sake and rely on faith to go on and, as the slave singers urged, "see what the end will be."

JEL Classification: K100

Suggested Citation

Bell, Derrick A., Justice Matthew O. Tobriner Memorial Lecture - 'Here Come De Judge': The Role of Faith in Progressive Decision-making. Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, November 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228325

Derrick A. Bell (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
Vanderbilt Hall
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
(212) 998-6235 (Phone)
(212) 995-4341 (Fax)

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