Equitable Relief as a Relay between Juridical and Biopower: The Case of School Desegregation
Continental Philosophy Review, Forthcoming
35 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2015 Last revised: 29 May 2016
Date Written: November 10, 2015
The present paper looks at the intersection of juridical and biopower in the U.S. Supreme Court’s school desegregation cases. These cases generally deploy “equitable relief” as a relay between the juridicially-specified injury of segregation and the biopolitical mandates of integration. This strategy is evident in the line of cases running from Brown to Swann v. Mecklenburg, and has its antecedents in pre-war economic regulation. Later cases have attempted to close this relay, confining equality and rejecting claims of equitable relief. Study of the school desegregation cases thus both shows an example of the intersection of biopower and law (which has been difficult on Foucauldian grounds), as an example of the biopolitical race war that Foucault identifies in Society must be Defended.
Keywords: Foucault, biopower, juridical power, racism, education, desegregation
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