Torgerson’s Twilight: The Antidiscrimination Jurisprudence of Judge Diana E. Murphy
27 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2018
(The essay was written as part of the Minnesota Law Review's memorial tribute issue in honor of Judge Diana E. Murphy)
Judge Diana E. Murphy's anti-discrimination jurisprudence was marked by a profound and empathic understanding of how deep the wrongs of discrimination can cut, even in circumstances where relatively insulated judges may have difficulty understanding the gravity of the harm. And her opinions stand out particularly for recognizing how these claims are often deeply fact-laden, and therefore should not be preemptively dismissed on summary judgment by judges over-confident in their ability to declare what does and does not count as actionable discrimination. Resisting judicial trends that seek to narrow the boundaries of a viable discrimination claim and intrude further and further into the province of juries, Judge Murphy pushed for anti-discrimination doctrine to include the full breadth of what can plausibly count as unlawful discrimination.
Keywords: discrimination, summary judgment, civil procedure, memorials
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