Results tagged “Race and the Law”

February 20, 2013

Thumbnail image for Levenson2.jpg By Professor Laurie Levenson and Courtnee Draper '14

This op-ed originally appeared in the Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 edition of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.

As Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, "The most sacred of the duties of a government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." To accomplish this goal, it is imperative that we have a diversified bench. Recent national studies show that minority groups lag far behind in their confidence in our judicial system. While 62 percent of white voters view the courts as fair and impartial, only 55 percent of non-whites feel the same. In fact, 85 percent of some minority groups believe there are two systems of justice: one for the rich and powerful, and one for everyone else.

DiversityChart.jpgOverall, judges of color account for just 12 percent of all state court judges chosen since 2000. In California, we have a long way to go until our bench reflects the population that it serves. For example, Asians comprise 15 percent of the state's population; however, they represent only 5 percent of all judges. A more concerted effort has been made to appoint African-Americans to the California bench. African-Americans constitute 6 percent of the state population, and they too represent only 5 percent of the current judges.

The greatest focus has been on the appointment of Latino judges. Since January 2011, 15 new Latino judges have been appointed to the bench, increasing the representation of Latino judges to 8.2 percent. Yet in a state where 37.6 percent of the population is Latino, there is still a long way to go before the bench is diverse enough that Latinos are anything other than "token" appointees.

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October 9, 2012

westfaulcon2.jpgProfessor Kimberly West-Faulcon submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the respondents in Fisher v. Univ. of TX at Austin.

In it, she wrote:

This brief explains how social science research undermines the common misconception that black applicants must be receiving "preferential" treatment and that the magnitude of the so-called "preference" is large on the basis of a casual numerical comparison of the average test scores of black admits as compared to white admits. It also explains that "the gap" in black-white group average scores on traditional mental tests, while still in existence, has been narrowing for several decades. The brief describes the relevance of contemporary research finding that theoretically-improved and updated versions of such tests have been shown to narrow the black-white average score gap presumably because they are based on more theoretically robust and more outcome predictive theories of intelligence. Such research calls into question petitioner's allegation that UT's minimal consideration of race as a factor in admissions violates her Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights because she is Caucasian.

Read the complete brief.

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