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Adolescence, Discrimination, and the Law

Addressing Dramatic Shifts in Equality Jurisprudence

Roger J.R. Levesque

In the wake of the civil rights movement, the legal system dramatically changed its response to discrimination based on race, gender, and other characteristics. It is now showing signs of yet another dramatic shift, as it moves from considering difference to focusing on neutrality. Rather than seeking to counter subjugation through special protections for groups that have been historically (and currently) disadvantaged, the Court now adopts a “colorblind” approach. Equality now means treating everyone the same way.
 
This book explores these shifts and the research used to support civil rights claims, particularly relating to minority youths’ rights to equal treatment. It integrates developmental theory with work on legal equality and discrimination, showing both how the legal system can benefit from new research on development and how the legal system itself can work to address invidious discrimination given its significant influence on adolescents—especially those who are racial minorities—at a key stage in their developmental life. 
 
Adolescents, Discrimination, and the Law articulates the need to address discrimination by recognizing and enlisting the law’s inculcative powers in multiple sites subject to legal regulation, ranging from families, schools, health and justice systems to religious and community groups. The legal system may champion ideals of neutrality in the goals it sets itself for treating individuals, but it cannot remain neutral in the values it supports and imparts. This volume shows that despite the shift to a focus on neutrality, the Court can and should effectively foster values supporting equality, especially among youth. 

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Adversity and Justice

A History of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Kevin M. Ball

Bankruptcy law is a major part of the American legal landscape. More than a million individuals and thousands of businesses sought relief in the United States' ninety-three bankruptcy courts in 2014, more than twenty-seven thousand of them in the Eastern District of Michigan. Important business of great consequence takes place in the courts, yet they ordinarily draw little public attention. In Adversity and Justice: A History of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Kevin Ball takes a closer look at the history and evolution of this court.Using a variety of sources from newspaper accounts and interviews to personal documentation from key people throughout the court's history, Ball explores not only the history of the court from its beginning in the late nineteenth century but also two major courthouse scandals and their significant and long-lasting effects on the court. The first, in 1919, resulted in the removal of a court referee for a series of small infractions. The second was far more serious and resulted in the resignation of a judge and criminal convictions of the court's chief clerk, one of his deputies, and one of Detroit's most prominent lawyers.The book culminates with a comprehensive account of the city of Detroit's own bankruptcy case that was filed in 2013. Drawing on the author's expertise as both a longtime bankruptcy attorney and a political scientist, the book examines this landmark case in its legal, social, historical, and political contexts. Anyone with an interest in bankruptcy, legal history, or the city of Detroit's bankruptcy case will be attracted to this thorough case study of this court

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Advocates for the Oppressed

Hispanos, Indians, Genízaros, and Their Land in New Mexico

Malcolm Ebright

Struggles over land and water have determined much of New Mexico’s long history. The outcome of such disputes, especially in colonial times, often depended on which party had a strong advocate to argue a case before a local tribunal or on appeal. This book is partly about the advocates who represented the parties to these disputes, but it is most of all about the Hispanos, Indians, and Genízaros (Hispanicized nomadic Indians) themselves and the land they lived on and fought for.

Having written about Hispano land grants and Pueblo Indian grants separately, Malcolm Ebright now brings these narratives together for the first time, reconnecting them and resurrecting lost histories. He emphasizes the success that advocates for Indians, Genízaros, and Hispanos have had in achieving justice for marginalized people through the return of lost lands and by reestablishing the right to use those lands for traditional purposes.

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Affirmative Action and Minority Enrollments in Medical and Law Schools

Susan Welch and John Gruhl

Affirmative action is one of the central issues of American politics today, and admission to colleges and universities has been at the center of the debate. While this issue has been discussed for years, there is very little real data on the impact of affirmative action programs on admissions to institutions of higher learning. Susan Welch and John Gruhl in this groundbreaking study look at the impact on admissions of policies developed in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's landmark 1978 Bakke decision. In Bakke, the Court legitimized the use of race as one of several factors that could be considered in admissions decisions, while forbidding the use of quotas. Opponents of affirmative action claim that because of the Bakke decision thousands of less-qualified minorities have been granted admission in preference to more qualified white students; proponents claim that without the affirmative action policies articulated in Bakke, minorities would not have made the gains they have made in higher education. Based on a survey of admissions officers for law and medical schools and national enrollment data, the authors give us the first analysis of the real impact of the Bakke decision and affirmative action programs on enrollments in medical and law schools. Admission to medical schools and law schools is much sought after and is highly competitive. In examining admissions patterns to these schools the authors are able to identify the effects of affirmative action programs and the Bakke decision in what may be the most challenging case. This book will appeal to scholars of race and gender in political science, sociology and education as well as those interested in the study of affirmative action policies. Susan Welch is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. John Gruhl is Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Affirmative Action for the Future

At a time when private and public institutions of higher education are reassessing their admissions policies in light of new economic conditions, Affirmative Action for the Future is a clarion call for the need to keep the door of opportunity open. In 2003, U.S. Supreme Court's Grutter and Gratz decisions vindicated the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action program while striking down the particular affirmative action program used for undergraduates at the university. In 2006 and 2008, state referendums banned affirmative action in some states while upholding it in others. Taking these developments into account, James P. Sterba draws on his vast experience as a champion of affirmative action to mount a new moral and legal defense of the practice as a useful tool for social reform.

Sterba documents the level of racial and sexual discrimination that still exists in the United States and then, arguing that diversity is a public good, he calls for expansion of the reach of affirmative action as a mechanism for encouraging true diversity. In his view, we must include in our understanding of affirmative action the need to favor those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of race and sex. Elite colleges and universities could best facilitate opportunities for students from working-class and poor families, in Sterba's view, by cutting back on legacy and athletic preferences that overwhelmingly benefit wealthy white applicants.

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African Customary Law: An Introduction

The author is a Don at the School of Law, University of Nairobi Kenya and a development consultant with various NGOs and other international bodies in Eastern Africa region and Italy. He is a researcher and writer of articles and texts on matters concerning law and culture. Dr. Onyango is an expert in modern legal science with wide knowledge of law ranging from comparative legal system, international public law, ethics, philosophy, theology, sociology, mass media and social realities today. He is currently teaching Social Foundations of Law, Customary Law, International Public Law and International Relations at the University of Nairobi and he is a part-time lecturer at St. Paulís University. Among his publication are Cultural Gap & Economic Crisis in Africa and, Dholuo Grammar for Beginners.

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African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State

Contradictions of Neo-Liberal Land Reforms

This empirically grounded study provides a critical reflection on the land question in Africa, research on which tends to be tangential, conceptually loose and generally inadequate. It argues that the most pressing research concern must be to understand the precise nature of the African land question, its land reforms and their effects on development. To unravel the roots of land conflicts in Africa requires thorough understanding of the complex social and political contradictions which have ensued from colonial and post-colonial land policies, as well as from Africa's 'development' and capital accumulation trajectories, especially with regard to the land rights of the continent's poor. The study thus questions the capacity of emerging neo-liberal economic and political regimes in Africa to deliver land reforms which address growing inequality and poverty. It equally questions the understanding of the nature of popular demands for land reforms by African states, and their ability to address these demands under the current global political and economic structures dictated by neo-liberalism and its narrow regime of ownership. The study invites scholars and policy makers to creatively draw on the specific historical trajectories and contemporary expression of the land and agrarian questions in Africa, to enrich both theory and practice on land in Africa.

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African Land Rights Systems

This book, from ethical, interdisciplinary, and African perspectives, unveils the root causes of the increasing land disputes. Its significance lies upon the effort of presenting a broad overview founded upon a critical analysis of the existing land-related disputes. It is a perspective that attempts to evaluate the renewed interest in evolving theories of land rights by raising questions that can help us to understand better differences underlying land ownership systems, conflict between customary and statutory land rights systems, and the politics of land reform. Other dimensions explored in the book include the market influence on land-grabbing and challenges accompanying trends of migration, resettlement, and integration. The methodology applied in the study provides a perspective that raises questions intended to identify areas of contention, dispute, and conflict. The study, which could also be categorized as a critical assessment of the African land rights systems, is intended to be a resource for scholars, activists, and organizations working to resolve land-related disputes.

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After Marriage Equality

The Future of LGBT Rights

Carlos A. Ball

In persuading the Supreme Court that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the LGBT rights movement has achieved its most important objective of the last few decades. Throughout its history, the marriage equality movement has been criticized by those who believe marriage rights were a conservative cause overshadowing a host of more important issues. Now that nationwide marriage equality is a reality, everyone who cares about LGBT rights must grapple with how best to promote the interests of sexual and gender identity minorities in a society that permits same-sex couples to marry. This book brings together 12 original essays by leading scholars of law, politics, and society to address the most important question facing the LGBT movement today: What does marriage equality mean for the future of LGBT rights?
 
After Marriage Equality explores crucial and wide-ranging social, political, and legal issues confronting the LGBT movement, including the impact of marriage equality on political activism and mobilization, antidiscrimination laws, transgender rights, LGBT elders, parenting laws and policies, religious liberty, sexual autonomy, and gender and race differences. The book also looks at how LGBT movements in other nations have responded to the recognition of same-sex marriages, and what we might emulate or adjust in our own advocacy. Aiming to spark discussion and further debate regarding the challenges and possibilities of the LGBT movement’s future, After Marriage Equality will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of sexual equality.

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After Prison

Navigating Employment and Reintegration

Edited by Rose Ricciardelli and Adrienne M.F. Peters

Employment for former prisoners is a critical pathway toward reintegration into society and is central to the processes of desistance from crime. Nevertheless, the economic climate in Western countries has aggravated the ability of former prisoners and people with criminal records to find gainful employment.

After Prison opens with a former prisoner’s story of reintegration employment experiences. Next, relying on a combination of research interviews, quantitative data, and literature, contributors present an international comparative review of Canada’s evolving criminal record legislation; the promotive features of employment; the complex constraints and stigma former prisoners encounter as they seek employment; and the individual and societal benefits of assisting former prisoners attain “gainful” employment. A main theme throughout is the interrelationship between employment and other central conditions necessary for safety and sustenance.

This book offers suggestions for criminal record policy amendments and new reintegration practices that would assist individuals in the search for employment. Using the evidence and research findings of practitioners and scholars in social work, criminology and law, psychology, and other related fields, the contributors concentrate on strategies that will reduce the stigma of having been in prison; foster supportive relationships between social and legal agencies and prisons and parole systems; and encourage individually tailored resources and training following release of individuals.

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