New York Law School

Archive for 2008

RJP Releases Supreme Court Report for October 2008 Term

The Racial Justice Project is pleased to announce its Supreme Court Report for the October 2008 Term. The report previews the coming term, with a focus on those cases with implications for racial justice issues. The upcoming cases deal with redistricting, state and federal power over tribal lands, and mandatory collective bargaining agreements.

Click here to download the report.

The Constitutionality of Teacher Assignment Plans After Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1: What Would Justice Kennedy Do?

This paper discusses the U.S. Supreme Court case Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and the delicate holding issued by a plurality of the Justices, in which the voluntary school desegregation plans of Seattle and Jefferson County, Kentucky were struck down as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Paying particular attention to Justice Kennedy’s enigmatic concurring opinion, this paper argues that the constitutionality of Jefferson County’s similarly administered teacher disbursement policy may have garnered five votes had the school district not settled the lawsuit against it. Perhaps more importantly, though, conducting the analysis highlights the apparent contradictions in and absurdity of the Court’s Equal Protection jurisprudence and the practical effect this has on efforts to combat the resegregation of America’s public schools.

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Redefining the Ideal Debtor

In this Note, the author explores the ongoing impact of the current housing market decline on Black and Hispanic communities, with an emphasis on bankruptcy protections. The Note aims to impart critical information to communities uninformed about the bankruptcy process and the manner in which they can take full advantage of a bankruptcy filing to resolve their financial problems.

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Barrier to the Ballot

The right to vote is a fundamental right that goes to the core of an individual’s liberty. A right so sacred that it is protected by both the 15th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1954. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had occasion to rule on a new voting restriction in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 128 S. Ct. 1610, 170 L. Ed. 2d 574 (2008). In 2005, the Indiana legislature passed Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act No. 483, (“the Act”) which requires voters to present identification prior to casting a ballot. Persons living and voting in a state-licensed facility, such as a nursing home, are exempt from the statute’s identification requirement. The Act also provides an exemption for those who have a religious objection to being photographed and those who are indigent. These persons are allowed to submit provisional ballots, which are counted if the voter executes an appropriate affidavit before the circuit court clerk within ten days following the election. Those who possess valid identification but are unable to present it when voting may also file a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot is only counted if the voter presents identification to the circuit court clerk within ten days of the election. Read more