New York Law School

Author Archive

Ethnic Slurs in the Land of the Free[dom of Speech]

In 1973, social critic and comedian George Carlin recorded a 12-minute monologue, titled “Filthy Words,” for his stand-up comedy album Occupation: Foole. In his musings, Carlin explored seven words, “curse words and swear words, the cuss words that you can’t say—that you’re not supposed to say.” The seven words were…

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds University of Texas Race-Conscious Admissions Policy

On January 18, 2011, with Fisher v. Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals restated the constitutionality of the University of Texas’s use of race in its undergraduate admissions process. The decision, written by Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham, marks a stop for the first federal court challenge to Grutter v. Bollinger—the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision. 539 U.S. 306 (2003). In Fisher v. Texas, the Fifth Circuit adhered to the pronouncements of Grutter. The court found that serious, “good-faith consideration” supported UT’s decision to reintroduce a race-conscious admissions policy, even as it layers atop of Texas’s Top Ten Percent Law—a law, enacted in 1997, that guarantees Texas students graduating in the top ten percent of their high school class automatic admission to all state-funded universities. In ultimate, the Fifth Circuit stated that diversity was, and still is, a compelling interest. Read more

Celebrity, Race, and Crime: Locked Up while Beautiful, Dirty Rich

“Cook, coke, cash.” In the song Digital Girl Kanye West alliterates this summation of celebrity life. Though certainly made of other substance(s), the world of celebrity largely remains a distant one, a daydream one. Celebrity is an untouchable life despite the guilty (and yet still reverent) fascination with which we reach for celebrity magazines, click on gossip sites, or eagerly scour the critical annals of the internet for ‘insider’ information on the lives of our most beloved—and often hated—stars.

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