Category Archives: Articles

Article: “Section 8 Is the New N-Word: Policing Integration in the Age of Black Mobility”

Article: Norrinda Brown Hayat, “Section 8 Is the New N-Word: Policing Integration in the Age of Black Mobility,” 51 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 061 (2016).

This Article addresses the concept of black mobility within the context of Section 8 housing vouchers. Hayat explores the rise of racially coded language and its impact on racially discriminatory housing measures, highlighting the intersectionality between narratives of black criminality and the implicit biases of Section 8 proponents. Hayat argues for eradication of Section 8 enforcement schemes and facially race-neutral policies to promote the elimination of hyper-segregated neighborhoods.

Article: “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform”

Article: “HMDA, Housing Segregation, and Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending”

Article: Charles M. Lamb,”HMDA, Housing Segregation, and Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending,” State University of New York at Buffalo (July 2015).

Housing segregation and discrimination remain tenacious problems in America. This Article first explores the passage of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) of 1975 and its 1989 amendments in order to clarify their objectives and requirements for providing data to the public that potentially may be used to combat redlining and lending discrimination in the nation’s housing market. Given this background, this Article then relies on HMDA data to investigate the following question: Are racial minorities in America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) more likely to receive government-insured mortgages rather than conventional mortgages if they reside in more segregated metropolitan areas?

The analysis indicates that housing segregation has a significant negative effect on African Americans’ ability to receive conventional mortgages, thereby distinguishing them from Asians, Hispanics, and whites. If African Americans are unlikely to receive conventional mortgages in more segregated areas, this suggests that in the future, highly segregated MSAs are likely to remain segregated along black-white lines and that African Americans will continue to be the mast segregated racial group in the country. Based on this analysis, the Article concludes that HMDA should be amended to require additional data from commercial banks in order to determine the extent to which lending discrimination is occurring and thus perpetuating-and possibly even increasing-housing segregation in the United States. At minimum this data should include such basic information as applicants’ total financial assets, credit scores and history, number of dependents, value of the property to be purchased, and size of down payments required Banks routinely collect this data during the mortgage application process, so it should be relatively easy to include in their lending disclosure forms.


Symposium: “Policing the Police and the Community”

Symposium: “Policing the Police and the Community,” at Seton Hall University (2015)
Christina Swarns, ““I Can’t Breathe”: A Century Old Call for Justice,” 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 1 (2016).

Udi Ofer, “Getting It Right: Building Effective Civilian Review Boards to Oversee Police,” 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 2 (2016). 

Cynthia H. Conti-Cook, Defending the Public: Police Accountability in the Courtroom, 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 3 (2016).

Article: “The New Labor Law”

Article: Kate Andrias, “The New Labor Law,” 126 Yale L.J. (2016).

Labor law is failing. Disfigured by courts, attacked by employers, and rendered inapt by a global and fissured economy, many of labor law’s most ardent proponents have abandoned it altogether. And for good reason: the law that governs collective organization and bargaining among workers has little to offer those it purports to protect. Several scholars have suggested ways to breathe new life into the old regime, yet their proposals don’t solve the basic problem. Labor law developed for the New Deal does not provide solutions to today’s inequities. But all hope is not lost. From the remnants of the old regime, the potential for a new labor law is emerging.

In this Article, I describe and defend the nascent regime, which embraces a form of social bargaining long thought unattainable in the United States. The new labor law rejects the old regime’s commitment to the employer-employee dyad and to a system of private ordering. Instead, it locates decisions about basic standards of employment at the sectoral level and positions unions as political actors empowered to advance the interests of workers generally. This new labor law, though nascent and uncertain, has the potential to salvage and secure one of labor law’s most fundamental commitments — to help achieve greater equality, both economic and political — in the context of the twenty-first century economy.

Article: “‘Just Another Little Black Boy from the South Side of Chicago’: Overcoming Obstacles and Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Diversity in the Law Professoriate”

Article: Michael Z. Green, “‘Just Another Little Black Boy from the South Side of Chicago’: Overcoming Obstacles and Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Diversity in the Law Professoriate,” 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 135 (2015).

As I reflected on my personal experience to help address the persistence of discrimination in legal academia, I chose to focus on five areas of discussion for the open mic portion of the program held at the Association of American Law Schools Cross-Cutting Program, “The More Things Change…: Exploring Solutions to Persistent Discrimination in Legal Academia,” held on January 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. First, I decided to address my personal development as an only child and male in a family of mostly black women struggling through the socioeconomic challenges of being poor and black. To add to that predicament and the narrative discussing it, I lived and grew up in one of this country’s most racially segregated cities in a community permeated with deadly criminal activities and hard core gangs. As an elementary school student, I lived on a block where people were stabbed, beaten, and killed. I saw people robbed and someone attempted to rob. me at knifepoint in a violent confrontation. And those experiences still shape me today.

Second, I decided to reflect on how core parental dedication helped to make sure that despite those surroundings I would be given a foundation to recognize that I could succeed and transcend the demoralizing pitfalls being observed on a daily basis in my neighborhood. Third, I must highlight how a lack of resources to adequately guide choices limits the pipeline possibilities even for those few like me who have the abilities to go forward. This discussion involves a lack of knowledge and financial support to even consider an Ivy League education and its benefits despite having the academic qualifications as a National Merit Finalist in high school. It also involves a discussion of being pushed to pursue a career in engineering when further reflection might have suggested development of other educational interests leading to a more traditional path in the law.

Fourth, I have to bring forward my experience in recovering from a somewhat ill-advised engineering educational focus by going to law school which culminates with me obtaining a position in the academy as a law professor despite not having Ivy League credentials. The most important part of this discussion must include the support and the validation I received in my quest to join the professoriate that I gained by becoming a Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Finally, as an African American male who practiced employment discrimination law, worked at large law firms, a boutique, and a union law firm, and who now teaches and writes about issues of race and workplace discrimination, I believe that my personal experience adds a unique perspective especially given the dearth of African American male law professors who teach and write in an area of law so important to African American males.

However, given the three minute timeframe during the actual presentation I only discussed the first two areas of focus: 1) the initial aspect of growing up in the Englewood neighborhood; and 2) how important parental involvement and activism was in pushing me forward despite the burdens of my surroundings. At the end of my presentation, I couched that discussion by asserting why I believed my story highlights how the lack of black male law professors who teach workplace law and discrimination supports the overall narrative of ongoing discrimination in the academy. The presentation and this Article reflect what it meant for me growing up under certain circumstances that presented barriers to becoming a law professor, and how that initial experience as shown by my personal narrative further indicates why discrimination in the academy continues.

Article: “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community”

Article: Matthew Desmond, et al., “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community,” 81 American Sociological Review 857 (2016).

High-profile cases of police violence—disproportionately experienced by black men—may present a serious threat to public safety if they lower citizen crime reporting. Using an interrupted time series design, this study analyzes how one of Milwaukee’s most publicized cases of police violence against an unarmed black man, the beating of Frank Jude, affected police-related 911 calls. Controlling for crime, prior call patterns, and several neighborhood characteristics, we find that residents of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, especially residents of black neighborhoods, were far less likely to report crime after Jude’s beating was broadcast. The effect lasted for over a year and resulted in a total net loss of approximately 22,200 calls for service. Other local and national cases of police violence against unarmed black men also had a significant impact on citizen crime reporting in Milwaukee. Police misconduct can powerfully suppress one of the most basic forms of civic engagement: calling 911 for matters of personal and public safety.

(Texas Size) Texas Law Review Symposium: “The Constitution and Economic Inequality”

Texas Law Review Symposium: “The Constitution and Economic Inequality”

Article: “‘Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…’: Reflections on Fairness and Housing in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region”

Article: Palma Joy Strand, “‘Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…’: Reflections on Fairness and Housing in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region,” Creighton Law Review (forthcoming).

In 2016, eighty years after the federal Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) drew redlining maps that solidified existing local segregation and gave the green light to suburban development, the residential patterns of race and socioeconomics in the Omaha, Nebraska, region embody those New Deal decisions. Inspired by recent regulations from HUD that intensify the agency’s responsibility under the Fair Housing Act to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, this article looks past current inequities in housing to the institutional structures that facilitated White suburban growth after World War II. Special districts known as Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs) gave – and continue to give today – private developers access to municipal bonds without significant public oversight. Historically, these SIDs provided market-rate housing to exclusively White residents; today they provide market-rate housing to predominantly White residents. Following SID development, the City of Omaha, which has extensive annexation powers under state law, annexes the SIDs, absorbing both their tax base and their remaining debt. This article describes this SID annexation development regime and the ways in which it diffuses responsibility for providing affordable housing and access to neighborhoods of opportunity throughout the metropolitan region. The article proposes an accounting and reconsideration of the existing development regime.

Article: “Micro-Housing in Seattle: A Case for Community Participation in Novel Land Use Decisions”

Article: Patrick Carter, “Micro-Housing in Seattle: A Case for Community Participation in Novel Land Use Decisions,” 39 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1031 (2016).

Rather than relying solely on the formal interpretations of government regulators invited by the structure of local zoning ordinances, the City of Seattle should adopt a process that invites community-based mediation and problem-solving when a significant shift in housing density is contemplated in a developer’s proposal. Greater resident participation in development projects allows the City of Seattle to better support those residents in their reliance interests arising from zoning ordinances while simultaneously furthering the policies that underpin urban zoning. This is especially true when such development projects raise the possibility of substantial impacts on the character of a community or its commons. Moreover, such alternative dispute resolution processes may also help to mitigate potential detriments to the community commons or provide a mechanism for an equitable exchange of capital between developers and residents to offset negative impacts to property values. This Note specifically examines the development of urban residential property into micro-housing apartment buildings in the City of Seattle, the possible consequences, and a potential community-based solution for disputes regarding such development. Part I introduces the issue using anecdotal and quantitative information, including snapshots of some of the conflicts between urban homeowners and developers and the sometimes questionable application of local zoning ordinances to favor development in the context of micro-housing in Seattle. Included in this discussion is a summary of the “smart growth” principles that supported the development and the countervailing interests of incumbent residents. Part II examines Washington State’s Growth Management Act and suggests how it may have impacted the quick acceptance of micro-housing development in Seattle. Part III explores incumbent residents’ reliance interests in zoning ordinances for protection against externalities and maintenance of consumer surplus in their homes. Part IV reviews the potential harms suffered by residents adjacent to dramatic residential development and the legal remedies available at law. Finally, I offer a community-based solution to allow for the redress of such harms.