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State Court Docket Watch News Clips: 10/5/2015

Compliance Nightmare Looms for Baltimore Police Department

James Scanlan February 08, 2017
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In my January 4, 2017 post titled “Will Trump Have the First Numerate Administration?,” I discussed Department of Justice (DOJ) actions regarding police practices in Baltimore, Maryland in the context of the longstanding situation where federal civil rights law enforcement policies have been based on an understanding of statistics that is the opposite of reality. Specifically, with regard to matters including lending, school discipline, employment, criminal justice, and voting, many government policies have been premised on the belief that relaxing standards or otherwise reducing the frequency of adverse outcomes tends to reduce (a) relative (percentage) racial and other demographic differences in rates of experiencing those outcomes and (b) the proportions more susceptible groups make up of persons experiencing the outcomes. In fact, generally reducing any outcome tends to increase, not decrease, (a) and (b).

[Because of the length of this post, a PDF version is available here.] [Read More]

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Should Legal Outcomes Reflect the Truth? by William G. Otis

EEOC loses its hairstyle discrimination case

Timothy Courtney September 16, 2016
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Pacific Legal Foundation's Joshua Thompson on the Eleventh Circuit's dismissal of an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission lawsuit yesterday:

Earlier today, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solutions. This an important decision concerning the proper scope of Title VII. At issue was whether a business’s policy requiring professional-looking haircuts — and interpreted to prohibit dreadlocks —  facially violates Title VII’s prohibition on intentional racial discrimination in employment. Because the Court found that Title VII only prohibits discrimination based on immutable characteristics, it affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit.

A year ago, when PLF filed its amicus brief in the case, I explained the facts of the case:

Think about the following scenario.  A job seeker sees an ad for a sales job. She has all the correct qualifications.  Her interview goes great.  The business says they want to hire her, but because she will be selling the business to the public, she must get a professional-looking haircut.  The job seeker refuses. Instead, she contacts the EEOC and says that the business is discriminating against her on the basis of race. The EEOC agrees, and sues the company for intentional racial discrimination.That’s exactly what happened in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions.

Read the full article. 

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justice scales shadow

Equal Protection for Indian Children

Christina Sandefur March 25, 2016
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When an abused child is removed from his home and placed in foster care or made available for adoption, judges are required to make a decision about where he will live based on his best interest. Except for Native American children. Courts are bound by federal law to disregard a Native American child’s best interest and place him in a home with other Native Americans, even if that home is unsafe.  [Read More]