601:515. AMBIGUITY, PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS (2 or 3)
Anti-discrimination law is intended to remedy inequality. Yet, all too often, this body of law is ill-equipped to address emerging and intersectional issues due to changing understandings of race and ethnicity, disabilities, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation. In some cases, anti-discrimination law outcomes merely reinforce and reproduce inequities and inequalities.
In this seminar, students will study outcomes of discrimination protections when applied to these contemporary discrimination issues by considering journal articles and cases discussing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and hate crime legislation, like The Shepard Byrd Act. Students will examine the development and application of these civil rights statutes over time, the role of the courts in interpreting the applicable statutes, the policy choices implicit in the laws, and how these choices affect day-to-day practice by lawyers and the lives of their clients. In particular, these contemporary issues will be viewed through a lens that draws on critical theory, history, and emerging medical and social science.