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Spring 2024 Reading Group

Current Topics in Latino Civil Rights

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

In 2019, the number of Latinos reached a record 60.6 million — 18% of the U.S. population. Latinos constituted more than 50% of all population growth in the U.S. since 2010. Despite rapid population growth, and their new status as the largest racial minority in the U.S., Latinos continue to struggle against racial discrimination and structural barriers in the areas of education, employment and political participation.

The need to combat anti-Latino discrimination in a context of fast-changing demographics, both within and outside the U.S. Latino community, poses an urgent challenge for lawyers whose main tools are civil rights statutes and legal precedent that often are more than 50 years old.

This reading group will explore present-day legal cases challenging racial discrimination against U.S. Latinos and the success (or lack of success) of that litigation. We will discuss theories and strategies available to challenge discrimination as well as the continued utility of the established framework of civil rights statutes and precedent. Readings will include a range of texts (judicial opinions, scholarly writing, and popular commentary) to explore these topics.

Each student will be required to write a brief single “response paper” during the semester addressing the assigned readings for that particular week and setting out some questions for general class discussion.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: January 22-23, February 19-20, and March 4-5.