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Pritzker Legal Research Center

NULR Heritage Months


This guide highlights NULR publications and abstracts relevant to heritage months. Although intersectionality teaches us that many of these articles can fit into more than one category, articles are only linked to once within the guide. 

Many of these articles have been published within the past ten years. Older articles can be found on HeinOnline: click here for articles on racial justice, and here for articles about gender.

Last updated: 5/17/2024

Recent Publications

Scott Shimizu, Toward Accessing HIV-Preventative Medication in Prisons, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1735 (2024).

The Eighth Amendment is meant to protect incarcerated individuals against harm from the state, including state inaction in the face of a known risk of harm. While the Eighth Amendment’s protection prohibits certain prison disciplinary measures and conditions of confinement, the constitutional ambit should arguably encompass protection from the serious risk of harm of sexual assault, as well as a corollary to sexual violence: the likelihood of contracting a deadly sexually transmitted infection like HIV. Yet Eighth Amendment scholars frequently question the degree to which the constitutional provision actually protects incarcerated individuals.

Atinuke O. Adediran, Racial Targets, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1455 (2024).

It is common scholarly and popular wisdom that racial quotas are illegal. However, the reality is that since 2020’s racial reckoning, many of the largest companies have been touting specific, albeit voluntary, goals to hire or promote people of color, which this Article refers to as “racial targets.” The Article addresses this phenomenon and shows that companies can defend racial targets as distinct from racial quotas, which involve a rigid number or proportion of opportunities reserved exclusively for minority groups. The political implications of the legal defensibility of racial targets are significant in this moment in American history, where race relations have become polarized and the conservative, pro-business U.S. Supreme Court may weigh in on the legality of voluntary goals set by some of the largest companies in the country. Large companies have historically been granted discretion to choose their strategies for paving the way toward equal employment opportunity for people of color. The Article grapples with whether this corporate-discretion ideal would inform the legal posture of racial targets.

Joyce A. Hughes, Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 575 (2023).

Professor Joyce A. Hughes was honored in August, 2021, with the ABA's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. This award recognizes outstanding women lawyers who have paved the way to success for other women in the legal profession.

As part of receiving this award, Professor Hughes wrote the following essay. The Northwestern University Law Review is honored to reprint this essay here. For more information about Professor Hughes, click here. For more about Professor Hughes receiving the Margaret Brent award, please click here.

Cary Martin Shelby, Racism as a Threat to Financial Stability, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 757 (2023).

This Article draws from several theoretical frameworks such as critical race theory, law and economics, and rule of law conceptions to argue that the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) should formally recognize racism as a threat to financial stability due to its interconnectedness with recent and projected systemic disruptions. This Article begins by first introducing a novel model created by the author through which to dissect this claim. This “Systemic Disruption Model” provides a theoretical depiction of how racism drives every phase along the life-cycle continuum of a systemic disruption.

Norrinda Brown, Black Liberty in Emergency, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 691 (2023).

COVID-19 pandemic orders were weaponized by state and local governments in Black neighborhoods, often through violent acts of the police. This revealed an intersection of three centuries-old patterns— criminalizing Black movement, quarantining racial minorities in public health crises, and segregation. The geographic borders of the most restrictive pandemic order enforcement were nearly identical to the borders of highly segregated, historically Black neighborhoods.

Lynnise Phillips Pantin, Financial Inclusion, Cryptocurrency, and Afrofuturism, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 621 (2023).

As a community, Black people consistently face barriers to full participation in traditional financial markets. The decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency market is attractive to a community that has been historically and systematically excluded from the traditional financial markets by both private and public actors. As new entrants to any type of financial market, Black people have increasingly embraced blockchain technology and cryptocurrency as a path towards the wealth-building opportunities and financial freedom they have been denied in traditional markets. This Article analyzes whether the technology’s decentralized system will lead to financial inclusion or increased financial exclusion. Without reconciling the racially discriminatory history or effects of the current central financial system, the innovative decentralized appeal to Black people will do little to overcome economic inequity. It may be possible that some cryptocurrencies can be tools for financial inclusion by improving economic outcomes and building wealth outside of traditional financial institutions, but without an intervention, a decentralized system will not necessarily lead to decentralized wealth.

Daiquiri J. Steele, Enforcing Equity, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 577 (2023).

Federal administrative agencies that enforce workplace laws have dual responsibilities: (1) to prevent or remedy noncompliance with the underlying workplace law and (2) to prevent or remedy noncompliance with the law’s antiretaliation provisions. Disparities based on race, sex, and their intersection exist with respect to both of these types of employer noncompliance, as female workers and workers of color experience more violations of the substantive provisions and the retaliation provisions of these laws. While effective enforcement is vital to preserving workplace regulation as a whole, there is also an equity component to enforcement. Because workplace law violations disproportionately harm women and people of color, ineffective enforcement by administrative agencies disproportionately harms these groups.

Gregory Klass and Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, Gender and Deception: Moral Perceptions and Legal Responses, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. 193 (2023).

Decades of social science research has shown that the identity of the parties in a legal action can affect case outcomes. Parties’ race, gender, class, and age all affect decisions of prosecutors, judges, juries, and other actors in a criminal prosecution or civil litigation. Less studied has been how identity might affect other forms of legal regulation. This Essay begins to explore perceptions of deceptive behavior—i.e., how wrongful it is, and the extent to which it should be regulated or punished—and the relationship of those perceptions to the gender of the actors. We hypothesize that ordinary people tend to perceive deception of women as more wrongful than deception of men, and that such perceptions can affect both case outcomes and decisions to regulate.