Sikhs in America: “Perpetually Foreign, Automatically Suspect, and Potentially Terrorist”

This essay examines two points in American history during which the United States effectively perceived Sikhs as terrorists even while they sought freedom from oppressive regimes, first British and then Indian. Although Sikh immigrants resided on U.S. soil, the United States’ alliances with the colonizing British government and the successor Indian government contributed to the criminalization of Sikh immigrants who were involved in political struggles against those entities. This history reveals how Sikhs have been caught in the nexus of criminal law and immigration law for over a century. Awareness of this history, in turn, allows us to contextualize the current immigration issues facing Sikhs within the broader landscape of Sikh American subjugation. […]

Law Schools Have A Moral and Social Responsibility to End Systemic Racism

This blog post will describe how law schools are pipelines for government positions in America, while also being institutions that have engaged in discriminatory practices. I conclude by providing seven actions that law schools can take to work towards remedying a history of discrimination and ensuring that the legal profession reflects the diversity of our society. […]

Public Charge: The Beginning of the End for Nationwide Injunctions?

Immigrants would disenroll from Medicaid and federal housing assistance programs for fear that use of public benefits would weigh against them should they apply for a change in immigration status. This, in turn, would result in greater use of city and county health services and greater housing insecurity risking homelessness. Given these deleterious consequences, if the public charge rule—as multiple federal courts have found —appears to violate the Constitution, APA, and federal immigration laws, why shouldn’t it be enjoined uniformly nationwide? In this essay, I argue that it should, because nationwide injunctions are both a permissible exercise of judicial discretion and a desirable check on executive agencies. […]

An Equal Protection Defense of SB 826

Introduction On September 30, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), requiring female representation on California-based companies’ corporate boards. SB 826 is the mandatory version of Senate Concurrent Resolution 62, which in September 2013 urged California companies to increase female representation on their boards to between one and three women, depending on […]

Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and the Future of DACA

[T]he Court was right to hold that DHS’s decision to rescind DACA is reviewable and that the program’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious. For a decision affecting nearly 700,000 individuals, their families and communities, the Trump Administration failed to provide contemporaneous reasoned analysis for its decision or to weigh transparently its costs and benefits.[…]

Angels of Injustice: What Large-Scale Protests Teach Us About Justice

The law student confounded by the simple question, “What is justice?” now sits in an exceptional moment of reckoning. The question is not a facetious one, despite the grave irony of being asked in a country built on stolen land by stolen people, where even the most publicly adored jurist can callously dismiss an indigenous nation by wagging at “embers of sovereignty that long ago grew cold.” The question is all the more important in that grand institution called law school, which has tended socially and pedagogically to perpetuate inequities. Yet the law school curriculum appears not to answer the question, or at least not satisfactorily. This leaves the law student to either adopt narrow doctrinal assumptions about justice, or to go ask the question elsewhere. […]