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CSLS Speaker Series – JOY MILLIGAN

Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society 
is pleased to announce the next talk in the Fall 2017 CSLS Speaker Series,

Joy Milligan is Associate Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law

She will be speaking on her paper
“Public Housing and the Administrative Constitution of Race”

Public housing represents one of the most striking New Deal legacies.  Surrounded with political and constitutional controversy, the emergence of government-owned and -subsidized rental housing for the poor was one of the more radical extensions of state power in the twentieth century.  The liberal agenda that included public housing, however, also explicitly accommodated white supremacy.  And the very constitutional and political compromises that permitted public housing to emerge and survive its early existential challenges also created a space in which federal officials could design their own racial policies.  Contrary to the classic narrative of constitutional law, the New Deal compromises did not simultaneously permit the extension of the social welfare state, while prodding courts to vigorously protect racial minorities.  Rather, the constitutional space opened up by New Deal jurisprudence and the emerging structures of cooperative federalism gave federal administrators room to design policies that sometimes favored “racial equity” but inevitably accommodated and extended racial segregation. 

In this Article, I trace the Public Housing Administration’s treatment of racial equality questions from the agency’s origins through the era of Shelley v. Kraemer and Brown v. Board of Education.  Drawing on original archival research into the agency’s internal deliberations and policymaking, I argue that federal officials were able to construct an alternative, administrative constitution of race in those years.  Relatively insulated from judicial review, public housing officials crafted their approach to race and segregation primarily in response to political constraints and their own institutional imperatives.  The “effective constitution” that emerged determined how public housing would be built and operated for decades to come, and helped to shape the segregated American metropolis of the present.

lease join us on Monday, November 13 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave.

Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Jonathan Simon, Faculty Director
Rosann Greenspan, Executive Director


Monday, November 13, 2017
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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