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State Courts and School Desegregation: New Perspectives on Judicial Federalism and the Myth of Parity

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 @ 4:10 pm - 5:30 pm

Associate Justice Goodwin Liu

California Supreme Court


About the Lecture

A conventional view is that federal courts are superior forums for vindicating civil rights than state courts.  This view traces its contemporary origins to the civil rights revolution of the 1960s and 1970s in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education, the paradigmatic triumph of federal judicial power over unlawful state action. But the underexplored history of state courts and school segregation during the century before Brown challenges the conventional view. Black plaintiffs challenging segregation obtained relief in state courts more often than is commonly known. By examining scores of segregation cases litigated during the century before Brown, Liu aims to shed new and critical light on the ‘myth of parity’ and elucidate the shared role of state and federal courts in elucidating constitutional principles.

About Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Before joining the state’s highest court in 2011, Justice Liu was Professor of Law at Berkeley Law and served as Associate Dean. His areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Liu clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then worked as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. He went on to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2000 term. He is a prolific and influential scholar. His publications have appeared in the California Law ReviewNYU Law ReviewStanford Law ReviewYale Law Journal, and New York Times, among others. Justice Liu serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, on the Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation, and on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019
4:10 pm - 5:30 pm


Chevron Auditorium, International House
2299 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA United States


Berkeley Graduate Lectures

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

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