Scientific Evidence and Equal Protection of the Law

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Rutgers University Press, 2006 - Law - 190 pages
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"Ancheta takes on a profoundly challenging topic of fundamental importance-the interaction of law and social science in the context of controversies over equality-and crafts an elegant presentation that can be appreciated on multiple levels. It is accessible to non-lawyers, but at the same time rich in sophisticated insights for scholars at the frontier. He builds a bridge between intellectual cultures, helping scientists understand how their work is understood and used (or not) by the law, and helping those in law better appreciate the uses and limits of science. This book will be a classic. I wish I could buy stock in it." --Christopher Edley, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, U.C. Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law Scientific and social scientific evidence has informed judicial decisions and the making of constitutional law for decades, but for much of U.S. history it has also served as a rhetorical device to justify inequality. It is only in recent years that scientific and statistical research has helped redress discrimination-but not without controversy. Scientific Evidence and Equal Protection of the Law provides unique insights into the judicial process and scientific inquiry by examining major decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, civil rights advocacy, and the nature of science itself. Angelo Ancheta discusses leading equal protection cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and recent litigation involving race-related affirmative action, gender inequality, and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He also examines less prominent, but equally compelling cases, including McCleskey v. Kemp, which involved statistical evidence that a state's death penalty was disproportionately used when victims were white and defendants were black, and Castaneda v. Partida, which established key standards of evidence in addressing the exclusion of Latinos from grand jury service. For each case, Ancheta explores the tensions between scientific findings and constitutional values. Angelo N. Ancheta is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Santa Clara University School of Law. He has practiced civil rights and immigration law in California and has taught at Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, and UCLA School of Law.

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