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UCLA prof to discuss Supreme Court stance on racial equality in Black History Month speech at UH Law Center Feb 13  

, Professor Devon W. Carbado of the UCLA School of Law

Professor Devon W. Carbado of the UCLA School of Law

Feb. 7, 2020 — As the featured speaker of Black History Month at the University of Houston Law Center on Feb. 13, Professor Devon W. Carbado of the UCLA School of Law will analyze three decisions in contending the U.S. Supreme Court has “constitutionalized” racial inequality.

He will draw on Fourteenth and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence to demonstrate how the court failed to take into account both structural forms of racial inequality and the existence of implicit and explicit biases.

Carbado’s presentation, “Constitutionalizing Racial Inequality,” will discuss these cases:

  • Regents of University of California v. Bakke: (Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.’s concurrence in the opinion that diversity may serve as a compelling state interest for affirmative action but combatting societal may not)
  • Washington v. Davis: (Established the requirement that plaintiffs prove discriminatory intent to sustain an equal protection violation)
  • Whren v. United States: (Held that as long as police officers have probable cause to conduct a traffic stop, it does not matter, for purposes of Fourth Amendment law,  whether their decision is racially motivated)

Carbado is the Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and the former associate vice chancellor of BruinX for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He teaches Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication.  He has won numerous teaching awards and in 2005 was an inaugural recipient of the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship awarded to scholars whose work furthers the goals of Brown v. Board of Education. In 2018, he was named an inaugural recipient of the Atlantic Philanthropies Fellowship for Racial Equity.

Carbado writes in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure, implicit bias, constitutional law, and critical race theory. His scholarship has appeared in numerous law reviews; he is the author of “Acting White? Rethinking Race in “Post-Racial” America”(Oxford University Press) (with Mitu Gulati); and the editor of several volumes. He is currently working on a series of articles on affirmative action and a book on race, law, and police violence.

Carbado graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994. He joined the UCLA School of Law faculty in 1997. 

The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, in room 109 BLB at the University of Houston Law Center. Register here.

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125,; John T. Kling, Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.

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