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63 La. L. Rev. 759 (2002-2003)
The Struggle for Civil Rights: The Need for, and Impediments to, Political Coalitions among and within Minority Groups

handle is hein.journals/louilr63 and id is 773 raw text is: The Struggle for Civil Rights: The Need for, and
Impediments to, Political Coalitions Among and
Within Minority Groups
Kevin R. Johnson*
The ominous title of this conference--Is Civil Rights Law
Dead?--is in no small part a sign of the times.' The last few years
have seen dire setbacks in civil rights law,2 including but not limited
to attacks on affirmative action,3 passage ofrestrictionist immigration
legislation4 and welfare reform, imposition of limits on civil rights
litigation,6 and the creation of legal roadblocks to remedy the
Copyright 2003, by LOUISIANA LAW REVIEW.
* Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of California at Davis,
Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies; Director, Chicana/o Studies Program
(2000-01); A.B., University of California, Berkeley; J.D., Harvard University.
Thanks to the Louisiana Law Review for organizing this symposium and inviting
me to participate. Jackie McCreary, the symposium editor, and Sheila LaCost
deserve special thanks for all their diligence and commitment in putting the
wonderfully successful event together. The Louisiana State law faculty, especially
John V. White, Gregory Vincent, John Devlin, and Jim Bowers, provided
invaluable support and leadership to the student organizers of the conference.
Thanks to Adrien Wing for her friendship and inspiration. Last but not least, thanks
to Dean Rex Perschbacher for his support of my scholarship and other professional
1. See John Valery White, Foreword: Is Civil Rights Law Dead?, 63 La. L.
Rev. 609 (2003).
2. See John Valery White, The Activist Insecurity and the Demise of Civil
Rights Law, 63 La. L. Rev. 785 (2003).
3. See Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pefia, 515 U.S. 200, 115 S. Ct. 2097
(1995); City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 109 S. Ct. 706 (1989);
Hopwood v. State of Texas, 78 F.3d 932, cert. denied, 518 U.S. 1033, 116 S. Ct.
2580 (1996); see also Girardeau A. Spann, Proposition 209, 47 Duke L.J. 187
(1997) (analyzing California's initiative ending consideration of race in public
education and contracting programs). Narrowly-tailored race-based affirmative
action was recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. See Grutter v. Bollinger, 123
S. Ct. 2325 (2003); Gratz v. Bollinger, 123 S. Ct. 2411 (2003).
4. See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No.
104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996); Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996).
5. See Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
1996, Pub. L. No. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2260 (1996).
6. See Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat.
1321 (1996). Congress has also imposed many restrictions on the activities of
public interest organizations that obtain funding from the federal Legal Services
Corporation, which made it more difficult for those organizations to protect the
rights of the poor. See generally J. Dwight Yoder, Note, Justice or Injusticefor the
Poor?: A Look at the Constitutionality of Congressional Restrictions on Legal
Services, 6 Win. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 827 (1998) (analyzing restrictions).

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