Volume 39 Number 3
Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

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Article

Introduction: The Thirteenth Amendment Through the Lens of Class and Labor

The articles in this Symposium are arranged in three clusters. One cluster focuses on the definition of slavery and involuntary servitude and the reach of the Thirteenth Amendment in prohibiting oppressive labor relationships. Another cluster analyzes several positive class-based rights that emanate from the Thirteenth Amendment. The final cluster examines contemporary examples of oppressive labor […]

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Is Modern Day Slavery a Private Act or a Public System of Oppression?

The government focuses on trafficking as the definitive form of modern day slavery. In doing so, it portrays modern day slavery as a private act with identifiable wrongdoers and views the Thirteenth Amendment through the lens of forced labor. Workers’ advocates, on the other hand, portray modern day slavery as a systemic form of oppression, […]

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The Constitution and Slavery Overseas

This Article examines the resources available under American law to address the issues raised by extraterritorial enforcement of one of the most widely recognized human rights—to be free from physical coercion and the loss of liberty. Part I reviews the history of adoption, interpretation, and enforcement of the Thirteenth Amendment. The scope of the Amendment […]

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The Last Legally Beaten Servant in America: From Compulsion to Coercion in the American Workplace

Historically, the law of master-servant allowed corporal punishment. Today it seems strange to contemplate that intentionally inflicted violence was ever an acceptable method of compelling workers to labor in America. Strange as it seems, the practice of striking servants to discipline them was considered a legitimate, implicit part of the relationship between masters and servants. […]

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Of Swords, Shields, and a Gun to the Head: Coercing Individuals, But Not States

This Article begins with a brief reprise of what should be a textual “gotcha” about the Enforcement Clauses of the post-Civil War Amendments—if our current Supreme Court Justices actually cared about original texts, originalism, or a combination of the two. Next, the Article focuses on the gnarled issue of “coercion.” It argues that, contrary to […]

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Class as Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’s Applicability to Class-Based Subordination

The Thirteenth Amendment currently enjoys a robust renaissance among legal scholars who contend that it provides a judicial remedy for and congressional authority to proscribe the “badges and incidents of slavery.” As discussed below, this interpretation, although not self- evident from the Amendment’s bare text, is well supported by the Amendment’s history and context, the […]

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The Thirteenth Amendment, Human Trafficking, and Hate Crimes

The two most recent federal statutes passed pursuant to Congress’s Thirteenth Amendment enforcement power are the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Act of 2009. While the Thirteenth Amendment basis of the TVPA has never been questioned in court, the constitutionality of the Shepard-Byrd Act has been challenged (albeit […]

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The Thirteenth Amendment, Disparate Impact, and Empathy Deficits

Modern civil rights policy is, as the late Justice Scalia warned, at “war.” On the one hand, some laws, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Fair Housing Act, can impose liability for decisions due to their racial impacts rather than their racial motivation. Defendants in such cases […]

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A Positive Right to Free Labor

This Article seeks to resurrect a lost thread in our civil rights tradition: the idea that workers have a positive right to free labor. A positive right to free labor includes the right to work for a living wage free of undue coercion and free from discrimination based on immutable characteristics. Not merely the negative […]

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