BOSTON COLLEGE
Boston College Third World Law Journal

Student
Publications

Volume 24 2004 Number 2

[Pages 267-282]
PUBLIC OPINION AND STRICT SCRUTINY EQUAL PROTECTION REVIEW: HIGHER EDUCATION AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND THE FUTURE OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION FRAMEWORK
Lawrence Friedman*

Abstract:  Against the background of the debate over the constitutionality of state-sponsored higher education affirmative action programs, this Essay presents an account of the modern equal protection framework that balances a normative concern for the protection of individuals from discrimination and a structural concern for the counter-majoritarian difficulty. The author suggests that state-sponsored higher education affirmative action programs may survive strict scrutiny, and that proposals urging the judicial consideration of public opinion about such programs should be rejected. Even if public opinion could be accurately gauged, it should not influence the application of strict scrutiny to such programs, or play any part in equal protection review.

[Pages 283-332]
LETTING DOWN THEIR GUARD: WHAT GUARDIANS AD LITEM SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES
Cynthia Grover Hastings*

Abstract:  Children who are exposed to adult domestic violence frequently suffer long-term negative consequences as a result. Consequently, courts and legislatures have begun to consider the perpetration of domestic abuse as an important factor in private child custody disputes. Yet guardians ad litem, who are appointed with increasing regularity in these cases, are often inadequately prepared to recognize and address this complicated issue. This Note looks at the historical use of guardians ad litem, as well as the current understanding of connections between domestic violence and child custody disputes, and concludes that with adequate standards and guidelines in place, guardians ad litem could help protect children who are exposed to domestic violence from further harm. The Note concludes with a set of recommended uniform guidelines that could be adapted to each state’s particular system of guardian ad litem use to protect children from further exposure to domestic abuse.

[Pages 333-372]
THE (UNREALIZED) PROMISE OF SCHOOL-TO-WORK EDUCATION: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE SCHOOL-TO-WORK OPPORTUNITES ACT OF 1994 ON LOW-INCOME AND MINORITY STUDENTS
Aaron Javian*

Abstract:  The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (STWOA) encouraged schools across the country to implement educational curricula that explicitly linked the worlds of school and work. Legislators hoped that integrating work-based learning with traditional classroom instruction would make education more relevant to all students. This Note examines whether STWOA succeeded in encouraging schools to integrate school-to-work programs into traditional classroom instruction. In particular, it explores school-to-work programs in Massachusetts to determine their effect on minority and low-income students. Although STWOA has largely failed to integrate work-based programs into the mainstream of educational curricula nationwide, this Note contends that STWOA helped to catalyze the implementation of school-to-work programs in key school districts such as Boston. After evaluating the benefits of work-based curricula to students in general and minority and low-income students in particular, this Note concludes that the federal government should reauthorize funding to school districts that have shown a commitment to school-to-work education.

[Pages 373-393]
FORGING A COMMON CULTURE: INTEGRATING CALIFORNIA'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT POPULATION
Erin Kragh*

Abstract:  Victor Davis Hanson’s book examines the effects of changes in California’s immigration policy over the past thirty years. Hanson asserts that the dismal education and income statistics for illegal immigrants currently residing in California are the result of a move from an assimilation model of integrating immigrants to a push for multiculturalism. Hanson presents several policy solutions to prevent the eventual development of what he calls “Mexifornia,” a hyrbrid civilization that is neither purely Mexico nor purely California, yet these entail either a return to the complete assimilation of immigrants or draconian cutbacks to the admission of non-citizens. This Book Review proposes a fifth option—the “state action” option—which involves the California government, through the passage of legislation, supporting the integration of its current undocumented immigrant population while ensuring that its members attain certain basic levels of citizenship.

[Pages 395-420]
ASIAN AMERICANS IN THE TELEVISION MEDIA: CREATING INCENTIVE FOR CHANGE
Audrey Kwak*

Abstract:  The authors of Race and Place: Equity Issues in Urban America argue the existence of a significant link between race and urban geography. They contend that white racism and domination, rather than a lack of individual motivation or ability, created the concentrated populations of socioeconomically disadvantaged minorities that characterize today’s American urban landscape. This Book Review explores in detail one cause and enabler of inequity that the authors cursorily implicate: the entertainment media’s capacity to manipulate societal norms. After discussing the powerful role of television media to shape and influence perceptions and behavior, this Review examines the current paucity of Asian-American portrayals in news and entertainment television, and the stereotyped, harmful, and inaccurate nature of those portrayals that do exist. This Book Review concludes that television’s widespread influence can reduce social inequity and should be exploited, and proposes a system of tax incentives designed to compel, rather than dictate, positive change.

[Pages 421-442]
CRIMINALIZING MARITAL RAPE IN INDONESIA
Leah Riggins*

Abstract:  Violence Against Women in Asian Societies examines cultural and other factors affecting women’s experiences of violence in south and southeast Asia through a collection of essays. One particular essay on marital violence in Indonesia focuses on legal, political, and cultural constructions of marital rape. Indonesian wives currently face marital rape with no possibility of legal protection from their husbands. This Book Review argues that marital rape should be criminalized in Indonesia, and that this can be achieved by applying an individual rights approach to violence against women. Indonesian women’s organizations are currently working to increase public awareness and to pass legislation on violence against women, but marital rape will neither be criminalized nor punished until legislators and the public acknowledge women’s individual rights within marriage.

[Pages 443-467]
COLOR-BLIND RACISM IN GRUTTER AND GRATZ
Keith R. Walsh*

Abstract:  In Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva examines how whites use color-blindness as a tool to perpetuate racial inequality without themselves sounding racist. He asserts that white America’s justifications for the continued second-class status of African Americans stem from a new, post-Civil Rights racial ideology that he calls color-blind racism. Bonilla-Silva argues that color-blind racism, which is founded upon the belief that race no longer matters, is currently the dominant racial ideology in the United States. This Book Review ratifies Bonilla-Silva’s argument through an examination of the recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action in higher education, which demonstrably undervalue the persistence of racial inequality in the United States. Through the use of a color-blind ideology, the Justices mask the seriousness of racial inequality in the United States and may be hastening an end to racial progress before its time.