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Sandoval's Retrenchment on Civil Rights Enforcement

The Ultimate Sorcerer's Magic

By Jane Perkins & Sarah Jane Somers

In Alexander v. Sandoval the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs had no private right of action to enforce regulations prohibiting disparate impact discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Because the Sandoval majority "picked and chose" among conclusions from previous Supreme Court cases, the decision undermines basic concepts of stare decisis. The decision leaves questions unanswered and is likely to affect future cases.

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