In the era of Jim Crow, racial minorities were segregated and excluded from participating in white society. Minorities were segregated in public schools, excluded from public accommodations, excluded from participation on juries, and excluded from living in certain areas. Harkening back to that earlier time, racial minorities now are often excluded from using the class action device to bring civil rights claims.
This paper argues that courts are very tough in how they handle class certification decisions in race discrimination class actions. On the other hand, the courts are quite lenient in how they handle class certification decisions in human rights class actions. The paper tries to explain why this is the case. The paper argues that race discrimination class action cases should be treated in the same lenient fashion as the human rights cases.
In Part II of this paper, the author sets out some history regarding class actions. Part Ill sets out the basic requirements for certification of a class action. Part IV examines how the courts have treated human rights class actions in making class certification decisions. Part V compares the human rights cases to the courts' handling of race discrimination class actions and points out that the cases are treated differently. Part VI seeks to explain the differential treatment. Part VII argues that the race cases should be treated in the same lenient fashion as the human rights cases.
Journal of Legislation
George A. Martinez, Race Discrimination and Human Rights Class Actions: The Virtual Exclusion of Racial Minorities from the Class Action Device, 33 J. Legis. 181 (2007)