2013-2014 Symposium

2013-2014 Symposium

Torts and Civil Rights Law: Migration and Conflict

November 15, 2013 | Saxbe Auditorium

Increasingly, courts and commentators have labeled federal statutory anti-discrimination claims “torts” or “tort-like” claims, without thoroughly discussing the implications of this classification. Particularly since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling applying the controversial concept of “proximate cause” to a claim of employment discrimination, the lower courts have stepped up their efforts to reshape a number of anti-discrimination doctrines to align with general tort concepts, often with the effect of limiting the scope of statutory civil rights protection. Thus, tort law is playing a more prominent role in statutory interpretation under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

On November 15, 2013, the Ohio State Law Journal, working closely with Faculty Symposium Advisors Martha Chamallas (Moritz) and Sandra Sperino (University of Cincinnati), will present Torts and Civil Rights Law: Migration and Conflict. This symposium will explore the theoretical and doctrinal affinities and clashes between tort and anti-discrimination law, while fostering dialogue between tort and anti-discrimination scholars. Symposium participants will explore whether the connections are strong enough to justify robust use of tort principles in anti- discrimination analysis and whether anti-discrimination law should be interpreted through a torts lens. They also will discuss whether tort law should selectively adopt anti-discrimination norms and analysis.

The Ohio State Law Journal would like to thank our co-sponsors for their generous support: The Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies, the ACLU–Moritz Chapter, and the Black Law Students Association.