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The Structural Context of Novel Rights Claims.pdf

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL3140
Professor
Emily Regan Wills
Semester
Fall

Description
The Structural Context of Novel Rights Claims Southern Civil Rights Organizing 19611966Authors Francesca PollettaSource LawSociety Review Vol 34 No 2 2000 pp 367406Published by Wiley on behalf of the Law and Society AssociationStable URL httpwwwjstororgstable3115087 Accessed 23102013 1145Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the TermsConditions of Use available at httpwwwjstororgpageinfoaboutpoliciestermsjsp JSTOR is a notforprofit service that helps scholars researchers and students discover use and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship For more information about JSTOR please contact supportjstororg Wiley and Law and Society Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize preserve and extend access toLaw Society Reviewhttpwwwjstororg This content downloaded from 137122873 on Wed 23 Oct 2013 114507 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions367 Context of Novel Claims The Structural Rights Southern Civil 19611966 Rights Organizing Francesca Polletta Theorists of Critical Studies have that the abstract CLS Legal argued and character of makes them of dubious individualistic statedependent rights value for for social Southern in civil groups fighting change rights organizers the 1960s in the kind of that CLS writers early engaged poweroriented strategy in advocate lieu of a one the claims made However rightsoriented rights they inside and outside courtrooms were essential to their ef political organizing forts Far from collective to the limits of the activists law narrowing aspirations extension of claims to the assaults on eco rights unqualified legitimated nomic in and the inequality governmental decisionmaking poverty programs Vietnam War What made this novel formulation was not the mul possible only tivalent character of but also features of the and social rights key political contexts within which were advanced organizational rights S hould frame their in terms of powerless groups grievances Should entitlement a of The legal they speak language rights of in collective around pervasiveness rightstalk struggles every from worth and to and thing comparable disability gambling gun control that activists see benefits in claims not suggests rights to those available or concessions needs asserting seeking direct or electoral action through legislative lobbying organiz But scholars associated with Critical Studies CLS ing Legal issued a have to the wisdom of provocative challenge rights It is not that does not do much claimsmaking just rightstalk Mark Tushnet states In the United good flatly contemporary it is harmful States 19841386 positively CLS writers that the of allows argue indeterminacy rights ju dicial decisionmakers to on the basis of and operate idiosyncratic and allows unmeritorious of ideological preferences opponents The author wishes to thank Linda Patricia David Catalano Chancer Ewick Lynn Susan Marc Alex Schindler Vitale Greenberg Silbey Abigail Saguy Amy Steinberg members of the Lazarsfeld Law and and two reviewers Society Workshop anonymousfrom Law Review for valuable comments and and Linda Catalano Society suggestions for able research assistance Address to Francesca Polletta correspondence Department of Columbia 510 New NY 10027 Hall York Sociology email University Fayerweather fap8columbiaedu LawVolume Number 2 Review 34 2000 SocietyThe Law and 2000 Association All reserved by Society rights This content downloaded from 137122873 on Wed 23 Oct 2013 114507 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions368 Civil Southern 19611966 Rights Organizing interests to invoke with clout progressive legal rights equal in terms of a substitutes no moreover Thinking rights mystified of human for tion a more authentic form of sociability unalienated connectionGabel 1984 Gabel Kennedy The is not as movement then 198384 problem only litigation with its on its and its cost lawyers strategy dependence inability the to but formulation of enforcement guarantee very griev in ances terms of As Kelman the claim is it rights puts Basically to the extent that are afflicted cognitive quite people by legalwill make less thinking counterhegemonic thought simply to think be harder see also Gabel sense 1984 1987269 simply Hunt Herman than to the illu Rather 1990 1993 succumbing freedom and should de activists sory equality promised by rights mand that their needs be met rather than their rights the should ritualized Tushnet 1984 granted They puncture of the courtroom and to and sanctity appeal peoples compassion than ofrather to standards Gabel legal justiciability empathy Harris not want to claims While 198283 they may junk rights im their value as a source of motivating altogether recognizing and should con activists Freeman 1988335 agery inspiration centrate on the distortions ideological collectively unthinking reflects and furthers should that 323 rightstalk They keep onon and not their Gabel rights Kennedy eye power 19838436 ardent defenses of Such have arguments predictably spurred In I this take a different as a movement article strategy litigation in a movement dedi how were conceived tack rights examining rec to kind of that CLS writers cated the poweroriented strategy the Between 1961 and activists under ommend 1966 working the of the Council of Federated COFO Organizations auspices the Con Student Nonviolent Committee SNCC Coordinating Freedom of Racial and the CORE Mississippi gress Equality black and Democratic to voters MFDP Party register sought in the most build indigenous political organizations repressive and of their the South and aware areas of militant Young deep of on of were dismissive the role largely cutting edge protest they fo and of other the NAACPs organizations litigation campaign And cus on federal Their was they goal yet legislation power talked local residents with whom worked and the they frequently of internal on records about meetings Drawing legal rights I ex field and movement interviews correspondence reports the relations workers understood amine how southern civil rights the ex Rather than and assessing among rights politics protest to some tent to which activists were able prelegal politi preserve CLS from as writers cal consciousness its rightstalk perversion by I of what did see law as do ask achieving might they capable forms of to efforts How did relate other activism they litigation This content downloaded from 137122873 on Wed 23 Oct 2013 114507 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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