Document Type


Publication Title

Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

Publication Date



race, civil rights


This Article thus argues that instead of regarding cities and localities that, like Seattle and Louisville, try to develop serious solutions to existing racial disparities as "bad cities" no different from those whose notorious policies spurred the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, we should be regarding them as potential "equality innovators.” Their on-the-ground experience with the realities of race and its operation in the twenty-first century arguably places them in a better position than courts to develop innovative approaches to the structural racial inequities with which so many municipalities must grapple. Existing doctrine limits dramatically the ability of courts to confront in any meaningful way how localities and the people that inhabit them actually navigate race.