David C. Baum Memorial Lecture

Disarming the Private Attorney General

In Disarming the Private Attorney General, Professor Karlan de-scribes how the Supreme Court has created a significant regulation-remedy gap by critically undercutting one of the primary mechanisms Congress has used for enforcing civil rights: the private attorney gen-eral. Professor Karlan identifies a series of techniques the Court has used to strip private individuals of their ability to enforce civil rights laws. On the one hand, the Court has expanded the scope of sovereign immunity under a new “Eleventeenth” Amendment jurisprudence and the scope of compelled arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. On the other hand, the Court has contracted the availability of implied rights of action and attorney’s fees. The overall effect of the Court’s decisions is to severely restrict enforcement of basic antidiscrimination require-ments.

The full text of this David C. Baum Memorial Lecture is available to download as a PDF.