New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

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Harvard Latino Law Review, Vol. 12, p. 41, 2009


As part of this symposium to celebrate the publication of a Latinos and the Law casebook by Richard Delgado, Juan Perea, and Jean Stefancic, this Essay considers why the time is ripe for bringing Latinos out of the casebook squibs and into the canon. The primary answer is: numbers. As Latinos become an increasingly large segment of the U.S. population, understanding how they fit into American history and how their presence has shaped the law's development becomes central to understanding the nature of our polity. But the growth of the Latino population into a dominant minority (and an outright majority in some jurisdictions) raises a new set of questions: what happens to our conceptions of rights and responsibilities when a minority starts to take on the characteristics of a majority, or an outright majority ceases to exist? Our conception of the category "Latino" and its place in our politics and constitutional jurisprudence must change as the population grows in size and importance. This Essay explores how and why.

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