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Cedric Merlin Powell

Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

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About Cedric

Powell's research focuses on constitutional law, rooted in Critical Race Theory. Overarching themes in Powell's writings include the ways in which neutrality reinforces oppression and subjugation in various areas of society. Subjects of Powell's writings include the Fourteenth Amendment, affirmative action, school desegregation, the First Amendment and Hate Speech, and political process theory. Powell's research connects with other subject areas because of a focus on ostensibly neutral judicial rationales and public rhetoric actually advance structural inequality in society.


In the News

Opinion: "Alito’s Inverted Flag Makes a Mockery of the Supreme Court’s Code of Ethics," Cedric Merlin Powell, The Hill, May 21, 2024.


"The Post-Racial Deception of the Roberts Court" Southern Methodist University Law Review 77, no. 1 (2024).

Discusses the Supreme Court case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC (SFFA), describing it as a deceptive effort detached from legal precedent and societal realities. Portrays the case as undermining anti-discrimination laws and distorting legal principles to favor reverse discrimination claims by white plaintiffs and racial discrimination claims by Asian-Americans. Argues that the Supreme Court's current post-racial interpretation is misleading and must be rejected to realize the vision of a truly multi-racial democracy.

"The Rhetorical Allure of Post-Racial Process Discourse and the Democratic Myth" Utah Law Review 523 (2018).

This paper describes how the Court once acknowledged this danger in its political process decisions; and, while these decisions have not been explicitly overruled, Schuette marks the constitutionalization of post-racial process discourse and the democratic myth.

"Harvesting New Conceptions of Equality: Opportunity, Results, and Neutrality" Saint Louis University Public Law Review 31, no. 2 (2012).

This article examines the use of "neutral" rhetoric in court decisions related to race and equal opportunity in the context of integration efforts in public schools.