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Loyola law professor and former Gates classmate proposes act to Congress

July 31, 2009

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law professor Mitchell Crusto has recently proposed to U.S. Congress the Anti-Racial Profiling Act of 2009, also referred to as the “Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Act,” as a result of Gates’ recent arrest in Cambridge, Mass. Crusto, a former Yale University classmate of Gates, is also a published scholar on the legal history of race and the U.S. Constitution.

Earlier in July, Gates, a professor at Harvard University, was arrested at his home by a Cambridge, Mass., police officer who was responding to a report of a possible break-in. Though charges were later dropped, the high-profile incident created a national firestorm of racial debate that even prompted President Barack Obama to become involved.

“While racial profiling is a continuing significant matter, the Gates arrest challenges the scope of privacy in one’s home,” Crusto said. “Racial sensitivities are an enduring, yet unfortunate, legacy of American enslavement of blacks.”

In addition to the proposed act, Crusto also is composing a law review article on the subject that analyzes the slavery roots of police intrusion into black homes.

Crusto recently completed two other articles. “Enslaved Constitution: Obstructing the Freedom to Travel,” on the right to intrastate travel, was published in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. The article analyzes an incident after Hurricane Katrina, in which Gretna, La., police officers barricaded the Crescent City Connection bridge to prevent people fleeing flooding in New Orleans, La., from entering the suburban city. The other article, “Obama’s Moral Capitalism, Resuscitating the American Dream,” proposes a constitutional right to the freedom from predation, including predatory lending, and is soon to be published in the University of Miami Law Review.

For more information or to schedule an interview, call James Shields at 504-861-5888 or jshields@loyno.edu.

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