Friday, August 20, 2010

Olivas on Mexican-American Legal History

In the SB 1070 litigation, a number of Mexican -American groups and individuals have brought lawsuits seeking to strike down the Arizona immigration law and vindicate their rights: for example, MALDEF v. Brewer, Salgado v. Brewer and Escobar v. Brewer. The SB 1070 litigation is not the first time that Mexican-Americans have brought legal actions to enforce their rights. In fact, Mexican-Americans have a long history of using the courts to assert and establish their civil rights. For instance, Mexican - Americans brought a lawsuit seeking to overturn legalized segregation of Mexican -Americans in public schools in Texas in 1930. For those interested in Mexican-American legal history, Professor Michael Olivas has recently posted an article reviewing a number of books dealing with the history of Mexican-American civil rights litigation: "Review Essay: The Arc of Triumph and the Agony of Defeat: Mexican -Americans and the Law." ( Among other things, Olivas writes that "the rise of this developing field of legal history" shows that Mexican-Americans "have history --and law--in our blood."

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