Published on April 14, 2016 | by LawNews
Prof. Barbara Stark Publishes Article in Columbia Human Rights Law Review
“How the Age of Rights Became the New Gilded Age: From International Antidiscrimination Law to Global Inequality,” an essay by Professor Barbara Stark, was published in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 47 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 151-97 (2015).
The essay takes issue with the recent characterization of “antidiscrimination law as an American invention” by the AALS Workshop on Transnational Perspectives on Equality Law. It begins by pointing out the antidiscrimination provisions included in earlier international and regional human rights instruments and describing the global human rights and anti-colonial movements that inspired American civil rights activists.
Recognizing the international roots of antidiscrimination law is not just a matter of giving credit where credit is due. Framing antidiscrimination law as an American invention preempts consideration of the economic inequality that has been at the core of international human rights from the very beginning. Economic rights, such as the right to health and the right to an adequate standard of living, have always been key to international antidiscrimination law. These rights remain anathema to many in the United States. The 2012 Republican Party Platform characterized the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for example, as “an attack on our Constitution.”