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Letters of the LawRace and the Fantasy of Colorblindness in American Law$
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Sora Y. Han

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789110

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789110.001.0001

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Racial Profiling

Racial Profiling

(p.73) Chapter Three Racial Profiling
Letters of the Law

Sora Y. Han

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the problem of legal interpretation in constitutional protections of privacy, including the Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection and due process, and the Fourth Amendment right requiring probable cause during police searches and seizures of persons and property. It argues that legal interpretations of these privacy rights and the policing such rights delimit both rely on the fantasmatic pursuit of an escaping image, the racial profile, to enforce the universal democratic value of personal sovereignty. The fantasy of colorblindness appears in this doctrinal context as a constitutional gaze that both creates and obscures the racial profile in the imaginative domain of producing legal meaning.

Keywords:   sexual privacy, racial profiling, Fourth Amendment, due process, legal interpretation, imago, fugitive slave, whiteness as property, symbolic death, literary imagination

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