That Trumpism is born, at least in part, of reactionary racism seems inarguable from data compiled since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Law, however, looks at discrimination differently than other disciplines, inferring a discriminatory motive where an actor proffers an implausible explanation for his decisions. Smith employs frameworks from U.S. antidiscrimination law to argue that white voters’ embrace of Trump bears familiar hallmarks of discriminatory intent. This observation is not without practical consequence, for although voters believe their candidate preferences are a matter of personal choice, Smith argues that when voters cast a ballot, they are not acting as individuals but rather as state actors. Voters are therefore bound by antidiscrimination norms as surely as a duly elected government. White voters’ failure to abide these norms, Smith contends, carries with it legal consequences that vitiate, if not nullify, their racially discriminatory electoral choices.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!