Discrimination and civil rights law

(Walter Olson online writings, by topic)

For regularly updated commentaries on this subject as well as outside links, see my Overlawyered.com site, launched July 1999.


Disabled rights, sex discrimination and harassment and employment law form their own categories in this guide, which should be consulted for articles on those topics.

The Excuse Factory contains a great deal of material on discrimination law, including Chapters 3 ("All Protected Now", on the expansion of anti-bias law), 8 ("Surprise Farewells", on age discrimination law), 7 ("Dropping the Stretcher", on legal assaults on employee testing), and more. Most of this material is not online. Online articles and excerpts include:

"Felon Protection" (laws barring employment discrimination against convicted criminals), Reason, December 1999.

"Tripp Wire" (government use of discrimination "testers"), Reason, April 1998.

"Punch the Clock, Sue the Boss" (promoters of expansive discrimination law keep getting sued themselves), New York Times, March 20, 1998.

"For Heaven's Sake" ("religious accommodation" law), Reason, December 1997.

"Say What?" (accent discrimination), Reason, November 1997 (and New York Post condensation).

"Age-bias law backfires on boomers", USA Today, August 26, 1997.

"How Employers Are Forced To Hire Murderers and Other Felons", Wall Street Journal, June 18, 1997.

"Framing Texaco: How lawyers and the New York Times concocted a scam", American Spectator, February 1997.

"Is It Really an In-Justice System?", New York Post, September 30, 1996.

"A Connecticut Yankee in Court", City Journal, Autumn 1996.

"Return to Normalcy" (Andrew Sullivan and his critique of antidiscrimination law), Reason, January 1996 (alternate site).

Ending Racial Gerrymanders: New Supreme Court ruling moves voting rights battles back in the right direction, New York Post, July 2, 1993.

"Breaking Ranks", review of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby by Stephen Carter, National Review, October 7, 1991.

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