Banning The Box Is Not Nearly Enough By Lewis M. Steel Essay

Banning The Box Is Not Nearly Enough By Lewis M. Steel Essay

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“Banning the Box is Not Nearly Enough” by Lewis M. Steel relates to topics covered in We the People: An Introduction to American Government (Eleventh Edition), more specifically the material examined in chapter three (“Federalism: Forging A Nation”) and chapter four (“Civil Liberties: Protecting Individual Rights”). Not only does the article include subjects that are mentioned in chapters three and four, but it also provides a deeper understanding as to why the issue discussed in the article is so relevant to our country’s politics.
In the news article, “Banning the Box is Not Nearly Enough,” the author, Lewis M. Steel, and his colleagues at Outten & Golden along with other law firms around the country have been working to eliminate the box on job applications that asks about prior criminal offenses. Their efforts have resulted in being successful in 23 states but even with that field being removed from an abundance of employment applications, it only delays the process of background checks and inquiries about criminal history, which then leads to inevitable rejection. Some minorities are facing that issue more often than others, so the law firms working on this issue are making it their priority to represent those minorities, mostly African Americans and Latinos. They have decided to represent them because their rejection rates are higher than any of the other races or ethnicities, which correlates to the minorities’ disproportionately high percentage of arrests, convictions, and incarcerations. High minority rejection rates were a significant issue and were evident in 2010 when the Census Bureau rejected the same minorities (African Americans and Latinos) for having old criminal records. Outten & Golden with the help of a feder...


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... or government regulation- …considers criminal records only after an analysis of both the job in question and whether the past crime could realistically threaten the employer’s business.” The author does not clarify whether he means the federal government or the state government, but it would be intuitive to assume he means giving the states more power to establish a non-biased and non-discriminatory hiring system handled by the state governments, local governments, or more specifically private parties (companies and businesses) overseen by the local or state government. If this were to occur, a very small percentage of businesses would have a discrimination issue in their hiring system due to the fact that they would have state or local guidelines they would have to follow. If that were the case, the author and the Outten & Golden law firm would support devolution.

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