Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2023

First Page


Journal Title Abbreviation

Rutgers Law Rev.


This Article uses the history of procedural rules governing “freedom suits” to elucidate the collection of rights that constitute the Western idea of “individual liberty,” and to make a prima facie case that our current Rules of Civil Procedure are biased against the enforcement of those rights by American minorities. This history reveals a systemic inequality in procedural rights that both pre-dates race and favors the consolidation of economic and political power over the enjoyment of the rights that supply the foundation for classical liberalism. I argue that collecting demographic data on litigants’ interaction with our Rules of Civil Procedure will yield not only a deeper understanding of this bias, but also potentially transformative insights for our judicial system in a time of needed reform.