Robert S. Chang is a Professor of Law and is founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law. He writes primarily in the area of race and interethnic relations. He is the author of Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law and the Nation-State (NYU Press 1999) and Minority Relations: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) and numerous articles, essays, and chapters published in leading law reviews and books on Critical Race Theory, LatCrit Theory, and Asian American Legal Studies. He is currently working on a co-authored book entitled The United States Supreme Court and White Social Dominance (with Tanya K. Hernandez, Michalyn Steele & Carlton Waterhouse).
An elected member of the American Law Institute, he has received numerous recognitions for his scholarship and service. This year, the ACLU of Washington named him as co-recipient of the Kathleen Taylor Civil Libertarian Award for his role as co-counsel representing Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County in its lawsuit against the City of Seattle for its use of force against people protesting police brutality following the murder of George Floyd. In 2018, the Society of American Law Teachers recognized him with the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award for his work as co-counsel in taking to trial, successfully, a constitutional challenge to the enactment and enforcement of a facially neutral law that was used to terminate the Mexican American Studies Program at the Tucson Unified School District. For work in Washington, he was a co-recipient of the 2014 Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award from the Legal Foundation of Washington for his leadership role in a statewide task force on race and the criminal justice system. Following the murder of George Floyd, the task force was reconvened to produce a 10-year update to the 2011 report of the previous task force. This report was presented to the Washington Supreme Court in September 2021, and like the previous report, will be published simultaneously in the Gonzaga Law Review, the Seattle University Law Review, and the Washington Law Review.
Articles, Publications, and Appearances
Toward an Asian American Legal Scholarship: Critical Race Theory, Post-structuralism, and Narrative Space, 81 Calif. L. Rev. 1241 (1993).
Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation-State (1999).
Will LGBT Antidiscrimination Law Follow the Course of Race Antidiscrimination Law, 100 Minn. L. Rev. 2103 (2016).
Whitewashing Precedent: From the Chinese Exclusion Case to Korematsu to the Muslim Travel Ban Cases, 68 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1183 (2018).
The 14th Amendment and Me: How I Learned Not to Give Up on the 14th Amendment, 64 Howard L.J. 53 (2020).
Race and Washington’s Criminal Justice System: 2021 Report to the Washington Supreme Court, 56 Gonzaga Law Review, 45 Seattle University Law Review, 97 Washington Law Review (forthcoming in all three journals in 2022) (update on Race and Washington’s Criminal Justice System).
“Racial Realism, Today.” 26th Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society. NYU Law School. November 2021.
“Fake News! Korematsu v. United States Overruled.” Ralph F. Fuchs Lecture. Indiana University Mauer School of Law. Indiana University. Bloomington, Indiana. September 2018.
“Ethnic Studies on Trial: Some Lessons from Tucson.” Keynote Address. Ethnic Studies in Action! 2nd Annual Ethnic Studies Student Research Symposium. Oregon State University. Corvallis, Oregon. April 2018.
We Ended Race Discrimination at the Lunch Counter; Now Let’s Ban It in the Jury Box. Raleigh News & Observer. February 2, 2020.
Trump’s transgender ban is headed to court, along with the dehumanizing claims he makes to support it, NBC News Think,Dec. 10, 2018. .
Derogatory trademarks aren’t about free speech. They’re about discrimination, Washington Post, June 21, 2017.
Deny trademark of hateful names, USA Today, Jan. 30, 2017 (with Cecelia Chang) (print, national edition).
The Dark History of the Chinese Exclusion Act (animated TED-ED narration) (2021).