Jessica Knouse (University of Toledo - College of Law) has posted From Identity Politics to Ideology Politics (Utah Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
"From Identity Politics to Ideology Politics" begins by arguing that “identity politics” – i.e., activism by identity groups such as African Americans, women, gays, etc. – can be harmful. By using identity as a proxy for ideology, identity politics makes incorrect presumptions. It presumes, for example, that all African Americans favor affirmative action, all women are pro-choice, and all gays favor same-sex marriage. Such presumptions chill individual autonomy and distort public forum debate. Despite these harms, identity politics is supported and even encouraged by the Supreme Court’s equal protection doctrine. Identity groups are, indeed, the structuring concept behind the doctrine’s “suspect classes” and “suspect classifications.” The article therefore argues for an abandonment of the existing doctrine, based on critiques from pragmatism, structuralism, and originalism, and the introduction of a new doctrine that would usher in a new regime of “ideology politics.” Ideology politics, by allowing individuals to independently affiliate with both identity and ideology groups, would increase individual autonomy and improve public forum debate.