Golden Gate University Law Review


Helen J. Moore


This Note argues that had the Patterson Court considered the evidence of congressional intent and concern in its interpretation of section 1981, and had it placed more weight on policy considerations, it would have held that section 1981 prohibits racial harassment. The Note shows that, as decided, the Patterson decision will leave many victims of contractual racial harassment with an inadequate remedy, or with no remedy at all, because the closest alternative to section 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is much less effective than section 1981, and because Patterson's narrow construction of section 1981 deters the filing of employment discrimination claims. The result will be that racial harassment in the United States will be allowed to continue and increase.