Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In Memoriam: Ann Scales

ConLawProf Ann Scales, University of Denver Strum College of Law, was best known for her constitutional law work on feminist legal theory, equality, and military matters.  She died June 24, at the age of 60.

 

Scales_250x375

 

More on Feminist Law Prof here.

RR
[image of Ann Scales via]

June 27, 2012 in Gender, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Conference Honoring Derrick Bell

“A Living, Working Faith”:

Remembering Our Colleague
Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

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at COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL, NY, NY  on Saturday December 10th, 2011

 

This one day conference organized by Professors Kendall Thomas and Penelope Andrews will honor the work of the late ConLawProf Derrick Bell

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAM
 

  9 a.m. to 9.15 a.m: 
 
Welcome − Professor Kendall Thomas, Columbia Law School and
Professor Penelope Andrews, CUNY School of Law
 
9.15 a.m. - 10.30 a.m.
 
The Elusive Quest for Equality and the Permanence of Racism:  Faces at the Bottom of the Well and We Are Not Saved
 
Reflections Panel 1:
 
Chair:  Professor Penelope Andrews, CUNY School of Law
Professor Twila Perry, Rutgers University School of Law
Professor Sheila Foster, Fordham University School of Law
Professor Rose Villazor, Hofstra University School of Law
Professor Olati Johnson, Columbia University School of Law
 
10.30 a.m to 10. 45 a.m.  Morning Tea
 
10.45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
 
Reflections Panel 2:
 
Chair:  Professor Kendall Thomas, Columbia University School of Law
Professor Susan Sturm, Columbia University School of Law
Professor Jenny Rivera, CUNY School of Law
Professor Leonard Baynes, St. John’s University School of Law
Professor Beryl Jones-Woodin, Brooklyn Law School
Professor Sonia Katyal, Fordham University School of Law
 
 
12:15 to 1:15 p.m.   Lunch
 
 
1:15 p.m. – 2.45 p.m. 
 
Derrick Bell as Teacher
 
Chair:  Professor Ruthann Robson, CUNY School of Law
Professor Vanessa Merton, Pace University School of Law
Professor Joy Radice, New York University School of Law
Professor Andrea McArdle, CUNY School of Law
Professor Robin Lenhardt, Fordham University School of Law
Professor I. Bennett Capers, Hofstra University School of Law
 
2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
 
Interest Convergence
 
Chair:   Professor Paulette Caldwell, New York University School of Law
Professor David Troutt, Rutgers University School of Law
Professor Julie Suk, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
Professor Rachel Godsil, Seton Hall University School of Law
Professor Taja-Nia Henderson, Rutgers University School of Law
Professor Theodore Shaw, Columbia University School of Law
 
 
4.00 to 5 p.m.
 
Closing Comments and Further Reflections
 
AN INFORMAL OPEN MICROPHONE FOR FOLKS IN THE AUDIENCE AND PANELISTS TO MAKE COMMENTS . . . OR SING!
 
 
RR

December 4, 2011 in Conferences, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bork’s “75 page” Memo to Goldwater on the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s Unconstitutionality?

Did Robert Bork, as a law professor, write a “75 page” brief to Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater arguing that the bill that would become the 1964 Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional?

Bork2Bork (pictured left) the controversial conservative and rejected Supreme Court nominee, has reappeared on the political scene as the co-chair of the legal advisory team of potential GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.   He has recently also made news for opining that women are no longer discriminated against and do not need constitutional attention.

Bork has also long been famous for his argument that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, including Title VII, is unconstitutional.  Rand Paul has also made this argument, although at least one commentator distinguishes Rand Paul’s position from Goldwater’s based upon Goldwater’s “constitutional concerns” rooted in the “75 page brief” Bork sent to Goldwater as well as future Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s concerns.

When internet references to the “75 page” memo or brief mention a source, they cite to Richard Perlstein’s Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater.   Speaking on C-Span (written transcript provided), Perlstein in 2001 discussed Goldwater’s agonizing over the 1964 Civil Rights Bill which was resolved by the influence of Rehnquist’s statements and Bork’s 75 page memo against the Act.   In Perlstein’s book, he sources the Bork brief to James Perry, [A Report in Depth on] Barry Goldwater: A New Look at A Presidential Candidate.   Perry’s “Report in Depth” is a “Newsbook” peppered with photographs, published by the National Observer in 1964.   In the chapter “Men Around Goldwater,” the author names Bork as a “Goldwater favorite” and one of a number of law professors to whom “the Goldwater idea men went for advice” on the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.  Perry wrote:

The Goldwater staff asked for an objective, legal analysis by Professor Bork of the civil-rights bill.  They received a 75-page critique, which was used (along with other analyses) in preparing Mr. Goldwater’s statement against the bill.

 (at 25).

Scholars wishing to read the “75-page critique” by Bork sent to Goldwater - - - or to Goldwater’s staff - - - will have a difficult time obtaining it, as I learned when I asked faculty law librarians.  The memo is not in the seven volumes of Bork nomination materials compiled by Roy Mersky and J. Myron Jacobstein in their series of Supreme Court Nominees.  The Mersky and Jacobstein Volume 14-F, however, does include Bork’s notorious piece for The New Republic, “Civil Rights—A Challenge,” (August 31, 1963), arguing that the Act would be a “loss of liberty,” as well as the New Republic Editors’ reply and Bork’s rejoinder (here).  It is apparently not in the Goldwater papers at the Arizona Historical Foundation at Arizona State University or in the papers of Dean Burch, also at ASU, the Chair of the RNC in 1964.   As for the papers of Robert Bork, there may be some at the Library of Congress, although apparently Bork retains the authority to grant access.

Does the “75 page” memo still exist - - - perhaps a Xerox of a carbon copy - - - in someone’s files?  Did it ever?     

Almost a half-century has passed.  It is not that a missing document is nefarious (indeed, it sometimes seems a wonder that anything is preserved) or that Bork should be assumed not to have changed his opinions (indeed, he has recently stated that the “transition to a non-discriminatory society was much easier” than he thought it would be).  But page-number precise references to a document that is not available is intriguing. 

So, if you have a copy or have read a copy of that "75 page" memo, I’d love to hear from you.

RR
[image: Robert Bork, 2007, via]

October 24, 2011 in Books, Commerce Clause, Congressional Authority, Courts and Judging, Current Affairs, Equal Protection, Federalism, Fourteenth Amendment, Gender, History, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race, Reconstruction Era Amendments, Scholarship, Supreme Court (US) | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Memoriam: Derrick Bell

ConLaw Prof Derrick Bell died yesterday at the age of 80.  As the NYT obit reports, Bell was known for his scholarly works, for his pioneering of critical race theory, for storytelling as scholarship, for being ethical, and for leaving a position at Harvard Law.  While the obit certainly does mention that Bell was a law professor, it does not emphasize that he was also a teacher. 

Derrick Bell Bell's writing on Constitutional Law pedagogy deserves continuing attention.  Here is an excerpt from his 1998 essay published in Seattle University Law Review,  Constitutional Conflicts: The Perils and Rewards of Pioneering in the Law School Classroom:

By departing from the norm in constitutional casebooks and giving priority to "learning by doing" simulations, students mimic the kind of process that an attorney, researching an unfamiliar area of law, might utilize to investigate prior decisions. In practice, lawyers are called to research and to write; to comprehend legal arguments; to guess at the probable effect of and interaction between judicial, statutory, legal and policy arguments in court; to argue, persuade and debate; to work cooperatively with colleagues; and for some, to judge those arguments and decide cases and issues of law. This is as true in the practice of constitutional law as in any other. Once their research skills are in place, most students are aware that they have the capacity to learn, relatively quickly, whatever they need or want to know regarding any legal question.

Bell's Constitutional Conflicts was a casebook of sorts, modeled on this method to achieve active learning and participation.  His students seemed to thrive in the "Court of Bell."

For some law professors putting together such material and assessing the student products would deflect from their scholarly agenda.  But Derrick Bell took pedagogy as seriously as he took his many scholarly projects and his lecturing schedule.  Or maybe not so seriously: One of my fondest memories of him was as a co-panelist on an AALS Teaching section plenary, when he replied to a question by saying that teaching was fun.  And then he whispered to me that perhaps we'd better not tell everyone how much fun it really is.

RR
[image: Derrick Bell via]

October 6, 2011 in Current Affairs, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Julie Nice on CLS v. Martinez, the First Amendment, and Equality

Julie nice The intersections of constitutional protections for liberty, equality, free speech, and free exercise of religion can make for convoluted and contentious cases.  Christian Legal Society (CLS) v. Martinez, decided by the Court in 2010, is a prime example, with the additional factual setting at a law school heightening the interest for legal scholars.

In How Equality Constitutes Liberty: The Alignment of CLS v. Martinez, 38 Hastings Const. L.Q. 631 (2011), Professor Julie Nice, University of San Francisco School of Law, pictured left, argues that the case illuminates several different doctrinal and theoretical controversies, ultimately making liberty more robust because it refuses the conflation of identity and ideology.  

The article is further discussed as my selection for the Jotwell Equality section; it's the best essay I've read on constitutional equality in the last year.  It's essential reading for every ConLawProf.

RR

 

September 9, 2011 in Equal Protection, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Free Exercise Clause, Fundamental Rights, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Religion, Scholarship, Sexual Orientation, Sexuality, Speech, Supreme Court (US), Theory | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodwin Liu to be on California Supreme Court

Goodwin Liu will be sworn in an as associate justice of the California Supreme Court on Thursday, at noon PST.

Goodwin Liu
Liu was nominated by President Obama for a judgeship on the Ninth Circuit, but was the subject of a Senate fillibuster

He has been a ConLawProf at UC-Berkeley (Boalt Hall) since 2003 and clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

RR  

August 31, 2011 in Courts and Judging, News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A More Constitutional Military

Books ConLawProf Diane Mazur's recent book published by Oxford University Press, A More Perfect Military: How the Constitution Can Make Our Military Stronger argues that the military has become unmoored from constitutional constraints.   The Court, she argues, has not only engaged in military deference, but in military exceptionalism.

In an interview about the book, Mazur states "the military is most healthy when it respects constitutional values.  Unfortunately, since the end of the Vietnam draft, our civilian branches of government–the President, Congress, and the courts–have been trying to distance the military from the Constitution.  They assume that constitutional values get in the way of military effectiveness, but that’s not true."

Much of her book concerns the constitutional concerns of equality: how should the military deal with sexual minorities and with women within its ranks?   She provides concrete examples, but argues that the Court - - - in cases such as the unanimous opinion in  Rumsfeld v. FAIR (the Solomon Amendment case) - - - has impeded the military from diversifying.

RR

June 17, 2011 in Books, Fifth Amendment, Foreign Affairs, Gender, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Sexual Orientation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shakespeare for Lawyers: Yoshino on Justice and Elizabethan Drama

ConLawProf Kenji Yoshino's recent book, A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice, is a delectable addition for ConLaw summer reading lists.

As the subtitle indicates, Yoshino not only discusses a select group of Shakespeare's plays, but then connects them to our contemporary notions of justice and to current events.

Here's a brief snippet, courtesy NYU Law, of Yoshino discussing one of Shakespeare's less popular dramas, Titus Andronicus: (click to start)

In a review, Eric Posner criticizes the book for trying - - - and failing - - - to illuminate current events through Shakespeare, but I suspect that many readers will disagree.  Yoshino's opens Shakespearean texts to contemporary meanings, making important connections for current constitutional law debates.

 

It seems summer would be much more rewarding if one eshewed the "con law" bestsellers in favor of Shakespeare in the park (or on the beach) with Yoshino's book.

RR

June 12, 2011 in Books, Interpretation, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Norman Redlich

Author of Constitutional Law casebooks and treatises, former Dean of NYU Law, member of the Warren Commission and litigator on behalf of civil liberties, ConLawProf Norman Redlich has died at age 85. 

Norman redlich

 The NYT obituary notes that after representing persons "blacklisted because of their refusal to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee,"  "Mr. Redlich began teaching constitutional and tax law at N.Y.U." and started to "work without compensation on a series of appeals for death row inmates at Sing Sing."

RR

 

June 11, 2011 in Current Affairs, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Professor Steve Gey

Florida State University College of Law has announced the death of ConLawProf Steven Gey.

 

RAY_5724_web

Steve Gey was a notable First Amendment scholar; some of his work is available on ssrn.  He taught at FSU since 1985.  He will surely be missed by his colleagues, friends, students, and family.

RR

 

 

June 10, 2011 in First Amendment, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Libby Adler's Rights Critique, Law Reform, and Responses

Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Journal has held an online forum on Professor Libby Adler’s piece (available on the forum) entitled “Gay Rights and Lefts: Rights Critique and Distributive Analysis for Real Law Reform." 

  Harvard Civil Liberties-Civil Rights
Adler, author of The Gay Agenda, here argues for a "critical approach to law reform agenda setting," with a methodology that

 

rests on a distinction between reconstruction and decisionism. Decisionism, according to my usage, consists of making difficult choices about which law reform initiatives to undertake based on broadly informed distributional hypotheses and cost-benefit calculations and then acting on the best information one can get with the best judgment one can muster, always prepared to bear the costs of one’s choices. Each law reform achievement, should it materialize, rather than being a step along a path in the direction of a lodestar such as formal equality, will—one hopes—effectuate a positive distributive impact for marginalized persons while imposing bearable costs. As a theoretic matter, the achievement is likely to be generalizable only to a limited extent, if at all. In other words, it will not necessarily further any overarching theoretic objective

Twelve invited commentators respond to Libby Adler's advocation of  “decisionism" including Angela Harris, Art Leonard, Aziza Ahmad, Francisco Valdes, Katherine Franke, Nancy Polikoff, Darren Rosenblum, Sarah Valentine, and Anthony Varona. 

Adler's piece and the comments demonstrate that the problem of "rights" in constitutional law remain a persistent issue, as well as the problems of "equality" and "identity."  

This forum could be an excellent basis for discussion in a constitutional law seminar or a jurisprudence class.

A "live" Colloquium will be held on March 9, 2011 at 5-7p.m. at Harvard Law School in Austin North.

RR

March 3, 2011 in Conferences, Current Affairs, Gender, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race, Sexual Orientation, Sexuality, Teaching Tips, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nonviolent Revolution: India, Egypt and West Virginia Weekend

WV Weekend Logo Recent events in Egypt are a meaningful reminder of the power of broad-based, nonviolent movements from the history of other nations, such as India.  Earlier this month, we explored the presidential election process under the Egyptian Constitution here and its requirements for presidential succession here.  Mubarak has since resigned.  The Constitution of Egypt is now suspended, with promises of a new constitution.

As legal scholars contemplate the uprising in Egypt with an eye toward the possibility of further popular uprisings in the Middle East, they might also be looking to earlier nonviolent freedom movements. Nearly 81 years ago this week, the All-India Congress Committee authorized a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience aimed a loosening the grip of British colonial rule.  Mahatma Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience Movement in India in March of 1930 by leading the historic Dandi Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha. (Satyagragha translates as “truth seeking” or “asking for truth.”)  The Salt March was a pivotal moment in India’s long campaign for independence, because as Gandhi marched from village to village and ultimately to the sea where he and his fellow marchers made salt without paying the reviled British salt tax, a nationalist fervor swept the country.

Professor of Law at WVU Charles R. DiSalvo does just that in a brief chronicle of Gandhi 495px-Gandhi_Johannesburg_1905 as a practicing attorney in the article “Gandhi: The Transformation of a South African Lawyer, 1897-1898,” in Rethinking Gandhi and Nonviolent Relationality: Global Perspectives (Degjani Ganguly & John Docker, eds. 2008).  In it, DiSalvo theorizes that “the experiences Gandhi underwent during the time he practiced law in South Africa transformed his vision of law as an engine of social change. . . ., [and] that this transformation, during which Gandhi lost faith in an ultimately corrupt legal system, constituted a key pre-condition for his eventual embrace of nonviolence.” Id. Overall,  “Gandhi’s experience with the law in 1897 and 1898 in particular constitutes a microcosm that foreshadows and helps explain his transformation from business lawyer to civil rights attorney to civil disobedient.” Id. at 100.

DiSalvo traces Gandhi’s legal experiences beginning with his rather common transaction work for Indian business interests in the colony of Natal (now the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa).  But after the imposition of a series of legislative acts by the colonial legislature that intended to weaken the influence of Indian merchants, Gandhi was persuaded to “organize [the merchants’] resistance to the European assault on their rights.” Id. at 101.  The worst of the laws was the Dealers’ Licenses Act (“DLA”), which required every wholesale and retail business in the colony to obtain a government permit.  The Act empowered local “Licensing Officers to deny permits to those who could not maintain their books in English,” and for other “imprecisely drawn grounds,” all of which served as handy pretexts for racial discrimination by local European officials.  Unsurprisingly, the essentially standard-less requirements, further compounded by the prohibition of a direct appeal to the courts, lead to racially-motivated crackdown on Indian businesses throughout the colony.

As an advocate for these targeted interests, Gandhi first “relied almost exclusively on petitioning – incessant, persistent, unrelenting petitioning.” Id. at 102.  This failed.  But, turning to litigation, Gandhi found some success in as-applied challenges to the arbitrary reviewing process of the permitting. Grounded in basic notions of due process – specifically, fair notice – Gandhi was able to convince the colonial Supreme Court to reverse a few licensure denials.  But his clever statutory interpretations would only get his Indian clients so far, as the despised anti-Indian Acts remained on the books.  In the end,

Gandhi’s recognition of the judiciary’s limitations as a tool for social change marked an early but key turning point in his transformation from lawyer to civil disobedient. While the courts might address procedural irregularities, they could not be counted on to attack basic, underlying norms and the power establishment of which they themselves were a part. The courts would not turn on themselves. The law would not free Gandhi’s people – at least not in the manner he expected it would in 1898.

Id. at 112.

DiSalvo asks of Gandhi, “Is this the end?  Does he give up on the law entirely?”  His conclusion is subtle, yet powerful:

Gandhi’s frustration with the courts led him to abandon litigation as a tool for social change and contributed to his decision to embrace nonviolent civil disobedience. . . . It is rejection of litigation. It is not a rejection of law. His rejection of litigation is a stage in his developing understanding of the law as much deeper, more expansive and more filled with promise than litigation. In the remainder of his life, he comes to see and believe in the deep underlying structure of the law. It is to this that his nonviolent disobedience appeals. A civil disobedient who willingly subjects himself to the punishment of the system, as Gandhi did, believes in the grand structure of the law, in the rule of law.

Id. at 113.

DiSalvo is presently completing a full legnth book on Ghandi's life as a lawyer.  Meanwhile, DiSalvo's interview with Australian Broadcasting Comany from several months ago is a treat; listen to it here.  

 Of course, it remains to be seen whether distinct comparisons between the Indian experience and recent events in Egypt will prove pertinent.  Nevertheless, understanding the intersection of law and the history of nonviolent freedom movements can’t be a bad place to start.

RR

with J. Zak Ritchie

(image: Gandhi in Johannesburg, 1905, via)

February 13, 2011 in Comparative Constitutionalism, Current Affairs, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Constitutional Law as Anchor: Lutie Lytle

"I like constitutional law because the anchor of my race is grounded on the constitution. It is the certificate of our liberty and our equality before the law. Our citizenship is based on it, and hence I love it."

  Lytle_lutie

So said Lutie Lytle (pictured).  She was born in 1875 and was among the first African Americans to earn a law degree when she graduated from Central Tennessee Law School in 1898.  She returned to Central Tennessee to teach law and newspaper accounts "claimed that she was the only woman law instructor in the world."   She reportedly taught criminal procedure, evidence, and domestic relations during her brief time in academia.  She later moved to New York and was active in the National Bar Association.   Although information about Lytle's career and life is regrettably sparse, a solid scholarly resource is J. Clay Smith, Jr.'s,  Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944 (1993).

The annual Black Women Faculty Workshop, hosted by University of Kentucky in 2010 and by Seattle University School of Law in 2009, is named in her honor.  

RR

(H/T Judith Scully)

February 5, 2011 in Fundamental Rights, Gender, History, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Onwuachi-Willig Among 9 Finalists for Iowa Supreme Court

The Judicial Nominating Commission in Iowa, the subject of a recent unsuccessful lawsuit regarding its composition, has sifted through the 60 applicants and sent 9 candidates for the 3 vacancies to the Governor. 

There is one woman, one racial minority, and one law professor - - - and then there are 8 other candidates.

Onwuachi-willig_angela Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law (pictured left) is also the youngest candidate, at age 37, according to The Des Moines Register.

Onwuachi-Willig is a prolific scholar on race, class, and feminism, including their constitutional aspects.  One of Onwuachi-Willig's most influential articles is Just Another Brother on the Supreme Court?: What Justice Clarence Thomas Teaches Us About the Influence of Racial Identity in which she argues that Thomas' ideology is deeply grounded in black conservative thought, which has a "raced" history and foundation that are distinct from white conservatism. She seeks to explain Justice Thomas's jurisprudence from a black, conservative perspective in cases concerning education and desegregation, affirmative action, and crime.

The current vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court occurred when three Iowa Supreme Court justices stood for retention last November and were not retained by the voters of Iowa.  This result is widely assumed to be attributable to the campaign against the judges based upon the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous opinion in Varnum v. Brien holding that a denial of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional under the state constitution.

RR

January 28, 2011 in Courts and Judging, Current Affairs, News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race, Scholarship, State Constitutional Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Con Law Chair at JMLS

The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) is soliciting applications for a new visiting chair in Constitutional Law. 

The Chair honors Edward T. Lee and his son, Noble W. Lee, for their many years of service to the law school, their contributions to legal education, and their shared passion for constitutional law.  From the announcement:

Pioneers in American legal education, Edward T. and Noble W. Lee held strongly to the belief that it is critical to the health of our democratic society that the study of law be open to all segments of society, irrespective of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status.  As a consequence, from its earliest years, the principles of access and opportunity in legal education have been deeply ingrained in the school's culture and mission.

The Chair appointment begins in August 2011 and runs for up to two years.  The incumbent will write, teach, and speak; details are negotiable.

Applications are due November 1.  Click here for more information.

SDS

September 14, 2010 in News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Constitutional Law Position at Brooklyn College, CUNY

800px-BC_Snow Position Announcement: Herb Kurz Endowed Chair in Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (pictured left).

 

Brooklyn College invites applications for the Herb Kurz Endowed Chair in Constitutional Law  and Civil Liberties.  Research and writing in any of the following areas is of particular interest:  Congress’ commerce-clause powers over the economy and other sectors of national life; executive power during wartime; freedom of speech; the rights of criminal suspects and prisoners; equal protection and due process for people of color, women, and LGBT communities; the rights and standing of immigrants and migrant communities; the role of international law, particularly human rights law, in constitutional interpretation. This position is at the Associate or Full Professor level.  Candidates should have a PhD in political science or any related discipline in the humanities and social sciences and/or a Juris Doctor, and a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and leadership in the field of constitutional law.

Position listing here.

RR

August 13, 2010 in News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Commentary by Sherrilyn Ifill

Sherrilyn Infill, ConLawProf at the University of Maryland School of Law and author of On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-first Century, has two recent commentaries worth reading.

SIfill-1 In her just published and provocatively titled commentary, "What the U.S. Supreme Court Did to Us This Year"  Ifill begins by noting the confirmation by the Senate Judiciary Committee of Elena Kagan and notes:

Kagan will join a court whose conservative majority has aggressively taken and decided cases that are transforming the constitutional landscape in ways that will have far-reaching effects. Some Supreme Court analysts have rated the court's actions in the just-concluded term as unremarkable. But for average Americans and for minority communities, the 2009-2010 term of the court is a significant one.

She then discusses Sixth Amendment cases, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and McDonald v. City of Chicago as disappointments, and also focuses on the role of Justice Clarence Thomas.

In a different commentary, Infill has something to say about the Shirley Sherrod controversy, making an interesting link to the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation process.

RR

July 23, 2010 in Current Affairs, Fundamental Rights, Gender, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Race | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Memoriam: Rhonda Copelon

ConLawProf, constitutional law litigator, and Vice-President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Rhonda Copelon (pictured below) died yesterday, May 6, 2010.

RhondaD3

She argued Harris v. McRae, was a founding member of CUNY School of Law, and in recent years concentrated on international women's human rights. 

Video interviews, more about her work, and a photo slide show is available here.

RR

May 7, 2010 in Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 2, 2010

SALT: The Society of American Law Teachers New Blog

Picture 9  

SALTLAW is the new blog of SALT, Society of American Law Teachers, self-described as a "community of progressive law teachers working for justice, diversity and academic excellence."

SALT  is known for its  teaching conferences, its  activism on behalf of social justice issues including those in constitutional law, and its members, including those featured on the blog: Angela Harris (pictured left) and Rhonda Copelon (pictured right). Picture 11

The blog announcement makes clear that the "blog is not a forum for the expression of SALT’s positions, but a place where our members can publish commentary on emerging issues in law, politics, and education or where they can develop arguments about policies and problems that are persistent or seem intractable.  The SALT Board has no list of topics that should be addressed or any agenda that it has set for this blog."

Instead, the plan is a "year-long schedule of regular and guest contributors who will add voice to progressive issues" and will "include both legal and non-legal issues"  ranging from "conversations about the economic crisis to questions about U.S. torture policies to discussions about the lack of diversity in baseball management to the development of a hip-hop theory of justice."

The roster of planned bloggers is an impressive one featuring many ConLawProfs.   


RR

April 2, 2010 in News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching, Teaching Tips, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Larry Tribe, Legal Services for the Poor, and Sharon Browne

Tribe_web ConLaw Prof Larry Tribe (pictured left) of Harvard Law School  "will join the Justice Department next week as a senior and counselor focusing on expanding poor people's access to legal services" according to the Washington Post and announced by Harvard Law School. 

The WaPo article notes, "The announcement comes a week after senior leaders at the department appeared at a Washington conference to draw attention to the large caseloads handled by public defenders and other challenges in providing legal services to low-income defendants."

Thus, it seems Tribe's efforts will be directed at the criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, on the civil side, Sharon Browne has been nominated to be the Director of the Legal Services Corporation - - - a choice objectionable to many civil rights and progressive legal organizations who support civil legal services for the poor.  According to the Alliance for Justice,  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed that Sharon Browne, a senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation ("PLF"), be nominated to fill a vacancy on the Legal Services Corporation ("LSC") Board of Directors, and Obama  sent that nomination to the Senate for confirmation or rejection.   In addition to her work at PLF, the Alliance for Justice objects to Browne because in 1992, "Browne was one in a group of plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit, Brosterhous v. State Bar of California,challenging the State Bar's use of attorneys' dues money to advocate for providing adequate legal services for the poor in the legislature."

RR

February 26, 2010 in Current Affairs, Due Process (Substantive), Fundamental Rights, News, Profiles in Con Law Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)