ACSBlog

  • January 30, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    In the Huffington Post, Jonathan Cohn writes about a letter from Ben Nelson that lawmakers are using to defend the language of the ACA on state exchanges and tax credits. 

    Vivian Ho reports for SF Gate on the arrest of a San Francisco deputy public defender detained outside of court. Jeff Adachi, a public defender and a member of the ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter Board of Advisors, speaks against the arrest in the article.

    Garrett Epps argues in The Atlantic that anything but a Supreme Court decision that unequivocally supports marriage equality will risk state-level obstruction.

    In The New York Review of Books, David Cole reflects on Citizens United and urges the Court “to recognize the urgent and legitimate need for robust limits on campaign spending.”

    At The Nation, Nan Aron, William William Yeomans, and Michelle D. Schwartz consider how the Roberts Court has helped the wealthy and left little protection for others.

  • January 29, 2015
    Guest Post

    by Eric Berger, Associate Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law

    The U.S. Supreme Court last week granted certiorari in Glossip v. Gross, in which plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection procedure.  Glossip raises important questions about how the Eighth Amendment standard announced by the Court in 2008 in Baze v. Rees applies to experimental drug combinations.  However, the questions presented in Glossip do not directly address the crucial, related question of whether states must disclose their lethal injection procedures to inmate plaintiffs.  To this extent, the Court is putting the cart before the horse.

    Indeed, many death row inmates lack important information about the procedures with which the state plans to execute them.  The problem appears to be worsening as states increasingly conceal more details of their execution procedures.  Courts, for their part, usually reject inmates’ requests to learn this information. 

    In a recent law review article, I argue that these state practices and judicial responses are wrong.  To be sure, some execution procedures, upon closer examination, may be safe and constitutional, but some certainly are not, and courts have no way of distinguishing the safe from the dangerous without inquiring into the details of the procedure.  To this extent, courts have repeatedly blessed execution procedures about which they know virtually nothing.

  • January 29, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    In The New York Times, Richard Fausset and Alan Blinder write that Republican legislatures in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas are renewing efforts to stop same-sex marriages.

    Miranda Leitsinger of NBC News reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center has lodged a complaint with Alabama’s Judicial Inquiry Commission against the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore. Moore recently encouraged judges to disregard a ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.

    Jessica Glenza of The Guardian discusses comments from Loretta Lynch, the White House’s nominee for attorney general, that she does not support marijuana legalization.

    In The Washington Post, Dana Milbank argues that the GOP case against Lynch fell apart during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

    In The Atlantic, Matt Ford considers the standards states use to scrutinize claims of intellectual disability by death-row inmates.

  • January 28, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    In The New York Times, Alan Blinder reports that Georgia completed the execution of Warren Hill, a man with a lifelong intellectual disability. The Supreme Court denied a request to stay Hill’s execution earlier this week.

    Richard Kreitner argues at The Nation that courts should begin to enforce Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to save the right to vote.

    Sahil Kapur discusses in Talking Points Memo how the Obama administration is using a 2012 dissent by Justice Scalia in the new Affordable Care Act case.

    At Lyle Denniston Law News, Lyle Denniston writes that an Alabama state judge has vowed resistance to the “tyranny” of same-sex marriage rulings.

  • January 28, 2015
    BookTalk
    Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice
    By: 
    Melissa Murray and Kristin Luker

    by Melissa Murray, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Berkeley Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice (CRRJ), University of California, Berkeley

    I must admit that for much of my academic career, I never thought of myself as someone who “did” reproductive rights.  When asked at dinner parties, I volunteered that I taught criminal law and family law.  When pressed ― “what on earth do those subjects have to do with each other?” ― I would explain that I was interested in the regulation of sex, sexuality and family formation.  Criminal law and family law, I would explain, were principal sites in which this sort of regulation took place.

    It was not until my colleague, Kristin Luker, a well-known sociologist and scholar of the abortion rights movement, nudged me to view my work more expansively that I began to see it fitting comfortably within the rubric of reproductive rights and justice.  As she reminded me, limitations on access to contraception and abortion are, by their very nature, efforts to regulate sex and sexuality by curtailing women’s efforts to control reproduction.  The legal regulation of reproduction is merely part of a broader story of efforts to discipline and regulate sex.

    My interest in reproductive rights and justice piqued, I joined Berkeley Law’s newly-formed Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice (CRRJ) as an affiliated faculty member in 2012 and assumed the role of Faculty Director in 2015.  Before its official founding, CRRJ hosted a meeting with staff from Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) where we discussed the state of the field, including the availability of law school courses on reproductive rights and justice.  As I learned, although there was huge demand from students for such classes, many interested professors were reluctant to teach reproductive rights and justice courses because there was no casebook.  Because of the lack of a casebook, those willing to teach the subject were forced to compile their own materials ― a burdensome task, even for the most enthusiastic teacher.