ACSBlog

  • September 2, 2014
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman. Guttman is an ACS Board Member and a Director at Grant & Eisenhofer, where he heads the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

    Back in the fall of 2010, Congressman John Lewis gave the keynote address at Emory Law School’s National Civil Rights Access to Justice Forum co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society.  Lewis, of course, had been a leader in the Civil Rights Movement resulting in passage of sweeping civil rights legislation in the 1960‘s.  He had been a close colleague and advisor to Dr. King, traversed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the historic march from Selma to Birmingham, stood by Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and endured his share of jail time and beatings.  By 2010, Lewis had risen from the ranks of the civil rights movement and through local Atlanta politics to become a leader in the United States Congress.  He was and remains a national treasure.  But more than anything else – at least for the audience at Emory Law School – Lewis understood from personal experience the important role of lawyers in challenging accepted norms that violate fundamental rights.       

    As Lewis scanned the audience in Emory’s Tull Auditorium, his eyes focused on a bald-headed gentleman seated a few rows from the front.  And as he  talked about the role of lawyers to “agitate for what is fair and just,” to “find a way to get involved,” to “get into trouble but good trouble,” the Congressman paused to recognize the bald-headed gentleman, “a distinguished lawyer,” who epitomized all that Lewis was talking about on that November morning.  

  • September 2, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Eric J. Segall, who spoke at the ACS Supreme Court Review in June, profiles in Salon Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and his rulings on high-profile cases that are likely to be decided by the Supreme Court.

    In The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that Supreme Court justices are increasingly putting data from amicus briefs into their opinions.

    Robert J. Samuelson argues in The Washington Post that more workers are at the mercy of the market and questions whether this trend will continue.  

    Vanita Gupta argues at CNN that drug laws are too harsh and out of step with public opinion.

    The question of how much oversight the federal government can have over state voter ID laws is up for debate in Texas, reports Laurel Brubaker Calkins for Bloomberg

  • September 2, 2014

    by Paul Guequierre

    If you’re like me, you’re sitting at your desk on a Tuesday morning after a nice three-day weekend. Perhaps you enjoyed a nice cookout or two, went to a party, or spent the last unofficial weekend of summer finalizing your tan before fall and then winter take us by storm. It was a great weekend. But as readers of ACSblog, you know the last three days of leisure didn’t come without the blood, sweat and tears of the labor movement. 

    The Tuesday after Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to reflect on what labor unions have done for us, and perhaps even more importantly, what we can now do for labor unions as they face attack after attack by the right-wing. From Scott Walker to Harris v. Quinn, the labor movement is in the middle of a political firestorm, on one front fending off the attacks, and on the other, continuing to fight for fair and just workplaces, livable wages and safe working environments.

  • August 29, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Arit John reports for The Wire that six plaintiffs are suing the police forces in Ferguson and St. Louis County for civil rights abuses.

    In The New York Times, Julia Preston writes on a new immigration policy that permits asylum to foreign women who are victims of severe domestic violence.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on its efforts to stop the jailing of those unable to pay probation fees in Alabama.

    Conor Friedersdorf writes in The Atlantic on police harassment in light of a controversial video showing a man arrested while picking up his kids from school.

    In Politico, Maggie Severns explains how a ruling in Los Angeles on Thursday sets up a battle over teacher protections. 

  • August 29, 2014
    BookTalk

    by Deborah L. Rhode, the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, the  E.W. McFarland Professor of Law,  and the Director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University 

    In a New Yorker cartoon, a woman frostily informs her obviously skeptical husband, “Yes, Harold, I do speak for all women.” This is not a claim any contemporary feminist will readily make. Women do not speak with one voice on women’s issues. But to build a powerful political movement, we have to be prepared to generalize about the interests of women as a group. What would most women want if they were fully informed and free to choose, and the goal was true equality between the sexes? 

    A central problem in securing such gender equality is the “no problem” problem: the lack of consensus that there still is a serious problem, or one that they have any capacity or responsibility to address. Yet on virtually every major dimension of social status, financial well-being, and physical safety, women still fare worse than men. Sexual violence remains common, and reproductive rights are by no means secure. Women assume disproportionate burdens in the home and pay a price in the world outside it.  But these issues are not cultural priorities. What Women Want (Oxford University Press, 2014), argues that this has to change and sets forth a compelling agenda for the women’s movement.