• August 28, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times argues that Arizona and Kansas should not be allowed to institute proposed and potentially discriminatory voter registration rules.

    Charles M. Blow of The New York Times discusses the reality of white privilege in light of Bill O’Reilly’s comments on Fox News.

    Jenny Kutner writes in Salon about the increasing difficulty for minimum wage workers to get necessary contraceptive coverage in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision.

    In The Root, Donna Barry and Heidi Williamson explain how racism is embedded in both public and private institutions.  

    Michelle Chen of The Nation reports on a new law in Illinois that has granted pregnant women greater workplace rights. 

  • August 27, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Tony Mauro writes for The National Law Journal on the formation of a high-powered legal team to fight for marriage equality that includes former ACS Board member Pamela S. Karlan and Jeffrey L. Fischer, winner of the 2012 ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter Academic Award

    In The Nation, Karen Houppert writes on the thousands of children braving immigration courts without parents or lawyers.

    In the Huffington Post, Dave Jamieson reports on the Service Employees International Union victory to represent home care workers in Minnesota, which will make it “the largest bargaining unit of public-sector workers in the state’s history.”

    The Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn writes on Indiana “feticide” charge that illustrates the increasingly harsh anti-abortion measures throughout the country.

    Campbell Robertson and Joseph Goldstein write in The New York Times about widespread doubt among young African Americans and others that the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. will spark significant change, pointing to St. Louis county courts where large numbers of black men are mired in its system.

     John Avignone of Salon explains how conservative media ran a false story on Ferguson. 

  • August 26, 2014
    Guest Post

    By Archis A. Parasharami, litigation partner at Mayer Brown, and James Tierney, litigation associate at Mayer Brown

    *This post originally appeared on Class Defense

    In the three years since AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, courts have largely been rejecting substantive attacks on arbitration agreements that waive class actions. By contrast, in some cases plaintiffs have succeeded in avoiding arbitration by arguing that they never agreed to it in the first place.

    The latest case to address such questions of contract formation comes from the Ninth Circuit, which held last week in Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc. that  plaintiff Kevin Nguyen had not agreed to arbitration because he and similarly situated consumers lacked sufficient notice of the company’s online “browsewrap” terms of use. Because the Ninth Circuit applied New York law governing contract formation—and because the court indicated that it would have come to the same conclusion under California law—the decision is an important one for all businesses that engage in online commerce in the United States.

    In the opinion, the Ninth Circuit distinguished between the familiar “clickwrap” process—in which a user affirmatively accepts terms by, for example, clicking “I agree” after receiving notice of the terms—and “browsewrap,” in which a company makes the relevant terms available to users on the web site (usually by providing a hyperlink), but does not require a customer to record his or her assent to the terms.

    In Nguyen, each page on Barnes and Noble’s web site included a link to the applicable terms of use. If followed, the link would direct a user to the terms, which provided that a user accepts the terms by “visiting any area in the Barnes & Site, creating an account, [or] making a purchase.” The terms, among other things, provided that parties would resolve their disputes by arbitration on an individual basis.

  • August 26, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Matt Ford writes in The Atlantic on a new lawsuit in Oklahoma that seeks to require the state to record every death sentence it carries out.

    Allie Grasgreen raises questions in Politico on the influx of military-grade weapons given to university police.

    Katrina vanden Heuvel argues in The Washington Post against the threats to freedom of the press seen in Ferguson and Justice Department actions.

    In FiveThirtyEight, Ben Casselman profiles Ferguson, arguing that its economic and racial conditions are the norm rather than an outlier.

    Lyle Denniston provides a reading of the Supreme Court’s signals on same-sex marriage for SCOTUSblog

  • August 25, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    In 2013, the Supreme Court severely weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with its  decision in Shelby County v. Holder. In a discussion of the post-Shelby era at the 2014 ACS National Convention, Gilda Daniels, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offered both hope for and a realistic take on the challenges facing those who are working to protect voting rights.

    Daniels has made her career as a voting rights expert with over a decade of experience bringing cases on provisions of the Voting Rights Amendment and other statutes. As a former deputy chief in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, Daniels recognizes Shelby’s immense impact on voting laws in the United States. More restrictive voting laws have already appeared throughout the country, and the legal means to challenge discrimination in voting are too costly both in terms of time and money to be the solution. “It’s very similar to what happened during Reconstruction,” Daniels remarked. “You pulled the protections, and you got massive voter suppression, and I am afraid that can happen in this generation.”

    Daniels argued that powerful advocates are the key to protecting voting rights. While the Voting Rights Act Amendment is a good start, “it still leaves a gulf between what is needed and what’s being proposed,” according to Daniels. The new landscape of voting offers new opportunities to speak to the importance of this right and challenge discrimination. “We have to be more creative about how we fashion the narrative, how we talk about voting rights, how we put our cases together, where we file our cases so we can start regaining ground we have lost,” Daniels explained. Even reminders that voter registration matters, Daniels argued, can be an important step to tipping the scales in favor of voting rights again.

    Watch the brief interview with Gilda Daniels below or here. For information about the VRAA see this ACS Issue Brief