ACS will host a lively discussion between Louise Melling (ACLU Director of Center for Liberty) and Matt Coles (ACLU Director of Center for Equality) and moderated by Professor Reva Siegel. They will seek to give shape to a new platform of progressive family values and take on a range of timely and hotly debated topics including contraception, conscience, ultrasound laws, LGBT adoption, and others! You won't want to miss this event with these all-stars in progressive affirmative litigation.
Louise Melling, Center for Liberty Director
Louise Melling is the Director of the Center for Liberty at the ACLU. The Center encompasses the ACLU’s work on reproductive freedom, women’s rights, lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights, and freedom of religion and belief.
Before assuming this new role, Ms. Melling was Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, in which capacity she oversaw nationwide litigation, communications research, public education campaigns, and advocacy efforts in the state legislatures. Ms. Melling has appeared in federal and state courts around the country to challenge laws that restrict reproductive rights. For example, she has led several successful state constitutional challenges to restrictions on Medicaid coverage for abortions; she has secured injunctions against abortion bans; and she has participated in numerous challenges to laws restricting teenagers’ access to abortion.
Ms. Melling has been with the ACLU since 1992, serving in several roles before becoming the Director of its Reproductive Freedom Project in 2003 and most recently Director of the Center for Liberty. She is a 1987 graduate of Yale Law School and the co-author, together with Catherine Weiss, of “The Legal Education of Twenty Women,” 40 Stan. L. Rev. 1299 (1988).
Matthew Coles, Center for Equality
Matthew Coles is the Deputy National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. From 1995 until 2010, he was the Director of the ACLU's LGBT Project. Matt was counsel in Romer v. Evans, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Colorado's ban on laws protecting LGB people from discrimination, and counsel for amicii in Lawrence v. Texas, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down laws against same-sex intimacy. He's argued cases challenging the ban on LGBT people in the military and bans on adoption by gay people and he has tried discrimination cases. Matt was the primary drafter of California's law banning sexual orientation discrimination and he wrote the nation's first domestic partnership law. He is the author of "Try This at Home", a do-it-yourself guide to passing LGBT anti-discrimination laws.