Our blog owes much to those who provide us intellectually inspiring and thought-provoking pieces throughout the year on myriad constitutional and legal policy concerns. And 2015 was no different. We have many to thank in the ACS network, such as Elise Boddie, Erwin Chemerinsky, Adam Winkler, Atiba Ellis, Ann Hodges, Charlotte Garden, Nkechi Taifa, Steve Sanders, and so many others. Until our website is refreshed – and that is an ACS goal – it can be daunting and likely frustrating to make it through 53 landing-pages worth of guest posts.
So what follows is a sampling of guest posts, symposia and blog interviews from 2015. Enjoy, and thanks to all who took time to provide material for ACSblog, and to those who read.
Rutgers law professor Elise C. Boddie on MLK’s “arc of the moral universe,” and the ongoing attacks on civil rights laws, such as the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. (And in the indispensable Give Us the Ballot, which The New York Times’ recognized as a 2015 notable, The Nation’s Ari Berman looks at the history behind the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the modern day efforts to crush gains from the law.)
Another must-read of 2015, ACS President Caroline Fredrickson’s book, Under The Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over. In this post for ACSblog, Fredrickson delves into why she wrote the book, and its importance to any discussion of labor law and policy.
National Women’ Law Center’s Kelli Garcia on the harmful effects of attacks on abortion rights, especially, and not surprisingly, for women in abject poverty.
In our symposium on racial inequalities in the criminal justice system, the Equal Justice Initiative’s Jennifer Taylor examined the prevalent and pernicious racial discrimination of the jury selection system. Also in that symposium, The Sentencing Project’s Nazgol Ghandnoosh explored the three sources of racial discrimination in criminal sentencing.
In our symposium on King v. Burwell, the 2015 high-profile legal challenge from the nation’s rabid right-wing to a significant provision of the Affordable Care Act, University of Chicago law school professor David Strauss explains how “wrong” that challenge was.
University of Indiana law school professor Steve Sanders takes on Gov. Mike Pence’s anti-gay politics behind the defense of a so-called religious liberty law. Also see, UCI Law’s Erwin Chemerinsky on the same matter, in which he concludes, “Discrimination in the form of the refusal to do business with a person because of his or her religion or race or sex or sexual orientation is wrong whether based on religion or anything else.”
One that The New York Times’ Adam Liptak noted, a piece from Georgia State University College of Law professor Eric J. Segall on oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that would, later in the summer, become a landmark equality victory. The Segall piece was part of ACSblog’s symposium on marriage equality. (Also see Chemerinsky’s thoughts on the case from the symposium.)
Seattle law school professor Charlotte Garden takes a look at another Supreme Court case that challenges, again, longstanding labor rights of public sector teachers.
Racial inequalities throughout the nation remain, depressingly and fatally, dominant. WVU law school professor Atiba R. Ellis provided ACSblog numerous posts on those inequalities and why police murders that disproportionately target black men and women continue unabated, but are not being ignored – witness the work of Black Lives Matter. Ellis’s May 2015 post looks at the “Baltimore Uprising.”
Richmond School of Law professor Ann C. Hodges on the right-wing attack on public sector labor rights in the case before the Supreme Court, Friedrichs v. Calif. Teachers Association. Also see Hodges’ ACS Issue Brief, released in late November, about Friedrichs.
In the ACSblog symposium regarding the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law, the Voting Rights Act, UNC law school professor Gene Nichol looks at Chief Justice John Roberts’ out-of-touch and seriously harmful understanding of racial discrimination in voting. (Also see, WVU law professor Atiba Ellis’ piece, “Racial Majoritarian Tyranny and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”)
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis refused to recognize marriage equality following the high court’s landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, making her an instant hero of right-wing politicians. Retired Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson, however, had a different take. For ACSblog he blasted Davis for flouting her duties to uphold constitutional principles, and for flaunting her bigotry.
OSF’s Nkechi Taifa again provided commentary for ACSblog on the criminal justice system's continual reliance on lengthy prison sentences that disproportionately destroy black lives.
For ACSblog’s 2015 Constitution Day Symposium, WVU law professor Atiba Ellis examined our nation’s failure to address persistent violence against black lives and communities and the constitutional failure to end that violence.
In an interview with ACSblog, recent law school graduate Jarrett Adams discussed his arduous and very personal journey through a justice system that still disproportionately harms and destroys black lives.