Guest Post

  • April 2, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

    I have many favorite memories of Stephen Reinhardt. Once I was a speaker at a national conference of federal court of appeals judges and was in the audience when Justice Antonin Scalia spoke. Justice Scalia said that his personal beliefs never influenced his decisions and specifically that his Catholic faith had nothing to do with his views on Roe v. Wade. I was sitting next to Judge Reinhardt, who said, not in a whisper, “That’s such bullshit.”  Those sitting in the that part of the room burst into laughter.

    Reinhardt will be most remembered as a fiercely liberal judge in a time of an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. The majority of the Supreme Court were Republican appointees for the entire 38 years that Reinhardt was on the bench. It meant that he was sometimes reversed by the higher Court. But he always was steadfast that his role was to interpret the Constitution and the law to the best of his ability, not to predict what the Supreme Court might do. I once heard him asked about his reversal rate in the Supreme Court and he was dismissive that should matter. He quipped, “They can’t reverse all of them.”   It certainly was not that he did not care about the ultimate outcome. And it certainly was not that he ever would flout the Court. Rather his view was that his job was to call them the way he saw them until the Court said otherwise.

  • March 29, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Caroline Fredrickson

    This week ACS joined forces with the National Consumers League to mark the 80th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

    During an all-day symposium at the Georgetown University Law Center, we celebrated successes – like the recent victory that hourly workers and advocates had last week codifying a 2011 U.S. Department of Labor rule stating that tips are the property of the worker who earns them and not their employers.  Last week’s tip rule amended the FLSA. We discussed other legal frameworks that we need to change and update to meet the needs of our 21st century workforce.

  • March 29, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Sam Fouad, Assistant Director of Network Communications, ACS

    This year’s student convention was held at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, gathering nearly 200 students from 34 states plus the District of Columbia. A variety of scholars, judges, and advocates spoke on a range of topics that included #MeToo in the Legal Profession, the First Amendment, access to justice, police reform, and voting rights. Among the varying topics, speakers showed that the law can be a force to improve the lives of all people.

    The most imperative themes of the convention were the urgent needs to: organize for equality, exercise the right to vote, and support others in exercising their rights. The convention began with an emphasis on voter pre-registration, with Meghan Paulas, ACS Director of Student Chapters, stating that we all need to “encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Let’s build a volunteer movement around voter pre-registration. Make it a movement by students and for students.”

  • March 23, 2018
    Guest Post

    by David Chiu, California Assemblymember, sponsor of the Reproductive FACT Act

    This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra, over the FACT Act a law that I co-sponsored in the California Assembly. The Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act passed the California State Legislature in 2015 with overwhelming support from legislators, then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, and 48 reproductive rights, women’s health, and social justice organizations. It’s been tied up in litigation ever since.

  • March 22, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Eric Ruben, fellow, Brennan Center for Justice

    *This piece was originally posted by the Brennan Center for Justice 

    Keeping and bearing arms is a constitutional right, but the Supreme Court has gone to great lengths to emphasize that it is not absolute. In 2008, the late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in District of Columbia v. Heller that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

    In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, major U.S. retailers have decided to raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21. Lawmakers and reform advocates, meanwhile, are offering several laws to regulate guns – but opponents of at least some of those reforms have cited the Second Amendment’s 27 words to reject such proposals out of hand.