Video Interview

  • March 31, 2011
    Video Interview

    Following a recent ACS event on Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the class action employment discrimination before the Supreme Court, law professor Suzette Malveaux talked with ACSblog about the stakes involved in the case.

    “What makes Wal-Mart such a big case, an important case is not so much its size, but really the impact it might have on other types of class actions, and in particular employment discrimination class actions,” Malveaux, an associate professor of law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, said.  

    Malveaux, author of a new article in the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the official journal of ACS, said an adverse ruling against the Wal-Mart plaintiffs could create significant hurdles for others in bringing class action litigation against big businesses.

    Malveaux said her article “addresses one of the primary questions before the Supreme Court, and that’s whether or not the plaintiffs in this case could get monetary relief for the discrimination that they suffered; they are challenging systemic, company-wide policy, but they are also seeking monetary relief.”

    She continued, “And the Court is going to be looking at whether that is appropriate. And that is important because employees will often seek monetary relief as well trying to get the systemic discrimination policy to end, they also want to get back pay, they want to get monetary relief for the discrimination. So the Court is going to be looking at what’s he proper standard for allowing the case to go forward as a class action. And there’s a real risk that that standard might go up. And if that standard goes up, it is going to make it much more difficult for employees and consumers and many people with small claims and few resources to collectively come together and challenge systemic discrimination.”

    Watch the professor’s interview below or download the podcast of it here.

  • February 8, 2011
    Guest Post
    Video Interview

    ACSblog recently spoke with New York University law professor Barry Friedman about how the Tea Party vision of the Constitution relates to other theories of constitutional interpretation.

     Friedman explained that rigid theories of interpretation such as originalism that assume there's one "true meaning to the Constitution," discoverable through the right interpretive method, are embraced by very few judges and haven't "proven to be very enduring."

    Tea Party adherents make similar assumptions, but invoke a sort of "pre-originalist interpretation," seemingly "confusing the Constitution with the American Revolution," Friedman explained.

    "They're 13 years before the Constitution itself, and then with a little bit of Bill of Rights thrown in," Friedman said. "So they have ideas about state power versus national power that ignore what the people who wrote the Constitution were concerned about. They were deeply concerned about a national government with the power to do what needed to be done to keep the union together."

    Watch the interview with Friedman below.

  • December 16, 2010
    Video Interview

    The vacancy rate on our federal courts has reached crisis level, and it's time to "shift from low gear into overdrive in order to turn this situation around and provide the judges that we need to serve the American people," American Bar Association President-Elect Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III told ACSblog during a video interview.

    "We have a growing concern that politics is overtaking the process and results are not being achieved," Robinson said. "And the public is just not being served."

    Robinson, who recently participated in an ACS panel discussion on the judicial selection and confirmation process, said the ABA is ramping up its efforts to make the public aware of the severity and consequences of a continuing vacancy crisis.

    This week, The Huffington Post reported that Obama's judges are now being blocked at a "historic rate ... what began as a slow process of confirmation has ballooned into a full-blown judicial crisis." And The New York Times added its voice to the long list of editorial boards and commentators calling on the Senate to take a vote on all judicial nominees during the lame duck session.

    Watch the interview with Robinson below.