September 30, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Pacific Time
Guest Speaker: Carlton W. Reeves
The ACS UC Irvine Law Student Chapter is proud to co-sponsor an event by Judge Carlton Reeves. Judge Reeves will be discussing his career and life experiences.
Judge Carlton W. Reeves is a distinguished federal district court judge, based in Jackson, Mississippi. Judge Reeves is the model of a courageous judge whose opinions and other public addresses demonstrate a firm knowledge of the Constitution, an artful use of U.S. history and a willingness to call out injustice and dog whistle racist remarks, even when they are uttered by the President. Judge Reeves graduated magna cum laude from Jackson State University and then studied law at the University of Virginia. After graduating in 1989, he served as a law clerk for Justice Reuben V. Anderson, the first African-American to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court. Over the next 20 years, he had two stints in private practice, sandwiched around a 6-year stint as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a great deal of community service. In 2010, President Obama nominated him for a federal judgeship and the Senate easily confirmed him, making him only the second African-American to serve as a federal judge in Mississippi. Since taking the bench, Judge Reeves has spoken out against President Trump’s attacks on federal judges as "dangerous." Judge Reeves said "you can hear the Klan’s lawyers, assailing officers of the court across the South." This year, he wrote a trenchant opinion lambasting the doctrine of qualified immunity: "The Constitution says everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law—even at the hands of law enforcement. Over the decades, however, judges have invented a legal doctrine to protect law enforcement officers from having to face any consequences for wrongdoing." In another case, he ruled that Mississippi’s same sex marriage ban violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution. He also issued a decision striking down a Mississippi statute that outlawed most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, calling it "pure gaslighting." Judge Reeves has criticized the lack of diversity on the federal bench, including a disproportionately low number of female judges, as well as lack of Latino and Muslim judges, lamenting how "so few judges know the taste of a free lunch program or the weight of poverty."