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Scalia’s blind spot

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | March 3, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death on Feb. 13 has not only cast a cloud of uncertainty and speculation over upcoming court decisions this term, but has also thrown a curveball into an already raucous Presidential campaign season. Given the Supreme Court’s precarious ideological balance, a new court appointee would have the potential to dramatically reshape … Continue reading »

Justice Scalia and environmental law

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 17, 2016

Over the past three decades, Justice Scalia did much to shape environmental law, nearly always in a conservative direction. Because of the importance of his rulings, environmental lawyers and scholars are all familiar with his work. But for the benefit of others, it might be helpful to summarize his major environmental decisions. The upshot was … Continue reading »

Money talks and reason walks

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | October 15, 2013

A major case under consideration this term by the Supreme Court is McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which, if the appellants are successful, will do for wealthy individuals what Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010) did for corporations (yes, and labor unions, if any): allow them to give essentially unlimited amounts of money to … Continue reading »

Shelby County v. Holder: Extend voting rights nationwide

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | June 29, 2013

On Tuesday, June 25, the Supreme Court rolled back history when it overturned a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that was instrumental to nearly 50 years of political and social change.  The Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder opens the floodgates to new forms of voter suppression and discriminatory electoral tactics.  … Continue reading »

The Summer of Rights

Lawrence Cohen, professor of anthropology | June 27, 2013

I was packed in with three Benedictine monks in the crowd last night at the Castro celebrating the two United States Supreme Court decisions earlier that day — for the record,  June 26, 2013. The monks were waving small blue and yellow Human Rights Campaign flags, and like many others I was taking pictures of … Continue reading »

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | June 25, 2013

In an important decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 24, in Fisher v. Texas, affirmed the vital principle that universities may pursue the goal of creating a diverse student body, using race as one component of many in admissions. Although the Court vacated the Appeals Court decision, which held that the University of Texas’ … Continue reading »

Elections should be won on policy

Somerset Perry, Berkeley Law alumnus | March 4, 2013

On Wednesday (Feb. 27, 2013) the Supreme Court heard arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a lawsuit brought by an Alabama county challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act was originally passed in 1965 to protect minorities against the heinous discriminatory electoral practices that were the norm in … Continue reading »

U.S. Supreme Court to review the 1965 Voting Rights Act

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | February 26, 2013

The October, 2012 term of the United States Supreme Court promises to be one of the most momentous in American History.  Last fall, Court heard argument on the constitutionality of Affirmative Action in higher education in Fisher v. Texas (see my discussion of that case here). On Feb. 26, the Court will hear oral argument … Continue reading »

Corporate space and the Monsanto case

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | February 22, 2013

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a lawsuit by the agri-business giant Monsanto against an Indiana farmer.  In Bowman v. Monsanto, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman has petitioned the Supreme Court to review Monsanto’s lawsuit against him for purchasing and planting seeds that apparently contained Monsanto’s patent protected anti-herbicide genome in them.  Bowman purchased the … Continue reading »

The many faces of affirmative action

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | October 17, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week (Oct. 10, 2012) in the case of Fisher v. Texas, which deals with the undergraduate admissions policy at the University of Texas.  The policy, which some call “the Texas affirmative action plan,” is designed to promote diversity in the student body. However, it is not the … Continue reading »

Roberts’ switch

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 29, 2012

Today (June 28) a majority of the Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare in recognition of its importance as a key initiative of the Obama administration. The big surprise, for many, was the vote by the Chief Justice of the Court, John Roberts, to join with the Court’s four … Continue reading »

A good day for America

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. We are fortunate to live in a state that has been working overtime to implement those parts of the law that have already gone into effect and to prepare for implementation of the remaining elements of the law in January 2014. The law has already had … Continue reading »

Why the public’s growing disdain for the Supreme Court may help Obamacare

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 11, 2012

The public’s growing disdain of the Supreme Court increases the odds that a majority will uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare. The latest New York Times CBS Poll shows just 44 percent of Americans approve the job the Supreme Court is doing. Fully three-quarters say justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal political views. The … Continue reading »