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Ginsburg was supremely principled. McConnell will not honor her dying wish

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 22, 2020

People in public life tend to fall into one of two broad categories – those who are motivated by principle, and those motivated by power. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night at the age of 87, exemplified the first. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell exemplifies the second category of people in public life. He couldn’t care less about principle. He is motivated entirely by the pursuit of power.

Stop burdening families with juvenile court fees and fines during COVID-19

Jeffrey Selbin, clinical professor of law | September 7, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic explodes into a full-blown public health and economic crisis, states around the country are beginning to recognize that now is not the time to assess and collect fees and fines in the criminal legal system. These emergency reforms are win-win: Families keep the money they need for daily survival, and criminal courts free up their time and attention to concentrate on more pressing issues.

For most parents, returning to work requires affordable child care

Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy | July 21, 2020

Parents can’t return to jobs without fresh child care financing — and unlikely political bedfellows are enthused over child care vouchers. Conservatives celebrate the choice-empowering fungibility of these portable chits. Anti-poverty advocates view them as efficient cash transfers to parents, bringing additional income to close kin and caring neighbors.

Donald Trump has unified Americans — against him

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | July 20, 2020

Donald Trump is on the verge of accomplishing what no American president has ever achieved — a truly multi-racial, multi-class, bipartisan political coalition. Unfortunately for the president, the coalition opposes him.

UC diversity would increase with automatic application for all California high school seniors

Prasad Krishnamurthy, Professor of Law | July 6, 2020

The California Assembly took a historic step by introducing Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, which would repeal Proposition 209 and permit public universities to consider race in admissions. Since the enactment of Proposition 209, the University of California has undertaken extensive efforts to increase student diversity through race-neutral means. These efforts should be expanded, even if Proposition 209 … Continue reading »

Why we need to defund, not defend, the police

Nikki Jones, professor of African American Studies | July 1, 2020

Calls to defund the police ask us to imagine safety from the perspective of those who are the frequent targets of policing and understand that it is the world that is built from that perspective that will be a better world for us all.

The Indian Path to Universal Bank Access in America

Prasad Krishnamurthy, Professor of Law |

At a time when access to financial resources could not be more essential, millions of unbanked Americans are unable to receive a COVID-19 stimulus check or to make the non-cash payments demanded by many stores. The unbanked already pay a substantial fraction of their income for financial services that are free to the middle class, and they participate in a cash … Continue reading »

No Black Utopias

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | June 28, 2020

In the mid-seventies I co-authored an article entitled, “Imagining a Future in America: A Racial Perspective.” It was prompted by the publication of Ernest Callenbach’s popular 1975 novel “Ecotopia”. In Callenbach’s work the West Coast of the United States has seceded from the rest of the country to form a utopian society based on harmony … Continue reading »

UC versus the SAT, and what it means

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | June 24, 2020

The UC regents’ vote to suspend consideration of the SAT and ACT for freshman applicants is the seeming culmination of a 19-year debate over the role of standardized test scores for determining eligibility to apply to the multi-campus UC system.

Fox’s formula: Deny, attack, blame others, change the subject

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 12, 2020

As the coronavirus crisis rages on, Fox News is contributing almost as much to the deaths and disease as is Trump’s White House. Trump spouts a shocking amount of misinformation during his daily press briefings, but it’s Fox News’ equally misleading coverage of the crisis that closes the lethal circuit of lies. It’s easy to … Continue reading »

Reparations are gaining mainstream support, and are a solution

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | June 11, 2020

NASCAR is removing confederate flags from its racetracks. Democratic leaders are demanding the removal of Confederate statues in the Capitol and Confederate names on our military bases. The NFL says it now joins Kaepernick in taking a knee, Bristol, England has torn down the statute of a slave trader. The Belgians are doing the same with King Leopold, and the list goes on. Maybe now we can conceive that it’s time to have some truth and reconciliation.

Social justice vs. social distancing

Mahmood Monshipouri, visiting associate professor, Middle Eastern Studies | June 10, 2020

While sooner or later, a vaccine will be created to effectively manage the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a cure for white supremacy and police brutality is in most ways more complex and difficult.

Moving beyond police reform to addressing structural racism

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley |

A global protest movement focused on racial inequality has opened the window of opportunity to address systemic and structural racial inequality, and the aperture seems wider than at any point since perhaps Reconstruction. Already the protest movement has a growing and notable set of achievements, including announcements from both Minneapolis and Los Angeles to repurpose … Continue reading »

Thoughts from your Black colleague

Marco Lindsey, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Haas School of Business | June 3, 2020

If you read no further, understand this: Black Lives Matter = if anyone kills a Black person, their punishment should be the same as if they killed someone from any other race.

Chaos or community? Where do we go from here?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | June 1, 2020

Unlike the sixties, we instantly see footage of Ahmaud Arbery shot while jogging, Amy Cooper playing the victim, and the public execution of George Floyd. The assault on the senses is constant and relentless, exacerbated by Internet trolls and foreign interference. And, a president who daily rubs nerves raw as he misleads and incites.

Illusions of consent and COVID-19-tracking apps

Paul Schwartz, Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law; Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology | May 21, 2020

COVID-tracking apps help identify parties with whom a COVID-infected person had contact. The apps do so by drawing on information about the location of a person’s mobile phone and its proximity to other devices. Experts, including the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins, view this technology as a necessary boost to manual contract … Continue reading »