Affirmative Action Again: Fisher v. University of Texas Civil Rights Practice Group Teleforum Tuesday, December 01, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call
On December 9, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. In this case, Ms. Fisher challenges the use of racial and ethnic preferences in undergraduate admissions at the University. This is the case’s second trip to the Supreme Court: In 2013, the Court reversed a Fifth Circuit decision that had upheld the University’s policy, and said the lower court had been too deferential to the school, particularly with respect to applying the “narrow tailoring” prong of strict scrutiny. On remand, the Fifth Circuit again ruled for the University, and last summer the Court granted Ms. Fisher’s petition.
Mr. Clegg and Mr. Shaw will discuss what the Court is likely to do with the case, as well as what the Court should do with the case. The Court’s review comes at an interesting time, with numerous campus protests on race-related issues. Also of interest is the fact that Ms. Fisher’s lawyers have now filed lawsuits against Harvard and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and have emphasized allegations of discrimination against Asian Americans.
Short video debating the possible consequences of Obergefell v. Hodges.
- Roger B. Clegg, President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity
- Prof. Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina School of Law
Kyle Duncan of Duncan PLLC, an attorney in private practice who serves as Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana, and Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, discuss potential consequences of a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. This case considers whether or not the 14th Amendment requires that states allow same sex couples to marry, as well as whether or not the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same sex marriages performed lawfully in other states.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker. Short video explaining Obergefell v. Hodges
Kyle Duncan of Duncan PLLC, an attorney in private practice who serves as Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana, and Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, discuss Obergefell v. Hodges. This case considers whether or not the 14th Amendment requires that states allow same sex couples to marry, as well as whether or not the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same sex marriages performed lawfully in other states.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker. Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The Court called for Reply Briefs by April 17, with oral argument and decision expected this term. Cert was granted on two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. The questions are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction.
The relationship between the two questions is asymmetrical. An affirmative answer to the first settles the second likewise, where the Court could coherently, hold that states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, but not necessarily license them.
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
- Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
- Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute
The Akaka Bill, originally proposed by former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, was designed to establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to that of some Native American tribes. Based on this status, members can then receive preferential treatment. Critics argue that such treatment would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Supporters argue that such preferences would be authorized because they would be on the political relationship that existed between the U.S. government and its native peoples, and based on the pre-existing sovereignty of those native peoples. Will the Akaka Bill, or some version of it, resurface? If so, is it good law? Good policy?
- Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation