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Fourteenth Amendment

Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-11-16 featuring Mark F. Hearne II
Mark F. Hearne February 11, 2016

On December 8, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. In 2012, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission redrew the map for the state legislative districts based on the results of the 2010 census. Wesley Harris and other individual voters sued the Commission and alleged that the newly redrawn districts were underpopulated in Democratic-leaning districts and over-populated in Republican-leaning ones, and that the Commission had, therefore, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Commission countered that the population deviations were the result of attempts to comply with the Voting Rights Act. A three-judge district court ruled in favor of the Commission.
  
There are two questions before the Supreme Court on appeal: (1) Whether the desire to gain partisan advantage for one political party justifies creating over-populated legislative districts that result in the devaluation of individual votes, violating the one-person, one-vote principle; and (2) whether the desire to obtain favorable preclearance review by the Justice Department permits the creation of legislative districts that deviate from the one-person, one-vote principle, and--even if creating unequal districts to obtain preclearance approval was once justified--whether this remains a legitimate justification after the Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

To discuss the case, we have Mark F. Hearne, II, who is Partner at Arent Fox LLP.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-11-16 featuring Joshua P. Thompson
Joshua P. Thompson February 11, 2016

On December 9, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.  This is the second time the case has come before the high court.

Abigail Fisher, a white female, applied for admission to the University of Texas but was denied. Fisher sued the University and argued that the use of race as a consideration in the admissions process violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court held that the University’s admissions process was constitutional, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. The case went to the Supreme Court (Fisher I), which held that the appellate court erred in how it applied the strict scrutiny standard, improperly deferring to the University’s good faith in its use of racial classifications. On remand the Fifth Circuit again ruled in favor of the University, deeming its use of race in the admissions process narrowly tailored to a legitimate interest in achieving “the rich diversity that contributes to its academic mission.”

The question in this case is whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of the University of Texas at Austin’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions can be sustained under this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Fisher I.

To discuss the case, we have Joshua P. Thompson who is Principal Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation.
 

Evenwel v. Abbott - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-11-16 featuring Andrew Grossman
Andrew Grossman February 11, 2016

On December 8, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Evenwel v. Abbott. As required by the Texas Constitution, the Texas legislature reapportioned its senate districts after the publication of the 2010 census, formally adopting an interim plan that had been put in place for the 2012 primaries.  Plaintiffs, who are registered Texas voters, sued the Texas governor and secretary of state, asserting that the redistricting plan violated the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, by failing to apportion districts to equalize both total population and voter population.  A three-judge district court ruled in favor of the state officials.

On appeal, the question before the Supreme Court is whether the three-judge district court correctly held that the “one-person, one-vote” principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population when apportioning state legislative districts.

To discuss the case, we have Andrew Grossman, who is Associate at Baker & Hostetler, and Adjunct Scholar at The Cato Institute.

Debating Birthright Citizenship - Podcast

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
John C. Eastman, John C. Yoo September 11, 2015

The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Does this clause make all persons born in the United States citizens of the United States?

  • Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. John C. Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law

Obergefell v. Hodges - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-26-15 featuring John Eastman and Ilya Shapiro
John C. Eastman, Ilya Shapiro June 26, 2015

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges. This highly anticipated case concerned two questions. The first is whether states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The second question is whether states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were lawfully married in a different state.

In a 5-4 opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court held that States are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On the second question, the Supreme Court held that States are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples lawfully married out-of-state. 

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion which Justices Scalia and Thomas joined. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice Scalia joined. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion which Justices Scalia and Thomas joined. The judgment of the Sixth Circuit was reversed.

To discuss the case, we have John Eastman, who is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law and Ilya Shapiro, who is Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute.