Faculty Book Podcast
In his new book, The Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges and Immunities of American Citizenship, Prof. Lash presents the history surrounding the addition of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. This exhaustively researched book follows the evolution in public understanding of “the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States,” from the early years of the Constitution to the critical national election of 1866. For the first 92 years of our nation's history, nothing in the American Constitution prevented states from abridging freedom of speech, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or denying the right of peaceful assembly. The suppression of freedom in the southern states convinced the Reconstruction Congress and the supporters of the Union to add an amendment forcing the states to respect the rights announced in the first eight amendments. But rather than eradicate state autonomy altogether, the people embraced the Fourteenth Amendment that expanded the protections of the Bill of Rights and preserved the Constitution's original commitment to federalism and the principle of limited national power.
Pressor Kurt Lash, Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law and Director, Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law is joined by critical commenter Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law at the Florida International University School of Law. SCOTUScast 7-3-14 featuring Erik Jaffe and Richard Garnett
On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in McCullen v. Coakley. This case involved the constitutionality of Massachusetts’s law regarding speech within 35 feet of an abortion clinic. The law makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic employees to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of an abortion clinic.” The questions are first whether the law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on its face and as applied to petitioners; and second, whether, if Hill v. Colorado permits enforcement of this law, Hill should be limited or overruled. Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
The Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court, which held that the Massachusetts law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court found that the law was content neutral but not narrowly tailored to further the government’s legitimate interests. While Massachusetts has a legitimate interest in protecting public safety, patient access to healthcare, and unobstructed use of public sidewalks and streets, the law burdened more speech than necessary to achieve these interests. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which Justices Kennedy and Thomas joined. Justice Alito filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment. The decision of the First Circuit was reversed.
To discuss the case, we have Mr. Erik S. Jaffe, Law Office of Erik S. Jaffe, P.C. and Prof. Richard W. Garnett, IV, Professor of Law & Concurrent Professor of Political Science, Founding Director, Program on Church, State & Society, University of Notre Dame Law School.
On March 25, 2014, the contraceptive mandate case was argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby Stores’ owners have no moral or other objection to the use of 16 of 20 contraceptives required by the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but cite their deeply held religious beliefs in objecting to providing or paying for four others they see as possibly life-threatening. How will the Supreme Court rule? Does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), allow Hobby Lobby a way around the ACA ‘s contraceptive mandate? Our experts reviewed the oral arguments and took questions from the audience in this Courthouse Steps Teleforum.
- Prof. Robert A. Destro, Professor of Law, and Director, Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
- Adele Keim, Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
A Lady or a Tiger?: Thoughts on Fisher v. University of Texas and the Future of Race Preferences in America Engage Volume 14, Issue 3 October 2013
Alison Somin February 19, 2014
There are not many dull moments in the debate about race preferences in university admissions. Nevertheless, the issuance of the recent Fisher v. University of Texas case has often been painted as one of them. “In with a bang, out with a fizzle” is the title of one account of Fisher, and “Fisher’s big news: No big news” is the headline of another. But perhaps this perennially hot debate has not cooled down after all, and Fisher is better understood as a cliffhanger—one akin to the ending of Frank Stockton’s 1882 “The Lady or the Tiger?,” which famously leaves the protagonist uncertain whether a beautiful woman or a starved tiger will emerge from behind the door he is about to open....[Read Now!] SCOTUScast 10-28-13 featuring Robert Driscoll
Robert Driscoll October 28, 2013
On October 15, 2013, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The question in this case is whether a state violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause by amending its own state constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment in public-university admissions decisions.
To discuss the case, we have Robert Driscoll, who is a partner at Friedlander Misler.