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Harassment, Sexual, Racial, or Religious

Sexual Assault on Campus - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Heather MacDonald, Seth Galanter, Lara S. Kaufmann, Greg Lukianoff, Diane S. Sykes, Gail Heriot November 17, 2014

Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it.  As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault.  This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus.  It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus.  It will also discuss the new  "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country.  Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses?  From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue?  Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?

The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Mr. Seth Galanter, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Ms. Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel & Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, National Women's Law Center
  • Mr. Greg Lukianoff, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Introduction: Hon. Gail Heriot, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; and Chairman, Civil Rights Practice Group

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Passion and Prudence in the Political Process: The Debate Over Federal Civil Rights Policy - Event Audio/Video

Civil Rights in the United States
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Lara S. Kaufmann, Gail Heriot, Robert Barnes September 14, 2014

Emotions sometimes run high in the public debates over race and gender issues. Some claim that public passions can obscure facts and result in ill-considered policy. Many observers have bemoaned the public rhetoric surrounding the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri as more inflammatory than constructive. Another example can be found in criticism over President Obama’s use of a misleading, or at least contestable, figure in his 2014 State of the Union address: “Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.” But equal pay for equal work has been the law since 1963, and some researchers have questioned whether the pay gap exists in reality to the same extent it does rhetorically. Are similarly emotional arguments being used in the debates over sexual assault in the military, hate crimes, and harassment and bullying in public schools? This panel will explore the concerns over this problem and its policy consequences.

This panel on "Passion and Prudence in the Political Process: The Debate Over Federal Civil Rights Policy" was part of a day-long conference on Civil Rights in the United States held on September 9, 2014, and co-sponsored by the Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
  • Ms. Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel & Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, National Women's Law Center
  • Hon. Gail Heriot, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law and Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Moderator: Mr. Robert Barnes, Supreme Court Correspondent, The Washington Post

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Racial Preferences and Promoting Diversity: Are These Policies Taking Us in the Right Direction? - Event Audio/Video

Civil Rights in the United States
Hans Bader, Louis Michael Seidman, Stuart S. Taylor, Roger Pilon September 14, 2014

The Obama administration is widely perceived to be an avid proponent of racial preferences. As Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2012, “The question is not when does [affirmative action] end, but when does it begin.” Several landmark pieces of legislation that President Barack Obama has signed into law—primarily on other topics, such as the Dodd Frank Wall Street Consumer Protection and Reform Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—have expanded racial preferences in federal hiring, contracting, and at regulated entities. The president has also issued multiple executive orders and related instructions that aggressively seek to expand the numbers of women and minorities in the federal workforce. The Obama administration’s response to Fisher v. University of Texas, 133 S. Ct. 2411 (2013), which directed courts to use strict scrutiny in analyzing whether admissions policies are narrowly tailored to achieve universities’ diversity goals, may be another such example. After Fisher, officials at the Departments of Education and Justice produced guidance documents that have been read to assure colleges and universities that they could continue using large racial preferences in student admissions. This panel will explore this proliferation of racial preferences and the likely effects of such policies. Among other things, panelists will discuss evidence that racial preferences in education do more harm than good to their intended beneficiaries, resulting in fewer under-represented minorities going on to high-status careers. The panel will also discuss efforts to protect women and minorities from ill-defined “harassment” as a means of maintaining diversity in the workplace and on campuses—and how these efforts may raise First Amendment concerns and create perverse incentives to discriminate against persons who are perceived as likely to view innocent or trivial workplace and campus interactions as harassment.

This panel on "Racial Preferences and Promoting Diversity: Are These Policies Taking Us in the Right Direction?" was part of a day-long conference on Civil Rights in the United States held on September 9, 2014, and co-sponsored by the Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Hans Bader, Senior Counsel, Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Prof. Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Mr. Stuart S. Taylor, Jr., Nonresident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
  • Moderator: Dr. Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, and Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Disparate Impact and the Rule of Law: Does Disparate Impact Liability Make Everything Illegal? - Event Audio/Video

Civil Rights in the United States
Roger B. Clegg, Peter N. Kirsanow, Theodore M. Shaw, John G. Malcolm, Dean A. Reuter September 14, 2014

Disparate impact liability—or holding an actor liable for actions that have a disproportionate effect (disparate impact) on a particular race, sex, national origin, or religion—was invented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Johnson administration as a strategy for stepping up the fight against employment discrimination. The Supreme Court eventually adopted this theory of liability in the employment context in the controversial case of Griggs v. Duke Power, 401 U.S. 424 (1971). Congress later incorporated it into the employment context in the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The Obama administration has eagerly embraced disparate impact liability: Administration officials have applied it to new areas, like housing, education and credit. Disturbingly to some, these officials have also arranged settlements in lawsuits headed to the Supreme Court that appeared likely to result in decisions limiting the doctrine’s reach. Because nearly every employment, education, housing, or lending policy has a disproportionate effect on some protected group, the recent growth of disparate impact means that virtually any such policy may be deemed illegal. Panelists will discuss whether and to what extent disparate impact’s metastasis thus threatens traditional principles of the rule of law and whether it is consistent with statutory law and the Constitution.

This panel on "Disparate Impact and the Rule of Law: Does Disparate Impact Liability Make Everything Illegal?" was part of a day-long conference on Civil Rights in the United States held on September 9, 2014, co-sponsored by the Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Roger B. Clegg, President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Hon. Peter N. Kirsanow, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP and Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and former Member, National Labor Relations Board
  • Prof. Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina Law School
  • Moderator: Mr. John G. Malcolm, Director and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Is There a War on Women? - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Jennifer C. Braceras, Fatima Goss Graves, Dean A. Reuter May 30, 2013

Is There a War on Women? - PodcastIn recent months and years, gender issues have taken an increasingly important role in discussions of law, policy, and electoral politics, garnering a great deal of media attention and public discussion.  What are the true implications of the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire Corporation case and the government’s ensuing actions?  Have they been used, perhaps opportunistically or disingenuously, by either side in this debate?  Have gender issues in general been misused in the same way?  Is there a War on Women, or is this a canard designed to excite and mislead?

Featuring:

  • Ms. Jennifer Braceras, Columnist and former Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
  • Ms. Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]