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Race Discrimination

ABA Rule 8.4

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education and Free Speech & Election Law Practice Groups Teleforum Monday, December 12, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law will be joining us Monday, December 12 to discuss the ABA’s new Rule 8.4 on professional misconduct. The Rule states that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to “engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” The ABA goes further in Comments, stating that “Such discrimination includes harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others,” and that the Rule applies in any situation, even social, that is “connected to the practice of law.”

Professor Volokh will discuss the First Amendment implications and reaction to the new rule.

Featuring:

  • Professor Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Redistricting Tested in the Supreme Court - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law and Civil Rights Practice Groups Podcast
Maya Noronha December 07, 2016

On December 5, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on two redistricting cases, Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections and McCrory v. Harris. After the movement of population, both Virginia and North Carolina legislatures redrew plans for their state legislative districts. However, plaintiffs in each state challenged the plans as racial gerrymanders diluting the vote of African-American voters. Both cases raise the question of how to comply with the Voting Rights Act requirement that racial minorities have the ability to elect representatives of their choice, along with the Constitutional prohibition of race predominating in the drawing of plans. The Court will be also be asked to clarify the acceptable ways to consider minority populations in drawing plans, what plaintiffs need to show to prove a racial gerrymander, and what would trigger strict scrutiny.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Maya M. Noronha, Associate, Baker & Hostetler LLP

 

Courthouse Steps: Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
John C. Richter October 11, 2016

On Tuesday, October 11, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado. This case involves the constitutionality of a Colorado rule that bars a defendant from introducing evidence that a juror was racially biased. The justices will consider whether applying a no-impeachment rule to block evidence in this context violates the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.

Featuring:

  • John C. Richter, Partner, King & Spalding

Racial Pretexts in Peremptory Jury Strikes: The Impact of Foster v. Chatman - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Joseph L. Hoffmann May 25, 2016

The Supreme Court issued its 7-1 ruling in Foster v. Chatman on May 23, reversing the Supreme Court of Georgia and remanding the case. Foster was convicted of murder and sentenced to death three decades ago by an all-white jury. The prosecutor struck all of the black jurors and had plans to do so before the voir dire began. The prosecution presented several race-neutral reasons for striking the jurors, and the Georgia courts ruled against the Batson claim. Foster later gained access to the prosecution's jury-selection notes that showed some racial pretext and used them for a renewed Batson claim. The Georgia courts rejected the claim as barred by state res judicata. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority of the court finding that the court did still have jurisdiction and impermissible racial pretext was apparent for at least two of the state's peremptory strikes. Justice Thomas wrote a firm dissent where he doubted the court's jurisdiction. This Teleforum discussed the ramifications of this decision on the future of Batson deference, res judicata, and how this case might affect capital appeals pending throughout the nation.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Joseph L. Hoffmann, Harry Pratter Professor of Law and Director for Strategic Projects, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Peter N. Kirsanow, Stanley Kurtz April 21, 2016

In July of 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. HUD touts the rule, promulgated under the Fair Housing Act of 1928, as a critical tool to help communities “take significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.” Critics charge that the program is a power grab that improperly applies disparate impact analysis and incorrectly views geographic clustering of racial and ethnic minorities as evidence of discrimination and segregation. Our experts discussed the merits of the rule from both law and policy perspectives.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Peter N. Kirsanow, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center