Paul G. Cassell, a University of Utah School of Law professor and a former federal judge, will discuss victims' rights to restitution at the federal level. He will focus his presentation on a controversial practice used in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York -- secret settlements of fraud cases without notification to the victims of the fraud. The victims are, without notice, unable to seek restitution. Professor Cassell alleges that the practice violates the Crime Victim’s Restitution Act (although the Department of Justice disputes this claim).
Hon. Paul G. Cassell, Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Endowed Chair in Criminal Law, The University of Utah College of Law
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.
Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute
On January 21, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. This case involves the Fair Housing Act, which states that it is illegal to "refuse to sell or rent...or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race." The question in this case is whether disparate impact claims, which permit liability based on disproportionate impact in the absence of express discriminatory intent, are allowed under the Fair Housing Act.
To discuss the case, we have Hon. Todd F. Gaziano, Executive Director, Washington, D.C. Center and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law, Pacific Legal Foundation.
On January 13, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This case involves the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Title VII duty to investigate claims of discrimination levied against an employer and to make good faith efforts to eliminate discriminatory employment practices before filing suit against that employer. The question this case asks is whether and to what extent a court may enforce the EEOC's duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit.
To discuss the case, we have Mr. Paul Mirengoff, Mr. Mirengoff is a retired attorney in Washington, D.C. and is a blogger at powerlineblog.com.
On December 15, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Heien v. North Carolina, the question in this case was whether a police officer’s mistaken understanding of a law can provide the reasonable suspicion that the Fourth Amendment requires to justify a traffic stop.
In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that a police officer's reasonable mistake of law can give rise to the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify a stop under the Fourth Amendment. Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion which Justice Ginsburg joined. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion. The decision of the Supreme Court of North Carolina was affirmed.
To discuss the case, we have Ryan Scott, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.