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Discrimination Law

Law Firm Preferences - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Curt Levey September 15, 2017

Major American corporations are pressuring their outside law firms to meet diversity goals both firm-wide and in the legal teams assigned to the company’s work. For example, Facebook announced this year that the law firm teams working on its matters must consist of at least 33 percent women and minorities. This pressure has resulted in the widespread use of race and gender preferences in hiring, promotion, and work assignment decisions by America’s premier law firms. Are these preferences legal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1981? Are they good policy? Curt Levey, a constitutional law attorney who has worked on several affirmative action cases – including the University of Michigan cases (Grutter and Gratz) – joined us to analyze the arguments on both sides of these questions.

Featuring: 

  • Curt Levey, President, The Committee for Justice and Legal Affairs Fellow, FreedomWorks

Ziglar v. Abbasi Decided - Are Government Officials Liable for Damages? - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
David B. Rivkin Jr. July 07, 2017

Ziglar v. Abbasi is the result of over a decade of remands and appeals. The case was originally filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of incarcerated Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens who were targeted after 9/11 by law enforcement as “terrorism suspects.” The defendants in the case, high level officials in the Bush administration, such as Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller, and low level detention officials, filed a motion to dismiss, which was rejected by the in the District Court.

In 2009, the Supreme Court decided in Ashcroft v. Iqbal that government officials were not liable for discriminatory actions of their subordinates without evidence they directly ordered the actions. Meanwhile, five of the petitioners in Ziglar settled with the government, and the case was remanded to the District Court and amended. In 2010, the District Court granted a new motion of dismissal, but only for the high level officials. This dismissal was reversed by the Second Circuit.

The main question the Supreme Court answered was whether these high-level government officials could be sued for damages under the Bivens precedent. The precedent, created in a 1971 case involving the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, created an implied cause of action for any person whose Fourth Amendment rights are violated by federal officials. On Monday, June 19 the Supreme Court refused to extend the Bivens precedent to the petitioners, reversing the decision by the Second Circuit and remanding the case.

David Rivkin of Baker Hostelter joined us to discuss the opinion and its significance.

Featuring:

  • David B. Rivkin Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP 

Immigration Moratorium in the Supreme Court - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Josh Blackman, David B. Rivkin Jr., Ilya Somin June 27, 2017

On Monday, June 26, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and stay applications were granted in part. The case is based on the January 21 Executive Order No. 13780, “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” The order suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the country by citizens of seven majority Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. It also suspended refugee admission into the United States for 120 days, and barred entry of Syrian refugees until further notice. The stated order’s purpose was to “ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.”

The Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the order in District Court citing harm to Seattle residents. Judge James Robart in the Western District of Washington issued a restraining order on February 3 halting President Trump’s executive order nationwide. The Department of Justice appealed the restraining order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the Justice Department’s appeal for an emergency stay.

Three International & National Security Law experts joined us for a great discussion on what the Supreme Court’s actions mean for the current application of the EO and a preview of the case before the Court. 

Featuring:

  • Prof. Josh Blackman, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • David B. Rivkin Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Courthouse Steps: Two Cases - Matal v. Tam and Packingham v. North Carolina - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Ilya Shapiro, Michael R. Huston June 21, 2017

The Court has ruled today in two important cases, Matal v. Tam (aka "The Slants" copyright case) and Packingham v. North Carolina, which concerns a North Carolina law that restricts the access of convicted sex offenders to “commercial social networking” websites. Mr. Michael Huston and Mr. Ilya Shapiro joined us for this special Teleforum in which the holdings and reasoning of both cases were discussed.  

Featuring:

  • Mr. Michael R. Huston, Associate Attorney, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Mr. Ilya Shapiro,  Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

Courthouse Steps: Cooper v. Harris Redistricting Update - Podcast

Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Hans A. von Spakovsky May 31, 2017

On May 22, the Supreme Court threw out two North Carolina congressional districts as discriminatory. State legislatures face confusion over how to redistrict without violating either the Voting Rights Act or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. What does this case mean for the redistricting that will occur throughout the country after the 2010 Census?  How can courts distinguish between legally acceptable partisan and unacceptable racial motives in redistricting when certain racial groups disproportionately support one particular political party? Hans von Spakovsky, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Justice Department, discussed these issues and the Cooper decision.

Featuring:

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation