What do Abortion Rights, Voting Rights, Affirmative Action, and Gay Marriage Have in Common?
12 PM EST
Join us on January 24, 2017 as a panel of constitutional law experts explore the common threads in these seemingly unconnected areas of law.
Reflecting on the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Supreme Court terms, panelists will discuss the groundbreaking decisions in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which reaffirmed the right to abortion by striking down a restrictive Texas law; Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upheld University of Texas’ affirmative action plan; Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared same sex marriage a constitutional right, and recent federal voting rights decisions, including Texas NAACP v. Steen, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned a voter ID law. This panel will illuminate common themes among these cases, highlighting the burden on states to identify and defend the interests served by their laws, the role of courts in assessing state restrictions on 14th amendment rights, and the importance of sound evidence based on reliable methodology. Speakers will place each case in context and then consider how these decisions can be used to shape constitutional law jurisprudence more broadly, recognizing the possible constraints of a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court in future years.
The expert panel will include the following speakers:
- MODERATOR - Erica Smock, JD, Director of Judicial Strategy, U.S. Legal Program, Center for Reproductive Rights
- Stephanie Toti, Senior Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights
- Coty Montag, Deputy Director of Litigation, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational
- Susan Sommer, Associate Legal Director and Director of Constitutional Litigation, LAMBDA
- Neil Siegel, Professor of Constitutional Law at Duke Law School