Pro-choice protestors gather in Mexico City, credit NAYELI CRUZ, EL PAÍS


Wednesday September 13, 2023

09.14.23Carlos Aguilar

What happens now that affirmative action is dead?

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Strict Scrutiny Podcast, credit Crooked Media

Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.

Juvaria Khan, founder of The Appellate Project, joins Melissa, Kate, and Leah to catch up on the fallout of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision in June. Then, Melissa talks with Justice Goodwin Liu of Supreme Court of California and Mary Hoopes of Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law about their research on how judges consider diversity when hiring clerks.

Listen to the podcast on Crooked Media

What American lawyers can learn from the progressive legal movement of Latin America

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Pro-choice protestors gather in Mexico City, credit NAYELI CRUZ, EL PAÍS

Simone de Beauvoir once said: “Never forget that a political, economic or religious crisis will be enough for women’s rights to be questioned again. These rights are never to be taken for granted; you must remain vigilant throughout your life.” It was an omen. Such a situation occurred in June 2022, when the United States Supreme Court repealed the right to abortion in the country, 50 years after it was encoded into law. The repeal of Roe v. Wade proved that changes in political or judicial power could put past victories into jeopardy. It dealt a blow to the decades of struggle; however, it failed to stem the tide throughout the Western Hemisphere. In Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, the justice systems have recently decriminalized the interruption of a pregnancy at the federal level. These rulings have emerged as beacons of hope in the defense of women’s reproductive rights in the Americas.

Behind the latest Latin American victory (Mexico), there was no luck — only an ambitious legal strategy that has been in the works for years. “It’s now or never,” thought the lawyers belonging to GIRE (Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegid), just before they began to file dozens of cases, in an attempt to modify the criminal codes in the majority of Mexico’s 32 states. The plan began after September 7, 2021. That day, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ruled that it was unconstitutional to put a woman in jail for having an abortion. Then-president of the court Arturo Zaldívar called the ruling “a new route towards freedom, dignity, and respect and a great step in the historic fight for equality.”

Read the story on El Pais

The conservative legal movement won by seizing the moment after Citizens United

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Leonard Leo and Ginni Thomas superimposed on a Supreme Court opinion document

The Supreme Court’s decision in the 2010 Citizens United case transformed the world of politics. It loosened restrictions on campaign spending and unleashed a flow of anonymous donor money to nonprofit groups run by political activists.

In the months before the ruling dropped in January of that year, a group of conservative activists came together to create just such an organization. Its mission would be to, at the time, block then-President Barack Obama’s pet initiatives.

Read the Story on Politico

Americans with disabilities are under threat from the Supreme Court

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Illustration of SCOTUS and wheelchair line drawing, credit Slate, Adam Michael Szuscik, Unsplash and Getty Images Plus

Yvette Pegues, Ed.D., is a disabled DEIAB executive, engineer, diversity champion, and keynote/TEDx speaker, co-founder and CDO of Your Invisible Disability Group.

Imagine spending weeks planning for a family vacation just to be turned away by the hotel when you arrive. Or not being able to attend family celebrations, funerals, doctors’ appointments, or industry conferences because the spaces are not accessible. Not only will you miss irreplaceable moments, but you’ll also miss opportunities to live a full life and build your future. These aren’t hypothetical scenarios. These scenarios happen to millions of disabled people in the United States every day.

As an intellectually disabled person who uses a wheelchair full time, my many experiences with inaccessibility have trained me to see equity gaps where others fail to. I am constantly reminded how the implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act falls short. The ADA, passed 33 years ago, was groundbreaking legislation that has transformed the lives of disabled people by seeking to make sure we have equal access to the world around us.

Read the story on Slate