Hot Buttons - An Unprecedented Court

THU, MAR 31, 2022 (1:29:24)

We examine the nation’s top court and its power to determine the direction of a host of hot button issues.

With the court’s actions to leave an abortion law in place last fall, we look to what the public should expect in laws on privacy and reproductive rights this spring. As the court signals its willingness to reconsider precedents, we will look at what other laws may be up for grabs.

Our expert panel will examine how the current court see issues like gay marriage, gun rights, and religion from various perspectives.

Panelists:
Gary Lawson, Boston University Law Professor
Melissa Murray, New York University Law Professor
Jed Handelsman Shugerman, Fordham Law School Professor

Moderator:
Michael J. Gerhardt, Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence

IMAGE CREDITS:
The U.S. Supreme Court” by Geoff Livingston. Image cropped and blurred. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
“A protester against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull. Image cropped. CC BY-SA 2.0.

“A protester against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.

+ BIO: Gary Lawson

Gary Lawson came to Boston University in January 2000; he was named the Philip S. Beck Professor of Law in 2012. He has authored six editions of a textbook on administrative law, co-authored two books on aspects of constitutional history, and authored or co-authored more than seventy scholarly articles. He is a founding member, and serves on the Board of Directors, of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Heritage Guide to The Constitution, a reference tool for legal scholars.

+ BIO: Melissa Murray

Melissa Murray is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, and Yale Law School, where she was notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal. While in law school, she earned special recognition as an NAACP-LDF/Shearman & Sterling Scholar and was a semifinalist of Morris Tyler Moot Court.

Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the US District Court for the District of Connecticut. Murray is a member of the New York bar.

Murray teaches constitutional law, family law, criminal law, and reproductive rights and justice, among other courses. Murray’s research focuses on the legal regulation of sex and sexuality and encompasses such topics as marriage and its alternatives, the marriage equality debate, the legal recognition of caregiving, and reproductive rights and justice. Her publications have appeared (or are forthcoming) in the California Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, among others. She is an author of Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, the first casebook to cover the field of reproductive rights and justice. She has translated her scholarly writing for more popular audiences by publishing in the New York Times, Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle, Vanity Fair, and the Huffington Post, and has offered commentary for numerous media outlets, including NPR, MSNBC, and PBS.

In 2013, Murray’s article, “What’s So New About the New Illegitimacy?,” was awarded the Dukeminier Awards’ Michael Cunningham Prize as one of the best sexual orientation and gender identity law review articles of 2012. Her article, “Marriage as Punishment,” won the Association of American Law Schools’ 2010-2011 Scholarly Papers Competition for faculty members with fewer than five years of law teaching. “Marriage as Punishment” was also selected by the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Women in Legal Education as a winner of the 2010-2011 New Voices in Gender Studies scholarly paper competition. In 2010, Murray was awarded the Association of American Law School’s Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. In 2011, Murray was elected to the membership of the American Law Institute.

Prior to joining the NYU faculty, Murray was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction. From March 2016 to June 2017, she served as interim dean of the Berkeley Law.

+ BIO: Jed Shugerman

Education
Yale University, PhD in History, 2008
Dissertation: “The People’s Courts: The Rise of Judicial Elections and Judicial Power in America”
Prize: The American Society of Legal History’s 2009 Cromwell Prize for best dissertation or article in American legal history in 2008
Yale Law School, JD 2002
Yale Law Journal, Book Note-Case Note editor (2000-01); Senior Editor (2001-02)
Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, Managing Editor (1999-2000), Lead Editor (1999-2000)
Joseph Parker Prize (2000) jointly awarded for the best paper in legal history at Yale Law School
Israel Peres Prize (2001) for the best student note in the Yale Law Journal
Yale College, BA in History, May 1996
Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Distinction in History

+ BIO: Michael J. Gerhardt

Michael Gerhardt joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2005 and serves as the Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence. His teaching and research focuses on constitutional conflicts between presidents and Congress. Gerhardt is the author of seven books, including “Lincoln’s Mentors” (Harper Collins, 2021), and leading treatises on impeachment, appointments, presidential power, Supreme Court precedent, and separation of powers. He has written more than a hundred law review articles and dozens of op eds in the nation’s leading news publications, including SCOTUSblog, The New York Times, and Washington Post. His book, The Forgotten Presidents (Oxford University Press 2013), was named by The Financial Times as one of the best non-fiction books of 2013. He was inducted into the American Law Institute in 2016. Gerhardt attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated order of the coif and served as a research assistant to both Phil Kurland and Cass Sunstein and as one of the two student editors of The Supreme Court Review. After law school, he clerked for Chief District Judge Robert McRae of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Tennessee and Judge Gilbert Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He served as Deputy Media Director of Al Gore’s first Senate campaign, practiced law for three years for two boutique litigation firms in Washington and Atlanta, and taught for more than a decade at William & Mary Law School before joining Carolina Law.

Gerhardt’s extensive public service has included his testifying more than 20 times before Congress, including as the only joint witness in the Clinton impeachment proceedings in the House; speaking behind closed doors to the entire House of Representatives about the history of impeachment in 1998; serving as special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee for eight of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices; and as one of four constitutional scholars called by the House Judiciary Committee during President Trump’s impeachment proceedings. During the Clinton and first Trump impeachment proceedings, Gerhardt served as an impeachment expert for CNN. In the second impeachment trial of President Trump, he was an expert commentator for CNN, Fox, and MSNBC and served as special counsel to the Presiding Officer, Senator Patrick Leahy. In 2015, he became the first legal scholar to be asked by the Library of Congress to serve as its principal adviser in revising the official United States Constitution Annotated. In 2019, the Order of the Coif named Gerhardt as its Distinguished Visitor for 2020-2021, an award given to only one law professor each year for outstanding legal scholarship.

Partner
JCC Greater Boston
Series
Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations