Events for the 2018-2019 academic year include:
Religion and Discrimination: Masterpiece, Bladensburg, Title X and More
ACS presented a lunch talk with Louise Melling, YLS ’87, of the ACLU on April 11. Ms. Melling discussed religious discrimination and the weaponization of the First Amendment by situating recent and ongoing litigation within the broader context of the fight for civil liberties. Ms. Melling is a Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU and the Director of its Center for Liberty, which encompasses the ACLU’s work on reproductive freedom, women’s rights, LGBT rights, freedom of religion and belief, and disability rights. She has established the ACLU as a national leader in opposing the use of religion to discriminate and in supporting state advocacy teams that have pushed back legislation that would permit discrimination in the name of religion. After the lunch talk, ACS hosted a coffee chat with Ms. Melling, allowing students to engage with her in intimate conversations.
Equally American: Civil Rights in U.S. Territories: A Conversation with Neil Weare
ACS partnered with APALSA, NALSA, CRP, and CDO to host Neil Weare, YLS ’08, to learn about his journey founding a non-profit, Equally American, and working on civil rights litigation related to achieving equal rights in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands. Equally American's work includes Fitisemanu v. United States, a case in the District of Utah. Mr. Fitisemanu was denied his right to vote in Utah based on a discriminatory federal law that labels him a "national, but not a citizen" because he was born in American Samoa. Neil and Equally American hope to overturn the Insular Cases – a line of cases at the Supreme Court that extended U.S. sovereignty to territories without requiring the full extension of constitutional rights. Read more about the importance of his work here.
We’re excited to announce the third event of The Most Dangerous Branch? (MDB) - A Speaker Series, Sponsored by ACS and Co-Sponsored by Yale Law Democrats. The MDB Series will consider how we, as future lawyers and concerned citizens, should respond to the conservative takeover of the courts.
Should the Left Play Constitutional Hardball? With David Pozen
This was the third event of The Most Dangerous Branch? (MDB), a speaker series sponsored by ACS and co-sponsored by the Yale Law Democrats. The MDB Series considered how we, as future lawyers and concerned citizens, should respond to the conservative takeover of the courts.
David Pozen discussed whether the Left can (or should) play constitutional hardball – political maneuvers that can shift constitutional understandings. As Professor Pozen noted in a recent article, “Senate Republicans have played vigorous hardball [...] most obviously by refusing to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination, and there is a strong desire among many Democrats to respond with equal or greater vigor.” Should Democrats respond in turn, or play "anti-hardball" by insisting on neutral rules of good governance?
David Pozen, YLS ’07, is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and inaugural visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. He teaches and writes about constitutional law, national security law, and information law, among other topics. From 2010 to 2012, Pozen served as special advisor to Harold Hongju Koh at the Department of State.