SJCRCL Fall 2012 Symposium — “Civil Rights and the Roberts Court” — Saturday, October 27 at 10 am

Fall 2012 Symposium: “Civil Rights and the Roberts Court”

October 27, 2012, 10:00 am – 4:15 pm, , Stanford Law School


Keynote luncheon and address:
Elise C. Boddie, Acting Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Law Lounge

Introduction by Pam Karlan, Stanford Law School

All panels will take place in Classroom 280A.


10:00 – 11:30 am

Fisher v. University of Texas and the future of affirmative action in higher education
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Fisher v. University of Texas in October 2012. The case was brought by Abigail Fisher in 2008, asks that the court either declare the admissions policy of the University inconsistent with, or entirely overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in the admissions policies of universities. An overruling of Grutter could end affirmative action policies in admissions at U.S. universities that receive federal funding. This panel discusses the arguments raised in oral argument, and the legacy and future of affirmative action in higher education.


Bret Asbury, Earle Macke School of Law, Drexel University
Constance de la Vega, University of San Francisco School of Law
Richard Ford, Stanford Law School
Moderator: Jane Schacter, Stanford Law School


1:00 – 2:20 am

Employment discrimination claims post-Hosanna-Tabor
In Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, decided in January, the Supreme Court held that a religious workplace was exempt from employment discrimination laws. This case was the first time the Supreme Court acknowledged a “ministerial exception” to the laws, so it remains unclear how far the decision will extend. The panelists, practitioners and academics in the fields of both religious liberty and employment discrimination, will discuss their interpretations of Hosanna-Tabor, what it may mean for religious workplaces in the future, and how far the ministerial exception should (and will) go.


James Sonne, Stanford Law School

William Tamayo, Regional Attorney (San Francisco), U.S. EEOC

Jessica Waters, American University Washington College of Law

Moderator: Richard Banks, Stanford Law School


2:45 – 4:15 pm

Juvenile sentencing under Miller v. Alabama

In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory sentence for juveniles of life without the possibility for parole violated the Eight Amendment. Coming on the heels of two other Supreme Court decisions dealing with juvenile rights and the criminal justice system, Miller raises the question of whether the Roberts Court has (or should have) a uniform approach to the intersection of the Constitution, childhood, and crime. The panelists will explore the implications and inconsistencies of the Robert Court’s approach to juveniles and how such inconsistencies may play out on the ground.


Beth Colgan, Stanford Law School

Matthew Golde, Assistant DA & Head of Alameda County Juvenile Division

Jonathan Laba, Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office

Moderator: Robert Weisberg, Stanford Law School


This conference is free and open to the public. Please register.