Moderated by Professor Tara Grove, director of the Program in Constitutional Studies at Alabama Law, the roundtable included a strong lineup of scholars including Martha Minow (Harvard Law School), Jack Balkin (Yale Law School), Jane Roberta Bambauer (University of Arizona Law), Leslie Kendrick (University of Virginia School of Law), Genevieve Lakier (University of Chicago Law School), Helen Norton (Colorado Law), Robert Post (Yale Law School), Geoffrey Stone (University of Chicago Law School), Nadine Strossen (New York Law School), Eugene Volokh (UCLA Law), and Jeremy Waldron (NYU School of Law). Dean Mark Brandon (Alabama Law) provided introductory remarks.
Based on the content in Professor Minow’s book, this group discussed the importance of the First Amendment and what role the government can and should play at a time when our culture has transitioned from relying on traditional fact-checked publications to consuming news through social and online media platforms.
Civic Engagement: Coming Together Across Ideological Lines
One of the main purposes of the First Amendment Roundtable was to offer an experience that supports the Program in Constitutional Studies’ larger Civic Engagement Initiative. In this case, the roundtable created a space for a diverse group of legal scholars, who hold differing opinions and come from various backgrounds, the opportunity to work together to discuss the government’s potential role in regulating the private enterprises whose platforms facilitate the spread of information and, in some cases, misinformation.
According to Professor Grove, “The Civic Engagement Initiative aims to facilitate meaningful conversations across political and ideological lines. That can be more challenging when people disagree about the ‘facts on the ground.’ So, it’s important to think about where people are getting their information. This event was one opportunity to consider the role of the media in our society.”
The September Roundtable was just one of several Civic Engagement Initiative events the Alabama Law Program in Constitutional Studies plans to host. On January 18, 2022, the Program will be holding a panel featuring free speech experts Nadine Strossen—professor at New York Law School and former president of the ACLU, and Keith Whittington—professor of politics at Princeton University. The panel will be moderated by Professor Bryan Fair of Alabama Law, and the event will be open to the public. Additional details about this event are forthcoming. If you are interested in learning more about this panel or about the Program in Constitutional Studies, please contact Professor Tara Grove (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Professor Richard Delgado recently published the article Groundhog Law in the Journal of Law and Society. Download and read the full piece on SSRN.
Our student, Kody George, recently published an article on the ABA Website about water in space. Click this link to read the piece.
On Sept. 15, students, faculty, and staff from The University of Alabama School of Law attended the annual memorial service at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham for Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Morris Wesley who were killed when the church was bombed in 1963.
The Carlton Reese Memorial Choir sang hymns and spirituals to begin the service and Reverend Arthur Price, Jr., pastor of the historic church, offered prayer. The congregation observed a moment of silence as bells tolled for each of the lives lost on of Sept. 15, 1963, including Virgil Ware and Johnny Robinson who were killed by racist violence on the same day, and paid respects to their family members in attendance. Birmingham attorney Gaile Pugh Greene led a litany entitled “We Honor Your Names.”
Chicago pastor Dr. Charlie E. Dates preached the homily and spoke about the power of love in overcoming hate and grief. The Sunday School lesson on the day of the bombing was “A Love that Forgives,” and Dr. Dates urged the audience to summon the love they possess in remembrance of the four girls who were killed at 16th Street Baptist and honor them by spreading that love in the world.
In closing, a representative from the government of Wales, Erica Stevens, spoke about the history of the Wales Window, gifted by the people of Wales to the 16th Street Baptist Church to replace the stained glass window that was damaged in the bomb blast.
Following Stevens’s remarks, the congregation stepped outside of the church to lay a memorial wreath at the site of the explosion. After the memorial service, members of the Alabama Law community returned to Tuscaloosa for a reflective discussion with Lisa McNair, whose sister Denise was killed in the church bombing, led by third-year law student Brenita Softley, President of the Black Law Students Association at Alabama Law.
Professor Julie Hill was recently published Cannabis Banking: What Marijuana Can Learn from Hemp in the Boston University Law Review. Read and download the full article on SSRN.
Professor William “Bill” Andreen recently published Separating Fact from Fiction in Evaluating the Endangered Species Act: Recognizing the Need for Ongoing Conservation Management and Regulation in the Idaho Law Review. Download and read the full piece on SSRN.
Professor Deepa Das Acevedo has published several articles recently including Just Hindus in Law & Social Inquiry, Changing the Subject of Sati in Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), and A Tale of Two Courts in Cornell Law Review Online.
Professor Joyce Vance recently interviewed Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Lee Gelernt, in a discussion titled Fighting for Immigrants for Cafe.com. You can listen to the full interview here.
Professor Benjamin McMichael was recently published in The Hill with his op-ed Nurses can help reduce opioid deaths — if policymakers let them.