Access to Justice

  • May 24, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Ruben J. Garcia, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research and Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Williams S. Boyd School of Law

    The 1905 United States Supreme Court case Lochner v. New York was rhetorically volleyed back and forth in the Court’s opinion released May 21 in Epic Systems v. Lewis by Justice Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion, and in the dissenting opinion penned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  In Epic Systems, the Court ruled 5-4 that mandatory arbitration agreements that require individual employees to waive the right to join together with fellow employees in class or collective arbitrations do not run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935’s (NLRA) protections for concerted activity. This is because these waivers, according to the Court, are authorized by another statute passed by Congress 10 years earlier, the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 (FAA). However,  neither the text of the FAA nor NLRA mention these waivers at all.

  • January 29, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Daniel Costa, Director of Immigrantion Law and Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute

    *This piece was originally published by Economic Policy Institute

    Yesterday the White House one-page framework for a legislative deal to provide a permanent immigration status to DACA recipients was made public, which is in addition to the four-page memo released on January 9 that included the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities for an “immigration deal.” The new one-page memo includes a long list of far-reaching demands to “reform” the immigration system, in exchange for remedying the crisis that President Trump himself imposed on the nearly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents, and who voluntarily availed themselves to the U.S. government after they were promised that they would be protected and not deported by the Obama administration.

  • January 25, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and founding director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law - University Park

    Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy implemented in 2012 that to date has enabled nearly 800,000 people who came to the United States before the age of sixteen, establish the requisite residence, physical presence and educational requirements to request a form of prosecutorial discretion known as “deferred action.” Originating from a rule published by the Reagan administration in 1981, grantees of deferred action may request work authorization if they can establish “economic necessity.” After receiving work authorization, the type of work a DACA recipient may enter is unrestricted, enabling one to pursue a job in a variety of sectors. DACA recipients with college degrees in a high-demand field are eligible to work in the area of their study and often do.   

  • January 24, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, DC

    Amid the much-needed and continuing conversation on sexual harassment across the country, my team and I undertook a deeply introspective and forward-looking review of the District of Columbia’s sexual harassment policy.

    The Challenge. I hope that our policy and program of trainings, reporting, and remediation inspire action by other cities, corporations, universities, law firms, non-profit organizations, and other governmental employers. Indeed, I challenge other leaders to create a culture of respect, to rearticulate norms against sexual harassment, to empower their workforces to report unwanted and harassing sexual conduct, and to establish effective remedies for sexual harassment. While sexual harassment does not only victimize women, taking strong action to combat harassment will in turn help to empower women, a cause near and dear to my heart.

    On December 18, 2017, I signed an updated Mayor’s Order on sexual harassment that clearly defines sexual harassment, reporting, protections, defenses, and available training. While grounded on principles found within the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, this new policy is in line with current laws, technology, culture, and workplace dynamics. All District Government employees have received a copy of this policy and clear guidance that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited in District government.

  • January 12, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Lawrence J. Fox, George W. and Sadella D. Crawford Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

    “I’ve just told you he’s guilty.”

    Still ringing through the courtroom as the last day of Robert McCoy’s trial for murder came to a close, were the stinging words, “I’ve just told you he’s guilty.” If those words had been uttered by the prosecutor, the world would have taken little note. But they were the words of Mr. McCoy’s lawyer made over his client’s express objection and protestation of innocence. They represented the ultimate act of client betrayal made by the constitutionally guaranteed defender of Mr. McCoy’s rights, his one true champion, the only participant in the criminal justice system who was constitutionally required to fulfill Mr. McCoy’s wishes so long as the client was competent and they involved no illegal conduct. On January 17, these words will be at the center of discussion at the U.S. Supreme Court, when it hears this extraordinary case, McCoy v. Louisiana.