Anthony Infanti Pens Huffington Post Editorial On Supreme Court Justices Dissenting Opinions In Marriage Equality Case

Pitt Law Professor and Assocaite Dean For Administration and Special Projects Anthony Infanti penned an editorial for the Huffington Post on the U.S. Supreme Court dissenters in the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges. In a 5-4 decision, the case ruling expanded same-sex marriage rights to all 50 states. All four dissenting justices wrote opinions, including Chief Justice John Roberts who devoted his dissenting opinion to deploring the fact that five "unaccountable and unelected judges" had decided whether to extend marriage to same-sex couples rather than leaving that question of "social policy" to the "people."

Professor Infanti wrote for the Huffington Post, "But it is worth pausing to consider what the dissenting Supreme Court justices had to say Friday because it presages what we can expect in the coming LGBT rights battles -- battles that will not be for marriage equality but for equality, period.

"If the conservative dissenters are any type of barometer, these are going to be tough battles. Friday's decision may only harden the resolve and resentment of those who stand against the LGBT community and its allies."

Read more in "Demeaning Democracy at the Supreme Court" at the Huffington Post.

Publish Date: 
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 11:00am

Anthony Infanti Discusses Historic Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling Live On 90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Pitt Law Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Anthony Infanti was a guest on 90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh to discuss on air the historic ruling and its implications for the nation.

"I was a little surprised in how far they actually went," Infanti said, referring to the Supreme Court opinions. "They could have gone not quite so far."

During arguments for Obergefell, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy argued about federalism, Infanti said, and some thought the court may try to strike a balance by allowing some states to not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

The possibility of such a compromise would have been a compromise that pleased no one, Infanti said.

"That would have been a messy ruling and made everyone miserable," he said.

Read more and listen to a recording of the episode at 90.5 WESA.

Publish Date: 
Friday, June 26, 2015 - 1:15pm

Chester Corse Jr.

Professor Bernard Hibbitts Pens Front-Page Post-Gazette Feature On Magna Carta For Its 800 Year Anniversary

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a feature article from Pitt Law Professor Bernard Hibbitts on the Magna Carta (now 800 years old) and how it shapes law today. The story, the second in a four-part series on the Magna Carta, ran on the front page of the Post-Gazette's Sunday edition, June 14, 2015.

On June 15, 1215, Magna Carta — the “great charter” — was signed by King John of England. Hibbitts writes, "Magna Carta has more to offer than the legal nostrums so enthusiastically celebrated by lawyers. If we look harder, it can also remind us of our substantive obligations to the weak, the vulnerable, the itinerant and the dispossessed, whose English forebears were briefly sheltered beneath its mantle. Its posture as a prototypical social contract between ruler and ruled can inspire us to build a better, stronger and more just nation for each other."

Read more in "How Magna Carta helped make America" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 3:45pm

Pitt Law Professor Harry Gruener To Receive Eric Turner Memorial Award From The Pennsylvania Bar Association

Pitt Law Clinical Associate Professor Harry J. Gruener will receive the Eric Turner Memorial Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Family Law Section. The award will be presented during the Family Law Section Summer Meeting, July 9 - 11, at The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

According to the PBA, the Eric Turner Memorial Award honors a lawyer who is dedicated to the practice of family law and who serves as a mentor and teacher to fellow lawyers.

The PBA noted Gruener for participating in drafting amendments to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, which became effective in 2005, and other significant family law legislation.

As a clinical associate professor, Gruener supervises the Pitt Law's Family Law Clinic, which serves indigent Allegheny County citizens dealing with family law legal issues in Family Court. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the graduating law school classes in 2005 and 2012 and the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award in 2013 for his work with the Family Law Clinic.

Read more at the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 1:00pm

University of Pittsburgh Law Review Publishes Papers From Challenging Authority: A Symposium Honoring Derrick Bell

The University of Pittsburgh Law Review has published its symposium issue, Vol. 75, No. 4, containing the written contributions to last year's Challenging Authority: A Symposium Honoring Derrick Bell.

The issue features an introduction by Pitt Law Professor Jasmine Gonzales Rose and articles from Pitt Law Professors George Taylor and Pat K. Chew, former professors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, and from Patience Crowder, Stacey Marlise Gahagan, Alfred L. Brophy, Juan Perea, SpearIt, and Montré Carodine.

In the issue's introduction Professor Gonzales Rose writes, "Not only is Critical Race Theory alive and more relevant than ever, Derrick Bell’s scholarship, teaching, and example continue to be a driving force in the field." The review celebrates and seeks to continue Bell’s critical inquiry into and fight against racial injustice.

In her article, "Challenging Authority," Professor Pat K. Chew writes, "Derrick Bell was right when he predicted in 1985 that his life and my life would be interconnected. How ironic it is, for instance, that I ended up teaching at the very law school that Derrick attended—that this law school faculty had the same vote of confidence in my abilities that Derrick had."

Read the full issue online via Pitt's University Library System.

Full article list:

Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose Introduction

Richard Delgado, Law's Violence: Derrick Bell's Next Article

Jean Stefancic, Discerning Critical Moments: Lessons From the Life of Derrick Bell

SpearIt, Economic Interest Convergence in Downsizing Imprisonment

Stacey Marlise Gahagan and Alfred L. Brophy, Reading Professor Obama: Race and the American Constitutional Tradition

Juan F. Perea, Doctrines of Delusion: How the History of the G.I. Bill and other Inconvenient Truths Undermine the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Jurisprudence

George H. Taylor, The Object of Diversity

Montré D. Carodine, Contemporary Issues In Critical Race Theory: The Implications Of Race As Character Evidence In Recent High-Profile Cases

Patience A. Crowder, Interest Convergence as Transaction?

Pat K. Chew, Challenging Authority

Tribute Cheryl Nelson Butler, Sherrilyn Ifill, Suzette Malveaux, Margaret E. Montoya, Natsu Taylor Saito, Nareissa L. Smith, and Tanya Washington, The Story Behind a Letter in Support of Professor Derrick Bell

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Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 12:15pm

President Obama Nominates Pitt Law Alum Marine Col. John G. Baker (’97) To Be Brigadier General And Chief Defense Counsel For Military Commissions

On June 4, President Obama nominated Pitt Law alum Marine Col. John G. Baker to be chief defense counsel at the Guantánamo Bay war court as well as a promotion to brigadier general. The Pentagon notified Congress of the proposed appointment, and if confirmed, Baker will be one of the highest ranked Pitt Law alum in the U.S. military.

Baker currently serves as the Marine Corps Deputy Director, Judge Advocate Division, for Military Justice and Community Development. In his role, he is also the Marine Corps representative to the Department of Defense’s Joint Service Committee on Military Justice. Previously, he was Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps as well as Regional Defense Counsel for the Eastern Region.

In 2013, Baker was a panelist on one of the school’s Lawyers as Leaders Pitt Law Academy series where, along with U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael Fisher, he spoke about what leadership means for lawyers and offered advice to Pitt Law students about attaining positions of influence and achieving success.

In 1994, Baker enrolled at Pitt Law as a supply officer, having been selected to attend law school under the Marine Corps Law Education Program.

According to his official biography, Baker has carried a caseload of complex cases, which have included capital murder, serious assaults, and allegations of misconduct by senior officers. He also holds an LL.M from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School and an MBA from Averett University.

According to the Miami-Herald, this move comes about because new Congressional legislation requires a one-star officer to supervise the military and civilian defense lawyers assigned to cases of captives awaiting war crimes trial at Guantánamo.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 1:45pm

Professor Ben Bratman Pens JD Journal Editorial, "Why More States Should Not Jump on the Uniform Bar Exam Bandwagon"

Pitt Law Professor Ben Bratman argues against the growing Uniform Bar Exam movement in his JD Journal opinion piece, Why More States Should Not Jump on the Uniform Bar Exam Bandwagon.

New York recently became the 16th state to adopt the UBE, prompting many to predict that the standardized test will inevitably spread throughout the country. Countering conventional wisdom, Professor Bratman counsels remaining states against following New York's lead. He sets forth five reasons why the UBE is "a dubious and potentially damaging means for achieving the desirable end of greater interstate license portability" for new lawyers. This is especially true, Bratman argues, because "there is a different and more benign way to achieve that end.”

Read the editorial in the JD Journal.

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 12:45pm

Yvonne McClenney Sims

Howard Sims