Episode 10 of The RightsCast features César García Hernández, one of my wonderful colleagues at the University of Denver School of Law and an expert on the growing intersection of criminal and immigration law. This week’s episode is Part 2 of a two-part interview with César.
Immigration-related imprisonment has become an increasingly prominent feature of both criminal and civil immigration law enforcement and understanding why this is and the consequences for the justice system and for migrants is a critical step in immigration reform. Here’s an excerpt from César’s eloquent interview:
“Is it morally justifiable to confine children? Is it morally justifiable to confine people who are mentally incapacitated? Is it even morally justifiable to confine people who have violated a law that says they need the federal government’s permission to come here when there’s no indication those individuals are a danger to society? They don’t pose a threat to you or to me or our communities. . . . The fact of the matter is that if you give people a legitimate shot at getting right with immigration law, most of them are going to take it.”
The Aurora theater shooting trial is big news in Colorado right now. Everything about this trial is unusual, from the 9000-person jury pool to the fact that one of the 24 jurors and alternates is a survivor of the Columbine school shooting who was childhood friends with the shooters and had gone to prom with one of the victims. I spoke with CBS Evening News, the Wall Street Journal, and CCTV about some of the issues in the case.
Immigration-related imprisonment has become an increasingly prominent feature of both criminal and civil immigration law enforcement and understanding why this is and the consequences for the justice system and for migrants is a critical step in immigration reform. Because of the importance of the topic and César’s incredible expertise in this area, I quickly realized that the topic required discussion in two segments rather than one, so the first part of César’s interview is available below, and I will release the second part next week as Episode 10, Part 2.
After a brief hiatus, The RightsCast is back! Listen to Professor Khiara Bridges (Boston University Law) explain why class-based affirmative action is a poor substitute for race-based affirmative action. Particularly interesting is the discussion of why class-based affirmative action suffers from the same supposed infirmities as race-based affirmative action. That is, the arguments people make against race-based affirmative action are equally true of class-based affirmative action.
In the past few weeks I have been both pretty seriously ill and, as a result, pretty seriously behind on work. So I’ll be taking a short hiatus from both blogging and The RightsCast. Please look for an announcement when both will resume.
I had a wonderful conversation this week with Anthony Kreis of the University of Georgia about his work on the history of the freedom to marry. His most recent article talks about the parallels and contrasts between the move toward interracial marriage legality and same-sex marriage legality. We also chatted about marriage equality before the Supreme Court and what’s next for LGBT rights — made even more pertinent by Indiana’s recent bill allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.
I’m pleased to help spread the word about the 2015 Robert T. Matsui Writing Competition, which sounds like a wonderful opportunity for law students. Here is the information I received:
[W]e are seeking submissions from law students for the 2015 Robert T. Matsui Writing Competition. The competition is open to all law students in the United States. Submissions for the 2015 Competition must be received by June 1, 2015, 11:59 PM EST, and the winner will be announced on or about August 1, 2015. The winner of the 2015 Competition will receive a monetary award of $1,500, and the winning entry will be published in the Asian Pacific American Law Journal (APALJ), at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law subject to the journal’s standard editorial process and copyright policy.
Submissions shall not exceed 15,000 words (inclusive of footnote text), and may address any topic of interest so long as it reasonably relates to Asian Pacific Americans and the law.
Khaled Beydoun (Barry) has a thoughtful analysis of the controversy over reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. He traces the reaction to Islamophobia; it’s highly recommended reading.
I interviewed Khaled for Episode 4 of The RightsCast, “Legal Construction of Arab American Identity,” during which we touched on some of the same themes relating to discrimination against Arab Americans. Watch here:
Earlier this week, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the state’s bias-intimidation statute was unconstitutional. The New York Times summarizes the decision as follows:
The state’s statute on bias intimidation was the only one of its kind in the nation in saying that defendants can be convicted of bias intimidation if their victims “reasonably believed” they were harassed or intimidated because of their race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
The court, the state’s highest, unanimously ruled that the . . . statute was “unconstitutionally vague,” because it does not give defendants fair notice of when they are crossing the line to commit a crime.
Notice that the statute does not require the defendant to know whether this particular victim actually believed that the harassment or intimidation resulted from race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation [hereinafter “race” as shorthand for the list]. Rather, it requires that a reasonable victim would have believed that the harassment or intimidation resulted from race. Continue reading →