We hosted a conversation with Sherrilyn Ifill, the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, regarding the hearings of the Neil Gorsuch nomination the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Last Friday the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The Court also heard arguments last week on a case regarding whether to overturn a Texas law that imposes tight regulations on abortion clinics. We discuss those issues and more with: Dani McClain who is the contributing writer for The Nation and Fellow at the Nation Institute where she focuses on race and reproductive justice; and Zoe Carpenter, The Nation’s Associate Washington Editor.
On the day of the Maryland primary election, we are joined by Lorraine Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP, to discuss the state of voting rights, one year after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
We host an in-depth discussion of this week’s pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision, which upholds Michigan’s ban on racial preference in university admissions. Our panel of guests includes: Horace Cooper, legal commentator, adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, and co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board; Julianne Hing, Reporter/Blogger for Colorlines;and Michael Higginbotham, Wilson H. Elkins Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and author of Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in ‘Post-Racial’ America.
Larry S. Gibson, law professor from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and noted political strategist will discuss his book Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme CourtJustice. Gibson’s book focuses on the early life of the civil rights icon.
We begin our show with a reflection on the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Our panel of guests will discuss the legacy of the Voting Rights Act and the state of voting rights in 2013, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down core components of the Act. Our guests are:
Dr. Kimberly Moffitt, Professor of American Studies at University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) sits in as our guest host for our weekly news round table. The panel discussion will focus on this week’s release of the Maryland State Assessment scores, showing a slight decline statewide, and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on voting rights, among other topics.
We shift to a national focus with a roundtable discussing the week’s headlines including the Supreme Court rulings, the Senate’s immigration bill, and the George Zimmerman trial. Joining our roundtable is:
Arun Gupta, founding editor of TheIndypendent magazine and the Occupy Wall Street Journal;
Tony Campbell, president of Marylanders for Coherent & Fair Representation, Inc.;
Edward Wyckoff Williams, political analyst and contributor to The Root;
and Avis Jones-DeWeever, Host of “Focus Point with Avis Jones-DeWeever,” a production of New Visions New Voices.
We discuss this week’s Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in higher education, sending a lawsuit challenging the University of Texas’ affirmative action policy back to lower courts. We are joined by:
Michael Higginbotham, Wilson H. Elkins Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law;
Sheryl Wood, principal of the Wood Law Firm;
Nikole Hannah-Jones, investigative reporter covering civil rights at ProPublica in New York City.
We discuss this week’s Supreme Court decision striking down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling allows nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. Joining us for the discussion are:
Ari Berman, contributing writer for The Nation magazine;
Aderson Francois, Associate Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law;
Michael Higginbotham, Wilson H. Elkins Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Then, New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak discusses last week’s Supreme Court decision in which the court ruled unanimously in favor of Monsanto, stating that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto’s patent on genetically modified soybeans when he culled some from a grain elevator and used them to replant his own crop in future years.
In 1963 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that state courts are required under the 14th Amendment to provide a lawyer to those facing criminal charges who could otherwise not afford one. According to Douglas Colbert, professor of law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, the Gideon ruling “changed the landscape of what a criminal felony trial looked like.”
Iten Naguib, a law student who spent time at Maryland’s Justice Access Clinic speaks of direct experiences working with individuals who could have benefited from the aid of a lawyer at the very beginning of their cases. Both Colbert and Naguib are quoted in a recent New York Times article that discusses the often “empty promise” of this right to a lawyer as well as the exclusion of civil cases from this constitutional right. And fifty years after this landmark decision, Colbert, Ms. Naguib and Debra Gardner, Legal Director of the Public Justice Center, argue that inadequacies and inefficiencies in the justice system still leave those without the lawyer they need.
From the Discussion
Why Having a Lawyer is Crucial:
“It really is such a core issue when it comes to people being arrested. What happens at the initial appearance–it’s critical.” – Iten Naguib
“When you have a lawyer present, our data shows that two and a half times as many people who are charged with non-violent crimes will get released on recognizance. They won’t have to go to a bail bondsman; they won’t have to pay money that they don’t have.” – Douglas Colbert
Why the Promise Has Yet to Be Fulfilled:
“From beginning to end, in criminal proceedings, it’s very difficult for people to get high quality representation […] The office of public defender here in Maryland has seen its staff greatly reduced in recent years, and its case loads are twice what the ABA [American Bar Association] recommends…” – Debra Gardner
What Steps Can Be Taken to Make this Promise Real:
“The answer is that the legal profession has to really step up here. And every principal player: judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, the Bar itself–has to recognize that what we do as a profession is that we help people. We help people get back on a path again.” – Douglas Colbert
“[…] We need to care about everyone who might be in this situation and we need to make it the social priority that the constitution says it should be.” – Debra Gardner
It’s a new episode of Sound Bites. We’ll look at the Bowman vs. Monsanto case, recently heard in the Supreme Court, which addresses the question of who owns the rights to Monsanto’s genetically engineered RoundUp Ready seeds. We’re joined by Andrew Pollack, New York Timesscience and biotechnology reporter; Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst for the Center for Food Safety; and Gary Baise, legal counsel for the American Soybean Association.
We will also hear from Mother Jonesfood and agriculture blogger Tom Philpott, who brings us a story about the plastic chemicals that are in our food; and Wenonah Hauter, author of Foodopoly and Executive Director of Food and Water Watch, about her visions for transforming the food system.
We get an update on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court from Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The Legal Defense Fund has been arguing in defense of the Voting Rights Act.
We begin our show tonight with a look at the crucial debate taking place today in the U.S. Supreme Court, which could potentially strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Our guests include: Ari Berman, contributing writer for The Nation; and Janell Ross, reporter for the Huffington Post.
Do you find value in radio that provokes discussion and provides insight? Do you want to support productions that teach you new things and bring you stories you have never heard? If so, please consider supporting the Center for Emerging Media with your generous donation today! DONATE TODAY »
Join Our Community
We want you to get involved! Talk with other listeners on Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter to get emails when CEM releases new productions or hosts special events!
Our Peabody Award
The Center for Emerging Media is proud to announce that it is a winner of the 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast media! CEM is being honored for the 2007 series Just Words. Listen to Just Words »