School of Law News
U.S. Supreme Court Review Conference Held
Posted Friday, October 31, 2014
Western New England University School of Law recently held its annual two-day U.S. Supreme Court Review Conference focusing on several federal court decisions handed down this year, mostly concerning discrimination. Law Professor and Director of the Legislative Institute, Art Wolf, moderated the presentations.
Professor Harpaz discussed six cases, five that dealt with 1st Amendment issues and a sixth, the Hobby Lobby case, that dealt with the interplay between the Affordable Care Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. She concluded that the conservative Justices on the Court had controlled most of the decisions and progressive policies were generally on the losing side of these cases.
Law Professor Bruce Miller discussed the Schuette vs. BAMN case involving a voter-approved referendum banning racial preferences at Michigan universities (affirmative action). The Supreme Court ruled the referendum is not the equivalent of racial discrimination, a decision that drew an impassioned dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Professor Miller concluded that this decision was profoundly confusing and will be debated for some time. “A ‘discriminating’ law is just the tip of a much bigger social and political iceberg. The insidious wrong here is the ongoing subordination of people, the infliction of second-class status on a group or segment of society,” explained Professor Miller.
Law Professor Jennifer Levi analyzed the impact of the Court’s refusal to hear seven cases in which federal courts of appeal struck state constitutional provisions that exclude the right of same-sex couples to marry. Professor Levi said that as a result of that decision, the number of states in which same-sex couples can marry rose to 24 and will likely rise soon to at least 35. “This means that same-sex couples can now marry in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and beyond. It is a huge step forward in the national struggle for marriage equality.”
For more information about the School of Law Legislative Institute, click here.
Senate Candidates Spar During Western New England University Debate
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Western New England University School of Law hosted a debate between two of the candidates running for the 1st Hampden and Hampshire state Senate seat. Democrat Eric Lesser and Republican Debra Boronski spared over issues including tax reform, economic development, heroin epidemic, crime, and both candidates spoke at length about their personal qualifications for the Senate seat. The debate was sponsored by The Western New England University School of Law and the Hampden County Bar Association. candidite
The panel questioning the candidates included Reminder Publications Managing Editor Mike Dobbs, and reporters Yoojin Cho, WWLP-TV, Shakala Alvaranga,WGGB-TV, and Brian Steele, MassLive.com.
Dr. Douglas Battema, Chair of the Communication Department at Western New England University College of Arts and Sciences moderated this important event which ran for approximately 90 minutes.
The debate was streamed live for those watching remotely and will be rebroadcast on Ludlow and Wilbraham Cable Access Channels over the next week.
The 1st Hampden and Hampshire state Senate seat has been occupied for the past 17 years by Senator Gale Candaras who is running for register of the Hampden County Probate & Family Court.
Law Students Raise Funds by Chasing Ambulance
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014
By Jeff Roche, junior
On Saturday, October 18, students and faculty from the The Western New England University School of Law hosted their annual Ambulance Chase 5k run/walk.
This year was the 10th year School of Law students have held the Ambulance Chase to raise funds for local Springfield charities. For the past several years, the proceeds have gone to the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield MA.
The annual race name "Ambulance Chase" is literal, the runners actually chase an ambulance around the race course. The runners start and finish the race at the main entrance of the Law School.
Each year American Medical Response (AMR) donates the services of an ambulance for the runners to chase. AMR is the nation’s leading manager and provider of medical transportation, and is locally operated in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
The Ambulance Chase race is organized by the Western New England University School of Law Charities Committee, which this year consists of Nicole Garcia, Megan Florez, and Amy Russo.
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