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September 17, 2018

Constitution Day 2018

12:00 p.m.  -  1:00 p.m.
Location: C-5

In 1977, Justice William J. Brennan published an article in the HARVARD LAW REVIEW entitled "State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights." In the article, Justice Brennan observed that changes in Court personnel (President Nixon appointed four justices) had led to a shift in federal constitutional jurisprudence. In the previous era, during the years of the Warren Court, there had been an expansion of the protection of individual rights based on the federal constitution. He observed and predicted that there would be a retrenchment and encouraged litigants and lawyers to re-examine and consider state constitutions as a source for the protection of individual rights.

Professor Robert Chang will offer thoughts about the interplay between federal and state constitutions in light of recent and upcoming appointments to the federal judiciary. He will discuss ways in which the Korematsu Center in its litigation crafts its arguments in light of differences in the federal and state constitutions.

Robert ChangRobert S. Chang is a Professor of Law and the founding Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law. He and the center have received numerous recognitions for their work, including most recently the 2018 M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers. He is the author of "Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law and the Nation-State" (1999) and the co-editor of an original collection of articles, "Minority Relations: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation" (with Greg Robinson 2017), as well as numerous law review articles in the area of race and interethnic relations.

He served as co-counsel representing high school students in Tucson who challenged the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that was used to terminate the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District. That case, after several years and a positive ruling at the Ninth Circuit went to trial in summer 2017, with a final judgment and permanent injunction issued on Dec. 27, 2017, finding that the statute had been enacted and enforced in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments. He is also serving as co-counsel in two cases in Alaska challenging the involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and forced psychotropic medication of Native Alaskan foster children.

Social Justice Monday is an organized, weekly series hosted by the Access to Justice Institute in partnership with students, student organizations, and other departments across the law school. If you are interested in organizing a Social Justice Monday for the 2018-2019 academic year, please contact Abby Goldy at goldyabigail@seattleu.edu.