Law Professors Examine Two Major Supreme Court Cases
June 23, 2020
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Three University of Baltimore School of Law professors—Elizabeth Keyes, Garrett Epps and Michael Hayes—are providing analyses of back-to-back U.S. Supreme Court cases that may signal a change of direction in the nation's treatment of LGBTQ workers and young immigrants.
Prof. Keyes, an expert in immigration law and faculty member serving in the school's Immigrant Rights Clinic, says the recent Department of Homeland Security et al v. Regents of the University of California et al case, which affirmed the status of young people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, signals that the court is insistent that "ramshackle efforts" to remake the immigration system will not suffice.
"The Court did not uphold DACA because a majority of the court agrees with the constitutionality of the DACA program," Prof. Keyes writes in the School of Law's Updates blog. "Instead, it focuses more narrowly on how the administration decided to rescind the program. The Court emphasizes the need for accountability and integrity in the government's dealings with 'the people,' and criticizes the government for relying on justifications developed after it decided to rescind DACA: 'An agency must defend its actions based on the reasons it gave when it acted. This is not the case for cutting corners to allow DHS to rely upon reasons absent from its original decision.'"
Prof. Emeritus Epps, who taught constitutional law and continues to provide analysis of the court's proceedings, says the court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia further solidifies the nation's laws and court decisions intended to stop discrimination in the workplace.
"This case will, at least for now, put wind in the sails of LGBT legal advocates," Epps writes in The Atlantic, "and retard the conservative legal movement’s struggle, in tandem with the Trump administration, to reverse course on these issues."
Prof. Hayes, who specializes in employment law, says Bostock provides an important link back to a 1989 case on a related topic.
"This decision shows the importance of the countless lawyers who have worked for decades on creating a fair and reasonable definition of sex discrimination, including up to this year and this decision," Prof. Hayes says.
Read more about Prof. Keyes' analysis.
Learn more about the University of Baltimore School of Law.