UC Law lecture examines concept of equal citizenship and the impact of Supreme Court rulings

The idea of “equal citizenship” has been a foundational concept in the United States for centuries. In the past two terms, however, the Supreme Court has decided cases that have undermined constitutional equality rights. Deborah L. Brake, associate dean for research and faculty development, professor of law and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, will discuss the impact of recent rulings as well as the changes on the Court, during her lecture “Constitutional Rights and Retrenchment: The Elusive Promise of Equal Citizenship”. This event, the 2023 Constitution Day lecture, will be held at 12:15 p.m., Monday, September 18, 2023, in Room 160 at the College of Law (2925 Campus Green Drive). This event is free and open to the public.  CLE: 1 hour of general CLE has been approved for Kentucky. Ohio is pending. Parking is available at the Campus Green Garage.

This lecture is made possible through the generous support of the Alfred B. Katz Constitution Day Fund in memory of Alfred B. Katz ’35.  

About the lecture

“Equal citizenship” has been a rallying cry and central principle for establishing racial and gender equality rights under the equal protection clause. In the past two terms, the Supreme Court has decided cases on abortion, affirmative action, and religious objections to LGBTQ rights that have undermined constitutional equality rights. Professor Deborah Brake will explore the changes on the Court, the shifting interpretive methodologies, and limited doctrines and precedents that have led to this moment.

About the lecturer

Professor Deborah Brake, University of Pittsburgh

Professor Deborah Brake. Photo provided.

Deborah L. Brake is professor of law and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches constitutional law, employment discrimination, and gender and the law. Her most recent book, The Oxford Handbook of Feminism and Law in the United States, a coedited volume (with Martha Chamallas and Verna Williams) was just published by Oxford University Press. She is a coauthor of the popular gender law casebook, Gender and Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary (with Katharine T. Bartlett, Joanna L. Grossman, and Frank Rudy Cooper) (9th ed. 2023). Her book, Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women’s Sports Revolution, (NYU Press 2010) remains a leading scholarly examination of Title IX’s applicability to women’s sports.

Professor Brake has published over twenty-five law review articles in top journals such as the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, and the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. Her 2004 article, “Leveling Down: When Equality Makes Everyone Worse Off”, was selected for the Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum. She has twice been cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions and has testified before Congress in both the House and the Senate.

Professor Brake is a nationally recognized scholar on gender equality and the law, with particular expertise in Title IX, sexual harassment and sexual violence, gender equity in athletics, employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation.  Before going into academia, Brake was senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Stanford University.

Lead photo: Istockphoto.com


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