U.S. vs. Banks ruling a major victory for law enforcement officers; Supreme Court endorsement of ‘no knock’ policies ‘unsettling,’ says expert

Bracey”The Court’s decision is a tremendous victory for law enforcement officers,” says Christopher Bracey, an expert in the fields of American race relations and criminal procedure and an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “The 9th Circuit decision, which was reversed by the Supreme Court, would have required officers to consider a multitude of factors when deciding how long to delay execution of a search warrant following the initial knock on the door.” According to Bracey, the only problematic portion of the opinion is the large exception that allows “no knock” forced entries by law officers. “‘No knock’ policies have been controversial for years in part because, historically, ‘no knock’ entries lead to increased claims of police brutality and unnecessary property damage.”

Massachusetts Supreme Court took bold step on same-sex marriage, but ruling was outcome of ‘contemporary legal developments’

The recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allowing same-sex marriages relied on the state constitution’s guarantees of both individual liberty and equality to conclude that no rational basis supports the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage and its benefits, according to Susan Appleton, a family law expert at Washington University in St. Louis. “Although the court took a bold step, the outcome follows unremarkably from a number of contemporary legal developments,” says Appleton, the Lemma Barkeloo & Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law.

Judges should be vigilant in their protection of minority interests; take example from ‘free jazz’ pioneer Coleman

Ornette Coleman, inspiration for successful judging.Although United States laws attempt to safeguard the rights and interests of minorities, the subordination of socially disfavored groups persists in part because of informal structures and networks that have the effect of perpetuating social inequality. Christopher Bracey, an expert in the fields of American race relations and civil rights and associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says that judges must respond to these destructive patterns of social and economic stratification through their interpretation of the law, or successful judging. In his article, “Adjudication, Antisubordination, and the Jazz Connection” (Alabama Law Review, Vol. 54), Bracey says inspiration on how to realize democracy through judging can be found through the free jazz movement, more specifically, the work of Ornette Coleman.

Comedian, Activist Dick Gregory to deliver Black Arts and Sciences Festival Lecture

Acclaimed civil and human rights activist, Dick Gregory, will deliver the Black Arts and Sciences Festival Lecture as part of the Assembly Series on October 29, 2003. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 11 a.m. in Graham Chapel, located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus. Gregory is known for his many achievements in the field of global human rights. Using unique means of nonviolent protest, he has mobilized support for many social injustices worldwide, including the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the African famine of the 1980s and, most recently, America’s war on drugs.

MLK roundtable, August 28

Martin Luther King, Jr.August 28 marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, one of the most famous and stirring addresses in U.S. history. In commemoration, the International Writers Center (IWC) in Arts & Sciences will host a public roundtable with St. Louis scholars and civil rights activists. The event also includes a video presentation of King’s entire, 15-minute address.

Korean War had major impact on race relations in the United States

EarlyGerald Early, Ph.D., Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, contends that the Korean War was a driving force behind integration efforts during the early years of the civil rights movement and was therefore one of the most important conflicts in our nation’s history. In his forthcoming book, “When Worlds Collide: The Korean War and the Integration of the United States,” Early argues that the successful integration of the military in Korea encouraged the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 school desegregation ruling, Brown vs. Board of Education, and helped change attitudes about race. Had the military failed, integration overall would have suffered, he contends.

Court of appeals session at law school Feb. 11

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit will hold a special session from 9-11:30 a.m. Feb. 11 in the School of Law’s Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom in Anheuser-Busch Hall. The public is invited to hear cases on whether a religious organization has the right to videotape the execution of a Missouri inmate, a […]