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Guy-Uriel Charles

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as the first black woman to sit on US Supreme Court | U.S. News

    April 11, 2022

    Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as the first black woman to sit on the US Supreme Court in its 233-year history. The judge secured the life-time role following a 53-47 vote in the US Senate, following fierce questioning from critics. Judge Jackson, 51, will also be the first former public defender to sit on the Supreme Court and the third black judge to sit. ... Guy-Uriel Charles, Harvard Law School professor and an expert in race and law, explained how Jackson may impact the court. He said: “I do think that as a black woman she will bring credibility on issues of race and issues of gender. On issues of race, she might serve as a counterweight to Justice Thomas. “In particular, I think young black girls will have an even stronger sense that all avenues, especially in law, are open to them.” ... Former US Solicitor General Charles Fried told Sky News he backed her because she was the “absolutely ideal nominee.” “She’s had life experience, where she’s had to fight her way up and succeeded at every stage,” he said. Mr Fried, who has taught at Harvard Law School since 1961, added that his experience as a public defender “lends a very important dimension of perspective to the court”.

  • Historic hearing takes turn into familiar territory on race and crime, experts say

    March 25, 2022

    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearings may have been historic, in that she is the first Black woman nominated for the Supreme Court. But they have not been without precedent, at least with regard to questions on crime and race that she faced from some Republican senators, such as Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who have tried to portray her as "soft on crime." ... Guy-Uriel Charles, a professor at Harvard Law School, attributed that to what he described as a combination of "extreme partisanship" and racial and gender dynamics. "There's no doubt that the Republicans are trying to score as many partisan points as they possibly can with their base, and that they believe that there is some retribution to be paid for past Republican nominees," such as Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, he said. "So part of their motivation is clearly partisan. One has to account for that."

  • U.S. judges are narrowing voting protections. Some fear lasting damage

    February 25, 2022

    The nation's premier tool to protect voting rights is in mortal danger, threatened on multiple fronts by the Supreme Court and lower-ranking federal judges, scholars and civil rights advocates say. The latest blow to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 came this week in Arkansas, where a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump dismissed a case over new statehouse maps. The NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the maps diluted the power of Black voters. But the judge said he found no way for the outside advocates to proceed. ... "They are teeing up statutory and constitutional questions for the Court with the justifiable belief that the Court will welcome the narrow interpretation and the opportunity to further narrow the statute," said Guy-Uriel Charles, an election law professor at Harvard Law School.

  • Supreme Court upholds congressional map accused of racial gerrymandering

    February 11, 2022

    The Supreme Court appears ready to strike another blow at the Voting Rights Act. In a 5-4 decision Monday night, they upheld a congressional map a lower court had tossed out. Host Scott Tong discusses the implications with Harvard Law professor Guy-Uriel Charles.

  • All-Female Liberal Wing to Change Supreme Court Dynamics

    February 11, 2022

    President Joe Biden’s first U.S. Supreme Court appointment won’t alter the 6-3 conservative majority, but her presence could spawn subtle changes on both the left and right sides of the bench. Adding the court’s first Black woman to replace the retiring Stephen Breyer, as Biden has said he intends to do, could prompt conservative justices to adjust how they approach cases involving race and gender. ... The potential impact of a new justice might depend a lot on “personality and background,” said Harvard Law professor Guy-Uriel Charles.

  • Woman sitting in a chair at the doorway of an office making a wide hand gesture.

    In Memoriam: Lani Guinier 1950 – 2022

    January 8, 2022

    Lani Guinier, the first African-American woman to be tenured at Harvard Law School and an influential scholar who devoted her life to justice, equality, empowerment, and democracy, died Jan. 7.

  • Republicans want more eyes on election workers. Experts worry about their intent

    November 12, 2021

    For anyone hoping that voting and elections post-2020 would become less polarized, the recent Take Back Virginia rally outside Richmond was not a good sign. ... But he also waited until after he had secured the Republican nomination for governor this year before he acknowledged that Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. "There's a reckoning that the Republican Party is going to have to come to terms with," said Guy-Uriel Charles, an election law expert at Harvard University. "It's going to have to figure out to what extent is it going to play with these types of insurrectionist, unserious, democracy-harming set of narratives."

  • GOP ‘Colorblind’ Map Drawing Tactic Tests Voting Rights Act (1)

    October 13, 2021

    Republican lawmakers redrawing states’ political lines are adopting a “colorblind” redistricting strategy aimed at inoculating maps against Democratic lawsuits that argue they dilute minority voting power. ... Democrats may now sue at their own peril, said Guy-Uriel E. Charles, a Harvard Law School Professor. The conservative U.S. Supreme Court has pared back the power of the Voting Rights Act, and in future litigation it could support the Republican argument, making federal law mostly useless in challenging racial gerrymandering. “Once the Republicans have confirmation from the Supreme Court that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is only violated where there’s intentional use of race to violate the voting power of voters of color, then you’re home free,” he said.

  • Crowd of people in front of the U.S. Capitol

    Is democracy in peril?

    September 23, 2021

    The state of American democracy will be examined in a lecture series, "Democracy," which had its first session this week and will continue through the fall and spring.

  • Langdell Hall in the fall

    Faculty on the move

    September 1, 2021

    With the start of the academic year, a look at nine faculty who have joined Harvard Law School, been promoted, or taken on new roles in 2021.

  • Man voting

    H.R.-1: Voting rights, or wrong for the country?

    April 22, 2021

    At the third Harvard Law School Rappaport Forum, experts debated the wisdom of a new bill that purports to address voting rights, campaign finance, and government ethics

  • United States Supreme Court in Washington DC

    President Biden appoints 16 Harvard Law School faculty and alumni to panel studying Supreme Court reform

    April 14, 2021

    President Biden appointed 16 members of the Harvard Law School community — seven faculty and nine alumni — to a new presidential commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Guy-Uriel Charles

    Constitutional scholar Guy-Uriel Charles, a leading expert on race, politics and election law, to join HLS

    January 7, 2021

    Guy-Uriel Charles will join the Harvard Law faculty as the inaugural Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Professor of Law, effective July 1. He will also serve as faculty director of HLS’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

  • And the winner is: Who you think it is

    November 8, 2018

    ...To gain a sense of how the election played out and what the results may mean going forward, the Gazette interviewed Harvard faculty members who study political history...and election law (Guy-Uriel Charles, Bennett Boskey Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School). Below, they evaluate the results and what those may herald for the 2020 presidential race..."I was surprised and pleased that voters in Florida opted to restore voting rights to ex-felons who have completed their sentences. In fact, there was additional good news as voters in Michigan and Nevada decided to make voting easier in their states by adopting same-day registration and registering voters when they obtain or renew their drivers’ licenses."