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Law Professors Available on Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions

Tuesday, May. 14, 2013

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 17, 2013—Several Santa Clara University School of Law professors are available to discuss Supreme Court decisions that are expected over the next several weeks.

Professors:

1. Prof. Margaret Russell, constitutional-law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law
mrussell@scu.edu

2. Pratheepan Gulasekaram, constitutional- and immigration-law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law pgulasekaram@scu.edu
 

3. Bradley Joondeph, professor of constitutional law at Santa Clara University School of Law, and former law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
bjoondeph@scu.edu.

4. Patricia Cain, professor of sexuality law and tax law at Santa Clara University School of Law, and expert on DOMA
pcain@scu.edu

Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations also can assist in reaching these and other professors.  408-554-5121, dlohse@scu.edu

 

Cases/Comments

* United States v. Windsor (DOMA)
 Patricia Cain, professor of sexuality law and tax law, at Santa Clara University School of Law and an expert on DOMA (pcain@scu.edu) predicts that the federal law forbidding federal recognition of state same-sex marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act, will be struck down by the justices. If so, important questions will emerge, she says:

Who will count as married for tax purposes?

What are the other tax implications and what sort of transition rules is the IRS likely to adopt e.g., if a divorced spouse has been paying alimony and not deducting — do they suddenly start deducting under sec 215 of IRC?

Is the decision clearly retroactive-- as most such rulings on constitutionality are?

 

**Profs. Gulasekaram, Russell and Joondeph have also been following and analyzing the case and can comment.

 

* Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8)
Patricia Cain, professor of sexuality law, tax law, and DOMA, at Santa Clara University School of Law / pcain@scu.edu) can discuss the implications of various outcomes in the case, which involves the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

Margaret Russell, constitutional-law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law (mrussell@scu.edu / ) has been following the Prop. 8 case closely for years, and attended some of the federal trial. 

****Profs. Gulasekaram and Joondeph  have also been following and analyzing the Prop. 8 case and can comment.

 

* Fisher v. Univ. of Texas (affirmative action)

Pratheepan Gulasekaram, Santa Clara University School of Law professor of constitutional and immigration law ( pgulasekaram@scu.edu/ ) predicts that the Supreme Court decision will “gut” affirmative action in education. “It appears to be a question now of how much, not if, affirmative action will be struck down,” he said.

Profs. Russell and Joondeph  have also been following and analyzing the case and can comment.

 

* Shelby County v. Holder (Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act)

Pratheepan Gulasekaram , Santa Clara University School of Law professor of constitutional and immigration law ( pgulasekaram@scu.edu/ ) says this “fascinating” case seems likely to erode if not end the 1965 provision requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination against certain voting populations to secure federal pre-clearance to any changes in their voting laws. 

“This has the potential to be a fairly huge ruling,” he said, pitting states and the courts against Congress, which re-authorized the provision in 2006.  “Section 5 looks like it could be in jeopardy.”

**Profs. Russell and Joondeph have also been following and analyzing the case and can comment.

 

* Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council (preemption of state law requiring
proof of citizenship to vote)

Prof. Gulasekaram says the case centers on a conflict between state and federal law, and whether a state can impose additional requirements on standards for voter registration, which are traditionally set by Congress. 

Currently, to register to vote “Congress has decided that all you need is to attest that you are a citizen and that you’ll be 18 at the time of the election, and if you have lied you can be prosecuted for perjury,” said Gulasekaram. The question is whether Arizona’s additional proof-of-citizenship requirement is consistent with federal law, he said.

**Profs. Russell and  Joondeph also are available for comment.

 

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121

 

 

 

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