Student News

"Citizens United: The Aftermath" by Monica Youn

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy invites you to read:

Citizens United: The Aftermath
An Issue Brief by Monica Youn

ACS is pleased to distribute Citizens United: The Aftermath, an Issue Brief by Monica Youn, Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. In this Issue Brief, Ms. Youn examines the political impact of the Supreme Court's January 21, 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and outlines potential responses that, the author contends, "would buttress existing campaign finance safeguards from further attacks and mitigate some of the harmful effects of [the decision]." In Citizens United, the Court held that limitations on corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections violate the First Amendment, striking down a significant portion of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act. Ms. Youn contends that the 5-4 decision represents an undermining of precedent with potentially grave consequences:

By holding, for the first time, that corporations have the same First Amendment rights to engage in political spending as people, the Supreme Court re-ordered the priorities in our democracy -- placing special interest dollars at the center of our democracy, and displacing the rightful role of voters.

Ms. Youn proposes a variety of responses to the decision. In the short term, the author recommends a legislative response that includes enactment of stop-gap measures (such as shareholder consent and increased corporate disclosure requirements) and larger structural reforms (such as public financing and voter registration modernization). However, in the longer term, Ms. Youn recommends closer attention to the Judiciary and judicial nominations:

[I]n the long term, reclaiming the First Amendment for the voters will be the best weapon against those who seek to use the First Amendment for the good of the few, rather than for the many. Judges whose conception of the First Amendment takes account of the interests of voters can speed this process. As the nation seeks a successor to Justice Stevens, we hope that his successor advances a vision of a democratic, deliberative, and voter-centric First Amendment.

Orientation - Student Ambassadors

REMINDER:  If you are interested in helping during orientation and would like to serve as a Student Ambassador, please complete the attached application and submit it by June 15.  Student Ambassadors must be available for a mandatory training session on Monday, August 9, and must be free on the first day of orientation - Tuesday, August 10.  If you have questions, please contact Kimberly Ballard or Brandon Hamilton. 

Vote for Partnership for Animal Law Services

Four May graduates of the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law have created Partnership for Animal Law Services (PALS). PALS plans to provide legal services and education to people in rural and urban areas of Kentucky focusing on the intervention and prevention of animal abuse and neglect. These services will empower clients and the public to build a compassionate community for all. PALS will take a grassroots approach by providing three main programs: general legal services, prosecution support, and education.

PALS is currently a candidate for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh project grant. Pepsi is giving away over 1 million dollars each month to individuals striving to bring about social change. The public votes for the ideas they want to see happen, and those ideas get funded. Please help PALS by voting for us every day in June! You can vote at If you want more information about PALS you can visit our website at, or search for us on Facebook: Partnership for Animal Law Services. Thanks for your votes!!

Central High School Law & Government Magnet Students Competed in National Moot

Five students from the Central High School Law & Government Magnet competed at the Marshall-Brennan National Civil Liberties Moot Court Competition in Philadelphia on March 20-21, 2010.  Keylandance Carpenter, Tevin Payne, Barbie Parker, Corey Thomas and Gabriel Vaughn represented Central and achieved incredible success in the tournament.

Both Barbie Parker and Gabe Vaughn, reached the semi-final round of the competition, which placed each of them among the 16 most outstanding competitors in the entire nation on the side of the case they argued.  Teams came from all over the country, representing Marshall-Brennan programs from Washington, D.C., to Phoenix, and from Boston to Baton Rouge.  Parker’s semi-final round performance left her just barely short of qualifying for the national finals, which would have placed her among the top four students in the entire competition.

The team was coached by Brandeis School of Law students Noelle Rao and Duffy Trager, who accompanied the team to Philadelphia.  Both were third-year students who taught at Central in the Marshall-Brennan program this year as part of the Brandeis School of Law’s Signature Partnership with Central, working with Joe Gutmann, the Law & Government program’s long-time teacher.  Noelle and Duffy were joined in Philadelphia by law school professor and Marshall-Brennan faculty supervisor Sam Marcosson, who also helped coach the students as they prepared for the competition.

“Barbie and Gabe’s performances in particular were terrific,” Marcosson said.  “They proved that our Central students can compete with the very best students from around the country.  And all five students worked hard to prepare, and impressed the judges with their knowledge of the law, the facts of the cases, and ability to deal with tough questions.  They did a great job, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

"The Prop 8 Court Can Have it All: Justice, Precedent, Respect for Democracy, and an Appropriately Limited Judicial Role"

ACS is pleased to distribute The Prop 8 Court Can Have it All: Justice, Precedent, Respect for Democracy, and an Appropriately Limited Judicial Role, an Issue Brief by Rebecca L. Brown, Newton Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. In this Issue Brief, Professor Brown discusses Perry v. Schwarzenegger, in which the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is considering whether the United States Constitution requires states to permit marriage between individuals of the same sex. While strong arguments may very well exist for a broad ruling, Professor Brown suggests that the case might also lend itself to a more modest resolution of the claims raised. Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative that originated as a reaction to a California Supreme Court decision interpreting California's Constitution as requiring the state to permit same-sex couples to marry; Proposition 8 subsequently added to the California Constitution a provision that "[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." After extensive analysis of case law, the author concludes that the United States Constitution's Equal Protection jurisprudence dictates that Proposition 8 be struck down, since "[a]ny legislation must have a public purpose other than stigmatization," and "no public purpose that could plausibly be served by this retroactive reduction in status has been offered to dispel the usual inference that any act of stigmatization is a violation of the state's obligation to legislate impartially."

While a decision along these lines would not touch upon the breadth of the fundamental right to marry, Professor Brown suggests that this modest resolution of Perry "would fulfill the best expectations we have of the federal judicial role, to resolve the case on strong, unassailable, time-honored, and yet narrow, grounds."

As the author argues:

A ruling of the kind I will advocate would not be an act of minimalism, but neither would it be an act of maximalism. Rather, this would be an exercise in judicial optimalism -- using good judgment to determine just how much judicial intervention is necessary to vindicate the core and essential purposes of the judicial role, without unnecessarily diverting the course of more widespread social and political movements that are at the heart of healthy and lasting legal change.


KBA Annual Student Writing Competition

The Kentucky Bar Association invites and encourages students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky College of Law, the University of Louisville School of Law, and Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law to enter the KBA Annual Student Writing Competition. This competition offers these Kentucky legal scholars the opportunity to earn recognition and a cash award.  First, second, and third place awards will be given.  
  • 1st place $1,000 (and possible publication in Kentucky Bench & Bar)
  • 2nd place $300
  • 3rd place $200
Students may enter their previously unpublished articles.  Articles entered should be of interest to Kentucky practitioners and follow the suggested guidelines and requirements found in the “General Format” section of the Bench & Bar Editorial Guidelines.

Entries must be received no later than June 1, 2010.

ACS Releases Judicial Clerkship Information Guide

The American Constitution Society is pleased to release an information guide for students interested in applying for judicial clerkships. The guide contains important information about clerkship deadlines and the application process as well as clerkship questionnaire responses and tips from former clerks who attended various law schools.

Click here to access the document.

Central High School Law Magnet Program Celebration and Recognition Ceremony

On May 25, 2010, members of the law school community gathered at Central High School's library to celebrate the accomplishments of the Central High School Law Magnet Program. Professor Laura Rothstein, with the assistance of Jina Scinta and Principal Dan Withers, conducted the ceremony.

Renowned portrait artist, Robert Shetterly unveiled reproductions of two paintings from his Americans Who Speak the Truth Collection. He shared quotes from both Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Representative John Lewis during his discussion about the essential principles of a democracy.

Following his remarks,  Joe Gutmann, Central High School Law and Government Magnet Coordinator, presented awards to the program's outstanding students. Professor Sam Marcosson and Noelle Rao, '10 both received awards and standing ovations from the participants. Mary Jo Gleason, Coordinator of the Junior Writing Skills Program, Scott Furkin, Executive Director of the Louisville Bar Association, and Emily Zahn, '08 were also recognized for their contributions.



Student Ambassadors for Orientation - Don't Forget to Apply!

We are still accepting applications for Student Ambassador positions for orientation, and we need YOUR help!  If you are interested, please complete the attached application and submit it by June 15.  Student Ambassadors must be available for a mandatory training session on Monday, August 9, and must be free on the first day of orientation - Tuesday, August 10.  If you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Ballard or Brandon Hamilton.

Updates to fall 2010 Class and Exam schedule are posted to Students Records, "Class Schedules"

The fall 2010 schedule has morphed in small but important ways.

NOTE: The changes will not be reflected in the Registrar’s postings until later this week. You will not be able to add classes until the Registrar’s office updates its postings.

Two documents are posted to the Student Records, "Class Schedule" site:

     1. A pdf copy of the entire registration packet, updated to 5/18/2010.  

     2. An Excel workbook showing changes made to the Class Schedule and the Exam Schedule. The changes are described at the top of each worksheet and the changes are highlighted in red in the body of the schedule.
 Both of the above attachments are also posted to the TWEN site created for discussion of the fall 2010 class schedule.  You can download both schedules from the TWEN site.

We have added one new section of Criminal Procedure: Constitutional Issues which will be taught by Professor Abramson.
 Several classes have been moved to larger rooms and their cap raised to accommodate wait lists and new students

Four courses have been cancelled:
a. Trademark (Cross)
b. Elder Law (Leibson and Faller)
c. Corporate Tax (Lewis)
d. Trial Practice (Schroering) – there is space available in Trial Practice (Bouldin).

Openings are available in many class.

Openings are available in externships including Immigration Law (Trucios-Haynes), Ky. Innocence Project (Jordan), Legal Aid (Jordan), Criminal Justice (Jordan), Tax (Blackburn), and Tech Transfer (Cross).