2016 summer lectures come to a close

Eight lectures later, this summer’s annual Elizabeth J. Cabraser Summer Lecture Series has come to an end! We’ve been honored to host these discussions of pressing legal and social issues. Complete videos of the lectures are available on Facebook page (http://bit.ly/28NcbNq), and clips of our speakers can be found on our YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/29HB2mA), as always.

We previously posted at the series halfway point. The talks since then have been just as exciting. On July 19, Wendy Webster Williams, professor emerita at Georgetown University Law Center, spoke on, “Getting to Know Justice Ginsburg: A Conversation with her Co-Author.” She read excerpts from “My Own Words,” the book she coauthors with Ginsburg, which will be the Justice’s first since her appointment to the Court 23 years ago. The book is be released in 2017.

On July 26, founding Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law, offered his renowned assessment of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The overall American political climate, the immediacy of pressing issues such as abortion and gun control, and the death of Justice Antonin Scalia this year all contributed to an unusual 2015-16 term for the Court.

“The Court is trying really hard to avoid contentious issues for the next term,” said Chemerinsky. “There is an enormous cost to having only eight Justices.”

Nonetheless, it handed down a landmark decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, striking down Texas’ HB2 and setting a precedent against targeted regulation of abortion providers.

In fact, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt featured strongly in our last lecture of the summer: “The Case Against Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” The speakers were Jill E. Adams, executive director at the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law; Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California and NARAL Pro-Choice California Foundation; and Kevin M. Fong, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

“For as much air time as this debate gets in our society, I’m consistently perplexed by how little people know about it,” said Adams. “So there are three things I want you to take away from this [lecture] about abortion in general: First, abortion is very common; second, abortion is very safe; and, third, abortion is very heavily restricted.”

To all those who tuned in or attended our lectures, thank you! Thanks to our live-stream broadcasting on Facebook, the series reached more than 1,000 people this year.

To those of you who couldn’t make it, we look forward to another compelling series next year, and we hope you’ll join us!

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