Throughout the summer, the ACLU of Southern California hosted a series of 'Brown Bag' lunch lectures led by attorneys, scholars, organizers and civic actors. This week, we are sharing highlights from these sessions in blog, video and Q&A format.


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The U.S. Supreme Court presided over 73 cases this term, addressing (or leaving unresolved) crucial civil liberties issues ranging from privacy rights and affirmative action to marriage fairness and voting rights. This season, the Court kept the country on edge, as it handed down its landmark decisions.
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky aptly regards the October 2012 term as “an amazing time in the Supreme Court,” filled with “so many blockbuster decisions.”
In his recent 'Brown Bag' lecture at ACLU/SC, Chemerinsky discusses 14 notable and controversial decisions from the term including:
United States v. Windsor, a case which struck down Section 3 of DOMA, expanding equal protection to legally married same-sex couples.
Clapper v. Amnesty International, a phone and email tapping privacy rights case involving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that was dismissed.
Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the infamous case that struck down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the affirmative action case sent back to the lower courts.
Maryland v. King, the Fourth Amendment decision that deemed DNA swabbing akin to fingerprinting and photographs.
The dean makes it clear that “what the Supreme Court does, affects each of us, often in the most important and intimate aspects of our lives.”
Watch Dean Chemerinsky's lecture in its entirety