Experts Guide

Supreme Court decisions for June 2015

The Supreme Court has handed down decisions in high-profile cases this month, including King v. Burwell where the Court ruled 6-3 that subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal. The nation awaits a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which aims to clarify states’ rights in recognizing same-sex marriages.

pacelle_Richard-PacelleRichard Pacelle, professor and head of the Department of Political Science, is an expert on the US Supreme Court. These cases have the potential to fundamentally change the law in a number of areas, create ripples across constitutional law and show the broad impact of the Supreme Court plays in our daily lives. The decisions also will also help shape the contours of the 2016 presidential election. Read more.

Higdon_MichaelMichael Higdon, director of legal writing and associate professor of law, is an expert on issues related to LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage. Higdon’s scholarship focuses on the stigmatizing effects discriminatory laws pose to the LGBTQ community. Having taught family law for nearly a decade, Higdon can address the changing definition of family in American jurisprudence. Read more.

bachWendy Bach, associate professor of law, teaches family law as well as clinics and seminars at the College of Law. In her family law course this spring, Bach focused on the jurisprudence leading up to Obergefell v. Hodges. Read more.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against inmates seeking to bar the use of the sedative midazolam in lethal injections. A larger debate was present in three of the five opinions in the case, as two dissenting justices indicated they were interested in considering whether the death penalty is constitutional.

Aarons_DwightDwight Aarons, associate professor of law, is part of the university’s Innocence Clinic and writes and teaches on capital punishment. He has consulted on capital cases and is a former attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Read more

Racism and Radicalism

Following last week’s deadly shooting of nine Charleston, South Carolina, community leaders in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, national dialogue is turning toward issues of racism and radical ideology in the U.S. and opinions about the use of the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of hate or pride.

JoshuaInwoodJoshua Inwood, associate professor of geography and Africana studies, is an expert on racism and violence. Inwood can provide expert insight and analysis about radicalism’s destructive force and the white supremacy movement’s role in American history. Read more.

2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential race is heating up as candidates join the fray and key issues shift.

07-37837-1_Anthony-NownesAnthony Nownes is a professor of political science whose research looks at lobbyists and interest groups at local, state, and national levels. His books include Interest Groups in American Politics: Pressure and Power, and Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want (and How They Try to Get It). “As always, interest groups will play a substantial role in this race, primarily by contributing money to candidates and forming super PACs,” Nownes said. Read more.


Immigration is a hot-button issue and will likely be a key debate as we near the 2016 presidential race.

Bohon_ StephanieStephanie Bohon, an associate professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Social Justice, focuses on Latino immigrants in the South. Read more.

McKanders_KarlaKarla McKanders, an associate professor of law, looks at immigration law and reform. Read more.