Harvard University announced last Thursday that Elena Kagan would become the next Dean of Harvard Law School (HLS), making her the first female dean at the 186-year-old school. “Her appointment is certainly a statement in our progress… Not only are women a dominant force on the faculty now, but they are leading the faculty,” HLS Professor Martha Minnow told The Harvard Crimson . Women were first accepted to Harvard Law School in 1951.
Professor Kagan graduated from the law school in 1986 and worked as a clerk, professor, and then as the deputy director of the Domestic Policy Counsel in the Clinton Administration before returning to teach at Harvard Law in 1999, according to the Crimson. “She is a really bold and inspiring choice,” said Professor of Law Charles Ogletree, according to the Crimson. “Her progressive perspective, as well as her experience working in diverse settings, enables her to unify people with different ideological viewpoints.”
Students at Harvard Law School had a meeting last month voicing their concerns to Harvard President Lawrence Summers about campus diversity and class size, according to the New York Times. When Kagan was announced as the next dean, students who attended the crowded meeting began to cheer, the Boston Globe reported. “She is going to be the best dean ever; she is a visionary… She’s just what Harvard Law Schools needs—someone at the helm who will listen to the voices of women here,” said HLS third-year student Rebecca Onie, according to the Crimson.
Women make up only 10 percent of law school deans and general counsels, according to the American Bar Association Commission on Women. Daniel Coquillette, who is writing a history of Harvard Law, called Kagan’s selection “a turning point for this ancient law school. Historically, it’s an extraordinary thing,” the Globe reports.
Media Resources: Boston Globe 4/4/03; The New York Times 4/4/03; The Harvard Crimson 4/4/03; American Bar Association Commission on Women 2001
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .