Did the Roberts Court Really Lurch Left?

June 29, 2015

Kermit Roosevelt of the Law School offers his opinion on a possible shift in the Supreme Court’s political leanings.

Article Source: Politico.com

Audio: Supreme Court Makes Same-sex Marriage Legal Nationwide

June 26, 2015

Kermit Roosevelt of the Law School joins a discussion about the ruling by the Supreme Court on legalizing gay marriage in all states.

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Supreme Court Ruling on Same-sex Marriage

Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability and an on-campus ISDN line.

Kermit Roosevelt Professor of Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Kermit Roosevelt has expertise in constitutional law and conflict of laws. Professor Roosevelt is a frequent media commentator on constitutional issues and supports the University’s affirmative action admissions policy. His books include The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions


My take is that this decision is clearly right and consistent with the way the equal protection clause has functioned in our constitutional history: the Court invalidates forms of discrimination once it becomes clear that society has deemed them unjustified. There are always complaints that this amounts to granting special rights and that the court has usurped the people’s right to self-governance. And they always look overblown in retrospect. Chief Justice Roberts suggested that we should not celebrate the Constitution, which had nothing to do with the decision. I feel sorry for him if his Constitution doesn't. My Constitution does. America's Constitution does.”

Media Contact
Steve Barnes, 215-898-5181 or sbarnes@law.upenn.edu

Theodore Ruger Professor of Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School


"Today's decision will go down in history as a landmark moment in the history of the Supreme Court and our nation's long struggle to extend basic civil rights to all citizens. In its ruling, the court properly recognized the fundamental importance of the right to marry and ensured that all Americans will enjoy that basic right in the future. That this ruling reflects the culmination of much prior work and many prior victories in state courts and legislatures does not dilute the profound importance of having the nation's highest court unreservedly declare same-sex marriage to be the law of the land."

Media Contact
Steve Barnes, 215-898-5181 or sbarnes@law.upenn.edu

Rogers Smith Professor of Political Science

University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences

Rogers Smith, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, chairs the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism. He is a scholar in constitutional law and American political thought with a special interest in questions of citizenship, race, ethnicity and gender. He is author of numerous publications, including Still a House Divided: Race & Politics in Obama’s America (with Desmond S. King)


"Important as it is, the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage probably only accelerates slightly what the tides of history and changing popular views would soon have brought about in any case. But the statements in Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinions stressing how a fundamental commitment to human dignity undergirds constitutional guarantees of equal protection and privacy are likely to shape debates over the Constitution's meaning on many issues and for many decades to come."

Media Contact
Jacquie Posey, 215-898-6460 or jposey@upenn.edu

Tobias Barrington Wolff Professor of Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Tobias Barrington Wolff writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, the conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction and constitutional law. He has served as counsel or counsel for amici curiae in many civil rights cases seeking equal treatment under law for LGBT people and authored one of the lead amicus briefs to the Supreme Court on interstate recognition in the marriage equality decision handed down.


"Generations of men and women risked their safety and their livelihoods, dedicated their labor and their honor, sacrificed their privacy and their peace of mind to achieve this victory. In one of the most consequential rulings on equality and liberty in decades, the court has reaffirmed that the Constitution is a living document that must respond to the real experience of ordinary people who seek to participate in its great promises. Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are included in those promises. At long last, the equal dignity of our relationships under the Constitution is settled law."

Media Contact
Steve Barnes, 215-898-5181 or sbarnes@law.upenn.edu

Police Shootings in Philadelphia Plunge

June 24, 2015

David Rudovsky of the Law School comments on the reduction in shootings in Philadelphia.

Article Source: Philly.com
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Media Contact:Amanda Mott | ammott@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422June 15, 2015

Penn Joins edX Partnership, Expands Free Online Classes

The University of Pennsylvania today announced a partnership with leading nonprofit online learning platform edX, expanding the University’s open learning course offerings to reach millions of additional learners worldwide.

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820June 5, 2015

At Penn, Field Center’s Conference Draws Attention to Child Trafficking

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania will host a June 10-12 conference addressing some of today's critical issues such as child trafficking and underrepresented populations in the child welfare system.

Supreme Court Overturns Pa. Man's Facebook Threat Conviction

June 1, 2015

Kermit Roosevelt of the Law School comments on evolving cases around freedom of speech and the Internet.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Audio: In Texas Floods, Homeowners Count the Cost

May 27, 2015

Tom Baker of the Law School and Howard Kunreuther of the Wha

Article Source: “Marketplace”

Some Local Pilots Have Turbulent Response to New Drone Rules

May 26, 2015

Jeffrey Vagle of the Law School talks about the difficulty writing laws specifically for drones.

Article Source: NBC News (Philadelphia)

The Adolescent Brain Defense: The Tsarnaev Death Sentence and Beyond

May 18, 2015

Stephen Morse of the Law School and the Perelman School of Medicine is cited about moral agency.

Article Source: Washington Post