2016 Spring Symposium

Issues and Advancements in Equal pay

Two panels on issues and recent advancements in equal pay and gender discrimination.

The first panel will focus on recent developments in equal pay law, including developments in the law surrounding the Equal Pay Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the potential implications of legislative efforts to limit pay secrecy such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, court and agency consideration of factors such as implicit bias, and the potential introduction of pay inequity in the bargaining process.

The second panel will focus on intersectional issues between gender based pay inequity and race and national origin discrimination.

2016 Spring Speaker Event

Prosecutorial Discretion in Untied States v. Texas

This session, the Supreme Court will rule on the legality of the Obama administration’s plan to prioritize the deportation of undocumented violent criminals over undocumented immigrants without criminal records who are the parents of children with citizen or legal permanent resident status. Those on all sides of the immigration debate recognize this case as crucial in determining whether the executive must deport undocumented immigrants without prioritization.

Mr. Platt and Prof. Walker’s discussion will illuminate this complex case, which involves issues regarding the standing of states, the contours of current immigration law, administrative law issues of notice-and-comment, and the obligations of the executive under the Take Care Clause. This event will be invaluable in terms of understanding the human impact and policy issues at stake in United States v. Texas.

2015 Fall Symposium

LGTBQ Discrimination as Sex Discrimination, November 16

In the recent EEOC decision Baldwin v. Department of Transportation, the EEOC held that sexual orientation is already covered under Title VII sex discrimination protections. This follows the EEOC’s 2012 decision in Macy v. Department of Transportation in which gender identity was held to be covered under existing sex discrimination theory. The 2015 fall symposium explored this legal theory and the implications for both government and private employers, as well as implications for other aspects of civil rights if the EEOC’s interpretation is successful in the courts.


Commissioner Charlotte Burrows,
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Ilya Somin,
Professor of Law at George Mason University

The event was free to all students and members of the public.

2015 Fall Speaker Event

Stop and frisk, september 28

Stop and frisk policies have been dismantled in a number of American cities, but their aftereffects are still felt in black communities. This panel addressed the civil rights implications of stop and frisk policies and how law enforcement can be receptive to the needs of the communities they serve. The panel included representatives from both law enforcement and the civil rights community and will be a constructive dialogue as to how police can engage in effective but respectful enforcement that empowers the communities they are supposed to serve.

Moderator: Professor Dennis Fitzpatrick, GMU School of Law

Jason Downs,
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy

Chairman Delroy Burton,
DC Police Union

Jonathan Blanks,
Cato Institute

Paul Larkin,
Heritage Foundation

Professor Craig Lerner,
GMU School of Law

2013 Spring Symposium

The Place of Guns in a Free Society, April 3

The George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal presented a symposium entitled, The Place of Guns in a Free Society on April 3, 2013 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm, at George Mason University School of Law’s Founders Hall Auditorium

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has sparked a nation-wide debate about the place of guns in a free society. On one side have been
those who have called for intensified background checks, assault weapon bans, and bans on certain types of ammunition holders. Such proposals from local and federal legislatures have sparked an equally intense reaction from gun owners in the United States as well as groups such as the National Rifle Association. These groups argue that further restrictions on gun ownership will not solve the problem of violence in the United States.

In many cases, the two sides have spoken past one another. When it comes to the legislation now making its way through Congress, one question that has gone largely unanswered is, “is it legal?” The George Mason Civil Rights Law Journal has assembled a panel of scholars and practitioners on both sides of the question on gun regulation. The panel gave an in depth discussion of the Heller (2008) andMcDonald (2010) Supreme Court opinions. In addition, speakers looked to lower federal courts and state courts to determine the scope of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the subject. Finally, the panel examined recently proposed legislation and drew conclusions as to their constitutionality and the likelihood that such legislation will be upheld in our nation’s courts.

For a more complete summary and analysis of the symposium, please visit the CRLJ Blog’s Summary and Thoughts on 2nd Amendment Symposium.

Symposium Speakers included:

Joshua Horwitz, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence,
Executive Director

Jon Lowy, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,
Director of the Legal Action Project

Nelson Lund, George Mason University School of Law,
Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment

Clark Neily, Institute for Justice,
Senior Attorney

1.5 Virginia CLE credits were provided at a cost of $20 for GMUSL alumni, free for GMUSL faculty, and $40 for other practictioners. Those wishing to obtain CLE credits did not need to pre-register for the event.

The event was free for students and all those not seeking CLE credit.