April 26, 2018

Another Court Victory for DACA, More Efforts to Legalize Marijuana, and Denim-Day at Loyola

Judge John Bates joined two other federal judges in keeping DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in place. Judge Bates went one step further and ordered that the program must accept new applications. Notably, Judge Bates’ ruling was a judgment on the merits, meaning that if the order is not changed, it permanently goes into effect, subject to appeal. To provide the DHS additional time to better justify the decision to rescind DACA, Judge Bates stayed his order for ninety days. The two prior rulings preliminarily mandating nation-wide continuation of DACA came from the Second and Ninth Circuits. Click here  to read Judge Bates' opinion.   

Senator Chuck Schumer announced plans to introduce a new Senate bill that would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances, which would formally leave it up to the states to determine whether marijuana is illegal. Currently, the majority of states permit use of marijuana for health purposes. Nine states, along with the District of Columbia permit recreational use. The bill likely will be supported by former House Majority Leader John Boehner, who recently announced he had reversed his stance against legalization of marijuana and had joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, one of the many companies the cannabis industry. The bill also likely will find support from the “Cannabis Caucus,” a bi-partisan group formed by four members of Congress to end federal interference with state laws permitting use of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes.

Loyola supported this year’s Denim-Day, a 19-year campaign run by Peace Over Violence to call attention and honor Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was a response to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Italy that overturned a rape conviction because the victim had been wearing tight jeans, thereby suggesting she must have assisted her assailant in removing her jeans. The next day, female members of the Italian parliament showed their support for the victim by wearing jeans to work. And Denim Day was launched. Per the organizers, the goal is provide a “visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.”

April 14, 2018

Lebron’s Call for Female Coaches in the NBA; Oprah’s Visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice; and a Free Screening of “America Divided” on Monday, April 16 at the Regal Theater  (LA Live).

Lebron James made headlines by calling for female coaches in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar was quoted as saying that it was the “same thing with players.” He further explained: “You have different walks and shapes and lives of players, but if you can play, you can play.” For that reason, “[i]t shouldn't matter if you're a male or a female.” Lebron also sang the praises of numerous female sports commentators and journalists, including ESPN’s Doris Burke. While the NBA has yet to have a female head-coach, it sure is great to have a player like Lebron help pave the way. Here at EQ4ALL@LLS, we’re so grateful that Lebron and all of the other NBA upstanders do more than just “dribble”! Go Cavs!!!

Oprah Winfrey – another celebrity known for using her platform to promote social justice -- appeared on “60 Minutes” this week with a sneak peek of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The project flows from the “Equal Justice Initiative,” founded by attorney Bryan Stevenson. The primary focus is to commemorate lynching victims. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, and set to officially open to the public on April 26, the memorial includes 805 steel markers, each bearing the name of a person killed at a result of racial animus. The opening of the memorial will be followed by the opening of The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.

On a local note, BLSA is presenting a free movie screening of the critically acclaimed “America Divided” at the Regal Theater (LA Live) on Monday, April 16. The tag line is: “In a Divided Country Our Stories Unite Us.” A panel discussion follows. RSVP to studentaffairs@lls.edu with the number of attendees.

Editor’s Note: The reference to basketball players doing more than just dribbling is a reference to a previous remark made by Laura Ingraham that NBA players should avoid political commentary and instead “shut up and dribble.”