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Race and the Roberts Court - Panos Family Endowed Lecture in Equity and Social Justice

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

About this event:

Many have suggested that the Court’s new conservative super-majority is inattentive to questions of race and racial justice. Indeed, many predict that this term, the Court will dismantle the use of race in college admissions policies entirely. But the Roberts Court’s interest in race is more complicated than many expect—or predict. As I explain, over the most recent terms, the Court’s most conservative members have been veritable “Woke Warriors,” invoking race and the interest in racial justice to expand gun rights, to reform criminal justice efforts, and to limit the scope of reproductive freedoms. All of which begs the question–what are we to make of race and the Roberts Court? 

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Dr. Melissa Murray
Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at New York University School of Law

Melissa Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, family law, criminal law, and reproductive rights and justice. Her writing has appeared in a range of legal and lay publications, including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Nation. Prior to joining the NYU Law faculty, Murray was the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the law school’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction, the Association of American Law School’s Derrick A. Bell Award, and, from March 2016 to June 2017, served as interim dean of the law school. Murray serves a legal analyst for MSNBC and is a co-host of Strict Scrutiny, a Crooked Media podcast about the Supreme Court. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. She is a member of the American Law Institute and the New York bar.


Dr. Nicholas De Genova
Professor and chair of the University of Houston Department of Comparative Cultural Studies.

Beginning in 2020, following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Professor De Genova was appointed to chair a Special Committee on Race and Social Justice in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston.

Born and raised in Chicago, Professor De Genova is a scholar of migration, borders, race, citizenship, and labor. His academic work has contributed to multiple disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, geography, and political science, as well as contributing to the interdisciplinary fields of cultural studies, migration studies, border studies, citizenship studies, sociolegal studies, urban studies, postcolonial studies, American studies, Latin American studies, and European studies. As a scholar of critical race and ethnic studies, Professor De Genova has been most prominently located in Latino/a/x studies, but his work has also made contributions to African American studies, Asian American studies, Native American studies, and Arab American studies, and in the European context, also to Roma studies. He is also a social and political theorist and critic.

M. Murray
University of Houston Student Center South Space City Room

Diedra Fontaine

Director of Alumni Relations