College of Law

The 58th Annual William H. Leary Lecture: Race in the Roberts Court

The 58th Annual William H. Leary Lecture: Race in the Roberts Court

DATE: Thursday, February 22 2024
TIME: 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm MST
LOCATION: College of Law and Virtual Event
COST: Free and open to the public.
1 hour CLE (pending).

Race in the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization


In this lecture, Bridges will argue that the U.S. Supreme Court’s impoverished conceptualization of what “counts” as racism against people of color is a strategy that the Court deploys to accomplish regressive ends. This constrained understanding of racism permits the Court to do nothing to destabilize and disestablish the country’s existing racial hierarchy. When confronted with a claim of racial discrimination, the Court appears to be simply determining whether the alleged discrimination resembles what the country did in the pre-civil rights era. If the Court sees a resemblance between the present-day harm and the racism of yesteryear, the Court provides relief. If it sees no resemblance, it provides no relief. The lecture will use the Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, reversing Roe v. Wade, to make the argument.

Lunch provided for in-person attendees.



Khiara M. Bridges, JD, PhD, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law
Khiara M. Bridges is a professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law whose scholarship focuses on race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. She is the author of three books, the most recent of which is titled Critical Race Theory: A Primer. She graduated as valedictorian from Spelman College, receiving her degree in three years. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her Ph.D., with distinction, from Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology.


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