Columbia Law School Professors Discuss Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

New York, June 29, 2015—The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a number of high-profile decisions in closely watched cases in the last days of its term, and Columbia Law School professors are weighing in on the import and impact of the rulings, in opinion pieces and in commentary to the media.

Here are highlights of the experts’ insights and perspectives on the cases:
Marriage Equality
  • Professor Katherine M. Franke, co-director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, writes about the danger of using “dignity” to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in a piece for Slate and discusses her views in a special multimedia feature for The New York Times.
Fair Housing Act
  • Professor Olatunde Johnson told PBS NewsHour that the decision upholding the use of disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act is an important pronouncement in a time of heightened concern about housing discrimination and residential segregation.
Affordable Care Act
  • Just days before the landmark ruling, Professor Gillian E. Metzger ‘96, director of the Center for Constitutional Governance, analyzes dueling interpretations of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Professor John C. Coffee Jr. discussed the ruling on Fox News. 

Capital Punishment Procedures

Glossip v. Gross

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold a procedure used by states to carry out executions by lethal injection, stating that use of the drug does not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, despite plaintiffs’ claims that the drug posed a risk of causing excruciating pain.

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer four times cited the work of death penalty expert Columbia Law School Professor James S. Liebman