When by a 5-4
majority, the Supreme Court decided in 2007 that Lilly Ledbetter’s gender
discrimination claim was time-bound, it set in motion a visible and accessible
example of Congress-Court interactions. Ledbetter v. Goodyear (550 U.S. 618)
involved the Supreme Court’s interpretation of relevant statutes and precedents
and, as noted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent, Congress has the
power to pass new legislation overriding cases of statutory interpretation. In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
became the first piece of legislation signed into law by President Obama,
thereby replacing the Court’s interpretation with that of Congress. Contrary to popular visions of how the
Supreme Court works, the Court thus did not have the last word on what is, in
this example, allowed regard by law.
Indeed, no one institution of the American system of government ever has
the “last word,” although areas of law may be stable for years at a time. Rather, public policy is often the result of
interactions between the three branches of government.
on the Lilly Ledbetter case and its aftermath, this presentation will examine
the nature of interactions between the legislative, executive, and judicial
branches of the U.S. government. It will
highlight a number of ways in which the branches are connected, and the manner
in which decisions of judges and justices are affected by decisions made by
actors in other branches of government.
Dr. Seth W. Greenfest is a Professor at
the College of St. Benedict and St.
John’s University. Prof. Seth W. Greenfest recently moved to Minnesota from
Seattle, Washington where he completed his Ph.D. in political science at the
University of Washington. Focusing on the study of the U.S. federal
judiciary, Dr. Greenfest’s scholarship examines how federal courts set their
agendas and access to the federal courts, and the ability of individuals and
groups to sue to advance their claims. His work links congressional
action that expands the jurisdiction of the federal courts to the issues that
courts then consider. His article,
“Explaining Congressional Grants of Jurisdiction to the Federal District
Courts,” is forthcoming in Justice System
Journal. Prior to graduate school,
Dr. Greenfest served as a Legislative Aide in the Ohio Senate.
Date: October 15,2013
Time: 11:30:00 AM - 12:30:00 PM
1 standard CLE has been requested
Contact: Deb Lange, email@example.com, 651-523-2122
Please contact Deb to register for CLE
Location: Law School Room 100 (Moot Court Room)
Sponsor: Public Law Interest Community and the American Constitution Society