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Lawyers Club of San Diego is a specialty bar association committed to advancing the status of women in the law and society. We use this space to share articles written about Lawyers Club events and programs and items of interest to our members which are relevant to our mission. The opinions outlined in content published on the Lawyers Club of San Diego blog are those of the authors and not of Lawyers Club. All members are encouraged to participate respectfully in discussions regarding the topics posted on the blog. Guest writers are welcome. Guidelines for writers may be found on the Leadership Resources page.

 

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Trump v. Hawaii

Posted By Jylan Megahed , Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Trump v. Hawaii 

 

On January 28, 2017, according to Trump's key adviser, “When Donald Trump first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim Ban.’  He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’” This was noted in Justice Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion of the June 26, 2018, Muslim Ban case, Trump v. Hawaii. Yet Chief Justice Roberts reasoned, “The Proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices. The text says nothing about religion.”

Did the text need to say anything about religion, when President Trump himself called the Executive Order a “Muslim Ban?” Our highest court failed us, largely because the Supreme Court did not review the Executive Order under strict scrutiny. This, despite Sotomayor’s dissent, citing Supreme Court precedent: “[I]n other Establishment Clause cases, including those involving claims of religious animus or discrimination, this Court has applied a more stringent standard of review.” Ultimately, the Supreme Court applied rational-basis scrutiny in Trump v. Hawaii.

As a Muslim-American attorney, I am affected by the Muslim Ban because our faith teaches us that everyone is our brother and sister in Islam. I grew up between San Diego and Phoenix within the Muslim community. I have lifelong Muslim-American friends with roots from Syria, Yemen, and Iran. In preparation to write this, I’ve asked some of them if they could tell me how the Muslim Ban directly impacted them. To my surprise, they declined to be interviewed for this blog in fear that they would be targeted in some way. This reminded me of how scared I was when I felt that I’d somehow be deported due to President Trump's first Executive Order on January 27, 2017. Many did not understand my fear since I’ve been a U.S. citizen for over 15 years now. My distress stemmed from the unknown and the rapid changes in the laws. I was paranoid that the laws would change while I traveled to a foreign country, and thereby, prevent me from returning home to San Diego. I did not genuinely believe I, a feisty attorney, would be denied entry with my U.S. Passport, but I did not want to go through the obstacle of having to argue my way back into my country. Sadly, I later learned from some of my friends that they did have an exceptionally difficult time entering the U.S. after they vacationed in Mexico. My fear was their reality.

The only positivity that comes from this Supreme Court's decision is that it forces all marginalized groups to be politically and socially aware. It is inhumane that now my brothers and sister in Islam will continue to live in fear because their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. cannot enter the U.S. to escape the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iran, Chad, and Somalia. The U.S. is effectively imprisoning them. Muslim-Americans contribute significantly to our San Diego community, as lawyers, doctors, professors, engineers, pharmacists, therapists, nurses, social workers, police officers, and the list goes on. Although Trump v. Hawaii was a defeat, the support from communities all over the country proves that nothing will puncture our hope. We will continue to stand together, as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Jylan Megahed co-chairs Lawyers Club’s Community Outreach Committee, works as a Family Law solo practitioner, and serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children in San Diego County.


Tags:  dissent  hope  immigration  Muslim Ban  rational-basis  Sotomayor  strict scrutiny  Supreme Court  travel  Trump  Trump v. Hawaii 

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Chasing the Last Wave: "Finding Hope in a Tee Shirt...And in the Next Generation"

Posted By Molly T. Tami , Tuesday, October 18, 2016
"Finding Hope in a Tee Shirt...And in the Next Generation" 


Over a decade ago, I gave a presentation on the topic of “Women in the Law: How Gender Shapes the Experience” to the women’s network group of a large Midwest law firm. The audience included women of various ages, from the first woman partner in the firm (who boasted of how she played the men’s game), to mid-level women attorneys who had negotiated their own creative work arrangements with the firm, to the young women associates who expected the firm to address and meet their needs for flexible work arrangements and family-friendly policies. During the “sticky” discussions that followed my presentation, I was reminded that the language of feminism is not embraced by many women, and I experienced firsthand how the perspectives and expectations of women lawyers of different generations are not necessarily aligned and may at times be at odds.

Many of us have benefited from the enormous gains of the feminist movement while recognizing that gender barriers still exist for women in our profession, and for women generally. Given that perspective, we naturally get discouraged at times when we perceive that some women (lawyers and others) do not see the need to embrace the feminist cause and continue the movement to ensure equal opportunity and advancement for women. We may even find ourselves losing hope for future generations of women.

Nowadays, we often hear young women eschew the importance of feminism and decline to identify as a “feminist.” They say they don’t see the need for the movement or the relevance of the label. Although I don’t have poll results to prove it, I suspect that many women law students today do not see their gender as a potential obstacle to their advancement in our profession, nor do they see an urgent need to continue the fight for gender equality. Notable exceptions include members (male and female) of women law student organizations across the country. The USD Women’s Law Caucus student organization at USD Law is a perfect example.

The USD Women’s Law Caucus recently tabled at our law student organization fair and sold tee shirts to support their events and activities. I excitedly purchased one for myself!  The front side is branded with the group’s logo while the back has the following in bold lettering:

Feminist:/Fem-en-ist/: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

Simple but powerful language. I hope to see many USD Law students sporting this shirt and spreading the message. 


Given the recent climate on gender issues and the sexist rhetoric we've heard during the current presidential campaign, my fervent hope is that many young women and men will realize that we are clearly “not there yet.” We have a long way to go and we must fully commit ourselves to chasing the last wave of feminism.  I have hope that all generations will join the chase, and now I have the tee shirt to prove it.   

This blog was authored by Molly Tami. 
Molly Tami serves as the Assistant Dean for Career & Professional Development at USD School of Law.  She previously designed and taught a course on Law, Gender and the Work/Family Conflict and is passionate about advancing women in the legal profession

Tags:  Chasing the Last Wave  equality  feminism  feminist  gender  generation  hope  law student  LCB  legal profession  movement  organization  women  women’s law caucus 

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