Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Education Building (EDU), 1111
401 East Peltason Drive Irvine, CA 92697-8000
Note: This event has reached capacity. You may still register to gain access to a livestream.
UCI Law faculty members will moot our former Dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, as he prepares for his November 13 Supreme Court argument in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media and Entertainment Studios Networks (NAAAOM). The case concerns Comcast’s decision not to carry programming from NAAAOM, which is owned by Byron Allen, a successful African-American entrepreneur. Its central issue is whether a plaintiff can state a claim of racial discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 when race was simply "a motivating factor" in a defendant’s refusal to contract with the plaintiff, or if the plaintiff has to assert that race was the key ("but for") cause of the challenged contracting decision. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last November that the suit filed by NAAAOM, Chemerinsky’s client, "includes sufficient allegations from which we can plausibly infer that" it "experienced disparate treatment due to race and was thus denied the same right to contract as a white-owned company." Such conduct would violate the Act, which states that "all persons…shall have the same right…to make and enforce contracts…as is enjoyed by white citizens…." A dozen amicus briefs have been filed, a sign of the case’s significance. The U.S. Department of Justice and major business groups have weighed in on behalf of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, while a bevy of civil rights groups are supporting NAAAOM, contending that a victory for Comcast could lead to a rollback in the protections granted by the 1866 law.
This event is open to UCI Law faculty, staff, and students only.
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