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Tomiko Brown-Nagin

  • As views on race relations dim, Obama grasps for historical context

    December 11, 2014

    After President Obama was sworn in as the nation's first African-American president, Americans had a bright outlook on race relations: 66 percent of Americans in April 2009 said race relations were generally good. More than five years later, the latest CBS News poll shows, views on race relations have dimmed dramatically. Just 45 percent say race relations are generally good, the lowest figure in CBS News polling since 1997. ...In some ways, improving attitudes about race have made the more persistent social problems harder to root out, historians say. "Whereas few publicly argue today that Jim Crow was justified, no one can dispute that law enforcement has a legitimate interest in ensuring public safety. Officers sometimes are justified in using force," Prof. Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a constitutional law expert at Harvard, told CBS. "The question is whether law enforcement officers police fairly, and whether there is accountability in the criminal justice system when officers engage in misconduct."

  • Sex-Equality Backers Seek Impetus in Oregon Measure

    October 30, 2014

    More than 100 years ago, Oregon was one of several states that gave women the right to vote, paving the way for federal ratification of women’s suffrage in 1920. This fall, Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo is spearheading a campaign here she hopes will spur a further step toward gender equality nationwide....Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, said making an ERA part of the federal constitution would be a challenge because of the “deeply contested social and legal issues” at play, such as reproductive rights, child care and education. “The meaning of sex equality is still up for grabs,” Ms. Brown-Nagin said. “The passage of a few decades and dynamics in Oregon have not changed that stubborn fact.”

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    The U.S. Supreme Court: Reviewing last year’s decisions (video)

    October 17, 2014

    In a discussion moderated by Professor John Manning, five Harvard Law School professors, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, John Coates, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried and Intisar Rabb, assessed last year’s Supreme Court decisions and shared their thoughts on those rulings.

  • Why We Need a New College Admissions Strategy

    September 29, 2014

    An op-ed by Tomiko Brown-Nagin. Sometimes, vague can be misleading—and harmful. For years, colleges have identified disadvantaged students based primarily on “diversity” and “need.” But those categories are broad and unspecific, and can be gamed by sophisticated applicants and parents. The result? Schools aren’t helping the students that really need it. And higher education is now perpetuating—rather than alleviating—inequality. We can reverse this pattern by learning from our education history and shifting the focus of that aid effort to first-generation college students. The key here is this: Colleges need to get more specific about who they want to help, and why.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Brown-Nagin participates in panel on legacy of Brown and civil rights statutes

    May 21, 2014

    On May 14, 2014, Harvard Law School Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin, along with Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Steven Calabresi of Northwestern Law School participated in a discussion at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia titled “The Civil Rights Movement: Redefining the Meaning of Equality.”

  • Why don’t we remember Ike as a civil rights hero?

    May 20, 2014

    Sixty years ago, with its historic ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools. President Dwight D. Eisenhower didn’t sound too happy about that… “Eisenhower’s lack of enthusiasm for Earl Warren’s decision certainly did not help the cause of school desegregation,” said Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a professor at Harvard Law School.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin

    Brown-Nagin on the Unfinished Business of Civil Rights

    May 15, 2014

    The author of the award-winning book “Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement,“ sees education as the civil rights frontier.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Brown-Nagin reflects on Schuette and justices’ differences on racial discrimination

    April 25, 2014

    Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, upholding Michigan’s ban on the use of race in university admissions, Harvard Law School Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin appeared on MSNBC’s “Last Word” to discuss the divide in the Supreme Court’s on race.

  • speakers at the “Reconsidering Insular Cases

    The Insular Cases: Constitutional experts assess the status of territories acquired in the Spanish–American War (video)

    March 18, 2014

    More than 100 years after the U.S. Supreme Court decided a series of cases that left citizens of territories including Puerto Rico, Guam and the American Samoa with only limited Constitutional rights, Harvard Law School hosted a conference to reconsider the so-called Insular Cases and the resonance they continue to hold today.

  • Dean Martha Minow moderated a panel discussion

    The United States Supreme Court: Reviewing Last Year’s Work

    October 4, 2013

    During a Sept. 26 discussion at Harvard Law School, moderated by Dean Martha Minow, four of the School’s constitutional experts offered their thoughts on a trio of critical U.S. Supreme Court rulings involving same-sex marriage, voting rights, and affirmative action.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin discusses the new Law and History Program of Study at HLS

    May 17, 2013

    This semester, Harvard Law School launched the Law and History program of study, which is headed by two faculty leaders: Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin, who is also a Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Professor Kenneth Mack. In a Q&A, Brown-Nagin discusses the origins and goals of the new program of study as well as her own scholarship.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    ‘Courage to Dissent’ wins numerous awards

    January 17, 2013

    “Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2011) by Harvard Law Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin has received numerous awards and has been cited for offering an important new perspective on the civil rights movement. The book was released in paperback this past September by Oxford.

  • Professor Lani Guinier

    Guinier and Brown-Nagin in the Harvard Gazette: An issue that’s bigger in Texas

    October 30, 2012

    The controversial question of what role race should play in college admissions, if any, stands again before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas. Lani Guinier, the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, teamed up with Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a professor of law at HLS and a professor of history at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), to explore the legal background and possible outcomes of the Fisher case, which was argued recently.

  • Illustration

    The Long View

    October 1, 2012

    As two HLS graduates are vying to lead the United States, we asked six legal historians on the faculty to reflect on the connections between legal education and leadership.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin receives the 2012 Bancroft Prize

    March 16, 2012

    Columbia University announced on Mar. 14 that a recent book by Tomiko Brown-Nagin will be awarded the 2012 Bancroft Prize. Her award-winning book “Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2011) offers a startling new perspective on the Civil Rights movement.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin appointed Professor of Law

    December 5, 2011

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a leading expert on legal history, education law, and civil rights, will join the Harvard Law School faculty as a tenured Professor of Law this summer. She will also serve as an affiliate of the History Department in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.