Melissa Murray

Supreme Court term limits would create their own problems

Melissa Murray writes for The New York Times, Room for Debate, March 19, 2016

Term-limited justices might aspire to other political offices, or positions in business, and these post-term aspirations might shape their judicial decision-making on the court. For all its problems, life tenure was intended to insulate judges — and their decisions — from these pressures.

Berkeley Law scholars submit amicus curiae briefs in Supreme Court abortion case

Melissa Murray and Claudia Polsky interviewed by The Daily Californian, Feb. 22, 2016

“Laws that unduly target access to reproductive health services compromise the dignity of women and impair their ability to participate in society as equal citizens,” Murray said in an email.

“I feel like millions of women are in peril of losing rights that we’ve taken for granted for a few decades,” said Claudia Polsky, a Berkeley Law assistant professor and director of Berkeley’s Environmental Law Clinic. Polsky was one of 113 women in the legal profession to sign an amicus curiae brief in which they detailed their experiences with abortion.

Is CDC’s alcohol warning paternalistic? Why some women think so

Melissa Murray quoted in Medical Xpress, Feb. 19, 2016

The report fails to take into account that pregnancy is not something every woman wants. “There are maybe lots of women who want to be pregnant,” says Murray, “but there are also women who have no interest in being pregnant, don’t want to be mothers, or at least don’t want to be mothers through pregnancy.”

Will Obama look west to California for Supreme Court nominee?

David Carrillo and Melissa Murray quoted on, Feb. 16, 2016

David A. Carrillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law, agreed: “California is the tail that wags the dog on so many issues.”

Maybe the famous swing justice would have extra sympathy for a Californian. As Murray put it wryly, “We are always thinking about how to resonate with Justice Kennedy.”

Pregnancy centers must comply with abortion information law

Melissa Murray interviewed by KPCC-FM, Dec. 30, 2015

Melissa Murray said the cases represent a collision of legal rights. She said the courts have recognized both freedom of speech and the right to an abortion as protected freedoms under the Constitution, so “the question here isn’t does one prevail over the other, but how do you accommodate both of them?”

Supreme Court landmark case Roe v. Wade

Melissa Murray interviewed by C-SPAN, Dec. 21, 2015

“Not all of the rights in the Constitution are actually enumerated in the Constitution’s text. … There are other kinds of rights that might be divined later through judicial interpretation, and the 9th amendment sort of speaks to that. The three-judge panel talked about the 9th amendment being a source of rights like this one: the right to have an abortion.”

UC Berkeley School of Law Prof. Melissa Murray

Melissa Murray interviewed by Tavis Smiley, PBS, Dec. 7, 2015

“This is a constitution written in 1787 where the right to bear arms means something quite different than what it means today. … So I think that’s the question: Do we hew to this old view of the right and the context in which it was first enacted, or is this a situation where we have to take contemporary events into account when we think about what this right might mean in a contemporary society?”

States have ‘no obligation’ to accept same-sex marriage ruling

Melissa Murray interviewed by NPR, June 29, 2015

“The United States Supreme Court may not have the power of the purse and the sword like Congress or the executive—Alexander Hamilton famously called the Court the least dangerous branch because it lacked the kind of power to enforce its own judgments. But the fact of the Supreme Court judgment—the fact that the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the law is a power in and of itself.”