Melissa Murray

Free to be biased?

Melissa Murray, Russell Robinson write for The New York Times, Room for Debate, April 25, 2012

The question is whether the law should play a role in casting, or whether, under the license of “artistic freedom,” producers may cater to the preferences of the majority. Similar questions have surfaced in other contexts, and the law’s response has been clear and emphatic.

Melissa Murray, Herma Hill Kay Explain Anti-Bigamy Lawsuit

The Christian Science Monitor, July 13, 2011 by Daniel B. Wood

“This is not about the Browns’ attempt to get Utah to recognize polygamous marriage, but rather to ask the federal courts to tell them they cannot punish intimate conduct,” says Melissa Murray, assistant professor of law.

Adds Herma Hill Kay, a UC Berkeley law professor: “They are not seeking to have their relationship validated as a marriage. They’re just trying to avoid criminal prosecution.”

Melissa Murray and Susan Gluss Praise Sotomayor and Moot Court Competitors

The Daily Californian, January 19, 2011 by Alisha Azevedo

Sotomayor agreed to judge the competition because of the law school’s prestige, Gluss said. “Our students win or place in national competitions each year, besting their peers in other top-tier law schools,” she said. “The chance to parry with such bright students is a compelling one.”

“She’s a very exacting jurist—she does her homework and knows the facts and ins and outs of the cases. Students will find that she’s incredibly well-prepared and that they will need to bring their A-game to the competition,” Murray said.

Christopher Edley, Melissa Murray, William Fernholz Praise Sotomayor and Moot Court Judges

-San Francisco Business Times, January 11, 2011

Christopher Edley, dean of Cal’s law school, said: “These are three extraordinary jurists.”

Melissa Murray, an assistant professor at the school who once clerked for Sotomayor, said: “She is a role model for any student engaged in the study and practice of law.”

-Bay City News, January 12, 2011

“I believe that over the next 20 years Justice Sotomayor will emerge as a truly central figure in American jurisprudence; she’s that good,” Edley said. “Our students will carry this memory with them for the rest of their lives.”

“Justice Sotomayor is extraordinarily charismatic and uniquely alive in her questioning during oral arguments at the Supreme Court,” said William Fernholz, a faculty member who directs the school’s appellate program.

Melissa Murray Explains Success of Gay Marriage Opponents’ Schools Campaign

Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2009 by David Sharp and Lisa Leff

“Parents are always thinking about how do I keep unwanted influences out of my children’s lives? And it’s a lot harder to do that as a parent if that influence is the state,” Murray said. “That’s the fear they are tapping into…. and they are just going to keep repackaging it, because it works.”

Rachel Moran, Maria Blanco, and Melissa Murray Praise Sonia Sotomayor

The Promise of Berkeley, October 2009

Rachel Moran: I was surprised at the level of attention that [wise Latina] remark received. I felt it was about how diversity can improve outcomes. When you have all kinds of people on the bench, they reach better results through the vigorous exchange of ideas.

Maria Blanco: She will bring more trial court and appellate experience than any sitting on the court. She has the most judicial experience of any Supreme Court nominee in the last 70 years and the most federal judicial experience in 100 years.

Melissa Murray: She made sure we understood that behind every appeal there was a person who wanted and deserved to be heard. She also emphasized the importance of giving back. She routinely went out of her way to mentor young people and young lawyers in New York City.

Melissa Murray and Jesse Choper Deflect Criticisms of Sotomayor

San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2009 by Carolyn Lochhead

“She has sterling credentials,” Murray said. “She’s incredibly smart, she’s incredibly fair. I think she takes every case on its merits. She’s very rigorous in researching cases and she applies the law. The idea of her as an activist is absolutely ludicrous. In my time with her, I’ve never seen anyone more sensitive to what the law in our circuit actually required.”

Jesse Choper, a UC Berkeley constitutional law professor, said Sotomayor might take back her Berkeley words if she could, saying they were inelegantly put. “But having said that,” Choper said, “every Supreme Court justice, every human being, is the product of their own experience, their own education, their own background, their own values.”