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News Posted on November 27, 2012

Former Solicitor General Drew Days Speaks on Affirmative Action in 2012 Barrett Lecture

Drew Days III, Dean Kevin R. JohnsonFormer Solicitor General of the United States Drew S. Days III, the Alfred M. Rankin Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, delivered the 2012 Edward L. Barrett, Jr., Lecture on Constitutional Law in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom on November 14.

In a talk entitled "Equalizing Equality: The Canadian Record after Three Decades of Constitutionally Authorized Affirmative Action," Days outlined the affirmative action provisions contained in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedom.  Essentially Canada's Bill of Rights, the measure was adopted in 1982 and contains provisions that seem to respond directly to the intense controversy in the United States over affirmative action programs. Days' lecture focused on the Canadian legal system's interpretation of the Charter provision that authorizes "any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

"Although its course has been rocky and complicated at times," Days said, "I remain as convinced as I was at the very start that this has been a path-breaking and courageous effort that still warrants my deep respect and appreciation."

Established in 1986 to mark the retirement of Edward L. Barrett, Jr., founding Dean of UC Davis School of Law and a nationally renowned Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure scholar, the Barrett lecture each year brings a distinguished constitutional authority to King Hall for one of the Law School's most-anticipated lectures.