Supreme Court ruling may lead to privacy violations Time to close loopholes by passing ‘Paycheck Fairness’

Adrienne T. Washington | 6/12/2013, 3:18 p.m.

The well-known legal scholar was in Baltimore last week to be the keynote speaker at the Mentoring Male Teens dinner which raises funds to send the young “kings” on college tours. “I only wish there were more African Americans like [founder Cameron Miles] who would spend all their time and money doing the same to help troubled youth who find themselves often fatherless, homeless and without a vision for their lives,” Ogletree said.

The former deputy director of the D.C. Public Defender Service and trustee of the University of the District of Columbia, is also co-founder of a public charter school in Cambridge, Mass., the Benjamin Banneker Charter School for neighborhood children who have “troubling experiences” in the regular public school. He hired specialized teachers with expertise and empathy for working with the students on subjects modeled after Maryland-born Banneker’s accomplishment in science, technology, engineering and math — now known as STEM courses.

He is proud of those students who are now graduating from college, some with honors.

However, some minority students may not be so fortunate in the future. Ogletree is keeping a watchful eye on the Supreme Court which is expected to rule any day now — before their session ends in June — on a landmark education case, Fisher v. Univ. of Texas, which “will likely end affirmative action as we know it.”

He suspects a split decision in the Fisher case will negate the 2003 Supreme Court affirmative action ruling involving the University of Michigan in which retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s argued was based on the importance of diversity in the classroom, the military, and the workplace.

Predicting a similar split decision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act case, Ogletree said the court will likely strike down the central statute which requires federal oversight and permission for any changes in local voting practices in states which historically violated and suppressed minority voting rights.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens going forward,” Ogletree said, “it’s only days away.”

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