Distinguished Prof. Robson on Two U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

June 15, 2012 | CUNY School of Law

Distinguished Professor Ruthann Robson discusses two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions with Bloomberg BNA.

In Armour v. Indianapolis, the Court ruled that the city of Indianapolis did not need to refund taxpayers who had paid for sewer assessments in lump sums, even though the city had forgiven the amounts still owed by taxpayers who were paying for their assessments in installments.

Prof. Robson commented to BNA, “The case is important because it once again allows the government’s ‘administrative costs’ to be the rational for resulting inequality. In this way, an inequality claim cannot survive if the government argues (and demonstrates) it would cost the government money to achieve equality. In this way, the government’s costs trump the costs paid by individual taxpayers.” Read the full article

In Reichle v. Howards, the Court held that two Secret Service agents were entitled to qualified immunity from a lawsuit claiming they had arrested a man in retaliation for remarks he made about Vice President Cheney. Prof Robson said the decision “leaves the law unsettled” and that “the Court is resting qualified immunity on whether this court has said something in a very narrow and specific way, and then when they have the chance they don’t say it in a narrow and particular way.”

Prof. Robson teaches in the areas of constitutional law, family law, feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. She is the author of many articles in such journals as New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, Albany Law Review, Women’s Rights Law Reporter, Hastings Law Journal, Australian Feminist Law Journal, and Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence. Read the full article