Taking it to the Supreme Court
Location: Hynson Lounge
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington lawyer Bert Rein will share his experiences before the highest court in the land when he delivers a George Washington Leadership Series talk at Washington College on Tuesday, April 2. His talk, “Taking it to the Supreme Court: How does that really happen?” will take place at 4 p.m. in Hynson Lounge with Q&A to follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Rein, a founding partner of the Washington, D.C.-based firm Wiley Rein, is currently involved in two high-profile Supreme Court cases. He argued for petitioner Abigail Fisher in a case currently before the Supreme Court, Fisher v. University of Texas. The outcome could greatly affect university and college admissions policies concerning race.
Fisher, a white resident of Texas, contends she was denied admission to the University in 2008 in favor of minority applicants with lesser credentials. The University has argued that considering race as a factor during the admissions process helps create a diverse student body, an argument that was upheld in a prior case, Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). Rein made Fisher’s case in oral argument before the Supreme Court last October, and a ruling is still pending. If Rein is successful, the Supreme Court could reverse or limit the practice of race-based affirmative action in higher education admissions.
Rein also is representing Shelby County, Ala., in its constitutional challenge to the 2006 renewal of the U.S. Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder. At issue in the case is Section 5 of 1965 Act, which requires many state and local governments, mostly in the South and including Alabama, to obtain permission from the U.S. Justice Department before changing voting procedures or electoral maps. Shelby County argues that times and racial attitudes have changed and that such oversight is no longer needed. Rein presented the oral argument before the Justices last month, on February 27.
A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School and a homeowner in Chestertown, Rein clerked for Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan in 1966. His areas of expertise include litigation, appellate and antitrust cases, food and drug law, intellectual property, and aviation law. Legal Times has named him a “Visionary” (2012) and Washington’s “Leading Food and Drug Lawyer” (2005). And the 2013 “Best Lawyers in America” directory tagged him Washington’s Lawyer of the Year in administrative and regulatory law.