Author Archives: Rob Schaller

Black’s article published in Stanford Law Review

Prof. Derek Black’s article, “The Constitutional Compromise to Guarantee Education,” has been published in Volume 70 of the Stanford Law Review.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court refused to recognize education as a fundamental right in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, the Court in several other cases has emphasized the possibility that the Constitution might afford some protection for education. New litigation is attempting to fill that void. This litigation comes at a perfect time. Segregation, poverty, and achievement gaps are all rising, while state courts and federal agencies have recently retreated from enforcing educational equity. 

New litigation, however, has yet to offer a theory of why the Constitution should protect students’ educational rights, relying instead on the fact that the Court has consistently emphasized the importance of education. Prompting a significant doctrinal shift to protect education will require more than laudatory dicta. It will require a compelling affirmative constitutional theory. 

This Article offers that theory. It demonstrates that the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment specifically intended to guarantee education as a right of state citizenship. This simple concept was obscured by the unusually complex ratification of the Amendment. First, the Amendment required the assent of Confederate states that were no longer part of the Union. Second, Congress expressly indicated that it would not readmit those states to the Union until they ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and rewrote their state constitutions. Third, education was part of the deal: Congress permitted states to retain discretion over education but expected state constitutions to affirmatively guarantee education. 

Through this process, education became an implicit right of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause. As a right of state citizenship and consistent with historical practices and goals, this Article argues that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from partisan and other illegitimate manipulations of educational opportunity.

Free for now, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is back in her element


Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was convicted May 11 on 18 counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and tax crimes.

Brown’s defense lawyer said after the jury reached its verdict he would seek a new trial. Smith hasn’t said how, but the most obvious route seems to be attacking U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan’s decision to remove a juror who said “the Holy Spirit” told him Brown was innocent.

At first glance, it seems Smith might have a chance at getting his new trial, but it’s far from guaranteed, said Colin Miller, an associate dean at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law.

“It’s going to depend very much on the exact facts” of what Corrigan and the juror said before the judge made his decision, said Miller, who has researched and written about challenging jury verdicts.

<Read More>


Similarities run through Neenah, Appleton shootings


The fatal police shootings at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah and Jack’s Apple Pub in Appleton bear unnerving similarities.

Though the circumstances were different — one stemmed from a hostage situation at a motorcycle shop and the other from a fight at a bar — the result was the same: Police shot and killed an innocent man at a downtown business.

Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and a former police officer, said police shooting deaths demand a high level of scrutiny.

Stoughton said the use of deadly force by an officer, even if the action was reasonable, “represents the most invasive and serious intrusion by a government actor into a private civilian’s life.”

<Read More>

Law professor says U.S. exit from climate deal sends global message


A University of South Carolina environmental law professor said the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement climate accord goes beyond just the natural impact.

Nathan Richardson told South Carolina Radio Network that it also sends the world a message about what could happen with other foreign agreements like trade deals. “I think that’s the real risk here beyond big short term changes in climate or energy policy,” said Richardson.

<Read More>

School of Law launches new website

In addition to moving into its new home in May 2017, the University of South Carolina School of Law has a new home on the Internet. But don’t worry. You can still find it at
The entirely revamped website launched on May 16, and features a new modern layout that has a responsive design, so it looks good on any platform, from desktop to tablet to mobile phone. The new architecture was designed to be more intuitive, and make it easier for users to find what they are looking for.  
One of the most notable changes is that the website is divided into two parts. 
The first part is aimed at prospective students and faculty candidates. The website is arguably the biggest marketing tool the School of Law has to attract new students and faculty, and the language and content on the pages have been reworked to do just that—share the many wonderful reasons to consider South Carolina Law.  These are the first pages that visitors will see.
The second part includes “internal-facing” pages, which are aimed at current students, faculty, and staff. These pages can be accessed by going to the “My Law School” link at the very bottom of the left-side navigation menu.
This section includes more in-depth information about academic programs, as well as other resources that are considered more internal, such as links to Self-Service Carolina, faculty by-laws, the student hand book, financial aid info, etc. Some of these pages are already in the content management system, while others link back to the old site.  Before long, all of the content will be in the CMS.
We hope you like it, and invite you to take a look around.


Despite the threat of Hurricane Matthew, spirits were high during reunion weekend this past October, as old friends and classmates gathered together to reconnect and remember thier law school days. The reunion honored the classes of 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2006, and 2011. If your class year ends in a two or seven, be on the lookout for your reunion information in the coming months!

Here are a few select photos from the reunion parties.

Class of 1966

Class of 1971

Class of 1976

Class of 1981

Class of 1986

Class of 1991

Class of 1996

Class of 2006

Mock Trial wins TYLA Regionals for third straight year

(l to r) Matt Abee, Colin Spangler, Creasie Parrott and Brett Bayne.

Congratulations to the University of South Carolina School of Law Mock Trial team, who—for the third time in a row—won the regional round of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition on Feb. 11, 2017. 

The team included third-year student Colin Spangler and second-year student Creasie Parrott, along with coaches Brett Bayne,  Matt Abee, and Kinli Abee. They will be returning to the national competition in Fort Worth in March.

Pam Robinson presents at AALS conference

Pamela D. Robinson, director of the University of South Carolina School of Law Pro Bono Program, spoke as part of a panel discussion titled “Bridging the Gaps: Using Technology to Increase Access to Justice and Law School Engagement” at the Association of American Law Schools annual conference in January 2017.

Pam Robinson highlighted in Clemson World magazine

Pamela D. Robinson

Pam Robinson (1986) was the featured alumna in Clemson World magazine in January. The magazine highlighted Robinson’s passion for helping others and her career as the director of the University of South Carolina School of Law’s Pro Bono Program.

“We can’t, as law school and law students, solve all the problems of the community, but we can be there as part of the solution,” she said.

<Read More>