Course Description

Thursday May  14th – 10:00AM – 11:15AM


Fee: $15.00 

Moderated by:  Lynn Marks and Hon. Phyllis W. Beck

Speaker: Robert Reinstein

This class will discuss the likely future of constitutional protections for abortion rights, affirmative action and gay rights. The most recent Supreme Court decisions providing those protections were all 5-4 majorities that predate the appointments of Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett by President Trump. With those appointments, a majority of Supreme Court Justices believe that the foundational decisions in each of these areas are incorrect. What is the likelihood that the present Supreme Court will nevertheless adhere to those precedents? Or will the Court overrule those decisions and eliminate those protections? Or substantially weaken those protections? If those protections are eliminated or substantially weakened by the Supreme Court, to what extent can they be restored by Congress or the President?


Lynn Marks JD. She is a public interest lawyer specializing in leading nonprofit organizations. She has been executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Women Organized Against Rape, and Women’s Medical Fund, and has chaired the boards of directors of Living Beyond Breast Cancer; PA Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness; Women’s Law Project; and National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women.

Phyllis W. Beck (retired judge) practiced law, was vice dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and was elected to serve on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania where she was the first woman to serve. She was an appellate judge for 25 years. After she retired from the court, she was general counsel to the Barnes Foundation. She is presently chair of the Independence Foundation and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Robert Reinstein is the Dean Emeritus and Clifford Scott Green Professor of Law Emeritus at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Reinstein spent most of his career at Temple and also taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California and Georgetown University Law Schools. He teaches constitutional law, political and civil rights, federal courts and jurisdiction and criminal procedure. Reinstein has argued before the Supreme Court and his scholarship has been cited by the Court.


Class capacity: 500  

Note: The OLLI Sampler Series is targeted to non-members who would like to learn more about OLLI and OLLI classes. OLLI members may also sign up and pay the fee.

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