Published April 12, 2021

No one can predict where the debate over the size and makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court will lead, but expertise from Rutgers will help guide discussions of reform at the highest level. In other recent news stories, scholars and activists from the scarlet community bring knowledge, perspective, and urgently needed solutions to deep-rooted problems.

The New Jersey Globe reports that Elise Boddie, who teaches constitutional law and civil rights at Rutgers Law School at Newark, has been named to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Announced by President Biden last Friday, the 34-member panel of legal experts is tasked with examining “the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.” The panel must complete its report within six months of its first public meeting.

The New Jersey Globe | Two New Jersey professors tapped for Biden’s Supreme Court reform commission

Target has announced it will spend more than $2 billion at Black-owned businesses in the next few years. But Jeffrey Robinson ENG’95, RC’95, an associate professor and the academic director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School, says the number feels “low,” given the retailer’s size. “I applaud them for making the commitment, but let’s see if they can exceed it,” he tells The Washington Post.

The Washington Post | Target to spend more than $2B on black owned businesses

Kevin Emmons, a clinical associate professor at Rutgers University–Camden School of Nursing, is distributing Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Camden’s most vulnerable residents. Emmons CCAS’04 has been working with the Camden County health department as well as homeless shelters to offer information about the vaccine, arrange pop-up vaccine clinics, and set up temporary accommodations for those who may suffer from the vaccine’s side effects. “Vaccinating hard-to-reach people is a crucial part of the region’s—and the nation’s—path to conquering the coronavirus,” Emmons tells The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Inside Camden’s fight to vaccinate the most vulnerable

Daniel Van Abs, an associate professor at Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, told a New Jersey Assembly committee that crucially needed upgrades to the state’s water, sewer, and wastewater infrastructure will hit lower-income residents the hardest. “All of these changes are going to place increased stresses on affordability,” Van Abs told the committee, according to NJ 101.5. “We already have affordability issues in the state of New Jersey—people who are really struggling to pay their water and sewer bills and all of the other costs that their households face.”

NJ 101.5 | As water bills grow, NJ urged to consider fund to help residents

Health experts warn that a highly contagious COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7, is infecting and being spread by children. Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, warns that children could carry the new variant home from school and infect family members. “The disease in children still appears to be mild, but it is not without a small risk of severe effects,” Nelson tells Romper.

Romper | Kids may play “huge role” in spreading new covid variant, doctors warn

What does the vote against unionization by Amazon employees in Alabama tell us about conditions that workers—especially union organizers—face today? Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations professor Rebecca Kolins Givan appears on multiple news platforms to discuss the subject. The election results show “how hard it is for workers to organize in workplaces where employers are free to bombard them with anti-union messages and sow fear and doubt throughout the workday,” Givan tells Bloomberg. “Current labor law makes these attempts to win a voice on the job very, very difficult.”

Bloomberg | Amazon wins union election in setback to labor movement

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