Inouye chair, constitutional law expert holds spring residency, live taping

Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals Melissa Murray will be in residence March 20 – 24, 2023 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Professor Murray is a leading expert in constitutional law, family law, and reproductive rights and justice.

During her spring residency at UH Mānoa, Murray will participate in faculty workshops, class visits, events with community leaders, and forums for students. The weeklong program will also feature a March 24 live taping of “Strict Scrutiny,” a popular podcast which Murray co-hosts with Leah Litman and Kate Shaw, that discusses the Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.

Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network at New York University (NYU) School of Law. She is an author of Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, the first casebook covering the field of reproductive rights and justice. Murray’s award-winning research focuses on the legal regulation of intimate life and includes topics such as the regulation of sex and sexuality, marriage equality, and reproductive rights. She has written for various publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsweek, and has provided commentary for NPR, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, and PBS.

As Chair, Murray gave a presentation last October, “Unpacking the Court: What Does a Conservative Super-majority Mean for the Court and America?” Originally selected as the Chair for Fall 2022, her residency is being held in the Spring due to in-person availability. The chair is hosted by the UH Mānoa Department of American Studies in the College of Arts, Languages & Letters and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

“We are delighted to host Professor Murray as the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals. She has long been a legal academic of note, a brilliant scholar, and a courageous and insightful voice for justice. It is an honor that she will be with us. I am sure that we will learn a great deal and be inspired by her visit,” said Dean Camille Nelson.

Murray’s engagement with the UH community follows the early March residency for notable historian and Spring 2023 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals Ruth Ben-Ghiat. Inouye chairs in previous years have included activist Helen Zia, social innovator Ai-jen Poo, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal director David Cole, among others.

The Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals was established in 2005 by the UH Board of Regents to bring significant public figures to Hawaiʻi to foster public discourse regarding democratic ideals and civic engagement. The program honors U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and his wife Maggie for their lifetime of public service.