Day 2: Tuesday Foodsday

The first person I met in Zimbabwe was my cab driver from the airport, who’s first language was Shona and who’s English was very broken, but I still managed to pantomime-ask him what I needed to eat while here.


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Day 1: Zimbabwe

So, I’ll breeze right past travel because it is the worst, always, and I am truly concerned that it may one day prevent me from going anywhere, ever, unless it is first class, which I will never be able to afford. When I arrived Sunday, Brian, my supervisor, gave me some really light optional work and I went to bed early.

As an introductory matter, I was in Harare, Zimbabwe to do some field work on a project I’ve been working for The University of Chicago Law’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). Zimbabwe ratified a new constitution in 2013 that is very progressive, and enumerates several previously un-enumerated women’s rights, such as equal participation in public life and in marriage. That being the case, some of the laws which currently exist in Zimbabwe have been rendered unconstitutional–and yet, the supremacy of the Constitution is not being recognized. The government, through the ratification process, has also taken on new affirmative obligations towards women–but many (if not most) are yet unmet. IHRC–working on behalf of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)–has been investigating ways to remedy these inconsistencies, either through legislative reforms, or through affirmative action program proposals, or through grass-roots awareness campaigns. On Monday, we met with Netsai Mushonga, to get her input on some of the solutions that we’ve been developing for ZWLA.

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Best of 1L times, worst of 1L times

Having been inspired by the process of “outlining” (although I’m still not sure what it is), I have written a blog post that should make up for the fact that I have been terrible about posting about law school. Here, I outline my typical day as a 1L and the “best case, worst case” scenarios. I don’t mean to imply that each day is either/or, or that they’re evenly divided. I hope I’ve had more “best case” days, but I probably couldn’t tell you. I think most are a combination of both, but I’ve definitely had one or the other.

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Amendment One results will be challenged in Federal Court

The AP reported yesterday that “opponents of Amendment 1 are asking a federal judge to void the vote that amended the Tennessee Constitution to make it easier for lawmakers to restrict abortions.” (For a refresher on Amendment One, see here.)

The complaint was filed yesterday afternoon in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville). The plaintiffs are eight residents of Middle Tennessee—professors at Vanderbilt, medical professionals, government workers, and a reverend among them—who voted “no” last Tuesday. The voter-plaintiffs allege that the method by which state officials chose to tabulate the votes on November 4 violated their constitutional rights to Due Process and to Equal Protection under the law, and they are asking the court to invalidate the results of the referendum on Amendment One.

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Parade of Horribles: The Real Risks of Amendment One

What is Amendment One?

In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist that the Tennessee Constitution offers more protection than even the United States Constitution to Tennesseans making personal reproductive decisions. As a result–while legislators in most states search for more and more ways to prevent access to safe abortion–Tennesseans have been notably free from some of the unnecessary restrictions that have popped up in the past few years and under which the rest of America is buckling. (It is telling that by 2010–even as the abortion rate for Tennesseans dropped–women from out-of-state sought roughly one of every four abortions performed in Tennessee.)

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Five years, in review

This is a personal blog, so I’m going to do something personal today and show every one of the existing pictures of me and the SO. Don’t worry–there are only like a dozen. The SO and I celebrated five years of not-breaking-up a few weeks ago, and so I flipped through Facebook, old emails, and my hard-drive to try and find those pictures and save them somewhere. I showcase them here, with commentary.

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