Race in the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, with Khiara M. Bridges

Event Date: 

Friday, January 19, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Henley Hall Lecture Hall

Event Price: 


  • Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy

In this lecture, Khiara M. Bridges argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s impoverished conceptualization of what “counts” as racism against people of color is a strategy that the Court deploys to accomplish regressive ends. This constrained understanding of racism permits the Court to do nothing to destabilize and disestablish the country’s existing racial hierarchy. When confronted with a claim of racial discrimination, the Court appears to be simply determining whether the alleged discrimination resembles what the country did in the pre-Civil Rights Era. If the Court sees a resemblance between the present-day harm and the racism of yesteryear, the Court provides relief. If it sees no resemblance, it provides no relief. This lecture will use the Court's recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, reversing Roe v. Wade, to make the argument.

Khiara M. Bridges is a professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law whose scholarship focuses on race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. She is the author of three books, the most recent of which is titled Critical Race Theory: A Primer. She graduated as valedictorian from Spelman College, receiving her degree in three years. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her Ph.D., with distinction, from Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Black Studies, Department of Feminist Studies, UCSB Feminist Futures Initiative, UCSB Health Humanities Initiative, UCSB Legal Humanities Initiative, and Santa Barbara Women's Health Coalition.