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2023 Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section Program

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        The Dobbs Decision and Its Ramifications

Meghan Boone, Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem
Christopher A. Brook, Patterson Harkavy LLP, Chapel Hill (Moderator)
James R. Lawrence III, Envisage Law, Raleigh

This panel discusses the holding and ramifications of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, 597 U.S. ___ (2022), which upended nearly 50 years of precedent established by Roe v. Wade. The session delves into the majority opinion, as well as the concurrences and dissents of various justices, turning to the current and potential implications for federal constitutional privacy and due process rights in the future.

10:00      Break

10:10      Dobbs in the States: Surveying the New Landscape of Access to Abortion

Marcus Gadson, Campbell Law School, Raleigh
Kristi L. Graunke, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Raleigh (Moderator)
Jaclyn A. "Jaci" Maffetore, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Raleigh

In Dobbs, the Supreme Court stated its intent to "return" the issue of access to abortion care to "the people and their elected representatives." This panel examines how the devolution of authority to regulate abortion has played out in various states, with particular attention to recent legislative and litigation developments in North Carolina. Topics include trigger laws reinstating old abortion bans; new state legislation to ban, restrict or secure abortion rights; post-Dobbs state supreme court decisions addressing state constitutional rights to abortion care; and state ballot initiatives.

11:10      Break

11:20      Medication Abortion After Dobbs

Susanna S. Birdsong, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Raleigh
Carrie Flaxman, Democracy Forward, Washington, DC
Muneeba Talukder, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Raleigh (Moderator)

While Dobbs purported to leave decisions about access to the states, a new frontier of litigation has emerged around the Food and Drug Administration's authority to facilitate and expand access to mifepristone, one of the drugs most commonly used for abortion in the United States. Our expert panel gives an overview of the major lawsuits surrounding access to and use of mifepristone, with special attention to paths the Supreme Court may take to resolve these disputes in the near future.

12:20      Adjourn

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for 2023 Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section Program.


This program provides an overview of the major doctrinal changes effectuated by Dobbs and brings attendees up to date on major post-Dobbs developments in state and federal law affecting abortion access — with particular attention to recent abortion-related legislation and litigation in North Carolina.


  • Susanna S. Birdsong

    Susanna S. Birdsong is General Counsel and Vice President of Compliance at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic in Raleigh. She has been working in various capacities for over ten years to expand access to reproductive healthcare and defend against attacks on bodily autonomy.

    PPSAT operates health centers in four states: South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and those health centers provide a full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Prior to joining PPSAT in 2020, she was the Senior Policy Counsel at the ACLU of North Carolina.

    Susanna previously held positions at the ACLU of North Carolina and the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness. She was also a Georgetown Women's Law & Public Policy Fellow/ABA Tax Section Public Service Fellow at the National Women's Law Center in Washington D.C.

    Susanna earned her B.A. in English Literature and American History and M.S.W. in Community and Policy Practice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D., cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Susanna.

  • Meghan Boone

    Meghan Boone is Associate Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem. She teaches and researches on topics related to the state regulation of the physical body, often focusing on the rights of pregnant, birthing, and parenting individuals. Because of her deep and expansive research focus, she is considered an expert on matters related to lactation law, reproductive rights, family law, and gender equality in the workplace, among other timely topics.

    In 2020, Meghan was named the winner of the American Association of Law School (AALS) Scholarly Papers Competition for her George Washington University Law Review article, "Reproductive Due Process."

    Meghan comes to Wake Forest School of Law after serving as an assistant professor at the University of Alabama School of Law. From 2016-2018, she was a visiting professor of law at Wake Forest Law, where she taught civil procedure and other subjects. She is also a former Clinical Teaching Fellow for the Institute for Representation at Georgetown University Law Center.

    Meghan earned her B.A. from Trinity College, J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and her LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Click here for more information about Meghan.

  • Christopher A. Brook

    Christopher A. Brook is a partner at Patterson Harkavy LLP in Chapel Hill. His work with the firm focuses on the areas of appellate advocacy, civil rights, and employment law.

    Chris has recently ended a term on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Governor Roy Cooper appointed him to that position in 2019, and he served through the end of 2020. Before that, he served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina from 2012 through 2019. Earlier in his legal career, he practiced in the Raleigh office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog. He then worked as a staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham. From 2007 to 2011, he served as an adjunct professor at Carolina Law. He has taught a section of Constitutional Law at North Carolina Central School of Law since 2022.

    Chris has received numerous recognitions for his contributions to the legal profession in the state. He was inducted into the James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society upon his graduation from Carolina Law and was subsequently honored as the school's Outstanding Recent Graduate. In 2016, the North Carolina Association of Women attorneys awarded him the Gwyneth B. David Public Service Award. He was recognized with the North Carolina Justice Center's Defender of Justice Litigation Award in 2017.

    Chris earned his B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law. In law school, he was managing editor of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and director of the Pro Bono Program.

    Click here for more information about Christopher.

  • Carrie Flaxman

    Carrie Flaxman is Senior Legal Advisor at Democracy Forward in Washington, DC. She supports the organization in crafting legal strategies to advance the rights of all people and to stop attempts by state and local governmental actors to undermine our democratic values.

    Prior to joining Democracy Forward, Carrie was the Senior Director, Public Policy Litigation & Law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). She spent nearly two decades there as a litigator and legal advisor.

    Carrie began her legal career as a clerk for Judge Edward R. Becker of the US Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit, held positions at two national law firms where she handled complex litigation matters, and then joined PPFA. She later served as a consulting attorney for reproductive rights organizations before rejoining PPFA's national office.

    Carrie earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Princeton University and J.D. from Yale Law School.

    Click here for more information about Carrie.

  • Marcus Gadson

    Marcus Gadson is Assistant Professor at Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University in Raleigh. He joined Campbell' s faculty on July 1, 2019. As a scholar, he focuses on state constitutions and civil procedure. His scholarship has appeared, or is forthcoming, in top-ranked journals such as the Michigan Law Review, U.C.L.A. Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal.

    In addition, Marcus has repeatedly been recognized for his teaching. His students have voted him 1L Professor of the Year three times, and he received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2021–22 school year. He offers courses in Civil Procedure, State Constitutional Law, and Race, Justice and the Law.

    Marcus earned his B.A., with high honors, from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He then clerked for Judge Bernice Donald of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and practiced law at Steptoe and Johnson in Washington D.C.

    Click here for more information about Marcus.

  • Scott W. Gaylord

    Scott W. Gaylord is a Professor of Law at the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro. He joined the Elon Law faculty in 2007 and was granted tenure in 2012. Since 2014, he has been a Professor of Law, serving as the Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar from 2013-15.

    Prior to joining the legal academy, Scott practiced with the Charlotte firm of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, working on complex civil and commercial litigation in both state and federal courts. Before that, he served as a law clerk to Judge Edith Jones on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Scott's scholarship and teaching focus on constitutional law, with a particular emphasis on equal protection, due process, speech, and religion issues. His most recent article, "Individual Rights, Federalism, and the National Battle over Bathroom Access," is forthcoming in the North Carolina Law Review and explores the important due process, equal protection, and federalism questions raised by the Department of Justice's new interpretation of Title IX. His articles on corporate free exercise and First Amendment speech have led to numerous amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court and federal circuit courts across the country. In addition to a modular case book on constitutional law for Carolina Academic Press, he currently is working on the third edition of North Carolina Torts, with an emphasis on constitutional torts.

    Scott is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and First Amendment topics at law schools across the country and has regularly provided commentary on ongoing constitutional issues to national media outlets, including the New York Times, USA Today, The Diane Rehm Show, NPR, The National Constitution Center, and Bloomberg Law. His courses include Constitutional Law, First Amendment Speech, First Amendment Religion, and Federal Courts.

    Scott earned his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Colgate University, and master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Notre Dame Law School, where he was a member of the law review and received the Dean Joseph O'Meara Award as salutatorian.

    Click here for more information about Scott.

  • Kristi L. Graunke

    Kristi L. Graunke is the Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) in Raleigh, where she leads litigation and other legal advocacy to advance and defend the rights of North Carolinians under the federal and state constitutions. Under Kristi's leadership, ACLU-NC has litigated multiple matters in federal and state courts to protect the constitutional rights of North Carolinians to freely protest, speak, and associate.

    Before joining ACLU-NC in 2020, Kristi worked as an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). There, Kristi focused primarily on enforcing the civil rights of low-income immigrant workers in the southeastern United States; she also worked on litigation to defend the civil rights of LGBTQI individuals and incarcerated children and adults. In 2015, she received Public Justice's Trial Lawyer of the Year Award as part of a team that tried a human trafficking case to a $14 million verdict for the plaintiffs.

    Prior to working with SPLC, Kristi was an Equal Justice Works law fellow with the Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services.

    Kristi earned her B.A. from Cornell University and J.D. from Yale Law School. Following graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Click here for more information about Kristi.

  • James R. Lawrence III

    James R. Lawrence III is a partner at Envisage Law in Raleigh. He helps clients solve a variety of business, legal, and regulatory problems. His experience spans the lifecycle of businesses and nonprofits, from the courtroom to the board room. As a former general counsel, his practice involves litigation, intellectual property, complex commercial transactions, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment.

    James litigates patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, and complex commercial disputes. His litigation work includes serving as lead counsel in trials and appeals, pre-suit investigation, discovery, corporate investigations, and dispositive motions. He also has experience working on a variety of transactions, including mergers, asset sales, in-licenses, out-licenses, joint ventures, and collaboration agreements.

    James draws on significant experience in both the health care and life sciences industries to lead Envisage Law's Health Care and Life Sciences practice. A biomedical engineer, he understands medical technology from a product developer's perspective, and the technical, commercial, and regulatory considerations that inform product development. Before going to law school, he worked as a management consultant to health insurers, health care providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and medical device companies. He served as in-house general counsel of an established life sciences company, advising on legal issues related to developing, manufacturing, distributing, marketing, and selling prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics.

    James served as a Deputy General Counsel at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and as Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration under President Donald J. Trump. While serving at HHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked with senior Department leaders on a variety of matters confronting the American people, including regulatory reform and drug pricing. This government service experience gives him a unique perspective on the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

    James earned his B.S., magna cum laude, in Biomedical Engineeringfrom from North Carolina State University and J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. While in law school, he served as an Articles Editor on the North Carolina Law Review and as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Paul M. Newby on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

    Click here for more information about James.

  • Jaclyn A. "Jaci" Maffetore

    Jaclyn A. "Jaci" Maffetore is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation in Raleigh.

    Prior to joining ACLU of North Carolina, Jaci was a staff attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

    Jaci earned her B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University and J.D. from Elon University.

    Click here for more information about Jaci.

  • Muneeba Talukder

    Muneeba Talukder is a Staff Attorney at ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation in Raleigh.

    Prior to joining ACLU-NC, Muneeba was an Immigrants' Rights Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, where she worked on litigation and advocacy related to immigrants' rights. Before that, she was an Impact Litigation Fellow at Public Counsel, working on civil rights and economic justice litigation.

    Muneeba earned her B.A., from CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy with a specialization in Critical Race Studies and served as an editor of the UCLA Law Review..

    Click here for more information about Muneeba.

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December 7, 2023
Thu 8:55 AM EST

Duration 3H 25M

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