Judges for 2008-2009 Contest

January 09, 2009

Meet our judges:


Jane Aiken is a professor at Georgetown Law Center, and is well-known for her work in clinical legal education and evidence. She has been a part of the faculty at Washington University, supervising students in cases including domestic violence against women and children, clemency and parole, police brutality, municipal violations involving resisting arrest and habeas and Section 1983 complex litigation. She has taught evidence for 20 years and teaches it occasionally for the Federal Judicial Center. She is the co-chair of the ABA Women's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. In 2000 and 2001, Professor Aiken was a Carnegie Scholar in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research and writing include many articles about character evidence, domestic violence, and critical pedagogy.


Sara Ainsworth is Senior Legal & Legislative Counsel at the Northwest Women's Law Center, a regional non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women's legal rights. At the Law Center, she focuses on access to healthcare and reproductive justice for women made vulnerable by poverty. Her career has been spent working for social justice, from founding the Public Interest Law Association at the University of Washington School of Law to practicing poverty law for Northwest Justice Project and Snohomish County Legal Services. Later, as Public Service Counsel at Foster Pepper and Shefelman, she managed the firm's pro bono program and represented an entirely pro bono caseload for low-income clients. She continues her affiliation with the University of Washington School of Law, from which she graduated in 1996, as a part-time lecturer on poverty law. She is currently working on establishing legal challenges to "VBAC bans" based on women's civil and human rights.


Anita Allen is a leading expert on privacy law and contemporary applied ethics and the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is also recognized for scholarship in the areas of legal philosophy; women's rights; race-relations; and law and literature. Frequently quoted by major media, she has been an ethics commentator for MSNBC and appeared on the MSNBC program, "The Ethical Edge." She has provided news and information commentary on MSNBC, PBS, CBS and CNN. Allen is on the Boards of the Hastings Center, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Maternity Care Coalition and the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children.


Jessica Arons is the Director of the Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress and a member of the Center's Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative. Prior to joining the Center, Jessica worked at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, the labor and employment firm of James & Hoffman, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the White House. She currently serves on the boards of the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) and the Virginia ACLU. Jessica is an honors graduate of Brown University and William and Mary School of Law. She has been seen on MSNBC, Fox News, and ABC News and heard on Clear Channel radio. Her publications include More Than a Choice: A Progressive Vision for Reproductive Health & Rights and Future Choices: Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Law.


Claudia Booker is a birth doula, midwife birth assistant and child advocate in Washington DC. Her team, Birthing Hands of DC, provides birth services in the DC metro area. She established the first volunteer labor support program of the Family Health and Birth Center (FHBC), which offers pediatric, gynecological, and obstetric services to one of Washington's poorest neighborhoods. She worked on a team of local childbirth advocates to establish the District's first public charter school for pregnant teens and their children.

To continue her commitment to the children of the District, she serves on the District Government's Infant and Child Mortality Review Committees. She is the Washington DC State representative for the International Center for Traditional Childbearing and spends time each summer studying with Ina Mae Gaskin and the midwives at The Farm. Claudia is the proud mother of a daughter, in college, who intends to be a pre-school teacher. In her other life she is a practicing attorney and graduate of Northeastern University Law School.


Nancy Ehrenreich is a law professor at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, where she teaches Criminal Law, Torts, Jurisprudence, and a seminar on Race, Class and Reproductive Rights. Her scholarship, which incorporates feminist and critical race theory perspectives, includes pieces on sexual harassment, court-ordered Cesarean sections, intersex surgery, abortion, and surrogate motherhood. Her edited volume, The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Social Construction of Motherhood, was recently published by NYU Press. She has also served for many years on the board of directors of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and is currently the co-chair of Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory, Inc. (LatCrit).


Laura E. Gómez is Professor of Law and American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and she is also Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the School of Law. Professor Gómez teaches in the areas of constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal law, law and society, and race and the law. Her scholarship has focused on the intersection of law, politics and social stratification in both contemporary and historical contexts. In Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure (1997), she documented the career of the "crack baby"/"crack mother" social problem in the media and public policy, situating it at the nexus of the abortion debate, the drug war, and competing discourses of criminalization and medicalization as they played out in the late 1980s. Professor Gómez was born in Roswell, and she and her son live in the North Valley of Albuquerque, NM.


Lisa Ikemoto is a professor at UC Davis. Her scholarship and teaching focus on bioethics, health care law, and public health law. She has written extensively on genetic and reproductive technology use, the regulation of fertility and pregnancy, and race and gender disparities in health care. Her interest in bioethics and the ways that race and gender mediate access to and the impacts of technology use date back to her days as a UC Davis law student. Her current work examines emerging issues in regenerative medicine, including stem cell research, and the human tissues market. She also continues to research issues in reproductive justice, health care disparities, and the role of racism in the use of public health powers.


Susan Jenkins is currently is a partner in The Sanchez Law Firm, which has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Her practice has a particular emphasis on legal issues affecting midwives and birth centers, including such issues as insurance law, professional regulation, licensure, certification, and accreditation, clinical privileges, practice-related contract and business issues, and birth center operation. Ms. Jenkins also serves as a consultant to other attorneys and law firms on health care, legislative, and regulatory issues throughout the United States.


Sylvia Law has been one of the nation's leading scholars in the fields of health law, women's rights, poverty, and constitutional law for three decades. She has played a major role in dozens of civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in lower state and federal courts, and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on a range of issues. In 1984, Law became the first lawyer in the United States selected as a MacArthur Prize Fellow. She is the co-director, with Norman Dorsen, of the Arthur Garfield Hays Program at New York University School of Law. She has been active in the Society of American Law Teachers, served as president of the organization from 1988-1990 and was honored by the organization as Law Teacher of the Year in 2001. In 2004, Prof. Law was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Michelle Oberman is a graduate of the University of Michigan Schools of Law and Public Health. She is Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she specializes in the area of health policy and the law, with particular emphasis on the intersection of women's health, poverty, criminal law and public health issues.

As a legal scholar with a background in public health, Professor Oberman's research focuses on legal and ethical issues relating to adolescence, sexuality, pregnancy and motherhood. In recent years, she has written about statutory rape, postpartum mental health issues and the law, filicide, substance abuse by pregnant women, and the fiduciary obligations of health care providers to their patients. Her current research employs ethnographic methodology in search of a deeper cross-cultural understanding of issues involving women's health and the law.


Stacey Tovino is an Associate Professor of Law at Drake University Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas of health law, bioethics, and medical humanities. She is working with other Drake faculty members to develop a Health Law and Policy Center within Drake Law School.


Marsden Wagner is a physician with extensive training in pediatrics and perinatology, as well as post-graduate study with an advanced scientific degree in perinatal science. Following several years of full time clinical practice and some years as a full time faculty member at UCLA, he was a Director of Maternal and Child Health for the California State Health Department. After six years as Director of the University of Copenhagen-UCLA Health Research Center, he was for 15 years Director of Women's and Children's Health for the World Health Organization. He is now an independent consultant.

With extensive experience in maternity care in industrialized countries, including midwifery and the appropriate use of technology during pregnancy and birth, he has consulted and lectured in over 50 countries and given testimony before the US Congress, British Parliament, French National Assembly, Italian Parliament, Russian Parliament and others. His publications, in 11 different languages, include 131 scientific papers, 20 book chapters and 14 books.