About This Blog

The goal: Constitutional law for everyone!

Focusing mostly on free speech, equal protection, and sometimes the Fourth Amendment, this blog and its author endeavor to present constitutional law and civil rights in a way that’s accessible to all audiences, with an emphasis on respect and dialogue. Some posts focus on a particular law or legal concept. Some posts focus on cases or issues currently in the news. Some posts will highlight cases or issues that I don’t think are getting enough coverage in the media.

I write with the goal not just of informing readers, but of learning more myself. In researching to write my posts, I endeavor to uncover and present as many sides of an issue as I can. I aim to present facts and law objectively, and when I do include my opinion, I’ll make a point to label it as such. Generally, I pick issues where I haven’t completely made up my mind.

Discussion, dialogue, and decorous disagreement welcome!

If you have a question, please ask me! If you’d like me to cover a specific topic or news story, let me know! If you disagree with my opinion, by all means, get in touch!

I encourage readers to leave comments. I’d love for this blog to encourage a community of civil conversation. My tendency toward free speech absolutism is limited, here, by my desire to make this blog a place where readers feel comfortable commenting. Therefore, I ask that commenters refrain from attacking other individuals. I reserve the right to remove disrespectful, rude, or insulting comments directed at other people, especially readers of Tiers of Scrutiny. Discuss and disagree, but do so with decorum.

Cat editing files

Co-blogger Kokusho helps draft a new post from her messy desk. © Sarah E. Kelsey

Why start this blog?

It was 2011, and although I worked at a law office, I didn’t think I would go to law school. The only John Roberts I knew about was a comedian (like whom, incidentally, I sound on the phone).
In between tinkering with database software and skip tracing, I read a lot of blogs. On my breaks, I found myself reading more and more about laws and cases. My friends were interested in the same laws and cases and, like me, would question why things happened that they thought weren’t fair. Eventually, I started to learn about constitutional law, and I found myself answering those questions for my friends.
More and more, I found myself getting frustrated with my favorite websites. Reading feminist blogs, I thought, why is coverage of discrimination completely devoid of an explanation of the Equal Protection clause? Why not respect the readers’ intelligence and tell them what “intermediate scrutiny” is?

Why the title?

It was 2014, I was sitting in Constitutional Law I at Emory Law School, and I was in the midst of an epiphany. Intermediate scrutiny—the standard the government must satisfy if its action discriminates based on gender. Intermediate Scrutiny—the perfect name for a blog that covers the same issues as my favorite feminist law blogs, but focuses on the legal side! I could write such a blog, introducing the law and legal jargon, then breaking it down into more accessible terms. It took awhile for the idea to result in any action.

Tiers of Scrutiny, an Intermediate Scrutiny side project

It was 2015; joined by two other women, Intermediate Scrutiny went online. We wanted to write about more than gender issues, but kept the title. Because we were ladies, writing about the law—therefore, Intermediate Scrutiny, the tier of scrutiny often invoked when government action discriminates against ladies. Alternatively, we scrutinized the law and then, as intermediaries, interpret it for our readers.
Now, in 2016, two of the original Intermediate Scrutiny writers (the other of whom blogs here) are taking a blogging class at Emory Law School. Because this blog is for class and separate from the non-class blog, I gave it a different, but related name—Tiers of Scrutiny.
I’ve called this a “side project,” like when a musician leaves her main band to do something temporary, as a little joke, but this may in fact become a long-term solo project. This blog will go on hiatus from about April 4, 2016 through April 29, 2016 for law school finals, but I will read and reply to comments and e-mails and resume posting shortly after the hiatus.

Contact and Social Media

Email me and follow Tiers of Scrutiny on Twitter at @ScrutinyBlog.


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About This Blog
Constitutional law (mostly civil rights) for everyone! The author of this blog attempts to make legal issues, cases, and news stories with a consititutional connection accessible for any audience. The goal is to provide information, analysis, and an opportunity for conversation. Please feel free to ask questions or respond in the comments or via e-mail. Dialogue, disagreement, and most of all decorum are highly encouraged.
Follow Tiers of Scrutiny on Twitter
Information on this blog is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Reading or interacting with this blog does not form an attorney-client relationship with the author. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.
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