Shutt part of 14th Amendment panel at coming symposium

Columbia, South Carolina – Burnette Shutt & McDaniel co-founder Nekki Shutt is among the panelists at symposium this month on the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Reconstruction’s Legacy: The History and Contemporary Significance of the Fourteenth Amendment” is two-day event capping a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Reconstruction era. The University of South Carolina and Historic Columbia organized the series.  The events will be at the South Carolina State Museum.

The program begins April 19 with a keynote speech from Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy. A prominent legal scholar and a native of Columbia, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His research focuses on racial conflict and legal institutions in America.

The next day includes panels discussing both the historic and contemporary significance of the Fourteenth Amendment. Shutt will join two other attorneys on the latter panel. A specialist in South Carolina employment law, Shutt was co-counsel in a landmark 14th Amendment case in South Carolina.

The Friday luncheon will reflect on legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, a leader in African American’s struggles to equal rights. This year also marks wht 150th anniversary of his birth.

The Fourteenth Amendment and equal protection

The Fourteenth Amendment was among the three Reconstruction Amendments ratified after the Civil War. Its aim was to grant former slaves citizenship. Its guarantee of equal protection under the law, though, made the amendment one of the most litigated points in the Constitution.

Rulings in Fourteenth Amendment cases have desegregated schools and made it clear that abortion is legal. The landmark marriage-equality, Obergefell v Hodges, also fell under the Fourteenth Amendment.

That’s where Shutt comes in. She, along with firm co-founder M. Malissa Burnette, were lead attorneys in Condon v Haley. That federal lawsuit paved the way for marriage equality in South Carolina.

Kennedy’s keynote speech is free and open to the public. Registration for Friday events, which include the panel discussions, luncheon and a walking tour of Historic Columbia, remains open at a cost of $40 per person.