March 2013

March 1-8

Minnesota Lawyer – March 1
Ronald J. Mann, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York, argued on behalf of Genesis that the 3rd Circuit’s ruling “deprives the defendant of the ability to free itself from litigation even when it is willing to pay complete relief to the sole plaintiff.”
PRWeb – March 3
The second show featured Dr. Fields, Dr. Moreno, Muñoz and Theodore Shaw, currently a professor at Columbia Law and formerly the head of the NAACP. The foursome discussed the complexity of categorization in terms of the American legal system. The featured musician for the show was the Jimi Hendrix Experience with Castles Made of Sand and Little Wing.
Bitch Media – March 4
Patricia J. Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, published these words twenty-five years ago in her renowned essay on slavery, race, gender, and rights called "On Being the Object of Property": There are moments in my life when I feel as though a part of me is missing. There are days when I feel so invisible that I can't remember what day of the week it is, when I feel so manipulated that I can't remember my own name, when I feel so lost and angry that I can't speak a civil word to the people who love me best. Those are the times when I catch sight of my reflection in stores windows and am surprised to see a whole person looking back. In a symposium last week at Columbia Law School that celebrated her continued work in law, critical race theory, and intersectional feminism, she recalled the climate in which she wrote this reflection on the dispossession of black people in general and black women in particular.
The New York Law Journal – March 4
A pair of clinics at Columbia Law School and New York University School of Law won asylum for their respective clients in two recent immigration proceedings. A team of students working in Columbia Law's Sexuality and Gender Clinic secured a grant of asylum from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 31 for a gay man who left his home country of Honduras three years ago after persecution based on his sexual orientation.
Biofuels Journal – March 4
Michael B. Gerrard, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law, praised Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee, to head the EPA.
“Gina McCarthy has been leading EPA's efforts to use its existing powers under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases as well as conventional air pollutants,” Gerrard said.
The Epoch Times – March 5
While there are certainly complex security concerns in the West Bank that need to be addressed. Katherine Franke, Professor of Law at Columbia University questions the security concern. “If it is a security issue there are many ways to address this problem.  One is to segregate the buses, but another would be increase the number of security personnel on the buses,” Franke said.
Lawfare – March 6
By Matthew Waxman
In its latest transparency report published this week, Google began sharing very general data about the number of National Security Letters (NSLs) it receives from the FBI or other government agencies seeking non-content transactional data in relation to national security investigations.  Usually the government prohibits companies from discussing or disclosing information about NSLs, but apparently Google and the government reached an agreement permitting Google to publish this summary data:
Fox Business – March 7
Columbia Law School professor John Coffee on his predictions regarding the Fed’s stress test and bank volatility.
Bloomberg News – March 7
“You don’t want to surprise the analyst community, which is sitting there hungry for details,” said John Coffee, a securities-law professor at Columbia University Law School. “Analysts have a way of finding these things out even if the company doesn’t make a formal disclosure, and if it leaks, the company is supposed to immediately disclose the true results.
Lawfare – March 7
 By Matthew Waxman
The issues raised in this story — the evolving nature of terrorism threats and the risks of various legal options for confronting those threats — are the basis of a recent Hoover Institution paper by Bobby, Jack, Ben, and me: A Statutory Framework for Next-Generation Terrorist Threats.  Drawing on lessons from the past decade, we explain why the AUMF is increasingly obsolete and why the nation will probably need a new legal foundation for next-generation terrorist threats.  We outline options for this new legal foundation and offer a recommendation for a new statutory framework.
CCTV – March 7
Microsoft says it was a mistake and changed things as soon as it realized it. In a statement it said: "We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it." Anti-trust law expert Scott Hemphill says an apology isn’t enough.
The New York Times Dealbook – March 7
“I think casual relationships across the table actually reduces the cost of enforcement and compliance,” said Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at Columbia Law School. “The fact that you had drinks with someone in Las Vegas won’t lead you to give away the store in negotiations, but you’ll be more likely to rethink what might otherwise be a dumb subpoena.”
The New York Times Dealbook – March 8
You can see why smart observers like the Columbia law professor John Coffee have characterized the revolving door as “such a dominant fact about the S.E.C.’s culture.”
The New York Times Dealbook – March 8
By Ira M. Milstein
With the recent increase in activism, some on Wall Street are blaming shareholders for the short-term mentality of corporate boards. But many of these activists represent a small subset of investors in publicly held companies. As a result, corporate boards around the country should re-examine their priorities and figure out to whom they owe their fiduciary duties.
Forbes – March 8
Swartz was a “deviant genius” who was misunderstood, Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School and author of a recent New Yorker story about Swartz. ”I feel we can judge a society by how it treats people who are different, eccentric and deviant geniuses,” said Wu. “By that measure we have utterly failed.”
The Huffington Post – March 8
Judges must also be able to afford a remedy to victims. Mistakes happen and, as a recent report by Columbia Law School and the Center for Civilians in Conflict suggests, they happen more than the U.S. government wants to acknowledge.
Back to top

March 9-14

Salon – March 9
The panel included Taren Stinebricker-Kauffman, Swartz’s partner for the last year and a half of his life, a period in which Swartz faced prosecution on charges that he had illegally downloaded as many as four million documents from the online academic archive JSTOR, Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, Timothy Wu, a Columbia law professor, Jennifer Lynch from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others who had worked with Swartz and shared his values….Timothy Wu pointed out that previous socially progressive victories — civil rights, gay marriage — had seemed impossible for long periods, “until suddenly the old system collapsed.”
Lawfare – March 10
By Matthew Waxman
Controversy surrounding the DoJ White Paper on targeting Americans abroad has generated interest and debate about the meaning of “imminence” in the terrorism context, for purposes of self-defense and other legal doctrines.  Similar debates have abounded in the context of WMD threats, especially after the Bush Administration’s 2002 National Security Strategy document declared: “We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries.”
Lawfare – March 10
By Matthew Waxman
The New York Times reports today that “U.S. Again Delays Transfer of Bagram Prison to Afghan Forces.”  (Bobby discussed some of these issues, including the “Daqduq problem” issues, a couple of days ago).  The article quotes U.S. and Afghan leaders describing as “remaining technical details” and “last-minute hiccups” some obstacles to transferring control of U.S. detention operations in Afghanistan to the government there.
The New Yorker – March 11
…Jane [Ginsburg] is a professor of law at Columbia…Jamal Greene, of Columbia Law School, said, “She has a sense of herself as a member of a court, a member of a body that has a particular governmental function, not of herself as a person like Scalia and Thomas, who see themselves as free agents in each case.”
(available online now with subscription)
Thomson Reuters – March 11
"No one believes that every jurisdiction covered is worse than every jurisdiction not covered," said Nate Persily, a Columbia University law professor who focuses on election law. "The question is whether Congress made a reasonable attempt to get at the racial discrimination in voting."
NPR – March 11
Drones are also a useful substitute for putting American troops in harm's way, says Matthew Waxman, a Columbia Law professor who served in the Bush administration. "The Obama administration has learned once you get into office and are dealing with national security crises around the world, you want to assert the kinds of powers you see as necessary to deal with them," Waxman says.
The New York Times – March 12
“It raises issues about the power of the mayor to take action without the City Council,” said Richard Briffault, a specialist in state and local government law at Columbia Law School. “It goes to the allocation of power within the city government.”
New York Daily News - March 12
Restaurants still might need those smaller glasses and cups. Legal experts said the ban stands a chance of being reinstated on appeal.
“I think (the judge) was straining very much to make it a grand opinion, to make it have an impact,” Columbia Law professor Richard Briffault said. But he said the judge took a narrow view of the Board of Health’s powers. “The city has a decent chance on appeal. It’s always hard to tell.”
Lawfare – March 12
By Matthew Waxman
In general I favor debate and public transparency on national security matters, and strong public backing is sometimes an important element to long-term strategy, but I have no idea what specifically the editorial page has in mind here in terms of how best to develop such a strategy (which of course it should do) and to integrate offensive cyber capabilities (which of course it should do).  I did, though, look up the DSB report to which they attribute this idea of robust public debate on offensive cyber strategy, and I don’t read its recommendations the same way at all.
The Huffington Post – March 12
This case will likely be the same, according to Erez Aloni, fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights at Columbia Law School. “Qualitest will argue that the happiness of rearing a healthy child outweighs any damage that might have been caused" to Russell, he told The Huffington Post via email. The problem with the “child as blessing” argument isn’t whether a child is a “blessing” or not -- “of course it is,” Aloni said. But by ignoring the financial burdens of raising a child, the courts are limiting a woman’s right to self-determination and autonomy in choosing when and how she gives birth, he said.
The New York Daily News – March 12
“I think (the judge) was straining very much to make it a grand opinion, to make it have an impact,” Columbia Law professor Richard Briffault said. But he said the judge took a narrow view of the Board of Health’s powers.
On Wall Street – March 13
While some move into legal or professorial positions, it is not uncommon for some of the top regulatory talent to offer their services to the corporate sector after their terms are up. According to former SEC Commissioner Harvey J. Goldschmid, who served under George W. Bush and is now a professor of law at Columbia University, the knowledge gained in the oversight role can be a boon for the company.
SCOTUSblog – March 14
By Ronald Mann
On Tuesday, the Court will consider a pair of cases about the legal regimes for dealing with the unavoidable injuries associated with the use of pharmaceuticals.  I previously have written about Mutual Pharmaceutical v. Bartlett, which considers the propriety of state-court tort relief for consumers injured by known side effects of generic pharmaceuticals.  Before that, however, the Court will consider a dispute under the Vaccine Act, which establishes a compensation scheme for individuals injured by vaccines:  that case is Sebelius v. Cloer.
Secrecy News – March 14
Leaks of classified information and the government’s responses to them are the subject of a new study by David Pozen of Columbia Law School. The starting point for his examination is the “dramatic disconnect between the way our laws and our leaders condemn leaking in the abstract and the way they condone it in practice.”  How can this disconnect be understood? Leaks benefit the government, the author argues, in many ways. They are a safety valve, a covert messaging system, a perception management tool, and more.  Even when a particular disclosure is unwelcome or damaging, it serves to validate the system as a whole.
Ark Valley News – March 14
Greenberg gave students a history lesson and discussed the role his father, Jack Greenberg played in advancing the cause for Civil Rights. Jack Greenbergbecame the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, provided legal counsel for Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in the South and fought for King's right to lead a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. in 1965. With Jack Greenberg's legal counsel, King was granted approval from a federal court judge to organize the 60-mile march that started with 500 followers and grew into the thousands by the time it reached the Alabama capital.
Brookings - March 14
By William Partlett
After his recent death, Hugo Chavez’s legacy is being widely debated. Those on the right see his death as a chance for Venezuelans to emerge from repressive dictatorship – for instance, Republican Senator Marco Rubio has argued that Chavez’s death is an opportunity to “turn the page on one of the darkest periods in its history and embark on a new, albeit difficult, path to restore the rule of law, democratic principles, security and free enterprise system in a nation that deserves so much better than the socialist disaster of the past 14 years.” Those on the left mourn his death. Sean Penn lamented that the “people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion."
Less well known, however, is Chavez’s constitutional legacy. Chavez leaves the Venezuelan constitution with a textual basis for populist constitution-making that has been a favored argument of charismatic dictators since the French Revolution.
[William Partlett is an associate-in-law at the Law School.]
Back to top

March 15-31

Bloomberg – March 15
Since CEQ first announced its proposal, more than three dozen federal approvals were challenged on climate grounds, including a highway project in North Carolina, a methane-venting plan for a coal mine in Colorado, and a research facility in California, according to a chart compiled by the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
Lawfare – March 15
By Matthew Waxman
In a recent essay, Rosa Brooks warns against some recent stirrings for a new or expanded Authorization for the Use of Military Force to deal with post-al Qaida threats.  Brooks cites in that category the recent Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law policy paper, A Statutory Framework for Next Generation Terrorist Threats, authored by Bobby, Jack, Ben, and me.
Main Justice – March 15
As part of efforts to repair the company’s tattered image, the British banking giant HSBC Holdings plc this month added former Deputy Attorney General James. B Comey to help oversee efforts to combat financial crime.
[James B. Comey is a Hertog Fellow in National Security Law and senior research scholar at the Law School.]
Global Arbitration Review – March 18
NEW YORK: Remedies and enforcement
Organised by a student-led group, Columbia Law School’s Arbitration Day considered alternative remedies to damages, the enforcement of awards set aside in the country of origin and waivers of the right to set aside an award, as well as best practice in enforcement proceedings.
The New Yorker – March 18
By Tim Wu
On the opening day of this year’s South by Southwest festival, in Austin, an audience gathered in a giant conference hall to remember the life and tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, spoke of Swartz’s curious and restless mind . . . . The proceedings were yet another reminder that Swartz’s suicide was heartbreaking beyond belief, and that something must be done about the law that he was aggressively prosecuted under, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Numerous  publications cited Wu’s article.
Lawfare – March 18
By Matthew Waxman
Our colleague Ashley Deeks has just published “The Geography of Cyber Conflict: Through a Glass Darkly,” as part of the Naval War College’s volume of International Law Studies on the geography of war. The U.S. government has said it deems jus ad bellum and jus in bello rules as applicable in cyber, and Harold Koh’s 2012 speech at U.S. Cybercommand started to unpack how it might apply those rules to cyber situations.  That remains the most detailed U.S. government articulation on this issue, but it still just scratches the surface of some very difficult questions.
The New York Times – March 18
Even if counting only adult citizens is the correct approach, there are practical obstacles. “A constitutional rule requiring equal numbers of citizens would necessitate a different kind of census than the one currently conducted,” Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Columbia, wrote in 2011 in the Cardozo Law Review.
SCOTUSblog – March 19
By Ronald Mann
The Court at last seems to have reached a consensus on a seemingly intractable problem of copyright law: whether a U.S. copyright holder can prevent the importation of “gray-market” products manufactured for overseas markets.  When the Court tried to address this question two Terms ago – in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, S.A. – the Court was equally divided (with Justice Kagan recused).  However, in today’s opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Justice Breyer, writing for a strong majority of six, emphatically rejected the publisher’s control over the importation of such products.
SCOTUSblog – March 19
By Ronald Mann
Counsel got an earful of the Justices’ own views yesterday when the Court heard oral arguments in its only bankruptcy case of the Term, Bullock v. BankChampaign, N.A. The dispute involves an exception to the bankruptcy discharge for debts incurred through “defalcation.” The general rule is that an individual who obtains bankruptcy relief is discharged from any future obligation with respect to all preexisting debts.  The discharge is subject, however, to exceptions for a variety of debts that involve specified forms of misconduct.  The question in this case is whether the claim against petitioner falls within one of those exceptions; if it does, the claim would survive petitioner’s bankruptcy.
Time – March 19
“The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is the most outrageous criminal law you’ve never heard of,” Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu wrote in the New Yorker this week. “It bans ‘unauthorized access’ of computers, but no one really knows what those words mean … Over the years, the punishments for breaking the law have grown increasingly severe — it can now put people in prison for decades for actions that cause no real economic or physical harm. It is, in short, a nightmare for a country that calls itself free.”
The Guardian – March 20
Is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act the "worst law in technology", as Columbia Law School's Tim Wu calls the statute? I think there are worse laws for the technology industry and its customers, but the CFAA is more than bad enough – a vague, outdated and Draconian law, abused by the government in several high-profile cases – to have spurred calls for repeal.
Thomas Reuters – March 20
Especially in cases involving complex financial instruments and supposedly systemic wrongdoing, plaintiffs' lawyers have taken the lead, which is why commentators like John Coffee of Columbia Law School have proposed that the Securities and Exchange Commission should follow the example of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and bring in lawyers from the private bar to prosecute fraud cases. (Coffee suggests that the SEC retain lawyers on contingency; the FHFA has said it is paying Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman by the hour to litigate its securities claims against issuers of mortgage-backed securities.)
Foreign Policy – March 20
By Matthew Waxman
According to Daniel Klaidman at the Daily Beast, "[T]he White House is poised to sign off on a plan to shift the CIA's lethal targeting program to the Defense Department." Many critics of the government's targeted-killing policy have been calling for such a move, hoping that it would (in Klaidman's words) "toughen the criteria for drone strikes, strengthen the program's accountability, and increase transparency." That may be. But if what those critics really want is to end the practice of killing suspected al Qaeda fighters with unmanned aircraft far from active combat zones, they should be careful what they wish for.
Lawfare –March 20
By Matthew Waxman
As Jack mentioned, Dan Klaidman of the Daily Beast reported today that “the White House is poised to sign off on a plan to shift the CIA’s lethal targeting program to the Defense Department.” Over at, I just published a brief essay on this matter.  In short: Many critics of the government’s targeted killing policy have been calling for such a move, hoping that it would (in Klaidman’s words) “toughen the criteria for drone strikes, strengthen the program’s accountability, and increase transparency.” That may be. But if what those critics really want is to end the practice of killing suspected al Qaeda fighters with unmanned aircraft far from active combat zones, they should be careful what they wish for.
Inside Higher Ed – March 20
It's a huge relief to have this decision. Kenneth Crews of Columbia University reckons this will spur licensing (which skirts around first sale rights) or may lead to new legislation or be altered through international treaties favorable to intellectual property owners. (The secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership has reportedly shown interest in doing away with first sale rights.) But meanwhile, the decision handed down on Tuesday was a huge relief. 
[Kenneth Crews is an adjunct professor of Law at the Law School.]
The New York Times – March 20
The reform, suggested in a petition to the S.E.C. by 10 legal scholars in August 2011, would be simple: it would mandate that publicly held corporations disclose their political spending. In the months since the petition was posted, the commission has received nearly half a million comments on it — more than on any other issue in its 79-year history — that have been overwhelming in favor of the proposal. (Typically, S.E.C. rule-making petitions get fewer than 100 comments.)
[The petition’s signatories included Professors Robert J. Jackson Jr., John C. Coffee Jr., Ronald J. Gilson, and Jeffrey N Gordon.]
Tech Dirt - March 21
Tim Wu has an excellent article in the New Yorker, talking about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and specifically about how it was used against Aaron Swartz, declaring it the worst law in technology. Much of it covers similar ground to what we've covered before, but it also makes some really good points towards the end about how the Obama administration really needs to pull back on its reliance on the law in so many cases. First, he notes that simply relying on "prosecutorial discretion" is not enough, since we've seen that doesn't work:
Lawfare – March 21
Matt Waxman has just published a new cyber paper that’s well worth reading. The piece picks up on an earlier article of Matt’s that explored when states might treat cyber-attacks as “force” or “armed attacks” under the U.N. Charter. In this piece, Matt takes up from three angles (legal, strategic, and political) the issue of when cyber-attacks might (or should) give rise to a right of armed self-defense. This is a refreshing approach; much existing writing on cyber tends to reflect either a legal perspective or a strategic perspective, without considering the relationship between the two.
SCOTUSblog – March 21
By Ronald Mann
There are some cases in which the argument tells us a lot more about likely outcomes than the briefing.  Tuesday’s argument in Sebelius v. Cloer was one of those.  As a general rule of thumb, if you are arguing on behalf of the Solicitor General, it is a pretty bad sign if Justice Scalia dismisses your sovereign immunity argument out of hand.  So when that happened early in the Sebelius argument on Tuesday, the signs indicating a ruling against the government could hardly have been more clear.
The Huffington Post – March 21
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association notes that death is a punishment for homosexuality in some part of Somalia where Islamic courts comprise the justice system. Columbia Human Rights Law Review confirms this, while noting that Somalia's official Penal Code does not include a death penalty clause.
Canadian Business – March 21
The idea makes a lot of people nervous. Allowing startups to sell equity online to amateur investors under a light regulatory regime seems like a recipe for fraud. Columbia Law School professor John Coffee called equity crowd-funding legislation in the U.S. the “boiler-room legalization act.” But the startup community points to the already tough climate for funding, and argues the need to find a workable model for equity crowd funding is urgent in Canada, as the U.S. is already moving ahead.
Bloomberg Businessweek – March 21
The Senate report accuses bank officials of taking actions to lower loss estimates as well as improperly changing risk models that gauge potential losses. John Coffee Jr., a securities law professor at Columbia Law School, says the report could provide a road map for prosecuting bank officials and that he expects the bank to settle a case soon with the SEC. “The SEC can say, in doing those things without full disclosure, you misled investors,” Coffee says.
The New York Times – March 21
“We know JSOC is far more secretive than the C.I.A., and that Congressional oversight is weaker,” said Naureen Shah, associate director of the Counterterrorism and Human Rights Project at Columbia Law School. She said that while units under the Joint Special Operations Command were accused of serious abuse of prisoners in Iraq, “it never had to face public scrutiny about it in the way the C.I.A. did.”
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Science Magazine – March 22
By C. Scott Hemphill and Bhaven Sampat
U.S. pharmaceutical patent policy is poised for a major review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Later this month, the Court will hear a case, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) v. Actavis, Inc., about a tactic alleged to be illegal by U.S. regulators, so-called “reverse payment” settlements of patent litigation. A maker of a branded drug pays a “generic” drug maker offering a competing, unbranded version of a drug, to abandon its challenge of the branded firm's patent. This tactic has also received regulatory scrutiny in Europe (1, 2). The Court's ruling promises to reset the innovation/access balance for drugs, whatever the result. We explain the stakes of the case, and how settlements of “secondary” patents affect that balance.
SCOTUSblog – March 22
By Ronald Mann
The Court’s decision Wednesday in Wos v. E.M.A. (formerly known as Delia v. E.M.A.) confirmed the Court’s previous vigor in protecting the rights of Medicaid claimants from states hoping to close budget shortfalls by taking an excessive share of the tort recoveries their claimants obtain in litigation.
The Wall Street Journal – March 22
The bank risks sending to "regulators and shareholders the view that [it] can go back to business as usual," said Robert J. Jackson Jr., a professor of law and corporate governance expert at Columbia Law School.
The Washington Blade – March 22
Suzanne Goldberg, co-director of Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, was among those saying it’s “extremely unlikely” the Supreme Court would once again send the Prop 8 case back to the California State Court. “If the Supreme Court decides to address that question, it is perfectly capable of evaluating the sponsor’s injury on its own,” Goldberg said. “The court regularly makes assessments of whether litigants have a sufficient injury to proceed with a case in a federal court. This is not a question that the California Supreme Court would have to resolve.”
The Wall Street Journal – March 22
The brief marked the first time in about five years that the office jumped into a Supreme Court antitrust case, according to C. Scott Hemphill, who was chief of the office’s Antitrust Bureau until January, when he returned to Columbia Law School to teach intellectual property law.
CBS News – March 23
What arguments will the Court hear over two days in two different gay marriage cases?
[with Suzanne Goldberg of the Law School.]
Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog – March 24
By C. Scott Hemphill and Tim Wu
ABSTRACT: Scholars and courts have long debated whether and when "parallel pricing" — adoption of the same price by every firm in a market — should be considered a violation of antitrust law. But there has been a comparative neglect of the importance of "parallel exclusion" — conduct, engaged in by multiple firms, that blocks or slows would-be market entrants. – March 25
Columbia Law School professor Timothy Wu has shaped the debate around competition and consumer protection on the Internet. The 40-year-old coined the term "net neutrality" and worked as a senior adviser to the Federal Trade Commission in 2011, helping the agency conceptualize its antitrust case against Google Inc. and running the FTC's policy-platform group. It was familiar terrain for Wu, whose acclaimed 2010 book, The Master Switch, considered the future of the Internet. A regular contributor to The New Yorker and Slate, Wu also served as chairman of media-reform group Free Press from 2008 to 2011.
ACSblog – March 25
Georgetown Law Center Professor Nan Hunter and Columbia Law School Professor Suzanne Goldberg have lodged briefs in both cases. During a recent interview with ACSblog, Goldberg briefly described some arguments advanced in those briefs.  
WNYC News – March 26
Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the DOMA case is only about how the federal government recognizes same-sex couples. “The DOMA case will have no effect on same-sex couples who are married where they live,” she said.
Reuters – March 26
Consider last year, when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, surprisingly sided with the court’s four liberal members in upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare law against constitutional challenge. It was a stunning choice for the conservative jurist. The reaction of Nate Persily, a leading U.S. election law scholar, was: “There goes the Voting Rights Act.”
SCOTUSblog – March 27
By Ronald Mann
Although the argument in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett took the Court to common ground – essentially a replay of last year’s decision in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing  — the Justices seemed far from certain over how to treat the case.
Alliance For Justice Watch – March 27
By Suzanne B. Goldberg
The favorite arguments of the Defense of Marriage Act’s defenders – that the the federal government can take a uniform approach to marriage while leaving states free to do what they choose – took a pounding at the Supreme Court during this morning’s argument in Windsor v. United States, strongly suggesting that if the Court reaches the merits, DOMA is dead.
Foreign Policy – March 27
David Pozen, a law professor at Columbia University, estimates in a forthcoming Harvard Law Review article that fewer than three in a thousand leak violations are actually prosecuted, and the true percentage, if all leaks of classified information could be counted reliably, is almost certainly much closer to zero. These kinds of prosecutions -- aimed, apparently at creating a deterrent effect -- in an atmosphere of such laxity just can't be justified as public policy, even if they are permissible as a matter of law.
The New York Law Journal – March 28
The largest of the New York schools' programs, Columbia Law School's spring break "pro bono caravans," sent 85 students to 17 locations last week. Students in groups of about six each worked on migrant farmworker and detention issues in Florida; assisted American Indians on natural resource matters in Anchorage, Alaska; helped military personnel obtain enhanced veterans' benefits in New Haven, Conn.; and visited a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan, to better understand the situations of future pro bono clients seeking asylum in the United States.
NPR’s On Point – March 28
The US Supreme Court takes on huge issues. But it takes a giant issue to fill the steps outside the court – and the whole country – with the kind of passion we’ve seen this week.
Gay marriage has gone from deep outlier to broad public acceptance with amazing speed. Now it is in the hands of the court. States’ rights. Federal obligations. History. Morality. A shifting culture. And individual rights and liberties under the US Constitution, all before the court.
[With Suzanne Goldberg of the Law School.]
Scientific American – March 28
In a report examining the legal implications of increased U.S. coal exports, the Columbia Law School notes that greenhouse gas emissions are not just a national issue. "Because the impacts of CO2 emissions are global in nature, it makes no difference from a climate change perspective whether coal mined in Wyoming is consumed in Chicago or Shanghai," it says.
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Bloomberg – March 28
Marrero will likely question the parties about the agreement before deciding whether to approve it, said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School in New York. He said Marrero may want to know why the SEC didn’t sue SAC for so-called control-person liability, for failing to supervise its employees.
On the Media – March 29
The rate of prosecution of government leakers has reached unprecedented heights under President Obama, twice that of every other president combined. It's been called a 'war on leakers'. But is it? Columbia Law professor David Pozen, author of The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information, tells Brooke that when you consider the total number of government leakers - less then 1% are punished.
Bloomberg – March 29
“Steinberg is another domino that has fallen in a path that leads to a central person at SAC,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School in New York. “He’s one of the few that had direct communications with Cohen.”
The Washington Post – March 29
“There is a history of powerful communications companies directly meddling in elections. I don’t think Google has an incentive to do this, but a future Google could,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor and the author of “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.” “The question of free speech in America is controlled by a few powerful gatekeepers who could subtly shape things.”
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
The Huffington Post – March 29
Now two legal scholars offer a valuable overview of what's known about the maturing brain, and its relevance to public policy and justice concerns. Richard Bonnie of the University of Virginia School of Law and Elizabeth Scott of the Columbia Law School make the case in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science that new scientific insights can and should guide legal decision making about teens as a group, but that it's far too early to look for scientific assistance in individual judgments.
Fort Worth Business Press – March 29
Since 2009, more than 50 lawsuits have been filed nationwide involving hydraulic fracturing in some capacity, according to a Columbia School of Law report released in February. Some of those cases only discuss the issue while not making it a central focus.
The Washington Post – March 29
To help close the gap, this fall Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School are maxing out their contributions to a government matching plan known as the Yellow Ribbon program that provides qualifying veterans with additional money to supplement the benefits offered under the GI Bill®. Essentially, the schools have pledged to cover half the remaining tuition and fees, and the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay the rest. Veterans must have served at least 36 months of active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 and have been honorably discharged to be eligible for the aid, which comes from agreements between the department and participating private schools.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at
The Huffington Post – March 31
James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, says that, in a state where it is legal, it is a prosecutor’s responsibility to pursue the death penalty if he believes the case calls for it, and spending the time and money without winning an execution would hardly signal complete failure.
A prosecutor might say that such a case is “in the interest of justice,” Tierney, a former Maine attorney general, told HuffPost. “Let's say he doesn't get the death penalty. Does that also mean that a trial was a waste of time? I don't think so. It's important for the community to understand who committed that crime and what the circumstances were.


CBS News – March 31
Matthew Waxman, who preceded Stimson as DASD and now teaches at Columbia University, said: "This has always been the challenge - where do you set the needle on how high a risk someone has to be for continued detention?"
Waxman said the detainee review process may give too much weight to the prospect of recidivism and too little to other costly factors, such as the drain on military resources, the diplomatic friction, and lost opportunities for intelligence cooperation. Unless the prisoner population is reduced, Waxman noted, closure of Guantanamo will be an unattainable goal.


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