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April 2015

April 1-15


Mother Jones—April 1
Michael Gerrard, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, agrees. "A state that does not include climate-related impacts in its emergency planning will be closing its eyes to one major cause of extreme events and not fully protecting its population," he said.

Bloomberg BNA—April 1
According to a recent article by John C. “Jack” Coffee, Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School and director of the school's Center on Corporate Governance, because the proposal only bars fee-shifting bylaws and charters “in connection with an intracorporate claim,” the new legislation could be read not to apply to certain types of federal securities class actions.

Daily Banter—April 1
The Indiana RFRA protects religious persons if they are “likely to be substantially burdened” sometime later. Professor Katherine Franke of Columbia Law School said about this line in the statute, “That is an extremely radical idea, that you could bring a lawsuit on a conjecture of a future injury.”
 
CNBC—April 1
For Tilton's case to succeed, it would probably have to happen that the Supreme Court overturns a part of Dodd-Frank, which would be unlikely given prior precedent around administrative law judges, said John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor and securities regulation expert. "It might have some ability to get them a favorable settlement, but I don't think it has a good chance of succeeding in court," Coffee said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday.
 
Similar stories appeared in other outlets, including Bloomberg Business.
 
Sally Kohn Syndicated Column—April 1
According to Katherine Franke of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, the discriminatory beliefs don’t even have to be the official doctrine of the religion an individual is claiming. Nor does the individual have to be a devout or confirmed member of that faith. The asserted “sincerely held beliefs” basically just have to be plausible, explains Franke.

Inc.—April 1
"The RFRA bills are part of a larger campaign to diminish what is public norm-making through the democratic process, that we don't allow certain forms of discrimination in public spaces," says Katherine Franke, a professor of law and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University, in New York.

Bloomberg View—April 2
I'm not sure there's new news here, but this is a very sensible paper about modern market structure that is worth reading if you are confused about whether and how the U.S. equity markets are rigged. It's by Merritt Fox and Gabe Rauterberg of Columbia Law School and Lawrence Glosten of Columbia Business School.
 
RH Reality Check—April 2
Philip Genty, a professor at Columbia Law School who is a leading national authority on incarcerated parents, says it has become common for incarcerated mothers to face losing their parental rights. “It is a very rare situation where a woman prisoner with a child in foster care has not been confronted with this,” he said.
 
New York Times—April 2
The proposed ban is back, setting up a battle royal between corporate lawyers and the plaintiffs’ bar, not to mention debate in the legal community. John C. Coffee Jr., a professor and expert in securities law at Columbia Law School, has argued forcefully against these provisions and in particular contends that the proposed amendment is ill-drafted.

Columbia Spectator—April 2
“We needed a set of rules. In ’68, the University didn’t have a code of conduct,” law professor and executive committee Chairman Michael Sovern, who would later become Columbia’s president, told Spectator. “The objective was to be fair to anyone accused of misconduct.”
 
MarketWatch—April 3
Regardless of the medium, one rule remains constant: the SEC insists companies cannot disclose information just to certain groups, by design or by accident, without disclosing it to everyone. A tweet alone reaches a limited audience and can provide market-moving news that does not reach the rest of the market; thus "it needs to be accompanied or preceded by disclosure that reaches the broader world," said in an e-mail John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor.
 
NDTV—April 3
'Look at Your Own History and Relax a Bit', Says Jagdish Bhagwati on Christian Response to Attacks: Full Transcript
Now one of the most respected and influential economists, public intellectual and thinker of our time Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, has waded in on the debate.
 
The Globe and Mail—April 3
Anu Bradford, director of the European Legal Studies Center at Columbia University and author of a 2012 study about the EU’s regulatory clout called “The Brussels Effect,” thinks a British exit (“Brexit”) from the EU would be counterproductive. “The U.K. is simply too small a market,” she said in an interview.
 
Politico—April 3
“At one end of the spectrum is a view that a deal increases Iranian standing in the region and frees up resources to pursue policies antithetical to our own,” says Matthew Waxman, a former senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration who is now a professor at Columbia Law School.
 
US News & World Report—April 3
Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School, agrees. President Barack Obama, he says, almost certainly won’t budge on major energy and environment priorities to win Senate votes for an Iran deal. “He’s not backing off Keystone,” Gerrard says.

Los Angeles Times—April 4
"It's much broader than the federal law," said Katherine Franke, a Columbia University law professor. "They felt emboldened by Hobby Lobby." In late February, she wrote a letter on behalf of 30 professors to warn Indiana lawmakers their bill would create "confusion and conflict" if it became law.
 
Financial Times—April 5
Problems for Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company embroiled in what is believed to be the biggest corruption scandal in the country's history, show no sign of abating. John Coffee, professor of law at Columbia Law School, says: "Large institutional investors are increasingly opting out of the class [action] because they do better settling on an individual basis."
 
New York Times—April 5
For 20 years, Corbett has fought for the principles that have come to be known as net neutrality. The term, coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor, refers to the concept of treating all content on the Internet neutrally and prohibiting a provider like AT&T or Comcast from manipulating access to any specific site or charging companies like Netflix for faster delivery of their content.
 
Columbia Journalism Review—April 5
By Suzanne Goldberg
In this time of media self-reflection about coverage of sexual assaults, it is worth remembering the consensus amidst the controversy over the Rolling Stone campus rape piece. Three points, in particular, come to mind in the wake of discussion

CNN—April 6
"China generally does not in any case extradite Chinese citizens, so the most likely outcome were this person to be found would be prosecution within China," says Ben Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School.

Connecticut Law Tribune—April 6
This could make life easier for prosecutors, said John Coffee, a professor and securities law expert at Columbia Law School. One additional benefit of the law, Coffee said, would be that it would address computer hacking as it relates to insider trading for the first time along with "other newer forms of misappropriation."

Columbia Spectator—April 6
Today, Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg released an article "3 takeaways for covering sexual assaults on campus" in the Columbia Journalism Review. Goldberg draws lessons from the retracted Rolling Stone UVA article on media coverage for sexual assault.
 
China Daily USA—April 6
Ben Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School, said there is no extradition treaty between the nations, and the likelihood of China handing Li over for questioning was slim.
 
NPR—April 7
But critics of these military actions believe the president has overreached. Those debating for the motion…Philip Bobbitt is Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School, the director of its Center for National Security and a distinguished senior lecturer at the University of Texas.

The debate was picked up by other outlets, including the Washington Post.

Huffington Post Blogs—April 7
By Katherine Franke
The passage of religious liberty laws in Indiana and Arkansas has put Republican governors on their heels, forcing them to explain -- mostly without success -- that the laws are not a license to discriminate against the marriage rights of same-sex couples. Backpedaling awkwardly when the measures generated calls to boycott their states, both governors sent legislators back to the drawing board to make clear that the laws do not sanction sexual orientation discrimination.

JD Supra—April 7
Leave it to a distinguished law professor to actually read the text of proposed legislation and locate the gaping hole in it. In this post, “Delaware Throws a Curveball,” Professor John Coffee analyzes the proposed Delaware legislation on fee-shifting bylaws and finds it wanting.

Washington Post—April 8
In 2007, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School recounted a game played by some prosecutors. One would name a famous person — “say, Mother Teresa or John Lennon” — and other prosecutors would try to imagine “a plausible crime for which to indict him or her,” usually a felony plucked from “the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield.”
 
George Will’s column was widely syndicated to various outlets.

Los Angeles Review of Books—April 8
As Anna Stolley Persky wrote in the ABA Journal, “Columbia University law professor David Pozen, who specializes in constitutional and national security issues, says that Sullivan and other cases from that era are ‘seen as valorizing an aggressive form of journalism and promoting the idea that courts are the institutional safeguards of that kind of journalism.’”

The Canton Repository—April 8
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, a Canton native and professor of law at Columbia University and UCLA, is the co-author of a new report, “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.” The report contends that minority girls are being funneled toward crime and failure by way of zero-tolerance polices and through unequal applications of punishment.

Vice News—April 8
The bulk of the roughly 400-plus lawsuits related to climate change are filed by industry players challenging environmental regulations, according to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School. The Sabin Center's director, Michael Gerrard, told VICE News that the novel tack taken by Our Children's Trust — which argues that the atmosphere should be declared a public trust to be protected — faces some big hurdles in court.

Bloomberg BNA—April 9
Need to Assess Coal Mine Air Impacts In Flux After Vacature of Permit Approval
However, two lawyers from Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law said the ruling actually builds on an “emerging authority” in court decisions related to mining's greenhouse gas impacts. Other federal court decisions and recent White House guidance on greenhouse gas emissions indicate that combustion impacts of mining should be considered by government agencies, Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center, told Bloomberg BNA.
 
U.S. News & World Report—April 10
Revesz and other experts say the executive branch not only has the power to limit greenhouse gas emissions under the act, but federal courts also have handed down a mandate to use its authority. “He’s aggressively using the statutory authority that Congress gave him,” says Columbia Law School professor Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
 
City Journal—April 10
Philip Hamburger’s indictment of the regulatory state is profound and sobering. A Columbia law professor, Hamburger indicts the entire structure of executive-agency rulemaking as illegitimate. It’s not just the regulations that have to go but the regulators as well, since their job is to fling down the Constitution and dance on it.

Capital New York—April 10
Under the new interpretation of the law, the Second Circuit vacated Bruno’s conviction, saying it lacked the kind of clear bribe or kickback scheme that is now required. “What you saw is the government being forced, post-Skilling to really pitch a case as a bribe case, without focusing on a failure-to-disclose theory,” said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School.

The New Yorker—April 11
Michael B. Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told me, “The reason why the litigation seeking certain kinds of relief has not advanced is for a lot of reasons other than courts not accepting that climate change is a real problem.” He referred to Flood Wall Street as “a political advocacy tactic, as opposed to a legal strategy.”

New York Times—April 12
Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who worked on the F.T.C.’s antitrust case against Google, noted that there were only a handful of jurisdictions in the world — Europe being one of them — that had enough expertise and lawyers to bring something as complicated as an antitrust case against one of the world’s most valuable corporations. “Where Europe leads, other countries will follow,” Mr. Wu said.

The Chronicle of Higher Education—April 13
At a time when legal education is in turmoil, Columbia Law School is in an enviable position, with students still clamoring to be admitted to the top-tier program whose graduates overwhelmingly land full-time jobs. The law school’s new dean, Gillian Lester, doesn’t plan to allow the school to simply rest on its reputation.

Columbia Daily Spectator—April 13
But administrators have defended Columbia’s policies, with EVP for University Life Suzanne Goldberg telling New York Magazine last year that she thought Columbia’s policy was “one of the best in the country, with more resources dedicated to supporting survivors and other students affected by gender-based misconduct than most.”
 
Inside Climate News—April 13
"This is a situation that George Orwell would have recognized," said Michael Gerrard, director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, referring to the author of the dystopian novel 1984. "It is very worrying that we are seeing public entities telling their employees to act like ostriches, to put their heads in the sand. Society thrives through innovation and insight, not willful blindness."

New York Times—April 13
The all-too-common mind-set to win at all costs has facilitated the executions of people like Cameron Todd Willingham or Carlos DeLuna, whose convictions have been convincingly debunked in recent years.
 
Carlos DeLuna is the subject of Professor James S. Liebman’s widely-covered case of The Wrong Carlos.

Yale Books Unbound—April 14
By Michael Graetz
Our nation’s tax system is badly broken. Everyone knows that. The income tax law inflicts huge distortions on our economy. The only area of the economy where the tax system creates jobs is in tax planning, tax controversies, and tax compliance.
 
Graetz’s commentary was also picked up by TaxProfBlog.

Pacific-Standard—April 14
In the United States, many previous lawsuits have attempted to use litigation to incite government action on climate change, mostly without success, says Michael Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.
 
Windy City Times—April 14
The report "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected"—which Columbia Law School Professor Kimberle Williams Crenshaw authored alongside Loyola Law School Associate Professor Priscilla Owen and UCLA Lecturer in Law Professor Jyoti Nanda—pulls together research, statistics, stories and observations from girls and stakeholders.
 
NBC—April 15
Not everybody thinks that banning lethal autonomous weapons is the answer. "There are very serious dangers to the proliferation of this technology," Matthew Waxman, a professor at Columbia Law School, told NBC News. "I'm just not persuaded that a blanket prohibition is the right approach."
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April 16-30

 
Los Angeles Sentinel—April 16
“The myriad forms of marginalization that we experience on a daily basis take a toll on our health,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, the co-founder of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), a think tank that advances racial justice, gender equality and human rights. “Racism and patriarchy are not just things we talk about, these are forces that are literally killing us.”

Similar stories were syndicated in numerous papers, including the Atlanta Daily World.
 
New York Times—April 16
Still, John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert on white-collar crime, said that discord between the judiciary and prosecutors could have a subtle effect. “The danger is that the judges get together and talk, and if they decide someone is overreaching, that can color their thinking,” he said.
 
Live Mint—April 16
In a paper published in 2009, Robin S. Lee from the Stern School of Business and Tim Wu of the Columbia University Law School have defended the zero-price principle, under which an Internet service provider is prevented from charging an extra fee to a content provider to access the customers of the telecom company.

The Conversation—April 16
Thomas Merrill, a professor at Columbia law school, noted in the Case Western Reserve Law Review in 2013 that in “looking at a map of the United States where fracking activity is underway, and comparing it to a map showing areas of land and associated mineral rights that are controlled by the federal government,” one finds that “there is very little overlap” – and not due to any lack of oil and gas shale resources in the West.

Fusion—April 16
According to Columbia University environmental law professor Michael Gerrard, while similar cases have been attempted on a smaller scale — usually unsuccessfully — in the U.S., this is the first time anyone has tried suing their own government over climate change (although a Belgian group has just begun proceedings against their government).
 
Breitbart—April 16
Tim Wu, a professor of antitrust law at Columbia who worked on the United States Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust case against Google, said the FTC investigated similar complaints against Google, but closed that inquiry in 2013 without reaching a formal finding of wrongdoing.

Vice—April 17
Hoping to learn more about the potential impact of the Dutch case on American judges and lawyers, VICE reached out to Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia University, a professor of environmental law focusing on cases like the one in the Netherlands.
 
New York Times—April 17
“What we are seeing is a system, in my view, that is unraveling,” said Michael Doyle, a Columbia University political science professor and a onetime adviser to the United Nations secretary general.
 
City Lab—April 17
A report from the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School and the African American Policy Forum puts that question into perspective. "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected" shows that black girls experience severe stress in the public schools system.
 
Huffington Post—April 17
As Michael B. Gerrard, a professor of environmental law at Columbia University, explained to Vice News on Thursday, several similar attempts in the U.S. have ended in failure. "Who knows whether something will emerge that will inspire some U.S. judges," Gerrard said.
 
Columbia Spectator Spectrum—April 17
By Suzanne Goldberg
A vigorous post-screening conversation featured extraordinary faculty from across the University, sharing sparks of ideas about public memory, the role of film, the consequences of surveillance, lessons for activism and much more. I had the privilege of moderating together with Professors June Cross (Journalism), Jamal Joseph (School of the Arts), Frances Negrón-Muntaner (Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race) and Patricia Williams (Columbia Law School).
 
The Atlantic—April 18
"Assuming the chief justice would be exceptionally committed to hearing any case fairly, he would potentially be an ideal juror," said Suzanne Goldberg, a former litigator who now teaches civil procedure at Columbia Law School. "The risk, of course, is that most lay people would likely defer to him on legal judgments even if the judge instructed them not to do so."

New York Times—April 19
Sarah H. Cleveland, a professor of human and constitutional rights at Columbia Law School, said that enforcing the notification in the United States was critical to ensuring the safety of Americans who are arrested abroad, particularly in countries with authoritarian governments. “You don’t want a ‘Midnight Express’ scenario,” Ms. Cleveland said, referring to the 1978 film that tells the story of an American college student imprisoned in Turkey on drug-smuggling charges.
 
Lawfare—April 20
It’s getting hard to keep track of the U.S. intelligence community leakers without a scorecard…And there’s this excellent article by David Pozen on why government leaks are, in general, a good thing. I wrote about the value of whistleblowers in Data and Goliath.
 
Bloomberg View—April 20
I don't think that this is quite the right story -- and here is John Coffee on evidence that activism actually does lead to cuts in research and development spending -- but it's kind of interesting.
 
New Yorker—April 21
By Tim Wu
Despite decades of medical and cosmetic innovations, we haven’t quite yet reached Never-Never Land, where no one ever grows older. But we’re not that far away from a related place, Never-Lost Land, where no one and nothing gets lost. Thanks to G.P.S, Bluetooth, and the Internet, it is, day by day, becoming harder both to become lost and to lose things.
 
Reuters—April 21
"This complaint uses frequent cancellation of orders as evidence of intent to deceive the market and drive prices down. That may cause some anxiety among high frequency traders who cancel the majority of their trades," said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee. As for how many trades can be canceled before drawing the attention of authorities, Coffee said: "The answer's always going to be gray."

New York Times—April 21
Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in campaign finance, has argued that the only real solution is a new set of regulations that directly address the formation of candidate-specific super PACs. “In the current world,” Briffault conceded when we spoke last week, “it’s not going to happen — the F.E.C. is not going to pass any rules, and Congress is not going to pass any laws.”

New York Times—April 21
Just this month, though, academics at Columbia released the findings of a study of the stock market. They found that aside from the occasional disruptions, industry automation and the sophisticated tactics of high-frequency traders have not come at the expense of ordinary investors.
 
The study was co-authored by Professor Merritt B. Fox.

The Hill—April 22
By Lisa Sachs and Lise Johnson
Recent agreement among congressional leaders on a “fast-track” bill may have been a victory for the Obama administration’s trade agenda. However, members of congress should take a look at the recent Bilcon case, decided by a NAFTA tribunal, to understand what they are signing up for.
 
Sachs is an adjunct assistant professor.

WNYC—April 22
“This is an office that has a longtime expertise and commitment to doing large scale gang cases, has long done organized crime cases, union corruption cases, political corruption cases, terrorism cases, fraud,” said Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University and former federal prosecutor.

Washington Post—April 22
But proponents of high-frequency trading say that it creates more opportunities to execute trades, increasing the amount of cash available to businesses that need it. And a recent study from Columbia Law School found that the practice does not inherently create unfairness in the market.
 
Value Walk—April 22
Even though the intense public criticism of high frequency trading (HFT) that followed Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys has cooled down a bit, you won’t find many people willing to defend aggressive tactics like electronic front running. But Columbia University professors Merritt Fox and Lawrence Glosten with post-doc Gabriel Rauterberg argue that the practice isn’t really unfair – it just favors uninformed investors over informed ones, and eliminating it would do the opposite.

The Daily Beast—April 22
But David Pozen, a law professor at Columbia University, said Petraeus’s case likely wouldn’t fundamentally change the way leak cases are investigated and prosecuted. “It is not implausible that it would push the norm around sentencing to a softer place,” said Pozen, who has researched and published a legal paper on leaks. “But that totally depends on how effective future defense lawyers are drawing their cases to the Petraeus case.”

Just Security—April 23
By Sarah Knuckey
Below are my initial thoughts on today’s tragic news that a January 2015 US “targeted killing” drone strike in Pakistan killed two innocent civilians held as hostages by al-Qaeda:

The Marshall Project—April 23
Policing the Police
But in a forthcoming study of New Jersey traffic stops between 2005 and 2007, researchers at Columbia University found that while the disproportionate stops of minority drivers fell, African-Americans and Latinos were still almost three times more likely to be searched than whites. “That’s the problem with consent decrees,” said Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia Law School professor who oversaw the study. “They did everything that was asked of them except stop profiling.”
 
New Yorker—April 24
By Tim Wu
In February of 2014, when Comcast announced its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, it assured the public and the government that the transaction would be good for customers and have no effect on competition. Comcast, and its head lobbyist, David Cohen, moved quickly to establish a sense of inevitability for a merger that, as Comcast stated in February, was “expected to close by the end of 2014.”

Wired—April 24
“About a year ago I was ready to call it quits,” says Tim Wu, policy advocate, Columbia Law School professor, and the man who coined the term “net neutrality” in the first place. “Between the NSA, net neutrality falling apart, the merger and the assumption it was going to happen… But the situation has reversed itself.”
 
LGBTQ Nation—April 26
The Times’ own reporting cited legal scholars, including Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke, who said that the Indiana is not the same as the federal law or the Illinois state law supported by President Obama when he served in the Illinois State Senate.
 
Financial Review—April 27
Keep dividend imputation and fix 'great GST mistake': expert says
In an unusually strident and candid critique of the Australian tax system, Columbia Law School professor Michael Graetz said Treasurer Joe Hockey's recent tax discussion paper made it clear the government wanted to axe imputation and use the savings to lower company tax.
 
Los Angeles Times—April 27
The Lawrence opinion unmistakably put the Supreme Court on the side of gay rights. “It was such an incredibly powerful statement,” said Columbia University law professor Suzanne Goldberg. “It showed an understanding for the humanity of gay people unlike anything that came before. And it opened a new era in gay rights law.”
 
Fast Coexist—April 27
Could the same thing happen in the U.S.? "The short answer: I don't think so," says Michael Gerrard, a Columbia Law School professor who focuses on environmental and climate change law, and who helped co-author the Oslo Principles, a recent document that attempts to outline legal obligations relevant to climate change. "U.S. courts have held that it is the job of Congress and EPA, not of the courts, to set the rules for greenhouse gas emissions," he says, citing a 2011 Supreme Court case.

Bloomberg Business—April 27
Harvey R. Miller, a partner in the New York-based law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP who helped create bankruptcy as a practice specialty and represented Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in the biggest collapse in U.S. history, has died. He was 82. Miller was a lecturer at Columbia Law School and was previously an adjunct faculty member at New York University School of Law.
 
Similar obituaries appeared in a number of other outlets, including Chicago Tribune and Crain’s.

Bangor Daily News—April 27
That rubs Jim Tierney the wrong way. A former Maine attorney general, Tierney is director of the National Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, where he is also an instructor. The attorney general’s oversight of rulemaking is “a powerful tool against a runaway bureaucracy,” Tierney said Friday. “That’s the whole purpose of [the Administrative Procedures Act], to rein in the executive branch in the day-to-day operation of government.”
 
Tierney is a lecturer.

Gender & Sexuality Law Blog—April 27
By Suzanne Goldberg
Instead, what I mean is that exclusions of same-sex couples from marriage are the last vestige of old-school antigay laws. These laws emerged in a different time, when disapproval of gay people was seen by many as part of the natural order rather than in tension with American commitments to equality. Through a decades-long process of social and legal change, we are no longer in that place. Instead, laws that impose extra burdens on gay people are now increasingly understood as aberrant and impermissible.
 
The Marshall Project—April 27
Jeffrey Fagan, an expert on policing at Columbia Law School, asks why cops would feel they need more special consideration: "They want better treatment than other criminal defendants? They already have 95 percent of civil-rights law on their side, starting with qualified immunity."

The Quad—April 27
Kimberle Crenshaw, professor of law at University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia Law School, presents this very idea of victim blaming when she writes, “Rape law traditionally, and sexual harassment law currently, focuses on women’s conduct and their character rather than on the conduct and character of the perpetrator.”

Just Security—April 28
By Sarah Knuckey, Balqees Mihirig, Bassam Khawaja, and Surya Gopalan
The Obama administration took a long overdue step toward transparency for its “targeted” killing program when it last week openly acknowledged and took responsibility for the deaths of an American and an Italian civilian in a January 2015 strike in Pakistan.
 
Mihirig, Khawaja, and Gopalan are Columbia Law School students.

Jakarta Post—April 28
Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia Law School analyzed whether capital punishment had a deterrent effect by comparing the experiences in Singapore and Indonesia. Notwithstanding Singapore’s much smaller population, the city-state executed almost 15 times as many convicts as Indonesia did from 1999-2005. Fagan argued that if capital punishment had a deterrent effect, there would be less drug trafficking and higher drug prices in Singapore.
 
Similar stories appeared in other outlets, including Malay Mail Online and Malaysian Insider.
 
National Law Journal—April 28
Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia Law School professor, formerly of Lambda Legal, read the questioning a bit differently—and more optimistically. She said she heard “absolute skepticism” from the justices regarding the states’ arguments for their prohibition. “The strong sense of nearly all of us in the courtroom is that nationwide marriage equality is on the way,” she said.

Marketwatch—April 28
President Barack Obama’s assertion that an Asia trade deal could improve the North American Free Trade Agreement of the 1990s may make a good political argument but isn’t serious, trade experts say. While the Asian trade deal does include trade and environmental standards, they are in reality “as dead as a dodo,” said Jagdish Bhagwati, a free-trade advocate and professor of economics at Columbia University.

New York Times—April 29
Other judges have rejected the argument. One called it “counterintuitive and legalistic.” But Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia University who has written an article on “sex discrimination and marriage equality,” said in an interview that the argument had force. “I was delighted that Chief Justice Roberts highlighted the sex discrimination in laws that forbid same-sex couples from marrying,” she said.

The Federalist—April 29
And, perhaps surprisingly, the notion could be one that gains bipartisan support. In 2012, former clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens and Columbia Law School professor Jamal Greene wrote for The New York Times on the need to institute judicial term limits. Greene was promoting a proposal by Northwestern University School of Law professors Steven Calabresi and James Lindgren for 18 year, non-renewable terms for Supreme Court justices.
 
National Law Journal—April 29
By Suzanne B. Goldberg and John C. Eastman
Love and commitment have nothing to do with marriage. So said the state of Michigan to the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges on Tuesday while defending its ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Instead, marriage’s purpose as a civil status is to ensure adults take responsibility for their biological children, according to Michigan’s lawyer.
 
This piece also appeared on the American Constitution Society blog.

Legal Theory Blog—April 29
Gillian E. Metzger (Columbia University - Law School) has posted The Constitutional Duty to Supervise on SSRN. Here is the abstract: The IRS targets Tea Party organizations’ applications for nonprofit tax-exempt status for special scrutiny. Newly opened online federal health exchanges fail to function. Officials at some Veterans Administration hospitals engage in widespread falsification of wait times. A key theme linking these examples is that they all involve managerial and supervisory failure.
 
Daily Princetonian—April 29
Retired four-star U.S. Army general and former CIA executive director David Petraeus GS ’85 pleaded guilty last Thursday to a federal misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. Columbia University law professor Phillip Bobbit ’71, in contrast, said he believes the punishment was not “light in any way.” “This is a man who has devoted his entire life to public service, and to take that away from him is a much bigger fine.”
 
Crain’s—April 30
Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor and former federal prosecutor, said if Mr. Wildstein pleads guilty, he is likely to help the government. "In complex investigations, an early guilty plea by someone who's implicated is often entered as part of a cooperation agreement," said Mr. Richman. "One of the things to look for is the extent to which his guilty plea implicates others, either explicitly or by implication."
 
Quartz—April 30
Thomas Merrill, a professor at Columbia Law School, noted in the Case Western Reserve Law Review in 2013 that in “looking at a map of the United States where fracking activity is underway, and comparing it to a map showing areas of land and associated mineral rights that are controlled by the federal government,” one finds that “there is very little overlap”—and not due to any lack of oil and gas shale resources in the West.
 
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