“Ultimately, the issue is won or lost on the public level, not on the legal level, where we have to become familiar with what it means to be transgender,” says Katherine Franke, the director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School in New York. It’s clear that “there’s a tremendous anxiety around gender identity and what it means to be a man or a woman – which, in turn, are pretty fundamental questions.”
“The children in these cases have two parents. It’s only an accident of law that leads one of those parents to be unrecognized,” said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia Law School professor who, along with 45 other academics, is urging the New York court to broaden the definition.
“The federal dependence on the states has only grown,” says Gillian Metzger, a Columbia Law School professor who studies federalism. “It has brought more bipartisanship into the implementation of these programs than might otherwise exist.”
“The judge in California never found that Sumner has capacity,” Columbia University Law School Professor John C. Coffee said in an interview last week. “People say that he can’t tell the difference between squares and circles or the colors yellow and blue.”
“If Ferro gets ‘a piece of the action’, this gives him a conflict of interest and he no longer has as strong an incentive to negotiate for the best possible price for the other shareholders,” John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia University Law School and Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia Law School told me. “However such conflicts of interest are not unlawful and management buyouts occur all the time in which such conflicts are obvious.”
Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia Law School and chair of the board of directors at the Center for Constitutional Rights, even compared Cuomo to Cold Warrior Sen. Joseph McCarthy. “Governor Cuomo has decided that his moral compass points in the direction of Joseph McCarthy rather than Rosa Parks,” Franke said.
Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and head of Columbia Law School’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity sees value in Schwartz’s hiring. “There are two things Bart Schwartz brings to the table: independence and resources,” Rodgers said.
How is it possible that a question as basic as who is a citizen at birth under our Constitution remains unresolved in a place subject to the sovereignty of the United States? To understand, you have to dive into the muck that is the law of the United States territories.
Tim Wu, special advisor to the attorney general, sent a letter to Charter Communications Inc., which recently acquired Time Warner Cable for $60 billion, saying he hopes Charter will “substantially improve the reliability, performance, and speed of the Internet delivered to customers, as well as how Time Warner Cable markets its services.”
Articles on this same subject appeared in numerous outlets.
It is uncommon for the government to subpoena lawyers to testify before a grand jury, said Daniel C. Richman, a professor of criminal law at Columbia University. “This case itself highlights the complications obtaining such testimony can create. And it involves a target apparently ready to plead guilty,” Mr. Richman added.
“The number at stake here is extraordinary by any estimate of severance,” said Robert J. Jackson Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School who previously practiced in the executive compensation department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
As someone actively involved throughout his career in confidential deals, Mr. Davis would have been acutely aware of insider trading law. “This was a shock,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor and expert on insider trading at Columbia Law School who has written about the failure to charge Mr. Mickelson. “He, of all people, should have known better.”
Columbia law professor Michael Graetz and Pulitzer Prize-winner Linda Greenhouse are quite right in their landmark new book The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right to point out that the 17-year tenure of Warren Burger as Chief Justice from 1969 to 1986 is typically seen as something of a bland placeholder term, a buffer between the towering liberal rulings of the Warren Court and the equally doctrinaire conservative span of the Renquist Court.
Legal scholars on both sides of the issue have raised flags. On Twitter, Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia Law School who sits on the Academic Advisory Council of the pro-boycott group Jewish Voice for Peace, called the order “clearly unconstitutional.”
"I feel strongly that the court has done the right thing to preserve the economic and social benefits of open networks for future generations," Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor who first used the phrase "net neutrality" in 2003, said in a statement released through the university.
Articles on this same subject appeared in numerous outlets.
“Generally, the idea that knowledge in and of itself comes with criminal liability is antithetical to the way we talk about criminal law in the United States,” said Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor and former federal prosecutor.
For a more sober account today's decision, we turn to Brendan Sasso, who covers technology for National Journal, and Columbia University law professor Tim Wu, who coined the phrase "net neutrality" and is the author of The Master Switch.
At a seminar in May on legal action around climate change, Columbia Law School professor Merritt B. Fox said Exxon's comments, regardless of their content, might not be deemed material for investors…"The market was well supplied with information about climate change from a variety of sources," said Fox, who acknowledged the importance of climate change but expressed skepticism about the legal strategy of prosecutors.
Bernard Harcourt’s intellectually energetic book Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age surveys the damage inflicted on privacy by spy agencies and private corporations, encouraged by citizens who post constant online updates about themselves.
The Japanese Journal of Labor Studies(No.669)
[Note: This periodical published by the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training selected Professor Susan Sturm’s paper, “Second Generation Employment Discrimination” as one of the “epoch-making books and articles in the past ten year period,” with a feature published in Japan and overseas.]
Note: Columbia Law School faculty were widely quoted in media coverage of several of the major Supreme Court cases that were decided at the end of June. See below for Supreme Court-specific clips, followed by all other clips.
“The ruling deals a crushing blow to this most recent wave of state efforts to shut off access to abortion through hyper-regulation,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
The high court opinion is notable because it took into account the actual impact of the Texas law on the Texas women most affected by the rules, says Carol Sanger, a Columbia University law professor and expert on abortion law.
Carol Sanger, who teaches abortion law at Columbia Law School, said that Monday's ruling "throws down a marker" and makes clear that anti-abortion laws can’t be based solely on theoretical perks. "It says to the state: 'If you want to pass these laws, you better be damn sure that you can back up that this is medically necessary or for a medical purpose,'" Sanger said.
To get a sense of what this would mean for both sides of the never-ending legal and political battle over abortions, I called up Carol Sanger, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert in reproductive rights.
Monday’s ruling “leaves intact the ability of federal prosecutors to go after official misconduct at the state and local level,” said Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professorand expert on government ethics. But prosecutors, he said, “have to link up the quid and quo more tightly and show that the gifts influenced real official actions.”
Columbia Law School professor Richard Briffault said that while the acts McDonnell was convicted of largely can’t be construed as corrupt in and of themselves, they can be used as evidence of a corrupt act. Additionally, the court declined to accept the broader First Amendment claims by the defendant or to strike down the federal anti-corruption statutes all together. “The decision may put a brake on some prosecutions, but leaves the authority of federal prosecutors to combat corruption essentially intact,” Briffault said.
So to find out whether the Supreme Court is really pro-bribery, and to find out whether this you too can benefit from giving luxury items to politicians, I got in touch with Richard Briffault, a professor of legislation at Columbia Law School who was a member of New York State's Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. Briffault said Americans shouldn't be too nervous about the implications of this ruling, but that if you want to bribe an elected official, it helps if you don't get anything in return.
Jennifer Rodgers, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School and herself a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District handling public corruption cases, said what the court has done is narrow the definition of “official action.” But she said she does not believe the corruption convictions Bahara has won are in jeopardy.
Jennifer Rodgers, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School, noted the indictment accuses Menendez of using his power as a legislator to exert pressure on federal agencies. “The issue becomes whether what Menendez did is an official act under the new definition, and it seems to me it is,” Rodgers said.
"It should be fine for virtually all cases," said Jennifer Rodgers, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia University Law School. "The problem cases are going to be the ones like McDonnell, where it is on the edge."
The Christian Science Monitor —June 28
In bribery case, Supreme Court narrows definition of ‘official acts’
In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Jennifer Rodgers, a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York, said she didn’t think the decision would make investigators less likely to seek charges in public corruption cases. “You adjust what you’re looking for anytime you have a clarified definition,” says Rodgers, now the executive director of Columbia University’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity.
Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, argues in his book The Master Switch that every major telecommunications technology has followed the same pattern: a brief, thrilling period of openness, followed by a monopolistic and increasingly atrophied closedness. Without government intervention, the same fate will befall the internet, he says.
Yet at a recent panel discussion in New York, Columbia Law Professor Merritt B. Fox noted that Exxon’s actions were irrelevant in a market already “well supplied with information about climate change.” He skewered Mr. Schneiderman for pursuing a case “so unlikely” to “be a winner.” This was even as he expressed solidarity with concerns about global warming.
Bernard Harcourt, a political theorist and policing expert at Columbia Law School, emails that this reflects a “recurring problem in the city of turning social problems into policing disorders. It’s chronic and the cost typically falls on the most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities…”
The Financial Times—June 20
US government puts itself on the line in MetLife challenge
“Ordinarily it takes the federal government months to decide whether they will appeal in such big cases — here they’ve decided the very same day,” says Robert Jackson, professor at Columbia Law School, who co-authored a brief supporting the government’s argument.
The case could “for sure” go to court and may take a couple of years to resolve, said Richard Briffault, a professor of legislation at Columbia Law School. In the meantime, the ABA would seek a stay pending litigation, which it may or may not be granted, explains Briffault.
When judges make a decision—especially in a death penalty case—we’d like to think they weigh all sides, consider the law and come to a measured, independent conclusion. Not so in Alabama, where a judge’s shortcut in the case of Doyle Lee Hamm has shown how often the state makes a mockery of the appeals process.
Note: Professor Bernard Harcourt represents Doyle Lee Hamm.
“Some would argue that in the end, the money is going to get there one way or the other, and the fact that the money is in parties is no worse and potentially better,” said Columbia Law School’s [Richard] Briffault. “On the other hand, it’s one more reaffirmation of the idea that nominal independence means freedom from restriction.”
The House provision on Mr. Koskinen’s salary could run afoul of the U.S. constitution’s prohibition on bills of attainder, or legislated punishments of individuals, said Richard Briffault, a professor of legislation at Columbia Law School. “This does sound a lot like imposing a punishment without a trial,” Mr. Briffault said.
In “The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right,” [Michael] Graetz, a professor at Columbia Law School, and Greenhouse, the former Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, characterize the Burger court as more conservative than is generally understood.
Reviews of Graetz and Greenhouse’s book, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, appeared in numerous other outlets, including The Wall Street Journal (here and here) and The Los Angeles Times.
The process of cutting ties would take at least two years, said Anu Bradford, law and international organization professor at Columbia University…Bradford's colleague, Columbia Law Professor John Coffee, said a vote to leave is likely to further depress the number of cross-border mergers and initial public offerings of stock. "Investment banks that depend on transactions are likely to see less mergers done in the U.K. and less IPOs done in the U.K.," Coffee said, adding that lawyers make a living off of such transactions.
One reason for the “Eastern District Effect,” as Daniel C. Richman, a law professor at Columbia, called it, could also have something to do with the insularity of judicial life. “There’s certainly a communal aspect here,” said Mr. Richman, who is also a former federal prosecutor. “Judges tend to lead cloistered lives and to talk to one another more than most. Or maybe it’s just something in the courthouse water.”
That's not an unusual decision for a judge waiting to be confirmed, said Ronald Mann, a professor at Columbia law school and writer at ScotusBlog.com. It's up to the judge to decide if they want to continue actively taking cases and many choose not to. "Judge Garland is a sitting judge on the DC Circuit and has workload obligations like all judges," Mann explained.
By putting the debate on economic issues, British leaders have made the Brexit debate an economic one while it is fundamentally a political one. It is England that decided the fate of the referendum, infuriating Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Columbia University law professor Suzanne Goldberg told CBS News having the president designate Stonewall as a national monument is significant. "This is a tremendous marker in the trajectory of LGBT rights and really American history because it places the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual movement in the pantheon of American civil rights," Goldberg said.
A Brexit, though, is not all good news for Ireland. It's likely to have a negative impact on the country's economy, said Anu Bradford, law and international organization professor at Columbia Law School. Dublin is a "logical EU destination for businesses looking to relocate in the aftermath of Brexit," she said, but the country is by no means a total winner following the Brexit divorce.
Reached by phone, Columbia University Law School professor Gillian Metzger put it succinctly. When it comes to a state trying to remove itself from the union, "I don't see existing constitutional support for that."
City leaders congratulating themselves for the wind-down of the stop-and-frisk regime might want to reassess, says [Bernard] Harcourt, the Columbia law professor who authored the first critique of the cult of broken windows nearly two decades ago. "You're replacing one racially biased police technique with another."
But a report released last week by the New York Police Department’s inspector general’s office found “no evidence” that the drop in felony crime during those six years was linked to the quality of life summonses or misdemeanor arrests, which also declined during that time. “That’s basically what we’ve been finding for years — a lack of any evidence of an effect,” saidBernard Harcourt, a Columbia Law School professor who has conducted two major studies on the impact of Broken Windows in New York and other cities.
“At a time when other parts of the world are splintering, it’s encouraging to see more of a unified effort in North America,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “This pledge won't be legally binding, but it signals political commitments by the current leadership of these three countries.”
“About 20 years ago, people thought digital signatures would replace the physical signature,” Ronald Mann, a professor at Columbia Law School, told me. “Technologically, digital signatures are really interesting, but it’s been very difficult to make that transition.”
Katherine Franke’s new book, Wedlocked, is part legal history, part reflection on legal and social reform.
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