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October 2010

  Problems at the Borders: The Difficulties of Protecting International Public Goods   
The difficulty in protecting so-called international public goods, such as an efficient world trade system and limiting the effects of climate change, is due in part to nations’ self-interest and myriad regulatory challenges, according to a leading international lawyer.
  
  Proposition 8 “Denigrates Same-Sex Couples,” Professor Suzanne Goldberg Argues in Brief   
Proposition 8 should be struck down because it denies same-sex couples access to the “unique” value” of marriage and “denigrates” domestic partners by not allowing them to marry, Professor Suzanne Goldberg argues in a brief filed for the latest challenge to the California law.
  
  Future of Japanese Immigration Subject of “Brainstorming” Workshop   
Japan’s relatively closed stance toward immigration and whether a more open attitude could benefit the country will be discussed in a workshop next month at Columbia Law School. The private “brainstorming” session will also look at whether arguments against a major shift in Japan’s immigration policy outweigh any potential advantages.
  
  The Role of Precedent in the Office of Legal Counsel Examined by Professor Trevor Morrison   
In Columbia Law Review Article, Morrison finds that the Justice Department's OLC, being part of Executive Branch, affects both weight precedents should be given and the circumstances to depart from them.
  
  Center on Global Legal Transformation Awarded Grant to Address Flaws in Existing Economic Theories   
The new Center on Global Legal Transformation at Columbia Law School, led by Katharina Pistor, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law, has been awarded a grant to examine why existing law and finance theories failed to predict the global financial crisis and explain market developments leading up to it.
  
  Can the Divide Between Free and "Unfree" Media be Bridged?   
Professor Benjamin Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies, to lead debate on state of Chinese media as part of Columbia University conference, "Free Press for a Global Society"
  
  Refusal by Judge to Postpone “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” an Easy Case to Make, Says Professor Franke   
The “clear and emphatic” refusal by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to stay her ruling that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was unconstitutional was easy to make given the government’s weak case, said Professor Katherine Franke, Director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.
  
  Clinic Files Brief in Suit Against Move by Arizona to Eliminate Domestic Partner Benefits   
The Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic filed an amicus brief Wednesday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to recognize that that discrimination based on sexual orientation demands the most stringent constitutional standard courts use to review state and federal law.
  
  Louis Henkin, Renowned Professor and Human Rights Law Pioneer, Dies at 92   
Louis Henkin, a renowned Columbia Law School professor credited with founding the study of human rights law and inspiring generations of legal scholars, has died. He was 92.
  
  Model Green Building Ordinance Allows Municipalities to Enact Energy-Efficient Building Policies   
A Model Green Building Ordinance was released by the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School for use by municipalities looking to promote the construction and design of new buildings that make efficient use energy, water and materials.
  
  Expert Says Foreclosure Problems Should Serve as Wake-Up Call for Banks to Cooperate with States   
As 41 states launch their investigation in conjunction with federal officials into the mortgage-servicing industry, the director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School said this episode should serve as a wake-up call to banks who have yet to take seriously the states’ role as a financial watchdog.
  
  New Course Looks at Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Purely Legal Standpoint   
Professor George Fletcher set a challenging goal for this fall: to teach a course that takes an impartial, dispassionate look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  
  Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Urges European Court to Recognize Intersectional Discrimination   
The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic has urged the European Court of Human Rights to recognize and respond to intersectional discrimination, a form of discrimination based on an individual’s combination of characteristics, such as race and sex together, rather than on a single trait.
  
  Bush Tax Cuts Should be Continued Temporarily, Professor Michael Graetz Tells D.C. Panel   
The tax cuts Congress passed during the last Bush administration should be extended no more than two years, while a new, fairer tax system is crafted, Columbia Law School Professor Michael Graetz told a Washington panel.
  
  Shareholders Should Have Final Say on Corporate Political Spending, Argues Professor Robert Jackson   
A new law review article, co-written by Columbia Law School Associate Professor Robert J. Jackson Jr., argues that shareholders should have a greater say in determining a corporation’s political spending and its nature, as well as a veto over the amount spent on political speech.