June 2010

  Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Secures Asylum for Gay Man from Uzbekistan   
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic has won asylum for a gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if forced to return to his native Uzbekistan.
  NYC Charter Revision Commission Taps Professor Briffault as Expert   
Richard Briffault, the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation, was a speaker this week in the Public Integrity Forum organized by the New York City Charter Revision Commission.Briffault, invited to speak as an expert on state and local government law, reminded the Commission that some of major revisions made to the Charter in 1987-89, including the creation of New York City’s campaign finance system, were a response to public integrity scandals of the mid-1980s.
  Kathy Hirata Chin '80 Appointed to Advisory Council for New Pro Bono Program for Retired Lawyers   
Kathy Hirata Chin, ’80, has been named as a member of the Attorney Emeritus Advisory Council by New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
  Achieving Diversity on Campus: Professor Theodore Shaw Writes on How to Get it Done Legally   
There is little dispute about the need to increase diversity among college students pursuing careers in science and technology. But what is less clear is how to achieve that goal and also withstand legal challenges. That complex balancing act is the topic of a comprehensive handbook co-authored by Professor Theodore M. Shaw ’79 of Columbia Law School written for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of American Universities.
  Professors Metzger, Morrison Write Brief Supporting Dismissal of Challenge to Health-Care Law   
Professors Gillian Metzger and Trevor Morrison have co-written a brief supporting a motion by the federal government to dismiss a suit by Virginia that seeks to invalidate the health-care reform legislation signed by President Obama.
  Reunion 2010 -- More than Memories   
The hundreds of alumni who attend Reunion 2010 on June 11 and 12 won’t just greet former classmates and visit familiar sites—they will become reacquainted with the Law School’s expertise in cutting-edge areas of the law such as gender and sexuality law, environmental law, health law, and business law.
  2009-2010 Academic Prizes Awarded to Upper-Year Students   
Elisabeth Page '11, Stephen Fleming Hayes '10, Adam I. Klien '11, and Laura Elizabeth Stafford '11 Receive June 2010 Upperyear Prizes
  Professor Michael Graetz Makes the Case for a Value-Added Tax   
Graetz, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, has garnered widespread attention for his plan to impose a value-added tax (VAT), which would effectively act as a national sales tax. He says a VAT would make the nation less reliant on income-tax collections and allow the government to shed the yoke of tax breaks and credits to special interests.
  Professor Christina Burnett Testifies on Status of Puerto Rico   
During testimony before the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status, constitutional legal scholar Christina Duffy Burnett, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, addressed the crucial question of whether Puerto Rico and the United States can form a permanent union—“a union that will guarantee U.S. citizenship to the people of Puerto Rico—without the admission of Puerto Rico into the Union as a state.” For more than a century, the issue of Puerto Rico’s national identity and political status has remained unresolved.