January 2012

  Tribute to Hans Smit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg   
Among people who have encouraged and aided me in my life in the law, Hans Smit merits top billing.
  Law School to Offer 11 New Courses in Spring 2012 Semester   
  Iowa Caucuses Mark Dramatic Debut for Super PACs, Says Law School Professor Richard Briffault   
Mitt Romney eked out an eight-vote win and Rick Santorum surged from behind, but the other big story in the Iowa caucuses was the dramatic debut of the super PAC, the relatively new kind of political action committee that grew out of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down the longstanding ban on corporate campaign spending. That’s the view of election law expert Richard Briffault, the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation and vice dean of Columbia Law School. He is the author of a forthcoming article on super PACS to be published later this year in the Minnesota Law Review.
  Columbia Law School Professors Submit Amicus Briefs in Health Care Challenge   
Columbia Law School professors are the primary authors of two amicus briefs filed yesterday in connection with Department of Health and Human Services v. State of Florida, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both briefs were filed on behalf of the petitioning agency, which advances the Obama administration’s position in the dispute.
  Students Go Behind the Scenes at U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Department   
Students enrolled in Professor Sarah Cleveland's fall 2011 seminar International Lawyering for the U.S. Government attended an oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in November and then went behind closed doors for personal visits with Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. '83.
  Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw Honored as a Southern California Freedom’s Sister   
Columbia Law School Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw has been named a Southern California Freedom’s Sister by the Los Angeles–based Museum of Tolerance. Freedom’s Sisters is a traveling exhibition that pays homage to a group of extraordinary African-American women who have been influential in shaping the spirit and substance of civil rights in America.
  Law School’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team Shines at Regionals   
Columbia Law School’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court team triumphed at last week's Northeast Region of the National Black Law Students Association Convention, winning every possible award in a field of 26 teams and 52 competitors. The event was held in Westchester, NY.
  Is Google Monopolizing the Search Engine Business? Depends Who You Ask   
Columbia Law School was the scene of a lively lunch talk on Wed. Jan. 18, featuring two antitrust experts debating whether Google is engaged in anticompetitive behavior in the search engine market.
  Hans Smit '58, Towering Figure in International Arbitration, Dies at 84   
Hans Smit '58 LL.B. was a distinguished Columbia Law School professor and a leading scholar and practitioner in the fields of international arbitration and international procedure. He passed away on January 7, 2012, at the age of 84.
  Legal Philosopher Joseph Raz: An Engaging and Demanding Thinker   
One of Columbia Law School’s treasures is the prolific scholar Joseph Raz, who recently published his 10th book, From Normativity to Responsibility. At 72, Raz, the Thomas M. Macioce Professor of Law, is considered one of the world’s most important legal philosophers. His groundbreaking ideas about norms, authority, and the theory of legal positivism have attracted a global following among his peers in academia.
  Karl P. Sauvant is Editor of Many Recent Books on Foreign Direct Investment   
Karl P. Sauvant, executive director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment and a senior research scholar and lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, has contributed his editorial insight to a number of recent books on foreign direct investment from emerging markets.
  Personal Bankruptcy Filings Down 12 Percent in 2011, Says Law Professor   
The number of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States dropped 12 percent last year, from slightly more than 1,500,000 in 2010 to 1,350,000, according to an analysis by Columbia Law School Professor Ronald Mann.
  Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer Takes to the Classroom   
At first glance, there was nothing unusual about the veteran law professor delivering a lecture on the history of “Constitutionalism and Democracy” to an audience at Columbia Law School earlier this month. Except that the class was in Portuguese, and the lecturer was the vice president of Brazil.