CLS Experts On SCOTUS Striking Down D.C. Gun Ban

Press contact:
James O’Neill 212-854-1584 Cell: 646-596-2935
Public Affairs office: 212-854-2650
June 26, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Columbia Law School Professors Jeffrey Fagan, Trevor Morrison and Nathaniel Persily can discuss today’s Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v Heller which struck down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban.
Jeffrey Fagan, Professor of Law and Public Health and Co-Director of the Center for Crime, Community and Law, has conducted research on law and social policy since 1976 and speaks regularly to the media about prisoner rights and criminal law., has conducted research on law and social policy since 1976 and speaks regularly to the media about prisoner rights and criminal law.
Fagan is available at [email protected]. .
Fagan: “The Court has decided, on the basis of highly contested evidence, that the marginal benefit of unrestricted handgun ownership for self-defense purposes outweighs the costs in homicides and critical injuries from the leakage of guns into illegal hands. There is no reliable social science foundation to sustain this claim.”
Nathaniel Persily, an expert on constitutional law, election law and American politics, said today’s decision, along with the Court’s ruling in Davis v Federal Election Commission, which struck down part of federal campaign finance reform legislation, are emblematic of a trend towards judicial activism by striking down laws to promote conservative principles.
Persily, Professor of Law, can be reached on his cell at 917-570-3223 or at [email protected].
Persily, an expert on voting rights, election law, constitutional law, and American politics, has been a court-appointed expert for redistricting cases in Georgia, Maryland and New York, and has served as an expert witness or outside counsel in similar cases in California and Florida. Persily has co-edited a new book, Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy, which takes an innovative approach to measuring how greatly U.S. Supreme Court decisions mold American public opinion. Such hot button issues as desegregation, school prayer, abortion, the death penalty, gender equality, affirmative action, flag burning, gay rights, the right to die and the war on terror and its impact on civil liberties are covered.
Trevor Morrison, an expert on constitutional law, Federalism and separation of powers, looks at how rules can be crafted to guide the executive branch to interpret its legal authority and role under the Constitution. In 2000-01, Morrison was an attorney-advisor in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. He also clerked with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
            Morrison can be reached at [email protected].
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.