Faculty in the News
Columbia Law School Clip Report, September 16–30, 2018
New Yorker—September 17, 2018
Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?
Tim Wu, a Columbia law-school professor and the author of a forthcoming book inspired by Brandeis’s phrase, told me, “Today, no sector exemplifies more clearly the threat of bigness to democracy than Big Tech.”
Vox—September 18, 2018
How close are we to another financial crisis? 8 experts weigh in.
Kathryn Judge, law professor at Columbia University
Despite a decade of reform, we still do not have the guardrails needed to ensure a healthy and resilient financial system. Banks today are stronger than they were in 2008, and there have been meaningful steps taken to prevent a precise replay of the last crisis. But the next crisis will inevitably look different than the last, and the structural deficiencies revealed in the last crisis have not gone away.
SCOTUSblog—September 18, 2018
Academic highlight: Greenhouse and Siegel on the past, present and future of Roe v. Wade
Gillian Metzger, a professor at Columbia Law School, explained that she does not expect to see Roe and Casey reversed immediately, but “incremental pullback” will mean that “in practice it will become even more difficult, and in some states practically impossible, for women to exercise the right recognized in Roe and Casey of making the ultimate choice of whether or not to bear a child.”
The Indian Express—September 18, 2018
Glimpses of the Future | Episode 4: Constitutionally speaking (Audio)
If we are to consider the future of the country, we need to understand that it is intertwined with one of the most fundamental things to a society – the rule of law. In this episode we talk to Supreme Court lawyer Menaka Guruswamy about the desperate need for legal reform in India and why our constitution shows us the way forward.
[Note: Menaka Guruswamy, BR Ambedkar Research Scholar and Lecturer at Columbia Law, and Arundhati Katju ’17 LL.M., a current J.S.D. student, were the prime architects of a successful multi-year advocacy campaign to overturn a law in India that criminalized “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”
Columbia Journalism Review—September 19, 2018
Data Journalism and the Law
Many academics, including David Pozen at Columbia Law School, have taken to critiquing these problems with the legislation by highlighting that the system creates an antagonistic posture between public and citizen, and doesn’t focus on other places of interest like corporate accountability.
Bloomberg—September 19, 2018
With Amazon Probe, EU Takes Cue From 'Hipster' Antitrust
And to a large degree, Lina Khan, an academic fellow at Columbia University Law School, helped shape that debate. As a student at Yale Law School, Khan wrote a paper for the Yale Law Journal called "Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox," which argues that the current antitrust enforcement framework is ill-equipped to tackle Amazon’s dominance and the potential harm it poses to competition.
The Baffler—September 19, 2018
Law professor and New York Times contributor Tim Wu has similarly advanced this line, advocating for an aggressive antitrust campaign against the likes of Google and Amazon—including in his forthcoming book, The Curse of Bigness. If we break up the giants, the thinking goes, their progeny will improve each other in a rush to pan for attention.
New York Magazine—September 20, 2018
Dianne Feinstein Was Right to Grant Christine Blasey Ford Her Privacy
Still, there are ways Feinstein could have alerted others to the accusations against Kavanaugh without compromising Ford’s anonymity. And, furthermore, as an elected official, she would have had an ethical duty to report such extreme allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, according to Katherine Franke, the director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. The information could have helped determine whether Kavanaugh is fit to serve on the court, and it therefore should have been disclosed sooner, she added.
CNBC—September 20, 2018
Hard to argue Amazon is dominant platform in Europe, says analyst (Video)
Tim Wu, Columbia Law School professor, and Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets lead tech analyst, discuss Amazon as the European Union raises anti-competition concerns about the tech giant.
The New York Times—September 20, 2018
Opinion | A Win for L.G.B.T. Rights in India
After a serious setback in 2013, the lawyers who spearheaded the successful legal challenge, Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, devised a new strategy that focused on the personal cost of constitutionally sanctioned discrimination. They highlighted those who suffered under the law by enlisting as co-petitioners in the suit more than two dozen gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who risked arrest simply for publicly identifying themselves as L.G.B.T.
Constitution Daily—September 20, 2018
Podcast: Should Chevron Be Overturned? (Audio)
The 1984 Supreme Court decision Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council established a judicial doctrine of deference to certain administrative agency actions commonly known as “Chevron deference.” Chevron has been implicated in important constitutional debates surrounding the modern administrative state and separation of powers. Columbia Law School professors Philip Hamburger and Gillian Metzger explain just what Chevron deference is, why it matters, and whether or not it should be overturned.
Columbia Daily Spectator—September 20, 2018
Law school honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fight against gender discrimination at panel, screening
On the evening of Monday, Sept. 17—Constitution Day—the Law School held a screening and discussion panel of the recent Magnolia Pictures documentary release, RBG. This panel featured the co-producers and co-directors of the film, as well as the daughter and granddaughter of RBG.
Wall Street Journal—September 21, 2018
Amazon Is a Giant. But Bigness Isn’t a Crime.
“Fighting bigness and excessive concentration has been lost somewhere,” Timothy Wu, a Columbia law professor said. Mr. Wu is worried that mega companies like Amazon threaten to elbow out smaller competitors with good ideas but insufficient capital. “We need to decide what kind of economy we want to be,” he said.
[This story appeared in multiple major news outlets in the U.S. and Canada.]
Fast Company—September 21, 2018
The future of humanity depends on design ethics, says Tim Wu
“We crave some sense of closure, some sense of being done,” says Wu, a Columbia law professor and author of The Attention Merchants, a history of how companies through history have gathered and monetized attention, from the earliest newspapers to today’s tech platforms (the book is also Fast Company‘s summer book club pick). “Much of social media tries to prevent you from ever having that feeling.”
KJZZ—September 21, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court Allows More Disclosures For Political Donations (Audio)
The current eight-member U.S. Supreme Court decided not to overturn a lower court’s ruling that required additional disclosure — specifically identifying every donor who has given at least $200 to a 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) group that advertises in favor or against political candidates. So how significant an impact can this have? To learn more, The Show turned to Richard Briffault, professor at Columbia University Law School.
Yale Daily News—September 21, 2018
EU data policy affects Yale fundraising
Anu Bradford, a law professor at Columbia and expert in EU law, said the GDPR will protect Yale’s donors in Europe, limiting the information Yale can collect and retain on them. Donors protected by the GDPR can now ask for any of their own data held by Yale, including any correspondence that involves them, she added.
Southwest Journal—September 21, 2018
Minneapolis joins fight against proposed clean-car standards rollback
Minneapolis joined a group of local governments opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards in September. The city is part of a coalition planning to submit an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit challenging the proposed rollback. Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law filed an initial motion with a federal court on behalf of the coalition on Sept. 4.
Focus Taiwan—September 21, 2018
Tang Prize laureates receive awards in Taipei
A grand ceremony was held at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei Friday, at which eight 2018 Tang Prize laureates received awards honoring their achievements in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law. Seven laureates attended the ceremony, including James Edward Hansen and Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who shared the award for Sustainable Development; Yoshinobu Shiba and Stephen Owen the prize for Sinology; and Joseph Raz, the sole winner of the Rule of Law prize.
The National Law Journal—September 21, 2018
Four Amicus Briefs Filed in All American Check Cashing Case Addressing Constitutionality of CFPB Structure
On September 17, 2018, four Amici filed briefs in the CFPB’s case against All American Check Cashing, which is now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court is considering whether the structure of the CFPB is constitutional and what impact its structure, right or wrong, has on its ability to continue to prosecute claims against regulated entities. The Amici, all supporting the CFPB, were as follows: … Five people calling themselves “CFPB Separation of Powers Scholars,” including Harold Bruff, Gillian Metzger, Peter Shane, Peter Strauss, and Paul Verkuil;
The Times of India—September 22, 2018
Is another global financial crisis on the horizon?
"The combination of a complex and constantly evolving financial system with a fragmented regulatory structure was at the core of the last crisis. These challenges remain, and could well lead to another crisis sooner than anyone would like," says Kathryn Judge, law professor at Columbia University.
Boing Boing—September 22, 2018
Anonymous stock-market manipulators behind $20B+ of "mispricing" can be tracked by their writing styles
In a new Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper, Columbia Law prof Joshua Mitts uses "stylometry" (previously) to track how market manipulators who publish false information about companies in order to profit from options are able to flush their old identities when they become notorious for misinformation and reboot them under new handles.
Hindustan Times—September 22, 2018
The SC judgment on Section 377 opens the doors for further legal victories
Menaka Guruswamy, an advocate for a clutch of IITians, emphasised that her petitioners were the makers of modern India — scientists, engineers, government servants, all of whom are closeted. She said: “It is not just consensual sex between homosexual partners that this Court should recognise, but their love for each other. How strongly must you love knowing that you are unconvicted felons under Section 377.”
The Washington Post—September 23, 2018
For Nikki Haley, a lower profile as Trump heads back to the U.N.
“Bolton has a very aggressive approach to the U.N. and inside the U.S. government is very practiced at pulling bureaucratic strings and operating in front of cameras and behind the scenes,” said Matthew Waxman, a former George W. Bush administration official.
The Star Online—September 24, 2018
Tariff war threatens world trading system
Tears will not be shed in the developing countries if some rules cannot be upheld anymore, such as the WTO’s TRIPS agreement on intellectual property. The free trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati has said the TRIPS treaty does not belong in the WTO.
Lawfare—September 25, 2018
Remembering the Whiskey Rebellion
By Matthew Waxman
On September 25, 1794, President George Washington proclaimed that that he was sending state militia forces to subdue what was dubbed the “Whiskey Rebellion.” The following week, Washington became the first and only sitting president to command forces in the field. The episode included some other important firsts—and even though few shots were ultimately fired, it highlights some significant and peculiar ways in which law controlled military power in the early republic.
The Guardian—September 25, 2018
What happens when you buy a house in a disaster zone – and no one told you?
Every US state has seen high water in the last five years; flooding is the largest and most frequent disaster in the country. But in 21 states, homeowners are guaranteed little information about flood risk, according to an analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
Phys.org—September 25, 2018
Silencing science tracker expanded to include state and local government actions
In January, Columbia's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund launched the Silencing Science Tracker (SST). As its name suggests, the SST records government attempts to prevent or restrict scientific research, education, or discussion since the November 2016 election.
Gazeto do Povo—September 26, 2018
Lula não é preso político. Entenda o ativismo judicial na ONU (Portuguese)
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral) (TSE) discussed these two issues in the judgment that rejected Lula's candidacy on September 1 and understood, by 6 votes to 1, that the UN "precautionary measure" did not bind Brazil. On July 10, the members of the Committee that granted the measure – Sarah Cleveland of the United States and Olivier de Frouville of France – reaffirmed the mandatory character of the demonstration, which generated yet another round of discussions.
The New York Times—September 27, 2018
We Still Haven’t Learned From Anita Hill’s Testimony
By Kimberlé Crenshaw
Twenty-seven years after Anita Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, and as Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, we still have not learned our mistakes from that mess in 1991.
The Economic Times—September 27, 2018
Supreme Court's adultery verdict strong, progressive on gender equality, say women lawyers
Senior advocate Rebecca John and lawyers Aishwarya Bhati and Menaka Guruswamy, termed as correct the apex court's observation that the adultery law dented the individuality of women and treated them as "chattel of husbands". … Guruswamy termed the verdict as a good decision on gender equality and said that "it makes perfect sense as clearly the Supreme Court is saying that men and women within marriage are equal".
Climate Liability News—September 27, 2018
Courts Will Play Key Role in Addressing Climate Crisis, Experts Say
Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law tracks climate lawsuits worldwide, although the majority have been filed in the U.S. Within the past year, about a dozen cities and counties—and one state—have sued fossil fuel companies directly in an attempt to recover costs for dealing with climate impacts like sea level rise and extreme heat.
Washington Post—September 28, 2018
Religious freedom for me, but not for thee
By Katherine Franke
When you pay close attention to the litigation strategy pursued by the federal government’s lawyers, what you see is that this administration is not committed to an overarching principle of religious liberty — or even rights for Christians, in general. Like so much of the current political climate under President Trump, the administration is not defending a neutral constitutional principle — religious liberty — for all people, but rather only for those who share the administration’s political perspective.
Washington Post—September 28, 2018
The case for breaking up Facebook and Instagram
By Tim Wu
When the founders leave a tech firm, it’s a big moment — a symbol that something important has changed, usually at the heart of the company. This week, as Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger prepare to leave the popular photo-based social media site, which Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012, there’s little doubt that change is coming — and not for the better.
NBC News—September 28, 2018
During Kavanaugh-Ford hearing, calls to sexual assault hotline spiked by 201 percent
And the implications of those numbers significantly changed over the course of Thursday's televised hearings as the momentum seemed to swing between respect for Ford's testimony and sympathy for Kavanaugh's angry pushback, said Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke. … "I think many people woke up to the reinforcement of what has always been their intuition: That you won’t be believed, you will be mocked, and that your own personal health is better preserved by keeping it to yourself," said Franke, who is the director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.
CNBC—September 28, 2018
Can Elon Musk fight the SEC and win? Experts debate (Video)
John Coffee, Columbia University law professor, and Michael Liftik, Quinn Emanuel partner and former SEC deputy chief of staff, discuss the lawsuit by the SEC against Tesla CEO Elon Musk for fraud.
[Note: Professor Coffee was quoted extensively in stories concerning the SEC’s lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk including by Aberdeen News, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Surveillance, Carscoops, The CEO Magazine, CNN Money, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, pv magazine, and USA Today.]
MarketWatch—September 28, 2018
Elon Musk ‘rolling the dice’ and buying time by turning down SEC settlement
Seeking to ban Musk from his key roles — he is Tesla’s chairman as well — was an “aggressive opening” for the regulators, Columbia University law professor Joshua Mitts said. “I’m proud of the SEC,” as the lawsuit showed it was not afraid to take on a popular business leader, he said. For a criminal case to arise, however, “this would have to feel like Bernie Madoff,” a clear case of defrauding investors, while there’s room to argue it could have been a mistake on Musk’s part, Mitts said.
The Chronicle of Higher Education—September 28, 2018
Academics Who Back Boycott of Israel Practice Activism With Small, Weighty Gestures
Katherine Franke, a law professor at Columbia University, estimates she’s declined requests related to projects funded by Israel about half a dozen times. Some of them ask to review a scholar’s work or a research proposal. When a request from an Israeli state institution comes, said Franke, “I respectfully decline to do so and write a letter explaining why: that I’ve endorsed the academic boycott, that my refusal to support or cooperate with the institute’s application process does not indicate in any way a negative judgment about the candidate.”
The New York Times—September 29, 2018
In Praise of Mediocrity
By Tim Wu
Lost here is the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it. Hobbies, let me remind you, are supposed to be something different from work. But alien values like “the pursuit of excellence” have crept into and corrupted what was once the realm of leisure, leaving little room for the true amateur.
PBS NewsHour—September 29, 2018
Have Supreme Court appointments always been partisan affairs? (Video)
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's response to allegations of sexual assault, along with Republicans’ refusal to withdraw his nomination, have raised questions over partisanship on the nation's highest court. Columbia University Law School professor Jamal Greene and National Public Radio’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg join Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.
Bloomberg Quint—September 30, 2018
Aadhaar: Where Do We Go From Here?
By Eben Moglen and Mishi Choudhary
In context, the Supreme Court has essentially denied the existence of constitutional risk: judging the facial constitutionality of a scheme that would massively destroy constitutional rights under precisely-foreseeable conditions, the Court blithely assumes the conditions away. But sooner or later, when the inevitable compromise occurs, a future Supreme Court will be left to rue the consequences of that omission.
The New York Times—September 30, 2018
The Effect of Intersectionality in the Workplace
The term “intersectionality” was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles, almost 30 years ago, although it never had the prominence — at least in some circles — it has now.
Columbia Daily Spectator—September 30, 2018
With unanimous vote, University Senate approves new African-American and African Diaspora studies department
At the plenary, other faculty and administrators, including Bollinger and Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg, expressed strong support for the proposal. “This is a really important moment … [and] a really fitting moment to shift IRAAS into a department. It’s already embedded into the fabric of the University, but to have this work on a substantive level—on a research level, on a production of knowledge level as well as on a supporting level—and developing and reinforcing community goals is really important,” Goldberg said.
* Special report on media coverage of Columbia Law’s “Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg” event held at Lerner Hall and viewed online by hundreds of thousands.
On Friday, Sept. 21, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to Columbia Law School to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her investiture to the Supreme Court. Here is a compilation of related media coverage of the event:
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This report, which gets posted online as well, shares mentions of Law School faculty cited in print, broadcast, and online news outlets. It is not intended to be inclusive of every media mention. Faculty members who are featured in the media are encouraged to send their clips to [email protected] for possible inclusion in our Clip Report. Faculty members seeking assistance in placing an op-ed, promoting scholarship, facilitating interviews, event coverage, or media training, may email us at [email protected] or call us at 212-854-2650.