Faculty in the News

Columbia Law School Clip Report, October 31–November 15, 2017



Politifact—October 31, 2017
Did a criminal leak land the CNN scoop on Mueller probe? Not necessarily
“But the rule most definitely does not cover witnesses, who are traditionally the most likely source of information about a grand jury,” Columbia University law professor Daniel Charles Richman said. “They are free to relate what they learn, which can often be a lot about the direction and content of a grand jury investigation.”

The New York Times—October 31, 2017
Signs of Possible Guilty Plea in Turkish Gold Trader Case
“One would not expect a lawyer going to trial to give up these chances to shape the way his client’s case gets presented to the jury,” said Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor who is now a law professor at Columbia University.

Los Angeles Times—October 31, 2017
Lawyers debate legal theories as corruption scandal in college basketball continues
Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia University law professor and former federal prosecutor, has a much different view. “If you step out of the sports pages and treat this as a multibillion industry that has rules of competition, this is a bribery case,” he said. “The nouns and verbs are really, really interesting, but the core conduct that’s being laid out is just commercial bribery in a very sexy context.”

Inside Higher Ed—November 1, 2017
When Professors Cross Lines
The academic version of the “casting couch has been a well-known hazard of study in all universities” and Columbia “is no exception,” [Katherine] Franke said, referencing one case on her campus: that of William V. Harris, Shepherd Professor of History.

The Washington Post—November 1, 2017
Facebook and Google’s enormous profits may buoy Wall Street. But it’s a different story in Washington.
“Facebook, in particular, has invented among the most powerful attention-seizing and human manipulation tools ever invented,” said Tim Wu, the Columbia University law professor and former senior adviser to the Federal Trade Commission.

SCOTUSblog—November 1, 2017
Argument analysis: Justices unsure whether to resolve case about standard of review for findings of insider status
By Ronald Mann
The argument yesterday morning in U.S. Bank National Association v. The Village at Lakeridge displayed a bench not at all certain the case is worth deciding…And without knowing exactly what the standard is, they find themselves unable to decide if it looks more like a factual question or a legal question.

Harvard Magazine—November 1, 2017
Debate and Doubt
In its bicentennial issue, the Harvard Law Review published an article by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, who graduated in 1984 during HLS’s time of troubles and is a law professor at Columbia University and at UCLA. She argues that “the need for reform and the critical orientation” is “as salient as ever,” elsewhere in the country but especially at HLS and especially about race.

ProPublica—November 1, 2017
Administration’s Nominee for CIA Watchdog Allegedly Misled Congress
“It’s uncommon for perjury to be charged at all and even less common for perjury to be charged for testimony before Congress,” said Jennifer Rodgers, executive director for the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School. “It’s very hard to prove.”

Balkinization—November 2, 2017
From the Heckler’s Veto to the Provocateur’s Privilege
By David Pozen
“Over the past fifty years or so, the U.S. Supreme Court has become less and less willing to countenance the heckler’s veto.”

CNN—November 2, 2017
Trump reignites long-simmering Guantanamo debate
Columbia Law professor Matthew Waxman served in the Bush administration and specifically worked on Guantanamo Bay detention, and largely agreed with Vladeck that detaining Saipov would probably accomplish more harm than good. He also noted that this week is a particularly controversial time to advocate for expanding Guantanamo's use.

Governing—November 3, 2017
Will Global Warming Make Air Conditioning a Legal Right?
“I think there’s a real possibility that the law will move in that direction,” says Michael Gerrard, a professor at Columbia Law School who oversaw a 2015 report on climate change and prison policy. “But I think it’s going to require extensive legal advocacy efforts by lawyers around the country.”

NBC—November 3, 2017
Trump Tweets Could Sabotage Prosecutors in Truck Attack, Experts Say
Jennifer Rodgers, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School and a former federal prosecutor, said that while the president’s comments are “highly inappropriate,” she doubts it will derail the case.

MSN—November 3 2017
A Tax Cut That Lifts the Economy? Opinions Are Split
“Business folks won’t describe it like this, but I think the best way to describe what it means to be more competitive is to describe it in terms of increasing the standard of living of the American people,” said Michael J. Graetz, a professor of tax law at Columbia Law School. “If it doesn’t do that, then why do we care?”

The Wall Street Journal—November 3, 2017
Concerns Mount Over the Pass-through Tax Cut
“This is not a tax cut targeted to the middle class,” says Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official under George H.W. Bush who is now at Columbia University's law school.

Charleston Gazette-Mail—November 4, 2017
DEP pipeline decision at odds with WV's push against federal overreach
“Section 401 has long been one of the most powerful legal tools that states have to influence or reverse federal permitting decisions,” said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School. “Most states hold onto this power very tightly.”’

Bloomberg—November 6, 2017
How Trump White House Wound Up Releasing Dire Climate Report
“It would be a legal suicide mission to try to rescind the endangerment finding in the face of a comprehensive report issued by multiple federal agencies in late 2017,” said Michael Gerrard, director of Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Newsweek—November 6, 2017
What the Bolshevik Revolution Meant for Russian Jews
By David Schizer
“As we recall the Red Revolution, whose effects still ripple across time and space, we should recognize that new currents are shaping life in the former Soviet Union as a new Jewish generation embraces their heritage and communal responsibilities.”

WCNY—November 6, 2017
The Capitol Pressroom: Tim Wu (Audio)
Tim Wu, Author and Professor at Columbia University, discussed his recent New York Times op-ed “How Twitter Killed the First Amendment” and how we can save it.

The Times of India—November 7, 2017
New Yorkers set to vote on constitutional convention
There will be three delegates per state senate district, in addition to 15 elected statewide delegates, said Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School. After delegates are selected, they will meet in April 2019 for the convention, Briffault said. He added: “Once they meet, it's up to them really what happens, what they do.”

The Hill—November 7, 2017
EPA, Pruitt may face lawsuits over advisory board changes
Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, allowed that it was possible a specific scientist might have a specific conflict on a specific policy because of federal funding.

Huffington Post—November 8, 2017
Trump Is The Worst Possible Messenger For The Rising Anti-Monopoly Movement
“We have four decades with nonpolitical scientific merger control, and look at the economy we’re living in,” noted Columbia University law professor Tim Wu at an antitrust event in Washington on Wednesday. “We really need to get serious about this problem.”

Newsday—November 8, 2017
Pension forfeit measure would help fight corruption, experts say
“It’s a deterrent, [but] it is good that some judicial discretion was left,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School whose specialties include white-collar crime. “If it leaves you penniless at age 75, that seems a bit too tough,” he said. “Still, there are people who deserve it.”

Law.com—November 8, 2017
Reactions Mixed on Clawback Measure's Effect in Corruption Cases
Jennifer Rodgers, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School, also questioned how effective the new law could be at curbing public corruption.

The New York Times—November 8, 2017
Why the Tally of the Church Shooting’s Victims Included a Fetus
Carol Sanger, professor at Columbia Law School who has written extensively on abortion, said that fetal homicide laws have not been a legal threat to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Fetal homicide laws are criminal statutes, she noted, while Roe v. Wade concerns a constitutional right.

Inside Climate News—November 9, 2017
How Responsible Is Each Country When an Extreme Climate Event Strikes?
It may be a while before that day comes, said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, pointing out that there have no judicial decisions yet made based on attribution of emissions.

The New York Times—November 9, 2017
Why Blocking the AT&T-Time Warner Merger Might Be Right
By Tim Wu
If the Justice Department is, in fact, doing its job appropriately and not behaving as Mr. Trump’s henchman, it should be willing to show us how. It ought to explain its concerns about the merger to the public and to Congress.

Bleacher Report—November 9, 2017
Experts Weigh in on LiAngelo Ball's Murky Legal Situation After Arrest in China
“We'll see very quickly how this UCLA case is going to play out,” says Benjamin Liebman, the director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University. “There are a few ways it can be handled.”

The New York Times—November 10, 2017
When You Experience Sexual Harassment at Work
“Many people want the harassment to stop so they can do their job and advance in their companies,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School and the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.

New Hampshire Business Review—November 10, 2017
Bring checks and balances to the SEC
Administrative power exercised by unelected and not independent officials, such as the SEC, is “the very sort of power that constitutions were expected to prevent,” according to Columbia University law professor Philip Hamburger.

WNYC—November 10, 2017
With Temporary Protected Status Set To End, Nicaraguans Contemplate Future in the U.S. (Audio)
Elora Mukherjee, professor and director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law, joins The Takeaway to discuss Martinez's story, the history of TPS, and the Trump administration's mixed decisions with the program.

City & State New York—November 12, 2017
Witch Hunt: The thin line between justice and politics
Jennifer Rodgers, the executive director of Columbia Law School’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity and a former assistant U.S. attorney, said that in most of the cases she has seen where the defendant is claiming unfair prosecution, it’s more about optics than anything.

Inside Higher Ed—November 13, 2017
Not So Cold Cases, After All
Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia University and director of its Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, said she thought academe was no different from any other industry in which prominent people — meaning men — “have the power to make or break your career. And some will exploit this kind of power for personal gratification.”

The Washington Post—November 13, 2017
These people think Trump is too liberal on climate
Michael Gerrard, a director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and who was not at the conference, said there is little chance of overturning the finding. “Those who favor its repeal probably see it as their Hail Mary play — the odds are low, but if they win, they win big,” Gerrard said.

[Note: the “finding” Professor Gerrard comments on relates to the EPA’s 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.]

Kochs are key among small group quietly funding legal assault on campaign finance regulation
Richard Briffault, professor of legislation at Columbia Law School, sees reformers on the defense for the foreseeable future, given that Republicans are in control of all branches of government until at least 2019 and the White House until at least 2021.

The Financial Times—November 14, 2017
Why the whole world feels the ‘Brussels effect’
“For all the talk of the EU economic model being in trouble, the ‘Brussels effect’ is getting stronger,” says Professor Bradford. In chemicals, she say that US’s Dow Chemical Company in effect complies with EU regulations in its global business.

Los Angeles Times—November 15, 2017
Swamp deepens as Trump names former drug industry exec to be health secretary
“This certainly simplifies the industry's lobbying,” said John C. Coffee Jr., director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. “It eliminates the middleman.”

Axios—November 15, 2017
GOP tax plan could add more to deficit than analyses suggest
Columbia Law School Professor Michael Graetz, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury, told Axios Republicans are underestimating “the cost of this exercise” because the sunsets are included in many estimates making top headlines. “The sunsets are "going to clearly get extended,” he says.

The New York Law Journal—November 15, 2017
What Happens When an Activist Goes on the Board?
By John C. Coffee Jr.
“The pattern of the vast majority of activist challenges being settled through private negotiations makes the settlement process academically interesting. What gets negotiated? And with what outcomes?”

The New York Times—November 15, 2017
In Court, Mayor and City Council Wrangle Over Powers
In those cases, the corporation counsel, the head of the Law Department, represented the mayor and city agencies, and private lawyers typically stood on the side of the Council, said Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professor who has written on state and local government law.

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This report 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.