Faculty in the News

Columbia Law School Clip Report, March 16–31, 2019

The Wall Street Journal—March 15
The Hidden Risk When You Own Stocks for the Long Run
“Long-term projects have high volatility and high potential upside, so it’s easy to fall in love with them and overestimate the payoffs,” says Michal Barzuza, a law professor at the University of Virginia and, with Columbia law professor Eric Talley, co-author of the new study.

Climate Liability News—March 15
Striking Students Demand Climate Action: ‘Denial Is Not a Policy’
Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law said the future belongs to the next generation. “They are telling us what they want, and what they need, and that is action to limit climate change,” Burger said.

Business Insider—March 16
These 9 books will help you make sense of why we need 'better capitalism'
'The Curse of Bigness' by Tim Wu
Columbia law professor and former Federal Trade Commission adviser Tim Wu has provided the most succinct and persuasive case for why we should revitalize antitrust, to weaken the effects increased market concentration is having on workers, politics, and customers.
[Note: Amid the release of Prof. Tim Wu's book The Curse of Bigness and news concerning companies like Amazon and Facebook, he was cited and quoted in publications including Big Think, the Financial Times, Tech.co, and Zeit Online.]

New York Review of Books—March 18
Making Good on the Broken Promise of Reparations
By Katherine Franke
To ignore the moral imperative of repairing the wounds of slavery because doing so might be “divisive” reinforces an exculpatory myth of white innocence in our nation’s history. Black lives will continue to be treated as though they do not matter until we take material steps to repair the intergenerational wreckage that slavery continues to inflict.

KSWO.com—March 18
Tribal members receive free legal services from Columbia Law students
A group of students from Columbia Law School in New York is spending their spring break offering free legal services to Oklahomans in need.

Los Angeles Times—March 18
Donors to D.A. Jackie Lacey included a murder suspect’s parents and a felon
“Because D.A.s occupy such a special area of trust and we rely on them to prosecute fairly, they should impose upon themselves a higher standard,” said Jennifer Rodgers, a Columbia University law lecturer who, at the request of Vance’s office, helped devise a set of best practices for prosecutors receiving campaign donations.

VICE News—March 18
“If investigators find something they think has been misstated, then they can try to find out who they think did it and use that to move up the chain,” said John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. “If you falsify business records, New York State finds that to be a crime.”

Black Entertainment Television—March 18
My White Prep School Track Captain Trolled Me About Affirmative Action, But Should I Have Trolled Her About Cheating?
Kimberlé Crenshaw explained it best by comparing the need for affirmative action to track runners and said, “… the problem affirmative action seeks to address is not damaged runners, but damaged lanes that make the race more difficult for some competitors to run than others.”

Phys.org—March 18
Mining pollution limits access to clean water in Papua New Guinea
Red Water finds that the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) gold mine poses direct threats to the social and economic rights of communities living near the mine. These key findings are a result of a four-year study conducted by Earth Institute scientists, Pennsylvania State University scientists, and Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic faculty and students.

SCOTUSblog—March 19
Opinion analysis: Justices affirm maritime liability for manufacturers of asbestos-dependent equipment
By Ronald Mann
This morning’s 6-3 opinion in Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries affirms the decision of the lower court holding that the manufacturers of asbestos-dependent equipment used on Navy ships can be held liable to sailors who became ill because of their contact with the asbestos.

Salon—March 19
Trump's war of words claims real victims: Can we now see this man for who he really is?
Bernard Harcourt, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University, locates these new comments by Donald Trump in a broader context in an essay published last November by the New York Review of Books:

SCOTUSblog—March 19
Opinion analysis: Justices sidestep decision on propriety of “cy pres” class-action settlements
By Ronald Mann
What we learned this morning is that the justices will not answer that question this spring. Instead, they vacated the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and sent the case back for further consideration in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo v. Robins.

CNN—March 20
Trump is turning his pardon power into a shield
By Jennifer Rodgers
As is often pointed out, the President has very broad pardon power pursuant to Article II of the Constitution. But the pardons the President has issued thus far demonstrate a capricious use of that power, because unlike other presidents before him, Trump has completely bypassed the Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney.
[Note: Rodgers is a lecturer at the law school and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (CAPI).]

The Washington Post—March 20
God, country and chickenpox: How an outbreak entangled one school in a vaccine showdown
Elizabeth Reiner Platt, director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School, reviewed the lawsuit at The Post’s request and wrote in an email that she believed the lawsuit could succeed only if “the family can demonstrate that the state was acting not to protect the health and safety of schoolchildren, but out of animus against the family’s religious beliefs.”
[Note: This article appeared in numerous publications nationwide.]

The Washington Post—March 20
How the free market, and not Wall Street, can ensure more Americans share in prosperity
With a growing number of new companies deciding to remain private, and with established companies disappearing after selling themselves to rivals or private equity funds, Wall Street would have us worry that fewer Americans will be able to share in the country’s growth and prosperity. Columbia’s Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Governance recently pulled together the numbers.

The Washington Post—March 20
Europe just hit Google with a 10-figure fine. Again.
U.S. legal intellectuals like Lina Khan have gained increasing attention for their proposals for radical changes in U.S. antitrust enforcement, so that it would address the power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon . . .
[Note: Khan is an academic fellow at Columbia Law School. Amid news concerning antitrust policies as they relate to companies like Amazon and Facebook and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, she was also quoted and cited in media outlets including The Boston Globe, Fast Company, the Financial Times, Forbes, GuruFocus, recode, The Times, Twice, The Verge, and Washington Monthly.]

Barron’s—March 20
The AT&T-Time Warner Merger Battle Is Over. The Antitrust Battle Is Just Beginning.
Today's progressives hearken to the early 20th-century Progressive movement, which itself had roots in late 19th-century populism. . . . Tim Wu, who worked on competition policy at the Obama White House and the Federal Trade Commission, wrote The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, which provides a road map to the key ideas that motivate the new thinking. Another is a long student "note" in the Yale Law Journal in 2017 by a young lawyer named Lina Khan, "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox."

Law.com—March 20
Competence-Competence: A Comparative Analysis
In that regard, it is also worth noting that the chief reporter of the ALI’s Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration, Prof. George Bermann of Columbia Law School, submitted an amicus brief in Henry Schein questioning the principle that incorporation of arbitration rules satisfies the “clear and unmistakable” standard.

The Hill—March 20
How to solve climate change? There are a thousand answers
By John C. Dernbach And Michael B. Gerrard
Proposals like the Green New Deal offer a vision of the carbon-free future in just a few short years. But how will we get there from here? Dozens of lawyers have spent the last three years trying to answer this very question. A new “policy encyclopedia” provides more than 1,000 legal tools to lower emissions for every level of government and the private sector.

The New York Times—March 21
Opinion | The Democrats’ Complexity Problem
By Tim Wu
In recent decades progressives have not prioritized making policies and programs easy for most Americans to understand, use and benefit from. Fixing this problem will mean overcoming a streak of perfectionism and a certain intellectual defensiveness, but it must be done if progressives are to make government popular again.
[Note: This column was also referenced in Mother Jones.]

Reuters—March 21
RPT-INSIGHT-Short & distort? The ugly war between CEOs and activist critics
Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading.
[Note: This article appeared in numerous publications internationally.]

CNBC—March 21
This big Supreme Court case has united business, labor and immigration groups. But some see a right wing attack on government regulation
Gillian Metzger, a professor at Columbia Law School, has written that the case is “troubling” because it could foretell how the court under Chief Justice John Roberts, with a fortified conservative majority, may wage a constitutional attack on the administrative state.

MSNBC | MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle—March 21
Is WH’s 'cautious optimism' on the Mueller report warranted? (Video)
The Associated Press says there is a sense of “cautious optimism” in the White House that the worst is over when it comes to the Mueller report. . . . Weighing in: LA Times White House Correspondent Eli Stokols, former Federal Prosecutor Doug Burns, former Federal Prosecutor for the SDNY Berit Berger (02:14), Washington Examiner Senior Political Correspondent David Drucker and Presidential Historian Jon Meacham.
[Note: Berger is the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity. Amid news concerning the report of special counsel Robert Mueller, she also appeared or was quoted in Bloomberg, INSIDER, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (0:17), MSNBC’s Deadline: White House (1:20), MSNBC’S PoliticsNation (04:45), and Verdens Gang.]

Vogue—March 21
Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to a Livable Planet? Meet the 21 Young People Who Say They Do
In fact, says Michael Gerrard, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, the suit represents “the first time a [U.S.] court has held that there might be a constitutional right to a clean environment.”

ColorLines—March 22
From Fyre Fest to Theranos, the Invisible Racial Subtext of Raising Capital [Op-Ed]
By Lynnise Pantin
Despite their individual disgrace, McFarland’s and Holmes’ success in raising capital remains a lesson in the ways that race, privilege and wealth dictate startup success. The country’s disparities have manifested in a dramatic racial wealth gap that affects entrepreneurship in profound ways.

The Wall Street Journal—March 22
An Answer to a SALT-y Tax Problem You Didn’t Know You Had
“A longstanding legal doctrine means it won’t be hard for most taxpayers subject to the SALT cap to minimize taxes on state refunds,” says Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official now teaching at Columbia University’s law school.

ProPublica—March 22
HUD’s Inspection System Gets a Poor Grade in Congressional Watchdog’s Report
Emily Benfer, director of the Columbia Law School’s Health Justice Advocacy Clinic and a visiting law professor there, said the GAO report was a “call to action to HUD that they have to improve their administration and oversight of the conditions of their properties.”

Associated Press—March 23
Beyond Mueller Report, Trump Faces Flurry Of Legal Perils
Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, said it's unlikely a judge would allow that because no law expressly forbids charges against a sitting president. . . . "The DOJ, in fact, could proceed with a case" against the president, said Rodgers, who lectures at Columbia Law School. "They aren't because of their own policy."
[Note: This article appeared in numerous outlets nationwide.]

The New Yorker—March 24
The 2020 Presidential Hopefuls and the Politics of Consensus
The problem isn’t a lack of public support but a set of structural obstacles, including the design of the Senate, that have contributed to what the Columbia law professor Tim Wu calls the “oppression of the supermajority.”

The New York Times—March 25
Opinion | Investigate the Swamp!
By Tim Wu
We are at risk of missing the most important lesson taught by the Mueller investigation. The rampant criminality it revealed suggests the desperate need to thoroughly investigate financial, political and electoral criminality in the United States.

NPR—March 25
After Boeing Crashes, New Attention On The Potential Flaws Of Software
Columbia Law School Professor Eben Moglen, who has long championed transparency in software, says the real lesson to take from the 737 Max is the necessity for autonomous software systems to "explain themselves" to the people using them.
[Note: This articles appeared in numerous outlets nationwide.]

Dissent Magazine—March 25
How to Confront the Courts
As Jedediah Purdy recently observed, the White House and its allies across government are busy dealing with Republicans’ growing difficulty winning fair elections. From trying to rig the census to abetting state-level disenfranchisement, Trump has presided over an effort to entrench minority rule.

E&E News—March 25
Do agencies have the final say on regs?
"The complaints that are raised against Auer deference really exaggerate the effect that it has," Columbia Law School professor Gillian Metzger said during an American Constitution Society call last week. "In fact, what we've actually seen is that Auer deference has been incrementally limited by the court over a number of years, responding to concerns about how it might be misused."

Bloomberg—March 26
Businesses Target Scalia Opinion in Supreme Court Regulatory Fight
Defenders of Auer say it gives agencies flexibility to account for changing circumstances. That’s especially important with “very complicated, technical regulatory regimes,” said Gillian Metzger, a Columbia Law School professor who teaches administrative law.

Lawfare—March 26
Edward Snowden, National Security Whistleblowing and Civil Disobedience
By David Pozen
As Jessica Bulman-Pozen and I have written: “The civil disobedient’s willingness to accept legal consequences evinces her commitment to the polis and humility before fellow citizens, notwithstanding her momentary turn away from the law” . . . On numerous levels, then, Snowden’s case does not map neatly onto traditional theories of civil disobedience. The same holds true for most cases of national security whistleblowing.

NJ Spotlight—March 26
Ed Lloyd, an environmental law professor at Columbia University, said the department has clear legal authority to issue the directive, which he said is certainly the first initiative of its kind on the PFAS chemicals. “This is the use of comprehensive department authority to solve a problem in a comprehensive and complete way,” he said. “They have clear statutory authority to do this, and they are exercising it in an appropriate and legal manner.”

Rolling Stone—March 26
What We Know About El Chapo’s Motion for Retrial
In order for the retrial motion to proceed, the court would likely have to call all 12 jurors and six alternate jurors back to court for interviews, as the evidence of juror misconduct is currently based on hearsay, according to Paul Shechtman, a lecturer at Columbia Law School who previously worked as the chief of the criminal division of the Southern District of New York.

SCOTUSblog—March 27
Opinion analysis: Justices uphold securities liability for distributing false statements
By Ronald Mann
Specifically, Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion for six justices holds that defendant Francis Lorenzo is liable for participating in an unlawful scheme to defraud by distributing false statements written by his supervisor, even though the supervisor’s role protected Lorenzo from any liability for “making” the statements himself.

The Daily Beast—March 27
Supreme Court Ready to Grant GOP’s Wish to ‘Roll Back the Administrative State’
“This case has to be understood against the background of conservatives’ attack on the administrative state,” said Columbia Law School professor Gillian Metzger. “The attack on Auer deference is to make it harder for agencies to develop coherent, well-functioning regulatory regimes.”

MSNBC | Deadline: White House—March 27
The ‘Bully-in-Chief’ steamrolls ahead
Former Congressman David Jolly, MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre, former federal prosecutor Berit Berger (3:57), Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien, and Politico’s Anna Palmer on the White House targeting the most vulnerable Americans, including those in need of health care, disaster relief in Puerto Rico, and participants in the Special Olympics

TIME Magazine—March 28
What's Intersectionality? Let These Scholars Explain the Theory and Its History
The theory of those systems became known as intersectionality, a term popularized by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. In her 1991 article “Mapping the Margins,” she explained how people who are “both women and people of color” are marginalized by “discourses that are shaped to respond to one [identity] or the other,” rather than both.
[Note: Crenshaw and her work on intersectionality were also quoted in media outlets including Chemical & Engineering News, Chicago Magazine, LGBTQ Nation, The New York Times, OneWorld Magazine, and The Spokesman-Review.]

The Hindustan Times—March 28
The new e-commerce policy is more about politics than business
By Mishi Choudhary and Eben Moglen
The e-commerce policy assumes that recording granular details of users’ online behaviour and monetising this data as a “national resource” for local economic exploitation is a tolerable social future, perhaps even the best. . . . The right e-commerce policy for India would emphasise the leveraging of the global internet to enable Indian businesses, generate employment, and ensure privacy and dignity.

The Wall Street Journal—March 29
‘The Lessons of Tragedy’ Review: The Burdens of Being a Superpower
By Philip Bobbitt
. . . one can’t help questioning whether what has happened in recent years is a refusal to see what is required to defend the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights—or whether it is adherence to the values themselves that is changing.

NBC News—March 29
HUD will start checking for carbon monoxide detectors — but won't penalize landlords if they're missing
HUD’s response “is overwhelmingly inadequate and does nothing to protect human lives,” said Emily Benfer, visiting associate clinical professor of law at Columbia University and a public health expert. “Where swift action is necessary, HUD proposes to wait and see or study well-settled issues.”

Law360—March 31
Are Law Schools Helping Students Who Want To Help Others?
“One of the things that can lead at least some of our students to shift their path from wanting to pursue public interest work into deciding that they’ll go into the private sector is fear that they’re not going to be able to pay their debt and manage their finances,” says Gillian Lester, dean and the Lucy G. Moses professor of law at Columbia Law School.

# # #

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.