Faculty in the News

Columbia Law School Clip Report, April 15–30, 2019

New Republic—April 15
Rebuilding Notre Dame
By Jedediah Britton-Purdy
Most constructions, all cities, every culture, are constantly rebuilt in the midst of damage and loss. Mourning and renewal are linked together as long as the world goes on. Loss is its own meaning. And civilization is the story of rebuilding.
[Note: Britton-Purdy’s article was also referenced in The Washington Post’s “Happy Hour Roundup.”]

Lawfare—April 16
Remembering the Bay of Pigs: Law and Covert War
By Matthew Waxman
After landing on the island’s southern coast at the Bay of Pigs, the invading guerrillas were routed by government forces. The humiliating disaster gave rise to a rare, publicly available Justice Department analysis of presidential power to wage covert war.

SCOTUSblog—April 16
Argument analysis: Justices debate time travel in assessing liability for inadequate disclosures about tender offers
By Ronald Mann
. . . the question for the justices is whether they should read Section 14(e) to mean what Congress probably should have expected it to mean when Congress wrote it or read it under the court’s modern system of statutory interpretation.

The Washington Post—April 16
The Energy 202: EPA tried speeding up its science reviews. Now the reviewers say it won't work.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced her latest policy proposal: a plan to block new fossil fuel production if she is elected president. . . . Could she do that as president? At least on the moratorium question, the answer is yes, according to Columbia environmental law professor Michael Gerrard. "One year before leaving office, President Obama declared a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands, and started the process of preparing an environmental impact statement on the whole coal leasing program," he said. "President Trump revoked these actions. The next president could issue an even broader moratorium, covering oil and gas as well as coal."

Harper’s Bazaar—April 16
Why You Need to Stop Saying "All Lives Matter"
As Columbia Law Professor Kimberle Crenshaw explains, saying black lives matter “is simply aspirational;” it's a rallying cry for a shift in statistical numbers that show that people who are black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white individual.

The Nation—April 16
Legal Experts Say There’s No Justification for Refusing to Release the Mueller Report in Full
Last week, Barr told members of the Judiciary Committee that he had no choice in the matter because the law requires that a special counsel follow all Justice Department guidelines in the course of an investigation, and they include such a provision. But Columbia University legal scholar Jeffrey Fagan said, in an e-mail exchange, that the guideline is “very elastic.”

TIME Magazine—April 16
Did President Trump Obstruct Justice? That's a Tricky Question
Philip Bobbitt, a constitutional theorist and professor at Columbia Law School, says pursuing impeachment against Trump on obstruction is a “little more forgiving” for Congress than it is for everyday prosecutors. . . . Trump could have obstructed justice without intending to to do anything criminal and that could still be an impeachable offense.

TIME Magazine | TIME 100—April 17
An outdated legacy of the British colonization of India, Section 377 rendered all sexual activities “against the order of nature” punishable by law. This landmark judgment, overturning a 157-year-old law, was the outcome of a long-term campaign orchestrated by two amazing public-interest litigators, Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy.

[Note: Guruswamy, BR Ambedkar Research Scholar and a lecturer at Columbia Law, and Katju ’17 LL.M., a current J.S.D. student, were the prime architects of a successful multi-year advocacy campaign to overturn Section 377 in India. Amid news that they made TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019, they were mentioned in numerous outlets worldwide including AllAfrica, Business Insider India, Elite Daily, First Post, HuffPost India, IANS, livemint, NewNowNext, The News Minute, Pink News, The Press Trust of India, Reuters, SBS, Scroll.in, The Times of India, Times News Now, and YourStory.]

FiveThirtyEight—April 17
Who Is Winning The Fundraising Primary So Far?
I was doing an interview with Richard Briffault from Columbia Law School last week, and one of the things he told me was that small donations have, historically, been tied to more polarizing or extremist candidates. . . . So he’s watching both that campaign [Buttigieg’s], and O’Rourke’s, to see if they turn out to be the things that upend this conventional wisdom that campaigns that attract small donors can’t be moderate campaigns.

Inside Climate News—April 17
Warren Vows to Leave Fossil Fuel Reserves in the Ground, a 180° Turn from Trump
Michael Gerrard, faculty director at Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said in an email that a Warren administration would have to provide a clear rationale for implementing a ban on new leases, and pointed to the moratorium on coal leasing implemented by the Obama administration as precedent.

Lawfare—April 17
Suggestions for Streamlining the FBI’s Prepublication Review Process
Without proper vetting prior to disclosure, such internal documents could, in totality, present a classified picture, as explained by David Pozen’s mosaic theory of national security.

The Texas Observer—April 17
Texas Republicans’ Push for a Religious ‘License to Discriminate’ is Depressingly Familiar
“Religious liberty rights cannot be absolute,” Elizabeth Reiner Platt, director of Columbia University’s Law, Rights, and Religion Project, told the Observer. “The classic law school example of this is someone who believes in human sacrifice. Not even the most extreme advocates for broad religious liberty rights would argue that the state can or should protect killing as a religious practice.”

WBUR—April 17
AG William Barr Changes U.S. Asylum Bond System (Audio)
Attorney General William Barr issued an order Tuesday that prevents some migrants who are seeking U.S. asylum from requesting to be released on bail. . . . Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Elora Mukherjee, professor at Columbia Law School and director of the school's immigrants rights clinic.
[Note: This segment also appeared on WWNO.]

Image Magazine—April 17
Are you the manager of your household? We're not surprised
Those tasks like keeping budget sheets, or meeting with your child’s teacher? Elizabeth Emens, a professor of law at Columbia Law School, calls this “life admin”, and it’s something none of us can avoid. These are the invisible jobs that life just requires of us. But are women doing more of those jobs too? Apparently.

Livemint—April 17
How govts can generate good, stable jobs
A new paper by Dani Rodrik of the Harvard Kennedy School of Public Policy and Charles Sabel from the Columbia Law School highlights the underlying causes of the global jobs crisis while offering policy solutions to generate better quality jobs.
[Note: This article was also referenced in the Business Standard.]

NBC News—April 18
HUD moves to require carbon monoxide detectors in public housing after deaths
Emily Benfer, a visiting associate clinical professor of law at Columbia University, called HUD’s announcement “an important step in the right direction,” but she worried that the new rule would take too long to implement. She urged the agency to take immediate action.

Energy News Network—April 18
‘This is how to build it’: Book aims to provide a legal guide to decarbonization
“Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States” outlines recommendations to help arm policymakers, the legal community, and everyday citizens with a giant menu of legal options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by the year 2050. . . . Dernbach co-edited the book, along with Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

Libération—April 19
Rapport Mueller : «Donald Trump a été engagé dans une entreprise de dissimulation» (French)
Despite these elements, the investigators concluded that Trump's guilt could not be determined. A decision that can be explained, not by lack of evidence, as the tenant of the White House says, but by legal constraints, we learn in the report. Decryption with Bernard Harcourt, Professor of Law and Political Science at Columbia University, New York.

Consultor Jurídico—April 20
Debate sobre litígios climáticos invade o Brasil (Portuguese)
According to the author of the book's introduction, Professor Michael Gerrard (Columbia Law School/Sabin Center for Climate Change Law), responsible for the celebrated and revolutionary UN report, The Status of Climate Litigation (2017):

The Washington Post—April 22
Trump plausibly committed impeachable offenses. A leading expert explains how.
Philip Bobbitt, the constitutional scholar at Columbia University, is among those who have wrestled most deeply with the complex questions raised by impeachment. . . . The upshot: Bobbitt now believes it’s “plausible” that Trump committed impeachable offenses and that the House of Representatives is obligated to proceed from this premise.
[Note: Bobbitt’s remarks in this article were also cited in RawStory and Yahoo! News.]

The Wall Street Journal | Artificial Intelligence—April 22
Top Law Schools Add AI Courses
Columbia Law School introduced a course this spring called “The Technology, Business, Law, and Policy of AI,” taught by Colleen Chien, a visiting professor of business law and former White House senior adviser on innovation and intellectual property.

LitHub—April 22
Every Day is Earth Day: 365 Books to Start Your Climate Change Library
Jedediah Purdy, After Nature
An argument that “imperialism, racism, and gender hierarchy all came from the same arrogance as human subjection of the living world” and a call for “a Copernican revolution in ethical imagination” based in post-humanism.

The Week—April 22
The reason so many unprofitable companies are going public
In a sweeping paper calling for a reform of antitrust law, Columbia Law School's Lina Khan documented how Amazon uses its platform to direct buyers towards many of the products it provides itself, and away from competitors.
[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 Salon.]

ZDNet—April 22
Put the internet back under your control with the FreedomBox
Eben Moglen, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, saw the mess we were heading toward almost 10 years ago: "Mr. Zuckerberg has attained an unenviable record: he has done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age."

CNN—April 23
How the SEC can be the babysitter Elon Musk needs
By John C. Coffee Jr.
The SEC and Elon Musk need to reach a settlement fast. Although Musk continues to trip over his oversized ego and sense of his own infallibility, the SEC is facing its own serious problem: Can it still enforce the consent decrees that it relies upon to make companies and executives comply with its settlements?

SCOTUSblog—April 23
Justices pass on opportunity to define liability for inadequate disclosures about tender offers
By Ronald Mann
The Supreme Court this morning dismissed Emulex Corp. v. Varjabedian a week after oral argument, passing on an opportunity to clarify the standard of liability under the securities laws for misleading disclosures about tender offers.

New Yorker—April 23
The Dread of Waiting for the Supreme Court to Rule on L.G.B.T. Rights
“Not great news from the Supreme Court this morning,” Katherine Franke, a law professor and the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University, wrote on her Facebook page. She said it was “unlikely” that the court’s conservative majority would find that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, under its provisions prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace, protects L.G.B.T. employees. “Our work, like in almost all other areas now, will be harm reduction,” Franke added.
[Note: Franke’s Facebook post was also quoted in Law.com’s Labor of Law briefing.]

PBS NewsHour—April 23
Mueller followed strict rules in investigating Trump. Congress has fewer constraints
In the report, Mueller said he took the Justice Department rules into consideration . . . But he added that if Congress applied “the obstruction of justice laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office” it would accord “with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” “That indicates a kind of handoff to Congress,” said Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia University law professor who worked in the Carter administration.

Bloomberg Law—April 23
Mercedes Fight with Muralists Tests Building Copyright Bounds
Columbia University intellectual property law professor Philippa Loengard, who focuses on visual arts and entertainment, said that argument doesn’t square with the law’s definition of an architectural work. “To me it’s very clear the drafters meant ‘edifice,’ or plans or drawings of the edifice. Not ‘anything attached to the edifice,’ or ‘painted onto the edifice,’” she said. “I don’t think anyone would argue that a mural is an architectural element.”

The National—April 23
Hope is a far more powerful force than confrontation when it comes to climate change
Clearly, localism is the way to go. It’s a cause espoused by a new handbook, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in the United States, co-edited by two American professors of environmental law, Michael Gerrard and John Dernbach.

The New York Times—April 24
Bernie Sanders Scares a Lot of People, and Quite a Few of Them Are Democrats
Jagdish N. Bhagwati, an economist at Columbia and an expert in development economics and international trade, who likes Sanders and supported him in 2016, is critical of Sanders’ policies. In a phone interview, Bhagwati described Sanders’ thinking as “a little bit naive,” displaying little “understanding of the complexity of the issues he raises.”

NPR—April 24
Facebook Recruits Surveillance Hawk To Be Its Top Lawyer (Audio and transcript)
AARTI SHAHANI: Tim Wu figured Facebook would hire someone who was the opposite of Newstead.
TIM WU: I was a little shocked, taken aback.
SHAHANI: Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, once met the incoming Facebook lawyer at a party. They'd both clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and he was the host. Wu is a privacy advocate. He says Facebook needs to clean up its reputation, prove to users the company wants to protect them - by bringing in a Patriot Act architect.

The Washington Post—April 24
Climate-change activists worldwide look to courts as a powerful new ally
More than 1,300 lawsuits related to climate change, many targeting governments or corporations, have been filed around the world since the 1980s, with a surge in recent years, according to research by Columbia University’s law school and the Arnold & Porter law firm.

Bankrate—April 24
Rising tides, intense storms and floods wake-up call for homeowners, homebuyers
In fact, 21 states — including some of the most flood-prone, like Florida, Missouri and New York, have some of the worst disclosure laws, according to a joint report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Financial Times—April 24
Colony Capital: the mixed investment record of Tom Barrack
However, John Coffee, a corporate governance expert at Columbia Law School, says it is often reasonable to look both at an investor’s average performance and the results of particular funds. “I think the number has relevance, what the overall performance was,” he says, adding that it would also be fair to consider whether performance had improved since 2008.

Romper [Digital Media Group]—April 24
California Lawmakers Pass Bill To End Hair Discrimination, Bringing Hope For Increased Diversity & Inclusion
Additionally, a 2015 report from Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies found that Black boys were three times as likely to be suspended as white boys, while Black girls were six times more likely to be suspended than white girls.

Salon—April 24
Right-wing border militias are the shock troops of Donald Trump's authoritarian movement
Bernard Harcourt, who is professor of law and political science at Columbia University, and the author of "The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens," provides some additional context. He communicated to me via email how: "If this is true (that this militia is armed and detaining individuals and turning them over to Border Patrol), it would likely amount to criminal behavior. It would likely amount to kidnapping.

SCOTUSblog—April 25
Argument analysis: Justices close out 2018 term with a spirited discussion about sanctions for violating bankruptcy discharge
By Ronald Mann
From the moment Daniel Geyser, representing Taggart, began his argument, discussion was dominated by a group of justices who could not accept the idea that a court could hold a creditor in contempt if the creditor reasonably believed its conduct did not violate the discharge.
[Note: Mann also wrote a preview of this argument for SCOTUSblog.]

The Washington Post—April 25
Trump’s campaign manager says Russia ‘never’ helped. That lie will please Trump.
As I keep repeating, in trying to derail the investigation, Trump . . . sought to derail a full accounting of the Russian attack on our political system, separate and apart from whether his own campaign conspired with it, which weakened our ability to protect against the next one. As impeachment scholar Philip Bobbitt told me, this could qualify as a “high crime and misdemeanor," which is to say that it strengthens the case for initiating an impeachment inquiry focused in part on that obstruction.

The Washington Post—April 25
The Energy 202: Fossil fuel ban on public lands becomes issue in 2020 Democratic race
In fact, President Barack Obama took a significant step on that front in his last year in office when he ordered a moratorium on new leases for coal mined from federal lands. “The next president could issue an even broader moratorium, covering oil and gas as well as coal,” said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School.

The Washington Post—April 25
The Technology 202: Facebook's stock rises even as company projects record fine from government agency
Tim Wu, the author of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Guilded Age,” said the fine should just be the beginning. He suggested the company should be required to sell off one of its major subsidiaries, WhatsApp.

NBC News | THINK—April 25
Mark Zuckerberg is a robber baron. Let's use antitrust laws to break up his monopoly.
We have been told in recent decades, as Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu observes in his book “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age,” to think of monopolies and oligopolies as worrisome only if they charge high prices — a narrow view popularized by Judge Robert Bork and others at the University of Chicago in the 1970s.

New York Law Journal—April 25
Amal and George Clooney Take the Stage at Columbia Law to Introduce Ambitious Court-Monitoring Project
Saying that corrupt governments across the world are increasingly using their courtrooms to abuse citizens and silence dissidents, Amal and George Clooney on Thursday announced from a Columbia Law School stage a new global initiative aimed at monitoring trials, exposing abuses and rallying support for the victims.
[Note: The launch of the TrialWatch initiative at the Law School was covered in numerous outlets worldwide, including by the Columbia Daily Spectator, Digital Trends, Emirates Woman, ET Canada, GeekWire, Law360, The National, Vogue UK, and W Magazine.]

NPR | Hidden Brain—April 25
This Is Your Brain On Ads: How Mass Marketing Affects Our Minds (Audio and story)
Later in the program, we delve into the history of the advertising industry with Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants. In his book, Wu reveals the techniques media companies have developed to hijack our attention. "You go to your computer and you have the idea you're going to write just one email. You sit down and suddenly an hour goes by. Maybe two hours. And you don't know what happened," Wu says.
[Note: This segment appeared on numerous outlets nationwide.]

E&E News—April 25
Agencies break ranks over ANWR climate analysis
"Sounds like authentic science is raising its head above water, which is refreshing," said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law scholar at Columbia University. "The fact that another agency has raised the [climate] issue makes it more perilous to ignore it in the final EIS, but it does not necessarily compel a different outcome," he said.
[Note: This article also appeared in Science Magazine and Scientific American.]

Daily Kos—April 25
Hillary Clinton urges Congress forward on investigating Trump: 'It's our national security'
Philip Bobbitt, a constitutional scholar at Columbia University, echoes that concern, and has argued that Trump's attempts to obstruct the Mueller investigation into his own activities has also blocked the Congress and the people from an accounting of the Russia attacks, "impeding an investigation to stop a determination of what Russia did, why, and how they did it. Because this is not over."

Les Échos—April 25
Vendeurs à découvert : le débat qui enflamme Wall Street (French)
They called themselves "Midnight Trader", "Disruptive Investor", "Alchemy of Finance" or "Pump Terminator" and made terror prevail. Between 2010 and the end of 2017, these authors under pseudonyms published 1,720 articles on American listed companies on the community financial website Seeking Alpha, according to a study (*) by Joshua Mitts.

Axios Future—April 26
Among the next I queried was Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia and author of The Curse of Bigness. I had spoken with Wu in October, when he called for a legal review of some 70 company acquisitions by Facebook, especially of Instagram and WhatsApp, and urged the company's breakup. The cascade of new disclosures just make Wu say the same thing: "It is crazy to have one firm owning these three major social media empires, and thereby eliminating any hope of real competition between them."

HuffPost—April 26
The Trump Administration’s Congressional Stonewalling Is Unprecedented
“You sort of go back and forth because, as the game theorists would say, it’s a repeat player game,” said Phillip Bobbitt, Columbia Law School professor and former counsel for the Senate Iran-Contra Committee. “You’ve got to work with this guy next week when you want your budget adopted.”
[Note: This article also appeared on Yahoo! News.]

Lawfare—April 27
Constitutional Hardball and Congress’s Oversight Authority
These tactics, then, are not just political hardball. Rather, as Joseph Fishkin and David E. Pozen describe it, such tactics “put pressure on the ‘norms of good institutional citizenship’ that help to structure and ‘sustain the constitutional system.’”

MSNBC—April 29
Attorney General Bill Barr and House Dems spar over House hearing (Video)
The Attorney General of the United States says he’ll talk to the House Judiciary Committee about the Mueller report – but he has conditions. Former federal prosecutor Berit Berger joins Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle to discuss how Barr’s conditions could lead to a fight that pits the top of the Justice Department against the justice system.

Jezebel—April 29
Donald Trump Invokes the 'Murderous Mother' of Anti-Abortion Myths
“Abortion,” Carol Sanger writes in About Abortion, should be thought of “in relation to women’s power.” “There is no question that the right to decide about abortion gives women significant authority over their own lives.”

KPFA 94.1—April 29
Kimberle Crenshaw talks with #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Barnes and Margo Oakazawa-Rey talks with Kimberle Crenshaw about her work at AAPF and on intersectionality (Audio)
In the first half of the show we will hear clips from a new podcast called “Intersectionality Matters” by renowned feminist and legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw who talks with #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Barnes about her movement to expose R Kelly’s serial abuse of Black women and girls. And then in the second half of the show renowned scholar, activist, and author Margo Oakazawa-Rey talks to legal scholar and activist Kimberle Crenshaw about how to address the trauma of abuse in the black community

The National Memo—April 29
For GOP, Playing Constitutional Hardball Is Playing With Fire
Legal scholars Joseph Fishkin and David E. Pozen outlined the concept in a notable paper on the topic . . . As Fishkin and Pozen argue, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to deny a Senate vote on Judge Merrick Garland, who President Barack Obama nominated to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat when he died in 2016, was another example of constitutional hardball tactics.
[Note: This article also appeared on AlterNet.]

The Washington Post—April 30
‘Certainly a possibility’: Prison for parents accused in college admissions scandal?
A major question looming over the case in federal court in Boston is whether those convicted will spend time behind bars. “I’d say it’s certainly a possibility,” said Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia University law professor and former federal prosecutor. Much depends, he said, on whether a case is tried. “Most people will tell you that trials do increase punishment,” he said.
[Note: Richman’s remarks were also cited in SFGate.]

MSNBC | Deadline: White House—April 30
Trump goes to 'political war' over his finances (Video)
WaPo’s Ashley Parker, former Assistant Director of the FBI Frank Figliuzzi, former federal prosecutor Berit Berger, MoveOn’s Karine Jean-Pierre, and Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien on Trump suing banks to block House subpoenas for financial records

MSNBC | Deadline: White House—April 30
Rod’s Rocky Road: Inside DAG Rosenstein’s departure
Former Assistant Director of the FBI Frank Figliuzzi, former federal prosecutor Berit Berger, MoveOn’s Karine Jean-Pierre, Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien, and Real Clear Politics’ A.B. Stoddard on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s resignation following the release of Mueller’s report

Columbia Daily Spectator—April 30
Conversations on institutional racism, campus safety take center stage in classrooms following Barnard Public Safety incident
Columbia Law School professor Bernard Harcourt was particularly distraught when he initially found out about the incident, later citing conversations that occurred among faculty soon after to find ways to address what happened. “When I heard of the incident and then watched the video, I was distraught and deeply alarmed, and concerned and deeply saddened that our students were experiencing these things,” Harcourt said.

Basler Zeitung—April 30
Die neue Chefjuristin solls richten (German)
But this work as one of the architects of the Surveillance Act now makes the election in the leadership of Facebook surprising, says Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University. He knows Newstead from their time together as a clerk of federal judge Stephen Breyer. Wu fears that Zuckerberg could now use it as a sort of pledge to gain the goodwill of the Trump administration. "I'm worried that Facebook could cooperate with the government."

Der Tagesspiegel—April 30
Verschiedene Geschichten erzählen (German)
The US lawyer Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term "intersectionality" and was celebrated in Berlin . . . "It's like the Beyoncé concert," says a participant as people are admitted to the hall of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
[Note: Crenshaw and her work on intersectionality were also quoted in media outlets including Good Housekeeping, Her Campus and Overland Magazine.]


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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.