Faculty in the News

Columbia Law School Clip Report, August 1–15, 2019

Rethinking Schools Magazine—Summer 2019
Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition
By Katherine Franke
(Haymarket, 2019)
181 pp.
Reparations has finally made it into the mainstream. In 2019, Democratic presidential candidates field questions about whether African Americans should receive compensation for the injustice of slavery, Jim Crow, and their modern legacies. So far, these public discussions have been vague, mealymouthed, and unsatisfyingly ahistorical. Not so with Katherine Franke’s short-but-powerful book calling for reparations.

Law Journal Newsletters—August 1
Insider Trading Rules Still Not Clear
By John C. Coffee Jr.
It has been nearly 60 years since the SEC first clearly prohibited insider trading in its 1961 decision in In re Cady, Roberts & Co. You would think that would be long enough for the doctrinal rules to have become reasonably clear. Think again!

American Prospect—August 1
Why the Dems Need to Talk About Economics AND Racism
Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term 30 years ago as part of an argument that black women were not protected by anti-discrimination laws that focused on race or gender. Because the discrimination they faced was intersectional, they needed legal recognition as women of color.

The Guardian—August 1
Alarm over voter purges as 17m Americans removed from rolls in two years
A federal court for North Dakota on Wednesday upheld a law requiring voters to have a residential street address, rejecting a complaint by a Native American group that the law amounted to voter suppression, because many of its members had no such address. . . . The Columbia University professor Katherine Franke tweeted that the ruling was a “huge setback for Native American voting rights”.

Law360—August 1
A Welcome Turning Of The Tide On State Preemption Of Cities
As Richard Briffault, Laurie Reynolds and I catalogued in a recent volume that tracked this phenomenon and collected emerging scholarship reckoning with what it means, basic questions of the allocation of legal authority between cities and states are being reordered in many states through novel assertions of state power, without the kind of collective public constitutional reform that has marked shifts in home rule in past generations.

Directors & Boards—August 2
Long-Term Bias and Overconfident CEOs
In a recent study, Eric Talley of Columbia Law School and Michal Barzuza of the University of Virginia School of Law School draw on the field of behavioral finance to find evidence that there may be a widespread and countervailing force to short-termism also at work: what they call “long-term bias.”

Governing—August 2
To Counteract Trump on Climate Change, States Set Clean Energy Targets
“It’s necessary to generate the clean electricity, to transmit it to where it’s needed and to balance the supply with the demand,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. “There are technologies for all three — they’re not cheap or easy — but it is technologically possible.”
[Note: This article appeared in numerous media outlets worldwide.]

Vice—August 2
The Equifax Settlement Is a Cruel Joke
Tim Wu, a Professor at Columbia Law, told Motherboard the FTC’s assumption that just 240,000 of 147 million victims would put in a claim shows the agency really didn’t think things through. “It is true that when it comes to remedies like this, the claims rates are low. Not everyone hears about it, or fills out the paperwork,” Wu said. “But the rate of no-shows assumed seems facially absurd, especially for $125.”

Australian Broadcasting Corporation News—August 4
With record meth busts and thriving transnational crime, has South-East Asia's 'war on drugs' failed?
Jeffrey Fagan, a professor of law at Columbia University who appeared as an expert witness for Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran, told the Indonesian Constitutional Court in 2007 that his research had shown there is no evidence that killing criminals has the impact of stemming the drug trade.

Financial Times—August 4
New UN Singapore Convention drives shift to mediation of trade disputes
George Bermann, director of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration at Columbia Law School in New York, welcomes the Singapore Convention. “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be as conducive to mediation as the New York Convention has been for arbitration,” he says.

The Globe and Mail—August 4
Intellectual property might not be the best way to drive Canada’s future economy
As Columbia University law professor Michael Heller points out, the more IP assets you have, the more they create a “gridlock economy” in which overlapping IP claims end up actually stifling innovation.

Project Syndicate—August 5
The Right Response to the Libra Threat
By Katharina Pistor and Co-Pierre George
But first, we must consider a fundamental question: Should the state allow the creation of private money, or should it tightly limit efforts like Bitcoin and Libra, even at the risk of curtailing innovation?
[Note: This article was published by numerous media outlets worldwide.]

The Washington Post—August 6
The Supreme Court’s illiberal legacy
In Dred Scott, the Supreme Court held that black people could not be citizens. In Plessy, the court gave new legal force to the “separate but equal” doctrine, holding that it was constitutional for Louisiana to have racially segregated railway cars. In Korematsu, the court signed off on Japanese internment. These cases make up what legal scholar Jamal Greene refers to as “the anticanon,” because they are bad precedent on which judges rarely rely when deciding a case.

CNN—August 7
The whole child separation travesty is pointless
By Clara Long and Elora Mukherjee
Over the course of this summer, the American people -- across party lines -- have shown that they reject the hate and dehumanization of immigrants that appears to have motivated last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso. . . . But the test is whether legislators will use the power of the purse to make a real difference for children by keeping families together and shifting the focus away from detention. With senators and representatives home for the August recess, the American people have a pivotal opportunity to demand change now.

Psychology Today—August 8
Let’s Talk About Privilege
By Elizabeth Emens
Although it can be hard to do, I try to talk about admin across the divide of privilege. I am not saying all forms of admin suffering are equivalent. They are not. But I am also not saying that because some people’s admin is surely worse than yours, that your admin challenges shouldn’t matter. In my years of conversations about admin, I have seen possibilities for admin compassion.

MSNBC | The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell—August 8
Rpt: Banks turn over documents on Russians possibly tied to Trump (Video)
The Wall Street Journal reports that several major banks, including Deutsche Bank, have turned over documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump, his family or his business to congressional investigators. Lawrence O'Donnell discusses what comes next in the investigations into Trump's finances with Tim O'Brien and Berit Berger.

WILL-TV (Illinois Public Media)—August 8
Making A Butter Cow; History of State Fair Politics; George Will On Conservatism And Illinois; Using Business Apps At Home (Audio and story)
It turns out, some people are using apps designed for business to manage their home life. This type of unpaid administrative work is something Elizabeth Emens writes about in her book “Life Admin.” She’s a law professor at Columbia.

The Guardian—August 9
Good luck finding true love with ‘no drama’ – fulfilment takes work
The problem here is the collision of a timeless truth – that what we think we want isn’t always what’s best for us – with a modern one: the way the “convenience revolution” makes it so easy to get what we think we want. Convenience plays funny tricks: “I prefer to brew my coffee,” writes the academic Tim Wu, “but Starbucks Instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I ‘prefer’.”

InsideClimate News—August 9
EPA Plans to Rewrite Clean Water Act Rules to Fast-Track Pipelines
The EPA's plan conflicts with decades of legal precedents, said Jennifer Danis, a staff attorney at Columbia Law School's Environmental Clinic. "There is a vast body of precedent that confirms the critical importance of states' primacy over and expertise in protecting their own waters," she said.

The Guardian—August 10
This Is Not Propaganda by Peter Pomerantsev review – quietly frightening
While autocratic regimes once controlled the narrative by silencing opponents, they now seek to confuse their populations by bombarding them with false information, half truths and competing narratives. It’s a strategy that Pomerantsev describes as “censorship through noise”, or as one of his interviewees, law professor Tim Wu, puts it, states have moved from “an ideology of information scarcity to one of information abundance”.

The New York Times—August 11
Why the Jeffrey Epstein Investigation Is Not Over
Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan who now teaches criminal law at Columbia University, said that meant the government already had identified additional targets despite the death of Mr. Epstein. “Its use of conspiracy charges suggests it already has some living people in its sights,” Mr. Richman said.
[Note: Richman’s comments also appeared in New York Magazine’s The Cut and The Wrap.]

El Mundo—August 11
Las leyes de la guerra cumplen 70 años (Spanish)
"The legal regulation of war has always been a challenge, because it is hard to stop violence in the heat of conflict and because military technology evolves faster than laws," explains Matthew Waxman, an expert at the American think tank Council on Foreign Relations. "Some of the basic principles of the Geneva Conventions have proved quite lasting despite these challenges. War is and will always remain brutal, but I do not see it as a failure of International Law, but rather a limited success but still very significant," says Waxman.

Bloomberg News—August 12
Burford Capital Alleges of Potential Market Manipulation
A forensic examination of detailed data by Burford and its expert, Professor Joshua Mitts of Columbia University, “discloses trading activity consistent with material illegal activity,” the litigation-finance firm said in a statement Monday. The company said it has made regulatory authorities and criminal prosecutors aware of its findings and is considering its own options.
[Note: Amid news concerning Burford Capital and shares, Mitts was also quoted in BBC News, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Morningstar, and The Times.]

MSNBC | MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle—August 12
Multiple investigations underway in Jeffrey Epstein death (Video)
Stephanie Ruhle breaks down the multiple investigations that are now underway to figure out what happened and what’s next for Epstein’s case. Weighing in: NBC’s Tom Winter, NBC’s Ari Melber, former federal prosecutor Berit Berger, and New York Times Finance Editor David Enrich.

New York Magazine—August 12
Facebook Is Trying to Protect Itself From Antitrust Action
The abandoned Houseparty deal is a faint signal that, already, questions about competition in the technology industry affect how companies do business. It has the effect of what tech-policy expert Tim Wu calls the “policeman at the elbow.” Facebook knows it is under serious scrutiny and, in some ways, is acting more cautiously as a consequence. The result is that Facebook may no longer be able to just spend its way to dominance.

Patch.com—August 12
Tennessee Hearing Testimony On Total Abortion Ban
"Justice Roberts doesn't want to take it on," Columbia Law School professor Carol Sanger, an expert on constitutional law and reproductive rights, told Patch in March. "He's a conservative, but a moderate conservative. … To be chief justice, if you are a constitutional lawyer, you have died and gone to heaven. He doesn't want the Roberts Court to be known as the court that overturned Roe."

POLITICO—August 12
Democrats’ newest climate platform: Hammering fossil fuel companies
For now, the paucity of national laws on climate change make it hard to bring federal suits, said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. No criminal cases for climate change are underway anywhere in the world, and Gerrard does not believe there is precedent for any such lawsuits, either. "The sale of coal, oil and gas is perfectly legal," he said in an email. "Criminal charges might be brought for other related crimes, such as lying while under oath to a court or to Congress, but I don't think that has happened in the climate context."

Agência Pública—August 12
Os pastores de Trump chegam a Brasília (Portuguese)
According to Columbia University law professor and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Katherine Franke, the export of US fundamentalist missions to Latin America, with the blessing of the federal government, violates the principles of separation of state and church determined by the United States Constitution. “The government is promoting religion as an official government project and this clearly violates one of the clauses. Moreover, the government is promoting a particular view of religion without doing so impartially. And this is a second type of violation,” said the expert . . .
[Note: This article also appeared in El País (Brasil).]

Univision News—August 12
Líderes evangélicos amparados por la Casa Blanca exportan agenda fundamentalista a América Latina (Spanish)
The export of US fundamentalist missions to Latin America, with the blessing of the federal government, violates the principles of separation of State and Church established in the United States Constitution, as confirmed by Katherine Franke, professor of law and gender and sexuality studies at Columbia University in New York. Franke directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at the University and is the faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project. . . . "The government is promoting religion as an official government project and that clearly violates one of the clauses of the Constitution," she said.

Climate Liability News—August 13
Pacific Islands Group Pushes for International Court Ruling on Climate and Human Rights
Michael Gerrard, faculty director and founder of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School and one of the experts supporting the initiative, called ICJ advisory opinions “important statements of international law.” “The current leaders of some major emitting countries, such as the U.S. and Brazil, may not care much about international law, but hopefully their successors will,” he told Climate Liability News via email.

CoinDesk—August 13
Legal Expert Katharina Pistor Weighs in on Facebook’s Libra (Article and video)
“You can’t put the genie back into the bottle,” said Katharina Pistor at our exclusive event in DC during the Libra hearings. Pistor, the Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School, explored the legality – and importance – of corporate tokens like Libra in a world that seems reticent to adopt them.

Project Syndicate—August 13
Global Money for the Poor
Although blockchain and mobile-phone technologies can provide global money for the poor, some fear that they could create global financial instability. Commentators including Katharina Pistor of Columbia Law School have warned of the possible financial and other risks associated with Facebook’s Libra, and have called for governments to intervene before it takes off.

Viêtnam News—August 13
YSI Asia Convening 2019 kicks off in Hà Nội
Answering the question of how universities prepare students to adapt to the world's rapid development, Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School and Director of the Law School’s Centre on Global Legal Transformation Katharina Pistor suggested that besides supplying basic knowledge, teachers should give students methodologies and critical thinking. “I will give students a key to open their own doors,” Pistor told Việt Nam News.

Quartz—August 14
Why is WeWork including a strike by employees among its possible risk factors?
“It is not a common factor but they may know that they have difficult labor relations,” says law professor John Coffee Jr., director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. “If you know a strike is a realistic possibility, it certainly deserves to be disclosed.”

Washington Examiner—August 14
Daily on Energy: Legal fight over Trump coal plant rule shows just how divided red and blue states are
“The lineup in this lawsuit almost perfectly reflects the partisan division in the United States,” Columbia University environmental law professor Michael Gerrard told me. “Red states want less regulation of greenhouse gases; blue states want more.”

The Washington Post—August 14
The Energy 202: Here's what environmentalists are really worried about with Trump's new power plant rule
But in a 5-4 decision in 2007, the Supreme Court paved the way for the EPA to regulate carbon emission under the decades-old environmental statute, which had its last significant revision in 1990. A "worst case scenario for the environmental side" is if the Supreme Court, now with a more conservative composition with the additions of Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, wanted to revisit the 2007 case, according to Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

ABC News—August 15
Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press speak out after ending US Soccer salary mediation
"The U.S. women's soccer team does not need to be the best in the world in order to earn equal pay. The point of non-discrimination law is that employees doing similar work should be paid equally," Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at the Columbia Law School, told ABC News earlier this year.
[Note: This article appeared in numerous media outlets nationwide.]

Financial Times—August 15
WeWork tests tolerance for its ‘gov-lite’ structure
Even though Mr Neumann has put the properties in a new entity in which WeWork is the majority shareholder, John Coffee, director of Columbia Law School’s corporate governance centre, described the arrangements as evidence of “self dealing”. “He’s putting himself in the middle all the time,” Mr Coffee said, questioning Wall Street advisers’ willingness to support the arrangement. “When you see this it usually makes underwriters very, very leery. These are the most prestigious underwriters in the country but they don’t usually have their banks making loans to the key person in the company.”

New York Times—August 15
Migrant Children Are Entitled to Toothbrushes and Soap, Federal Court Rules
“It’s a major victory for children in federal immigration custody,” Elora Mukherjee, one of the lawyers who visited the Clint facility and who has served as an official monitor on the ongoing court case for several years, said of the court’s decision. . . . “This decision just guts all of those arguments, it shows that they have no basis,” said Ms. Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School.
[Note: Mukherjee’s comments also appeared in Newsweek. Amid news concerning the conditions of federal migrant detention centers, Mukherjee was quoted and referenced in Harvard Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Rockford Register Star.]


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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.