Faculty in the News
Columbia Law School Clip Report, February 1–15, 2020
France Info—February 1
Pourquoi livrons-nous tout de nous à l'hydre numérique ? Réponse dans l'essai percutant "La société d'exposition" de Bernard E. Harcourt (French)
Many feel it vaguely, some experience discomfort, but nobody wants to face reality: the digital society is a trap that is closing in on us with our full and entire participation, warns Bernard E. Harcourt in La Société d’exposition, his very critical essay on the new virtual transparency. Increasingly greedy for data, the digital hydra is constantly looking for new pleasant and irresistible ways to always capture our attention and suck up our data, writes this professor of political philosophy and law at Columbia University.
Quatre essais pour bien commencer l'année (French)
Bernard Harcourt, la Société d’exposition, Seuil
American legal expert Bernard Harcourt calls on Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari to think about what he calls our "exhibition society,” which even the metaphor of Big Brother is no longer enough to understand.
The Chronicle of Social Change—February 2
Co-Parenting Pilot Builds Teamwork Between Parents and Foster Parents
In order to create space for parents to share their feelings candidly, foster parents will need to differentiate themselves from the foster agency, says Jane Spinak, a Columbia law professor who specializes in child and family advocacy. “Agencies have to understand their foster parents’ loyalties won’t be entirely with the agency anymore, otherwise the foster parent can’t gain the parent’s trust,” said Spinak. “They have to be clear about the foster parent’s role so the parent doesn’t feel like this is just another hoop to jump through. It’s very different for a parent to see the foster parent as an ally.”
The Mexican-American War and Constitutional War Powers
By Matthew Waxman
In discussions of constitutional war powers, it’s the start of the Mexican-American War that gets most of the attention. . . . Nevertheless, the main constitutional controversy in most accounts of the war is that President James Polk pretextually manufactured a border crisis to pull Congress into declaring war over American blood spilled in the disputed region between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande (which the United States and Mexico, respectively, regarded as the proper national boundary).
The Navhind Times—February 2
A recent study of the Constitution by Madhav Khosla, a professor at Columbia and Ashoka Universities, reveals its truly unique quality. It’s something many of us may not have earlier appreciated. Called India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy, its most striking thought concerns the relationship between the Constitution and the Indian people.
[Note: Khosla is the B.R. Ambedkar Visiting Associate Professor of Indian Constitutional Law.]
Foreign Affairs—February 3
When It Comes to Markets, Europe Is No Fading Power
By Anu Bradford
That Europe’s best days are over has become a common refrain. . . . And yet an important dimension of the EU’s power remains unaffected by any of these trends, and that is the EU’s capacity to set high domestic standards, remaking global regulations in the process.
Hindustan Times—February 3
Why India must resist facial recognition tech | Opinion
By Mishi Choudhary and Eben Moglen
Tech enthusiasts tend to dismiss anyone asking basic questions as Luddites, especially if billions of dollars are at stake. But once such a society without privacy is built, it cannot be dismantled. Once people allow their government to permit its construction, they are entrusting all future governments, and all future dominant data-mining companies, with powers that can be used to destroy freedom.
The Supreme Court Made the African Ban Possible
By Elora Mukherjee
When the president promulgates racist immigration policies under the guise of national security, where should we turn for redress? Our first instinct might be the courts. . . . The Muslim and African bans should remind us how the courts have approved some of the ugliest decisions in America’s immigration history.
Gizmodo Australia—February 3
I Cut The 'Big Five' Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell
For ideas about what the government can do about all this, I call Lina Khan, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute who wrote a blockbuster paper on the need to regulate Amazon’s monopoly power. . . . Khan is in New York doing an academic fellowship at Columbia University where she is working on more papers.
Tucson Sentinel—February 3
Judge reverses convictions of 4 No More Deaths volunteers
Katherine Franke, the director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School, praised Marquez's decision, writing that overturning the convictions "marks a significant defeat for the Department of Justice in its effort to protect religious liberty rights only when they advance the White House's political agenda."
[Note: Amid news that an Arizona judge reversed the conviction of four humanitarian aid volunteers on religious freedom grounds, Franke was also quoted in Common Dreams, CNN, Daily Kos, HuffPost, The Intercept, News and Guts, and Religion News Service.]
WBUR-FM (Boston’s NPR Station)—February 3
The Trump Administration Is 'Silencing Science,' Environmental Law Expert Says (Article and audio)
The Trump administration has rolled back at least 95 environmental regulations since taking office. . . . “This is beyond [George] Orwell,” says Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Along with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, the Sabin Center has been tracking the erosion of climate science under Trump using their “Silencing Science Tracker.”
Esclavitud y cambio climático: un círculo vicioso en la sombra (Spanish)
Michael B. Gerrard, professor of Environmental Law at Columbia University, where he is the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law: “Since the Paris Conference on Climate (COP21) in 2015, the experience, as evidenced at COP25 in Madrid, reflects that countries are not doing enough to reduce their emissions. Despite the different calls from the United Nations and other actors for greater ambition, virtually no state has increased its ambition and many of them are acting below the promises made in Paris. As a result, the planet will continue to heat at an alarming rate and the number of people forced to leave their homes will also increase.”
Bloomberg Opinion—February 4
Europeans Should Say Thank You to Boris Johnson
This ability to influence regulation outside the single market is known as the “Brussels Effect,” a term coined by Columbia Law School’s Professor Anu Bradford, whose latest book argues that Brexit will likely strengthen the EU’s hand.
DAME Magazine—February 4
What Happens When Science Is Censored?
Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund are tracking both climate deregulations and restrictions and suppression of science taken by the Trump administration. . . . Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center, told DAME that through mechanisms like ignoring the existing science, misrepresenting it, and inhibiting research, the Trump administration has effectively silenced science.
10 Podcasts That Celebrate Black Excellence
Civil rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw hosts Intersectionality Matters! Crenshaw’s critical race theory started the conversation about people who experience prejudice and systemic oppression in intersecting ways based on a variety of identities (race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on), creating unique forms of discrimination.
Live Law—February 4
'India's Founding Moment':The Constitution Of A Most Surprising Democracy: A Conversation With Author Madhav Khosla
In this exchange, Ananth Padmanabhan, the Dean of Academic Affairs at Sai University is in conversation with Madhav Khosla, who teaches constitutional law at Columbia Law School and Ashoka University and is the author of a new book, India's Founding Moment.
Foreign Affairs—February 5
The Precarious Foundations of Indian Democracy
By Madhav Khosla
The constitution that the protesters seek to defend grants universal suffrage to a people that had, for centuries, been seen as too poor, diverse, and fractious to rule themselves. That the document is now at the heart of a nationwide protest movement is a reminder of the unique—and precarious—foundations on which Indian democracy rests.
Conversations With Coleman—February 5
Podcast – Katherine Franke (Audio)
In this episode, Coleman [Hughes] has a chat with Katherine Franke — one of America's leading scholars on law, racial justice, and African American history.
Global Finance—February 5
How the European Union Rules the World
Anu Bradford is the Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization at Columbia Law School and a director for the European Legal Studies Center. . . . In a new book, The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World, she argues that the EU has become a leader in establishing standards worldwide, and that it is uniquely positioned to continue to set the pace in global policymaking.
The New York Times—February 5
The Classic Novel That Saw Pleasure as a Path to Freedom
Feminism endures when it embraces consciousness both within and without, becoming a cooperative struggle for justice across categories, what Kimberlé Crenshaw termed “intersectionality.”
NPR | Morning Edition—February 5
Graduates Of Historically Black Colleges May Be Paying More For Loans: Watchdog Group (Article and audio)
Todd Baker, who teaches a course on fintech at Columbia University's Law School, said the traditional credit score approach to lending has its own problems and biases. And some fintech lenders' alternative approaches can help. "Using alternative data can be highly beneficial, but also has dangers and we need to be very vigilant that we don't recreate some of the problematic practices of the past unintentionally," Baker said.
[Note: Baker is a senior fellow at the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy and a lecturer at the Law School. This segment appeared across numerous NPR stations nationwide.]
Project Syndicate—February 5
Limited Liability Is Causing Unlimited Harm
By Katharina Pistor
Under current conditions, markets simply cannot price risk adequately, because market participants are shielded from the harms that corporations inflict on others. This pathology goes by the name of “limited liability,” but when it comes to the risk borne by shareholders, it would be more accurate to call it “no liability.”
The National Law Journal—February 5
Former Clerks Turned Law Profs | Dreeben's Perspective | Disparities in Prisoner Appeals | SCOTUS Headlines: Consovoy's '5-Hour Energy' Pitch
A petition filed on behalf of an Alabama inmate by a Columbia Law School professor contends the arbitrariness in certificate rulings by federal appellate courts, particularly the Eleventh Circuit, reflects a systemic breakdown in the certificate of appealability, or COA, review process. "A lot of (COA) petitioners are pro se, and they're not really getting reviewed anymore," said Columbia's Bernard Harcourt, who filed the petition. "It's almost as if the [Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act] mechanism requiring a COA has closed the gate on federal circuit review of their habeas denials. It's really important from a larger perspective of systemic justice."
Sydney Morning Herald—February 5
Trump's Senate impeachment trial ends, victory lap is just beginning
"I think today is the single most depressing day to be a Democrat since Nov 8, 2016," tweeted former Obama administration official Tim Wu.
[Note: This article appeared in multiple media outlets in Australia.]
Tesla, SolarCity, and Inherent Coercion
Tesla notched a trifecta of (legal) headlines this week, with three inter-related developments coming out of the shareholder challenge to the firm’s 2016 purchase of SolarCity: a settlement, a summary judgment decision, and an almost-certain trial featuring testimony by none other than Elon Musk.
40 OF THE BEST FEMINIST BOOKS
18. ON INTERSECTIONALITY BY KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW
Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989, and her theories and critical work have been a hugely influential part of feminism ever since. On Intersectionality is a collection of Crenshaw’s writings, with a new introduction by the author that clarifies this groundbreaking feminist framework.
[Note: Crenshaw’s book also appeared on BookRiot’s “30 of Your Favorite Nonfiction Books About Racism and White Supremacy” list.]
The Economist—February 6
The parable of the plug
Everything from timber production in Indonesia to internet privacy in Latin America is now settled by a bunch of bureaucrats, diplomats, MEPs and lobbyists in the middle of Belgium. This has been dubbed the “Brussels effect” by Anu Bradford of Columbia Law School, in a new book of the same title, which explains how the EU quietly has become a regulatory superpower.
Fox Business—February 6
Bernie Madoff doesn’t deserve your pity even if he’s terminally ill
“(Madoff) may be attempting such release Bernie Ebbers just received and promptly died less than a month later,” said Columbia law school professor John Coffee, who specializes in white-collar crime and corporate law. But Coffee adds, “Madoff does not seem that terminal yet and his application may be deemed premature.”
The Guardian—February 6
It wasn’t the US Senate that saved Trump – it was the founding fathers
In his Impeachment: A Handbook, the American academic Philip Bobbitt relates how the founding fathers saw impeachment as a curb on presidential power. They wanted no homegrown George III. But the federalist Alexander Hamilton realised the danger in putting a judicial sanction in the hands of the Senate, rather than the supreme court. It risked politicising impeachment. The risk was, says Bobbitt, that “if impeachment is weaponised by the losing party ... people will lose confidence in the peaceful transfer of power that accompanies a national election”.
The New York Times—February 6
Key Question in Weinstein Trial: ‘Do You Believe the Women?’
“It may be easy to be skeptical of one or two reports,” said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia University law professor, “but as the reports pile up, it becomes hard for a thinking person to think that all of these reporters are lying.”
The Wall Street Journal—February 6
Harvey Weinstein Attorneys Paving Way for Possible Appeal
Daniel Richman, a Columbia Law professor and former federal prosecutor, said prosecutors can’t deny the defense relevant evidence. But if Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys get the evidence in time—even if late—to make use of it during the trial, the damage “is somewhat limited.”
The Wall Street Journal—February 6
Trump Isn’t the American Modi
Madhav Khosla, who teaches law at Columbia University and politics at India’s Ashoka University, points to three key elements the U.S. has and India lacks: robust, independent institutions, a strong civil society including private corporations, and a unified opposition. “In the U.S., an academic who criticizes Trump wouldn’t for a moment worry about being picked up by the government while walking into Columbia Law School or Harvard,” says Mr. Khosla by phone from Delhi. “In India that could happen. That’s the difference.”
The Wall Street Journal—February 7
No, Brexit Won’t Free the U.K. From EU Regulations
By Anu Bradford
On Jan. 31, the U.K. formally left the European Union with the goal of reinstating its “regulatory sovereignty” and unshackling the country from the EU’s endless bureaucracy. . . . But that’s easier said than done. In reality, no political choice available to the U.K. would liberate it from the EU’s regulatory reach.
Black History Month: Diese Schwarzen Frauen solltet ihr kennen (German)
Kimberlé Crenshaw is considered the founder of intersectional feminism. Intersectionality describes how different structural forms of discrimination can overlap, for example based on gender, social class, physical characteristics or the attribution of an ethnic origin. In their overlap, these categories lead to a very specific type of marginalization: black women are not only discriminated against as women in the labor market, but also because they are not white.
Seattle Times—February 8
Experts question whether Boeing’s board of directors is capable of righting the company
Corporate boards, which exist to ensure publicly traded companies are managed properly for shareholders, typically seek a mix of directors “that balance different competencies,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a Columbia Law School professor and director of its Center on Corporate Governance.
[Note: This article also appeared on Military.com.]
We're In A Golden Age Of White Collar Crime
Since 1909, prosecutors have used the honest services fraud provision to go after companies that lie to boost their stock price and politicians who give golfing buddies lucrative procurement contracts. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, a former white collar prosecutor, once referred to the statute as “our Colt 45, our Louisville Slugger, our Cuisinart.” . . . “Criminal law isn’t just about deterrence, it’s about moral education,” said John Coffee, the director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. “You show the public that a crime occurred and how terrible its impact was. We’re missing that catharsis now.”
[Note: Judge Rakoff is an adjunct professor at the Law School.]
The Intercept—February 10
How the Supreme Court Could Gut Reproductive Rights Without Ruling on a Single Abortion Restriction
On all these points, Louisiana’s arguments are lacking, according to Columbia University law professor Gillian Metzger. For starters, decades of precedent on third-party standing cut against the state’s claims. “They frame it as, ‘Third-party standing here is an example of abortion exceptionalism.’ But actually, third-party standing here is pretty standard,” she said. “It’s the effort to deny third-party standing here that would be exceptional.”
Los Angeles Times—February 11
Op-Ed: Here’s what happens to the asylum seekers we turn away
By Elora Mukherjee
Eighty years later, a modern version of this tragedy takes place daily at our southern border. This time, most of these people are fleeing rape, assault, and death from the northern triangle of Central America — Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala — as well as political oppression in Cuba, Venezuela, and elsewhere. They are fleeing to save their lives and their children’s lives. They hope to find safety in the United States. When they get to America, U.S. authorities turn them around.
Foreign Affairs—February 11
The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World
By Anu Bradford
Reviewed By Andrew Moravcsik
This may well be the single most important book on Europe’s global influence to appear in a decade. Many believe that Europe’s international standing is declining in a world dominated by China and the United States and in which the forces of globalization are creating a race to the bottom that undermines the European model of high regulation and social protection. Bradford demolishes these myths by showing how the European Union’s stringent regulations raise the standards of producers in China, the United States, and other countries across the globe.
The Globe and Mail—February 11
Market movers: Stocks that saw action on Tuesday - and why
Medical device maker Neovasc Inc. ( NVCN-T ) was 13.5 per cent higher after announcing it has retained Joshua Mitts, a professor at Columbia University specializing in securities trading, to investigate “unusual” trading activity in its shares.
[Note: Mitts was also mentioned in MarketWatch amid news concerning Neovasc launching an investigation into its own shares.]
The New York Times—February 11
Responding to Critics, Bloomberg Omits Role in Expanding Stop-and-Frisk
So Mr. Bloomberg is being “more than a bit disingenuous when he says he ‘inherited’ it,” said Jeffrey Fagan, a criminologist at Columbia University. “It would be more accurate to say that he took a policy in place and vastly and enthusiastically expanded it” during his time in office.
[Note: Fagan and his research were also referenced in City & State NY, CNN, HuffPost, The New York Times opinion section, and Politifact.]
Biden’s Inevitable Electability Is at the Bottom of a Crater in New Hampshire
As writer Jedediah Purdy noted, Biden’s campaign was always about confidence: the confidence that he would be an “electable” candidate because everyone else had confidence in him too.
The Conversation—February 12
When presidential campaigns end, what happens to the leftover money?
By Richard Briffault
Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet have ended their campaigns for president. What happens to the money they have raised, but not yet spent? . . . There is one clear rule about that money: Candidates can’t use it for personal expenses, like mortgage payments, groceries, clothing purchases or vacations. But there are a lot of other options, both within politics and outside of it.
[Note: This article appeared in numerous media outlets worldwide.]
Bloomberg News—February 12
Scrutiny of Tech Piles Up With New Review of Small Deals
The number of criminal antitrust cases filed in 2018 were at the lowest levels in almost 30 years. Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University who used to work at the FTC, has likened the commission to a basketball referee who never calls a foul.
Science News—February 12
The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change
After Superstorm Sandy cut power to over a million Con Edison customers in New York in 2012, a group led by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University successfully petitioned the New York Public Service Commission to make Con Edison account for sea level rise, heat waves and other effects of climate change in any planned renovations.
Pelosi, a Ripped Speech, and the Records Debate
“A saving grace of federal criminal law is that it’s applied by prosecutors, judges, and juries with common sense,” Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia Law School, told us. Richman, who previously served as chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and was a legal adviser for former FBI Director James Comey, added: “That approach makes it impossible to see the aggressive recycling of a non-unique document as anything more than that.”
Times Higher Education—February 12
Professors oppose use of peer review reports in tenure case
Dr Leshem was appointed an assistant professor of law at USC in 2006 and was denied tenure in 2013. Allies assembled the protest letter, with nearly 60 signatures, to boost him in his most recent legal challenge to USC’s action. . . . One signatory of the protest letter, Alex Raskolnikov, Wilbur H. Friedman professor of tax law at Columbia University, agreed with Dr Leshem that the concern generated among faculty outside USC was less about the specifics of the case and more about confronting the general attitudes it appeared to reflect. “It’s not a screw-up – it’s deliberate,” Professor Raskolnikov said of USC’s treatment of Dr Leshem.
Just Security—February 13
Why the US Military Needs to Rethink How It Investigates Civilian Harm
By Priyanka Motaparthy
So, if good investigations are so crucial to both the military and the public, why are they not happening more consistently? “In Search of Answers,” a new in-depth report published by the Center for Civilians in Conflict and the Columbia Human Rights Institute, provides some answers to this critical question.
[Note: Motaparthy is the director of the Project on Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict, and Human Rights at the Human Rights Institute.]
Columbia Daily Spectator | Opinion—February 13
An antidote to toxic risk: the case for total divestment from fossil fuels
As Michael Gerrard, former Chair of Columbia’s Earth Institute and Founder/Director of Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, has said, “If these companies are losing money (as many of them are), Columbia University should not suffer the losses; if they are making money, Columbia should not share in the profits.”
The Intercept—February 13
Report: U.S. Military Rarely Visits Bomb Sites or Talks to Survivors When Investigating Civilian Deaths
Most U.S. investigations of alleged civilian casualty incidents never include even one such visit, according to a new analysis of 228 official U.S. military investigations conducted in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria between 2002 and 2015. The military conducted site inspections in only 16 percent of the casualty investigations reviewed for the study by researchers from the Center for Civilians in Conflict, or CIVIC, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, or HRI.
Times Higher Education—February 13
Michael Sovern, 1931-2020
A legal scholar who transformed and diversified Columbia University has died. Michael Sovern was born in the Bronx, New York in 1931 and went to the Bronx High School of Science and then Columbia University (1949-53), the institution to which he would devote virtually his whole career. After going on to Columbia Law School, from which he graduated first in his class in 1955, he worked briefly at the University of Minnesota but joined the Columbia law faculty two years later and was made a full professor in 1960 – the youngest in the university’s history.
U.S. News & World Report—February 13
How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills
When you call, be sure to ask questions about the prices, says Alexandra Carter, director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School in New York City. She is also the author of "Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything." "People often assume that medical bills aren't negotiable when they really are," Carter says.
The Wall Street Journal—February 13
Why Are Amazon and Google in Washington’s Firing Line? One Answer Is Ken Glueck.
Others say Oracle should focus more on competing in the marketplace. Oracle is “the poster child for much of what’s wrong with tech advocacy in the U.S.,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor and a former Federal Trade Commission official who has been an advocate for stronger antitrust enforcement. “It amounts to using government as a weapon to delay, annoy and extract value from other entities.”
Advocate en burgerrechtenactiviste Kimberlé Crenshaw: “Verandering komt er echt niet vanzelf” (Dutch)
The American Kimberlé Crenshaw (60) is one of the most important voices around equality and discrimination today. . . . She is a much sought after speaker, as a lawyer and activist, as an authority in the field of Black feminist legal theory, and as a civil rights professor on both U.S. coasts, at UCLA and Columbia University.
Bloomberg News—February 14
SEC Urged to Seek More Disclosure When Investors Tout Short Bets
“The commission should vigilantly ensure that short position disclosure, when voluntarily initiated by a short seller, remains truthful and accurate,” the professors said in a petition lead written by Columbia University professors John C. Coffee and Joshua Mitts. “When a short seller has chosen to disclose a short position, failure to disclose that the position has been closed is doubly misleading,” they wrote, noting that they’re not advocating mandatory reporting of all shorts.
Bloomberg Quint—February 14
Madhav Khosla: India's Founding Moment (Video)
(00:48) Menaka Doshi (Host): secular, democratic—as Indians, were we, or are we, any of these, or have these qualities been foisted upon us? Did our founding fathers borrow these ideas from the West and thoughtlessly duplicate them in India? What was it that they were hoping to achieve when they wrote the constitution, and how? These are some of the questions that Madhav Khosla, a legal scholar seeks to answer in his new book, India’s Founding Moment.
Columbia Daily Spectator—February 14
Columbia divested from thermal coal companies, but students call for stronger stance
“Extinction Rebellion took the older petition [from 2017] and modified it to call for complete divest,” said professor Michael Gerrard, who advised the organization on the proposal after meeting members at their five-day hunger strike. “It’s clear that the University wants to be a global leader in climate change. Divestment would be an important action.”
Financial Times—February 14
The People v Harvey Weinstein
“Many sexual assault victims and survivors are watching carefully to see what kind of treatment they might receive if they dare bring an accusation in the criminal process,” says Suzanne Goldberg, co-director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. “These women face a scepticism that other crime victims don’t face. In most robberies or even criminal fraud cases, the presumption is not that you might be making this up.”
[Note: This article appeared in multiple media outlets worldwide.]
Los Angeles Times—February 14
Would a California takeover of PG&E make energy cheaper and safer? Maybe not
Some experts aren’t sure a government agency would do any better at the gargantuan undertaking than the current iteration of PG&E. “The state taking it over doesn’t mean it’s going to run it more efficiently,” said John Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School.
New York One—February 14
Longest Serving & Oldest Federal Judge Retires from Brooklyn Bench
From having a hand in desegregating America's public schools to presiding over high-profile mob trials to literally writing the book on evidence, Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein is a legal icon. "Students loved him," said John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor. John Coffee has known Weinstein for decades, teaching classes with him and working with him as a special master appointed by Weinstein in a sweeping lawsuit against Big Tobacco. "The man is both a brilliant jurist and a man of extraordinary empathy," Coffee says.
[Note: Judge Jack Weinstein is an alumnus and a former faculty member of Columbia Law School.]
Legal experts call for sanctions on human rights abuses vs journalists
"Such a sanction is more effective if it is imposed by multiple countries rather than simply one, but a few countries exercise a lot of power and magnetic appeal with respect to these types of sanctions, and so their effectiveness can be outsized even if they come from just one country," said Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Faculty Co-Director Sarah Cleveland at the panel.
The Washington Post—February 14
How climate experts think about raising children who will inherit a planet in crisis
In the midst of a winter that hasn’t felt much like one, as the coldest temperatures retreated to the highest latitudes, Jedediah Britton-Purdy carried his 5-month-old son, James, outside their home in New York City to bask in the unseasonable warmth. As a professor of environmental law at Columbia University, Britton-Purdy was acutely aware of the ominous implications of the city’s record highs.
El Nuevo Día—February 14
Deuda: ganadores y perdedores (Spanish)
Katharina Pistor, a prestigious professor of Comparative Law at Columbia University in New York City and author of numerous works on legal institutions, property rights and finance, postulates that one of the hallmarks of capitalism is the process of indebtedness.
The Washington Post—February 15
Class, race and geography emerge as flashpoints in New York’s bail reform debate
New York’s bail system, even pre-reform, stands out in one key way, said Kellen Funk, an American legal historian at Columbia Law School in New York. “New York is among the very rare jurisdictions that by statute, does not permit judges to consider 'dangerousness’ or public safety in determining release conditions,” Funk told The Washington Post, noting bail is an even older legal system than the jury. “For centuries, bail was just for ensuring the appearance of the accused at trial.”
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