Faculty in the News: November 1-15, 2016
The argument came at an opportune time, says Columbia University law professor Bernard Harcourt. "This was a period of high crime, and high incarceration, and it seemed there was no way out of that dynamic. It seemed as if there was no way out of just filling prisons to address the crime problem."
The New York Times—November 1
Daniel C. Richman, an adviser to Mr. Comey and a Columbia University law professor, argued that despite the backlash, Mr. Comey’s decision to inform Congress preserved the F.B.I.’s independence, which will ultimately benefit the next president. “Those arguing that the director should have remained silent until the new emails could be reviewed—even if that process lasted, or was delayed, until after the election—give too little thought to the governing that needs to happen after November,” Mr. Richman said.
Note: Richman was quoted extensively on this topic in other outlets including CNN, The Huffington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor.
New York Law Journal—November 1
"I think the Second Circuit may be slightly more ideologically diverse than it was 30 years ago but it continues to lack the kind of divisiveness, and almost warfare, that has characterized a number of other circuits," said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School and former chief appellate attorney at the Southern District U.S. Attorney's office.
But six years later, many U.S. banks are still too big to fail. Experts said their collapse would pose a systemic risk to the global economy. According to Columbia Law Professor John Coffee, Dodd-Frank has made it less likely the banks will fail.
The New York Times—November 2
The history of the slow, steady annexation and exploitation of our consciousness—whether by television commercials, war propaganda or tweets—is the subject of Tim Wu’s new book, “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads.”
Note: Reviews of Wu’s book and interviews with him were published in many other outlets including The Verge, KQED, The Boston Globe, Metro, and again in theNew York Times.
Bloomberg BNA—November 2
Avoiding actions close to an election to avoid influencing an election’s outcome is an informal judicial policy, Richard Briffault, who teaches law and politics at Columbia Law School, New York, told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 1. It’s similar to the FBI policy that has received so much attention in the wake of the re-opening of the investigation into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, he said.
The New York Times—November 2
By Fred T. Goldberg Jr. and Michael J. Graetz
By declaring such a low salary, Mr. Trump, we believe, avoided paying millions of dollars of Medicare taxes that should have gone to support senior citizens and their families. He may even have shortchanged Social Security by declaring salary and self-employment income below the limit on Social Security taxes ($118,500 in 2015).
Note: This article was cited in other outlets including Forbes, Politico, The Washington Examiner, and Money.
U.S. News and World Report—November 3
Ellen Chapnick, dean for social justice initiatives at Columbia Law School, says students with hopes of becoming judges should write advocacy briefs in summer jobs, internships, moot court competitions and law school clinics and externships for experience, and also write law review articles and seminar papers.
Columbia Law professor and juvenile justice expert Jeffrey Fagan says it's "hard to get New York to change," especially when it comes to the highly symbolic politics of crime. "You have to have something like a Sandy Hook to get a gun law passed," he said. Crime rates in New York have been stable for years, but people are fearful that they're rising. Fagan said that fear is what's "feeding the political side" of the Raise the Age debate.
The Connecticut Law Tribune—November 3
“There have certainly been cases that involve trial lawyers, but there have been cases that involve people elsewhere,” said Columbia Law School professor Richard Briffault, a campaign finance expert. Other groups that are heavy donors, such as finance professionals, are no more or less prone to skirting the law, he suggested. “Trial lawyers are active, but I have no reason to believe they do anything illegal,” Briffault said. “If anything, you’d think they’d be more careful.”
The New York Times—November 5
People close to Mr. Comey say the next president will move quickly past the rancor of the past few weeks. “The national security area is one where they will be bound,” said Daniel C. Richman, a close adviser to Mr. Comey who worked with him as a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s. “It will be something that will enable them to bond.”
CBC Radio—November 6
The votes will be counted Tuesday night, but we still have no idea if by Wednesday morning, we'll have a clear winner, let alone an uncontested winner. And we have no idea when — or if — things will return to some kind of normal in the American polity. Our panelists are: Patricia Williams, David Frum, Moustafa Bayoumi.
The Huffington Post—November 7
“The Warren court had made the promotion of equality its central mission―voting equality, school equality, equality for criminal defendants,” said Columbia law professor Michael Graetz, co-author with Linda Greenhouse of The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, released in June. “In the Burger court, equality was no longer terribly important. And a whole series of other values―local interests, states’ rights, business interests―took precedence. So you had a transformation in the guiding values of the court due to the Nixon appointments.”
Richard Briffault, an expert in campaign law at Columbia Law School, said raising money may be the least important part of asking, at this stage of the campaign. “There’s some evidence that it just continues to energize people—people can participate by voting, by wearing buttons, by making phone calls and giving money.”
“Every state has legal channels for resolving challenges to election results. Which is where things get complicated. “We don’t have one election,” says Richard Briffault, a political law expert at Columbia Law School. “We have 51 separate elections with 51 separate sets of rules.”
Carol Sanger, author of About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in the Twenty-First Century and professor at Columbia Law School, said the choice of Pence should worry pro-choice Americans. She notes: "Pence said during the campaign, 'Go tell your neighbors and your friends [that] for the sake of sanctity of life . . . and all of all our other God-given liberties, we must ensure the next president appointing justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump."
Bloomberg BNA—November 9
“We may see a return to the situation that prevailed during the Bush-Cheney era, when, in the face of a hostile administration, states took many actions on their own,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University in New York, told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail. “There will also be a major role for cities, especially on the climate adaptation front,” he said.
E&E News—November 9
The Clean Power Plan is "in critical condition," said Michael Gerrard, faculty director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
Climate Central—November 9
“It is quite possible that a Trump administration will spell devastation for environmental and climate regulation in the U.S., and to the public health and well-being of people, ecosystems and biodiversity around the world,” said Michael Burger, the executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. “It is also possible that it won't. Let's hope that the responsibility of the office takes hold, and his obligations to current and future generations register once he has power.”
BBC Radio—November 9
Today Woman's Hour will look at the result of the US election and what that means for the women in the US and around the world. Jane will be joined by Professor of International Relations at Sussex University, Cynthia Weber, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, volunteer economic advisor to the Trump campaign and member of Women for Trump, Guardian journalist, Zoe Williams, and Kimberle Crenshaw, Professor of Law from Columbia University and University of California, Los Angeles.
Climate Central—November 10
Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, said that a Trump administration could be devastating for climate regulation in the U.S., but there are limits to what Trump will likely do right away…“President Obama has been challenged in court at every turn as he tried to reduce greenhouse gases,” Burger said. “You can be sure that Trump will also be challenged in court each and every step of the way.
The National Law Journal—November 10
Columbia Law School's post-election forum on Wednesday was packed with students and faculty, but it wasn't the jubilant crowd organizers initially anticipated based on projections of a Hillary Clinton victory…"Some people cried, but people didn't raise their voices," said dean Gillian Lester. "There was an understanding that some people were feeling real despair, and they were given the opportunity to express that despair. Some people didn't really know how to talk about what had happened, but they felt it emotionally affected them in ways they hadn't experienced before."
The National Law Journal—November 10
Ilan S. Nissan is a senior partner in Goodwin Procter LLP’s private equity and mergers and acquisitions practice…In addition to his work with clients, Nissan sits on the firm’s Executive Committee and leads the practice in New York, as well as serves as a lecturer-in-law at Columbia University Law School for 15 years, where he teaches an upper-level course focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and legal transactional strategies.
Note: Nissan is a lecturer-in-law.
The Globe and Mail—November 11
“It feels likes a death,” Prof. [Carol] Sanger says of the election result. She quotes the observation of one of her students: “‘We think we are just walking down the street, and everything is the way it was, but it’s not.’”…“It will be a very dark period,” predicts Katherine Franke, the director of the Centre for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia.
Climate Central—November 11
“The prospect of a Supreme Court with one or more Trump appointees does not instill confidence,” said Michael Gerrard, a professor at Columbia Law School. “But this kind of litigation is all the more important in the Trump era.”
Voice of San Diego—November 11
Jessica Bulman-Pozen, a professor at Columbia Law School who studies the interaction of states and the federal government, said there are plenty of things California could do to protect the environment, enhance financial regulations and provide expansive access to health insurance – even if the Trump administration rolls back the Obama administration laws that do so now. But Bulman-Pozen cautioned that a Trump administration could also pass laws that preempt the state from taking certain measures to insulate itself, since federal law literally trumps state law.
The problem, according to Michael Burger, the executive director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, is that no U.S. federal court has ever accepted that there’s a constitutional right to a stable climate, or that the public trust doctrine even applies to federal governments. In other words, “the plaintiffs here are asking the court to accept legal theories that haven’t been accepted before,” Burger says.
Market Watch—November 12
Trump’s most recent plan proposes cutting taxes by $6.2 trillion over 10 years, according to Tax Policy Center estimates. Those cuts would apply broadly to a variety of households, said Michael Graetz, a professor of tax law at Columbia University Law School.
"It's sad," says Michael Gerrard, faculty director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. "I've been looking for some ray of hope. But this is a catastrophe."
NBC News—November 13
"[T]rans rights may be a bridge too far for him," said Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke in an email to NBC News.
“There is no question that this decision, in both its eloquence and its bold declaration of a new constitutional right, breaks new ground,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “In the context of Tuesday’s election and the threat of a Trump administration that may well be steadfastly opposed to any climate action whatsoever, this provides some hope that our courts will step forward and protect the health and well-being of current and future generations.” Burger’s colleague at Columbia, Michael Gerrard, expanded on why the ruling is so significant: Other than a widely covered case in the Netherlands last year, “this decision goes further than any other court ever has in declaring a fundamental obligation of government to prevent dangerous climate change.”
Inside Climate News—November 14
"Trump sounds like he's serious about scaling back much environmental regulation," said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change at the Columbia Law School… "You can't eliminate the agency," Gerrard said. "But you can starve and cripple it."
Columbia Law professor Carol Sanger, who specializes Constitutional reproductive rights, notes that a conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court does not guarantee the end of Roe v. Wade. She cites a 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which a conservative majority of the court voted to maintain Roe v. Wade because “people in the previous 22 years had come to rely on the rights provided by Roe, and that there was kind of a reliance on it as legal culture," Sanger told Metro.
Fox Business—November 15
“Preemption is possible but it may attract a filibuster” by Democrats in congress, delaying its passage and creating negative publicity around the issue, saidColumbia law school professor John Coffee. “And also many Republicans believe in state regulation.”
Bernard Harcourt is a law professor at Columbia University. He says crime dropped not just in New York, but nationwide, in cities where nothing like broken windows policing was in place.
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