Faculty in the News: October 1-15, 2016
Gillian Metzger of Columbia Law School and Tejinder Singh of SCOTUSBlog discussed cases on the docket for the Supreme Court as they start their new term without a full bench.
E & E News—October 3
"I think it's the first of its kind," said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.
All this is part of a wide-ranging corruption probe of major construction projects upstate tied to the government’s development program “Buffalo Billion.” As part of our ongoing series, Corruption Watch, we sit down with Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School to analyze this latest scandal in Albany.
In a statement Monday, Suzanne B. Goldberg of Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic argued that the statute is unconstitutional. “Treating unmarried fathers as a category of people who do not take responsibility for their children is flawed as a matter of fact and unconstitutional as a matter of sex discrimination law,” she said.
“Trump has been openly contemptuous of positions Pence was taking,” said Matthew Waxman, a senior Bush State Department and Pentagon official now at Columbia Law School. “Maybe this was intended to placate mainstream Republicans who are offended by Trump's positions or ignorance. But there's no reason to expect that Pence would have any real effect on a Trump foreign policy.”
The New York Times—October 5
Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor and now a professor at Columbia Law School, predicted that because insider trading law was almost entirely judge-made, rather than set by Congress, the Supreme Court might be reluctant to radically revisit its Dirks ruling from three decades ago. It would be simpler to draw distinctions between cases involving family members and business associates. “If you were going to be a minimalist, this little bit of family relationship could be elaborated on without wholesale redevelopment,” he said.
The Christian Science Monitor—October 5
A dramatic new plan to fight climate change: Sue the federal government
A dramatic new plan to fight climate change: Sue the federal government
“The courts have been very important in implementing environmental policy – when Congress has passed a law they can apply,” Michael Gerrard, a professor of environmental law at Columbia University, tells the Monitor in an email. “The Supreme Court's 2007 decision … has been the foundation for most of the actions the Obama administration has taken on climate change.”
Democracy Now!—October 5
On Tuesday night, vice-presidential candidates Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence sparred over the economy, foreign policy and healthcare during the only vice-presidential debate. Democracy Now! hosted a roundtable of guests, including Columbia University law professor Katherine Franke, who directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. She spoke about Governor Mike Pence’s record on one of the most contentious campaign issues this year: reproductive rights and the religious views of Pence and Kaine.
The Washington Post—October 6
“When Congress talks about simplification, taxpayers may well be reminded of Emerson’s comments regarding an acquaintance: ‘The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.’”— Michael Graetz, Columbia Law School professor
Above the Law—October 6
Continuing to offer one embarrassing interview after another in a quixotic effort to restore his reputation, Ken Starr brought his not-so-much apology tour to Columbia Law School this afternoon to address students on… wait for it… Title IX…Professor Suzanne Goldberg responded to Starr’s remarks briefly but devastatingly.
ABC News—October 9
Another roadblock is that many state laws set deadlines for the parties to certify their nominees and that deadline -- which varies state to state -- has almost certainly passed in the vast majority of states since it's typically either or between 90 and 60 days before election day, said Professor Richard Briffault, Columbia University.
Democracy Now!—October 10
Writer Soraya Chemaly and law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw analyze the significance of the 2005 videotape showing Donald Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. The three-minute video, recorded by NBC’s "Access Hollywood" in 2005, was released Friday by The Washington Post.
John Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia Law School said, “This case is very atypical in that it is brought by a substantial shareholder who wants monetary relief. Most Delaware shareholder suits are brought by a professional plaintiff’s lawyer with a nominal, 100-share-owning client, who settled for non-pecuniary relief and a generous award of attorney’s fees. This [PFM suit] will not follow that pattern because here a real client is in charge. A settlement is still possible and even likely — as sophisticated litigants prefer a settlement to a roll of the dice on a trial. This is a newsworthy case.”
The New York Times—October 12
Mr. Greenberg left the legal defense fund in 1984 to become a professor of law at Columbia University, where he had been an adjunct professor since 1970. In 1989 he was named dean of Columbia College. He stepped down as dean in 1993 in a university shake-up but remained a professor at the law school until retiring last year.
Note: Tributes to Greenberg appeared in numerous other outlets.
By Matthew Waxman
A little more than 99 years ago, and several months after the United States declared its entry into the Great War against the Central Powers of Europe, Charles Evans Hughes declared in a widely publicized speech that “the [constitutional] power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” In a new draft article now posted on SSRN, I tell the story of what Hughes meant by that axiom.
The Wall Street Journal—October 13
The spotlight on the tape of Donald Trump describing forcibly kissing and groping women gave Columbia Law School clinical professor Alexandra Carteran idea. Commuting to work Tuesday and hearing talk radio discussions about the leaked 2005 Trump recording and his defense of it as “locker room” banter, Prof. Carter thought: “I need to have my class in a locker room.” Normally, she teaches her upper-level course on mediation in a seminar classroom. On Tuesday, she moved it to a cramped changing room inside Columbia University’s Dodge Fitness Center.
USA Today—October 13
Michael Gerrard, who leads Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said it wouldn't be difficult for Trump to accomplish those goals. While it would take several years to replace the Clean Power Plan with a less stringent regulation, Trump could simply direct the Environmental Protection Agency not to enforce it, Gerrard said.
Jim Tierney, a former Maine attorney general and head of Harvard's State Attorney General Clinic, agreed that managing attorneys is a big part of the job. "What's most important to doing the job is having good legal judgment. And good legal judgment comes from any number of backgrounds," Tierney said. "It can come from someone who's never practiced law and spent all their lives in business."
The New York Observer—October 13
For a guy who just wrote The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads (Knopf), Tim Wu faces many competing claims for his own attention. He serves as a special adviser for the New York attorney general on technology and internet policy, works on economic competitiveness issues at the Office of Management and Budget, teaches at Columbia Law School (though he’s on sabbatical) and just doubled down on the big daddy of time sucks by having a second child.
Bill Moyers—October 14
Robert J. Jackson Jr. is something of a double agent. On one hand, with his multiple Ivy League degrees, stints at Oxford, the US Treasury, the now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns and the blue-chip corporate law firm Wachtell Lipton, it would be hard to find a more perfectly pedigreed member of the nation’s financial elite. But there is another part of Jackson’s curriculum vitae…”I spend a lot of time with my cousins, who are cops and teachers,” says Jackson, “and I’ll tell you, there’s more than one Trump voter in that group.” Jackson, who is backing Hillary Clinton for president, knows how his cousins are being written off by the people in his circles.
The Record—October 14
Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor, said that the two defendants are good candidates to take the stand. Rodgers, executive director of Columbia Law School’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, noted that the pair have no criminal record and that “they’re articulate, smart people who … would present well to the jury.”
However, blocking a merger at this stage can be difficult. In an email, mergers and acquisitions and antitrust expert John Coffee at Columbia Law School wrote: “The Delaware case law has seldom permitted a company to back out on the ground of a material adverse change." Verizon is incorporated in Delaware. "I am just saying that it is hard, not that it is impossible.”
"One driver of shadow banking is large corporations, asset managers and other institutional investors who want deposit equivalents where the banking system is not suited to provide them," according to Kathryn Judge, a professor at the Columbia University School of Law who this year published a working paper titled "Information Gaps and Shadow Banking."
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