Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

Afterword: The Election, the Regulators, and the Regulated
Prasad Hurra,
Nicholas Torres,
Sai Santosh Kolluru Prasad Hurra is an Emory University School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2017. Previously, a civil litigator in India for over five years, Prasad got his LLM from Duke University School of Law in May 2015.Prasad would like to thank Mr. Reuben Guttman—a globally acclaimed trial attorney and founder of ECGAR—for his invaluable contribution, motivation, passion and supervision in bringing out this Issue, from planning stage through execution. Without Mr. Guttman’s leadership, this Issue would not have been possible. Prasad and the entire Special Issue editorial board salutes the contribution of Mr. Guttman.Prasad would also like to thank Vice Dean Robert Ahdieh, Ms. Rhonda Heermans and Ms. Amy Tozer, without whom this edition would never have been possible.Nicholas Torres is an Emory University School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2017; Editor-in-Chief, Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review; Competitor, National Transactional LawMeets Moot Court Competition; B.A. Political Science, University of Buffalo.Nicholas would like to thank Prasad Hurra for his contributions to ECGAR. Prasad served as a replacement Editor-in-Chief of ECGAR in Nicholas’ 28-day absence during the production of this Special Presidential Inauguration Issue. Due to Prasad’s passion, determination, and work ethic, ECGAR was able to produce the largest Issue in its short history. This Issue would have not been possible without the commendable efforts of Prasad Hurra who played an invaluable role in advancing ECGAR’s progress as an Emory law journal.Sai Santosh Kolluru is a second-year law student at Emory University. He is an Editor for the Journal of Law and Religion. Sai is a former White House Intern who worked in the office of public engagement in the Obama Administration. Sai holds a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something, which I’m sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn’t of much help to the bar.

—Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

The Emory Corporate Governance & Accountability Review (ECGAR) is a student-run publication that was founded in 2013 with the overarching goal to bridge the disconnect between the academy and the profession—as often emphasized by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit—by focusing not just on the nuts and bolts of corporate law, but on broader relationships between government, corporations and their employees, consumers, neighboring landowners and shareholders.

Law reviews, no doubt, are vehicles for the voices of the regulators, the advocates for the regulated, and the pundits, who, in the academic world are called scholars. Seldom, if at all, do law reviews directly express the views of the regulated, whose backgrounds may not meet the qualifications for the type of expert thought suitable for the pages of a law review. If the 2016 election taught us anything, it taught us to question the experts, but of course, we suspect this is a part of what it means to “think like a lawyer.”

Curiously, among the headlines that expressed the outcome of the 2016 election are numerous ones noting that the experts got it all wrong with their analyses and predictions, and that the voices of the regulated, working Americans were misconstrued, or maybe even ignored. Given the failure of the experts in predicting the 2016 election and after collecting articles and essays from experts and legal luminaries, it seemed incumbent upon the editors for this edition of ECGAR to do what is perhaps unheard of for editors of law reviews: we went out and talked to members of the community—the regulated—to at least get a reality check on our efforts. Our efforts were not scientific but rather the work of gumshoe journalists; we just rolled up our sleeves and went into the community and talked to people.

We asked four questions: 1) What hard issues decided your vote? 2) Why were these issues important to you? 3) What would you like the President to do or focus on going forward? 4) How has this election impacted you personally? They responded with passion. The following summarizes the general responses we received.

The future of our environmental, immigration, foreign policy, economic issues, and access to affordable health care were all ranked as top concerns by those who talked to us. There was also considerable concern about the trajectory of the Supreme Court, particularly due to the number of potential upcoming appointments considering that the Congress is now controlled by a single party. Some of those we talked with had a rather cynical outlook on the direction of the country, fueled by concerns over policy proposals appearing to promote racist, sexist, and xenophobic views.

Others had a different perspective. Some respondents stated that they had been waiting fifty years for a businessperson to run the country. They considered the defining issues to be the character and integrity of the candidates, the projection of strength on the world stage, and, as a part of the regulated, the necessity of reducing regulation on the commercial sector to reinvigorate the economy.

For those in school, student loans, and particularly, access to affordable education was a crucial concern. For those who are part of the working middle-class, a strong economy where starting a family wouldn’t be a burden due to the availability of high-paying jobs seemed to be a major aspiration. The desire for affordable healthcare was ubiquitous, with women also wanting increased access to reproductive rights, equal pay, parental leave, and emphasizing the need for the administration’s composition to reflect the gender diversity of the country it represents.

The interviewees also had concerns about the need for government incentivization to encourage private investment in renewable energy, an effective education system to provide the next generation with the necessary tools to compete in a global economy, the human and practical implications of our immigration policy, and reform of the criminal justice system. Those who were eligible to vote but decided to abstain shared with us their dissatisfaction with and provided critiques of this election and the present state of American politics. For them not dismantling Roe v. Wade, preserving freedom of speech, and projecting strength to our allies were all major concerns.

Regardless of party affiliation, these responses show American people were impacted to their core. Although their responses expressed deep frustrations, they also had a cautious hope for the future. They reflected a desire for a change in direction, the welfare of all people, conservation of the planet, and, more importantly, the love and respect for the values and principles that are the foundations of the American democracy. While the regulated masses will cautiously watch the new administration deciding the fate of the country over the next four years, the election has sent a clear signal to the new administration and the regulators that the regulated expect them to preserve, protect, and defend the American Dream with a renewed vigor.

Footnotes

Prasad Hurra is an Emory University School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2017. Previously, a civil litigator in India for over five years, Prasad got his LLM from Duke University School of Law in May 2015.Prasad would like to thank Mr. Reuben Guttman—a globally acclaimed trial attorney and founder of ECGAR—for his invaluable contribution, motivation, passion and supervision in bringing out this Issue, from planning stage through execution. Without Mr. Guttman’s leadership, this Issue would not have been possible. Prasad and the entire Special Issue editorial board salutes the contribution of Mr. Guttman.Prasad would also like to thank Vice Dean Robert Ahdieh, Ms. Rhonda Heermans and Ms. Amy Tozer, without whom this edition would never have been possible.Nicholas Torres is an Emory University School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2017; Editor-in-Chief, Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review; Competitor, National Transactional LawMeets Moot Court Competition; B.A. Political Science, University of Buffalo.Nicholas would like to thank Prasad Hurra for his contributions to ECGAR. Prasad served as a replacement Editor-in-Chief of ECGAR in Nicholas’ 28-day absence during the production of this Special Presidential Inauguration Issue. Due to Prasad’s passion, determination, and work ethic, ECGAR was able to produce the largest Issue in its short history. This Issue would have not been possible without the commendable efforts of Prasad Hurra who played an invaluable role in advancing ECGAR’s progress as an Emory law journal.Sai Santosh Kolluru is a second-year law student at Emory University. He is an Editor for the Journal of Law and Religion. Sai is a former White House Intern who worked in the office of public engagement in the Obama Administration. Sai holds a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.