Emory Law News Center

2015 In the News Archive | Emory University School of Law

December

Dudziak for Politico: Obama can learn from George Washington

Politico asked several historians, "Which president had the best last year in office?" Emory Law Professor Mary Dudziak says President George Washington made a powerful choice in not seeking a third term (which is now a constitutional requirement). Obama can lead by choosing not to act, she says. "Instead of bypassing Congress, if Obama refused to project American military force in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere without an authorization from Congress, it would set a striking example and serve as a powerful legacy," Dudziak writes.

Carter cites Witte's book as one of the year's best, in Bloomberg View

Yale Law Professor Stephen Carter chose John Witte Jr.'s book, The Western Case for Monogamy Over Polygamy, as one of seven of the best histories of the year. "[It's] an important book for those who want to support same-sex marriage but worry about the slippery slope," Carter writes in his column for Bloomberg View. Witte is director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

Vandall quoted by International Business Times on VW emissions case

In December, Volkswagen announced Ken Feinberg will administer an alternative dispute resolution program related to charges the automaker cheated on its emissions reporting. "What¿s strong about Feinberg's program is that it's economically comparable to what someone would get through litigation, where at least 25 percent of the money goes to an attorney," said Emory Law Professor Frank Vandall, who specializes in product liability litigation. "And it can take 10 years before you get a penny."

Stat profiles Guttman 85L for work versus big pharma

A Washington lawyer who specializes in prosecuting pharmaceutical fraud, Reuben Guttman 85L has gone after Pfizer, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, and several other top drug makers¿and he usually wins big, recouping billions of dollars for federal and state governments, according to a recent profile in STAT magazine. Guttman talked about bad behavior in the drug industry, and whom he trusts for his own medical care.

Brown for CNN: Scalia's misguided 'mismatch theory' comments

In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is reported to have said: "There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less--a slower-track school where they do well." He was referring to the "mismatch theory." That theory couldn't be more wrong, writes Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown.

Freer comments on MLB lawsuit involving 6-year-old hit by foul ball

The father of a 6-year-old whose skull was shattered by a foul ball at Turner Field in 2010 has amended his lawsuit to include Major League Baseball as a defendant. The suit originally claimed the Atlanta Braves were at fault for not extending netting farther into foul-ball territory. Now, the father says MLB should turn over results from its investigations of players for performance-enhancing drugs, that allow players to hit harder, faster balls. Professor Richard Freer commented on the case.

Brown says police shooting discussions have evolved in Ferguson class

On WABE's "Closer Look," Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown discussed her class exploring the "Ferguson Movement" and how the discussions over police-involved shootings have changed over the course of the semester.

April

Turner Environmental Law Clinic featured in UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy Report

Turner Environmental Law Clinic featured in UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy Report, Food Equity, Social Justice, and the Role of Law Schools: A Call to Action.

November

Price on Syrian refugees: Immigration process is rigorous

Professor Polly Price commented on the story of Jamil, a Syrian who fled the civil war and spent two-and-a-half years trying to immigrate to the United States. He arrived in Georgia the day of the Paris terror attacks. "We don't take for granted they are who they say they are," Price said. "We get into the weeds. 'Tell me about your village. Where did you live? What do you do for a living?' Then [resettlement agents] will repeat it several days later to make sure their story doesn't change."

Deal 's decision to bar Syrian refugees in Georgia unconstitutional, Price says

Last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal was among at least 30 U.S. governors who have asked to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in their states. The ACLU has filed suit against Indiana's governor, and is considering similar lawsuits in other states. Emory Law Professor Polly Price agrees with the ACLU that the policy violates the Equal Protection Clause. "You're identifying a group based on national origin, or religion," she said. "These are protected grounds under both the federal and state constitution."

Challenge to judicial appointments won't affect present judges, Nash says

A group of lawyers is suing Gov. Nathan Deal, saying the three judges he recently appointed to Georgia's Court of Appeals should have been elected, WABE reports. Professor Jonathan Nash said it's unlikely, even if a judge decides the appointments weren't legal, that the challenge would affect the eight other appointed judges or their past rulings. "Once the appointees take their seats on the court, it's kind of too late. You can't unscramble the egg," he said.

An-Na'im on how Islamic law can take on ISIS, in The Conversation

The vast majority of Muslims feel moral revulsion and outrage about the violence perpetrated by ISIS, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im writes for The Conversation. "However, the truth of the matter is that ISIS leaders and supporters can and do draw on a wealth of scriptural and historical sources to justify their actions," he says. "ISIS' claim of Islamic legitimacy can be countered only by a viable alternative interpretation of Islamic law."

Carter on GPB: It's time to revisit 'get-tough' juvenile offender laws

More than 100 Georgia minors under the age of 18 are in adult prisons. That's due to Georgia's so-called "seven deadly sins" law, which is shorthand for the seven charges that vault juveniles to adult court. The approach was meant to deal with kids who were becoming "super-predators." Melissa Carter, who leads Emory Law's Child Law and Policy Center, says it's time to revisit get-tough on youthful offender laws.

Yahoo: Velikonja's review suggests that SEC inflates its numbers

In September, Urska Velikonja, an associate professor of law at Emory, reviewed 15 years of enforcement actions and published the draft of a paper in which she wrote that the SEC's "widely circulated statistics are invalid because they do not measure what they purport to measure, and unreliable because they can be manipulated all too easily."

The Economist: Velikonja calls into question SEC enforcement data

Every October, the SEC tots up its legal accomplishments for the year and releases the data to the public, usually with a press release suggesting it is becoming ever tougher on corporate crooks. Yet research by Urska Velikonja, a professor at Emory University, calls these numbers into question.

Pardo: What determines "undue hardship" for student loan debt?

In all but the rarest circumstances, people who declare bankruptcy still have to repay their student debt, Bloomberg reports. The Education Department can deny people bankruptcy if its lawyers can show that debtors are spending too much on such things as fast food, cable television, or even their pension plans. "When we focus so much on the minutia of each and every individual expense, it can become a distracting sideshow where we aren't really answering the big picture question, which is, is there any ability to repay the amounts that are owed?" says Professor Rafael Pardo.

October

Velikonja speaks on fraud victim compensation at Canadian conference

At a Toronto conference on the new use of freeze order powers to aid fraud victim restitution, Professor Urska Velikonja discussed the SEC's fair funds, which are set up post case resolution for victim restitution. Since a new law passed in 2014, Canadian regulators received 26 freeze orders from courts involving $9 million in assets, compared to eight freezes involving $1.3 million of assets in the year prior.

SEC responds to Velikonja study on enforcement statistics

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions resulted in $4.2 billion in sanctions in fiscal 2015, the SEC said, about the same level as the penalties leveled the previous year, when it handled 52 fewer actions, Reuters reports. Associate Professor Urska Velikonja's recent work faulted SEC reporting metrics, saying problems allowed the agency to "mask the fact that the core enforcement has remained steady since 2002."

Pending cases could change standard for student debt relief

One of the things that sets student loan debt apart from all other types of debt is that it's almost impossible to get rid of it. But according to a Marketplace story, a couple of cases working their way through the legal system could change that. "It seems like there's a lot of buzz and activity and maybe the climate is right to finally get some sort of resolution to this issue," said Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law Rafael Pardo, who adds that in the 10 years he's studied the topic he hasn't seen this much legal activity surrounding it.

Pound Symposium experts discuss rise of arbitration, decline in civil trials

Speakers at a symposium targeted tort reform and contracts requiring arbitration as evidence that "war" was being waged against the United States civil justice system. The panelists at the Pound Symposium, held Oct. 15 at Emory Law, did debate whether the word "war" was appropriate, according to a Daily Report story.

Brown on Marketplace: As stock wealth rises, most minorities don't own them

Credit Suisse's 2015 annual global wealth report says the top 1 percent now own half of all household wealth worldwide, and more of that wealth is coming from stocks and bonds. Unfortunately, in the U.S., "half the public doesn't own stock at all," said Vice Provost and Professor Dorothy Brown. That inevitably means the wealth gap gets wider, says MarketPlace writer Nancy Marshall-Genzer.

'Effective' use of technology depends on standards of the time, Nash writes

"The Supreme Court has interpreted the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution to entitle criminal defendants to effective assistance of legal counsel," David J. Bederman Research Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill, concerning Maryland v. Kulbicki. "A unanimous per curiam opinion, indicating that the justices thought the issues in the case were clear ... sheds light on what constitutes 'effective' assistance in light of evolving science and technology."

Lawsuit may affect millions with student loans, Pardo tells Bloomberg

Unlike most debt, student loans are next to impossible to discharge through bankruptcy proceedings, because of a 1970s rule that requires an undefined standard of "undue hardship." A man whose debt stems from funding his three children's education has filed a lawsuit that could fundamentally change the way bankruptcy courts handle college debt. It's about time, says Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law Rafael Pardo. "The idea of bankruptcy is to give people respite and relief," he says. "The question is a really simple one: can you pay back your debts in the future? And if the answer is no, then why aren't you giving relief to a person?"

Blank interviewed on NPR about U.S. strike on Doctors without Borders hospital

Over the weekend, a U.S. military aircraft targeted a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 people. The organization has called the airstrike a war crime and is asking for an independent investigation. General John F. Campbell testified that the hospital was "mistakenly struck." Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, spoke with NPR's Kathleen Dunn.

Blank for Newsweek: Was the Kunduz Bombing a War Crime? Not So Fast

The U.S. airstrike that hit the Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was a horrible tragedy, writes Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic. But was it a war crime, as the organization immediately asserted? "This incident highlights not only the challenges and tragic consequences of war in populated areas, but also the dynamic interplay between media coverage of military operations and the legal regulation of armed conflict," she says.

Blank for The Conversation: Was U.S. strike on Afghanistan hospital a war crime?

The U.S. airstrike that hit the Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was a horrible tragedy, writes Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic. But was it a war crime, as the organization immediately asserted? "This incident highlights not only the challenges and tragic consequences of war in populated areas, but also the dynamic interplay between media coverage of military operations and the legal regulation of armed conflict," she says.

The Guardian: Velikonja study suggests SEC is a paper tiger

In the 2014 fiscal year, the SEC filed 755 enforcement actions, "the highest number of cases in the history of this commission," noted SEC Chair Mary Jo White. She's also noted that the agency levied a whopping $4.1 billion in penalties as part of those actions. Associate Professor Urska Velikonja says the SEC is padding "deeply flawed" enforcement statistics. In a study slated for publication in the Cornell Law Review, she calculates that the way the agency has counted the number of cases it has pursued has made it looked like a far fiercer and more effective sheriff than it may actually be.

September

UN gives Khartoum another free pass, An-Na'im says

The Khartoum government is likely to escape further censure and scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week after its officials met secretly with the United States' delegation, says a story in Africa Confidential. "The only consistency in the work of the UN Human Rights Council is its unfailing capacity to disappoint the lowest of expectations," said Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi An-Na'im, alluding to an increasing number of alleged human rights abuses by the National Congress Party government.

Few patent cases expected in 2015-2016 Supreme Court term, Holbrook says

When it comes to patent law, it's all quiet on the U.S. Supreme Court front, Scott Graham writes in law.com. So far there's not a single patent case--or trademark or copyright, for that matter--on its 2015-16 docket. Some patent law experts believe the court is taking a break from patent law after a period of exceptional activity, including a record six decisions in 2013-14. "I don't think we'll see six" this term, said Emory Law Professor Timothy Holbrook. "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw none."

SEC enforcement data misleading, Velikonja tells Bloomberg

It's an open secret that the Securities and Exchange Commission rolls out a high number of enforcement actions in September, the last month of its fiscal year, to try to beat the previous year's tally, says a Sept. 24 Bloomberg Business story. But the SEC's drive could be more than harmless padding. It a misleading impression of the agency's effectiveness in policing financial markets, according to Emory Law Associate Professor Urska Velikonja, who examined more than a decade of the regulator's enforcement statistics for a forthcoming law journal article."These statistics often show up in the press and in Congress," Velikonja said. "They ought to be accurate."

Alexander: How Kansas City is dealing with 'ugly duckling' properties

As Kansas City copes with thousands of abandoned, eyesore properties in the aftermath of the Great Recession, it's looking beyond trying to fill them with new houses and residents, according to a story in the Kansas City Star. The city is following what has worked in some other cities, says Sam Nunn Professor of Law Frank Alexander, an expert on land banks. He notes the adopt-a-lot program is one of the fastest ways to get vacant parcels to residents who care about them and will do the maintenance.

Holbrook skeptical on appeal to allow jury trial when patents are canceled

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board will run a gauntlet of appellate challenges over the next month to its fundamental structure and even its very existence, Scott Graham writes in the Recorder. Stakes are high as a San Jose attorney brings a constitutional challenge to inter partes review to the Federal Circuit. He argues that actions to cancel validly issued patents must be conducted in Article III courts, with access to a jury. Professor Timothy Holbrook said he would be stunned if the Federal Circuit accepted that argument. The court doesn't recognize a Seventh Amendment right for decisions on patent validity, he said. A declaratory judgment action on validity doesn't trigger a jury trial right, for example, if a patent holder is seeking an injunction.

Cleaver: Black Lives Matter is exhilarating, exciting

Kathleen N. Cleaver, Emory Law senior lecturer, reflects on the past and present civil rights movements for African Americans.

Civil discourse in the 2016 presidential campaign

Andrew H. Jones 14L says "manners were once, but are no longer, viewed as a social asset" in his exposition of civil discourse in the current political climate.

Ahdieh: New LLM program addresses intersection of law, human rights, development

Emory Law is launching a master of laws (LLM) specialization in law and development starting this spring, the Emory Wheel reports. "Students will have the opportunity to study the intersections of economic development and corruption, the courts and human rights," said Vice Dean Robert Ahdieh. The new program was launched in collaboration with the Law and Development Institute (LDI), and will address the increasing global demand for lawyers who understand development issues, particularly economic development.

Trump's pledge to Republican Party questionable, Kang tells LA Times

Presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to forgo an independent bid for the White House if he loses his quest for the Republican nomination. But the enforceability of that pledge is an open question, Professor Michael Kang tells the Los Angeles Times. He called the pledge "an attempt to replicate the effect" of so-called sore-loser laws, which stipulate that a registered primary candidate cannot switch parties or become an independent to run in a general election, though states rarely apply them to presidential candidates.

August

The Volokh Conspiracy: "hub for libertarian ideas," according to The New Republic

In a larger article in The New Republic regarding the "unwinding" of the New Deal, the author refers to The Volokh Conspiracy, "the most prominent academic legal blog in the country and now publishe[d] under the auspices of The Washington Post" as "the hub for libertarian ideas."

Trump proposal to repeal birthright citizenship would be nightmarish, Price says

Donald Trump has revealed his immigration plan, including a controversial proposal to end granting automatic citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil, Mia Bush writes in Voice of America. Professor Polly Price says most people don't understand the potential administrative nightmare that would be created by repealing the 14th Amendment. Repeal would affect everyone, Price said, adding that anyone in the U.S. needing to prove their citizenship--when applying for a driver's license or a Social Security number, for example--would be required to prove their parentage.

Trump wrong on birthright citizenship, Price writes in The Hill

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to deny U.S. citizenship to the children of undocumented migrants misleads the public, Professor Polly Price writes for The Hill. "Whatever the merits of his proposal to change the rule of birthright citizenship, it cannot be accomplished through legislation by Congress," Price says. "If the rule is to be changed, it must be through the arduous process of amending the federal constitution." Price calls such proposals "racial measures in their purpose and effect."

Brown on Vice News: How the tax code affects your life, every day

"The American tax code is one of the most impenetrable elements of our society. Surprising, considering how it affects your life every single day," according to Vice News' "The Business of Life." Vice Provost and Professor Dorothy Brown was a panelist on a recent episode of the show. The premise was to break down how taxes are distributed--"and what happens if you try to evade them." Brown was joined by Lee Sheppard of Tax Notes and Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight.

Brown for CNN: What Clinton doesn't understand about #blacklivesmatter

The recent encounter between presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and #blacklivesmatter representatives was revealing, Vice Provost and Professor Dorothy Brown writes for CNN. Racial bias in policing and the criminal justice system wasn't created by blacks, and they should not have to provide a solution, she says."Clinton was onto something when she said she would talk to white people, because that's exactly what she needs to do," Brown says. "[She] should begin each of her stump speeches with a discussion of her plans to end systemic racism in the criminal justice system. This should not be the script solely for predominantly black audiences. I think all of the presidential candidates--Democrats and Republicans--would be wise to adopt the approach that it is up to them to work on creating solutions."

For results, invest in alternative education programs, Waldman tells WABE

When you hear the term "alternative school" you might think of troubled children or students who can't cut it at regular public schools. While that's true for some students, alternative education programs vary widely. "If we're actually sending our kids to alternative placements, if we wish for them to succeed, if we wish for them not to spend their life behind bars or in low-paying or minimum wage or any jobs, we need to provide them with quality education when we are removing them from school," says Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic Director Randee Waldman.

Seaman in the NY Times: When innocence is no defense

Associate Professor Julie Seaman's op-ed in the New York Times discusses the case of Sandeep Bharadia, who received a life sentence in 2003 for sexual assault. It now appears DNA evidence (that was not introduced at trial) exonerates him. But Georgia precedent says he isn't entitled to a new trial. "What is most troubling about the Georgia Supreme Court's decision is that the issue of innocence becomes irrelevant if there has been a failure of due diligence," she writes. "In effect, the ruling elevates finality over justice to the point that an innocent person can be imprisoned, even executed, because of errors made by his lawyer. Absent a constitutional safety net, an innocent person convicted after a procedurally adequate trial is out of luck."

A discussion of voting rights in America, post-Shelby v. Holder

The Daily Report covered Tuesday's panel discussion at Emory Law, that included Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens 83L, Congressman John Lewis, Barbara R. Arnwine, Jason Carter, Anne Lewis and Fred Grey. The 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision voided the requirement that Georgia and other states and localities must have federal preclearance before making changes to voting laws, practices or precincts, holding that the application of the requirement against only some states was unconstitutional, and based on an outdated formula.

New Ferguson class will develop critical thinking skills, Brown says

In the year since a Missouri police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, a new generation has taken up the fight of the civil rights movement that changed the face of America decades before they were even born, Kendall Trammell writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Professor Dorothy Brown is co-teaching a fall course on the effects of Ferguson. "I want them to walk away with more critical thinking skills," she said of her students. "Don't just believe it because a talking head said it. Don't believe me just because I said it. Really think about what I'm saying. What evidence do I bring?"

July

We don't need new patent troll laws yet, Holbrook says

Congress is on the verge of passing patent reform legislation which contains myriad provisions: standards for pleading a case far beyond other forms of litigation, making the loser pay in patent litigation and limiting discovery until the court has interpreted what the patent covers. There seems to be much enthusiasm, with bills making it out of committee in both the House and Senate in a surprising show of bipartisanship. Except, we don"t need it, at least not yet.

Shepherd for National Law Review: federal caseload bump "a small price for equal justice"

Diversity jurisdiction protects out-of-state residents from potentially biased state courts, Shepherd writes for the National Law Review. "It is meant to ensure that commercial cases would be heard in an impartial forum to protect foreign litigants from local bias." Adhering the to "minimal diversity" standard called for by Article III of the Constitution would increase federal district courts' caseloads by an estimated 7.7 percent. "An additional 43 cases per year is a small price to pay for equal justice," she writes.

Labor guidelines still murky on independent contractor vs. employee, Shanor tells WABE

A study by the National Employment Labor Project estimates nearly one in three workers in the U.S. is misclassified. That can mean a loss of pay and benefits for employees. That's what a number of truckers in Georgia contend is happening to them. While the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division recently released a "letter of guidance" in an effort to clarify who is an employee and who is an independent contractor, the federal guidance is still indefinite, Professor Charles Shanor tells WABE.

Pardo in the NY Times: Judge issues "clarion call" for more forgiving student debt standard

For decades, student loan debt has been notoriously difficult to discharge, largely due to the "Brunner test" used to interpret whether repaying a loan represents an undue hardship. Federal Judge Frank Easterbrook's opinion in Susan Krieger's 2013 debt case seemed to signal that requiring debtors to prove their futures are "hopeless," is taking that standard too far. That's a big deal, Emory Law Professor Rafael Pardo tells the New York Times.

Nash for The Hill: Michigan v. EPA and the Chevron deference doctrine

In Michigan v. EPA, the Supreme Court invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency's choice not to consider costs in determining whether to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants, writes Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash, in an opinion article for The Hill. "Going forward, the case casts a shadow over the scope of agency deference under the so-called Chevron doctrine," Nash says. "The doctrine is a critical component of existing administrative law, requiring courts to defer to agencies' interpretations of ambiguous statutes."

Guttman 85L on rethinking Atticus Finch

"I suppose that there is some sadness in learning the true prejudices of Atticus Finch," Reuben Guttman 85L writes for The Global Legal Post. "But maybe Harper Lee has once again done the nation a service by reminding us that racism--and the discrimination that it produces--can be harbored by the most unlikely of characters."

Volokh on WDET: How the end of Aramark's contract affects Michigan prisons

Associate Professor Sasha Volokh talked with WDET's Stephen Henderson about private prison services, specifically about the abrupt end of Michigan's contract with the private food service company Aramark, and the differences between public and private prison services.

Despite evangelical concerns, same-sex marriage doesn't affect churches, Schapiro says

Evangelical Christians who have emphasized marriage as a union, under God, between a man and a woman, are now pondering how to live in an age in which marriage has taken on another legal definition, Patrik Jonsson writes in the Christian Science Monitor. But the Obergefell ruling has no impact on church marriages, says Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro. "No church or synagogue is going to be required to allow same-sex marriage, nor will any pastor or minister be required to perform them."

Brown for CNN: The power of white outrage

South Carolina state Rep. Jenny Horne is an overnight national hero because of her speech on the State House floor, arguing for the "immediate and swift removal" of the Confederate flag, writes Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown. "She became as angry as most of the blacks in South Carolina have been about this issue for years. Black anger, however, wasn't sufficient," Brown writes. "In order for the flag to come down we needed white anger. And several hours after Horne 's speech, the final vote was taken by the South Carolina legislature to remove the Confederate flag."

Perry for Commonweal: Obergefell concerns privacy, not equal protection

Professor Michael Perry agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court that excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage is unconstitutional, but not for the same reasons the court opinion relies upon. "One of the rationales on which the majority opinion relies is equal protection, but, in my view, such a rationale is problematic," Perry writes. The real issue, he says, is the right of privacy.

Brown for Washington Post: Jeb Bush paid too much in tax returns

Jeb Bush's tax returns show that like most of us, he's penalized by the disparity between tax rates on income and capital gains that favor the truly wealthy.

Volokh files amicus brief as Amtrak case heads back to D.C. Circuit

On July 6, Professor Alexander Volokh filed an amicus brief in DOT v. Ass'n of American Railroads. His primary arguments are: Congress' delegation of authority to Amtrak to develop metrics and standards violates the Due Process Clause; and the appointment of a private arbitrator does not violate any per se rule against delegations of authority to private parties.

Blank for The Hill: What the U.N. Report on Gaza left out

A United Nations Human Rights Council report on the 2014 Gaza conflict provides 183 pages of facts, legal analysis and conclusions about the conduct of Israeli forces, Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza. Unfortunately, the report is replete with faulty legal analysis, unjustified presumptions and an astounding willingness to take Hamas' claims at face value coupled with an unrelenting skepticism about Israeli efforts to comply with the law of war, writes Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic.

CNN video: Holbrook on changing landscape for same-sex marriage

Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized same-sex marriage, and the patchwork of state and local laws that still impact the civil and legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

Same-sex ruling doesn't affect church marriages, Schapiro tells Fox News

Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro says the practices of America's houses of worship are already well protected by the First Amendment. "There is nothing under our law that compels a rabbi, minister or pastor of any kind to perform a marriage that that person doesn't want to perform," Schapiro said. "That was the law before the Supreme Court decision. And that remains the law afterwards."

June

Nash for The Hill: Is King v. Burwell exceptional, or harbinger?

In King v. Burwell, the court turned to the statute's purpose to resolve ambiguity. There was a time--the middle of the last century--when resort to a statute's purpose was the courts' primary interpretive tool. This changed with the ascendance of textualism. King casts some doubt on the scope of the time-honored Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council doctrine, and also on the vitality of textualism. Time will tell the extent to which King is an exceptional case on an exceptional topic, or a harbinger of things to come.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief cites Emory Law Journal article in Obergefell dissent

In his dissent on the 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, Chief Justice John Roberts cited an Emory Law Journal article by Ron Den Otter, "Three May Not Be a Crowd: The Case for a Constitutional Right to Plural Marriage."" 64 Emory Law Journal 1977 (2015)

Emory Law experts weigh impact of Supreme Court marriage ruling

Today's landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage settles the question of marriage as a fundamental right, and also shows the importance of judicial confirmation hearings, Emory Law professors say. Read comments by Dean Robert Schapiro and Professors Tim Holbrook and Michael Perry.

Schapiro: Obergefell "signifies an openness to recognizing other constitutional rights"

Obergefell v. Hodges generated a near record number of amicus briefs, many written or signed by law professors, the National Law Journal writes. Constitutional law students will return to the case 50 years from now, said Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro. "It's a decision of tremendous significance," he said. "The court's method of recognizing [the right to same-sex marriage] signifies an openness to recognizing other constitutional rights."

Supreme Court decision upholds protections of the Fair Housing Act, Alexander says

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the use of disparate impact claims was a huge victory for civil rights, Next City's Cassie Owens writes. "If the Supreme Court elects to reject the possibility of discriminatory impact, it's going to basically be undoing the last 45 years of Fair Housing Act enforcement,' said Emory Law Professor Frank Alexander said, prior to the court's decision. "That result would make it incredibly difficult for the Fair Housing Act to be enforced except when the defendant actually says, 'I refuse to rent to you because of your race.'"

Judicial confirmation battles matter, writes Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro for The Conversation

"Judicial confirmation battles matter. Sometimes they matter a lot. That was the message of today's historic decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage," writes Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro for The Conversation's expert wrap-up on the Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage.

Justice Kennedy comes out for same-sex marriage: Holbrook for The Conversation

Today's outcome in Obergefell v Hodges, which rules that bans on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional, was expected by many. What wasn't clear, says Tim Holbrook for The Conversation, was the reasoning the court would use.

Marriage equality? Not so fast, says Holbrook for CNN

Justice Kennedy eloquently expressed the significance of marriage to the LGBT community, and with today's decision "the doors to marriage opened for gays and lesbians across the country," says Emory Law professor Tim Holbrook for CNN. "This is a historic moment that brings much joy and tears to LGBT people all across America."

Volokh: Is it due process or equal protection on Obergefell v. Hodges?

First, congratulations, everybody on Obergefell v. Hodges! Eight out of nine Justices implicitly or explicitly encourage you to "celebrate today's decision." OK, come back when you're done, and read this nitpicking of the Court's rationale. The Court had two rationales here: substantive due process and equal protection.

Scalia's conservative revolution falters with Obamacare ruling, Schapiro says

By upholding a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, a U.S. Supreme Court majority demonstrated that while the conservative revolution led by Justice Antonin Scalia may have had a strong impact on the court (and the nation) it has not succeeded in winning over Justice Anthony Kennedy or Chief Justice John Roberts. "Thus, while Justice Scalia has won many battles, he has not won the war," Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro writes for The Conversation. "And in today's King v Burwell decision he lost a major battle."

Goldfeder: High court First Amendment rulings are nuanced, not conflicting

"On June 18 the Supreme Court issued several opinions, among them two First Amendment decisions: Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, and Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans," Emory's Mark Goldfeder writes for The Conversation. "While several prominent analysts have decried these decisions as being fundamentally at odds with each other, the only word I would use to describe the both is: reasonable."

Volokh on Scalia's Shakespearean King v. Burwell dissent

Shakespeare fans will enjoy the language Justice Antonin Scalia employed in his bitter dissent in yesterday's 6-3 decision in the Obamacare case, King v. Burwell, Professor Alexander Volokh writes for the Washington Post blog, The Volokh Conspiracy.

Georgia's same-sex marriage ban affects more than nuptials, Holbrook says

As we await the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Professor Tim Holbrook talked with Creative Loafing about the effects of Georgia's present 2004 law, which bans such unions. Georgia LGBT couples would still have to travel to states where same-sex marriage is legal to marry, and when they return their marriages wouldn't be recognized. That affects issues including ease of adoption and medical visitation rights, for example.

DNA case explores new territory in genetics law, Satz tells WABE

In May, a federal judge ruled in favor of two warehouse employees who sued after being called into their supervisor's office and asked for saliva samples. The Fulton County case could set a legal precedent and tests a United States genetics law, WABE reports. Now, a trial is underway to determine a monetary award. Professor Ani Satz says that could be difficult because this type of case is new under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. "There's very little precedent for Judge Totenberg about how to assess damages, in fact I can't find any in our region," she says.

Emory Law alumni among Lifetime Achievement Awardees

Sonny Morris 69L, Oscar Persons 67L, Leah Ward Sears 80L, and Chilton Davis Varner 76L were among the 2015 honorees at the Daily Report's Lifetime Achievement Awards, given in June. "Many took unpopular stands to do what they thought was right for their clients or law," says the Report.

Nash for The Hill: Obama's curious take on King v. Burwell

"President Obama last week opined that the Supreme Court 'probably shouldn't even have ... taken up' King v. Burwell, the case that brings before the high court the question of whether the ObamaCare tax credit applies in states that have opted not to create their own healthcare exchanges," writes Professor Jonathan Nash. But the case meets the criteria for the court to have granted certiorari, and the administration's own arguments to the court belie the president's description of the case as "easy," he adds.

Brown for CNN: McKinney pool party incident has everything to do with race

As in the movie "Rashomon," multiple perspectives tell varied and conflicting stories about the McKinney, Texas pool party incident between a police officer and a 14-year-old girl. According to Emory Law professor Dorothy Brown, race had everything to do with the way the confrontation.

An-Na'im discusses varied views of Shariah on WABE

Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi An-Na'im is trying to prompt a global discussion between Muslims and others about Islamic law--also known as Shariah law--and why Shariah is viewed as such a threat in western cultures. He recently launched his Future of Shari'a blog, https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/aannaim/. "By its nature Shariah, which is the term I prefer over Islamic law, because as soon as you say Islamic law, which is the English translation, you are implying that it is a law to be imposed by the state, which is contradictory to its nature."

Nash for The Hill: The real reason behind the Supreme Court's bankruptcy judges ruling

"In a case handed down last week--Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif--the Supreme Court upheld the power of bankruptcy judges to hear, with the consent of the parties, matters that fall within the ambit of Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Article III," Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill. Bankruptcy judges are not Article III judges; they are appointed by federal circuit judges for 14-year terms, and their salaries are set by Congress, Nash says. "More disturbing than the court's lack of emphasis on Congress's other options is the failure of the court to come clean over exactly why Congress has not conferred Article III status on bankruptcy judges."

Pennsylvania judges' race attracts millions in outside funding

As the only state to host a Supreme Court race coming up--an unprecedented contest for three of the seven seats--Pennsylvania now gets the spotlight. Once the summer lull ends, experts say, tens of millions of dollars are likely to flow into the state and onto its airwaves to promote, or attack, the candidates. Court advocates say that money damages the public trust in justice, but studies suggest that it goes beyond perception, said Professor Joanna Shepherd. In a look at contributions and voting records nationwide from 2010 to 2012, she found that the more money business interests spent on a judge's campaign, the more likely the judge's vote would favor a business litigant.

Daily Report features An-Na'im's "Future of Sharia" blog

Religion and politics aren't generally considered topics of friendly conversation, but they're exactly what an Emory University law professor wants to start a global discussion around. Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi An-Na'im's blog is titled "Future of Sharia." The idea came from a fellow scholar and lecturer in Pakistan, whom An-Na'im said he's never met but has talked to online. "She emailed me after there was an attack on a school in Pakistan [by Islamic extremists], and she said we can't stand for this. We can't remain silent," said An-Na'im, who is a native of Sudan and a practicing Muslim.

May

Nash for The Hill: Williams-Yulee's razor-thin victory for judicial campaign speech codes

Although Williams-Yulee upholds a judicial campaign speech restriction, the restriction it upholds is a narrow one and, moreover, it adopts a most exacting standard against which it holds judicial speech restrictions are generally to be measured, Professor Jonathan Nash writes in an opinion article for The Hill. "Going forward, states will have to offer a compelling state interest in regulating judicial campaign speech, and more importantly will have to demonstrate that their regulation is narrowly tailored to the problem at issue."

April

Justice Ginsburg cites Shepherd/Kang study in Supreme Court judicial elections case

In a decision viewed as a limited victory for campaign finance reform, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited Emory Law Professors Joanna Shepherd and Michael Kang's 2014 study "Skewed Justice," in joining a 5-4 majority decision that found in states where judges are elected, their role in soliciting financial contributions should be limited. (See page 31.)

An-Na'im cited by Aliran Monthly on greatest threat to society and religion

What is the greatest threat to society and religion? Writer Nicholas Chen cites Professor Abdullahi An'Nai'm's book, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari¿a, in asserting that separation of state and religion "not only preserves the wellbeing of the society, but also the integrity of the religion."

Reuben Guttman 85L: Advocacy is a two-way street

Young lawyers learning about advocacy need to understand how judges think if they are to master the skill, says Reuben Guttman 85L. "Last year at Emory Law School, I convened a panel of four judges with the hope of giving students an insight into their lives. It was enlightening for the students to learn that these judges had dockets ranging from a couple hundred to several thousand cases."

Dorothy Brown for CNN: The real shame of Ben Affleck running from his family's history

Emory Law professor Dorothy A. Brown writes about how Ben Affleck and Henry Louis Gates missed an opportunity to discuss racial issues when they decided not to air a segment of the TV documentary, "Finding Your Roots," which uncovered that one of Affleck's ancestors was a slave owner.

Holbrook for CNN: Who's the real bully on LGBT rights?

In an op-ed for CNN, Emory University Law professor Timothy Holbrook counters the view that the opponents of same-sex marriage feel they are being "bullied" into silence.

Schapiro provides expertise as Supreme Court hears gay marriage case

Robert Schapiro, dean of the Emory University School of Law and an expert on Constitutional law, was a guest on a segment about the U.S Supreme court taking up the issue of gay marriage and how the court's decision will affect Georgia.

Dean Robert Schapiro for Emory Wheel: Lewis chair helps advance scholarly mission in civil rights and social justice,

Emory Law received a $1.5 million donation to help establish a John Lewis Chair in Civil Rights and Social Justice, providing "a very visible reminder of the Law School¿s commitment to diversity,¿ according to Dean Robert Schapiro.

Brown in Emory Wheel: New Lewis chair builds a new chapter in championing civil rights

Dorothy Brown, professor of law and vice provost of Emory University, says that the new John Lewis Chair in Civil Rights and Social Justice is "an opportunity to solidify Emory¿s ties to Atlanta and 'carry the baton forward.'"

Attorney General Sam Olens 83L: Georgia will respect Supreme Court decision

During an appearance before the Atlanta Press Club, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens 83L discussed potential legal defense of Georgia's constitutional ban on gay marriage if the high court overrules bans on same-sex marriage: "If the court rules that Georgia's constitutional amendment is legal, the press release from my office will be that the Supreme Court has spoken."

RICO prosecution in APS cheating case not surprising, Cloud tells LA Times

When prosecutors in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating case used RICO laws to pursue convictions for educators, some observers cried overkill. The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act debuted in the 1970s as a means to prosecute gangsters and mob bosses. But as Emory Law Professor Morgan Cloud told the Los Angeles Times, it wasn't a stretch. "I was not surprised in the least," Cloud said. "It's sufficiently egregious, and this clearly fit within the way the RICO statute has been applied since 1970."

Denying health services to non-citizens weakens overall public health, Price says

As we saw with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the overall health of a population is a key component in the emergence and spread of contagious disease. But sovereign boundaries and distinctions between citizens and non-citizens undermine public health in the United States. State and local public health departments are the primary defense against contagion. But US public health agencies--already under-resourced because public funding is politically tenuous--must work within a system in which citizens and non-citizens are segregated with respect to access to health care.

The Volokh Conspiracy: Beyond Cheryl's birthday

This is about the Cheryl's birthday problem from Singapore that the Internet has been talking about recently. I won't bother solving this one-- it's all over the Internet by now--or answering the obvious questions like why would Cheryl even do such a thing, and why don't Albert and Bernard just pool their information?

Price for The Hill: McCain, Congress should lead fight against drug resistant TB

This month, Sen. John McCain lobbied to prevent the release of an immigration detainee diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis. McCain did so on behalf of Pinal County, Ariz., which faced staggering medical costs to treat the patient and to prevent further spread of a dreaded and difficult to treat disease. That's the right thing to do, says Professor Polly Price. But she argues it shouldn't be a one-off solution.

Brown for CNN: Did South Carolina police learn from Ferguson?

"Routine stops for walking in the middle of the street or driving with a broken taillight--these should not result in anyone's death. But time and again it ends with a black man dead in the street and the community has no recourse," Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown writes. "This time the stage was set in North Charleston, South Carolina, a city of about 100,000 people. Walter Scott was stopped by Officer Michael Slager for a broken taillight, and within minutes Scott was dead."

Tisdale 72L: "Environmental lawyers can save the earth"

Chet Tisdale 72L calls on environmental lawyers to continue the advances earned during the 1970s, including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. "Environmental lawyers care about the environment. We may fight about how clean is clean. We may disagree on how stringent an air or water discharge standard must be," he writes for the American College of Environmental Lawyers. "But we all want to reduce pollution to levels that protect human health and the environment and are cost effective."

Chakravarty 97L, federal team, successfully prosecute Boston Marathon bomber

A federal jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a failing college student and the youngest child in a dispersed Russian immigrant family, guilty of the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon, the worst act of terrorism on American soil since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Times reports. Aloke Chakravarty 97L was a member of the prosecution team that led the jury to convict following 11 hours of deliberations over two days.

Brown to Congress: Show us your tax returns

The National Journal featured a Q & A with Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown, who has called for Congress to make their tax returns public for years. "I have been writing and thinking about tax reform--or, I should say, the lack of tax reform--for a really long time. The typical American cannot take advantage of most of the deductions and loopholes that I believe members of Congress are taking advantage of because of their incomes. And I believe, if the public saw this great disparity, they might demand tax reform from the bottom up."

Cloud explains prosecution's choices in APS cheating case

Professor Morgan Cloud was a guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, to explain the prosecution's use of Georgia's Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations laws against the educators accused in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial. A governor's blue-ribbon panel found half of the school system's elementary and middle schools were involved, Cloud said, and that the cheating scheme was "conducted and condoned, and probably enforced from the very top of the administration." The RICO Act "was most powerful legal tool available to the prosecutors, and it really fit this case beautifully," Cloud said. "It really would have been a surprise had they not used the RICO statute."

Wallack 94L happy for client's acquittal in APS cheating case

As the attorney for the only defendant acquitted of all charges by the jury deciding the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial, Atlanta solo practitioner Sanford "Sandy" Wallack is happy for his client and eager to get back to the rest of his law practice, which he essentially placed on hold during the seven-month-long trial, writes Greg Land of the Daily Report.

American Banker cites Velikonja's work on SEC waivers

The SEC's bad actor provisions automatically disqualify firms and individuals that break certain securities laws from using a streamlined process to offer securities to investors, Thaya Brook Knight writes in American Banker. But the SEC may waive the disqualification for defendants who can show good cause as to why the disqualification shouldn't apply to them. "A recent study by Urska Velikonja of Emory University School of Law, cited enthusiastically by the bill's supporters, reported that large firms received 82 percent of 201 waivers granted between July 2003 and December 2014," Knight writes, while ultimately arguing such waivers are appropriate and necessary.

Nash for The Hill: Why "judicially unadministrable" matters

"Two words in a Supreme Court opinion handed down last week seem arcane, but may have substantial repercussions for how Congress drafts statutes and how courts interpret them," Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill. In Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, Inc.,, Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion described the statutory provision --which instructs that states should "safeguard against unnecessary utilization of ... care and services" while also providing payments "consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care"--as "judicially unadministrable."

An-Na'im joins "Understanding to Action" panel on genocide, xenophobia

Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im was a guest panelist for a recent talk sponsored by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, on past and current human rights abuses. Other panelists included British Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, publisher M. Alexis Scott, and Holocaust survivor Norbert Friedman. The event was held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Indiana law needs LGBT nondiscrimination fix, Holbrook tells CNN

Many states are using the laws to carve out exceptions to allow Christians to deny services to same-sex couples, said Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook. "The timing is beyond a coincidence," he said. "We are having an interest in RFRA at the time same-sex marriage is coming forward." Holbrook suggests that a "fix" for the Indiana law would be the passage of a nondiscrimination law. Or, at the very least, an exception written into the religious freedom bill that protects from such discrimination.

March

Holbrook for CNN: Indiana uses religious freedom against gays

When Indiana Gov. Michael Pence signed his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), he apparently did not anticipate the resulting uproar. Many of Indiana's businesses fear that the law could be used to allow store owners to deny service to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

Goldfeder in the Monitor: How far does secular law have to go to accommodate religion?

Indiana became the 20th state to pass its version of a religious freedom restoration act last week, amid a national debate over the legal limits of religious conservatives' and LGBT citizens' visions for the nation's common life together. "At some point we come to the idea that we decide as a society that there's a compelling government interest that we don't discriminate anymore," says Mark Goldfeder, senior fellow at Emory Law's Center for the Study of Law and Religion. "LGBT is not a protected class everywhere--though I think it should be--and the question we're butting up against is exactly that: At what point does the line change, and we say, you can no longer do this? But because the line hasn't changed everywhere, and yet public perception is changing, that's why we now have this gray area."

Brown writes in Forbes on Starbucks' #RaceTogether experiment

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz "watched the tragic events in Ferguson and elsewhere and wanted to be part of the solution," Vice Provost and Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown writes for Forbes. "He is to be commended for that, not pilloried." But asking baristas to lead the #RaceTogether campaign failed because "talking about race with a stranger, much less a stranger of a different race, is fraught with anxiety, and to do it well requires preparation and skill." Brown offers a few suggestions for what Starbucks can do next.

Blank writes on public perception of proportionality in war

At least two surveys gathering information about "public perceptions" of proportionality and collateral damage are making their way around the international arena by way of blogs, social media and email. What qualifies as excessive civilian risk in the context of a military operational attack decision remains one of the most elusive questions in international law, which is the ostensible motive for these surveys.

Price comments on "birthers" arguments for presidential candidates

Now that Canadian-born Republican Ted Cruz has declared that he will run for president, expect the "birthers" to resurface, says the Tampa Bay Times' Alex Leary. Those questions will probably apply to Marco Rubio, too. The article repeats Emory Law Professor Polly Price's 2011 comments on the natural born citizen clause. "It's a little confusing, but most scholars think it's a pretty unusual position for anyone to think the natural born citizen clause would exclude someone born in the U.S.," Price said.

Waldman comments on Justice Department push for public defenders

Children who aren't fully advised of their rights are more likely to plead guilty, according to the National Juvenile Defender Center. "Every time you enter the juvenile delinquency system, it's a big deal," says Randee Waldman, director of the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic. "Even on something that seems minor, there are collateral consequences, and the ability to move deeper into the system increases drastically as soon as you enter it." Waldman was commenting on N.P v. The State of Georgia, et al, which says four Georgia counties have only three public defenders to handle nearly 1,700 cases for poor defendants each year.

Preventing citizens from living in disaster-prone areas difficult, Alexander says

One year after a massive landslide killed 43 people, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing to fund new mapping of geological hazards across the state and make that data available to the public. But in a recent interview he said the state won't tell property owners where they can or can't live, citing the difficulty of predicting landslides, the Wall Street Journal says. "Local governments are reluctant to say to private property owners, 'You can't do something,' " said Emory Law Professor Frank Alexander, who has studied the issue. "The American spirit hates to be told they can't do something." (subscription required)

Kang tells Fox mandatory voting "not happening"

Mandatory voting might be a boon for the Democratic Party, but the idea President Obama floated this week of forcing Americans to show up at the polls will never happen, legal experts said. Such a movement would undoubtedly face legal challenges, according to Emory Law Professor Michael Kang. "It's not that there's lack of legal authority," he said. "It's totally conceivable that you could have a law like that in theory." But, Kang added, "It's not happening."

Zwier speaks on diplomacy during Emory's "Tibet Week"

"The China-Tibet Dialogue and Its Implications for International Conflict Resolution: A Conversation with Lodi Gyari Rinpoche and Emory Law Professor Paul Zwier" takes place Monday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. Gyari is a Tibetan diplomat and former special envoy to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Zwier is director of Emory Law's Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution as well as the Advocacy Skills Program. Students Tsewang Rigzin and Richard Sui are the respondents in this talk.

New class on Ferguson will examine "Black Lives Matter" movement

Emory University's new class on what happened in Ferguson before and after Michael Brown's death will examine the "Black Lives Matter" movement through more than one lens, said Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown. "Students don't like injustice, and this certainly seems like an injustice," she said. "It is a case study in what not to do if you want to de-escalate the situation."

Dudziak cited in Foreign Policy: "There's no such thing as peacetime"

"We've spent years believing the war on terror will end and civil liberties will be safe again. It's time to accept that the war will go on forever--and take steps to protect life and liberty in the new normal," Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks writes in Foreign Policy. She cites Emory Law Professor Mary Dudziak's recent book, War Time, to illustrate how ceaseless war affects individual liberties in the context of national security imperatives. "Military conflict has been ongoing for decades, yet public policy rests on the false assumption that it is an aberration," Dudziak writes. "This enables a culture of irresponsibility, as 'wartime' serves as an argument and an excuse for national security-related ruptures of the usual legal order."

Blank for The Hill: Hard questions for Guantanamo

Last week, the director of National Intelligence (DNI) announced that 116 of the 647 Guantanamo detainees that have been released had returned to terrorist or insurgent activities. When critics call detainee releases reckless because there are still individuals and groups out there posing a threat to the United States, they once again bury the hard questions under rhetoric and hype. In effect, they once again merely kick the proverbial can--how to make the necessary distinctions for principled application of the law and address the concomitant uncertainties--down the road.

Emory to offer class on "Ferguson Movement"

Emory University says it will offer a course this coming fall on the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. "Ferguson touches a lot of different areas," says Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown, who helped create the class. "So people tend to think of it as policing and criminal law, but there"s so much more to it." It will be open to undergraduates and graduate students, with enrollment open through March 18.

Black neighborhoods less likely to rebound in housing recovery, Brown tells Marketplace

The recession and the housing crash hit Atlanta hard, but since 2012 recovery has seemed imminent. Is it? Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown cites studies which show that, even before the housing crash, homes in predominantly African-American neighborhoods were likely to be valued at lower prices than similar homes in majority-white neighborhoods.

Sheffey writes for Atlanta Lawyer on public service

On Jan. 20 of this year, I joined the Emory University School of Law as the first assistant dean for public service and knew I had found my calling. In this role, I work every day to connect with law students and colleagues to nurture the desire to help people. I hope to show our students the many different ways a lawyer can do that, regardless of practice and at different times in one's career. (links to digital magazine)

Brown in Business Insider: "We're not going to go back to the way it was."

Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown followed up her Washington Post op-ed on law schools' enrollment struggles with a Business Insider interview. In the next three years, Brown predicts that a law school in the top 20 or even top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report ranking may end up shutting down due to declining enrollment. "This isn't temporary," she said. "We're not going to go back to the way it was."

Alexander on NOLA's land auction: Make sure it benefits the city

New Orleans is selling almost 1,800 properties on the Web to fatten its tax coffers and build on the momentum it's enjoying in the local real estate market, Bloomberg Business reports. "The weakness of this open-auction approach is there is no assurance that a purchaser who completes the acquisition will use it in a manner that's in the best interests of the city," said Emory Law Professor Frank Alexander.

WSJ reprises Brown's op-ed on the state of legal scholarship

The recent plunge in law-school applications and enrollment has a lot of legal educators wondering what can be done to escape the doldrums. Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy A. Brown, who focuses on tax policy and critical race theory, doesn¿t have a silver bullet. But in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Monday, she suggests that the way in which law schools emphasize and pay for legal scholarship is making matters worse.

Waldman talks with WABE about new school behavioral program to decrease suspensions

Georgia has one of the highest school suspension rates in the country. But it is dropping. To shrink the number further, some state officials are pushing a program that has helped reduce discipline problems nationwide. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, is a program now in 400 Georgia schools. Randee Waldman, director of the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic at Emory Law School, commented on how it works.

Brown for the Washington Post: Will law schools' challenges force real change?

"'March madness' holds a different meaning in the legal world. While most of the country looks forward to fast breaks and Cinderella upsets, law schools are bracing themselves for another type of madness: the annual carnage left by the U.S. News & World Report rankings," writes Emory Law Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown.

Brown for CNN: Ferguson's perfect storm of racism

"If you were the member of a minority group and tried to create a system to control and oppress the majority, you could not have done a better job than the white leaders of Ferguson, Missouri," writes Professor and Vice Provost Dorothy Brown. "Let's start with the demographics. Ferguson is small--roughly 20,000 residents--and is 67 percent black and 29 percent white. Over the past decade, Ferguson's population has changed from majority white to majority black. Its elected officials did not. Five of six City Council members are white, as is the city's mayor. How does this happen in a city two-thirds black?"

How emails aid watchdogs: FOIA requests, Turner Clinic, and Plant Vogtle

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic has followed the funding and construction of Georgia Power's nuclear Plant Vogtle for years. A series of FOIA requests by the Clinic to the Department of Energy and other players resulted in the release of thousands of documents and eventually, a $44,000 award in attorney fees for the students' time. Here, Doug Koplow of Earth Track draws a parallel from the recent news that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account while secretary of state, to the clinic's efforts to disclose the true costs of Plant Vogtle for state and federal taxpayers.

Dudziak in the Atlantic on Clinton's use of personal e-mail as secretary of state

Hillary Clinton's failure to use a government e-mail address during her four-year tenure at the State Department "may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record," according to The New York Times, which first broke the story. It also may have removed the paper trail on which the public relies to make sense of the past. "Hillary Clinton's emails are the contemporary equivalent of letters and memos from past secretaries of state that have enabled historians to study the history of American foreign relations," said Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Mary L. Dudziak.

February

Affordable Care Act case highlights era of strict statutory construction, Schapiro says

When the Supreme Court hears arguments next week on the validity of insurance premium subsidies connected to the Affordable Care Act, the Justices will be parsing words closely, in a decision that could affect millions of Americans' access to healthcare. Before 1980 or so, says Emory Law Dean Robert Schapiro, the courts would have considered the overarching purpose of the law--affordable healthcare for everyone. The focus now is on four crucial words within the act: "established by the state."

Holbrook receives Pride Award: Chestnut LGBT Person of the Year

Associate Dean and Professor Timothy Holbrook will be honored March 3 at Emory University's 23rd Annual Pride Awards, as the Chestnut LGBT Person of the Year. It is named for Saralyn Chesnut, who started the Pride awards in 1993. Established by the President's Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity, and Queer Equality in 2007, the Chestnut Award recognizes service, extraordinary contributions and leadership that advance equity and awareness of the LGBT community.

Volokh: Supreme Court agrees with the FTC, finds N.C. Board violated antitrust law

In the antitrust case, N.C. Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, the Board aggressively went after non-dentist teeth whiteners, sending them numerous cease-and-desist letters claiming that they were engaged in the unauthorized practice of dentistry, Associate Professor Alexander Volokh writes in the Washington Post for the Volokh Conspiracy. "Does this violate antitrust law? The Federal Trade Commission, which is one of the agencies that enforces federal antitrust law, said yes." The U.S. Supreme Court agreed 6-3.

Emory Law alumni lead new pro bono program to aid inventors seeking patents

A new initiative to connect low-income inventors with pro bono patent lawyers kicked off last week. For those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, the Georgia PATENTS program screens and refers Georgia inventors to patent lawyers in the appropriate discipline. "The biggest cost is the attorney fees, not the patent application,""said W. Grant Corboy of the Patent Office. Low-income inventors can apply for a 75 percent application fee discount, he added.

Documentary tells parallel history of Black Panther Party

In his latest work, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Director Stanley Nelson doesn't rewrite history so much as he reveals a parallel story of a Black Panther Party that was more complex--and well-intended--than was portrayed during the group's tumultuous history. Among others, it gives voice to Emory Law Professor Kathleen Cleaver, the influential wife of Eldridge Cleaver, the Panthers' minister of information.

SEC commissioner cites Velikonja's work in speech on disqualification waivers

In a Feb. 13 speech at the 37th Annual Conference on Securities Regulation and Business Law, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher cited Emory Law Associate Professor Urska Velikonja's research on disqualification waivers. He said Velikonja's paper, "Waiving Disqualification: When Do Securities Law Violators Receive a Reprieve?" will be "very important for this debate."

Holbrook in WSJ: What the Alabama decision means for same-sex marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for gay couples in Alabama to wed, making it the 37th state where same-sex marriages are legal and offering the latest signal the court appears headed toward overturning bans nationwide. "I think there are at least five, possibly six, justices" who will rule in favor of gay marriage, said Emory Law Professor Timothy Holbrook. "The order today doesn't do anything to convince me otherwise."

Velikonja in Law360 on SEC waiver exception for Oppenheimer & Co.

The public outcry of two U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission members over a decision to give Oppenheimer & Co. a pass on being deemed a "bad actor" after it admitted to breaking securities laws has again stirred the debate over whether the agency needs to get tougher on recidivist firms. In its letter seeking relief, Oppenheimer laid out a detailed analysis of why there exists good cause for the firm to not be barred from Rule 506 offerings. "That is a direct consequence of [the SEC's two Democratic commissioners, Luis Aguilar and Kara Stein] being a little bit difficult when it come to waivers," said Emory Law Assistant Professor Urska Velikonja.

Shepherd in WSJ: Combatting special interest money in judicial elections

Emory Law Professor Joanna Shepherd said West Virginia's move fits a gradual pattern as states shift away from partisan elections, even as campaign spending rises and races become more politicized each year. She believes the West Virginia measure would have limited effects on influence. "It would minimize the influence of political parties in these elections, but it will not do anything to remedy the special interest money," she said.

Price quoted in "Emory after Ebola: Teachable moments"

As Emory experts continued to treat Ebola patients throughout the fall semester, they also consulted and shared protocols with health care providers around the world. Meanwhile, Ebola inspired a "teachable moment" in classes ranging from biology to business and epidemiology to ethics. Polly Price, professor in the School of Law, included Ebola in classes she taught on immigration law and an introductory course on legislation and regulation.

January

Attorney representing hospital where father practices isn't a conflict, Terrell says

On the surface, Georgia State Rep. Tom Weldon's representation of the hospital where his father serves as board chairman does not present a conflict of interest. Tom Weldon wants the hospital to succeed, wrote the Chattanooga Times Free-Press. So does his father, physician Darrell Weldon. "If difficulties later arise, they can be confronted," said Emory Law Professor Timothy Terrell, who specializes in professional responsibility. "This does not appear to be any kind of 'unconsentable' conflict, like trying to represent both sides in a divorce case."

Cleaver discusses new Black Panther film at Sundance Festival

Professor Kathleen Cleaver, who was the Black Panther Party's communications secretary and wife of party leader Eldridge Cleaver, discusses the new film "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. The film's director, Stanley Nelson, was also interviewed on the occasion of the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Price examines Ebola, pandemic law with Emory medical experts at Florida "Back to Class"

On Saturday, January 24, the Emory Alumni Association hosted "Back to Class: South Florida" at the Westin Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables. The program featured five faculty members sharing expertise on diverse subjects including Ebola, quarantine, infant communication, and the history of Oxford College and Emory.

Brown discusses African Americans' underwater mortgages with Kojo Nnamdi

From the outside, the Fairwood subdivision near Bowie, Maryland, appears to be an African-American success story. The subdivision is 73 percent black, with a median income of $170,000. But many homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown is a guest when Nnamdi talks with a Washington Post reporter who wrote on black wealth and the lingering impact of the housing crisis in the Washington suburbs.

Goldfeder on dismissed Atlanta fire chief's lawsuit: too soon to say

Atlanta's fire chief was dismissed by the mayor after writing a book in which he said homosexuality is "vile." He has filed a federal discrimination complaint against the city in a case that is testing the issue of religious expression in the workplace and mobilizing Christian conservatives to his defense. Professor Mark Goldfeder told the Los Angeles Times it was too early to decide whether the chief had a strong legal case. Americans have the right to express their personal beliefs and Title VII requires reasonable accommodation to do so in the workplace. "But what it doesn't protect is imposing your beliefs on somebody else or making people feel uncomfortable," Goldfeder said.

Brown in Washington Post: African Americans with homes in Prince George's watched wealth vanish

In Prince George's County, the nation's highest-income majority-black county, residents have lost far more wealth than families in neighboring, majority-white suburbs. While surrounding counties are enjoying a strong rebound in housing prices, Prince George's lags far behind, and local economists say a full recovery appears unlikely anytime soon. "Regardless of geography, if you own a home in a majority-minority neighborhood, you are going to get less value out of it than if you own a home in a homogeneous white neighborhood," said Dorothy A. Brown, an associate vice provost and law professor at Emory University, who has studied the impact of race on home prices. "This transcends class."

How Atlanta can tackle blight, Alexander tells WABE

The City of Atlanta is working to tackle abandoned homes and properties throughout the city, something the city has had a hard time accomplishing because of its current laws, officials said. Frank Alexander, Emory University Law Professor, says Atlanta's current codes are dated and ineffective. "The City of Atlanta, historically, relative to other cities of comparable size, geographically and in population, has underfunded code enforcement activities," he said.

Miller 82L elected to Emory University Board of Trustees

Lee Miller 82L is a managing director with The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A., the independent investment and wealth management firm serving endowments, foundations, family and individual relationships that was originally founded in 1956 to serve as the corporate trustee and fiduciary of The Pew Trusts. Miller is on the Dean's Advisory Committee at Emory University School of Law. In addition, she is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and serves on the Museum's Professional Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Preservation League of New York State.

Blank for Jurist: The limits of inviolability: U.N. facilities during armed conflict

"When terrorists and armed groups use protected sites and facilities as headquarters, weapons storage and launch sites, what should be important immunity for protected sites becomes unwarranted and unjustified immunity for fighters violating the fundamental tenets of the law of war," Blank writes. "Understanding the parameters--and limits--of inviolability for protected sites is therefore crucial to applying the law effectively to protect civilians and ensure lawful military operations."

Shepherd study of judicial fundraising cited in McClatchey analysis of upcoming Supreme Court case

Conservative Supreme Court justices sounded skeptical Tuesday about Florida's ban on judicial candidates personally soliciting campaign contributions, setting up another closely divided decision over money and political speech. ""ustice shall not be sold, nor shall it be denied," Breyer said. "That's at least 800 years old." Roberts retorted, "Eight hundred years ago, judges were not elected." The rules are important because of the flood of money entering judicial races. From 1990 to 1999, judicial candidates raised about $83.3 million. But over the next 10, they raised $206.9 million, according to a study by Professor Joanna Shepherd.

Supreme Court likely to rule for same-sex marriage, Perry says

Michael Perry, an Emory Law professor and constitutional expert, says that same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide this year.

Stark advocates for legal curriculum reform

During a keynote address for Emory Law's Center for Transactional Law and Practice conference, Tina Stark focused on what she views as essential law school curriculum reforms.

Carter appointed to Georgia Commission on Family Violence

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has appointed Melissa Carter to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. Carter is clinical professor of law and director of the Emory Law Barton Child Law and Policy Center.

Holbrook looks forward to Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage

Emory Law professor Tim Holbrook is supportive of the Supreme Court's decision to address the constitutionality of same sex marriage bans.

Holbrook in WSJ: Kennedy, Roberts could create 6-3 vote for same-sex marriage

Tim Holbrook, a professor at Emory Law, said he thinks it's possible, though unlikely, that Chief Justice Roberts would vote with liberal members of the Supreme Court bench.

Dudziak in New York Magazine: Forecasting Obama's presidential legacy

The magazine polled 53 historians, including Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Mary L. Dudziak on how Obama's presidency will be viewed two decades from now. "How much will Obama's being black matter in the end?" the magazine asked. "Race will still matter. Twenty years from now, children will learn in school that Barack Obama was the first nonwhite U.S. president," Dudziak says. "Some will see Obama's presidency as showing that the early-21st century was a moment of progress, in spite of continuing racial inequality and uproar over police killings of unarmed people of color." The best thing he could do for his legacy? Close Guantánamo.