Emory Law News Center

March 2017 In the News Archive | Emory University School of Law

Jonathan R. Nash

Trump's lower court nomination may be more important, Nash says

Beneath the radar, President Trump nominated Judge Amul R. Thapar to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. "The nomination says something about Trump's strategy for filling the numerous vacancies on the lower federal courts," Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill. "And in the long run, it may have a larger impact than the nomination of Gorsuch" for the Supreme Court.

'Religious liberty' provision imperils adoption bill, Carter says

'Religious liberty' provision imperils adoption bill, Carter says

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he opposes a Senate effort to add "religious liberty" protections to a bill dealing with adoptions, a change that could allow private adoption agencies receiving public money to refuse to place children with LGBT families. Melissa Carter, director of Emory"s Barton Child Law and Policy Center, is also concerned the bill could be defeated because of the proposed change. "It's certainly a possibility that the entire bill could be lost as a casualty of these efforts," she said. Lost in the fight is how much the present laws need an update, she says. "As a legal practice, adoption is a highly technical area. Over time it needs to be updated and modernized."

Proposed adoption law may cause ill effects, Carter says

Proposed adoption law may cause ill effects, Carter says

A change intended to modernize Georgia's adoption laws would allow private foster and adoption agencies to refuse services based on their "mission as evidenced by its written policy, statement or other document." But child advocates say that may violate federal law and have a negative effect on children in state care. "This could very much harm them in the disruption of our placement protocols, in curtailing the resources that we currently have, and frankly, in conveying a sense to any given child that 'you are unwanted'--again, and again, and again," said Melissa Carter, director of Emory Law's Barton Child Law and Policy Center.

Laurie R. Blank

Recent Yemen strikes raise questions about self-defense, Blank says

After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. responded in self-defense against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan "and has since used force against al Qaeda and several affiliated groups from Pakistan to Yemen to Syria to Somalia and beyond," Emory Law's Laurie Blank writes in a column for Jurist. It raises two important questions, she says. "How long does self-defense last ... and how far can a state go--both in the geographic sense and in the sense of the legitimate aims of using force--when acting in self defense?"

Georgia redistricting plan may invite challenge, Kang says

Georgia redistricting plan may invite challenge, Kang says

A Georgia voter redistricting plan has raised charges that it is designed to dilute the influence of minority voters and protect members of GOP who came close to losing their seats in the last election. Republicans say there is nothing "sinister or underhanded" about the bill. If passed, the redistricting may be open to court challenge. "The issue in Georgia, and in the North Carolina cases, is whether the predominant intent of the legislature is racial or partisan," said Emory Law Professor Michael Kang.

Trump's SEC budget cuts will reduce enforcement, Velikonja says

Trump's SEC budget cuts will reduce enforcement, Velikonja says

SEC officials didn't attend an annual conference for Wall Street bond dealmakers in Las Vegas last week, Bloomberg reports. The agency is bracing for deep spending reductions in President Donald Trump's budget proposal, the story says. "We're already seeing a quieter enforcement regime" since the change of administration, said Emory Law Associate Professor Urska Velikonja. "The number of enforcement cases is likely to be down considerably going forward."

Emory Law study finds judicial prejudice in immigration hearings

Emory Law study finds judicial prejudice in immigration hearings

Immigration Court judges in Atlanta are failing to uphold ethical standards that ensure immigrants receive fair and impartial treatment, according to a seven-week study by Emory Law students and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was recently featured on the Immigration Prof Blog. "These observations confirm the Atlanta Immigration Court's reputation as a system where judges fail to respect the rule of law," said Adjunct Professor Hallie Ludsin of Emory Law School, who led the law students in their court monitoring.