Emory Law News Center

2018 In the News Archive | Emory University School of Law


2018 will be remembered for cruelty, Dudziak tells Politico

Politico asked 16 historians how the past year will be viewed by coming generations. "2018 will be remembered as the year of cruelty," writes Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Mary L. Dudziak. From child deaths at the border to President Trump's refusal to sanction Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it was a brutal year, Dudziak said. "The list goes on and on--there is too much cruelty for one paragraph. Congress, and the American people, aided the president's cruelty by failing to do whatever it would take to stop him."


IP Watch quotes Bagley on evolving legal aspects of biodiversity

"The access and benefit sharing protocol of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity is based on bilateral agreements between providers and users of genetic resources. There are, however, many cases where genetic resources are dispersed, and difficult to attribute to only one location," reads an IP Watch story. "The issue is being discussed at the biennial meeting of the CBD member states, in particular the possibility of a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism to address those genetic resources not yet covered by the protocol." Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Margo Bagley served as a source for the story.

Levine quoted on how mayor, daughter avoided trial for missing $500,000

Professor Kay Levine is interviewed by 11Alive's Andy Pierrotti for The Reveal about the case of a Georgia mayor and his daughter escaping prosecution for missing city funds. "Eight years ago, a grand jury believed a former mayor and his daughter deserved to stand trial after an audit discovered more than $500,000 went missing from a small town. It never went to trial," the story reads.

Bagley weighs in on DNA open database sharing

Researchers teasing out genetic codes from plants, animals, fungi, and microbes have deposited quadrillions of digital nucleotide sequences in open access databases, Chemical and Engineering News reports. "Now, more than 110 countries are considering a proposal that would affect scientists' ability to use these data. The aim is for the users to share benefits--financial or otherwise--that accrue from application of this information with the countries that are home to the organisms whose genes were sequenced." Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Margo Bagley was quoted as an expert.

Brown: Trump's crime video may be 'biggest political blunder yet'

President Trump has tweeted a frightening video of an undocumented immigrant from Mexico talking about killing police in the past and in the future, Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown writes for CNN. But,"The research is clear," she says. "Undocumented and legal immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born American citizens." Trump's card is racism, but his ad might prove to be his "biggest political blunder yet," she writes.


In the Atlantic: Shepherd quoted on dark money's influence on judges

"Courts, it is often remarked, control neither armies nor treasuries. Their power comes from their legitimacy," says The Atlantic. Emory Law Professor Joanna Shepherd is quoted in a story about the Republican legislature in West Virginia impeaching state supreme court justices. Post Citizens United, new judicial dark money overwhelmingly came from conservative groups, which resulted in a surge of TV attack ads on judges. They are often missing "any sort of nuance or explanation for why a judge voted that way . . . They fail to mention that there was an illegal search and seizure or something like that," Shepherd said, adding, "The system is forcing judges to act a lot more like politicians than as true judges."

Volokh: Trump can't change birthright citizenship

President Donald Trump says he wants to use an executive order to end the constitutional right to American citizenship for children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents, 11Alive reports. Emory Law Professor Alexander Volokh says that idea is meritless. "The idea that Trump can end birthright citizenship by executive order is probably one of the most illegal ideas that Trump has expressed," he said. An executive order doesn¿t override the Constitution, he said, and Congress would have to vote to change the constitutional provision concerning citizenship.

Levine comments on proposed victim's rights law

Marsy's Law was originally passed in California in 2008, and other states have adopted it, WABE reports. What does the language mean for both victims and the accused? Emory Law Professor Kay Levine was interviewed about what passing the amendment would mean for Georgians. Georgia already has some of the strongest victims rights laws in the country, and changing the law through constitutional amendment is "the most significant and the hardest to accomplish, and it's also the hardest to reverse," Levine says. So such changes should be made cautiously. Also, the language voters see doesn't reflect the entire amendment. Ballot draft text "has become too brief and too simple, and it is insulting to voters to assume that they couldn't handle a bit more complexity," Levine says.

Price: Trump's citizenship proposal 'laughable'

President Trump says he's "thinking about" an executive order to revoke "birthright citizenship," the 150-year-old policy that any child born in the United States is automatically a U.S. citizen, the Daily Beast reports. "Revoking birthright citizenship has been pending in Congress for 20 years," said Emory Law Professor Polly J. Price, an expert on immigration law. "It never goes anywhere, not even to committee. If it were possible, somebody would have done it by now." Price went further. "Most people agree that Congress can¿t do that," she said. "Let alone the president on his own. No one's even thought that until a week before the election. It's just laughable in many ways."

Dinner: Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 isn't enough

In 1978, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed to protect against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions. It was hailed as a victory, but 40 years later, many women don't feel protected. "The Takeaway" interviewed Emory Law Professor Deborah Dinner. "Is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Doing Enough? The answer is no," Dinner said. "We need affirmative protections to accommodations for pregnant workers and for other temporarily disabled workers, too."

Volokh recalls Justice O'Connor 'steering a middle course'

Emory Law professor Alexander Volokh was quoted on former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's recent retreat from public life following a diagnosis of early-stage dementia. Volokh, who teaches constitutional law, clerked for her for her last six months on the court, ending in early 2006. "Many of the important opinions I teach are O'Connor opinions," he said.

Holbrook for CNN: Trump can't erase LGBTQ Americans

The Trump administration reportedly plans to announce rules that will attempt to define gender strictly and unchangeably based on one's genitals at birth, Professor Tim Holbrook writes for CNN. But try as they might, "the Trump administration cannot eliminate lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people with a stroke of the pen. Moreover, this proposal is contrary to science and to the law," Holbrook says.

Morris invited speaker at FTC event on IP, consumer protection

Emory Law Professor Nicole Morris will participate in the Federal Trade Commission's, "Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century," a two-day event held in Washington, D.C. Morris will speak at the Oct. 23 roundtable, "Understanding Innovation and IP in Business Decisions," moderated by Suzanne Munck, the FTC's deputy director and chief counsel for intellectual property.

Georgiev: Firms like Google are "too big to disclose"

Emory Law professor George Georgiev's research was quoted Bloomberg Opinion in regards to Google failing to disclose that Google+ exposed their users' private profile data. "Since the threshold for what is material increases as firms get bigger, however, at the very largest firms even matters that are significant or sizeable in absolute terms may be deemed immaterial and remain undisclosed," he said.


Holbrook: 2018 may be a sleepy IP year at Supreme Court

Except for a few cases, the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court docket may not yield much in the way of IP law, Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook tells the National Law Journal. In last year's Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC, the court explicitly said it wasn't deciding whether other plaintiffs who obtained their patents before the America Invents Act could bring a similar challenge. Holbrook views that as a signal. "I do think that they'll take a retroactivity case because they signaled it so much," he said. "You don't make that statement unless you think it actually needs to be addressed."

Model solar zoning guide defines best practices, Goldstein says

A new solar ordinance, created by Emory Law's Turner Environmental Law Clinic, UGA and Georgia Tech was shaped to fit Georgia's particular needs--from its large commercial timber tracts and farm fields to its delicate coastal ecosystem, Energy News Network reports. It's already been adopted by several cities and counties, and more are expected to follow suit. "All of us did this work pro bono," said Clinic Director Mindy Goldstein, "to ensure the process was both neutral, academically rigorous and without bias."

Forbes: The yin, yang of Emory's TI:GER program

"Entrepreneurship is a journey which involves both discovery and markets," Bernie Carlson writes in Forbes. "The (TI:GER) Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results program creates teams which combine a PhD. scientist or engineer, two MBA students and two law students from Emory University in order to commercialize a new technology."

Smith votes 'no' on Ga. aquarium tax break

Professor Fred Smith Jr. serves on the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors, and recently voted "no" on donating $7.5 million to the Georgia Aquarium, which plans an $108 million addition to feature sharks. "If we are going to give $7.5 million of taxpayer money, then the question becomes, "What are we getting that we wouldn't already get?," Smith said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "This is going to happen regardless if we put in the $7.5 million, (so) that really doesn't work for me." The motion passed, 4-3.


Dinner quoted on Georgia's #MeToo problem

Despite heightened attention across the nation on sexual harassment, Georgia has no consistent system for investigating complaints. The state also can't say how many of its nearly 70,000 employees have filed complaints recently, because it has no centralized system for tracking them, according to a recent investigation by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Emory Law Professor Deborah Dinner was asked to examine documentation of a Georgia Patrol secretary's case, and found "plenty to suggest that the officers' behavior ... was harassing," the story says. "It does seem like men were routinely sexualizing her," Dinner said.

Immigration law clinic founded with help from Emory Law

A new, free immigration law clinic has launched in the Atlanta area, thanks to a partnership between Emory Law, local immigration attorneys and the Mormon Church. Emory Law students perform intake and then route advice-seekers to volunteer lawyers for on-the-spot consultations about their immigration questions. More-complex cases go to local firms or nonprofits. "We have substantial needs here, and the Atlanta Immigration Court is not so favorable to immigrants," said Assistant Dean for Public Service Rita Sheffey.

Brown on candidate Abrams' IRS debt: It's not uncommon

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has targeted Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams over her $54,000 debt to the IRS. Abrams says she's paying it back. Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown, an expert on tax law, told WABE: "Its' fairly common for the IRS and taxpayers to work out debt. You agree to a payment plan, you keep the payments up, everybody's happy." She also questioned whether the attacks will resonate with voters. "You're not going to necessarily make headway with the average American that is in debt," she said.

Dinner: Everyone cares about pregnancy discrimination, but for different reasons

Decades after Roe v. Wade, both the political left and right are concerned about workplace pregnancy, but for vastly different reasons, Professor Deborah Dinner tells The Atlantic. She discusses the lesser-known 1974 case, Geduldig v. Aiello. "Businesses used the notion of reproductive autonomy to characterize pregnancy as a private choice with private costs, Dinner writes, so feminist, labor, and civil rights groups chose to emphasize that childbearing was in fact a public need and a social good."


Goldstein: Siting key to Georgia's continued solar success

"Many are shocked to learn Georgia is a top solar producer," Emory Law Professor Mindy Goldstein writes for the AJC. "This year, the Solar Energy Industry Association ranked Georgia 10th in solar nationwide." But siting is important. "Smart solar siting achieves the right balance between encouraging solar development and protecting local community culture and resources," she says. Emory Law, Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia combined expert sources to create the Georgia Model Solar Zoning Ordinance and accompanying educational guide.

Smith: How does a case arrive at the U.S. Supreme Court?

How does a case make its way to the highest court in the land? Associate Professor Fred Smith Jr. was interviewed for Georgia Public Broadcasting's "On Second Thought" show to answer that question. They started with a recent death penalty case, Foster v. Chatman, which originated in Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court receives about 8,000 petitions for certiorari each year, but only about 80 are granted.

Nash: Chief Justice Roberts is the court's likely new 'swing vote'

After the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Donald Trump will try to appoint "another reliable conservative," Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill. "On a court of nine, there will always be some Justice whose beliefs place him or her in the middle among his or her colleagues," he writes. "Therefore, assuming President Trump's nominee will not be a swing vote, a sitting Justice will assume that role. It is likely that the new swing vote will be Chief Justice Roberts."


Nash: We'll have a Supreme Court nominee in a few weeks

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's resignation has led to discussion of how the court may swing to the right, given President Donald Trump's goal to appoint a more conservative jurist. Emory Law professor Jonathan Nash told 11Alive he expects a nominee will surface soon. "I think we'll have a nomination by then [the new term in October]," Nash said. "I don't know if we'll have a confirmation by then."

Holbrook dissects the Supreme Court's narrow decision in WesternGeco

The Supreme Court's decision in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., which had had clear implications for patent law, "leaves to future cases a variety of important issues," Professor Tim Holbrook says. The court's decision was a narrow one, "but the opinion will likely will work as a roadmap for future litigants to raise them," Holbrook writes in a recent opinion article.

When should employees be fired for tweeting?

When TV star Roseanne's show was canceled after she posted an offensive tweet about Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, some questioned whether it was a fireable action, or should have been viewed as protected free speech. Emory Law's Alex Lilly, a rising 3L, wrote on the topic for Above the Law.

Kennedy could be key in Supreme Court gerrymandering case, Kang says

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to rule soon on partisan gerrymandering, where state legislators draw electoral maps to entrench their party's power. But states are already turning to some form of a separate commission for redrawing U.S. House districts to rein in the politicians. Emory Law Professor Michael Kang said eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sides with liberals in major cases. In a 2004 case his concurring opinion left the door open for courts to intervene if a "workable" standard for identifying and measuring impermissible gerrymandering could be devised. "If he can convince himself that an approach is sound and objective, then I think he'd love to intervene," Kang said. "I don't know if he finds any of the approaches convincing enough."

Goldfeder for CNN: Supreme Court kicks the cake in Masterpiece

"For people on both sides of the Masterpiece Cakeshop issue, it was a disappointing day," Senior Lecturer Mark Goldfeder writes for CNN. "They hoped that the Supreme Court on Monday would once and for all strike a new balance between religious freedom and discrimination." While the opinion wasn't what everyone wanted, "the notion that not only is religion to be protected, but that other viewpoints are to be respected, is both critical and noteworthy."

Goldfeder in the Monitor: Masterpiece is a balancing test

Emory Law Senior Lecturer Mark Goldfeder was quoted by the Christian Science Monitor on what the U.S. Supreme Court's 7-2 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop meant. "This is a balancing test," Goldfeder said. Equality for the LGBTQ community and the free exercise of religion "are all valid rights and they all deserve to be listened to, and that's why it was so hurtful what the Colorado Commission did, which was almost to pretend there wasn't another side to this question."


Smith in the Post: Constitution checks government power, not private entities

The NFL's announcement that players who do not stand for the national anthem could be fined highlights the clash of values over what defines equality and patriotism, Emory Law Associate Professor Fred Smith Jr. tells the Washington Post. "This is clearly a very fraught issue in the American political imagination," he said. "Generally speaking, I don't think people want to see large powerful entities, whether it be Facebook or anyone else, telling us what to think and what to say and how to say it. But the constitution is a protection against government power. And for private entities, like the country itself, it's a work in progress."

Dems' election reform plans present real battles, Kang says

Democrats hope their wide-ranging plans to confront corruption in Washington will resonate with voters ahead of the midterms this fall. Those plans including overturning Citizens United. "Reform is always popular for the party out of power," Emory Law Professor Michael Kang tells PBS NewsHour. There are a lot of obstacles, though. Democrats proposed a series of policies to improve election infrastructure that would likely run into resistance or clash with other changes planned by state state and local governments, which have broad authority to run elections, Kang said.

Kang: 'Sore loser' language may open door for Blankenship

The wording in West Virginia's "sore loser" law may keep Don Blankenship's hopes to run as an independent (after losing a primary) alive. Emory Law Professor Michael Kang is quoted by New York magazine on the election. Kang noted the law cited by the Secretary of State prohibits independent runs after a primary loss from candidates who are not already "candidates in the primary election for public office." Because Blankenship was--not is--a candidate for the primary election for public office, he may have room to argue.

Citizenship not clearly defined in candidate issue, Price says

The ACLU of Georgia sued Georgia's Secretary of State after candidate Maria Palacios was removed from the ballot, WABE reports. She's a Democrat running for the Georgia House. State law requires candidates to be citizens of Georgia for at least two years to qualify for elections. She's lived in Georgia for nine years, but became a U.S. citizen last year. Emory Law Professor Polly Price said the state constitution doesn't clearly define citizenship. "Everything is treated in terms of residency," she said. "It's not just in Georgia but it's in other states as well. What matters is how long you've resided somewhere, not whether technically you're a citizen."

Fuzzy law might allow 'sore loser' to run twice, Kang says

Emory Law Professor Michael Kang was quoted on the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia, after one candidate who lost a primary says he's contemplating a third-party run in the general election. Kang tells the Charleston Gazette that ambiguous wording in the state's "sore loser" law might allow it. "Blankenship probably has an uphill fight to run as an independent after losing the primary, but the law is fuzzy enough that he has an argument against the [Secretary of State's] position," he said.

Goldstein: Court challenge on Vogtle nuclear plant claims legal error

Critics of the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle want more information about private meetings they say took place between Georgia Power and state regulators, WABE reports. They say the Georgia Public Service Commission was wrong to give Georgia Power the go-ahead to keep building two nuclear reactors. Turner Environmental Law Clinic Director Mindy Goldstein said a court challenge to a PSC decision is rare, but this one seems valid. "Disagreeing with the Public Service Commission's finding of facts is not enough really to get you into court, but if you claim that they made a legal error, that's enough to get you into court, and that's what we have here," she said.

ABC Australia features Cleaver in '1968: A Fractured America'

Senior Lecturer in Law Kathleen Cleaver was interviewed for the ABC News Australia "Sunday Extra" program, "1968: A Fractured America," along with historian Marc Leepson. The 50-year retrospective examines "a nation fractured, along political, racial and generational lines." Demands for civil rights and an end to the Vietnam War intensified during the year Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.

Goldstein on smart solar growth in the South

As solar takes off, Turner Environmental Law Clinic Director Mindy Goldstein wants to ensure that it grows wisely. She's part of a team determining how to do that in Georgia. The goal is to develop a solar zoning ordinance that will help county and city officials balance their communities' solar development with preservation of its culture and native habitats by preventing deforestation and maintaining agricultural spaces.

Volokh: Emory's commitment to open expression matters

Emory is one of 39 schools that earned a 'green light" rating for free speech on campus from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) after revising sections of its conduct code and policies governing campus bias incidents. Emory Law Associate Professor Alexander Volokh is chair of Emory's Committee for Open Expression, which worked to update policy to reflect Emory's values. "The credit really belongs to Emory's administrators, from President Claire Sterk on down, who strongly support open expression on campus--as well as to the University Senate that adopted the Open Expression Policy five years ago," Volokh said.

Dudziak for CNN: `Their unskilled immigrant ancestors built America'

As calls for a merit-based immigration system mount, the notion that similar rules might have barred their ancestors from entering the country has ignited anger among some native-born Americans, a CNN story says. "My grandparents are exactly the kinds of people (who) would have been excluded from a 'merit-based' approach to immigration," says Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Mary L. Dudziak. Their son, Dudziak's father, later became a nuclear physicist. "Whenever anyone says, our people, i.e. white people, we came over the right way and we followed all the rules, what I say is my grandmother, for whom I am named, basically came over unlawfully,"

Giuliani's admission on hush money could cost Trump, Kang says

Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani now says Trump repaid his attorney Michael Cohen for $130,000 in Stormy Daniels hush money. Vox consulted Emory Law Professor Michael Kang on the implications. "Giuliani's admission suggests that Trump and his campaign willfully failed to disclose it, which could trigger criminal liability under campaign finance law. Having said all that, the case against Trump for willful failure to disclose is still not a complete slam-dunk," Kang said.


Driverless cars will save many lives, Goldfeder writes

That an Arizona woman was killed by a driverless car is a tragedy, Emory Law Senior Lecturer Mark Goldfeder writes in the AJC. But we shouldn't overlook that driverless cars will also save lives, he says. "We currently have a system that allows human drivers, with all of their ticks, quirks, bad habits and malfunctions, to operate massive heavy machinery at incredibly high speeds, a system that results in approximately 37,500 deaths a year in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. Transportation Department says that about 94 percent of fatal accidents are caused by human error."

Georgia Power should share Vogtle risks, Goldstein says

The Department of Energy has heavily subsidized Georgia Power's nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, providing a $3.4 billion-dollar loan to the utility in 2014, in addition to the $1.67 billion it is set to receive in 2018. The two reactors are the only ones being constructed in the U.S., and if completed, would be the first built here in nearly 30 years, Mindy Goldstein, director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, writes in an AJC opinion article. "If Georgia Power and its utility partners in Vogtle cannot repay their loans, the federal government will take a loss equal to the amount in default. The subsidy fees are meant to protect taxpayers should default occur. But Georgia Power's zero dollars in down payments means taxpayers are entirely on the hook if the project fails," she writes.

As coastlines rise, who's responsible for drowned homes?

As sea level rise accelerates, potentially leaving coastal homes abandoned from Texas to New England, a legal debate over submerged land asks whether governments have the authority to tear them down. Emory Law Professor Frank Alexander was quoted by Bloomberg on the subject. "Who's got responsibility for removing the damaged structures?" he asked. Not finding an answer could mean a "coastline dotted with these structures that are half sticking out of the ground."

Free speech laws protect student's racist prom poster

Officials at a Florida high school where a student made a poster prom invitation that many found racist are considering disciplinary action, the Washington Post reports. Emory Law Associate Professor Fred Smith Jr. says the school may not have grounds, especially in light of the student wasn't on campus at the time. "Just like the rest of us, students have the ability to say things that are offensive. And the reason why we have free speech is to protect unpopular views," he said. "Given that he was off of the school campus, the mere fact that his speech was offensive would strike me as an insufficient basis for the school to punish him."

Rosenzweig: How to stand out as a law school candidate

Getting into a top law school is competitive. Emory Law's Senior Assistant Dean for Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Life Ethan Rosenzweig tells U.S. News that there are ways to distinguish yourself in a sea of candidates, beyond your GPA.

Smith: Hate speech is still free speech

The neo-Nazi group, the Nationalist Socialist Movement, will hold a rally in Newnan, Ga., on April 21, and many have objected to the city granting a permit for the event. Some say hate speech should not be protected. "The safe thing for a government actor to do is not to engage in any kind of content regulation," said Emory Law Associate Professor Fred Smith Jr. "Even when people are going to say something most people in the community would find odious, our constitutional tradition is that people absolutely nonetheless have to be able to say those things."

Blank: The strikes in Syria: legitimacy vs. lawfulness

When commenting on the recent U.S. strikes on Syria, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called them, "justified, legitimate and proportionate." But were they legal? Laurie Blank, director of Emory Law's International Humanitarian Law Clinic, examines the difference in her opinion article, published in Lawfare.

Dodge comments in Post on gathering opioid court battle

As America deals with the human and financial costs of an opioid epidemic, there's a giant lawsuit coming to the federal court system that many compare to those brought against tobacco companies. Multi-district litigation lawsuits are rare but are increasing as the economy nationalizes and courts are being used to solve problems that the government can't, says a Washington Post story. "The MDL is being entrusted with the most difficult problems of our time," said Jaime L. Dodge, director of the Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims at Emory Law. "At some level I think there's a recognition that in some of these cases it's not just a dollar or cents, it's about fixing ongoing societal problems."

Cleaver on the state of civil rights, race relations in 1968

Emory Law Professor Kathleen Cleaver was interviewed along with fellow historian Peniel Joseph for C-SPAN's series, "1968: America in Turmoil."


States' effort to ban same-sex couple adoption 'unnecessarily hostile'

Oklahoma lawmakers may soon sanction private adoption agencies turning away same-sex couples, Religion News reports. Melissa Carter, executive director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory Law, opposes Georgia legislation similar to Oklahoma's, calling it unneeded and "unnecessarily hostile from a values standpoint." But she adds: "I don't think it's true that we've seen either a notable increase or a notable decrease (in adoptions) as a result of these bills."

Kemp claim on voter ID challenge a stretch

Georgia Secretary of State (and GOP gubernatorial candidate) Brian Kemp's claim that he twice fought the Obama administration on Voter ID laws is a stretch, Politifact Georgia finds. Emory Law Professor Michael Kang says the Obama-era Justice Department pre-cleared the laws referenced. "In fact, many election law experts were surprised that the Justice Department under President Obama didn't maintain an objection to these laws," Kang said.

Levine: Social media's impact on jurors

Associate Dean Kay Levine was interviewed on WXIA-TV about the impact of social media in legal matters. "In the beginning stages of the case, attorneys and the judge are allowed to ask questions of prospective jurors. We trust that jurors will be honest," she said. But they rely on other jurors to report improper conduct. "We do not know what a juror is doing, when she goes home at night. or when he is on a lunch break. We do not know if they are accessing a cell phone or talking to friends. It is almost impossible to prove."


Bloomberg: Georgiev's research shows how big companies keep secrets

How much money does YouTube make? It is a secret: Alphabet Inc., which owns YouTube, does not break out revenue for it separately, Bloomberg reports. The story cites Emory Law Professor George S. Georgiev's article "Too Big to Disclose: Firm Size and Materiality Blindspots in Securities Regulation," which shows how large firms legally take advantage of the materiality standard to avoid disclosure of important matters.

Broyde offers six steps to deal with abuse investigations

"The problem of sexual abuse against children in our community is a stubborn one," Emory Law Professor Michael Broyde writes in a column for The New York Jewish Week. "The truth regarding this is very complex--addressing it requires nuance and complexity, and not merely good wishes and love. No one wants abuse to occur, and we all want to preserve what is valuable in the Jewish educational system." Broyde offers six policy points to move forward when abuse is investigated.

U.S. Senate confirms Branch 94L for seat on 11th Circuit

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate easily confirmed Elizabeth "Lisa" Branch 94L to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Senators voted 73-23 to seat Branch on the 12-judge panel, which has jurisdiction over Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Georgia can block Delta tax cuts over NRA stance, Schapiro says

Georgia's lieutenant governor threatened to block legislation that includes lucrative tax benefits for Delta Air Lines because the company dropped a partnership with the National Rifle Association following a recent Florida school shooting. "In terms of legality, the legislature has a broad ability to grant tax exemptions or not grant tax exemptions," Emory Law Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Robert Schapiro said. "So it doesn't violate any constitutional principle" to pull support over the NRA debate.

Georgia may let adoption agencies refuse gay couples

Some Georgia senators say allowing adoption agencies to turn away married gay couples will result in more adoptions of foster children, according to a recent bill. Georgia shouldn't pass laws that encourage adoption agencies to turn potential parents away, said Melissa Carter, executive director of Emory Law's Barton Child Law and Policy Center. Gay children could be harmed if SB 375 passes and faith-based adoption agencies send them back to foster care, she said. "Children will stay in foster care longer, and the longer they stay in foster care, they're less likely to be adopted," Carter said.

Carter comments on case involving years of alleged sexual abuse

Melissa Carter, executive director of Emory Law's Barton Child Law and Policy Center, was quoted in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story that alleges a volunteer coach with the Pope High School wrestling program sexually abused young boys for years, despite one mother's efforts to have him arrested. In 2017, the coach pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys in Pennsylvania. Carter said there appeared to be multiple occasions when adults in positions of responsibility for children failed them. "The law itself is just a minimum, and often the law doesn't answer for us what the ethical or moral thing to do is," Carter said. "We all, as adults, should be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse."

NY Times: Meet Atlanta's #BillionDollarLawyer, Findling 84L

Drew Findling 84L has gained some renown as a courtroom killer for an array of high-profile acts. But he has also taken on the role of a mentor, and even a father figure, to some clients as they try to outrun societal disadvantages (and youthful recklessness) in favor of fame. "It is increasingly disturbing to me, the 'X' that is on the forehead of people in this industry," Findling tells The New York Times. "There's such a target on these young guys," he said. "Every once in a while someone is going to make a mistake. But no one looks at all the good that comes out of what they do."

At Emory Law: A conversation with Justice Sotomayor

It's important for citizens to participate in the lawmaking process by lobbying for changes they want to see, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Tuesday at Emory Law, during an appearance that included a conversation with her former law clerk, Professor Fred Smith Jr. "I believe with all my heart that unless we become engaged in our country and become active participants in making a difference in the world we're in, that we will be nothing but bystanders otherwise, and nobody should live their life being a bystander," she said.

Daily Report: Sotomayor works the room at Emory

The late Justice William Brennan is said to have described the secret to success on the U.S. Supreme Court with five fingers outstretched. With five votes on a nine-member court, a justice could do anything, Jonathan Ringel writes for the Daily Report. Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested a similar approach when she told a packed Emory University audience Tuesday how she handles harsh criticism of her opinions. Of colleagues who have occasionally blasted one of her positions, she said, "I could have strangled them, but I need their vote for the next case."

Georgia adoption laws overdue for an update, Carter says

Proposed changes to Georgia's adoption laws are overdue, says Barton Child Law and Policy Center Executive Director Melissa Carter. Changes include shortening the time a birth mother can change her mind after signing adoption documents from 10 to four days, and allowing adoptive parents to reimburse the birth mother for basic living expenses during the pregnancy. Present laws haven't been updated since 1990. "Prospective adoptive parents will look to adopt children in other states where the laws are more friendly," Carter said. "This bill is a necessary and overdue modernization of our adoption laws."

VW monkey experiments cruel, but we are to blame, Satz says

The diesel exhaust experiments Volkswagen performed with monkeys were cruel, but hardly unusual in the corporate world, Emory Law Professor Ani Satz writes for The Hill. "Corporate behavior that seeks to maximize profits outside ethical decision-making often involves fraud, environmental harm, and harm to humans and animals because it entails complete disregard for obligations to stakeholders other than shareholders," she writes.


Waldman: Proposal to punish parents for children's crimes misguided

A City of South Fulton councilwoman has proposed a controversial law that could send parents to jail and fine them for their children 's crimes. Paul Howard, the Fulton County district attorney, said in a statement that he thought the proposal could be unconstitutional. "It's hurting the wrong person," said Randee Waldman, director of Emory Law's Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic. "They're not standing next to their kids while they're committing crimes."

AI can play positive role in end-of-days scenario, Goldfeder says

Artificial intelligence is is already being adopted for military use, raising questions as to what role the technology will play in the end-of-days, says a Breaking Israel News story. Although AI poses many ethical and theological questions, Emory Law Senior Lecturer Mark Goldfeder says the development of technology was in fact intended by God to be part of man¿s role in being a partner with God in Creation.

Georgiev comments on plunge in Chinese purchases of U.S. companies

Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies dropped 56 percent in volume to $44.5 billion, dragged down by concerns about U.S. national-security deal reviews and shifts in China's foreign investment policies, Bloomberg reports. Emory Law Professor George Georgiev mentioned the impact of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which evaluates deals that may have national security concerns. "I think CFIUS has always been a wild card," Georgiev said. "When you don't have regulatory certainty, it creates problems."

Dudziak: 1968 marks a judicial watershed

The year 1968 was tumultuous--the continuing war in Vietnam, political protests and the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. But it also marked a judicial sea change. Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Mary Dudziak is quoted in Political News on the end of the Warren U.S. Supreme Court, which handed down landmark decisions including Brown v. Board of Education. "It's just a tremendously important moment in Supreme Court history," Dudziak said of 1968. "It's the beginning of that turn away from this era of expansive liberalism."

Court's message in N.C. gerrymandering case is strong, Kang says

This week's decision by a panel of three federal judges in a North Carolina gerrymandering case sends a warning against all such partisan efforts, including in Georgia, Emory Law Professor Michael Kang tells WABE. The judges found that Republicans had illegally drawn North Carolina's congressional district map to give GOP candidates "a solid advantage for most of the seats," NPR reports. "For the most part, whoever controlled state government thought they could gerrymander on a partisan basis," Kang said. "So I think that sort of license to do whatever you want in gerrymandering is put on hold."

Nash: When judges move, where do they go?

An opinion article concerning lateral moves by judges, by Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash, was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal. The subscriber-only op-ed was based on Nash's 2017 article in the Vanderbilt Law Journal, which you may read by following the link.