In remarks reported on Politico, The Huffington Post, and other news services, Professor Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President Bush from 2005-07, called on the U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr., to "come home immediately" because a PAC had been started to launch his 2012 Presidential campaign. Painter noted that the Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from running for office in partisan political races and that campaign contributors could exacerbate conflicts of interest for a U.S. China envoy who wants to be President.
Associate Professor Daniel Schwarcz is the winner of the 2010–11 Liberty Mutual Prize for his paper entitled "Reevaluating Standardized Insurance Policies."
Professor Ralph F. Hall testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommitte on Health on Feb. 17, 2011. The hearing had been called to examine the state of the medical-device industry and the impact of regulation of these devices on job creation and patient access.
Professor Amy Monahan contributed to the New York Times "Room for Debate" discussion of public pension plan reform. Monahan's remarks addressed the legal limitations on public pension reform in the context of Mayor Bloomberg's recent proposal to reduce pension benefits for new employees in New York City.
Michael A. Olivas, President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), has selected Professor Michele Goodwin to chair the Committee to Review Scholarly Papers for the Annual Meeting. Goodwin will serve as chair for a two-year term, through the end of the 2013 Annual Meeting.
Everett Fraser Professor of Law Robert A. Stein ('61), a leading expert on the rule of law, was appointed to two new positions beginning with the new year.
Professor Richard Frase was quoted in an article on MPR News entitled, "Trial underway for former nurse accused of assisting suicides." William Melchert-Dinkel was accused of seeking out, online, and encouraging the suicide of several people, two of whom did commit suicide. Melchert-Dinkel argued that Minnesota courts lack jurisdiction since both victims lived and died outside the state and that his communications with them were protected speech under the First Amendment. He waived a jury trial and agreed to not contest the basic facts alleged by the prosecution. Frase explained why defendants use this procedure rather than a jury trial or guilty plea. He also explained why the jurisdiction argument fails under Minnesota law and what the basic distinction is between protected speech and punishable aid or encouragement of crime or suicide.
Barbara Y. Welke, a University of Minnesota professor of law and professor of history, has been named a Scholar of the College in the College of Liberal Arts for the three-year period 2011-12 through 2013-14.
Law School Professor Bradley C. Karkkainen and Associate Professor Hari M. Osofsky have been awarded a $10,000 University Symposium grant by the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota. The grant will support their project "Climate Change, Inequality and International Lawmaking: New Governance Approaches to Addressing Abundance and Security."
Professor Richard Painter was quoted extensively in a Star Tribune article entitled "Does Scalia belong at Bachmann sessions?" Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush, gave his criticisms on Justice Antonin Scalia's appearance before the Congressional Tea Party caucus.
Professor Kristin Hickman has been named a runner-up for the 2010 Person of the Year by the national publication Tax Notes. The selection is made from among ten finalists who have most influenced the year’s tax-related events.
Professor Herbert Kritzer has been appointed to the social science oversight panel of the United Kingdom's Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014), which is charged with evaluating the quality of research in the U.K. universities. The results of REF2014 will inform allocation of research funding decisions. Kritzer will serve on the oversight panel that covers law, sociology, political science, anthropology, archaeology, economics, planning, environmental studies, geography, social work, social policy, business and management studies, and education.
On Dec. 9, 2010, at the 33rd annual meeting of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association (MCAA) in Bloomington, Minn., Clinical Professor Stephen Simon was the first recipient of a newly established award: the annual MCAA Traffic Safety Award.
The Nominating Committee of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) has nominated Professor Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin for election to the Society’s Executive Council. Her nomination, which was approved by the Executive Council, was announced to the Society’s membership in the October/December ASIL newsletter.
In an opinion handed down on Jan. 11, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the conclusion and many of the arguments in an amicus brief authored by Professor Kristin Hickman. In Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. United States, the Supreme Court considered the substantive validity of Treasury Regulation 31.3121(b)(10)-2, which requires medical residency programs to withhold FICA taxes from annual stipends paid to medical residents.
Professor Susan Wolf spoke on neuroscience in the courts on March 2 at a meeting jointly sponsored by the National Academies of Science and the United Kingdom's Royal Society. This meeting, the second Raymond and Beverly Sackler U.S.-U.K. Scientific Forum: Neuroscience and the Law, was held at the National Academies' Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif.
Professor Susan Wolf testified before the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues on Feb. 28 in Washington, D.C, on the debate surrounding return of individual research results and incidental findings in genetic and genomic research. Wolf has served as principal investigator on two NIH-funded projects on this cutting-edge issue: "Managing Incidental Findings in Human Subjects Research" (grant #1-R01-HG003178) and "Managing Incidental Findings and Research Results in Genomic Biobanks & Archives" (grant #2-R01-HG003178).