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Faculty News

for June, 2010

Prof. Kirtley Discusses Reporters Privilege for Documentary Filmmaker

June 25, 2010

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in a Reuters story about Chevron Corp.'s attempt to obtain outtakes from a documentary filmmaker's project about a dispute over oil pollution in Ecuador. Chevron argues that there is no privilege because no promises of confidentiality were given. Prof. Kirtley said that documentary outtakes should enjoy the same protection as a reporter's notebook, but acknowledged that "it's often a tough argument" because it requires judges to protect not just the source, but editorial independence. The case will be argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit) in July.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Monahan Addresses California State Commission on Public Pension Reform

June 25, 2010

Professor Amy Monahan appeared before the State of California's Little Hoover Commission to present her work on public pension reform. The Little Hoover Commission is a bipartisan commission established to "investigate state government operations and – through reports, recommendations and legislative proposals – promote efficiency, economy and improved service." The Commission is currently studying public pension plans within California, focusing on the long-term implications of current structures and trends within today’s pension programs and, if warranted, will recommend changes for a healthier system in the future.

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Levinson Elected to American Academy for Jewish Research

June 16, 2010

Affiliated faculty member, Professor Bernard Levinson, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest professional organization of Judaica scholars in North America. Fellows of AAJR are nominated and elected by their peers and thus constitute the most distinguished and most senior scholars teaching Judaic studies at American universities. The award reflects the high regard in which Levinson's peers regard his research and writing.

Professor Levinson specializes in biblical and cuneiform law; Deuteronomy and the history of interpretation; and literary approaches to biblical studies. His highly acclaimed book, Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel, will be released in paperback July, 2010.

Read Bernard M. Levinson's Faculty Profile

Prof. Monahan in Christian Science Monitor on Public Pension Reform

June 14, 2010

Professor Amy B. Monahan was quoted in a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor regarding states' ability to amend their pension plans for public employees.

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter's Op-Ed in NYT

June 14, 2010

The New York Times published an op-ed entitled, "The Separation of Politics and State," by Professor Richard Painter urging Congress or the President to bar White House staff from engaging in partisan political activity.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. McGeveran Discusses Facebook Privacy in Minnesota Media

June 11, 2010

Fox 9 News, KARE 11 News, and the syndicated radio program Access Minnesota recently featured Professor William McGeveran as a guest discussing privacy in Facebook and other social networks. McGeveran, a daily Facebook user himself, explained potential legal regulation of social networking, highlighted Facebook's recent changes to its privacy settings, and gave advice to users who want to safeguard their privacy.

Read William McGeveran's Faculty Profile

Prof. Carpenter on MPR Discussing Study on Children Raised by Lesbian Parents

June 11, 2010

Professor Dale Carpenter was a guest on Midmorning on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss a long-term study of children raised by lesbian parents who used donor insemination. The study concluded that the children were doing even better than their peers on a range of psychological indicators.

Read Dale Carpenter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Simon in Mpls. City Pages on DWI Laws

June 9, 2010

Professor Steve Simon was quoted extensively in an article, "Do Minnesota DWI Laws Work?" in the Minneapolis City Pages. The author quotes several attorneys who question the fairness of Minnesota's Dual Track (civil & criminal) DWI Laws. Simon is quoted repeatedly in regard to what works and what changes in the funding of DWI enforcement efforts are needed to keep the system effective.

Read Stephen Simon's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hill on MRP Midmorning about Credit Rating Agencies

June 8, 2010

Professor Claire Hill was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio's Midmorning about credit rating agencies and the financial reform bill presently being conferred upon by House and Senate committees.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter's NPR Interview Quoted in The Economist

June 7, 2010

Professor Richard Painter's remarks to NPR were quoted in the Economist's "Democracy in America." Professor Painter, who was George W. Bush's former chief ethics counsel, has stated in interviews and quoted in newspapers as saying "this is not a violation of government ethics regulations, and it's not a violation of federal law for them to do this...This is nothing new." Professor Painter goes on to say that he feels this sort of intervention by presidential administrations into electoral contests is bad for democracy, and that the presidency should be more removed from partisan politics.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in NY Post Editorial

June 6, 2010

"Richard Painter, who served as President George W. Bush's ethics counsel, has been a crusader for closing the political-affairs office and barring partisan political activity in the White House," states Kirsten Powers, in a New York Post article. She continues, "In recent days, Obama defenders have selectively quoted Painter as saying, the White House didn't violate any laws in the Sestak/Romanoff affairs. What they leave out is that he also thinks the behavior was unseemly and that, as White House counsel, he would've advised against the outreach, precisely because of the controversy that erupted."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter's Op-Ed in Washington Post Suggests a New Law Prohibiting Partisan Political Activity

June 4, 2010

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Professor Richard Painter stated, it is unlikely that the law was broken in either the Sestak or Romanoff discussions. The Romanoff incident was more problematic because White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina made the call, whereas President Clinton spoke to Sestak. Messina is bound by the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act, however, is very permissive in allowing partisan political activity by White House staff. Instead of wasting taxpayer money on investigations, GOP critics of the administration should focus on passing a law that prohibits partisan political activity by White House staff.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Cited in NYT on White House Job Discussions

June 4, 2010

Professor Richard Painter was cited in a New York Times article on the controversy over White House discussions of possible jobs in the Obama Administration for Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff, which Republicans say is to dissuade them from running against incumbents in Democratic Senate primaries. Professor Painter, formerly the chief ethics lawyer for President Bush, along with former Attorney General Michael Muskasey were both reported in the article to be of the view that no criminal conduct is likely to have occurred.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Interviewed on NPR on White House Job Discussions with Sestak and Romanoff

June 3, 2010

Professor Richard Painter was interviewed by NPR's Michele Norris for a five minute segment on All Things Considered. He discussed the controversy over White House discussions of possible jobs in the Obama Administration for Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff to dissuade them from running against incumbents in Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania and Colorado respectively. Professor Painter said that these discussions were not illegal. They were, however, an undesirable, although hardly unprecedented, intrusion of partisan politics in the work of the White House.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cox Appears At Franken and Ellison Forums

June 2, 2010

Professor Prentiss Cox recently appeared with U.S. Senator Al Franken and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison ('90) at public forums on financial reform. Cox spoke about the need for re-regulation of the financial system and the financial reform legislation currently before Congress.

Read Prentiss Cox's Faculty Profile

Tax Notes Publishes Article by Prof. Bruce Shnider

June 1, 2010

Tax Notes, a national tax journal, published a piece by Professor Bruce Shnider, entitled "Are Incentive Stock Options Dead" that addresses the adverse impact that the AMT (alternative minimum tax) has on executives holding a special form of option — an incentive stock option.

Read Bruce Shnider's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hill Interviewed on Bloomberg TV About Credit Rating Reform

June 1, 2010

Professor Claire Hill was interviewed by Betty Liu of Bloomberg TV regarding the current credit rating agency reform proposals in the financial regulation legislation presently being considered by Congress. Professor Hill talked about what regulatory reforms might work, and why, and why demonizing the rating agencies isn’t going to get us the regulation we need in this country.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile