December 2, 2016
Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, and research fellow, Will Stancil, published an op-ed piece in the Star Tribune in response to an ongoing study of gentrification in the Twin Cities. The piece argues that the study, which was produced by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University’s Humphrey School, does not show significant gentrification in the Twin Cities. Instead, the apparent loss of housing affordability in several Minneapolis neighborhoods is driven almost entirely by declines in income among several renter demographics. The op-ed continues on to argue that this cannot be fairly characterized as gentrification, and is instead a symptom of the concentration of poverty in Minneapolis. The piece concludes that concentration of poverty can only be remedied by embracing and fostering economic and racial diversity in Twin Cities neighborhoods, urban and suburban alike.
Prof. Burkhart to Deliver 2017 Distinguished Gifford Lecture in Real Property at the University of Hawai'i Law SchoolNovember 22, 2016
In 2002, the Gifford Foundation established a Distinguished Lectureship in Real Property at the University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa William S. Richardson School of Law to honor David L. Callies, Benjamin A. Kudo Professor of Law, and Jerry M. Hiatt, prominent Hawai’i attorney, for their superior work in the field of real property. Professor Ann Burkhart will deliver the 2017 lecture. Previous Distinguished Gifford Lecturers include James W. Ely, Jr., Carol Rose, Susan Fletcher French, Gregory S. Alexander, and Thomas W. Merrill.
November 19, 2016
Professor Richard W. Painter—former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush—appeared on CNN to discuss President-elect Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and how he might order his business affairs before he is inaugurated in January. Upholding that Trump should ultimately arrange for a blind trust, Prof. Painter said, “He has chosen to run for president of the United States, and he’s won the election. His job over the next four years is to be president, not to have his name be used to market buildings. I think that creates too many avenues for actual or perceived corruption, and that will undermine his ability to be a good president.”
November 14, 2016
Professor Richard W. Painter—former chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush—authored an op-ed in the New York Times calling into question recent actions in the F.B.I.’s Clinton email investigation, arguing that they were unethically conducted, a misuse of an official public position, and were in violation of the 1993 Hatch Act, which bars the use of an official position to influence an election. “The F.B.I.’s job is to investigate, not to influence the outcome of an election,” writes Prof. Painter, primarily addressing a letter sent by F.B.I. director James Comey to Congress that made unusual public statements concerning a candidate in an election. “We cannot allow F.B.I. or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates for either party while an election is underway.”
November 10, 2016
Professor Jill Hasday, a constitutional law expert, appeared in the “Good Question” segment on WCCO-TV News. She answered questions about how statutes are repealed.
Prof. Jain Is Panelist at U.N. Meeting Organized by Polish Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New YorkNovember 7, 2016
On October 26, Professor Neha Jain was an expert panelist at a meeting on “General Principles of Law” organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. The meeting is an annual event organized by the Polish Mission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland to stimulate discussion and exchange on a fundamental topic in international law. Prof. Jain was invited by the Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations to speak on the nature of the general principles as an autonomous source of international law and their relationship to other international legal sources. Jain has previously written on the general principles of law in two of the leading international law journals, the American Journal of International Law and the Harvard International Law Journal.
November 6, 2016
Berkeley Law School Professor Meir-Dan Cohen reviewed Law and the Modern Mind, by Professor Susanna Blumenthal, in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Professor Cohen reads the book as a sign of “our era’s ongoing fixation with Enlightenment ideas” and praises Blumenthal for her exploration of the “various fault lines, conundrums, and blind alleys” of this intellectual tradition. Among the book’s merits, he points in particular to its staging of the law’s confrontation with the problem of mental unsoundness: “Law and the Modern Mind traces variations of the insanity theme as it plays out in each legal field. Though the book is by no means a technical lawyers’ manual, Blumenthal is a sure-footed guide through this doctrinal thicket; just as importantly, she narrates gripping human stories from the era’s legal treatises, as well as those that unravel with greater vividness in court proceedings.” Although focused on the historical record, he concludes, the questions about the limits of human freedom and responsibility at the center of Law and the Modern Mind remain as debatable as ever and the book helps to illuminate “the challenges facing enlightened humanism in our day.”
Prof. Painter, Lawrence Tribe and Others File Federal Court Complaint Challenging Application of Citizens United to Super-PACsNovember 5, 2016
A team of campaign finance lawyers, including Professor Richard Painter and other notable experts such as Larry Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard, filed a suit on Friday in federal court arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United does not allow unlimited spending on Super PACs, a topic that was never addressed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United.
November 3, 2016
Stanford Law School Professor Rabia Belt reviewed Law and the Modern Mind Professor Susanna Blumenthal, in JOTWELL (The Journal of Things We Like (Lots)). Professor Belt surveys the key contributions of this “insightful and goundbreaking work” to the fields of historical and legal scholarship, concluding that:
“Overall, Blumenthal’s book is crucial reading across numerous fields, such as the history of psychiatry, nineteenth-century legal history, and the history of capitalism. For a book that covers over 100 years of legal and medical developments as well as thousands of cases, ‘Law and the Modern Mind’ is a strikingly brisk and engaging read. Blumenthal’s default legal person will take its place in the legal lexicon next to the reasonable person.”
October 28, 2016
On October 27, 2016, President Obama granted 98 prisoner commutations, bringing to 872 the number of federal inmates who have benefited from his expansive use of presidential pardon power. Among them was Antonio Hood, an inmate at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., who is serving a life sentence for his low-level role in a crack distribution conspiracy. Mr. Hood was represented by local Minneapolis defense lawyer Paul Engh and Taylor Cunningham (’17), as part of the Law School’s Clemency Project, under the supervision of Professor JaneAnne Murray. This brings to five the number of commutations the Law School’s Clemency Project has worked to secure.
“The clemency work has given our students an ideal clinical experience: hands-on legal work with real people, production of a sophisticated piece of legal writing, and—because of the relatively short-lived nature of the representation—ownership in a representation,” wrote Prof. Murray on the Robina Institute’s blog. ”But even more meaningfully, we connect students in a personal way to the true import of mass incarceration, rightly described by Walter Dellinger as the ‘great unappreciated civil rights issue of our day.’”