Prof. Meili Presents Research on the Constitutional Right to Asylum at the University of NewcastleFebruary 17, 2018
Professor Steve Meili discussed his research on the constitutionalization of the right to asylum at a seminar sponsored by the Newcastle Law School in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Meili argued that a more robust use of the constitutional right to asylum may be particularly appropriate at a time of increasing nationalism and anti-globalization. An increasing number of countries have included a right to asylum in their national constitutions over the past two decades (notably in Latin America and other parts of the Global South), and in many such cases that constitutional right provides broader protection to asylum-seekers than the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Meili’s research on this topic was recently published in the Fordham International Law Journal.
February 11, 2018
On February 6, 2018, the Arizona Court of Appeals handed down its opinion in Doe v. Mahoney, a case involving the question of whether an internet service provider was required to disclose the identity of a blogger who published statements that the complaining party contended were defamatory. In the course of granting relief from an order denying the blogger’s motion to quash the subpoena, the court cited an article co-authored by Thomas Cotter and Lyrissa Lidsky, Authorship, Audiences, and Anonymous Speech, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1537, 1594-1602 (2007), for the proposition that “[i]f all it takes is an allegation of defamation to uncover a defendant’s identity, the right to speak anonymously is very fragile indeed … [o]n the other hand, anonymity should not immunize the defendant’s tortious conduct.”
February 9, 2018
Professor Herbert Kritzer was interviewed about the forthcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Professor Kritzer said that he does not think that one of the candidates identifying himself as a Democrat would have much of an effect on the race because Wisconsin Supreme Court races have been politicized for so long that voters usually have a sense of the partisan support candidates are receiving. Kritzer went on to say, “Wisconsin until 25 years ago had an extremely strong nonpartisan tradition and that has been dissipated, to put it mildly.”
February 7, 2018
Professor Alan Rozenshtein was interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” about the prospects of future Russian interference in U.S. elections, and what steps if any the United States can take to prevent it. Professor Rozenshtein argued that “the best defense against Russian meddling is going to be a skeptical American public” and that “what’s really getting in the way of a powerful response is that every time President Trump talks about it, he dismisses it.”
February 6, 2018
Professor Paul M. Vaaler was interviewed by Associated Press reporter Amy Forliti about how the NFL decides on northern climate venues to host the Super Bowl. The NFL and specific franchises use the prospect of Super Bowl hosting to negotiate the construction of new football stadiums or the refurbishment of existing stadiums with public funds. Vaaler commented that another Super Bowl in Minneapolis was unlikely in the near term now that U.S. Bank Stadium is built and running. Other northern climate cities with NFL franchises and stadiums older than 15-20 years are more likely Super Bowl host candidates.
February 3, 2018
Professor Alan Rozenshtein was quoted in a New York Times article on President Trump’s attacks on federal law enforcement, in particular the Department of Justice and the FBI, over the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Professor Rozenshtein noted, “It’s one thing for the president to criticize political appointees—although it is quite odd for him to criticize his own political appointees,” but that attacks on rank-and-file FBI employees was deeply disturbing.
February 2, 2018
Professor Brett McDonnell was quoted in a Star Tribune article on a securities class action suit against Medtronic. Medtronic shareholders have sued Medtronic claiming that the company inflated its stock value by secretly paying doctors to conceal problems associated with Infuse, a bone-growth product. The judge in the case recently certified the case as a class-action suit. In the Star Tribune article, McDonnell is quoted on the importance of class certification as a stage in a securities fraud suit. “If you don’t get a class certification, you’re done,” McDonnell said, “because it is not financially feasible to sue individually.”
January 31, 2018
Associate Professor Francis Shen published an op-ed in the Star Tribune defending the sport of football, and suggesting that we may be overestimating the risks of sports concussion. Shen wrote that we should fully inform athletes of the risks, but we shouldn’t take the game of football away from them. Prof. Shen is part of an interdisciplinary University of Minnesota Grand Challenges team working to improve brain health in youth sports in Minnesota.
Prof. Murray Interviewed on MPR About Prosecutor’s Decision to Convene a Grand Jury in Ruszczyk KillingJanuary 25, 2018
Prof. Murray was interviewed by Cathy Wurzer on MPR’s “The Takeaway” about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision to convene a grand jury to help determine whether Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine Ruszczyk, should be charged with a crime. Murray pointed out that the grand jury process gives Freeman additional investigative capabilities, including the power to subpoena witnesses. He could also secure a grant of immunity to ensure that witnesses cannot invoke their Fifth Amendment rights. Given that certain witnesses had apparently refused to participate in interviews with investigators, the grand jury opens up investigation paths that have previously been closed. Murray also noted that harnessing the grand jury was not inconsistent with Freeman’s promise to make the actual charging decision himself. There was no “legal impediment” to Freeman using the grand jury for investigative purposes while taking full responsibility himself for the final decision to charge.
January 18, 2018
Professor Francis Shen’s research on sports concussions and the law was featured in a Huffington Post article discussing Minnesota’s efforts to be a leader in promoting brain health for youth athletes. Professor Shen, an expert in neuroscience and law, leads a University of Minnesota Grand Challenges grant on youth sports concussions, and teaches a seminar on Sports Concussions and the Law.