July 2, 2018
Professor Kitrosser spoke about Justice Kennedy’s retirement and the future of the Supreme Court on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Politics Friday.” Among other things, she discussed the potential implications of the retirement for abortion rights and presidential power, as well as the politics of the nomination and confirmation processes.
Prof. Turoski Presents on “Patents as a Career Tool” at Institute for Molecular Virology Career Development SymposiumJune 29, 2018
Professor Christopher M. Turoski presented on the topic of “Patents as a Career Tool” at the Second Annual Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV) Career Development Symposium at the University of Minnesota. The Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV) is an Academic Health Center-based institute that is dedicated to uniting University of Minnesota researchers engaged in virus research.
Prof. Wolf Quoted in Scientific American on Consent Issues Surrounding Genetic Testing for Immigrant IdentificationJune 28, 2018
Professor Susan Wolf was quoted in the Scientific American about consent issues connected to the use of genetic testing to reunite separated immigrant families. Wolf emphasized that a choice to get a genetic test isn’t freely made in such circumstances because the parent is under pressure to submit in order to be reunited with his/her child. “What you really want is alternatives. You want the federal government to step up to the plate and say, ‘Yes, we do have [another] way of finding your child,’” said Wolf. Wolf also added concerns that using genetic tests suggests that “family” is defined solely as a close biological relationship, when in fact many families are more complicated. “Genetics may have a limited role to play [in reuniting families],” said Wolf, “but it’s never going to be the be-all and end-all.”
June 28, 2018
Professor Kristin Hickman’s article with Matthew Krueger ‘06, In Search of the Modern Skidmore Standard, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 1235 (2007), was cited by United States Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, in a statement respecting the denial of certiorari in E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Bobbi-Jo Smiley, No. 16-1189, decided June 28, 2018. In the statement, Justice Gorsuch noted and suggested the Court ought to resolve a circuit split, discussed by Hickman and Krueger in their article, regarding whether an agency can demand judicial deference for an interpretation of a statute advanced for the first time in litigation.
June 22, 2018
Professor Heidi Kitrosser was quoted in the Washington Examiner regarding calls to fire a U.S. Department of Justice paralegal who participated in an immigration protest at a restaurant. Regarding allegations that the employee might also have sent political tweets during the workday, Kitrosser referenced the 1987 case of Rankin v. McPherson, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Texas constable’s clerk had a First Amendment right to engage in a personal, intra-office discussion in which she indicated support for assassinating President Reagan. Kitrosser explained, “If I were the [Justice Department] paralegal and I found myself in trouble over on-the-job tweets I’d likely start with that case.”
June 13, 2018
Professor JaneAnne Murray co-chaired the annual Bloomsday Celebration of the Irish American Bar Association at Federal Hall in New York City on Monday, June 11, 2018. The celebration, founded by Murray in 2008, celebrates James Joyce’s masterful novel, Ulysses, and his contribution to First Amendment jurisprudence in the United States. Its centerpiece is the John Quinn Memorial Lecture (named after John Qunn, the Irish American lawyer who defended Joyce’s publishers, Margaret Anderon and Jane Heap, pro bono, on criminal charges of obscenity; he lost). This year’s speaker was Caitlin Halligan, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and former Solicitor General of New York State. Her speech focused on the role the First Amendment can play in adapting the Fourth Amendment to searches and seizures in the digital age. She was introduced in verse by Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance. Since this was the 100th anniversary of Anderson’s and Heap’s serialization of Ulysses in their literary magazine, The Little Review, Murray and co-chair Janet Walsh role-played Anderson and Heap in their introduction to Mr. Vance. They handed him a brief (drafted by the Law School’s Clemency Project) asking him to refer their convictions to his Conviction Integrity Unit for further consideration.
June 12, 2018
Professor JaneAnne Murray, who runs the Law School’s Clemency Project, appeared on MPR News to discuss the issue of presidential pardons. Murray discussed the scope of this constitutional power, whether the president can pardon himself, and proposals to help a president exercise this power in a manner envisaged by the founders.
June 9, 2018
Professor Heidi Kitrosser was quoted in an article in The Columbus Dispatch (subscription required) about a U.S. Justice Department investigation into alleged classified information leaks by a former staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. The article cites Kitrosser’s view that President “Trump has continued an unfortunate precedent begun by [President] Obama in aggressively pursuing leakers.” The article also quotes Kitrosser to the effect that “The heads of agencies, presidents, people in power are like the rest of us—they don’t like to be criticized, don’t like to be questioned, don’t like their mistakes to be pointed out. … Generally they are not going to approve of employees sharing inconvenient information with the press. But sometimes that information is very much in the public interest, and there needs to be some level of protection of confidentiality for journalists in order to have relationships with sources.”
June 7, 2018
In Praxair Distribution, Inc. v. Mallinckrodt Hospital Products, Inc. (Fed. Cir. May 16, 2018), Judge Pauline Newman filed a concurring opinion quoting Professor Thomas Cotter’s 2007 article, “A Burkean Perspective on Patent Eligibility,” for its discussion of patent law’s “printed matter” doctrine. According to the article, “[B]eginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the USPTO and the courts began rejecting applications claiming purportedly novel types of business forms under the ‘printed matter’ doctrine. By most accounts, the doctrine was intended to preserve the boundary between patent and copyright law.”
June 5, 2018
Professor Heidi Kitrosser was quoted in an article in the Grand Forks Herald on the question of whether presidents have the constitutional power to issue pardons to themselves. The article cited her view that while the Constitution’s text does not explicitly reference self-pardons, such pardons run counter to principles evidenced throughout the Constitution’s text and structure, including the notion that the nation should be guided by “the rule of law rather than the whims and self-interests of individual men.” Overall, she explained that “the best argument—though, again, not one made explicit in the text—is that the President cannot legally pardon himself.”