August 4, 2017
Professor Heidi Kitrosser’s views were cited in a Los Angeles Times story entitled “Sessions Says Justice Department Will Boost Investigations of Leaks, May Pursue Reporters.” The story paraphrased Kitrosser as saying that the Espionage Act, which is the main law used to prosecute leakers of classified information, “is broad,” and that “far too many records are classified as secret, giving prosecutors the ability to target people who reveal wrongdoing.” Kitrosser also was quoted directly as explaining that “It becomes very easy for prosecutors to pick and choose to go after certain leakers, not because the information is dangerous, but because they want to send a message.”
August 1, 2017
Professor Francis Shen was quoted in an article in the Hastings Star Gazette reporting on disparities in police calls to Walmart and to Target. The newspaper’s report found a nearly 4-1 ratio of police calls to Walmart as compared to Target.
July 31, 2017
Law360 has summarized a study by Professor Herbert Kritzer and two collaborators that was recently posted on SSRN. The study shows that decisional patterns by federal district judges have becoming increasingly polarized based on the party of the appointing president. The study, which considered over 115,000 federal court decisions between 1934 and 2014, also showed that this increased polarization was due to increasing conservatism by appointees of Republican presidents.
July 28, 2017
A story in PaRR (Policy and Regulatory Report) about a private antitrust suit against Amazon Services quotes Professor Tom Cotter for his take on the difficulties facing the plaintiff, a store alleging that Amazon conspired with favored online sellers to exclude the store from listing on Amazon’s marketplace. Cotter discussed the relevant Supreme Court precedent but cautioned that “just because a firm is harmed by the conduct of another firm, doesn’t necessarily amount to a violation of the antitrust laws.”
July 20, 2017
Professor William McGeveran was quoted extensively in an article on Mic.com concerning recent controversial requests that states supply voter data to the federal Pence-Kobach Commission investigating alleged election fraud.
July 13, 2017
Professor Tom Cotter discussed the rules for proving the offense of monopolization under U.S. antitrust law for a WCCO News segment titled “Good Question: Is Amazon Getting Too Big?” Prof. Cotter noted that, under antitrust law, it isn’t an offense merely to be a big company or even a monopolist, but rather for a monopolist to engage in conduct that harms consumers.
July 7, 2017
Professor Susanna Blumenthal wrote a commentary for the Washington Post about the case of William Morva on the day set for his execution by the state of Virginia, pointing to the troubling gap between the Supreme Court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence, prohibiting the execution of the insane, and the everyday practices of courts in cases involving severely mentally ill defendants. “Unless and until we clarify what it means to be competent to be executed, death row inmates such as Morva deserve the benefit of the doubt,” wrote Blumenthal. “To proceed otherwise is to run the unacceptable risk of ‘killing one who has no capacity to come to grips with his own conscience or deity,’ as Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote in his 1986 opinion in Ford v. Wainwright. His words bear repetition today as the state of Virginia and its governor stand on the verge of ‘exacting a mindless vengeance.’”
July 3, 2017
Professor Tom Cotter’s blog, “Comparative Patent Remedies,” was recently listed on Feedspot’s list of Top 100 I.P. Blogs. According to Feedspot, the list includes “the Best Intellectual Property blogs from thousands of top Intellectual Property blogs in our index using search and social metrics… . These blogs are ranked based on following criteria: Google reputation and Google search ranking; Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites; Quality and consistency of posts; [and] Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.” Cotter’s blog has had over 400,000 page hits since its launch in May 2013, and provides a constant update of his book “Comparative Patent Remedies: A Legal and Economic Analysis” (Oxford Univ. Press 2013).
Prof. Murray Presents at the 26th Annual FBA/ABA/NACDL Federal Sentencing Conference in St. Petersburg, FloridaJune 30, 2017
Prof. Murray presented at the 26th Annual Federal Sentencing Conference, organized for practitioners by the FBA, the ABA, and the NACDL. Her topic was “Using Social Science at Sentencing,” and, together with Laura Mate of the Federal Sentencing Resource Counsel, she gave an overview of the most recent federal cases in which judges are citing scientific insights to support downward variances from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
June 28, 2017
An article in the ABA Journal extensively quoted Professor William McGeveran concerning the limits of defamation law as a possible response to the publication of so-called “fake news,” such as fabricated online rumors alleging Hillary Clinton’s involvement in a pizza parlor’s child sex ring. When public figures are involved, McGeveran warned, First Amendment protections shape defamation doctrine. “It is extremely difficult to define in a clear way the boundary between fake news and alternative viewpoints,” he said.