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In the News Archive - Analysis and Opinion

The Tennessean: Opinion: Political correctness trumped safety in police shooting - December 31, 2014 - Police have a dangerous job to perform, and that job is hampered if political correctness and fear of the community overrides good judgment, writes Carol Swain, professor of political science and law.

The Conversation: Opinion: An online ‘erasure service’ for California minors – but can it work?  - December 16, 2015 - If our own behavior is inconsistent with preserving privacy, how can we expect laws to effectively protect it? This contradiction is particularly problematic for privacy laws that seek to balance the government’s interests in surveillance and protecting the country against terrorism with a citizen’s right to be left alone, writes Lydia Jones, adjunct professor of law.

Al Jazeera America: Opinion: Power speaks from Ferguson - November 26, 2014 - Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities and professor of law, analyzes the Ferguson grand jury announcement and the response of officials and the public immediately following it.

The Tennessean: Opinion: Amendment 1 is government overreach at its worst - November 3, 2014 - Amendment 1 is not about being pro-life or pro-choice: It is about stripping away Tennessee’s powerful medical privacy rights, writes Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law and co-founder of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, and Carolyn Thompson, fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

National Law Journal: Op-ed: A ‘people’s pledge’ could quell the politics in judicial elections - November 3, 2014 - Unfortunately, money is increasingly defining judicial elections, but reviving the “People’s Pledge” that governed the 2012 Massachusetts race between then-Sen. Scott Brown and Sen. Elizabeth Warren would mediate the effect, write Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law, and Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center.

David Hudson’s articles on New York’s anti-cyberbullying legislation, New Jersey’s failed constitutional challenge to federal gambling law, a privacy lab run by a D.C. firm, and his interview with Michele Roberts, new executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, all appear in the November edition of the ABA Journal .

Politico: America’s post-crash constitution - October 6, 2014 - It appears that a new era of constitutional debate is emerging from the 2008 economic crash, in which the critical battles will be increasingly fought over economic issues rather than cultural ones, writes Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law.

ABA Journal: NSA surveillance policies raise questions about the viability of the attorney-client privilege - September 1, 2014 - Some experts say the NSA has not shed nearly enough light on how lawyers are being affected by surveillance activities, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law.

The Tennessean: Opinion: Lessons from Tennessee Supreme Court retention election - August 21, 2014 - Retention referendums actually might have some potential to become real tools to hold judges accountable, writes Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law.

ABA Journal: California's in-depth review of its lawyer discipline standards may inspire other states to follow - August 1, 2014 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, discusses issues that will face a new task force set up by the California State Bar to address discipline standards for lawyers.

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Iraqi insurgents circulate the lie that they killed the judge in Saddam's trial - June 30, 2014 - Rumors have been flying that ISIS has executed the judge who presided over Saddam Hussein's 2006 trial. The lies are just the latest attempt to destabilize a fractured country, writes Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law and expert in international law and war crimes.

Foreign Policy: Counterinsurgency for foxes - May 22, 2014 - The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have issued a revised edition of the Field Manual 3-24 Counterinsurgency, made famous in 2006 for being a popular download as well as featured on "The Daily Show." The sequel, released last week, is unlikely to catapult to the top of the bestseller lists, but the changes between the two editions are important, as they say a great deal about the changes in the military's approach to war, writes Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law.

Forbes: Opinion: Why President Obama can break the law with impunity - April 30, 2014 - The Obama Administration's breaches of the Affordable Care Act have been strategic, not adversely affecting any one person or entity. Just the opposite: the administration has blocked implementation of portions of the law so as to benefit individuals or groups and thereby soften the adverse political impact of the ACA. As a result, with an important exception, no one has had "standing" and no one has been able to sue, write James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, and Alex Tolbert, JD'07, MBA'07, founder of Bernard Health.

Politico: Opinion: How to clean up American elections - April 9, 2014 - For voters and activists interested in clean elections, 2014 isn't shaping up to be a good year. But all hope for limiting the corrupting influence of big money is not lost, writes Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law. Campaign finance reformers have another option, one that doesn't rely on Congress or the courts and that can be implemented immediately: the People's Pledge.

Los Angeles Review of Books: Opinion: The boycott effect - March 16, 2014 - The American Studies Association's boycott of Israeli institutions is one of few tactics that remain that can not only draw attention to the systematic denial of rights to Palestinians but also possibly bring about change, opening a space for voices that have not been heard, writes Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities.

Al Jazeera America: Opinion: Why I support the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions - December 23, 2013 - In Israel and in the United States, the threat against those who debate or even ask questions about Palestinian human and political rights remains very much a reality, writes Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of Humanities and Professor of Law.

LawFare Blog: Foreign Official Immunity & Executive Branch Law-Making - December 12, 2013 - Professor Ingrid Wuerth discusses the constitutional power of the Executive Branch arguing it has no general authority to make domestic law, as the Court has held in Youngstown and Medellin v. Texas.

Electronic Intifada: Opinion: Why we must boycott Israeli universities - November 25, 2013 - Israeli academic institutions are not innocent of Israel's systematic denial of academic freedom to Palestinians, write Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren professor in the humanities and professor of law, and University of California English professor David Lloyd.

 

ABA Journal: The establishment clause is still a contentious battle among the justices - November 1, 2013 - Town board members in Greece, N.Y., begin each meeting with a prayer. The practice will be reviewed by the high court in terms of whether it violates the establishment clause, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and scholar at the First Amendment Center.

 

CNN Opinion: Has the NSA gone rogue? - October 31, 2013 - Although the NSA may not conduct queries or examine content unless it or a court determines that "national security" is at stake, national security is apparently at stake quite often, if the recent reports about monitoring hundreds of thousands of foreigners' calls as well as the calls of foreign leaders are true, writes Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law.

 

Christian Science Monitor: Opinion: How candidates can sidestep Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance - October 23, 2013 - After the Citizens United ruling, reformers worry the Supreme Court may further loosen campaign finance restrictions with this term's McCutcheon case. But there's a new way to limit money in politics: private agreements between candidates not to allow third-party campaign spending, writes Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law, in this opinion piece.

 

ABA Journal: September and October 2013 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, writes about various legal issues including ethics of using judicial quotes on a website; a law professor who creates a course around a popular TV show ; ABA endorsing guidance for lawyers on fighting money laundering and terrorist financing; and flying the American flag upside down .

Al Jazeera America: Fear and hunger at Pelican Bay - August 21, 2013 - Court approves coercive feeding in response to inmates' hunger-strike protest, writes Professor Colin Dayan.

CNN: Opinion: Fix NSA mess — or else - August 13, 2013 - Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance program provide the perfect opportunity for Congress to put aside its grandstanding and bickering and engage in the kind of deliberation expected from the national legislature of the world's most powerful democracy, writes Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law.

Boston Review Blog: Of Citizens and Poodles - July 2, 2013 - Professor Colin Dayan writes on the U.S. Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

Washington Post: Opinion: The Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act decision - June 26, 2013 - The Supreme Court's decision to invalidate the formula for determining which voting districts required federal oversight is the result of Congress's failure to update that formula to reflect current conditions, writes Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law.


KRIS and KZTV (both in Corpus Christi, Texas), reported on the Supreme Court decision regarding affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas. The reports featured an interview with Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law and Harvie Branscomb Distinguished University Professor, conducted at VUStar, Vanderbilt's broadcast facility.


Boston Review Blog: A devilish way of thinking - June 24, 2013 - Professor Colin Dayan writes about the hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay and the legal frameworks for preventive detention.

 

ABA Journal: More states see tort limits challenged as unconstitutional - April 1, 2013 - States have found it popular to pass laws limiting noneconomic damages in lawsuits, such as pain and suffering—a hallmark of tort reform, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law.


The Hill: Remembering the chemical attacks against the Kurds - March 26, 2013 - The ongoing slaughter in Syria is neither the first nor the worst tragedy in that neighborhood. 25 years ago this March, Iraqi forces coordinated a calculated campaign of genocide against the Kurds. Professor Michael Newton blogs about the important anniversary.


CNN: Opinion: Give Lance another chance? January 18, 2013 - Lance Armstrong’s apology on “Oprah” for doping earns a “B,” writes Erin O’Hara O’Connor, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law.


The Tennessean: Opinion: Clean energy can provide boost to economic growth - November 7, 2012 - As the organization that decides how electricity is generated and transmitted to more than 9 million customers in seven states, TVA is uniquely positioned to help expand economic growth in the state with good-paying jobs, innovation and capital investments, writes James Rossi, professor of law specializing in energy law.


CNN World: Opinion: About that genocide indictment proposal… - October 25, 2012 - Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law, writes about Monday night’s debate where Mitt Romney reiterated his call for a stronger response to the growing prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Romney said that he would “make sure that [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention.” Although a genocide case against Ahmadinejad is potentially feasible; it’s fraught with practical and political barriers.


ABA Journal: ‘Like’ is unliked: Clicking on a Facebook item is not free speech, judge rules - September 1, 2012 - A federal judge has ruled that “liking” a Facebook post cannot be considered protected speech, leaving legal experts puzzled, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.


ABA Journal: A personalized issue: First Amendment lawyer fights for his right to a vanity plate - August 1, 2012 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, writes about a First Amendment lawyer in Maryland whose personalized license plate was revoked two years after he received it.


Washington Post: Destroying the soul - July 5, 2012 - Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Law, discusses the horrors of confinement in U.S. prisons. A similar piece appeared in The New York Times , July 18, 2011.


ABA Journal: Opinion: Occupy the courts: The nationwide movement has left a mixed bag of legal results - July 1, 2012 - Legal decisions across the country related to the Occupy movement have been a hodgepodge, some removing the Occupy campers, others allowing the movement success, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.

CNN World: Opinion: About that genocide indictment proposal… - October 25, 2012 - Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law, writes about Monday night’s debate where Mitt Romney reiterated his call for a stronger response to the growing prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Romney said that he would “make sure that [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention.” Although a genocide case against Ahmadinejad is potentially feasible; it’s fraught with practical and political barriers.

ABA Journal: ‘Like’ is unliked: Clicking on a Facebook item is not free speech, judge rules - September 1, 2012 - A federal judge has ruled that “liking” a Facebook post cannot be considered protected speech, leaving legal experts puzzled, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.

ABA Journal: A personalized issue: First Amendment lawyer fights for his right to a vanity plate - August 1, 2012 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, writes about a First Amendment lawyer in Maryland whose personalized license plate was revoked two years after he received it.

ABA Journal: Opinion: Occupy the courts: The nationwide movement has left a mixed bag of legal results - July 1, 2012 - Legal decisions across the country related to the Occupy movement have been a hodgepodge, some removing the Occupy campers, others allowing the movement success, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.

ABA Journal: Should We Create Exceptions to Rules Regarding Coerced Interrogation of Terrorism Suspects? - June 1, 2012 - Law professors Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, and Norman Abrams of the University of California at Los Angeles consider the legal dilemmas surrounding coerced interrogation of terrorism suspects. Their essays are part of a forthcoming book, Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law, scheduled for publication this summer by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, which invited both writers to address coerced interrogation.

New York Times: Room for Debate: Leave the voting age alone - May 28, 2012 - To boost young adults’ political participation, focus on lifting barriers like residency requirements that exclude college students and voter ID laws that disfavor young and mobile voters rather than changing the voting age, writes Jenny Diamond Cheng, lecturer in law at Vanderbilt.

ABA Journal: A Smokin’ Body: Cancer Images Are Lighting up a First Amendment Blaze - April 1, 2012 - The battle over the constitutionality of new warnings mandated by the Food and Drug Administration to appear on cigarette packages is being fought in the lower federal courts. And two cases have already been appealed as tobacco firms and the government get heated over the FDA order. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, authors this analysis for the ABA Journal.

Inside Higher Ed: Academic Minute: Sexual harassment and pay - March 26, 2012 - In this podcast, Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, examines the relationship between pay and the likelihood of experiencing sexual harassment.

Chronicle of Higher Education: The End of (Discussing) Free Will - March 18, 2012 - As essay by Owen Jones, director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience at Vanderbilt, written as part of a series in which six scholars address the topic "Is Free Will an Illusion?" from the standpoints of modern neuroscience and philosophy.

Associated Press: Court found 1st Amendment protected library protest in 1964 - February 25, 2012 - More than 45 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Henry Brown and four other African-American males could not be convicted for breach of peace for their peaceful, non-disruptive sit-in at a public library in Louisiana, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.

ABA Journal: Good cop, bad citizen? As cell phone recording increases, officers are uneasy
Several recent lawsuits have affirmed the constitutional right of private citizens to record police activity on cell phones and video recorders, despite police departments’ concerns that it violates wiretap laws, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt.

Tennessean: ‘Tennessee Plan’ needs revisions - February 3, 2012 - Brian Fitzpatrick, associate professor of law, writes this opinion piece on how Tennessee’s state judges are selected. Fitzpatrick also authored an opinion piece in the Chattanooga Times Free Press (February 19, 2012 at F1, not available online) giving credit to Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell for their support of an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that would "legalize our system for selecting judges."

2011

Toronto Globe and Mail: Opinion: How Canada can be an innovation leader - November 30, 2011 - What Canada needs at this critical juncture is a conversation about how to generate more economic impacts from innovation and creativity, writes Daniel Gervais, 2011/12 FedEx Research Professor and co-director of the Intellectual Property Program at Vanderbilt.

SCOTUSblog: Is the end of class actions upon us? - September 14, 2011 - Brian Fitzpatrick, associate professor of law, argues that although many commentators have predicted that the decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion could lead to the end of consumer class actions, the decision could in fact lead to the end of class actions against businesses across most – if not all – of their activities.

Volokh Conspiracy: Opinion: On-campus vs. off-campus - August 30, 2011 - One of the most pressing issues in student-speech jurisprudence concerns when school officials can punish public school students for posting profane, racy, bullying or otherwise objectionable material online, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and research scholar at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, for this prominent law blog.

Knoxville News Sentinel: Analysis: Questions of religion, child custody require delicate August 10, 2011 - Judges may not discriminate against a parent’s religious beliefs in child-custody cases but may consider the effect that religiously motivated conduct may have on a child, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled, writes David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and scholar at the First Amendment Center.

The Tennessean: U.S. leadership role is in doubt - August 3, 2011 - Unless Congress moves quickly to enact sensible legislation that signals to the world the U.S. dollar is stable and dependable and also supports the innovation needed to fuel economic growth, the U.S. may lose its dominant economic position, writes Daniel Gervais, professor of law.

New York Times: Room for Debate: The bias against the unemployed - July 26, 2011 - Limiting the applicant pool on the basis of current employment disproportionately screens out groups of workers with high unemployment rates. And the groups with the highest unemployment rates — blacks, older workers and the disabled — fall disproportionately into the classes protected by current nondiscrimination law, writes Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics.

SCOTUSblog: Opinion: Why the Court should uphold S.B.1070 - July 14, 2011 - The Supreme Court should uphold the constitutionality of Arizona’s S.B.1070—which empowers local law enforcement to investigate immigration status during arrests and traffic stops when there is reason to suspect a violation—and recognize the legislation as a good faith effort by a state seeking to impose law and order in a crisis situation, writes Carol Swain, professor of law and political science.

ABA Journal - Rumors of War Medals: The First Amendment May Protect Lying about Military Awards - July 1, 2011 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment Center scholar, discusses the implications of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in U.S. v. Alvarez, in which the Court ruled that "The right to speak and write whatever one chooses--including, to some degree, worthless, offensive and demonstrable untruths--without cowering in fear of a powerful government is...an essential component" of First Amendement protection.

Daily Iowan: After violent video games, what about adult entertainment - June 30, 2011 - "The U.S. Supreme Court rejected California’s violent video-game law in part because of the imprecise social-science research linking violent video games to aggressiveness in children. Now if the court would only apply that reasoning in cases involving adult entertainment." Opinion piece by David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment Center scholar...

Jurist: Supreme Court affirms that violence is not obscenity - June 28, 2011 - Analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's violent video games decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association by David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment Center scholar, , notes that the decision continued the Court's trend of limiting legislative attempts to create new categories of unprotected speech and rejected the concept of violence as obscenity.

China Daily: Opinion: South Sudan’s gathering storm - June 9, 2011 - Coauthored by Michael Newton , professor of the practice of law - Sudan’s government, led by President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, has taken a page from its Darfur playbook by waging war once again on civilians and their property, this time attacking the disputed border region of Abyei on the eve of South Sudan’s legal secession next month, writes Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law, and John C. Bradshaw, executive director of the Enough Project. The commentary was also published in Nigeria’s Business Day, Egypt’s Daily News and other English-language news outlets around the world.

"Justice: Too Much and Too Expensive," April 17, 2011 - New York Times - This opinion piece by Nancy J. King, Lee S. and Charles A. Speir Professor of Law at Vanderbilt, and Joseph Hoffmann of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, proposes a new approach to habeas cases. The reforms King and Hoffmann recommend are based on their book, Habeas for the Twenty-First Century: Uses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and a comprehensive study of habeas cases King completed in 2007 with colleagues Fred Cheesman and Brian Ostrom, Habeas Litigation in U.S. District Courts: Final Report .