Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

Faculty Media Commentary

March 2017

Associated Press: Advocates say First Amendment can withstand Trump attacks - March 13, 2017 - This week journalism marks its annual Sunshine Week, which draws attention to the media’s role in advocating for government transparency, at an extraordinary moment in the relationship between the presidency and the press. First Amendment advocates call the Trump administration the most hostile to the press and free expression in memory. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

The Cannabist: Federal marijuana law enforcement: What you need to know - March 7, 2017 - No official federal policy change toward marijuana has been made—yet. The Cannabist talked with several law and drug policy experts, industry observers and state officials about what changes in federal enforcement could look like—from the threat of raids on cannabis businesses and seizure of state-collected pot taxes to court issues and the ways Colorado regulations have developed. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is among the experts who were interviewed for the article.

The Street: M and A litigation moves away from Delaware - March 6, 2017 - Patterns of merger litigation have changed significantly in response to developments in Delaware law, according to a recent paper co-authored by Randall S. Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business. Lawyers for stockholder plaintiffs have filed fewer fiduciary duty cases in Delaware since disclosure-only settlements were barred last year, the researchers found.

Vocativ: Do sex offenders have a free speech right to use Facebook? - March 6, 2017 - The constitutionality of a 2008 North Carolina law intended as protection of past and potential victims of sex offenders is now the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case. The question is whether the law infringes on a North Carolina man’s free speech rights — and by extension, whether or not social media is a medium of communication inherently protected under the First Amendment. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Lafayette Journal and Courier (Indiana): Delphi killings: Social media rumors carry hefty consequences - March 6, 2017 - Rumors that police arrested a man in Kokomo, Indiana, for the Feb. 13 murders of two local teenagers forced police to go to social media to declare the rumors are not true. Investigators’ response is a sign of how social media shrank our world seemingly overnight while giving voice for whomever has an opinion — be it reasoned or daft. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

February 2017

Bustle: How Neil Gorsuch could significantly harm LGBTQ rights - February 27, 2017 - On Jan. 31, President Donald Trump officially nominated Neil Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge, to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat. While Gorsuch was a more moderate pick than some analysts had anticipated, critics were quick to point out he could be bad news for the LGBTQ community. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

E & E News: Greenwire: Pruitt picks Inhofe aide as chief of staff - February 27, 2017 - Ryan Jackson, a longtime aide to an Oklahoma senator, has been formally hired as EPA’s chief of staff, according to an agency spokesperson. Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, is quoted.

The Ledger: Sullum: Study confirms health advantages of vaping - February 21, 2017 - A recent study confirmed that e-cigarettes are much less dangerous than the traditional, combustible sort — a fact that may come as a surprise to Americans. This study, which involved long-term e-cigarette users, reinforces the results of a 2016 study finding large reductions in toxins and carcinogens among smokers who switched to vaping during a two-week experiment. The article references a survey conducted by W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management, about the public’s perception about the hazards of e-cigarettes.

C-SPAN interviewed David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, regarding his historical perspective on the limits of free speech.

The Wall Street Journal: Does it pay to double major? - February 13, 2017 - The benefits of a double major in college seem obvious. By gaining expertise in two different areas, many believe, students will have a significant edge when it comes to launching and advancing a career. But a recent paper published in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis casts doubt on that thinking. Co-author Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, is interviewed.

Bloomberg BNA: Trailblazer Thapar might be in Trump’s SCOTUS bullpen - February 13, 2017 - Amul Thapar, a U.S. District Court judge and adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, who is on President Trump’s shortlist for future Supreme Court nominees, is profiled. Thapar and Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, are quoted.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Editorial: Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake want to break up the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Nevada - February 13, 2017 - Efforts to split the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Nevada, have materialized from time to time for more than two decades. Now, two Republican senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have taken up the cause. Not surprisingly, politics clouds the issue. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted. A related article in Herald Net (Everett, Washington) also quotes Fitzpatrick.

Financial Times: Q&A with author Alexandra Kleeman (subscription required) - February 13, 2017 - In this interview, author Alexandra Kleeman mentions The Law Is a White Dog by Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, professor of American studies and professor of law, as one of the books currently on her bedside table.

Harvard Business Review: Will federal employees work for a president they disagree with? - February 13, 2017 - David Lewis, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science, and his co-authors write about their research examining which high-level federal employees are likely to leave after a presidential election.

The Grand Island Independent (Nebraska): Short circuit: Bill aims to deep-six 9th - February 10, 2017 - The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals represents nine states, 20 percent of the U.S. population and 40 percent of the nation’s land mass. It’s so big that Congress has looked at bills to split the circuit since 1941, and it’s so big that none of those measures have succeeded. This year, however, Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain, both R-Ariz., see the possibility of success. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

Tim Meyer, professor of law and former clerk for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, discussed Gorsuch’s nomination as a guest on The Laura Ingraham Show (syndicated nationally). He was also interviewed on WSMV , Channel 4 in Nashville.

Time: Federal judges are responding to President Trump’s ‘childish tantrum’ with silence - February 9, 2017 - President Donald Trump’s unusually personal criticism of federal judges has drawn rebukes from many quarters, but not from the judges themselves. And that’s not likely to change. Bolstered by lifetime tenure, independent judges should not respond to criticism. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted. The story, which was originally published by the Associated Press, also appeared in U.S. News and World Report. A similar story also appeared in the The Columbian (Washington).

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Bill to remove Nevada, 5 other states from ‘nutty 9th’ Circuit Court may be gaining favor - February 8, 2017 - How big is the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals? The San-Francisco-based circuit is so big that it represents nine states, including Nevada, 20 percent of the U.S. population and 40 percent of the nation’s land mass. This year, however, Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain, both R-Ariz., have introduced legislation to create a new 12th Circuit by peeling away six states — Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Alaska. The slimmed-down 9th Circuit would continue to hear appeals from California, Oregon and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

Brian T. Fitzpatrick, professor of law and former clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a guest on MSNBC Live discussing President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court.

USA Today: Can Trump pull funding from UC Berkeley? Not likely, experts say - February 6, 2017 - President Donald Trump’s threat early Thursday to pull federal funding from the University of California’s flagship Berkeley campus over violent protests against a controversial speaker may sound serious, but it is essentially toothless, experts said. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Hospital Review: Apology laws don’t help physicians avoid malpractice suits, study finds - February 3, 2017 - More than 30 states have adopted apology laws that prohibit a physician’s apology to a patient from being admissible in a malpractice lawsuit. Although apology laws are intended to reduce malpractice lawsuits by allowing physicians to freely express their condolences or apologies to patients or their families, a recent study from Vanderbilt University found these laws do not limit medical malpractice liability risk. The article was co-authored by Benjamin J. McMichael, a postdoctoral scholar at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management; Larry Van Horn, associate professor of management at Owen Graduate School of Management; and W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management at Vanderbilt Law School.

Colorado Springs Independent: Suppression is the goal of many ‘free speech zones’ - February 1, 2017 - The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That, of course, has not prevented the government from trying to suppress or contain speech in the years since the 1791 adoption of the Bill of Rights. And one of the most popular tools for doing so is the ubiquitous “free speech zone” or “First Amendment zone.” The areas, which are sometimes fenced off, are set up for protesters or others who want to express opinions. David L. Hudson Jr., adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

January 2017

Washington Post: Opinion: When one sibling has darker skin than the other - January 31, 2017 - In her book “Same Family, Different Colors,” Lori L. Tharps explores the impact on families when members have varying shades of skin color and the reaction in society when an individual has a darker, or unexpected, skin tone, writes the author. Research by Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, is referenced.

Salon: President Trump takes on federal workforce, but will have to handle resistance first - January 31, 2017 - On Jan. 20, President Trump became the head of a sprawling federal bureaucracy, which contains more than 200 organizations with unique opportunities and complex challenges. Any new executive assuming control will want to identify parts of their organization that are performing at a high level and, perhaps more importantly, parts that are not. There is a lot riding on the president’s management choices, writes David Lewis, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science in this essay originally published by The Conversation.

The National Law Journal: Preparing lawyers to be practice-ready in a tech-driven world - January 27, 2017 - Getting law students practice-ready by graduation has always been a challenge for law schools, but many schools have begun to look beyond traditional legal training to enable students to compete in an increasingly tech-driven legal market. Larry W. Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law and coordinator of the Program on Law and Innovation, is quoted. (Subscription required). A related story was posted by Law.com.

Nashville Post: Report: Chief federal judge stepping down - January 26, 2017 - The chief federal judge in the Middle District of Tennessee will step down in April in an unexpected move that gives President Trump an opportunity to further shape the bench in Nashville. Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, is quoted. George is also quoted in a related article in the Nashville Scene .

Thomson Reuters: Making cities more resilient to climate change - January 26, 2017 - It’s uncertain whether president-elect Donald Trump will follow through with his campaign promise to back out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. However, The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energyhas made its commitment clear. Christopher Serkin, professor of law and associate dean for research, is quoted.

Nature: Controversial patient-consent proposal left out of research-ethics reforms - January 19, 2017 - In a blow to patient-privacy advocates, the U.S. government has abandoned a plan that would have required scientists to obtain the consent of people who donate biological samples before using the material in subsequent studies. Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law, is quoted.

Associated Press: GOP targets landmark Endangered Species Act for big changes - January 17, 2017 - In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities. J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, is quoted. Similar stories were reported in the Christian Science Monitor and Salon .

Bradenton Herald (Florida): Miami Beach tells restaurant sax player to can it. Owner says: ‘Free speech!’ - January 17, 2017 - Earlier this month, a city code inspector told a brunch-time saxophone player at a trendy restaurant in South Beach to take five. You see, only “non-amplified piano and string instruments” are allowed to serenade diners in the Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood, city code says. So the sax music had to stop. Now, the owners of Bakehouse Brasserie are suing the city in civil court, claiming the ban on brass, woodwind and percussion instruments infringes on their constitutionally protected right to free speech. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Times Free Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee): Bankruptcies fall to 10-year low, but Tennessee still leads nation in going broke - January 16, 2017 - The number of Chattanoogans going broke last year fell to the lowest level in a decade while local property foreclosures dropped to the lowest number since the turn of the century. But Tennessee still leads the nation in the share of households and businesses filing for bankruptcy. Larry Ahern, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

December 2016

Mic: 12 top law scholars say Donald Trump could defy the Constitution his first day in power - December 19, 2016 - To help unpack whether Trump’s conflicts of interest are unconstitutional, Mic consulted with 18 constitutional law scholars, including chief ethics lawyers from the last two White Houses and several leading global authorities on corruption and conflicts of interest in American politics. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

The Arizona Republic (Phoenix): What’s the point of the Electoral College? - December 19, 2016 - In the aftermath of a nasty, emotionally bruising and divisive national election, die-hard Trump foes are trying to sow dissent in the 538-member Electoral College, a compromise forged at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that some argue is an anachronism in today’s political world. Kareem Crayton, visiting professor of law, is quoted.

Bloomberg BNA: Be gentle when challenging the judge’s handpicked expert - December 16, 2016 - When a judge appoints his own expert to help him with a complex case, should the expert be subject to the same reliability standards as traditional party experts? Legal observers are split, with some saying it’s a fool’s errand for a litigant to challenge the judge’s chosen expert. Edward Cheng, professor of law and the Tarkington Professor of Teaching Excellence, is quoted.

The Dallas Morning News (Texas): Judge tells Killeen ISD to allow employee’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” poster
A Texas nurse’s aide can now display her poster based on A Charlie Brown Christmas at a middle school after a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the Killeen Independent School District officials, who had banned the poster. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment expert, is quoted.

Inside Higher Ed: Opinion: Teaching negotiation in the Age of Trump  - December 12, 2016 - Brian Farkas, a business litigator in New York and adjunct professor at the City University of New York and Brooklyn Law School, writes about how he incorporates discussions of President-elect Donald Trump into classes he teaches on negotiation. Farkas mentions research by Chris Guthrie, dean of Vanderbilt Law School and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law.

Vox: We’re about to see states’ rights used defensively against Trump  - December 12, 2016 - These days, federalism is an extraordinarily powerful weapon in politics for both the left and the right. It can be a source of progressive resistance and, far more importantly, a source for compromise between both sides. The article quotes Robert Mikos, professor of law, about states’ efforts to challenge federal marijuana law.

Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky): Ky judge on Trump’s shortlist for high court - December 12, 2016 - Amul Thapar, a U.S. District Court judge and adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, who is on President-elect Donald Trump’s shortlist for potential Supreme Court nominees, is profiled. Thapar and Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, are quoted. The article also appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer .

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Plum students sent home for wearing Confederate attire - December 12, 2016 - Administrators at Plum High School are offering counseling for students after several of their classmates came to school last week wearing clothing adorned with Confederate flags. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment expert, is quoted.

Los Angeles Times: Warning: That warning label may be useless in conveying danger  - December 6, 2016 - Chances are, you encounter so many warning labels on a daily basis that you no longer bother reading them. And even if you do, it’s nearly impossible to determine if a product represents a true hazard or if you’re just encountering a bunch of weasel words designed solely to avoid lawsuits. The article mentions a recent paper in the Harvard Business Review about the ineffectiveness of such labels. W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management, who co-authored the paper, is quoted.

Chicago Tribune: Trump tweet suggests criminalizing flag desecration, sparks debate  - December 5, 2016 - The controversy over flag burning reignited last week after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on the subject early Tuesday morning: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Although the tweet didn’t offer context, it prompted quick response from those on both sides of the issue. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and First Amendment expert, is quoted.

The Dallas Morning News: How everyday investors can make money by peeking into the dark pools  - December 5, 2016 - An increasingly important segment of the stock market, “dark pools” are lightly-regulated private trading venues set up typically by large investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays and Credit Suisse. Large investors daily buy and sell millions of shares of stocks and exchange traded funds anonymously in these dark pools. They have been around for years, and yet few small investors know of their existence. But they should. Research by Yesha Yadav, professor of law, is mentioned.

December 2, 2016 - KETR  (Commerce, Texas) interviewed Edward Rubin , University Professor of Law and Political Science, about his book, Soul, Self, and Society: The New Morality and the Modern State.

Harvard Business Review: Opinion: Consumer warning labels aren’t working - December 1, 2016 - W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management, and his co-authors Lisa A. Robinson and Richard Zeckhauser, both of Harvard University, write that consumer warning labels are not effective because the present system fails miserably at distinguishing between large and small risks.

BBC (U.K.): Fat people earn less and have a harder time finding work  - December 1, 2016 - Even when they’re able to do the job competently, obese people routinely face discrimination in the workplace. While discrimination against employees because of their sex, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or disabilities is illegal in a growing number of countries, including the U.K., many businesses still consider it perfectly acceptable to fire—or to refuse to hire—obese individuals. Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, whose research examines the effects of obesity on the labor market, is quoted. 

STAT: More research volunteers are getting their medical test results. Should we cheer—or worry? - December 1, 2016 - Volunteer for a clinical trial and your body will be poked, prodded, scanned and analyzed. But you’re unlikely to get any of the results. A small but influential band of activists has been pushing hard to change that—and they’re starting to get traction. Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law, is quoted.

November 2016

ABA Journal: Fishing for Bias: Wildlife research techniques find gaps in court record
 - November 29, 2016 -
Richard Leo is one of a handful of nationally recognized experts in the psychological science of how people are influenced and make decisions under duress. When defense attorneys began to call on him to testify in cases in which a confession might have been coerced, he says, prosecutors often fought vigorously to exclude his testimony. Now Edward Cheng, professor of law, says he’s discovered that publication bias in court records can conceal how often experts are allowed to testify, and he’s found a way to prove it. Cheng is quoted.

ABC News: Defense secretary contender James Mattis faces legal obstacle to getting the post - November 22, 2016 - The saying is “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” and if President-elect Donald Trump picks retired Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense, he is still too much a Marine in the eyes of the law. Mattis retired in 2013, leaving him four years short of the requisite seven years after active duty before commissioned officers may serve as secretary of defense. David Lewis, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science, is quoted.

The Huffington Post: Opinion: President-elect Donald Trump’s hard stance on immigration sparks a nationalism debate in black America - November 22, 2016 - Amidst the larger immigration discussion going on in America right now, a critique has arisen among blacks, largely built around resolving their disadvantage as one of personal choice—one built around a false notion that their youth wouldn’t do the jobs immigrants do. The piece quotes Carol Swain, professor of political science and law.

Bloomberg Law: Style or substance? Which made Scalia (in)famous? - Novemeber 22, 2016 - Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, was among the experts on last week’s Federalist Society panel dedicated to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The article quotes Fitzpatrick’s remarks from the Nov. 17 event. A related article appeared in Above the Law .

Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina): Wuerth to lecture on international law at UNC Asheville - November 22, 2016 - Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Professor of International Law, will present a talk titled “International Law in the Age of Trump: A Post-Human Rights Agenda” at UNC Asheville on Dec. 6 as the final 2016 lecture in the World Affairs Council series.

U.S. News & World Report: For public health, is alcohol the next tobacco? - November 21, 2016 - The U.S. Surgeon General’s office has issued the agency’s first-ever report on addiction, which includes proposals for restricting alcohol access that critics say go too far and could end up targeting usage among even casual drinkers. Christopher Carpenter, professor of economics, law, public policy and education, and health policy, is quoted.

News India Times: Amul Thapar among list for Supreme Court judge nominees - November 21, 2016 - Amul Thapar, a U.S. District Court judge and adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, is on President-elect Donald Trump’s shortlist for potential Supreme Court nominees.

New York Times: Trump’s Supreme Court list: Ivy League? Out. The Heartland? In. - November 15, 2016 - In important ways, President-elect Donald Trump’s Supreme Court candidates represent a sharp break from the current conservative justices, who all went to law school at Harvard or Yale and who all served on federal appeals courts in the Northeast or in California. If the list has a main theme, it is that there are plenty of good judges who went to law school at places like Notre Dame, Marquette, the University of Georgia and the University of Miami. About half of Mr. Trump’s candidates sit on state Supreme Courts, and almost all those who sit on federal appeals courts do so in the heartland. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

The Wrap: Trump vs. press freedom: How much damage can he do? - November 16, 2016 - If you followed Donald Trump’s Twitter feed — and no other source of information about American life — you might think the greatest threat to our nation is The New York Times. But what, if anything, can he actually do? How much of a threat could he pose to the First Amendment? Vanderbilt University’s First Amendment Center Ombudsman David Hudson, is quoted. The story also ran in the San Francisco Chronicle .

The Tennessean: What a Trump tenure means for courts in Tennessee - November 15, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump could dramatically change the makeup of the federal court system in Tennessee with nominations over the next four years, choices that legal scholars say should not be overshadowed by his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted. The article mentions that Amul Thapar, a federal trial judge in Kentucky and adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, is on Trump’s list of 21 possible Supreme Court nominees.

WSMV Channel 4 - November 10, 2016 - interviewed Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, about the impact that the presidential election will have on the Supreme Court.

SCOTUS Blog: Rethinking the court’s property-rights jurisprudence in the Progressive Era - November 7, 2019 - During a lecture before the Supreme Court Historical Society on Wednesday, James Ely, professor of law, emeritus, posited that the Progressive-Era court largely accommodated social and political reforms, diminished protections previously afforded to property owners and opened the door for later New Deal jurisprudence.

Bloomberg BNA: Think tank wades into regulatory policy - November 4, 2016 - The Center for American Progress, a think tank with deep ties to both former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has posted its first policy paper on the issue of regulatory overhaul. The policy paper, which was written by Ganesh Sitaraman, associate professor of law and senior fellow at CAP, mirrors the arguments that have been made by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that industry and business have too much influence over the regulatory process.

KQED Public Radio (San Francisco): San Francisco and Berkeley could lower the voting age - November 4, 2016 - There are only two places in the country where 16- and 17-year-olds can vote in local elections, and they are both small cities in Maryland––Hyattsville and Takoma Park. Come Nov. 8, San Francisco and Berkeley could join that list if Proposition F and Measure Y1 receive enough votes. Jenny Diamond Cheng, lecturer in law, is quoted.

The Cannabist: Across America, efforts to decriminalize marijuana are pitting cities vs. states - November 4, 2016 - A lot of attention is being focused on the states preparing to vote on marijuana legalization in the Nov. 8 elections. But there’s another, less high-profile political movement underway, as more cities act in defiance of their home state governments and work to decriminalize cannabis possession and lessen penalties. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

Reuters: In biggest cases, class action lawyers are low-balling fee requests—and that’s a good thing - November 3, 2016 - U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans ruled last week that the plaintiffs’ lawyers who led the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation against BP are entitled to about $555 million in fees and about $45 million in costs for their work on what the judge calls the biggest class action settlement in U.S. history. The $555 million common benefit award, which presumably will be shared by the 93 lawyers who signed the fee application last July, is an awful lot of money, even divided 93 ways. But in relative terms, not so much. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

CSPAN-2 (national) featured Robert Mikos, professor of law, on a panel from the 10th Circuit Court Bench and Bar Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, discussing the impact of legalized marijuana.

Business Insider: One convicted murderer is challenging the definition of free speech from behind bars - November 1, 2016 - Though he is a prisoner, Arthur Longworth asserts his right to free speech under the First Amendment. Serving life without parole for a murder he committed in 1985, Longworth has continued to publish an array of stories and essays, including two articles for The Marshall Project, from the confines of his cell at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: Supreme Court: Pivotal battle looms in long-running Southeast water war - November 1, 2016 - The biggest battle in the decades-long water war between Florida and Georgia starts today in, of all places, a New England courtroom. A bankruptcy court in Portland, Maine, is hosting the trial in the hot-button Supreme Court case addressing water flow and withdrawals in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. The article mentions an amicus brief filed by J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, asking the court to bear in mind ecosystem services that the rivers provide if and when the waters are divvied up.

October 2016

EnergyWire: 2017 could be the year to revamp electricity standards - October 26, 2016 - Congress could decide next year to tackle significant revisions to the law governing how the nation’s electricity sector is regulated, starting a multiyear process fraught with political risk. James Rossi, professor of law and director of the Law and Government program, is quoted. Subscription is required to access the article.

The Memphis Daily News: Electoral College scenarios emerge early in 2016 - October 6, 2016 - More than a month after all of the votes are counted in the Nov. 8 presidential general election, the real decision on who will be the next president will be made on Dec. 19, when the Electoral College meets in state capitals across the nation. Robert Cooper, adjunct professor of law, and John Ryder, adjunct professor of law, are quoted.

The Cipher Brief: How the terrorist watchlist works - October 3, 2016 - In the wake of recent domestic terrorist incidents, the spotlight has once again fallen on the terrorist watchlist. What is it, how does the system actually work — and could the watchlist have been a means to prevent the attacks? Arjun Singh Sethi, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

The Atlantic: The tiny state whose laws affect workers everywhere - October 3, 2016 - Delaware is the center of the business universe. More than half of the publicly traded companies on U.S. stock exchanges are incorporated in Delaware. Two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies—including Coca-Cola, Apple and American Airlines—are incorporated there. The reason that corporations want to incorporate in Delaware is so that their disputes will be heard by one of the five judges of the state’s Court of Chancery—with no jury—and be decided under Delaware law. Sam Glasscock, adjunct professor of law and a Court of Chancery judge, is quoted.

September 2016

Money: Why Trump’s fat shaming affects all working women, not just beauty pageant contestants - September 29, 2016 - Job-related weight discrimination is usually less blatant than Donald Trump’s comments toward former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, but the implications are just as dangerous. As a growing body of research indicates, fat phobia can severely impact a woman’s career. The article quotes Jennifer Shinall , assistant professor of law, who found in her research that overweight women typically earn less than average-size women, and less than all men, regardless of weight. The article was reprinted in Fortune.

The Guardian (U.K.): Google-funded loan startup to pay $6.3m for ‘deceptive’ practices - September 28, 2016 - A Google-funded lending startup will have to pay $6.3 million in fines and refunds for a number of “deceptive” practices, signaling the U.S. government’s interest in regulating the growing industry of online alternatives to traditional payday loans. Paige Marta Skiba , professor of law, is quoted.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis): Minneapolis Fed: Reining in big banks could spur shadow lending - September 27, 2016 - The Minneapolis Fed’s latest dive into the problem of “too big to fail” banks on Monday looked at an obstacle: Fixing them could expand the shadow banking system. If big banks are broken up, policymakers and economists fear that too much lending will wind up with unregulated financial institutions and create a new risk for the economy. Morgan Ricks, associate professor of law, is quoted.

Morgan Ricks, associate professor of law, was interviewed for the Macro Musings podcast about his new book, The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation. September 27, 2016

Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, provided live commentary for BBC Four (U.K.) during the U.S. presidential debate last night. September 27, 2016

ABA Journal: BigLaw could retain more women by hiring from lower-ranked schools, research suggests
 - September 21, 2016 - Female graduates of law schools ranked in the top 10 are more likely to make an early exit from BigLaw than female grads of lower-tier schools, according to a new study. The article mentions similar research by Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, who determined that women who graduated from elite colleges also drop out of the workforce at higher rates.

India Climate Dialogue: Indian solar makers unfazed by adverse WTO verdict - September 21, 2016 - Domestic solar equipment manufacturers are not worried about the World Trade Organization’s ruling against India’s buy-local policy because petitioner United States has become an insignificant player in the local market. As a consequence of the WTO ruling, India is increasing its domestic sourcing under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission by incentivizing local manufacturers through subsidies and upping procurement of solar panels by government agencies, instead of making domestic sourcing mandatory as it had planned to do earlier. Timothy Meyer, professor of law, is quoted.

Glamour: These findings on workplace weight discrimination will shock you - September 20, 2016 - It’s no secret that people, especially women, get judged unfairly due to negative weight-based stereotypes. The article mentions a study by Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, who found that overweight and obese women—but not men—made less money than those in the weight range considered healthy.

Gainesville Times (Florida): Conservation groups to weigh in on Georgia–Florida water wars case - September 19, 2016 - Several big-name conservation organizations are seeking to give input to the U.S. Supreme Court battle between Florida and Georgia over water use in a basin the two states share. David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law J.B. Ruhl, who recently filed a motion seeking to file a brief supporting Florida, is quoted.

Associated Press: Many young athletes joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest - September 14, 2016 - Colin Kaepernick’s protest against social injustice is being heard loud and clear by young athletes across the country and a host of high school football players have emulated the San Francisco quarterback in recent weeks by kneeling during the national anthem before their own games. In football-crazy states such as New Jersey, Alabama and Massachusetts, some players have faced suspension and others have reported harassment or even threats over their stance. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and author of Let the Students Speak: A History of the Fight for Freedom of Expression in American Schools, is quoted.

The Filter with Nomiki Konst (podcast) on SiriusXM interviewed Arjun Sethi, adjunct professor of law, about counterterrorism and Islamophobia following the recent bombings in the New York City area.

The Tennessean: Nashville on the Record: David Hudson - September 11, 2016 - "we have to protect speech we don't like," says Adjunct Professor of Law David Hudson when asked about the biggest threats to the First Amendment today. Hudson was profiled in the paper for the regular series.

CCTV America interviewed Arjun Sethi, adjunct professor of law, about private prisons and mass incarceration in the U.S.

WYNC: The power and prestige of being a New York judge - September 7, 2016 - New Yorkers have the opportunity to elect judges in September’s primary election, several races for the civil courts will appear on the ballot. But most voters feel stumped when they go to the ballot box. About 40 percent of Supreme Court justices in the city are women, according to research by Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, and about 30 percent are people of color. But almost three quarters of New Yorkers are not white, and half are women. George is quoted in the story.

August 2016

The New York Times: Muslims seek new burial ground, and a small town balks - August 29, 2016 - As the number of American Muslims increases and immigrant Muslims age, groups have sought to construct their own cemeteries, which are often less expensive than other facilities and are familiar with Muslim traditions, including quick burials, bodies facing Mecca and, when allowed locally, no coffins. But from Minnesota to Texas—and even last week in Georgia—such proposals have been met with swells of opposition, similar to disputes over new mosques or schools, raising the specter of exclusion even for the dead. Leor Halevi, associate professor of history and of law, is quoted.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Editorial | School Boards: All citizen voices deserve to be heard - August 29, 2016 - A survey of school district policies across southeastern Wisconsin, obtained by the Journal Sentinel through open records requests, found an array of provisions that effectively limit who can speak and when, and what they can and cannot say. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

The Huffington Post: Opinion: How short-term activists create long-term value - August 25, 2016 - Alex Edmans, professor of finance at London Business School, writes that to truly understand the effects of activist hedge funds, it’s necessary to look at all the evidence—to study hundreds of cases, in different industries, across different time periods. The article mentions research by Randall Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business, who found that activism leads to firm value increasing by 7 percent, with no long-term reversal.

Knoxville News Sentinel (Tennessee): Editorial: Police should show restraint on social media - August 25, 2016 - Law enforcement officers have come under greater scrutiny of late, but those who are tempted to vent their frustrations on social media should consider the consequences, according to this editorial. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

USA Today: Opinion: Hate-crime laws aren’t strong enough - August 23, 2016 - America needs strong hate crime laws because hate crimes are intended to intimidate and terrorize entire communities. Because courts regularly require prosecutors to show that hate was the sole factor motivating the crime, not just a substantial motivating factor, those who commit crimes with mixed motives often are not charged with a hate crime. Both Congress and individual states can remedy this failure by passing legislation or clarifying in guidelines that bias need only be a substantial motivating factor in proving a hate crime, not the sole factor, writes Arjun Singh Sethi, adjunct professor of law.

The Wall Street Journal: Appeals court: Maker of web spy tool can be sued for alleged wiretap violations - August 17, 2016 - A federal appeals court in Ohio has revived a lawsuit against a company accused of helping a husband spy on his wife and her online friend in violation of state and federal wiretap laws. The case is one of several in recent years to highlight the increasing presence of easy-to-use electronic spy tools in domestic life and divorce proceedings, where evidence of infidelity can carry a tremendous advantage. Mark Pickrell, adjunct professor of law and interim head of Vanderbilt Law School’s Appellate Litigation Clinic, which represents the plaintiff in the case, is quoted. The case was argued by Clayton Wiggins '16 and worked on by he and his classmates Calvin Cohen, Larry Crane-Moscowitz and Alex Vey.

Wisconsin NPR Radio interviewed Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law, about what the future of Guantanamo Bay might be under a Trump or Clinton presidency.

Washington Post: Vanderbilt University removes ‘Confederate’ from inscription at front of dorm - August 15, 2016 - Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced Monday that the university will delete the word “Confederate” from the stone pediment at the entrance to a student dormitory known as Memorial Hall. “It’s been a source of controversy, contention and disagreement and various debates over the decades,” Zeppos said. The announcement received broad coverage including stories, many of which included interviews with Chancellor Zeppos, in The Atlantic , The Wall Street Journal , Associated Press , NPR, Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education , Business Insider , The Tennessean and WPLN. In addition to the chancellor, The Tennessean story quoted Vanderbilt Student Government President Ariana Fowler. More than 550 news outlets ran the AP and broadcast stories.

The Tennessean: Judge claims media need permission to enter court - August 11, 2016 - A Nashville judge on Wednesday suggested that a reporter who had been observing her courtroom must get written permission before entering. The request goes against protections in state and federal law that make courts open to the public, and thus also the media. The judge has since clarified her position to fall in line with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 30 on media guidelines. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

NPR: ‘Guilty but mentally ill’ doesn’t protect against harsh sentences - August 3, 2016 - In light of John Hinckley Jr.’s release from a mental institution 35 years after attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, NPR’s “Shots” is exploring the use of the not guilty by reason of insanity plea, talking with legal and medical professionals about how the plea works, and how it doesn’t work. This second in the four-part series looks at how juries respond to insanity defenses. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.

NPR: The Takeaway (national) - August 3, 2016 - Kareem Crayton, visiting professor of law,was interviewed about how voter ID challenges in different states could shape the 2016 presidential election.

The Tennessean: Compensation, caseload key complaints from defense lawyers - August 2, 2016 - On Friday defense lawyers from around Tennessee spoke to members of the Tennessee Supreme Court-appointed Indigent Representation Task Force, which is on a listening tour around the state to hear ideas on how to improve the current system of providing attorneys for the poor. Rich McGee, experienced criminal defense lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, is quoted.

Urban Milwaukee: 95 percent of Wisconsin state judges are white - August 2, 2016 - Wisconsin’s state-level judiciary is the sixth whitest in the country, according to a new study called The Gavel Gap, released by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. And among states with at least 100 judges, Wisconsin is dead last in racial diversity among state judges. Study co-author Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, is quoted. George also is quoted in a related article in Toledo Legal News about judicial diversity in Ohio.

PBS NewsHour: Impact of appeals court ruling against No. Carolina voter I.D. laws - August 1, 2016 - Kareem Crayton, visiting professor of law, is interviewed about a federal appeals court decision to strike down several of North Carolina’s voting laws, ruling that they were intentionally designed to discriminate against black voters.

July 2016

Hydratext: Oral Argument (podcast) - July 25, 2016 - Timothy Meyer, professor of law, is interviewed about the impact of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union.

Law.com: A weekly look at AI in law: Not another robot lawyer, the paralegal question and customer care - July 25, 2016- The impact of artificial intelligence on the legal profession was discussed at the Legal Hackers 2016 Summit in Brooklyn, New York, on July 16. The article quotes presenter Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law, and mentions the conference on artificial intelligence held at Vanderbilt Law School in the spring.

Lilith Magazine: Mind the gap if you’re a woman returning to work - July 22, 2016 - There’s been a steadfast, if unwritten, rule that if a woman wants equal footing professionally, any information related to home life stays at home. Now, a Vanderbilt study has found data that contradicts conventional wisdom, which includes a female applicant strongly raises her chances of getting hired if she gives personal information clarifying her resume gaps. Co-authors Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, and Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, are quoted.

Legaltech News: A call to legal tech: AI is here - July 20, 2016 - Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law, is interviewed about deep machine learning—an ability for a machine to learn without being programmed to learn specific pieces of information—and its implications for the legal profession.

Markets Media: Is it time to revamp market policing? - July 19, 2016- It may be time for self-regulatory organizations to lose their limited liability so that they can improve their policing of the market, according to new research from Yesha Yadav, associate professor of law. When policymakers decided to stress competition as a governing objective of the Regulation NMS-based market, she says they lost sight of the exchanges’ responsibility to police the market. Yadav is quoted.

The Tennessean: Opinion: How is new TN Medicaid expansion plan different? - July 18, 2016- Now that Tennessee’s state legislature has released another proposal for Medicaid expansion in the state, health insurance consumers may be wondering two things: How is this plan different from Insure Tennessee, and will any of these proposals actually get implemented? The article mentions that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2012—using an argument presented by James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy—that states could opt in or out of Medicaid expansion without jeopardizing their existing funding.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson): U.S. rule makes it hard for wildlife service to crack down on Rosemont - July 18, 2016 - A little-known federal rule played a key role in killing several tough mitigation measures that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service originally wanted to impose on the proposed Rosemont Mine. Known as the “minor change” rule, it allows the wildlife service to require only minor changes in a proposed project unless the project is expected to jeopardize the existence of an endangered or threatened species. J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, is quoted.

ProPublica: Wisconsin Court: Warning Labels Are Needed for Scores Rating Defendants’ Risk of Future Crime - July 15, 2016 - The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday raised concerns about a risk assessment tool that scores criminal defendants on their likelihood of committing future crimes and is increasingly being used during sentencing. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, is quoted.

South Bend Tribune (Indiana): South Bend man’s case to test law on Facebook threats - July 15, 2016 - In an age of increasingly harsh language on social media, when does a Facebook rant turn into a crime? Even the U.S. Supreme Court has struggled to provide an answer, and now a South Bend man’s case will become the latest to test that question after he was charged with a federal crime for allegedly threatening to incite violence at a Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend. First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

WalletHub: 2016's Most and Least Energy-Expensive States - July 12, 2016 - In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use make up a larger part of the math. Energy expert, Professor Jim Rossi, is quoted.

Interchange on WFHB (Bloomington, Indiana) interviewed Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities and professor of law, about her books With Dogs at the Edge of Life, The Law is a White Dog, her upcoming memoir and on constructing criminality and negating persons.

Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, was a featured guest on Legal Talk Network’s Lawyer 2 Lawyer , providing an end-of-term wrap-up of the U.S. Supreme Court.

CNN: Who’s responsible when an autonomous car crashes? - July 8, 2016 - Electric car maker Tesla may have to deal with a lawsuit over its autopilot system after a driver got in an accident using the self-driving technology on a Florida road in May. W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management and co-director of the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics, is quoted.

Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is mentioned during a segment of Science Friday discussing crime algorithm, space junk and stem cell therapies. July 7, 2016

Legaltech News: DoNotPay AI recoups $4 mil in parking ticket appeals (subscription required) - July 7, 2016 - A simple chatbot that prepares parking ticket appeals created by 19-year-old Stanford student Joshua Browder has sparked much interest and concern in the legal community. Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: University study finds a major racial gap in state judgeship appointments - July 7, 2016 - A study co-authored by Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, and Albert H. Yoon, a professor of law and economics at the University of Toronto, has found a huge gender gap in appointments to state judgeship positions.

ABA Journal: 50 years later, Freedom of Information Act still chipping away at government’s secretive culture - July 1, 2016 - On Independence Day 50 years ago, President Lyndon Baines Johnson reluctantly signed into law the Freedom of Information Act, which he thought was terrible legislation and considered vetoing it after it was passed by Congress. Consternation over FOIA was not confined to the Oval Office. More than a dozen federal agencies actively opposed the bill and testified against it at congressional hearings. But the press and some committed members of Congress actively pushed it to fruition, writes First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law.

June 2016

Nature: Science academies blast U.S. government’s planned research-ethics reforms - June 30, 2016 - The U.S. government’s proposed overhaul of regulations that govern research with human subjects is flawed and should be withdrawn, an independent advisory panel said on Wednesday. The regulations, which are known collectively as the Common Rule, address ethical issues such as informed consent and storage of study participants’ biological specimens. Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, professor of law and health policy, is quoted.

Wisconsin NPR Radio interviewed Tracey George, professor of law and political science, on her co-authored research that shows state judges are not representative of the people they serve. The interview was conducted at VUStar, Vanderbilt’s broadcast facility.

La Prensa Latina: State judges in the U.S. do not reflect minorities according to study - June 30, 2016 - The representation of minorities among U.S. state judges lags as white men are the vast majority of these magistrates, according to a release by the American Constitutional Society. The group noted that state courts would “fail” minorities by not reflecting their communities, and that 41 of the 51 judicial powers in the country have a gap in the representation of their populations that exceeds 40 percent. Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Professor of Law and Liberty, is quoted. The story was also carried in El Tiempo Hispano .

Bloomberg BNA: Grassley considers FSIA fix, cites China National drywall suit - June 29, 2016 - A‘‘fix may be in order’’ for the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to allow suits against foreign state-owned companies, such as a contaminated drywall suit against China National Building Materials Group, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Professor of International Law, is quoted.

Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, was a guest on NPR’s On Point discussing the latest Supreme Court rulings. June 28, 2016

Nashville Public Radio reported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down two abortion restrictions in Texas that will likely have major ramifications for similar regulations in Tennessee. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, was interviewed

The Tennessean: Study: Judges in Tennessee among least diverse in nation - June 27, 2016 - According to a study co-authored by Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, Tennessee judges are among the least diverse in the nation. The article quotes George and features an interview of her produced by Vanderbilt Video. A related story was also featured in Futurity: Do state judges represent you? Check out the map

CNN interviewed Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, about a Pittsburgh TV anchor who filed a reverse discrimination lawsuit after being fired. June 27, 2016

Bloomberg BNA: Solutions afoot for curbing class action gadflies - June 24, 2016 - The most significant proposal to come out of the federal rules committee’s look at class action lawsuits seeks to curb the power objectors hold over the class settlement process. Plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys say these objectors can derail deals the parties have reached until the parties pay the objectors “greenmail” to go away. But a frequent objector says the extent of the problem is overblown. The real focus should be preventing frivolous class actions from getting traction in the first place, he says. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

American Bar Association Journal: Study finds a ‘gavel gap’ between diversity of judges and that of the populations they serve - June 24, 2016 - A study by the American Constitution Society examines demographic diversity in every state’s courts — and finds that most states are falling short. As of December 2014, the researchers concluded, more than half of sitting state court judges nationally were white males. Racial and ethnic minorities are 40 percent of the population as a whole, the article says, but 20 percent of state court judges. Women are 51 percent of the population and have been about half of law students for the past 20 years, the report says. But they’re just 30 percent of state court judges nationwide. Tracey George, coauthor of the study and Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, is quoted. A related story was aired on WSMV , Channel 4 Nashville.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Texas U. admissions can consider race, Supreme Court rules - June 24, 2016 - In a narrow victory for affirmative action, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a University of Texas program that takes account of race in deciding whom to admit, an important national decision that was cemented by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The justices’ 4-3 decision in favor of the Texas program ends an 8-year-old lawsuit that included a previous trip to the Supreme Court, filed by a white Texan who was denied admission to the university. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

Tampa Bay Times: Florida gets failing grade for gender and ethnic diversity among its judges - June 23, 2016 - Florida is one of 26 states to receive a failing grade for its gender and racial diversity, according to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a progressive legal organization. Florida ranked 29 out of 51 state court jurisdictions in the country because its judiciaries are 45 percent less diverse than the state population. The findings are referenced from “The Gavel Gap,” a new report by Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, and Albert Yoon, University of Toronto. Related stories ran in Black Legal Issues , Chippewa Herald and The Indiana Lawyer .

BuzzFeed: State courts dramatically lacking in diversity, groundbreaking report details - June 22, 2016 - In 16 states, people of color account for fewer than one in 10 state court judges, a groundbreaking report details. Despite women being more than 50 percent of the population, the report reveals that they represent only about 30 percent of the judges — a number that plays out across regions of the country. “The Gavel Gap,” a new report by Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, and Albert Yoon, University of Toronto, was released by the American Constitution Society today. The coauthors are quoted from the report.

Forbes: Opinion: Payday loans can be a lifeline for the poor—meddling bureaucrats would yank it away - June 17, 2016 - A great number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and occasionally they find themselves in desperate need of short-term credit to avoid a financial disaster. One of their options is to get a short-term advance from a “payday lender,” but newly proposed federal regulations aimed at that industry may end up hurting the borrowers. Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law, is quoted.

CNBC: So you just got a pile of cash. Here’s your next move - June 13, 2016 - Nearly nine in 10 consumers say if they were to suddenly earn or receive “millions,” they would save or invest at least a portion of that money, according to a forthcoming financial survey. Whether they stick to those vows is another matter. A 2010 study co-authored by Paige Marta Skiba, associate professor of law, that studied how lottery windfalls affected the bankruptcy rate in financially distressed winners, is referenced.

Boston Globe: Payday loans are a poor option. No payday loans would be worse - June 13, 2016 - Payday loans are often derided as “predatory.” Most Americans would never think of turning to a storefront lender in a scruffy neighborhood to borrow a few hundred dollars for two weeks at what amounts to an annualized interest rate of 400 percent or more. So, it isn’t hard to fathom why critics rail against them, and why the Obama administration wants to shut the industry down. The article referenced an opinion piece by Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law, originally published by The Conversation, which states that oversight of payday loans is necessary, but enacting rules that will decimate the payday loan industry will not solve any problems. The article was reposted by Townhall.

Law 360: Ninth Circuit throws down the gauntlet on music sampling - June 7, 2016 - When the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that Madonna wasn’t liable for copyright infringement for incorporating a 0.23-second “horn blast” from a disco song into her 1990 hit “Vogue,” it challenged a 2005 ruling from the Sixth Circuit that had effectively outlawed any unauthorized sampling whatsoever. Joseph Fishman, assistant professor of law, is quoted.

Florida Bar News: Convention program examines the balance between judicial independence and accountability - June 7, 2016 - Judges, legal scholars and a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives will take the stage in a discussion to explore the various avenues for achieving the balance between judicial independence and accountability June 16 at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in Orlando. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is mentioned as one of the featured panelists.

Huffington Post: Opinion: Ali is dead, fear is alive and free speech is being dealt a knock-out punch - June 7, 2016 - Author and attorney John Whitehead writes that as a nation, we have a tendency to sentimentalize cultural icons, like Muhammad Ali, in death in a way that renders them nonthreatening, antiseptic and easily digested by a society with an acute intolerance for anything controversial, politically incorrect or marred by imperfection. Whitehead includes a quote from First Amendment expert David Hudson, adjunct professor of law.

Nashville Scene: The winds surrounding the TVA, they are a-changin’. Is the TVA losing its relevancy? - June 2, 2016 - Nearly all of Tennessee is in TVA country, meaning that a federal entity put in place during the Great Depression to bring cheap energy and jobs to poor rural areas still dictates which energy sources are tapped for our electricity. But as more customers demand alternate forms of energy, the TVA now finds itself caught in the winds of change. Jim Rossi, professor of law, is quoted.

May 2016

The Street: Study: For women re-entering workforce, it pays to be transparent - May 31, 2016 - Should women coming back into the workforce reveal marital status or information about their child-care responsibilities during a job interview? A new study says they should. Co-authors Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, and Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, are quoted. Shinall also is interviewed in a featured video produced by The Street. A related article appeared in Univision .

The News Journal (Delaware): Proposed bill aims to balance shareholder rights; judicial resources - May 31, 2016 - A proposed change to Delaware’s corporate statutes is generating controversy with some claiming the bill would save judicial resources at the expense of plaintiffs’ rights. House Bill 371 would restrict the number of corporate shareholders who can petition the court for a stock appraisal to only those who own $1 million or more of a company’s stock or 1 percent of the outstanding shares, depending on which is less. The article mentions research by Randall S. Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business.

Bloomberg: Clinton lurks in shadows when sparring with Sanders on banks - May 26, 2016 - The shadow-banking industry is a campaign issue only a wonk could love, ideal for Hillary Clinton’s preference for bulleted policy briefs. But it’s more than just a way to avoid talking about banks. Clinton and Bernie Sanders stand on two sides of an argument among regulators and academics over what caused the last financial crisis and how to avoid the next one. Sanders is focused on how financial institutions are structured. Clinton is looking at how they are funded. Associate Professor of Law Morgan Ricks, who was a senior policy adviser at the Treasury Department in 2009 and 2010, is quoted.

BillMoyers.com: The legal system uses an algorithm that’s biased against blacks to predict recidivism - May 26, 2016 - This reprint of an article from ProPublica examines the racial biases of computer-generated risk assessments, which are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system. Christopher Slobogin , Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Bloomberg: Stop telling women to shut up about their kids during job interviews - May 24, 2016 - If you heed the wisdom of career experts on the Internet, talking about your kids during a job interview is a bad idea. It gives employers a reason to discriminate, especially against mothers who are presumed to have less than unlimited time to devote to their jobs. But there’s new evidence from Vanderbilt University that keeping the kids out of the job interview is harming some of the most vulnerable women in the U.S. workforce. Study co-author Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, is quoted. Both Shinall and fellow co-author Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, are mentioned in a related article in Inc. magazine. The research also appears in articles in New York Magazine , Deadspin , Business News Daily, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Washington), ANI Glamour and Working Mother .

Mother Jones: The legal system uses an algorithm to predict if people might be future criminals. It’s biased against blacks - May 24, 2016 - This reprint of an article from ProPublica examines the racial biases of computer-generated risk assessments, which are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

NPR’s On Point interviewed Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, about how women re-entering the workforce should talk about their child-care gap during job interviews. May 23, 2016

Slate: If you left the workforce to have children, it’s better to say so in a job interview - May 20, 2016 - For women who step away from the workforce to have children, trying to return can come with anxieties. First and foremost: Do you ignore the résumé gap? Camouflage it with part-time or volunteer commitments? Pre-empt any questions by just telling the truth? A straightforward explanation is not only the simplest option but also the best one, according to a study by two Vanderbilt Law School economists. Co-authors Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, and Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, are quoted. A related article in Marie Claire features a video interview with Hersch and Shinall produced by Vanderbilt Video. The research also appears in articles in the Daily Mail (U.K.), Science Daily , Workplace Diva , Psych Central and The Economic Times (India).

ProPublica: Machine bias: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks - May 20, 2016 - Risk assessments created by computer programs are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation. They are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system, from assigning bond amounts to even more fundamental decisions about defendants’ freedom. ProPublica obtained the risk scores assigned to more than 7,000 people arrested in Broward County, Florida, in 2013 and 2014, and found the scores proved remarkably unreliable in forecasting violent crime. They also reflect significant racial disparities. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Knoxville News Sentinel (Tennessee): Tenn. task force looks at how best to provide legal representation to the state’s poor - May 20, 2016 - The chairman of a state task force created in the wake of a failed effort to convince legislators to shell out more money for attorneys protecting the legal rights of the poor has already labeled as “dead on arrival” any future bid for funding. Susan Kay, clinical professor of law and associate dean for clinical affairs, is mentioned as one of the members of the task force.

The New York Times: A child care gap in the résumé: Whether to explain or not - May 19, 2016 - For women hoping to return to the workplace after caring for their children, the advice is often “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Many women who described themselves as stay-at-home mothers can attest to receiving denigrating nods and hasty rebuffs when pressed about their resume gaps. But according to a new study by Vanderbilt researchers Joni Hersch, professor of law and economics, and Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, women may be better off explaining their decision to stay home to a potential employer upfront. A related story was also posted by Futurity.

STAT: Scientists fight Obama plan to require patient consent to use blood, biopsies in research - May 16, 2016 - Scientists are warning that a new proposal by the Obama administration could stifle medical research and undermine major initiatives being pursued by the White House. The controversial provision would require researchers to obtain consent from patients to use almost all biospecimens—blood samples, tumor biopsies and organ tissue—even when those samples do not include information that could be used to identify the patients. Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law, is quoted.

Shape: Opinion: Why America hates fat women, the feminist take - May 16, 2016 - Vanessa Friedman writes that “as a feminist who realizes that my issues as a privileged white woman are merely the tip of the problematic iceberg, and as an optimistic human who hopes we can one day treat each other and ourselves with kindness, I am deeply invested in talking about American society’s problem with fat women.” The article mentions a Vanderbilt study by Professor Jennifer Shinall that found overweight women earn less money than thinner women and all men.

Associated Press: Arrest of Tennessee children exposes flawed juvenile justice - May 13, 2016 - A Tennessee police officer tried to prevent the arrests that would embroil his department in a national furor over policing in schools, but his colleagues and supervisors refused to change course. They insisted on arresting children as young as 9 years old at their elementary school and took them away—two in handcuffs—to a juvenile detention center as the school day came to an end. Terry Maroney, professor of law and co-director of the George Barrett Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt, is quoted.

The Tennessean: How can public defenders refuse cases? - May 12, 2016 - Assistant public defenders in Williamson County have temporarily stopped taking on new cases, but isn’t it their job to represent everyone who cannot afford a lawyer? Though public defenders offices are publicly funded law firms tasked with taking on people charged with crimes who cannot pay for lawyers themselves, experts say those offices are not obligated to take on every case. Terry Maroney, professor of law and co-director of the George Barrett Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt, is quoted.

Science Daily: Panic-proofing, not preventing bubbles, should be focus of U. S. financial policy - May 11, 2016 - Complicated new regulations added to complicated old regulations won’t protect the United States’ financial system from frightening crashes like that experienced in 2008, says a Vanderbilt professor who helped the Obama administration pull the financial sector out of that morass. Morgan Ricks, associate professor of law and author of The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation (The University of Chicago Press), is quoted.

Associated Press: Report raises questions about Murfreesboro arrests at school - May 6, 2016 - A new report raises more questions about why Murfreesboro, Tennessee, police arrested children between the ages of 9 and 12, with some of them handcuffed, at their elementary school last month. Terry Maroney, professor of law and of medicine, health and society, is quoted.

The Nashville Ledger (Tennessee): Why is Tennessee’s bankruptcy rate so high? - May 5, 2016 - Tennessee led the nation in bankruptcy filings last year with 36,052 filings – more than twice the national average. Several factors contribute to the state’s high filing rate. Larry Ahern, adjunct professor of law, is quoted. Ahern is quoted in a related story posted by The Nashville Ledger : “More money means bigger bankruptcy problems.”

Washington Post: What ever happened to Cohen, of Cohen v. California? - May 5, 2016 - David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, interviews Paul Robert Cohen of Cohen v. California, a famous 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with freedom of speech.

International Criminal Justice Today: Opinion: The ICC is indispensable to a Syria solution - May 4, 2016 - Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law, and his fellow members of the American Bar Association’s International Criminal Court (ICC) Project Board of Advisors write that the ICC is a permanent and central part of the international landscape and should be a part of any effort to combat impunity in Syria.

USA Today: Murfreesboro child arrests part of a growing national concern; The Tennessean: Arrest of young kids not isolated to Murfreesboro case - May 3, 2016 - Shock reverberated through Middle Tennessee in April when Murfreesboro police arrested 10 elementary-age students for not stopping a fight that occurred off campus days earlier. But when it comes to the arrests of young children in Tennessee, what happened in Murfreesboro is not an isolated incident. Terry Maroney, professor of law and of medicine, health and society, is quoted. The article also appeared in the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro).

The Tennessean: For Vanderbilt's Nicholas Zeppos, student deaths weigh heaviest - May 2, 2016 - "It's really the worst thing to happen," says Chancellor and Professor of Law Nicholas Zeppos, who has been Vanderbilt's chancellor for eight years.

April 2016

Vox: The Credibility Trap: Why does a long-debunked theory keep leading the US into war? - April 29, 2016 - If you have experienced even a few minutes of cable news coverage or handful of newspaper op-eds on American foreign policy, there is a word you will have encountered: credibility. A 2014 Harvard Law Review essay by Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law, is referenced.

USA Today: Juror’s objection on race leads to new trial - April 27, 2016 - At the start of a trial earlier this month, a juror stood up to tell the judge he did not think that two black men should face a jury without black members. The juror’s words to Judge Cheryl Blackburn of Davidson County Criminal Court earlier this month — confirmed by lawyers and others present in the courtroom — led to the delay of a trial and brought Nashville into a growing national discussion about the diversity of juries. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted. The story also ran in The Tennessean on April 26.

The Tennessean: Nashville juror’s objection on race leads to new trial - April 26, 2016 - When a juror stood up and told Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn earlier this month that he did not think it was right for two black men to face a jury with no black members on it, it led to the delay of the trial and brought Nashville into a growing national discussion about the diversity of juries. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

The Atlantic: What is driving America’s financial woes? - April 22, 2016 - The publication’s May issue addresses why so many Americans are struggling to remain financially solvent. Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law, is featured as one of the experts and discusses how alternative financial services, such as payday loans, installment loans and auto-title loans, have made an impact.

The Tennessean: When should kids be accountable by law? - April 20, 2016 - The exact legal justification for the arrest of Murfreesboro elementary school students remains hard to understand, especially without specifics in the case, which have not been released by police, experts say. On Friday, Murfreesboro police handcuffed and arrested as many as 10 children ranging in age from 6 to 11 years old on allegations they failed to stop a fight that happened off school grounds. Terry Maroney, professor of law and of medicine, health and society, is quoted. Maroney also is quoted in a related article in the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro).

The Blaze: Should prisoners be permitted to have Facebook accounts? - April 18, 2016 - Texas policymakers are currently debating whether prisoners should be allowed to have Facebook pages following a new rule the Lone Star State implemented, which further limits inmates’ access to social media. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Washington Post: Why Popular Sovereignty requires the due process of law to challenge “irrational or arbitrary” statutes - April 18, 2016 - Recently, the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and the Institute for Justice held a faculty colloquium on “Is the Rational Basis Test Unconstitutional?” Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is mentioned as one of the presenters.

The Christian Science Monitor: Why concern about race relations has jumped – for whites and blacks - April 15, 2016 - Americans both black and white, Republican and Democrat are increasingly worried about race relations, a poll shows. But the reasons could be different. Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, is quoted.

Nashville Business Journal: Nashville attorneys, meet your next (robotic) co-worker - April 12, 2016 - Andrew Arruda, CEO and co-founder of Ross Intelligence, a Canadian company which has partnered with IBM Watson (of Jeopardy fame) to create an artificially intelligent attorney, is among a roster of speakers appearing at a two-day conference that begins Wednesday at Vanderbilt Law School. The event—titled “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine?”—will focus on the emergence of technology in the legal industry.

Bustle: 5 distressing graphs about equal pay that you absolutely have to see - April 12, 2016 - When there’s a specific day of the year to celebrate when a woman will finally have made the same amount of money a man earned in the year before, you know things aren’t quite right in the world. Equal Pay Day is meant to highlight the statistic that a woman makes 78 cents to a man’s dollar in the United States. Research by Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, is mentioned.

The Guardian (U.K.): Alaska may abandon criminal verdict behind longer sentences for mentally ill - April 4, 2016 - Since the 1980s, Alaskan inmates deemed “guilty but mentally ill” have not been eligible for parole—leading to sentences up to three times longer than what a “sane” person would face for the same crime. But now the state is considering junking the “guilty but mentally ill” verdict. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

March 2016

The Hindu (India): Focus on local demand to win WTO solar dispute, says Timothy Meyer - March 28, 2016 - India may succeed in its solar dispute with the U.S. at the World Trade Organization if it takes steps to develop its manufacturing capacity to serve domestic demand that is not addressed by global companies. Timothy Meyer, professor of law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: DOE agrees to involvement in Clean Line transmission project - March 28, 2016 - The Department of Energy on Friday said it will participate in a first-of-its-kind partnership with a Houston company to develop a $2.5 billion wind energy superhighway from the Oklahoma Panhandle to the southeastern United States. Jim Rossi , professor of law, is quoted.

The Washington Post:
Hulk Hogan’s $140.1 million KO in courtroom could have ‘chilling effect’ on media - March 22, 2016 - Former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s $115 million jury award as a result of his invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media could have deeper implications for the debate between the public’s right to know (and the media’s right to report) and an individual’s right to privacy. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

San Francisco Chronicle: New film recounts Thurgood Marshall’s role in sensational Greenwich case - March 19, 2016 - The story of a sensational criminal case that rocked Greenwich and southern Connecticut is now being filmed for the big screen. The original drama played out in 1941, a rape trial that pitted a Greenwich socialite and a black chauffeur against each other on the witness stand in a Bridgeport courtroom. Representing the driver was a crusading young lawyer named Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Supreme Court justice and a monumental figure in the civil rights era. Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law and history, is quoted.

The Tennessean: ‘Scalia-isms’ appear in Nashville records case - March 18, 2016 - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s standout style of writing is making the rounds, and it’s come to Nashville. The justice’s colorful prose—including his infamous phrase “jiggery-pokery”—is quoted in a Tennessee case that pitted public records law versus rules that dictate how court evidence should be handled before trials. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, who is a former clerk to Justice Scalia, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Opinion: Erin Andrews trial made public access an issue - March 13, 2016 - Inside the Nashville courtroom where Erin Andrews fought for a monetary judgment big enough to send a message about hotel safety, another legal dispute flared. It was about keeping the public outside. More specifically, keeping the media out of Judge Hamilton Gayden’s courtroom. Over the course of the two-week trial, reporters were shut out of jury selection when they should not have been. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

BioScience: Will a Supreme Court challenge set back efforts to diversify STEM in academia? - March 10, 2016 - The legality of racial preference in university admissions is in limbo after the Supreme Court decided to rehear Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case that challenged the university’s use of race in determining acceptance. In light of the growing efforts by universities to increase racial and ethnic diversity in STEM fields, will the case set back the progress that has been made? Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

The Tennessee Tribune (Nashville): Who will replace Supreme Court Judge Scalia? - March 10, 2016 - Nashville’s Chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Napier-Looby Bar Association recently held a panel discussion about the process of picking a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Panelists Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, and Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor of law, are quoted.

Forbes: The brain gets its day in court - March 1, 2016 - A recent study of nearly 1,600 judicial opinions documenting the expanding use of brain science in the criminal-justice system, found that the number of judicial opinions that mention neuroscientific evidence more than doubled between 2005 and 2012. Owen Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law and professor of biological sciences, is quoted.

Memphis Commercial Appeal: Appeals court imposes rare sanctions, rejects Memphis appeal in brutality case - March 1, 2016 - The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 14-page ruling released Monday it was sanctioning the city and an MPD patrolman $1,500 each in connection with police brutality allegations filed by two former University of Memphis football players beaten near Beale Street in 2011. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, and Alistair Newbern, associate clinical professor of law, are quoted.

NPR’s Here & Now : How newcomers are changing Tennessee - March 1, 2016 - As part of its Super Tuesday coverage, host Jeremy Hobson interviewed Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, about the changing political landscape in the state.

February 2016

New Yorker: Courting business - February 29, 2016 - As a member of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, Justice Antonin Scalia played a key role in moving American law in a more corporate-friendly direction. Now that majority is gone, and a huge amount rides on what happens next. Professor of Law Brian T. Fitzpatrick, who once clerked for Scalia, is quoted.

Forbes: USA beats India in WTO; rematch possible - February 29, 2016 - In a case filed by the Obama administration, a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel ruled that India’s requirement that companies that sell solar power to the government use only domestically made parts and components unfairly discriminated against American manufacturers. Timothy Meyer, professor of law, is quoted.

Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, was a featured guest on MSNBCs live broadcast on the eve of Super Tuesday elections discussing the topics of early voting turnout and voters’ responses to notable endorsements of presidential candidates.

The Christian Science Monitor: How the United States just undermined India’s local solar energy program - February 26, 2016 - The World Trade Organization dealt a damaging blow to India’s solar panel industry Wednesday, and the ruling only came about because the United States complained. A Vanderbilt University study by Professor Timothy Meyer, Enterprise Scholar, about the U.S.’s renewable energy programs is referenced. Meyer is quoted.

On Point with Tom Ashbrook (national) interviewed Mike Newton, professor of the practice of law, regarding President Obama’s plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. LISTEN

Florida Today (Brevard County): Florida Tech holds free speech celebration - February 24, 2016 - Florida Tech is celebrating the First Amendment with an annual series of events designed to highlight the importance of free speech. Part of the event featured an address by David Hudson, an adjunct professor of law who has written more than 30 books, including several on the First Amendment. Hudson is quoted.

Think Progress: Why Sony doesn’t want to let Kesha out of her contract with her alleged abuser - February 24, 2016 - On Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich declined to grant Kesha Rose Sebert a preliminary injunction that would liberate her from her contract with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. Sebert has been trying to get out of her contract with Sony since 2014; she alleges she suffered years of rape and abuse, as well as unfair business proceedings, by Gottwald. Entertainment attorney Suzanne Kessler, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

BBC News interviewed Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, about how presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign will be affected by his response to the pope’s criticism of his stance on immigration issues.

The Guardian (U.K.): Scalia’s death casts uncertainty on major court challenge to legal marijuana - February 17, 2016 - The sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has thrown a wrench into one of the most significant legal challenges of marijuana legalization in the U.S. The death of the staunch conservative judge on Saturday could be a boost to advocates of legal pot in Colorado—which is facing a potential threat at the Supreme Court. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: Forecast for enviro cases: Murky with a chance of deadlocks - February 16, 2016 - With the Supreme Court having eight sitting justices divided evenly among ideological lines in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, it won’t be easy to secure majority opinions. If the court splits 4-4, it upholds a lower court decision without setting a precedent. But while that might happen in hot-button cases this term dealing with issues like immigration and affirmative action, it’s less clear whether the court will divide evenly along ideological lines in some pending environmental cases. Jim Rossi, professor of law, is quoted.

Associated Press: Scalia’s death means loss of key vote in divided cases - February 15, 2016 - Justice Antonin Scalia’s death deprives conservatives of a key vote that could change the outcome in some major Supreme Court cases, including one in which labor unions appeared headed for a big defeat. Brian T. Fitzpatrick , professor of law and former law clerk for Justice Scalia, is quoted in the article and in a related one in Bloomberg . Fitzpatrick also is quoted extensively in NPR , MSNBC , Business Insider and The Tennessean about what it was like working with Scalia. Also, Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted in a Yahoo! News article about what Scalia’s death means for pending Supreme Court decisions.

MSNBC, Yahoo! News , NPR Weekend Edition and WKRN , Channel 2, interviewed Brian T. Fitzpatrick, professor of law, about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Fitzpatrick worked as a law clerk for Justice Scalia. 

Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, was interviewed on CNN’s Smerconish show about parents in Virginia being outraged after students were shown a racially divisive cartoon, also referred to as “white guilt,” for Black History Month.

Bloomberg BNA: Injecting rationalism into the artificial intelligence discussion - February 12, 2016 - Vanderbilt University Law School is hosting a conference billed as the first legal conference on the topic of artificial intelligence titled, “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine.” The event is geared toward explaining how AI is affecting legal practitioners, and is set for April 13 – 14. Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Bloomberg BNA: 12th Cir. on horizon? Breaking up 9th Cir. hard to do - February 10, 2016 - Breaking up the Ninth Circuit as proposed by Arizona politicians wouldn’t be as simple as the division of the Fifth Circuit and the resulting creation of the Eleventh were in 1981, according to law professors and former Ninth Circuit clerks. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted extensively throughout the article.

Bloomberg BNA: Class Action Litigation Report: More judges scrutinizing class claims data? If so, so what? - February 5, 2016 - A California judge recently asked for data on claims rates before she would approve a class settlement over defective brakes in Nissan vehicles. She might be on to something big. This is not a common practice among judges in class actions, but maybe it should be. Attorneys on both sides of the class action bar say the move for transparency could have unexpected consequences. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

Nashville Scene: Sentenced without a trial - February 4, 2016 - Three Somali brothers from Middle Tennessee, accused of participating in an organized crime ring, have served between two and four years in a federal jail, but they have yet to face a jury. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted. 

Los Angeles Review of Books: On killing dogs - February 2, 2016 - With Dogs at the Edge of Life, a new book by Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, professor of American studies and professor of law, is reviewed.

Arkansas Business: Facebook posts raise questions for employers - February 1, 2016 - The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled in December that a woman who was fired for posting “arguably” critical comments about her employer on Facebook could receive unemployment benefits. It’s the latest decision in an escalating legal war between employment and social media. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

January 2016

The Christian Science Monitor: Could Barack Obama become a Supreme Court justice? - January 28, 2016 - At a political event in Iowa, an audience member asked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton whether she would nominate President Obama for a role on the Supreme Court. Clinton responded by saying the president would make a great Supreme Court justice. So, could President Barack Obama become the next Supreme Court justice? Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted. Related stories were posted by The National Law Journal (subscription required) and Australia Network News.

Greenwire: Supreme Court’s FERC opinion offers clues about next big case - January 27, 2016 - Energy experts are mining a major Supreme Court decision issued yesterday for clues about what it could mean for another high-stakes energy market case pending before the justices. Both cases hinge on federal versus state management of power markets. Professor of Law Jim Rossi, who coauthored an amicus brief calling on the court to back FERC’s authority, is quoted. Subscription may be required to view the story.

Washington Post: Supreme Court: Life sentences on juveniles open for later reviews - January 26, 2016 - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that those sentenced as teenagers to mandatory life imprisonment for murder must have a chance to argue that they be released from prison. The ruling expanded the court’s 2012 decision that struck down mandatory life terms without parole for juveniles and said it must be applied retroactively to what juvenile advocates estimate are 1,200 to 1,500 cases. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: FERC emboldened by Supreme Court victory - January 25, 2016 - A landmark Supreme Court opinion issued Monday underscored the government’s power to regulate an evolving electric grid. In a 6-2 opinion, the high court sided with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by reviving the agency’s contentious “demand-response” rule aimed at encouraging energy conservation. Professor of Law Jim Rossi, who co-authored an amicus brief calling on the court to back FERC’s authority, is quoted.

Fresno Bee (California): YouthBuild lauded for keeping Fresno students from repeat offenses - January 25, 2016 - Fresno students who were incarcerated and enrolled in the nonprofit education and job skills program YouthBuild are highly unlikely to relapse into criminal behavior, according to a report released Thursday. The article mentions Mark Cohen, Justin Potter Professor of American Competitive Enterprise and professor of law, who has studied the YouthBuild model.

Federalist Society: Mike Lewis Memorial Teleforum—Defining the Laws of War, podcast - January 19, 2016 - Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law, joins a panel of experts to critique the Department of Defense Manual. Does it provide the guidance necessary to troops on the ground, commanders, and all actors in between? How does it address modern warfare, terrorism, and asymmetrical war? How does it define lawful and unlawful belligerents? What does it say about interrogation and detention?

Bloomberg BNA: Tax cases going into 2016 cause concern for estate planners - January 14, 2016 - A number of estate tax cases could be decided in 2016, addressing what constitutes a “gift” for tax purposes and assessing the way the IRS contests the transfer of nonvoting stock to a grantor trust. Jerome M. Hesch, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: No news may be good news for FERC in grid case (subscription required) - January 14, 2016 - After the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over a major energy conservation rule in October, supporters of the regulation were anxious. Their fear: A divided court would act swiftly to reject a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “demand-response” rule requiring power users to be paid for committing to scale back electricity use at times of peak demand. But the passage of weeks and then months with no decision could be a signal that the justices will do more than simply kill the regulation. Jim Rossi, professor of law, is quoted.

Yahoo Politics: Is Ted Cruz ineligible for the presidency? - January 14, 2016 - As Ted Cruz overtook real estate mogul Donald Trump in Iowa polls earlier this month, his rival tossed a political bombshell at the Texas senator. Trump began questioning whether Cruz is eligible to be president at all, given that he was born in Canada. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

Boston Review: Colin Dayan’s ethics without reason - January 12, 2016 - With Dogs at the Edge of Life, a new book by Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, professor of American studies and professor of law, is reviewed.

Salon: Perjury USA: Rampant police lying taints criminal justice system nationwide - January 7, 2016 - Misplaced trust in law enforcement can lead to injustice, as evidenced by the Chicago police who witnessed Officer Jason Van Dyke kill Laquan McDonald in a hail of sixteen bullets but then lied to cover it up. According to civil rights attorneys, this type of systemic police lying is a nationwide problem. The article cites research by Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Some state companies find opportunity in growing market for legal marijuana - January 4, 2016 - The rapidly growing marijuana industry—legal to some degree in much of the country—is providing a still-small but potentially fertile bed of opportunity for companies in Wisconsin and other states where the drug remains outlawed. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

December 2015

The Washington Times: Obama administration tells Supreme Court to reject pot suit brought against Colorado by Nebraska, Oklahoma - December 17, 2015 - The Obama administration has advised the Supreme Court not to take on a legal challenge brought against Colorado’s lax marijuana laws by neighboring states Nebraska and Oklahoma. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune (California): Top fed lawyer urges SCOTUS to not hear Colorado marijuana lawsuit
The U.S. government has taken Colorado’s side in a dispute with neighboring states over marijuana legalization and is urging the Supreme Court not to hear a major challenge to the state’s recreational cannabis laws. Robert Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

Chronicle of Higher Education: 10 revealing tidbits we found in football coaches’ contracts - December 17, 2015 - Compensation for big-time college football coaches has more than doubled in the past decade, with increasingly generous perks. But few incentives in their contracts are tied to academics, despite many NCAA and college leaders’ insistence that the sport has an educational foundation. Those are among the findings from a Vanderbilt University study of employment agreements at more than 100 major college programs. The co-authors Randall S. Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business, and Larry Van Horn, associate professor of management, law and health policy, are mentioned.

Inside Higher Ed: Review: A dog’s life - December 16, 2015 - Scott McLemee, intellectual affairs columnist for Inside Higher Ed, reviews With Dogs at the Edge of Life by Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, professor of American studies and professor of law.

Bloomberg Radio interviewed James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, about how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a case challenging affirmative action in university admissions.

Voice of America: Investigators: Shooters planned California attack for a year - December 9, 2015 - Investigators say the husband and wife who killed 14 people in Southern California last week planned the attack for as long as a year. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted about Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: Justices will get no satisfaction with a new ‘one person, one vote’ rule - December 8, 2015 - At the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the justices struggled over the meaning of the 1960s-era “one person, one vote” rule. Should Texas legislative districts contain an equal number of people—as they do now—or an equal number of eligible voters, as the plaintiffs in Evenwel vs. Abbott demand? Ultimately, the justices may have no choice but to heed some other words written in the 1960s: You can’t always get what you want, writes Richard L. Hasen, professor of law and political science at University of California, Irvine. He mentions a forthcoming paper by Paul Edelman, professor of mathematics and law.

New York Times Magazine: How will the Supreme Court rule on Affirmative Action? - December 8, 2015 - It’s been a season of attention to racial inequality on American college campuses. Across the country minority students and their supporters have channeled the spirit of Black Lives Matter and demanded more. The Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, may be poised to make them settle for less, in the most basic form: fewer seats in the future entering college and university classes. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted. A related story ran in Powerline , in which James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, was mentioned.

Voice of America: Could U.S. legally bar Muslims from country? - December 8, 2015 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump set off a political firestorm Monday when he called for at least temporarily barring Muslims from entering the United States—even U.S. citizens trying to return from travels outside the country. Earlier, fellow GOP candidate Ted Cruz proposed accepting for U.S. resettlement only those Syrian refugees who are Christian. But could the nation’s chief executive legitimately order such actions, even with congressional approval? Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, was interviewed on CNN’s Smerconish show about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks about the role of political correctness in last week’s San Bernardino shooting.

Carol Swain was interviewed on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine (national) about profiling and President Obama’s remarks on terrorism.

Bloomberg Radio interviewed Ingrid Wuerth, professor of law, about the U.S. Supreme Court’s first decision of its new term, which ruled a California woman cannot sue Austria’s state-owned national railway system in U.S. courts over an injury she suffered while boarding a train.

November 2015

Epoch Times: FAA seeks to push through drone registry in time for Christmas - November 30, 2015 - The Federal Aviation Agency, notorious for its delays in rolling out drone regulation, plans to create a mandatory registration system for consumer drones that will go in effect by mid-December—just in time for the expected deluge of new drone purchases for Christmas. Kevin Stack, professor of law, is quoted.

Washington Post: D.C. court considers how to screen out ‘bad science’ in local trials - November 24, 2015 - The D.C. Court of Appeals on Tuesday will consider whether to change the rules for how judges admit expert witnesses—a courtroom procedural matter that can have major implications for criminal trials and civil product-liability lawsuits. If the court decides to switch to the standard used in most states and in federal courtrooms, local judges would be given a more robust role in filtering the evidence juries weigh at trial. Professor of Law Edward Cheng, who holds the Tarkington Chair in Teaching Excellence, is quoted.

Nashville Public Radio interviewed Ingrid Wuerth, professor of law, about Gov. Bill Haslam’s joining other GOP lawmakers in a move asking federal officials to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees to Tennessee following the Paris terrorist attacks.

Mic: How Iowa became the new battleground for African hair braiders - November 13, 2015 - Iowa has become the latest battleground in a decades-long showdown over African hair braiding, as two plaintiffs sue the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences in an effort to loosen licensing requirements for women who braid hair. Rebecca Haw Allensworth, associate professor of law, is quoted.

Foreign Policy: To close Guantánamo, Obama will have to test the limits of presidential power - November 12, 2015 - The White House is soon expected to unveil its long-delayed plan to close the Guantánamo prison—a package that will include options for transferring the remaining detainees to high-security prisons in Colorado, Kansas or South Carolina and an assessment of the related costs and logistics. Ingrid Wuerth, professor of law, is mentioned.

America Tonight on Al Jazeera America (national) interviewed James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, regarding student law school debt and the worth of a law school education. The interview was conducted at VUStar, Vanderbilt’s campus broadcast facility.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts): Ruling in Worcester case makes it tough for cities to curb panhandling - November 12, 2015 - A judge’s ruling Monday that two Worcester ordinances on panhandling violated free speech rights came as no surprise to several lawyers familiar with First Amendment issues. Rather, attorneys suggested the surprise will be if any similar ordinances survive. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Libertarian Republic: Opinion: Federal bureaucrats find ‘superhighway’ around 4th, 5th Amendments - November 12, 2015 - The courts’ interpretations of the Constitution have allowed federal agencies to demand everything from Social Security numbers to medical records without a judge’s prior approval, so long as the information is “relevant” to the agency’s work. Christopher Slobogin , Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Phys.org: Study cites gap between theory and practice in natural resource management - November 11, 2015 - Natural resource agencies have embraced an approach known as adaptive management to adjust and refine their management plans in the face of uncertainties caused by climate change and the functioning of complex ecosystems. But a paper co-written by an Indiana University law professor finds that agencies often apply adaptive management in ways that fail to promote learning. The study, being published by the journal Conservation Biology and available online, is co-authored by J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law.

The Herald (Scotland): Opinion: Another 54 years to reach parity? How depressing. It’s time to end the gender pay gap - November 11, 2015 - It is more than four decades since the Equal Pay Act was introduced in the United Kingdom, yet campaigners predict that at current rates it will take at least another 54 years to reach parity. In this opinion piece, columnist Susan Swarbrick mentions research by Jennifer Shinall, assistant professor of law, regarding earning disparity of women based on their weight.

The Atlantic: Borrowing while poor - November 5, 2015 - The market for quick, small loans has long been inadequate. Because banks would rather lend $50,000 than $500, and tend to require strong credit histories to borrow at all, the options for families that are down and out, or a bit behind on their bills, are limited. Paige Skiba, professor of law, is quoted.

October 2015

New York Times: Arbitration everywhere, stacking the deck of justice - October 31, 2015 - By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express have devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits—realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

San Diego Jewish World: Novelist predicts war, chaos in wake of climate change - October 31, 2015 - The Heatstroke Line, a new climate-fiction (or cli-fi) novel by Edward Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, is reviewed.

Christian Science Monitor: Prayer at one Washington school: Religious freedom on the 50-yard line? - October 30, 2015 - At the 50-yard line of the high school football field, a battle is brewing over the meaning of the First Amendment. The Bremerton School District in Washington State put assistant varsity football coach Joe Kennedy on paid administrative leave this week after he failed to comply with directives to stop overt public displays of religion on the field while on duty. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

Environment & Energy News: Supreme Court’s challenge: Fit new grid into old law - October 22, 2015 - In a move that surprised energy experts, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear at least two cases this year that deal with how to regulate evolving electricity markets. It’s an unusual amount of attention being paid by the high court to complex energy policies, and many attribute the heightened scrutiny to the rapidly changing nature of the grid and electricity markets. Jim Rossi, professor of law, is quoted.

Nature: Courage of conviction - October 21, 2015 - As a result of rapid technical advancements, neuroscience and other scientific disciplines are poised to bring more researchers into courtrooms. That presents scientists with an opportunity for well-compensated public service, but it can be a double-edged sword. The demands of the courtroom can be exasperating and sometimes even threaten professional reputations. Owen Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Experts say longer sentences don’t reduce crime - October 19, 2015 - Sending someone to prison longer is no indication they’ll be less likely to commit a crime once they’re released, and longer sentences don’t dissuade others from committing that crime, experts told Tennessee lawmakers Monday. Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law Christopher Slobogin, one of six people to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, is quoted.

The Guardian (United Kingdom): US tank enters ruined Afghan hospital putting ‘war crime’ evidence at risk - October 18, 2015 - Afghan hospital officials say ‘forced entry’ by a U.S. military vehicle – later said to be carrying investigators into the October 3 airstrike that killed 22 patients and staff – caused stress and fear, which prompted warnings that the U.S. military may have destroyed evidence in a potential war crimes investigation. Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law, is quoted.

Mic: Cockpit crew questioned legality of orders to bomb Afghan Doctors Without Borders hospital - October 18, 2015 - The world is calling into question the legality of a U.S. airstrike that killed at least 22 staff and patients at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3. To make matters worse for the U.S., the cockpit crew tasked with carrying out the airstrike actually questioned the legality of the order, according to NBC Nightly News. Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law, is quoted.

Greenwire: Backers of energy-saving rule fret over policy’s legal fate - October 15, 2015 - This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the legality of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “demand-response” rule requiring power users to be paid for committing to scale back electricity use at times of peak demand. Backers of a major energy conservation rule — including one of its biggest champions — are nervous about the regulation’s fate. Jim Rossi, professor of law, is quoted. (subscription may be required)

Nashville Scene: With confirmation hearings running far behind, Tennessee’s federal judicial nominees are left to cool their heels - October 15, 2015 - There are 29 nominees across the country currently awaiting confirmation to federal judgeships by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate—31, if you count two awaiting future vacancies. And that doesn’t even touch the total of 67 empty seats, according to the American Bar Association. Meanwhile the Senate has confirmed just seven nominees this calendar year—a rate so slow it can only be compared to the Eisenhower administration 60 years ago. Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty, is quoted. A related story appeared in The Nashville Post .

The Guardian: Doctors Without Borders bombing: Can it be prosecuted as a war crime? - October 9, 2015 - The aid group’s president has called the airstrike on its Afghan hospital ‘an attack on the Geneva conventions,’ and if the US military did not give the hospital warning of the strike it would indeed be a violation of international law. Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law, is quoted.

Daily Caller: House bill lets bureaucrats read your email without a warrant - October 9, 2015 - A bill before Congress that politicians on both sides of the aisle in Washington praise for strengthening civil liberties may actually protect Internet giants like Google and hand federal bureaucrats the power to subpoena every American’s email without first getting a judge’s approval. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Duetsche Welle (Germany): Kunduz airstrike highlights systemic problems in US targeting - October 8, 2015 - Doctors Without Borders says the bombing of its hospital was a war crime, while the United States says it was a tragic mistake. The loss of civilian life is often the consequence of systemic problems in how strikes are conducted. Michael Newton, professor of the practice of law, is quoted.

New York Times: A shifting approach to saving endangered species - October 7, 2015 - For conservation to succeed, some environmentalists argue, it must work on a larger scale, focusing not on preserving single species in small islands of wilderness but on large landscapes and entire ecosystems, and the benefits that nature provides to humans. J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and director of the energy, environment and land use program at Vanderbilt Law School, is quoted.

New York Times: Rihanna defended Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who claimed to be black - October 7, 2015 -Rihanna, a musician who is beloved by her fans for saying and doing pretty much whatever she wants, finally seemed to cross a line. In a cover interview for Vanity Fair, the pop diva appeared to defend Rachel Dolezal, the white civil rights activist who claimed to be black. Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law and historian of race, is quoted.

The Conversation: Could Iran continue its nuclear program in Syria? - October 5, 2015 - The Maginot Line was a defense strategy designed by the French after World War I to guard against invasion by Germany. The Maginot Line did not work. And now, it seems fair to ask — at least from the perspective of this law professor — whether the limitations and risks laid bare by this famous strategic misstep might also apply to the Iranian nuclear agreement, writes James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy.

Washington Post: Here’s a way the government can easily get your phone records without even asking a judge - October 5, 2015 - The administrative subpoena is a tool that lawyers and former government officials say federal agencies are increasingly turning to as a way to force people and companies to turn over personal records and other documents. The catch: it doesn’t require the prior approval of a judge. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

September 2015

Washington Post: Secret Service officials allowed to participate in probe of leak by agency - September 29, 2015 - During a nearly completed investigation of the Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security has taken the unorthodox step of allowing officials from the service to work alongside its agents as they try to determine how unflattering information about a congressman was leaked. Legal experts and former government investigators say the approach threatens the integrity of the investigation. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Quartz: A magnetic pulse to the brain will change your views on criminal punishment - September 25, 2015 - We like to think of our sense of justice as a transcendental righteousness of the spirit, but in fact the human sense of right and wrong is rooted firmly in the physical brain. Researchers have discovered that our ability to choose appropriate punishments for a crime can be tampered with simply by applying magnets to part of the brain. Owen Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law and an author of the study, is quoted.

The Tennessean: TN lawyers receive OK to store secrets in cloud - September 24, 2015 - Tennessee lawyers can store confidential documents and information in the cloud, according to an ethics board’s opinion issued this month. The opinion says attorneys can put information on the third-party, remote digital storage systems as long as they take “reasonable care” to make sure that information stays confidential and is protected from being hacked. Daniel Gervais , professor of law, is quoted.

Wall Street Journal: Opinion: Critics of free market shouldn’t overreach - September 23, 2015 - It has been a good month for free-market skeptics. In Britain, an avowed socialist is the new leader of the Labour Party. Pope Francis, who condemns markets for promoting “extreme consumerism,” arrived in the U.S. to a rock star’s welcome. And now, the very people you’d expect to come to the defense of markets are joining the attack: economists. Research by W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management, is mentioned.

U.S. News & World Report: Freddie Gray course teaches social justice to law students - September 21, 2015 - After Freddie Gray died in April of a spinal injury days after being arrested in Baltimore, the city erupted. There were peaceful protests as well as riots, but administration and faculty at the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law had a different reaction: They designed a class to discuss the underlying problems that lead to this type of conflict and how law can be used to improve social justice. Vanderbilt Law School’s Social Justice Program is mentioned, and Spring Miller, assistant dean for public interest, is quoted.

New York Times: Roger Adelman, government lawyer who prosecuted Reagan’s 1981 assailant, dies at 74 - September 21, 2015 - Roger Adelman, a government lawyer whose unsuccessful prosecution of John Hinckley Jr. in the 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan and press secretary James Brady led to significant changes in the law governing the insanity defense in criminal trials, died Sept. 12. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Modern Healthcare: Another ACA contraception case may be headed to Supreme Court - September 18, 2015 - A federal appeals court sided for the first time against an Obama administration policy intended to make sure the employees of not-for-profit religious organizations can get birth control at no cost. The case is one of many working their way through the federal courts challenging parts of the Obama administration’s policy on providing contraception for women as part of preventive services. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

The Orange County (California): At Chapman, an expert dissects the decline of the Fourth Amendment - September 18, 2015 - Chapman University’s (California) Dale E. Fowler School of Law’s signature lecture series recently hosted Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, as a guest lecturer for its first event of the year focusing on the modern relevancy of the Fourth Amendment.

Modern Healthcare: Another ACA contraception case may be headed to Supreme Court - September 17, 2015 - A federal appeals court on Thursday sided for the first time against an Obama administration policy intended to ensure that employees of not-for-profit religious organizations can get birth control at no cost. The decision creates a split in the circuit courts, increasing the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will agree to hear a case on the issue. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

Discovery News: Crime and punishment in the brain - September 17, 2015 - According to a new study, two different regions of the brain separately deal with judgment of guilt or innocence and assessment of punishment. By stimulating the latter, researchers at Vanderbilt University and Harvard University figured out a way to influence penalty decisions. The study’s co-author Owen Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law, is quoted. The story also was reported by the Daily Mail (U.K.), Brain Decoder , Futurity and Red Orbit .

Wall Street Journal: Personal injury plaintiffs may benefit from new litigation funding marketplace
When people sue over a personal injury, they often can wait years to see any sort of payout, even as they suffer from a loss of wages or other financial distress. Startup Mighty Group Inc., which raised venture funding this year, has launched a marketplace where accredited investors compete against each other to provide a few thousand dollars to such plaintiffs to tide them over. Jennifer Reinganum, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Economics and professor of law, is quoted.

GQ: Can musicians really stop politicians from using their songs? - September 15, 2015 - What can artists do if a politician they disagree with uses their music? The short answer: In the U.S., not much if the politician already got a license. The longer answer: Copyright law is complicated. Daniel Gervais, professor of law, is quoted.

Associated Press: Mom found with dead son in playground swing indicted - September 15, 2015 - The facts are hard to fathom: A mother alone with her 3-year-old son on a Maryland playground for two days straight, pushing him in a swing until he died of dehydration and low body temperature—pushing him even after he died until finally sheriff’s deputies came to investigate. But was she suffering from a mental illness so severe that a criminal prosecution is misplaced? Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Modern Healthcare: Obama administration likely to appeal preliminary ACA ruling - September 14, 2015 - The White House isn’t likely to wait long to challenge Wednesday’s ruling allowing House Republicans to sue the Obama administration for spending federal funds on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing assistance. The administration is expected to seek what’s called an interlocutory appeal, which would allow a higher court to consider the issue of whether the House has standing to sue before the lower court addresses the merits of the case. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

Daily Beast: YouTube ‘Martyr’ Nicole Arbour is wrong about fat-shaming - September 9, 2015 - During a controversial six-minute video, comedian Nicole Arbour monologued about how “fat shaming” is not a thing. Jennifer Bennett Shinall, assistant professor of law, is quoted regarding her research on weight discrimination in the workplace.

New York Times: Clerk in Kentucky chooses jail over deal on same-sex marriage - September 4, 2015 - A Kentucky county clerk who has become a symbol of religious opposition to same-sex marriage was jailed Thursday after defying a federal court order to issue licenses to gay couples. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

WSMV , Channel 4, interviewed Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, about the likely legal outcome of the case against the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

August 2015

Voice of America: No easy way to repeal, amend ‘birthright citizenship’ - August 26, 2015 - A constitutional amendment passed nearly 150 years ago to give U.S. citizenship to freed slaves has become a hot-button issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Last week, leading Republican presidential contender Donald Trump unveiled his campaign’s immigration plan, including a controversial proposal to end granting “birthright citizenship”—automatic citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

Suzanna Sherry , Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, discussed birthright citizenship as a matter of settled law in an interview with NPR, Despite political rhetoric, ‘anchor babies’ are not exactly easy to stop , which aired Aug. 19,and in an interview with Gwen Ifill on the Aug. 20 edition of PBS NewsHour .  Sherry was also interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered .

Sinclair Broadcast Group: ‘Organizational confusion’ doesn’t stop Black Lives Matter from swaying Dems - August 17, 2015 - Though Black Lives Matter is a national social movement, it is actually the product of many regional organizing groups, with some variation in their agendas and methods. But they are having an impact on the Democratic presidential race. An instance in which two activists from a Seattle group interrupted and ultimately shut down a rally by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is mentioned, and Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Despite data, TN not declaring prison overcrowding emergency - August 10, 2015 - The Tennessee prison system is at a capacity level that could allow the governor to declare an overcrowding emergency, giving him and other state officials the power to reduce the number of inmates to a safer level, according to data obtained by The Tennessean. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

July 2015

Washington Post: Did Gov. Bobby Jindal censor Westboro Baptist’s free speech? - July 30, 2015 - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order barring Westboro Baptist Church protesters from the Monday (July 27) funerals of Lafayette shooting victims. The group ultimately didn’t show. But the ordeal raises a question: If Westboro members had protested, would their picketing be protected as free speech? And, if so, did Jindal’s executive order infringe on the church’s First Amendment rights? David Hudson Jr., adjunct professor of law, is quoted.

News and Record (Greensboro, N.C.): The courts can’t seem to stay out of partisan politics - July 29, 2015 - North Carolina has just adopted a retention election process for its Supreme Court, which will likely divide Republicans and Democrats when Justice Bob Edmunds of Greensboro is up for re-election next year. Brian Fitzpatrick, FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted about similar retention referendums in Tennessee.

The Tennessean: Ron Ramsey eyes Republican majority on Tennessee Supreme Court - July 28, 2015 - Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Wade Gary’s decision to retire creates the chance for Republicans to take a majority on the state’s highest court, argues Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. Brian Fitzpatrick, FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted.

Daily Caller: Furor grows over feds issuing warrant-less subpoenas - July 23, 2015 - A legal conflict is intensifying between federal officials and civil liberties advocates defending Americans’ medical privacy rights in a case that points to the increasingly frequent use by bureaucrats of judge-less, warrant-less subpoenas. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Tennessee may extend prison sentences - July 20, 2015 - A task force appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to look at prison sentencing is considering recommendations for longer jail terms. The discussion is occurring as the state already has prisons at capacity, is struggling to control incarceration costs and is dealing with a shortage of correctional officers. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law is quoted.

Yahoo! Finance: Nine dumb ways to borrow money, and four better choices - July 17, 2015 - Car title loans are risky because borrowers often underestimate how long they will need to repay, and can run up higher than expected interest, according to research by Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law.

Associated Press: After all is said in theater attack trial, was Holmes sane? - July 13, 2015 - Jurors in the case of the Colorado theater shooting must determine whether James Holmes has met the state’s threshold for an insanity verdict, by suffering from mental illness so severe that it rendered him unable to tell right from wrong at the time of the shootings. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Associated Press: Silicon Valley company starts to take court disputes online - July 13, 2015 - A Silicon Valley company is developing dispute-resolution software that experts say represents the next wave of technology in which the law is turned into computer code that can solve legal battles without the need for a judge or attorney. Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law, is quoted. The story appeared in news outlets throughout the country.

Nashville Ledger: Opinion: Special action on same-sex nuptials a waste of time - July 13, 2015 - New legislation purporting to protect religious leaders from being forced to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their beliefs is unnecessary because the First Amendment already protects that right, says Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law.

Bloomberg: What does Harper Lee want? - July 9, 2015 - Author Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, which was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, is the most preordered book in her publisher’s history. It’s also a book she vowed never to publish. Jeffrey Schoenblum, Centennial Professor of Law, is quoted about the role of the lawyer who negotiated the book deal and the problems that might arise with the management of Lee’s estate.

San Diego Jewish World: Pope, rabbis agree: world must deal with climate - July 1, 2015 - Last month, more than 350 North American rabbis issued an ”open letter” on global warming concerns, declaring that the time for action was at hand. Edward Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, is quoted.

June 2015

Christian Post: Tennessee lawmakers drafting bill to protect pastors who object to marrying same-sex couples after Supreme Court ruling - June 30, 2015 - Tennessee lawmakers are drafting a new bill expected to protect pastors who refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies for religious reasons. Brian Fitzpatrick, FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted.

Associated Press: Judge in theater shooting possesses cool head, strong will - June 27, 2015 - Legal observers say Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. has handled the trial of Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes with care and foresight, all while keeping an eye out for jurors and victims. Terry Maroney, professor of law, is quoted.

WTVF (Nashville, Tenn.) interviewed Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, about the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriages across the country.

Refinery29: Overweight and unprotected from workplace discrimination - June 26, 2015 - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination laws may cover workers who are morbidly obese, because the disease falls within the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but not just any size-related case of bias. The story cites research by Assistant Professor of Law, Jennifer Shinall, showing that weight gain is associated with lower pay and poorer job prospects in women, but not men.

The Tennessean: King vs. Burwell: Supreme Court affirms Obamacare subsidies - June 25, 2015 - The Supreme Court handed the Obama administration—and the 155,753 Tennesseans who receive tax credits—a win Thursday in the battle over tax credit subsidies for health insurance with a 6-3 ruling in the landmark King vs. Burwell case. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, and adjunct professor of law, Michele Johnson, are quoted.

Fox Business Network (national) interviewed Brian Fitzpatrick, FedEx Research Professor of Law, about upcoming rulings by the Supreme Court, such as the federal subsidies associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Wall Street Journal: The gay marriage case: How the Supreme Court could rule - June 24, 2015 - The potential outcomes in the gay marriage battle before the Supreme Court are both straightforward and legally complex. If the nation’s highest court rules that gay marriage bans are unconstitutional, same-sex marriage would become legal across the country. If justices rule against gay marriage, that would leave in place state bans currently in effect. Depending how justices frame their arguments, their ruling could have big legal implications beyond the fate of gay marriage. Brian Fitzpatrick, 2014-15 FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted in this piece in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

The Tennessean: Analysis: As King vs. Burwell wait lingers, signs emerge - June 19, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on a case involving the Affordable Care Act and the challenge by the plaintiffs that its health insurance subsidies for people who bought plans through federal exchanges are illegal based on the wording of one phrase of the law has been delayed. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

Bloomberg Politics: Turmoil Only Sure Thing If Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage - June 19, 2015 - A victory at the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage would be a historic moment for gay rights. Defeat would bring legal pandemonium. Brian Fitzpatrick, FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted.

Out and About: Vanderbilt will host a Supreme Court/marriage equality Twitter Q&A - June 18, 2015 - Vanderbilt University will host a live Twitter question-and-answer session about the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, June 22, featuring Fitzpatrick.

Reason.com: Marijuana legalization in Colorado: Can Oklahoma and Nebraska get it reversed? - June 18, 2015 - Oklahoma and Nebraska argue in a lawsuit that the Supreme Court should overturn Amendment 64, the legalization measure that Colorado voters approved in 2012, because it “directly conflicts with federal law,” which the Constitution makes “the supreme law of the land.” The report cites an analysis by Robert Mikos, professor of law.

Bloomberg Review: Who is a corporation supposed to serve? - June 16, 2015 - The shareholders are the owners of a publicly traded corporation, and it is the job of the directors to look out for their interests. To many investors, financial journalists, corporate executives and even board members, these are self-evident truths. As a matter of corporate law and history, though, they’re only partial truths, and recent ones at that. The idea that the corporation and board exist to serve shareholders, while it certainly had its adherents before then, really only became widely accepted in the 1980s and 1990s. Over the past decade, though, there has been a flood of complaint that the principal-agent, shareholder-value-maximizing view of the corporation is wrong or at least incomplete. A Brookings Institution paper by Margaret Blair, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Free Enterprise, is quoted.

Christian Science Monitor: ‘I identify as black': Historical precedent for Rachel Dolezal (+video) - June 16, 2015 - Despite the furor that erupted over the past few days, Rachel Dolezal is not the first white person to “identify” as a person of a different race. Throughout United States history, scholars say, the phenomenon of racial “passing” has included hundreds of thousands of people of many races attempting to live their lives within the typical cultural trappings of another ethnic group. Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law, is quoted.

U.S. News and World Report: Obama, GOP on offense leading up to health care ruling - June 15, 2015 - Analysts say that while the Supreme Court has likely decided the fundamental issue at the heart of King v. Burwell, the president might yet have the opportunity to sway certain parts of its decision to his favor in a manner that could go a long way in determining the scope of the ruling or the timing of its implementation. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

WalletHub: ChexSystems score: What it is and how to improve it - June 15, 2015 - Your ChexSystems score is primarily used to predict your future banking behavior and the prospect that you will mismanage your account — in other words, how risky it is for a bank to open an account for you. Yesha Yadav, associate professor of law, is quoted.

The Hill: Obama’s Supreme Court gambit - June 11, 2015 - President Obama’s impassioned defense of the Affordable Care Act is riling opponents of the law and drawing accusations he’s trying to bully the Supreme Court. But Obama’s pointed comments, which appeared to be aimed at least partly at influencing the justices, are baffling some court-watchers who say that the decision in the King v. Burwell case was likely settled long ago. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

National Law Journal: Narrow Facebook ruling riles Supreme Court dissenters - June 4, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court’s long-awaited ruling Monday on the prosecution of Facebook threats turned out to be one of those narrow decisions that Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has touted as the way to achieve greater unanimity. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted. A subscription is required to view the full article.

TakePart.com: Snowden’s leaks reformed the NSA, but America still spies on the poor - June 3, 2015 - Data collection and the broader issue of privacy have been fiercely debated, especially since 2013, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government’s process. But for poor communities—particularly poor communities of color—Snowden’s revelations were one more drop in the bucket of government surveillance. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Experts preview ACA tax credit ruling showdown - June 1, 2015 - The health care industry has been on pins and needles awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case that will decide the future of health insurance tax credits — and nearly three months after oral arguments, the decision month is here. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is interviewed.

May 2015

Nashville Post: Vanderbilt teams with UnitedLex for legal residency program - May 29, 2015 - Vanderbilt Law School is launching a legal residency program through a partnership between the school’s Program on Law and Innovation and global legal firm UnitedLex. Chris Guthrie, dean of the law school and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law, is quoted.

Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, was a guest on NPR’s Here and Now discussing the trial of accused Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes and the challenges of using an insanity defense. May 28, 2015

Tucson Explorer (Arizona): Denying free speech or protecting the truth? - May 28, 2015 - A local resident was kicked off the town’s Facebook page after posting in the comments thread for a photo from the May 2 ribbon cutting at a local community and recreation center. The town’s legal director said the Facebook page is a “limited public forum,” giving the town wide latitude in controlling content. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and ombudsman at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, is quoted.

Huffington Post: Vanderbilt Law Commencement speaker explains what to do if you don’t love what you do - May 26, 2015 - Vanderbilt University Law School Assistant Professor Ganesh Sitaraman discussed three paths to leading a valuable life in his commencement speech at the school earlier this month. The first path was “the integrationist model,” to integrate one’s most cherished values with one’s professional life. This, he said, is a way to do what you love and love what you do. The second method was to find value outside of your office, and the final way was to have sincere appreciation and commitment for the profession itself. The speech was printed in its entirety in the New York Observer .

The Blaze: Think society’s in a downward moral spiral? One expert argues that morality is shifting but won’t ‘lead to a social collapse’ - May 25, 2015 - Some might cite the same-sex marriage case brought before the U.S. Supreme Court recently as an example that the country is experiencing a kind of moral decline, but Ed Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, argues quite the opposite.

The Tennessean: Metro police want policy before adding body cams - May 25, 2015 - Body cameras will likely become a part of policing in Nashville, but not before informed policies are drawn up. Christopher Slobogin, Milton Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

Huffington Post: Why is the nuclear regulatory commission undervaluing American lives? - May 22, 2015 - When federal agencies consider adopting new health and safety rules, they often reevaluate the proposed rule’s costs against its lifesaving benefits. These agencies determine what’s called the “value of a statistical life” (VSL) based on a variety of economic and labor market studies. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been using the same value — $3 million — for the past two decades. That’s two to three times lower than other agencies’ calculations. W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics, and Management, is quoted.

Bergen County Record (New Jersey): North Jersey teachers learn social media’s traps the hard way - May 18, 2015 - As social media use grows, teachers are learning that what they post online can get them in trouble even if it is done on their own time and on their personal Web pages. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and ombudsman at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt, is quoted.

Mother Jones: 87 reasons to rethink the death penalty - May 4, 2015 - Intellectual disability is just one of several mitigating factors that, at least in theory, are supposed to spare people from execution. The death penalty, the Supreme Court has noted, is intended for the worst of the worst—offenders more depraved than your average murderer, who have what the courts call “extreme culpability.” Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted from an essay he wrote regarding capital defendants who plead not guilty by reason of insanity and are subsequently found guilty.

April 2015

Reuters: Activists good, bigger activists better - April 30, 2015 - A new study by Randall Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business, looking at the performance of activist hedge funds, which buy shares and then push companies to change strategy, shows continued strong results on interventions from 2008 through mid-2014.

Associated Press: Justice Kennedy sent clearer signal in 2013 marriage case - April 29, 2015 - Two years ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy left little doubt during Supreme Court arguments that a part of the federal anti-gay marriage law was doomed. When the justices heard arguments Tuesday in a broader case about the right of same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the United States, the 78-year-old Kennedy’s comments were less clear-cut and his potentially decisive vote less certain than it was two years ago. Brian Fitzpatrick, 2014/15 FedEx Research Professor of Law, is quoted. A related story, also quoting Fitzpatrick, was reported by the Nashville Business Journal: At Supreme Court Tuesday, Tennessee to help shape future of gay marriage. Fitzpatrick was also quoted in a follow up article in the Tennessean regarding concerns of a slippery slope to allowing polygamy.

Associated Press: Prosecutor: Two exams found James Holmes to be sane - April 28, 2015 - A prosecutor declared Monday that two mental health evaluations found Colorado theater gunman James Holmes to be sane. It was the first public word on what different psychiatrists determined after examining the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 at a midnight “Batman” premiere. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and professor of psychiatry, is quoted.

New York Times: Lawyers seek sea change on gay rights at Supreme Court - April 27, 2015 - When the Supreme Court hears arguments in four cases that could result in nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage, rights groups are hoping to secure not only the right to marry but also a symbolic and practical victory that would transform the status of gay Americans, affirming their dignity and protecting them from other kinds of government discrimination. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

Associated Press: Long odds for insanity defense in theater shooting trial - April 27, 2015 - The key to the death penalty trial of a man who methodically shot at moviegoers at a Batman movie premiere will be what was going on inside his mind as he threw smoke canisters and then marched up and down the aisles, firing at anyone who tried to flee. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and professor of psychiatry, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Tennessee at forefront as gay marriage case goes to Supreme Court - April 24, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a landmark case that could legalize gay marriage nationwide. Legal analysts say the case could do for gay couples what historic cases such as Brown v. Board of Education did for black Americans ending segregation and what Roe v. Wade did for women’s rights allowing abortions. Brian Fitzpatrick, professor of law, is quoted.

TakePart: Ben Affleck wanted to hide his past, but America can’t escape slavery - April 23, 2015 - While participating in a celebrity genealogy show, Ben Affleck was embarrassed to discover his family’s slaveowning past and sought to remove that chapter from the episode. Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law, has studied the history of race in America and says that the omission is a missed opportunity to model the discussion for other families with similar backgrounds.

Wall Street Journal: Opinion: The surprising market response to activist hedge funds - April 23, 2015 - Critics say hedge funds destroy companies by pushing them to load up with debt, lay off employees, slash research and development, and pump up short-term dividends and profits. But new research coauthored by Randall Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business, suggests hedge fund activism is positive overall.

Time: Push to make the Bible Tennessee’s official book derailed amid legal questions - April 18, 2015 - Legislation to make the Bible the official state book of Tennessee was scuttled by the state Senate on Thursday, but even if the measure had become law, it would have been on constitutionally shaky ground, according to legal experts. Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, is quoted.

Businessjournalism.org: Money and politics: On tax day, fixing the U.S. Tax Code - April 15, 2015 - As last-minute filers send checks to the Internal Revenue Service, we thought it would be a good idea to share this video, “Four Ideas to Improve U.S. Tax System” with our readers. The talk features Beverly Moran, professor of law and sociology, and posits a number of ways America’s tax code can be revised to close loopholes, shift the burden away from the less wealthy and strengthen social security.

The Tennessean: GOP medical marijuana bill delayed until next year - April 9, 2015 - A Republican-backed effort to legalize marijuana for limited medicinal purposes in Tennessee is officially dead for the year. Rob Mikos, professor of law, is quoted.

Red Orbit: Morality is not decaying, just changing, says professor - April 9, 2015 - A new book by Ed Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, argues that Western morality’s shift away from serving a higher purpose and toward individual fulfillment isn’t a symptom of anything bad—just a reflection of changing times. The story includes an interview with Rubin produced by Vanderbilt News and Communications.

San Diego Jewish World: Law school professor writing cli-fi novel - April 9, 2015 - Ed Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, is the author of academic books about law and justice; however, he’s very concerned about climate change. Rubin is profiled for his latest effort writing a cli-fi novel set in the near future.

The New Republic: The killing of Walter Scott sheds light on the problem of police lying - April 8, 2015 - The gulf between the report filed by a South Carolina police officer about a shooting and what can be seen on a video of the incident is a powerful reminder that while police officers are generally believed to be highly credible, corruption can exist. Research on police corruption by Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is mentioned.

Science Daily: Stop complaining about the moral decline of western society, expert says - April 6, 2015 - Morality is not declining in the modern world; rather, a new morality is replacing the previous one, argues  Ed Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, in a new book. Rubin's research was also noted in Phys.org .

New York Times: Jay Edelson, the class-action lawyer who may be tech’s least friended man - April 4, 2015 - Jay Edelson, 42, is a class-action lawyer. He is also, if not the most hated person in Silicon Valley, very close to it. His firm, Edelson PC, specializes in suing technology companies, claiming privacy violations. Brian Fitzpatrick, 2014/15 FedEx Research Professor, is quoted.

Reuters: Reality TV burnishes image of the neighborhood pawn shop - April 4, 2015 - After centuries on the fringe of consumer finance, the neighborhood pawn shop is pushing its way toward the mainstream, thanks to the power of reality television and the long arm of government regulation. Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law, is quoted.