News

Jim Rossi and Christopher Serkin win 2020 Morrison Prize for best scholarship on sustainability

Feb. 26, 2020—Rossi and Serkin were honored for their Cornell Law Review article, “Energy Exactions,” in which they propose that cities use exactions to hold developers accountable for their impacts on the electrical system. The Morrison Prize is a peer-reviewed honor bestowed through the Law and Sustainability Program at Arizona State University.

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Health policy expert James F. Blumstein: Current constitutional challenge to the ACA has two dimensions

Feb. 24, 2020—Blumstein discusses "The Current Constitutional Challenge to the Affordable Care Act" in a Feb. 21 "Insights" column published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association Network. He is the University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy at Vanderbilt University, where he directs the Vanderbilt Health Policy Center.

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JETLaw 2020 Symposium features law and technology scholar Lawrence Lessig as keynote speaker.

Feb. 17, 2020—The day-long symposium sponsored by the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law is titled “Spheres of Influence: Examining the Interplay of Technology and the Law,” and features panel discussion on how technology influences courtrooms, elections and regulatory compliance.

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Read New York Times profile of Ganesh Sitaraman: “A Scholar of Democracy Gets a 2020 Lab for His Ideas,” by Emma Goldberg

Feb. 17, 2020—Ganesh Sitaraman’s work as a longtime advisor to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and a friend of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is the subject of a New York Times profile by Emma Goldberg, “A Scholar of Democracy Gets a 2020 Lab for His Ideas.” Sitaraman is a professor at Vanderbilt Law School and the author of a new book, The Great Democracy. Morgan Ricks, a colleague on the VLS faculty, is quoted describing Sitaraman as a “structural thinker.”

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VLS Office of Public Interest partners with Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors to offer immigration intake clinics

Feb. 14, 2020—Twelve students are providing more than 420 hours of pro bono legal work through Woodbine Immigration Intake Clinics scheduled throughout the academic year at a local church.

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J.B. Ruhl provides an overview of NEPA in podcast hosted by Daniel Raimi of Resources Radio

Feb. 12, 2020—Ruhl provides an overview of the National Environmental Policy Act drawing from his years practicing environmental law in this podcast interview with Raimi, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. Ruhl explains how NEPA lawsuits are especially complex, involving statutes, court opinions and recent regulatory changes that are often at odds, and discusses the implications of a proposed rule change by the Trump administration that could limit the types of litigation that can be pursued under NEPA. A transcript of the interview appears below the audio link.

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Chandler Ray ’21 and Abigail Wood ’21 win 2020 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court Competition.

Feb. 12, 2020—Michael Clark ’21 and Ty Trejo ’21 were finalists. The round was argued before federal appellate Judges Cheryl Ann Krause of the Third Circuit, James C. Ho of the Fifth Circuit and Amy J. St. Eve of the Seventh Circuit.

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Stanton Foundation First Amendment clinic settles case in a win for clients

Feb. 9, 2020—Clinic students served as co-counsel in Human Rights Defense Center v. Marshall County, Tennessee, which claimed that the county sheriff’s department engaged in unconstitutional censorship.

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Paper by Ramon Ryan ’21 identifies enforcement gap in regulations governing environmental impact of satellites

Jan. 27, 2020—Ryan’s paper, which will appear in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, suggests that the FCC’s approval of SpaceX’s Starlink Mega Constellation may have been unlawful because the agency failed to consider the impact of satellites on the night sky. The paper was reported on by Scientific American, Business Insider and Futurism.

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“Vote for US: A Conversation with Election Rights Expert Joshua Douglas” schedule Thurs., Feb. 6, at VLS

Jan. 21, 2020—Professor Douglas teaches voting rights and election law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is the author of the 2019 book “Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting.”

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Research by Ramon Ryan ’21 indicates FCC’s approval of SpaceX satellite may have been unlawful

Jan. 16, 2020—In Ryan's Note, to be published in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, he challenges the FCC's exclusion of commercial satellites from review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Ryan's research was the subject of a Jan. 16 Scientific American article, "The FCC's Approval of SpaceX's Starlink Mega Constellation May Have Been Unlawful," by Jonathan O'Callaghan.

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Darby Dickerson ’88 is president of the Association of American Law Schools

Jan. 13, 2020—Dickerson is the dean of UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She was inducted into her one-year term as AALS president during the association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in January.

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Research by W. Kip Viscusi finds post-9/11 wars may have resulted in twice as many deaths at home as in battle

Jan. 10, 2020—Viscusi, an economist whose research focuses on fatality risks, found that post-9/11 wars resulted in indirect deaths in the U.S. due to the diversion of war costs from the U.S. economy and the subsequent impact on consumers who had less money to spend on better nutrition, health care, safe housing and safe products. His article, "The Mortality Cost Metric for the Cost of War," appears in the journal Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy.

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Legal historian Sara Mayeux among 13 rising Vanderbilt scholars to receive Provost Research Studios for 2019-20

Jan. 8, 2020—Provost Research Studios provide up to $4,000 to support the professional development of full-time faculty early in their academic careers.

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Fred Graham ’59, legal affairs reporter and Court TV anchor, dies at 88

Dec. 31, 2019—Fred Graham pioneered coverage of Supreme Court rulings as the law correspondent for CBS News, was a substitute anchor for "Face the Nation," the "CBS Morning News," and "Nightwatch," and one of the first anchors of Court TV, where he covered the O.J. Simpson trial.

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Paige Skiba and Caroline Malone, JD/PhD’22 on how payday lenders use installment loans to evade regulation

Dec. 9, 2019—In a Dec. 9 article published by The Conversation, Skiba and Malone explain why payday lenders have embraced installment loans, based on their recent study that explored the effect that the larger installment loans have on borrowers. Their results suggest that installment loans may create additional financial strain for consumers rather than benefiting them.

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Books by W. Kip Viscusi and Michael Vandenbergh among best environmental writing in past 50 years.

Dec. 3, 2019—Viscusi’s book Pricing Lives and Vandenbergh’s book, Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change, co-authored with VU professor Jonathan Gilligan, were included in “Reading the Environment: 1969-2019,” an Environmental Forum overview of influential environmental writing by Oliver Houck and G. Tracy Mehan II.

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“A Counterintuitive and Compelling Case for Class-Action Lawsuits”: Read Judge Kenneth Lee’s review of Brian Fitzpatrick’s new book

Dec. 2, 2019—In a book review published in the National Review, Judge Kenneth K. Lee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals touts Fitzpatrick's book, "The Conservative Case for Class Action Lawsuits," as "a clever, contrarian, and counterintuitive take on class actions that should open the eyes of both conservatives and liberals."

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Ganesh Sitaraman on “How to Rein In an All-Too-Powerful Supreme Court”

Nov. 19, 2019—Professor Sitaraman proposes that Congress pass a Congressional Review Act that would enable it to overturn SCOTUS decisions on legislative matters with greater speed and ease in a Nov. 16 essay published in The Atlantic.

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Susan Kay ’79 honored with “Lifetime Achievement Award” by ACLU of Tennessee

Nov. 14, 2019—Kay, who is associate dean for experiential education, has taught at VLS since 1980 and established the law school's first clinic. The award recognizes her lifetime dedication to criminal justice reform and legal advocacy, which includng successfully challenging Nashville's jail conditions. She was honored on Nov. 14.

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Alex Gardner ’19 wins Shannon Bybee Scholarship Award writing competition

Nov. 14, 2019—The annual competition sponsored by the International Association of Gaming Advisors recognizes the best scholarly research paper in gaming law written by law students as part of their coursework. Gardner’s article addressed the history of parimutuel wagering.

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Read Brian Fitzpatrick’s National Review opinion piece, “The Conservative Case for Class Actions?”

Nov. 14, 2019—In his new book, released this fall by Chicago University Press, Fitzpatrick makes "The Conservative Case for Class Actions," asserting that "They're better than the alternative: regulation by bureaucrats."

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GlobalVU, co-led by Ingrid Wuerth, establishes Global Fellows Program

Nov. 11, 2019—Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Professor of International Law, and Ted Fischer, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology, lead the GlobalVU intiative, which is funded by the Provost and Vanderbilt's Transinstitutional Programs (TIPS) program. The Global Fellows Program will bring international scholars, authors, artists, politicians and other thought leaders to Vanderbilt.

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Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos appointed University Distinguished Professor and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Law

Nov. 11, 2019—Vanderbilt has also announced that one of its newest residential colleges will be named in Zeppos' honor. He will began teaching in fall 2020, after a yearlong sabbatical.

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Brian Fitzpatrick argues class actions are a potent and necessary legal enforcement mechanism in new book

Nov. 1, 2019—In "The Conservative Case for Class Actions," Fitzpatrick debunks arguments that class action lawsuits are frivolous, primarily aimed at making money for lawyers rather than representing plaintiffs, and fail to prevent wrongdoing. Fitzpatrick asserts class actions "are a powerful component of the justice system," and proposes reforms designed to make them "acceptable to everyone."

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