News

Listen to W. Kip Viscusi interview about the value of reducing risks to life on Top of Mind

Apr. 20, 2020—Julie Rose interviews W. Kip Viscusi about balancing the economic toll of sheltering in place with the risk of more coronavirus cases if businesses reopen in this April 8 podcast.

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Morgan Ricks and co-author Lev Menand propose “digital money” as a fast, low-cost way to distribute emergency aid in Bloomberg Finance

Apr. 20, 2020—Their column, "Let's Pay the Stimulus in Digital Dollars," touts the advantages of a "digital dollar" in allowing for faster distribution of stimulus funds, supporting social distancing, reducing the cost of distributing funds to recipients, and eliminating check-cashing costs and other fees for recipients who don't have bank accounts.

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W. Kip Viscusi featured on Planet Money podcast addressing “Lives vs. the Economy”

Apr. 20, 2020—In a discussion with Planet Money hosts Sarah Gonzalez and Kenny Malone, Professor Viscusi applies his research on the value of reducing risks to life to two pressing questions: "Is it worth it to shut down the economy to save lives?" Or "Should we let people die to save the economy?" He talks about how he came up with a value for a human life and how that value could inform decisions about when to reopen the economy. Viscusi co-directs the Ph.D. in Law and Economics program.

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VLS Pro Bono Spring Break team works at Mississippi Center for Justice

Apr. 15, 2020—Students worked in an expungement clinic, investigated policing practices to support impact litigation, researched the criminalization of HIV and supported other legal advocacy initiatives.

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Ganesh Sitaraman proposes a “war production board” for coronavirus testing in co-authored Boston Globe opinion piece

Apr. 13, 2020—Sitaraman and co-authors Julius Krein and E. Glen Weyl propose the formation of a Pandemic Testing Board tasked with scaling up production, coordination and deployment of COVID-19 tests. The board's mission would be to increase the supply of tests and to launch a Pandemic Response Corps of civilians trained to administer them.

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Hannah Martins Miller ’20 receives Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award

Apr. 9, 2020—Miller was recognized for her leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests and goals of women or that promote gender equity. She is editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. She served in the Army ROTC as an undergraduate at Princeton University, and her legal education has been supported by the Funded Legal Education Program, which sponsors 25 Army officers each year.

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Kevin Witenoff ’21 selected as American Constitution Society Next Generation Leader

Apr. 9, 2020—Witenoff has served as president of the VLS chapter of the American Constitution Society during 2019-20.

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Youth Opportunity Clinic joins emergency petition to free people from Tennessee jails, prisons and detention centers during the COVID-19 outbreak

Apr. 6, 2020—YOC joins with a coalition of criminal justice advocacy groups urging the Tennessee Supreme Court to release people at high risk of health issues and those at low risk to the community from jails and prisons in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

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Read John Hasnas’s review of Brian Fitzpatrick’s book, The Conservative Case for Class Actions

Mar. 27, 2020—John Hasnas, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, touts The Conservative Case for Class Actions as "a well-constructed, informative, and clearly expressed argument for the value of class action lawsuits." In his review, published in Regulation, Hasnas says Fitzpatrick's book "should appeal to thoughtful readers regardless of prior ideological commitments."

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Ganesh Sitaraman and co-author Lev Menand propose measures to address economic impact of coronavirus

Mar. 22, 2020—In a coauthored opinion piece published by The American Prospect, Ganesh Sitaraman and co-author Lev Menand look back at policy choices made during the economic crisis of 2008 to provide insights for navigating the current economic emergency. By examining what worked and what didn’t in response to the 2008 crisis, they suggest, we can reprise successful strategies while avoiding pitfalls. Sitaraman is the author of The Great Democracy, and Menand, an academic fellow and lecturer at Columbia Law School, served as a senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from 2015-16.

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Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. ’54 (BA’52) of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dead at 89 

Mar. 21, 2020—Wiseman was nominated to his seat on the Middle District of Tennessee in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He assumed senior status in 1995. Before taking the bench, he served as state treasurer from 1971-71 and in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1964-68. 

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James Danly ’13 confirmed as commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Mar. 20, 2020—Danly previously served as general counsel at FERC, where he supervised a legal staff of 200.

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Ganesh Sitaraman elected to membership in American Law Institute

Mar. 16, 2020—Professor Sitaraman’s research addresses issues in constitutional, administrative and foreign relations law. His most recent book is The Great Democracy (Basic, 2019).

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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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