Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl was recently appointed Visiting International Fellow at the Monash University School of Law in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Drumbl taught a course to JD and LLM students titled ‘Victims, Law, and Mass Atrocity’. The course explored “the tensions that may inhere between various communities of victims, between victim involvement and due process, and also how narratives of victimization may enfeeble as much as they protect.”
While in Melbourne, Professor Drumbl also presented at the University of Melbourne.
Visiting professor Todd Peppers has completed a number of new scholarly works this summer addressing the role of Supreme Court law clerks.
Professor Peppers authored two essays entitled “Form Your Battalions and Fight: The Story of Justice Holmes, His Law Clerks, and Saucy French Novels” and“The Care and Feeding of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.” will be published in Supreme Court Historical Society Quarterly. These writings draw on the personal papers of Justice Holmes, and examine different aspects of the professional and personal relationships that Justice Holmes had with his law clerks.
“Surgeons or Scribes? The Role of United States Court of Appeals Law Clerks in “Appellate Triage”, co-authored with Bridget Tainer-Parkins, will be published later this year by the Marquette Law Review as part of a symposium issue on law clerks. The essay examines how Court of Appeals judges select and utilize their law clerks, and it is based on original survey data of Court of Appeals judges.
The co-authored article “The Mysterious Decline of En Banc Review in the U.S. Courts Of Appeals” will appear in the Justice System Journal. Using original data, the paper tests hypotheses as to why circuit courts decide to grant en banc review.
Lastly, Professor Peppers is co-editor of a forthcoming book published by the University of VirginiaPress. The book is a collection of essays written by former law clerks, judicial biographers and social scientists. The essays explore the hiring and employment of Supreme Court law clerks, as well as the personal bonds which form between law clerks and their justices. The introduction of the book is written by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Jost has published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled, Subsidies and the Survival of the ACA — Divided Decisions on Premium Tax Credits. The article was online published on July 30, 2014.
In rapid succession on July 22, two federal courts of appeal reached opposite conclusions on the single most important outstanding legal issue affecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA): whether the federally facilitated insurance exchanges that serve two thirds of the states can grant premium tax credits to individuals purchasing health insurance plans.
Professor Jost frequently publishes in the New England Journal of Medicine. Additional articles may be found here.
Washington and Lee law professor Victoria Shannon was interviewed earlier this summer by Legal Funding Central, a litigation funding broker for their blog LFC360. The blog features writings about legal funding through news, informational guides, and resources.
Professor Shannon was interviewed as an expert on the topic of legal funding laws in the United States and abroad. The article appeared on LFC360 on July 31, 2014: Victoria Shannon Discusses The State of the Legal Funding Industry at Home and in International Arbitration.
On July 22-23, Washington and Lee School of Law hosted a round table discussion of tax professors from the mid-Atlantic region. Professors from area law schools presented works-in-progress for comment and critique.
Participants included, Eric Chason (William and Mary), Michael Doran (University of Virginia), Michelle Drumbl (W&L), Brant Hellwig (W&L), Ruth Mason (University of Virginia), Gregg Polsky (University of North Carolina), and Ethan Yale (University of Virginia).
The event was sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center at W&L.
A recent article by Washington and Lee law professor Sam Calhoun has made the top-ten download list of several SSRN ejournals. The article, titled “Justice Lewis F. Powell’s Baffling Vote in Roe v. Wade,” explores Justice Powell’s vote with the majority in Roe v. Wade. Prof. Calhoun wrote the article for presentation at “Roe at 40 – The Controversy Continues,” a symposium hosted at W&L Law this fall.
The piece builds upon the unissued 1970 abortion opinion of Judge Henry J. Friendly, who, although personally pro-choice, concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment does not require abortion freedom. The article also presents research from the Powell Archives at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Here’s more from the abstract:
On its face, Powell’s Roe vote is perplexing due to its inconsistency with his stated philosophy of judicial restraint. Various explanations have been offered, including arguments that a constitutionally protected abortion right is justified (1) as a logical extension of Griswold v. Connecticut, which accorded privacy protection to contraceptive use within marriage; (2) by its “appeal to the future,” i.e., Roe merely expedited the result the country was already steadily approaching; and (3) by empathy for women facing unwanted pregnancies. None of these justifications satisfactorily aligns with Powell’s view of the judicial role. His vote therefore remains baffling.
Justice Powell’s deviation from his own declared principles of restraint is particularly problematic in the context of abortion, perhaps the most intractable legal, religious, moral, and public policy controversy of the last century. Not only did Roe, through an unjustifiably expansive conception of the judicial function, disarm one side politically in this hotly contested dispute, but in doing so the Court also endorsed the other side’s position in the underlying moral debate. Powell’s vote therefore regrettably, but unavoidably, tarnishes his legacy as a proponent of restraint.
Since being posted to SSRN, the article as appeared on a number of top-ten download lists, including for the following eJournals: LSN: Judges (Courts) (Topic); Law & Society: Family Law, Relations & Dispute Resolution; Women, Gender & the Law; LSN: Reproductive Rights (Topic); and Reproductive Justice, Law & Policy. The full article is available for download from SSRN.
On Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11, 2014, Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Bruner spoke at the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), “an international, inter-disciplinary organization with members in over 50 countries on five continents” representing disciplines including “economics, sociology, political science, management, psychology, law, history, and philosophy.”
On July 10, Professor Bruner discussed his recent book, Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013), in which he develops a new comparative theory of corporate governance in common-law countries. On July 11, he presented his working paper on the role of small jurisdictions in cross-border corporate and financial services, “Market-Dominant Small Jurisdictions in a Globalizing Financial World.”
Read more about Professor Bruner’s scholarship here.
Washington and Lee law professors Russ Miller and Margaret Hu participated in a symposium billed as a “transatlantic dialogue on the NSA Affair amongst German and American scholars, former government officials, and commentators.” The two-day event was held at the University of Freiburg and co-sponsored by the University’s Centre for Security and Society and the German Law Journal.
Miller, who helped organize the symposium, has provided commentary on this issue since the NSA scandal broke last year and was the only American to offer testimony to a special committee of the German Parliament investigating the NSA activities. His presentation was titled “Privacy by Another Name? Deciphering the Differences in the German and American Struggle to Balance Liberty and Security.” Prof. Hu’s presentation was titled “Biometric Cyber Intelligence and Higher Order Cybersurveillance Risks.” A full listing of the symposium participants is available online.
The symposium received press coverage in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers. The FAZ coverage is available here.
Washington and Lee law professor Josh Fairfield was a speaker at this year’s Digital Asset Transfer Authority annual conference in April. During the conference, Prof. Fairfield spoke on a panel addressing consumer protection and privacy along with Garrett Graff, Editor, The Washingtonian; Beriz Szoka, Founder and President, TechFreedom; Jody Westby, CEO Global Cyber Risk LLC; and Christina Tetreault, Staff Attorney at Consumers Union. A video of the presentation is available below:
Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl was invited by the International Courts Center at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law to spend a week in residence in Denmark this June.
He spoke on the merits of the International Criminal Court at a panel organized at the Euroscience Open Forum 2014 Convention in Copenhagen with other speakers from Canada, Australia, and Denmark. The panel addressed questions of how best to deal with perpetrators of serious human rights abuses, including questions of whether international criminal trials served any meaningful deterrent purposes. This is an issue that Drumbl confronted in his book Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law. Drumbl also participated in a research round table held at iCourts.
A few days earlier, Drumbl participated in a two-day round table organized by the International Center for Transitional Justice, a prominent non-governmental organization, at its head office in New York. The roundtable addressed issues of the agency of child soldiers with a view to improving their rehabilitation, restoration, and citizenship following demilitarization and demobilization. Questions of agency and juvenile justice animated his 2012 book Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy. This round table was deeply interdisciplinary in nature and drew from expertise in law and political science, but also public health, anthropology, psychology, and developmental studies.