Archive for July, 2014

W&L Law Hosts Tax Roundtable

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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.


Prof. Calhoun’s Article on Lewis Powell Makes SSRN Top 10 Lists

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment
Sam Calhoun

Prof. Sam Calhoun

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.


Professor Bruner Speaks at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Annual Conference

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Bruner

Prof. Christopher Bruner

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.

Professors Miller and Hu Present on German/American Relations and Cybersurveillance

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Russell Miller

Prof. Russell Miller

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.


Prof. Josh Fairfield on Cryptocurrencies at DATA 2014

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

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:

Prof. Mark Drumbl Presents at International Courts Center

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Mark Drumbl

Prof. Mark Drumbl

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.

Professor Bruner Speaks at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Bruner

Prof. Christopher Bruner

On Thursday, July 3, 2014, Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Bruner participated in a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival.  Held at the Aspen Institute’s campus in Aspen, Colorado and co-sponsored by The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival gathers “leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.”  The panel discussion, titled “Seeking Business Leaders for the 21st Century,” was organized by the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.