In the News

California’s uniform parentage laws bear little resemblance to original act

Marjorie Shultz quoted by Daily Journal (registration required), Oct. 20, 2016

“Intentions that are voluntarily chosen, deliberate, express and bargained-for ought presumptively to determine legal parenthood.”

Consumer deception? That ‘Buy Now’ button on Amazon or iTunes may not mean you own what you paid for

Christopher Hoofnagle’s and co-author’s report cited by Los Angeles Times, Oct. 19, 2016

The problem, Perzanowski and Hoofnagle observe, is that most consumers aren’t aware that they’re buying conditional access. They’re flagrantly misled by the terms “Buy” and “Own.”

Students gather to hear faculty speak out at ‘Trump Teach-In’

Leti Volpp quoted by The Daily Californian, Oct. 18, 2016

Volpp, a professor in the UC Berkeley School of Law, began the event with an overview of Trump’s immigration policies and how they specifically affect Berkeley students, explaining that Trump’s idea of the wall portrays a “retrograde image of American border security.”

As more Americans turn on death penalty, some states weigh harder stance

Franklin Zimring quoted by NBC News, Oct. 17, 2016

“What you have are attempts here not to mount any kind of revival of the death penalty, but to stop the bleeding,” said Franklin Zimring.

Business interests hold sway on cities’ homeless policies

Jeffrey Selbin, Stephanie Campos-Bui PAC report cited by The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2016

“The more BIDs there are in a city, the more anti-homeless laws it has on the books,” the researchers found, according to a forthcoming report on the survey.

In a tumultuous presidential campaign season, a rare spotlight on education issues

Christopher Edley, Jr. quoted by Chalkbeat, Oct. 14, 2016

Clinton supports charters, “but there are very important caveats,” Edley said. “She believes we should … get back to one of the principal purposes of charters, which was to innovate and then export successful innovations to the rest of the public school system. We just haven’t done that,” he said. “Let’s be much more intentional about exporting the successes, and about closing down the charters that are not performing up to expectations.”

How should “administrative law” be taught today?

Daniel Farber interviewed by The Federalist Society, Oct. 13, 2016

“What we’re doing a really good job of, at least to the extent that it works, is preparing people to argue cases in the D.C. Circuit. …. One thing I think we’re doing particularly poorly is preparing people to argue and represent clients for participative government lawyers in administrative proceedings, where a lot of the action is.”

‘Donald Trump will protect you’: Some fear he is running to be a dictator

John Yoo quoted by The Washington Post, Oct. 12, 2016

For John Yoo, the conservative legal scholar … Trump “reminds me a lot of early Mussolini. . . . Very, disturbingly similar. …” Yoo said Trump’s promise to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Clinton is “a compounded stupidity.”

Twitter’s troubles and Snap’s appeal: It’s all about the mojo

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Oct. 11, 2016

Once again we have a case in which Silicon Valley’s overreliance on momentum creates an unrealistic proxy for valuation. Snap will reap billions as a result, while Twitter will struggle to salvage what it can from what was once a valuation of more than $40 billion. It is a story that will have real consequences.

Article III and the future of the Supreme Court

Daniel Farber interviewed by Constitution Daily, Oct. 6, 2016

“I don’t think we’re going to see a drastically more liberal- or more activist-oriented judges than the current justices. And one of the reasons for that is the makeup of the Senate. … It’s going to be very hard for Clinton to really get confirmation on anybody much to the left of say, Ginsburg.”

Should women perform their own abortions?

Jill Adams cited by Cosmopolitan, Oct. 3, 2016

According to Jill Adams, a lawyer and the chief strategist for the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team, there are 40 different types of laws in the United States that prosecutors could use to target women who self-induce, or anyone who helps them, ranging from the unauthorized practice of medicine to drug trafficking to child abuse.

Voters defeated Metro’s ambitious plan to raise money in 2012, and they might do it again

Ethan Elkind quoted by Los Angeles Times, Oct. 3, 2016

“In many ways, these measures are a referendum on the job that Metro is doing,” Elkind said. That could cut either way, he said: commuters pleased with new rail options, or riders frustrated by service problems.

Today is the anniversary of a dark day in abortion rights history

Jill Adams quoted by Mother Jones, Sept. 30, 2016

“To end Hyde but to keep McRae in place is to allow public insurance for abortion to float on the political wind,” says Jill E. Adams. … That’s why Adams and CRRJ have focused their attention on overturning McRae. “The dream is for the court to say, ‘The nature of the abortion right compels the state to furnish the resources necessary to ensure equal access by all people,'” Adams says, because it would effectively invalidate public funding bans.

Federal Appeals Court rules for employer in dreadlock discrimination case

Angela Onwuachi-Willig quoted by Corporate Counsel, Sept. 30, 2016

“You can keep your hair as it is in one style,” Onwuachi-Willig said, referring to afros, if they are allowed, “or you can straighten your hair and wear it like a white person and style it however you want. To me, that’s very much like saying: ‘We’re going to make you bleach your skin.’ or ‘We’re going to make you have nose job because we think your nose is too broad.”

Alabama Chief Justice faces ouster

Jesse Choper interviewed by Bloomberg Law, Sept. 29, 2016

“This judge is sort of a poor judicial version of George Wallace in Alabama. But he’s never awakened this to reality. This is not his first encounter with the federal judiciary. … And my guess is, that they’re going to put him down. But he keeps getting elected in Alabama by the people.”

Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly?

Katerina Linos and co-author write for The New York Times, Sept. 29, 2016

So the good news is that firmly specified standards, even in a nonbinding agreement, can positively shift states’ behavior. But there’s a cautionary note: Compromises made through weak recommendations on controversial items will, at best, not help your cause. At worst, these compromises may actually undercut your objectives.

The digital age has destroyed the concept of ownership, and companies are taking advantage of it

Christopher Hoofnagle and Aaron Perzanowki ‘06 paper cited by Quartz, Sept. 28, 2016

When Perzanowski and Hoofnagle’s tested a version of the Media Shop that replaced the “Buy now” button with a “License now” button study participants more accurately understood their rights. Additionally, about half of all shoppers were willing to pay more to acquire a digital copy that explicitly came with traditional ownership rights, such as the right to resell.

New California law ends 10-year statute of limitations on rape

Ty Alper cited by San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2016

The professors, including Ty Alper … wrote that eliminating the statute of limitations could lead to wrongful convictions or slow the prosecution of sex crimes by removing an incentive for law enforcement and prosecutors to act quickly.

Campaign 2016 vocabulary lesson: ‘Strategic racism’

Ian Haney López writes for Moyers & Company, Sept. 27, 2016

Equating dog whistling with personal bigotry minimizes the phenomenon. It’s not an expression of prejudice so much as a coldly calculated decision to seek advantage by manipulating the prejudice in others. Dog whistling is a strategy: it intentionally uses veiled terms to stimulate racial animosity, whipping up popular fears and stoking dangerous and misdirected resentments.

Berkeley Law professor publishes book on habeas corpus

Amanda Tyler interviewed by Northern California Record, Sept. 27, 2016

“A big part of what keeps my interest about this particular area of law is that it touches on a lot of larger concepts having to do with the separation of powers and the emergency constitution. And it also invites a rigorous historical inquiry into the role that habeas corpus has played over time during periods of great constitutional stress.”