April 2016

Jeff Ferriell TN
Professor Jeff Ferriell made a presentation to the Ohio State Bar Association’s Council of Delegates on behalf of the OSBA’s Banking, Commercial Law, and Bankruptcy Committee on Wednesday, April 27. His presentation was in support of the Committee’s recommendation that the Ohio State Bar Association support Ohio’s adoption of the 2002 amendments to Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Council of Delegates approved the proposal and Professor Ferriell expects to work with the OSBA’s Legislative Counsel to identify a legislative sponsor for the proposed legislation.

Dan Kobil
Professor Dan Kobil published an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch on April 12, 2016, arguing that the refusal of the Senate to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is improper and undermines our constitutional system. The opinion can be read here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2016/04/12/1-delaying-court-nomination-twists-the-constitution.html

March 2016

Dan Kobil TN
Professor Dan Kobil, who teaches constitutional law, was interviewed regarding the United States Supreme Court on “Town Hall Ohio,” a radio program produced by the Ohio Farm Bureau. The interview was broadcast on March 12 and 13 on Columbus radio station 610 WTVN and on ten other radio stations across Ohio. Professor Kobil discussed the history of the Supreme Court, some of its most significant decisions and justices, and the current controversy regarding President Obama’s efforts to appoint a successor to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The program link is found at: https://ofbf.org/2016/03/14/united-states-supreme-court-town-hall-ohio/.

February 2016

Dan Kobil TN
Professor Dan Kobil spoke to the Bexley City Council at their annual retreat concerning First Amendment issues on February 6, 2016. The Council members sought guidance on the extent to which expressive activities like door-to-door visits and handing out flyers can be regulated. Professor Kobil has taught Constitutional Law at Capital University Law School since 1987. He has also helped to litigate free speech cases involving successful challenges to municipal ordinances regulating public interest canvassing, most recently the case of Ohio Citizen Action v. City of Englewood, 671 F.3d 564, 579 (6th Cir. 2012).

On February 10, 2016, Professor Kobil testified before the Criminal Justice Committee of the Ohio Senate regarding Senate Bill 162. The bill would ban the execution of those who suffer from severe mental illness at the time that they committed an offense that otherwise would have subjected them to the death sentence. Professor Kobil spoke on behalf of fifty two law professors from across Ohio who signed a letter to the Committee urging passage of the bill to ensure that capital punishment in Ohio will no longer be imposed on those who are less culpable for their crimes owing to serious mental disorders.

Brad Smith TN
Professor Brad Smith has recently penned articles for the New York Daily News, National Review, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times about the 2016 Presidential election. Topics of his articles vary from an opinion piece on Donald Trump to campaign finance reform to Super PACs. The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Las Vegas Sun, (Spokane) Spokesman Review, Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, ABC, National Journal have all quoted Professor Smith on various issues as well. He has also released the second edition of the casebook, Voting Rights and Election Law, with Michael Dimino, Jr. and Michael Solimine.

Professor Smith has also contributed to the "Courts, Campaigns & Corruption: Judicial Recusal Five Years After Caperton" forum at New York University Law School. Other speaking engagements include “Constitution Day: Future of the Voting Rights Act” at West Virginia University College of Law with Professor Atiba Ellis, "Advocacy and the First Amendment: Should Nonprofits Disclose Their Donors" at the Heritage Foundation with John Samples,"The Future of Free Speech” at the Buckley Institute, Yale University with Kevin Williamson, Roger Scruton, Harry Stein, “Campaign Finance Reform & the Roberts Court” University of Cincinnati College of Law Federalist Society, and “Past and Future of Buckley v. Valeo” panel on “Why the Buckley Decision Matters” with Floyd Abrams.

Other recent accomplishments include a podcast for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on the 15th Amendment. Accompanying Professor Smith on the podcast are Rick Pildes of New York University and Jeff Rosen of George Washington University. The podcast can be found here.

Rick Pildes and Professor Smith also collaborated to write articles for the National Constitution Center. The articles can be found here:

Professor Smith has recently completed an encyclopedia entry in the book, Campaign Finance Practices, in American Governance.

Follow Professor Smith @CommishSmith on Twitter and read his periodical blog posts.

September 2015

Dan Kobil
Professor Dan Kobil was the guest speaker at the Columbus Bar Association professionalism committee meeting on September 23rd. His topic covered professionalism issues unique to prosecuting and defending claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983.

Dennis Hirsch TN
Professor Dennis Hirsch spoke to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Department of Enforcement at their offices in Washington, D.C on September 17th. His talk concerned big data, its potential impacts on privacy and discrimination, and how the law could foster big data’s many benefits while minimizing these negative impacts.

The talk was centered on Professor Hirsch's recent article, That’s Unfair! Or is it? Big Data, Discrimination and the FTC’s Unfairness Authority, 103 Kentucky Law Review 345 (2015). In the article, Professor Hirsch developed an original regulatory theory for how the Federal Trade Commission could use its “unfairness authority” to reduce big data’s privacy and discriminatory impacts. In his talk to the CFPB, Professor Hirsch explained how the CFPB could use its own “unfairness authority” to accomplish the same goal with respect to the financial institutions that it regulates.

Risa Dinitz Lazaroff
Professor Risa Lazaroff was nominated and subsequently invited to be a member of the Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Inn of Court Inn, part of The American Inns of Court Foundation, America’s oldest, largest and fastest growing legal mentoring organization. With members nationwide, the sole, nonpartisan mission of the American Inns of Court is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. The Inns of Court utilizes a modified version of the traditional English model of legal apprenticeship by honoring the time honored English tradition and practice of “pupillage”—the sharing of wisdom, insight, and experience of seasoned judges and lawyers with newer practitioners. And, all members alike benefit from the opportunities to improve their advocacy and counseling skills and to develop a keener ethical awareness.

August 2015

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández
Professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández has recently published a book, Crimmigration Law (ABA Publishing). Building off almost seven years of blogging about crimmigration law developments and publishing more than a dozen scholarly articles, Professor García Hernández has now written a book which is the first of its kind to map the doctrine that comprises crimmigration law. Part one of the book focuses on how criminal adjudications affect immigration proceedings while part two looks at the inverse: how status as a migrant is relevant in criminal proceedings. Finally, part three turns to special enforcement issues such as border policing and state-federal law enforcement cooperation.

Mark Brown TN
Professor Mark Brown was recently quoted in the CNN article "Trump 3rd party run would face 'sore loser' laws". The article discussed the possibility of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump running as a third-party candidate for president if he fails to win the Republican nomination. To do so he will have to overcome the "sore loser" law in some states. Such laws do not allow for a candidate to appear in a primary election under one party and then appear in the general election under a new party.

Professor Brown, who has argued legal cases for minor parties and independent candidates challenging sore loser laws, was asked his thoughts regarding the viability of Trump appearing on the November ballot; he said "when he was doing research for Johnson's Libertarian campaign in 2012, he found five states that were actively enforcing sore loser laws. including Michigan and Mississippi." However, he went on to say that while overcoming the sore loser law is an obstacle, "if you're well-financed, it's hard, no doubt, but people have done it. Ross Perot did, John Anderson did it, Gary Johnson came real close to doing it recently. I think Trump could do it." 

Melinda Molina
Professor Melinda S. Molina recently spoke at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Symposia, Baker Botts LLP in Dallas, Texas and AT&T Corporate Headquarters in Austin, Texas. She discussed her essay on Fisher v. University of Texas and the ongoing vitality of the use of racial classifications “as a factor of a factor” in higher education admissions.

Professor Molina also discussed and highlighted her two studies on Latina lawyers: National Study on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, Few and Far Between: the Reality of Latina Lawyers and La Voz de la Abogada Latina: Challenges and Rewards in Serving the Public Interest Sector at Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter in Columbus, Ohio.

July 2015

Mark Brown TN
Professor Mark Brown was quoted in The Akron Legal News regarding his views on a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would create a new format for redistricting state elections following the 2020 census. The amendment would allow for a group other than the state legislature to draw Congressional district lines. The proposed Ohio redistricting committee would be the governor, the state auditor, the secretary of state, individuals appointed by the speaker of the house, the president of the state senate and the senate leader of the other largest political party. The proposed amendment is being linked to the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission case, where the court determined that Congressional district lines can be drawn by groups other than the state legislature. Professor Brown was asked his opinion on the case and the issue at hand, he said "the majority got it wrong" and went on to say that he maintains a distrust of independent redistricting committees due to their lack of accountability to the general electorate. However, Professor Brown can now see a time where "Ohio can put together some kind of independent commission like Arizona and California have."