The internet has lit up with the story of the 20-year-old, 92-lb. history major who says she’s been battling the Yale administration over its pressure on her to eat more. [New Haven Register]. Although much of the press coverage seems unaware of the issue, it would not be surprising if changing legal pressures on universities played a role here. Efforts both regulatory and liability-driven have been under way to hold universities accountable for not preventing student suicides, and as a result, many campuses have seen a shift toward more interventionist, rules-driven policies designed to show that the institution was not standing idly by when it knew or had reason to know of early signs of self-harm. (Our file on the topic goes back a decade.) If the list of self-harm behaviors includes eating disorders, you might have a formula for interventions in which very skinny students are placed under pressure to prove they are not anorexic. Evaluating cases like the current one, of course, is difficult for outsiders because of HIPAA and other privacy laws which broadly prohibit the sharing of health-related information, even on topics of public concern.
Sue ‘em all: “Eighty-six current and former members of a Yale University fraternity are being sued over a deadly tailgating crash at the 2011 Yale-Harvard football game. … [Lawyers] say insurance for the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization doesn’t cover the local chapter, so they have to sue the local fraternity and its members.” That’s “have to” in the sense of “can obtain more money if they.” [Associated Press]
- “California AG files claim against school that hired its own students to boost employment numbers” — not a story about a law school, but it might have been [John Steele]
- Hardly anyone took the constitutional challenge to ObamaCare seriously, at least it seems not at Yale [David Bernstein, Volokh; and speaking of law school ideology my book Schools for Misrule makes a great holiday gift]
- Clinical legal education: “shift from service clinics to impact clinics is partly driven by clinicians’ search for status within the academy” [Margaret Drew and Andrew Morriss, SSRN]
- Shorten law school to two years? [NYT “DealBook” on Obama comments, Jim Dedman, Abnormal Use] “UVM, Vermont Law School consider joint degree” [Burlington Free Press]
- As “Old Media” shrinks, shouldn’t the number of law reviews do so too? [Gerard Magliocca]
- Lighter regulation of UK law schools, and more pathways to practice? [John Flood]
- Cleveland State law profs say “Satanic” $666 pay hike was retaliation for union activities [TaxProf]
- Can EPA use subregulatory guidance to dodge judicial review of formal notice-and-comment rulemaking? Appeals court says no [Allison Wood, WLF]
- “Outhouse blues: Salisbury Twp. tells 77-year-old to install $20,000 septic system he doesn’t want” [Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Online]
- Denying attorney fee in oil spill case, Texas judge questions authenticity of client signature [ABA Journal, Chamber-backed Southeast Texas Record]
- Why “climate justice” campaigns fail both the environment and the poor [Chris Foreman, The Breakthrough]
- Does the Yale Alumni Magazine often side with plaintiffs who sue to muzzle critics? [Neela Banerjee on Michael Mann lawsuit against National Review, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mark Steyn, etc.]
- Anti-science, anti-humanity: Milan animal rights action trashes years of psychiatric research [Nature]
- Parody Tom-Friedman-bot must be at it again: “best place to start” response to Boston attack “is with a carbon tax” [Tim Blair] Too darn hot: “Dems warn climate change could drive women to ‘transactional sex'” [The Hill]
- Some California lawmakers seek to curb shakedown lawsuits under notorious Prop 65 chemical-labeling law [Sacramento Bee; Gov. Brown proposes reform]
In my offhand judgment, Justice Breyer’s argument about the ATS and its “fit” with the presumption [against extraterritoriality] has force. (The Chief has an answer, but it’s a very close call.) What this is actually about, though, is a monitoring problem; and on that, the Chief is right.
The ATS has become a playpen for a cabal of international law enthusiasts and plaintiffs’ lawyers. Couple the former’s wild-eyed global aspirations with the latter’s eagerness to drag corporations through our one-of-a-kind tort system, and it’s Katy, bar the door. The Chief’s rule blocks all that: if it happened abroad, that’s it. Justice Breyer’s position, in contrast, would compel the Court to monitor all the places and institutions where this stuff gets out of hand: the Ninth Circuit; the wildest district courts in the country; the folks who are in charge of the Restatement of Foreign Relations; and the people who crank up “customary” international law (which becomes “customary” when someone at Yale Law School says it is, and the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs agrees). If some foreign employees of a U.S. company sue other employees of that company over tortious sexual harassment at the company’s foreign plants, has the defendants’ conduct “substantially and adversely affect[ed] an important American national interest,” that of serving as a beacon of sexual equality in the world? You tell me.
To ask the Supreme Court to keep an eye on this is to declare surrender. So it’s good that the Court has drawn a line. Whether it’ll hold, we’ll see.
- Universities’ prestige game: will “zombie law schools” drag down the rest? [Gerard Magliocca]
- Law as undergraduate degree works in advanced countries like Germany and Britain, could work here too [Bainbridge]
- It’s a capitalist plot! Steve Diamond of Santa Clara assails Brian Tamanaha’s critique of law schools as too redolent of Hayek, Cato [SSRN, background, more]
- “That’s pretty good reason to speak up: Thomas Breaks 5-year Silence During #SCOTUS Arguments to Mock Yale” [@DavidMastio]
- Dean who took huge pay packet for dismal results is also immediate past president of ABA law school panel [Campos]
- Does the California experience undercut arguments for relaxing accreditation? [Matt Bodie]
- “What Do Law Professors Think About the Critiques of the Law Schools?” [Orin Kerr]
Josh Blackman has a summary, including the Justice’s memories of Charles Reich’s constitutional law class at Yale, his commentaries on cases from the last Supreme Court term, and a proposal to carve the faces of Federalist Society founders Lee Liberman, David McIntosh, Peter Keisler, and Steve Calabresi on Mount Rushmore.
P.S. And on the Citizens United decision [BLT]:
Alito said arguments can be made for overturning Citizens United, but not the popular one that boils down to one line: Corporations shouldn’t get free speech rights like a person.
“It is pithy, it fits on a bumper sticker, and in fact a variety of bumper stickers are available,” Alito told a crowd of about 1,400 at The Federalist Society’s annual dinner. He cited two: “End Corporate Personhood,” and “Life does not begin at incorporation.”
Then Alito pointed out the same people do not question the First Amendment rights of media corporations in cases like The New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the Pentagon papers case. If corporations did not have free speech rights, newspapers would lose such cases, he said.
If Yale is any example, universities are surrendering without much of a fight to the Obama administration’s demands that they not give overmuch due process to students and faculty charged with sexual misconduct. And why does the press persist in treating as perfectly respectable Wendy Murphy, the oft-refuted roving criminal justice commentator and occasional Title IX complainant? [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus, earlier]
- Cross-examination could be awkward: “Top Nevada Court Says Attorney Son Can Represent Dad in Divorce From Mom” [ABA Journal]
- “Phoenix Woman Ordered to Not Give Out Water in 112 Degree Heat Because She Lacked a Permit” [Doherty, Reason]
- Admitting no guilt, Yale capitulates to feds’ Title IX probe, promises crackdown on sexual “climate” [YAM, earlier here, here, etc.]
- Citing “egregious” ethics lapse, judge denies McGuireWoods fees in BarBri antitrust case [NLJ]
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act probe of retailers? [Reuters, FCPA Professor] FCPA piggyback shareholder suits falter [D&O Diary]
- Obama has postponed a slew of new regulations until after November, and they’re a costly lot [Rob Portman, WSJ]
- Fifth Circuit rejects challenge to sentencing in Paul Minor case [YallPolitics, background]
- Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan, facing class-action suit, subpoenas Colorado lawprof Paul Campos, vocal critic of schools’ disclosure policies [Campos, Scott Greenfield]
- “Maintenance of effort”: Yielding to special ed lobby, feds won’t let local school districts cut outlays [Nirvi Shah, Ed Week] “Havoc in classrooms” feared as NYC pushes least restrictive placement of disabled students [NY Post] Feds to universities: it’s an ADA violation to ask suicidal students to leave [WFAE, Popehat]
- Arizona lawmaker proposes ban on political viewpoint discrimination in faculty hiring [Inside Higher Ed]
- “University of Maryland Cuts Varsity Cheer Program” [Washington Post, Doug Robinson/Deseret News via Saving Sports]
- Due-process revolution in school discipline hasn’t worked out as intended [Richard Arum, The Atlantic] Heavy police presence in schools is something new [J.D. Tuccille, Reason] “Education Department Pushes Racial Quotas in School Discipline” [Hans Bader, CEI]
- “What Yale and the Times Did to Patrick Witt” [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus]