Faculty in the News

Ohio State law professors are sought out for their expertise by a number of news media outlets and blogs with large audiences. Topics range from the death penalty to voter ID laws to artificial insemination – and our faculty members’ quotes and analysis can be found everywhere from small-town and national newspapers to radio broadcasts to cable news programs. The following is a selection of media coverage for Moritz College of Law faculty.

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Recent Media Coverage

On Medical Marijuana, Ohio And Justice Department Move Down Divergent Paths

June 16, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman appeared on WOSU Public Media to discuss the riffs between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and medical marijuana advocates, as well as the fate of medical marijuana in Ohio, which is in the process of being legalized.
“Lots of industry interests, lots of beliefs that this will be a robust marketplace for medical marijuana running up against the possibility that federal officials will be expressing an inclination to crack down on that," Berman said. "How that will play out both for the industry and for state officials trying to thread the needle in the months and years ahead remain to be seen.”

President Trump Can’t Just Fire Robert Mueller

June 13, 2017

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

An op-ed by Professor Peter Shane, “President Trump Can’t Just Fire Robert Mueller,” appeared in The New York Times
"The latest attention-grabbing trial balloon to be floated by a White House staffer or apparent surrogate for President Trump is the suggestion by Christopher Ruddy, a longtime friend of the president, that Mr. Trump is 'considering, perhaps, terminating' Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s links to Russia,” Shane writes. “President Trump cannot legally do so.”

Death-penalty trial to begin after tricky process of selecting Franklin County jury

June 12, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch about jury selection for a death penalty case in Columbus. The process is unusual, as potential jurors must disclose their views on the death penalty before hearing any evidence.

Concerns also exist regarding whether jurors will adhere to the death penalty sentencing process and if determining potential punishments in advance is fair to the defendant, Berman said.
“But I struggle to figure out how you can do it any other way,” he added.

Donald Trump: Comey's leak of memo 'totally illegal?'

June 11, 2017

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was mentioned in PolitiFact in an article about former FBI director James Comey and whether he broke the law—as President Donald Trump claims—by leaking a memo written during his tenure with the FBI about a private meeting he had with the president.
Executive privilege has to be expressly invoked in order to apply to a testimonial setting, like Comey’s hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Additionally, according to the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court case, United States vs. Nixon, other branches of government can still demand disclosure should the information in question outweigh the executive branch’s need for confidentiality, Shane said.


US Strikes in Syria: 'Trump Seems to Be Supporting a De Facto Partition'

June 9, 2017

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley was quoted in Sputnik International about U.S. strikes and military operations in Syria.
"The problem is that the United States is operating in Syria without consent of its government," Quigley said.

Did Trump’s actions amount to obstruction of justice and could he be impeached?

June 9, 2017

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in The Times of Israel about whether President Donald Trump’s requests to former FBI director James Comey to drop investigations into former national security adviser Michael Flynn amounted to an obstruction of justice.
According to Dressler, obstruction of justice requires proof that one has “corruptly influenced, impeded, or endeavored to influence or impede, the due administration of justice.” It remains unknown whether Trump was “fully aware that he was acting wrongly or whether he was oblivious to proper, established protocol,” Dressler added.

President Trump's Lawyers To File Complaint Against James Comey: Reports

June 9, 2017

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

A blog post written by Professor Peter Shane for Take Care, “Executive Privilege(s) and the Testimony of James Comey,” was mentioned in Patch, in an article about reports that President Donald Trump is preparing to file a formal complaint against the former FBI director.
"There is no law prohibiting someone in conversation with the President from revealing that conversation to third parties without the President's consent," Shane writes. "Of course, one could well imagine that the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential presidential conversation would be a fireable offense if committed by any federal officer serving at the pleasure of the President. Unfortunately for the President, he had fired Mr. Comey before the unauthorized disclosure."

Without executive privilege protections, intel chiefs may have to talk

June 9, 2017

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted in ThinkProgress about the role of executive privilege in preventing intelligence chiefs from testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“When privilege is claimed in relation to a conversation or communication directly involving the president, what we’re talking about is presidential communications privilege,” Shane stated in an email. “That’s what was at stake in U.S. v. Nixon and what would be at stake regarding any conversation or communication directly with Trump.”

Voting software firm not used in Ohio

June 7, 2017

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in The Toledo Blade about a Florida elections software company that was allegedly hacked by Russia. The company, VR systems, is not certified for use throughout Ohio. A phishing attack against election or voter registration software could lead to an “enormous” amount of damages, Tokaji said.
“I’m not saying that either of these things happened, and I can’t in any kind of reliable way estimate the risk of their happening,” he said. “But there’s no doubt in my mind that the state and local election officials, as well as vendors, must look at this very carefully.”

Ohio senators announce commission to recommend federal judge nominees

June 5, 2017

Featured Expert: Christopher J. Walker

Professor Chris Walker was mentioned in Cleveland.com. Walker was picked to join a 28-member bipartisan commission that will make recommendations for filling two vacant federal judge seats in Ohio.