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

Pres. Trump’s tax plan cuts top rate from 39.6 to 35 percent

April 26, 2017

Featured Expert: Stephanie Hoffer

Professor Stephanie Hoffer appeared on NBC4 to discuss President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform package. While officials from the Trump administration say that the proposal will lower the debt-to-GDP ratio, close key loopholes in the tax code, and pay for itself in growth, some experts say that the proposal could add trillions of dollars to the deficit and is still lacking in specifics.

“I think the ‘how is it going to be paid for’ question is a huge question that has the potential to split the Republican Party,” Hoffer said.


Columbus School Violated Rights Of Leafleters, Law Professor Says

April 26, 2017

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker appeared on WOSU Radio to discuss the First Amendment rights of leafleters who gathered peacefully on a sidewalk outside of a Columbus elementary school.

Following an alleged report that a parent was picked up by ICE agents after dropping their child off at school, the group assembled to pass out fliers that detailed immigration rights in Spanish. The school’s principal threatened to call security, but the school currently does not have a leafleting policy in place and did not have a constitutional right to dismiss the group. Colker plans on aiding the school district in developing a leafleting policy that also upholds constitutional rights.

“There's a Supreme Court case that says that the public sidewalk adjacent to a public school is what we call a public forum," Colker said, citing Grayned v. City of Rockford, which held that "the public sidewalk adjacent to school grounds may not be declared off limits for expressive activity by members of the public."


Nearly all Ohio Medicaid expansion enrollees would lose coverage if program is repealed

April 25, 2017

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

A new study coauthored by Professor Micah Berman and Eric Sieber, an associate professor of health services management and policy at Ohio State, was featured in Modern Healthcare.

If Medicaid expansion is eliminated following a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, about 95 percent of Medicaid expansion beneficiaries in Ohio would subsequently have no insurance options available to them, according to the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health. Additionally, the study also found that most newly enrolled Medicaid members in Ohio qualified because they didn’t have private health insurance, became unemployed and lost their private insurance, or were not eligible for their employer’s health plan. These findings contradict claims from opponents who believe Medicaid encourages enrollment in taxpayer-funded insurance instead of private insurance.

"That's just not what the data show," Berman said.


Columbus schools to ‘refresh’ principals on city sidewalk rights

April 25, 2017

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch regarding the First Amendment rights of leafleters who gathered peacefully on a sidewalk outside of a Columbus school.

The school’s principal threatened to call security on the group, who were passing out fliers in Spanish about immigration rights, Colker told a Columbus City Schools board meeting. “Both times the people cooperated and left,” Colker said. “They did not want to create an incident.”

By threatening to call security, the principal violated the group’s free-speech rights, she believes. According to a 1972 Supreme Court case, Grayned v. City of Rockford, “the public sidewalk adjacent to school grounds may not be declared off limits for expressive activity by members of the public.” Although Colker is legally representing the leafleters, they do not have plants to sue the school district. She advised the school board to develop a constitutional policy that doesn't interfere with free speech rights, instead. 


Arkansas set for new round of executions; 2 moved near death chamber

April 24, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette regarding an unprecedented number of lethal injections scheduled throughout the state.

While one lethal injection was carried out last week (the first in more than a decade), stays and appeals for the remaining executions are intensifying. Such legal battles often stretch into the eleventh hour, Berman said, and last-minute stays are common occurrences.

"A scheduled execution always precipitates the defense attorneys throwing everything they can at every possible court," he said.
 


Syrian regime change isn’t likely to succeed

April 23, 2017

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

In an op-ed syndicated through the Tribune News Service, Professor John Quigley describes how a regime change in Syria is unlikely to succeed.

“The Assad-must-go argument, which is touted by former Secretary of State John Kerry, is that with so many opposed to Assad and his continued rule of the government in Syria, stability can only come once he is gone,” Quigley writes. “And although Assad is certainly on no one’s short list for sainthood, the problem with Kerry’s line of thinking in favor of removing Assad is that there is no democratic-minded, America-loving, Iran-hating group waiting to take the reins of power in Syria after he is gone.”


Civil rights groups challenge registration deadline in Georgia House race

April 21, 2017

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in the Los Angeles Times about recent challenges to voter qualifications in Georgia.

Following last week’s election, Democrat Jon Ossoff now faces a run-off election in June for a coveted House seat. According to Georgia’s constitution, however, residents are only qualified to vote in a run-off election if they registered to vote in the general election as well. In a complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law alleges that the law violates the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

“I don’t think that Georgia has much of a legal leg to stand on,” Tokaji said. “Georgia has an obligation to follow federal law, period.”

 


Gerrymandering Is Headed Back to the Supreme Court

April 21, 2017

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was requoted in Mother Jones about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times originally reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times, adding,  “He’s going to look at what’s going on in North Carolina as the complete absence of that. I think that helps the plaintiffs in any of these cases.”


 


Key Question for Supreme Court: Will It Let Gerrymanders Stand?

April 21, 2017

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley quoted in The New York Times about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times.
 


U.S. states considering alternative execution methods face legal hurdles

April 19, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in Reuters about the legal challenges awaiting states that are considering alternative execution methods to lethal injection.

Citing ethical concerns, global pharmaceutical companies enacted a sales ban on lethal injection drugs five years ago. As a result, states with capital punishment face shortages of the drugs.

While seven states allow secondary methods of execution should lethal injection drugs not be available or if the practice is ruled unconstitutional, six other states allow death-row inmates to choose their preferred method of dying, like by electrocution or hanging.

"If we shift to another method, that guarantees litigation," Berman said.