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

Drone Privacy: Is Anyone in Charge?

February 11, 2016

Featured Expert: Margot Kaminski

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in a Consumer Reports article about drone privacy:

The ACLU, which supports the Markey bill, argued as far back as 2011 that a lack of oversight could lead to excessive surveillance by law enforcement using drones. Yet some legal analysts warn that the opposite situation also poses dangers: If regulations were poorly written, they could end up protecting government and commercial operators of drones, while restricting everyone else. For instance, some states are considering laws that would prevent journalists from using drones to photograph conditions on big industrial farms, according to Margot Kaminski, a law professor at Ohio State. Kaminski urges patience on the federal level. “Clarity comes at the cost of experimentation, and early law is likely to be over-reaching,” she says. Some restrictive laws could end up being struck down in the courts. But by letting states, counties, and towns try to get this right, Kaminski argues, we may end up with a reasonable understanding of when and how drones fit into our daily lives.


Salt Is Latest Food Fight

February 10, 2016

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on about public health arguments regarding salt warnings on restaurant menus:

The reason this case is fascinating is it has all of the big three public-health law issues you tend to see," said Micah Berman, a professor of public health and law at Ohio State University, who isn't involved in the case.

The three issues are administrative authority, First Amendment rights and pre-emption. Administrative authority deals with whether the city's health department can make such rules without the New York City Council. In 2014, a state appeals court found the board, which is appointed by the mayor, exceeded its regulatory authority in an effort to restrict the sale of large, sugary drinks.

The First Amendment protects free speech, giving a person -- or, in this case, restaurant -- the right to speak, or not to speak.

The final issue, pre-emption, addresses conflicts between state or local and federal law. The association says federal menu-labeling requirements, which go into effect in December 2016 and don't include a sodium warning, trump the local law.

"You don't know which one a court will necessarily rely on for its decision, but there are potential implications for all three," Mr. Berman said.
 


Clinton, Sanders and the changing face of the Democratic Party

February 9, 2016

Featured Expert: David Stebenne

Professor David Stebenne wrote an op-ed for The Conversation describing how a recent debate between Democratic Party presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders highlighted changes in the Democratic Party over the past half-century.

“Last week’s debate in New Hampshire between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over who is the “real progressive” said a lot about how they and the Democratic Party have changed over the past half-century,” Stebenne said.

“When Clinton and Sanders first came of age politically during the mid-1960s, neither was a natural fit for the Democrats as the party was then.

“Taking a look at how these two very different people and the party they now want to lead have evolved can help clarify the philosophical divide on display in the Democratic Party today.”


Loss of center leaves Ohio State's Latinos feeling overlooked

February 9, 2016

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article about Ohio State's Latino student population:

More than 2,200 Latino students are enrolled at Ohio State University, nearly twice as many as 10 years before. They used to be able to gather in a budding, if unofficial, Latino center and not worry about immigration status or fitting in. But the center's space-sharing arrangement fell through, the center has fallen apart and Latino students say they feel overlooked.

University officials have held a series of meetings lately with Latino student leaders seeking more support. One request is key: "They're really making it clear that they would like to have an official space," said Sharon Davies, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Ohio State.


What would it take to find out for sure if Ted Cruz (or others like him) is eligible for the presidency?

February 3, 2016

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel P. Tokaji's research was quoted in a Washington Post article:

The most common route for aggrieved partisans, in this case opponents of Cruz, are the federal courts. But the courts are unlikely to go near the question just because someone brings a lawsuit. If some gadfly, for example, were to sue in federal court to keep Cruz off the ballot, the chances of any judge stepping in to settle the question is close to zero. 

There’s little dispute about that according to, among many others, Ohio State University law professor Daniel P. Tokaji, writing in the Michigan Law Review.


Trump Disputes Iowa Results, a Change of Tone After Second-Place Finish

February 3, 2016

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in a Bloomberg Politics article on the Iowa caucuses:

Edward Foley, an election law professor at Ohio State University, said Trump hasn't shown any evidence that the Cruz campaign's statement about Carson affected a single vote, let alone how the candidates ranked.

“It's important to recognize that there may be some hyperbole and bluster here,” Foley said. “As far as I can tell, there's not even a single voter coming forward saying, ‘I would have voted for Carson instead of Cruz if I'd known Carson was in the race.’”

Even if Trump could demonstrate that the Cruz campaign's comments affected the outcome of the caucus, he'd still have to prove that Cruz had intentionally engaged in wrongdoing, according to the professor.

“It's very hard to void an election and get a new election. You'd have to prove wrongdoing that had a consequence of effecting the result,” Foley said, noting Cruz had apologized for his staff not following up with caucus-goers on the Carson reports. “That doesn't sound like it adds up to proving wrongdoing,” Foley said.


Justices to Continue Shaping Eighth Amendment Case Law for Juveniles

January 28, 2016

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas E. Berman was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA story on the Eighth Amendment:

Douglas E. Berman, a law professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and author of the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, gave Bloomberg BNA a similar assessment of the opinion.

He said the most important aspect of the decision is the court's explicit reiteration of the point it made in both Graham and Miller that children should not be sentenced in the same way as adults.

“Kids are different and by virtue of that difference, they must be sentenced differently,” he said.


U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach's successor unlikely to be appointed this year, expert says

January 26, 2016

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted in a Cleveland.com article about outgoing U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach:

Peter Shane, an Ohio State University law professor who has done research on presidential powers and appointments, said President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate may come to a stalemate, as they have with other nominations.

"Right now, the numbers suggest the Republicans are pretty determined not to confirm anybody," Shane said. "I think that's true even for positions that would ordinarily not be considered very controversial."
 


Arguments Over North Carolina Voter ID Law Begin in Federal Court

January 25, 2016

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward B. Foley was quoted in a New York Times article about North Carolina's voter ID law:

“The North Carolina litigation is the leading litigation in the post-Shelby world,” said Edward B. Foley, an elections law expert at Ohio State University, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama, v. Holder. “It’s the test case, the battleground case more than any other.”


Winning the Close Ones

January 23, 2016

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward B. Foley's book, Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States (Oxford Press, 2016), was reviewed in the American Thinker.

Reviewer Richard Baehr wrote:

"There are many more stories in this book that provide colorful histories of individual ballot disputes through the nation’s two plus centuries. As Foley notes, there is no reason to think that the next big battle, whether for the White House or some other office, will be easily resolved. There is too much at stake, and the author believes the country has entered a more partisan era, where neither side may be so willing to live by the results, if they do not believe the results are accurate tallies."