Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Higher education roundup

  • The less you know: new push to “de-bias” faculty recruiting by removing CVs and interviews from the process [John Morgan, Times Higher Ed/Inside Higher Ed on developments in Britain]
  • “You Can’t Make This Up: A Speech Code that Investigates Students for Discussing the Freedom of Speech” [University of South Carolina: Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran on Cato certiorari brief in Abbott v. Pastides]
  • “Sokal Squared” hoax runs into IRB (human subjects review) issues at Portland State, and it’s more complicated than you might think [Jesse Singal, New York]
  • “A Liberal Case for DeVos’s Reforms” [Lara Bazelon, New York Times] After initial resistance, ACLU moving to acknowledge merit of some objections to Obama-era Title IX procedure [Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic] Attorneys general from 18 states plus D.C. sign letter arguing against presumption of innocence for students accused under Title IX [same]
  • “Anti-Koch group tries to get hummus banned from university in BDS effort” [Zachary Petrizzo, The College Fix]
  • Monopoly bargaining privileges for faculty: vindication and hope after Janus [Charles Baird, Martin Center]

Individual liberty and the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

A bill sponsored by roughly half the members of Congress would — so we are warned by New York magazine, at least — “make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel” and “make avoiding the purchase of Israeli goods for political reasons a federal crime.” While those claims may be somewhat overstated, I argue in a new post at Ricochet that the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act “is plenty bad enough. By punishing boycott participation grounded in political belief, it would infringe on individual liberty.” And: “It is not a proper function of law to force Americans into foreign commerce they personally find politically objectionable, whether their reasons for reluctance be good, bad, or arbitrary. The furor would make a good occasion to revisit the 1979 law itself in light of principles of individual liberty; at a minimum, we should decline S. 720’s invitation to extend it further.”

Facebook prevails in another pair of abetting-terrorism suits

“A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, has dismissed two lawsuits that claimed Facebook should be liable for allowing terrorists to use its platform to advance violence….The plaintiffs had claimed that Palestinian terrorism organizations used the social media platform to incite and organize attacks.” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal; Eugene Volokh (federal judge ruled “in my view quite correctly”)]

Campus free expression roundup

  • 21 professors, including Bartholet, Epstein, and McConnell, write letter to Department of Education Office of Civil Rights [OCR] challenging its directives on campus sexual harassment [Ashe Schow, Washington Examiner] Student suing Colorado State over multi-year suspension adds OCR as a defendant [Scott Greenfield; more, George Will]
  • President Obama has been saying things students need to hear about intellectual freedom at commencements [Howard and Rutgers, Jonathan Adler] “Does Obama understand that his own government is responsible for the safe-space phenomenon he frequently decries?” [Robby Soave]
  • Protesters these days disrupting and physically shutting down a lot of pro-Israel campus speeches and events on US campuses [Observer; UC Irvine]
  • “Jokes, insensitive remarks, size-ist posters”: from a distance the doings of the University of Oregon’s Bias Response Team can seem kind of hilarious. Maybe not up close [Robby Soave/Reason, Catherine Rampell/Washington Post] “Towson U. [Maryland public university] implements ‘hate/bias’ reporting system to ensure ‘anti-racist campus climate’” [The College Fix]
  • Read and marvel at the arguments being deployed against Prof. Dale Carpenter’s proposal for bolstering free expression at the University of Minnesota [Susan Du, City Pages] “Why Free Speech Matters on Campus” [Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch]
  • Faculty at George Mason University law school unanimously affirm commitment to renaming school after Justice Antonin Scalia [Lloyd Cohen, Michael Greve]

Private terrorism lawsuits disrupt U.S. foreign policy

With encouragement from both Congress and an active plaintiff’s bar, victims and survivors have been suing various foreign entities in U.S. courts charging complicity, sometimes indirect and roundabout, with participants in international terrorism. But a suit against Bank of China over a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack suggests that “when it comes to battling global terror, civil suits by American citizens often do more harm than good.” Both the United States and Israel have reportedly negotiated with the Chinese institution to develop ways of combating illicit money transfers, but privately directed damages litigation tends to deter cooperation and perpetuate mistrust, and is hard to call off even when it has begun doing real harm to diplomacy. Even when lawsuits against some of the more obvious bad actors succeed, “the U.S. government has for years blocked financial judgments awarded to American plaintiffs against Iran and other foreign governments. Why? Such judgments are seen as conflicting with American foreign policy interests.” [James Loeffler and Moria Paz, Slate]

Earlier on lawsuits over terrorism: suing U.S. government over Kenya, Tanzania embassy bombings; Ted Frank 2007 essay; everybody “except the guys who did it“; Egyptian hotel forum-shopping; Tanzania gem smuggling; 9/11 suits and more.

“Mr. Abbas has used the threat of defamation litigation to counter bad press”

“A federal judge has thrown out a libel lawsuit a son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas filed last year against Foreign Policy magazine, charging that a commentary the journal published leveled unfounded allegations of corruption. … The piece was written by Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.” [Josh Gerstein/Politico, McClatchy]

Attorneys’ fees roundup

  • We’re worth it: lawyers in credit card case want judge to award them $720 million [Alison Frankel, Reuters] Johnson & Johnson will fight $181 million payday for private lawyers in Arkansas Risperdal case [Legal NewsLine]
  • British Columbia, Canada: “Lawyer Ordered To Pay Costs Personally For ‘Shoddy Piece Of Counsel Work’” [Erik Magraken] Ontario client questions lawyer’s fee [Law Times]
  • Sixth Circuit: attorneys fees statute not intended to cover dry cleaning and mini-blinds [Legal Ethics Forum]
  • Indiana lawmaker goes back to drawing board on loser-pays bill [Indiana Law Blog]
  • ‘Shocked’ by $3M legal fee in fatal car-crash case, judge tells lawyers to pay plaintiff lawyer $50K [ABA Journal]
  • Seth Katsuya Endo, “Should Evidence of Settlement Negotiations Affect Attorneys’ Fees Awards?” [SSRN via Legal Ethics Forum]
  • In Israel, more of a discretionary loser-pays arrangement [Eisenberg et al, SSRN via @tedfrank]
  • British cabbie beats ticket, recovers only some of his legal costs. Still better than he’d do here, right? [Daily Mail]
  • Turnaround guru Wilbur Ross: current structure of bankruptcy fees encourages lawyer “hyperactivity” [Reuters]

April 4 roundup

  • N.Y. Times editorial flays Stand Your Ground, but dodges its (non)-application to Martin/Zimmerman case; Washington Post blasts same law, doesn’t seem to realize Florida homicide rate has gone down not up; chronology as of Sunday’s evidence [Frances Robles, Miami Herald] On the disputed facts of the case, it would be nice if NYT corrected its misreporting [Tom Maguire, more, yet more]
  • Lawprof Michael Dorf vs. Jeffrey Toobin on president’s power not to enforce a statute [New Yorker letter]
  • Israeli law bans underweight models [AP/Houston Chronicle]
  • Is price-fixing OK? Depends on whether the government is helping arrange it [Mark Perry]
  • Minnesota man arrested, jailed for neglecting to put siding on his house [KSTP via Alkon]
  • Once lionized in press, former Ohio AG Dann now fights suspension of law license [Sue Reisinger, Corp Counsel, earlier]
  • How California is that? “Killer got $30,000 in unemployment while in jail, officials say” [LAT]

Food co-op sued after joining Israel boycott

After the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington removed products from Israel from its shelves, it was sued by several members who claimed that it had violated its bylaws. “A motion filed by attorneys with Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle and by attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights asserts that the lawsuit is a ‘Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,'” banned under a Washington statute; one of the attorneys who filed the suit says “it is ‘absolutely, positively not’ a SLAPP suit.” [The Olympian, more here and here]

Class action lawsuit over Jimmy Carter book

A new way to harass authors whose controversial message one disapproves of? The lawsuit, which demands $5 million, claims that the former President’s 2006 volume “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” contains “numerous false and knowingly misleading statements intended to promote the author’s agenda of anti-Israel propaganda and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate information as advertised.” Sanctions, please! [Washington Post “Political Bookworm”]