Federal Court Issues Covid-19 Injunction

Today, a federal court ordered the Bureau of Prisons to remove people incarcerated at the Elkton federal prison due to the high risk of COVID19 infection. The opinion and order grants relief requested by a class action habeas petition filed on behalf of Elkton prisoners by Professor Mead, acting as a pro bono attorney, in collaboration with ACLU of Ohio and Ohio Justice and Policy Center. The Court concludes that prisoners at higher risk of complications from COVID19 have established that the Elkton prison has denied adequate opportunity to prevent the spread of infection, and that immediate action is needed to prevent further spread of COVID19. Already, 6 prisoners have died of COVID19 at Elkton.
Professor Mead comments, “People living in prison have Constitutional rights, too. This order will help ensure the well-being of prisoners, staff, and the surrounding community, while preserving our Constitutional obligations.”
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Professor Robertson Advocates Alternatives to the July 2020 Bar Exam

Cleveland.com has published a letter to the editor from Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson advocating for alternatives to the July 2020 Bar Exam.  She argues that temporary licensing of graduates is a nonstarter. Law graduates cannot take on demanding jobs, then abandon work for the time necessary to study for a traditionally administered bar exam.  She urges the Supreme Court to use a shorter take-home bar exam or simply grant all Ohio law graduates a permanent license to practice, conditioned on continuing legal education or supervision some.

Her letter is available here:  This year’s law school grads can be verified as ready to practice law, without in-person July bar exams

Professor Robertson is the Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of Environmental Studies at Cleveland State University.

 

 

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Professor Robertson Participates in Programs at January 2020 AALS Program

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson attended the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in January 2020. At this meeting Robertson completed her term as Chair of the AALS Section on Natural Resources and Energy Law.  As Chair, Robertson moderated a program jointly sponsored by the Sections on Natural Resources and Energy Law, North American Cooperation, Environmental Law, and State and Local Government Law — Transnational Environmental Issues & the Role of States, Provinces, Cities, and Indigenous Communities.
In addition, Robertson was the organizer and moderator for the Works-in-Progress Session for the Sections on Environmental Law, Natural Resources and Energy Law, and Agriculture and Food Law.  This WIP session was attended by more than 50 participants and commenters from the three sponsoring sections.  The section’s main program, which Robertson helped plan, was co-sponsored with the Section on Environmental Law and Administrative Law — Agency Action on Environmental and Natural Resources Law in the Trump Era.   The Section on Natural Resources and Energy also held a field trip to the National Zoo, during which the group benefited from zoo tours by docents knowledgeable about the zoo’s species conservation efforts.
Robertson was re-elected to the Executive Committees of the Section on Natural Resources and Energy Law and the Section on Environmental Law.  She is C|M’s Steven W. Percy Professor of Law and Professor of Environmental Studies at the Levin College of Urban Affairs.
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Professor Mead Assists in Habeas Petition for Prisoners at Risk from COVID-19

Professor Joseph Mead, in his capacity as Cooperating Attorney with the ACLU of Ohio, is assisting in a federal class action petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the continued detention of people in the Elkton federal prison in eastern Ohio.  Three inmates have already died from COVID-19, and scores of prisoners and staff have fallen ill, including some seriously.  

Professor Mead explains, “Prisons are not Constitution-free zones. People who live and work in prisons should not be forced to face unnecessary risk of death and disease.” 

The case is co-counseled by ACLU of Ohio and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center.  Information about the lawsuit is available here and new coverage here.

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Israeli Newspaper Publishes Letter to the Editor by Professor Kalir

On April 9, 2020, the Israeli paper Ha’Aretz (“Israel’s NYT”), published a Letter to the Editor penned by Clinical Professor of Law Doron Kalir. The letter tried to explain the reason behind the recent move by Benny Gantz – until recently, the head of the opposition to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu – to break up his own party and become a government member under Netanyahu. The move – unprecedented in Israeli politics, and perhaps worldwide – came after three successive election campaigns where Ganz promised, again and again, to never team up with Netanyahu. Kalir opined that, as the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Military (IDF), Ganz has been used – during his entire adult life – to make decisions on his own, without much consultation. When he commanded, no one was allowed to dispute his orders – lest they will be court-martialed. His basic misunderstanding, the Letter suggested, is that in the democratic arena, the rules are different. Here, the People are the real sovereign and their representatives should serve their will, not vice-versa.

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Sagers Speaks at Cornell, U. Penn., and Cincinnati

Chris Sagers, the James A. Thomas Professor of Law, gave several presentations at eminent academic institutions this spring. In March, he presented his book, United States v. Apple: Competition in America, to the Cornell Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech, a program within Cornell Law School and Cornell University. His presentation was the Initiative’s first-ever wholly online seminar, conducted by Zoom in light of the coronavirus epidemic.

Earlier this spring, Sagers presented a paper at a symposium entitled “The Interplay of the Antitrust Laws in Our Current Business Environment,” hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law at the University of Pennsylvania.

He also took part on a discussion panel concerning legal issues surrounding the legalization marijuana in Ohio, focusing specifically on issues raised in competition policy, held at the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

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Sagers Quoted in NY Times on Trump Oil Diplomacy

Chris Sagers, the James A. Thomas Professor of Law, was quoted by Reuters in a story carried in the New York Times, commenting on recent moves by the Trump administration and by some state regulators to shore up U.S. domestic oil prices, after they’ve been battered both by an ongoing price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and by loss of demand during the coronavirus epidemic. Sagers, who studies antitrust law, explained how it might apply to efforts by regulators and to whatever private action U.S. producers might take themselves.

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