Quotes in the News Media

The following is a sampling of some of Washington University School of Law faculty's wide-ranging expertise featured in the news media. Please note that some links to external news sources may no longer be available.  

September 2014

September 8: Professor Neil Richards discussed in the Boston Globe the city of Boston’s use of surveillance software on peaceful music festival-goers: Neil Richards, a Washington University in St. Louis law professor and privacy expert who grew up in Boston, said technology like the software that IBM deployed in Boston has progressed faster than the rules that govern its use. “We haven’t done this before. We don’t know what the potential benefits of these things are. We also don’t know what the civil rights implications are,” Richards said. He called the clash of priorities — security versus privacy — “a mess on par with building mills in Lowell: It brought us cheap socks, but children were crushed in the machines.” Read more 

September 3: Professor Mae Quinn commented in the Christian Science Monitor on requests from news organizations for Michael Brown’s juvenile records: “It strikes me as a shame that this is devolving into a sideshow detracting from the main issues that remain unresolved for the community of Ferguson,” says Mae Quinn, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. The cases are taking attention away from the many unanswered questions for the residents of Ferguson, says Professor Quinn, adding that it is a further shame that “there isn’t greater respect for the juvenile system and the privacy of this child and his family.” Read more 

September 3: Professor Neil Richards co-authored an op-ed in Forbes about whether those who post hacked nude celebrity photos can be held liable. Read more 

September 3: Professor Mae Quinn commented in the Washington Post on the prosecution of juveniles for local ordinance charges in numerous municipalities across St. Louis County, describing a lack of due process protections and legal representation for youth in those courts. “I’ve never seen anything like what goes on here. Never.” Read more 

September 3: Professor Mae Quinn discounted in The Guardian any similarities between the Michael Brown case and a case in which juvenile records were admitted at a civil trial for money damages involving a youth who had been shot while shoplifting: “The biggest distinction is they were real parties to a real suit,” she said. “There was a real dispute. That’s a major distinction.” She further noted “[t]he cited case in no way deals with release of records, much less release to a member of the general public,” she added. Read more 

September 2: Professor Mae Quinn co-authored an op-ed in the Huffington Post on “Reflections on Justice After Ferguson, MO: When Will Youth of Color Receive the Same Due Process as Officer Darren Wilson?” Read more 

September 1: Professor Marion Crain commented in the Kansas City Star on labor union membership. Professor Crain states: “It’s been a gentle decline, slow and steady.” Read more 

September 1: Professor Marion Crain discussed efforts to gain community support for union workers in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Unions have struggled with finding stories that would capture the public’s imagination. Fast-food workers really did do that. They told their stories,” said Marion Crain, a law professor at Washington University specializing in labor.” Read more 

August 2014 

August 26: Professor Stephen Legomsky commented on Obama’s final review of immigration options in Bloomberg.com. Professor Legomsky, former chief counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security and a professor of immigration law at Washington University St. Louis, says as far back as the 1970s, immigration officials issued guidelines for deferred deportation that took into account an undocumented immigrant’s age, time in the United States, and criminal record. The principle of prosecutorial discretion that is likely to be the legal linchpin for Obama’s executive action is firmly embedded in law and has long history in immigration enforcement extending back at least to the 1970s. Read more 

August 26: Professor Stephen Legomsky commented in TheHill.com on President Obama's authority to address immigration issues: Stephen Legomsky, former chief counsel at the Homeland Security Department's Citizenship and Immigration Services branch, said "there's no serious legal question" about Obama's authority to use deferred action as a method of prioritizing resources. In fact, Congress has given the president little choice. “When Congress knowingly gives DHS only enough resources to go after a tiny percentage of the undocumented population, then obviously Congress intended for the administration to formulate priorities. It has no choice,” Legomsky, now a professor at Washington University School of Law, said Tuesday. “That's what deferred action does. It prioritizes finite resources.” Read more:   

August 26: Professor Rebecca Dresser discussed the role of deception as a technique for scientific research in the Wall Street Journal: Whether deception is ethical comes down to whether the knowledge gained through deception justifies the trickery and ultimately is a matter of ethical judgment, says Rebecca Dresser, a professor of ethics in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. But there also are ways to minimize the consequences of deception. It should be avoided if there are alternative ways to get that information. It also should be time-limited, in that participants ought to be told about the deception at the end of the study, Dr. Dresser says. Read more 

August 26: As Professor Mae Quinn pointed out in SBS.com’s Dateline (Australian Public Television), the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown apparently stemmed from an officer confronting two youth walking in the roadway. She explains how many police-youth interactions in the area are unfortunate examples of “criminalizing normal adolescent behaviors that aren't otherwise criminalized – except in communities of color.” View (minutes 2:41, 3:14, and 11:03)

August 26: Professor Neil Richards debated the use of dashcams for law enforcement in an interview with Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. He explained that while cameras can be of some use, they have their limitations, and certainly aren’t a complete solution to the deep-seated problems of inequality, racism, and militarized policing that have contributed to the problems in Ferguson. View 

August 26: Professor Mae Quinn commented on aggressive “policing of youth in communities of color” in the Riverfront Times in connection with the release of a Statement of Concern by the St. Louis Advocacy Community. Forty-five advocates signed the statement expressing their support for, and solidarity with, the residents of Ferguson, and further calling for systemic change in the treatment of youth by local law enforcement. Read more 
Similar coverage ran in Missouri Lawyers Weekly and The Global Legal Post. 

August 25: Professor Peter Joy participated in an interview with KMOV stating that grand juries tend to give police the benefit of the doubt: Joy believes the grand jury in Michael Brown, Jr. shooting will be fair and thorough because it will be examining evidence and hearing from witnesses for up to two months. Read more 

August 25: Professor Neil Richards commented in the Japan Times and Associated Press on privacy concerns related to the push for wearable cameras for law enforcement. Read more 

August 25: Professor Kim Norwood published an op-ed on CNN.com on "Why I Fear for My Sons." Read more 

August 25: Professor Kathleen Clark commented in JConline on potential conflict of interest issues surrounding the state of Indiana’s health care consultant: “If I were a taxpayer in Indiana, I would be concerned about whether the advice the government was receiving from her was tainted by her own financial interest and the financial interest of her other clients,” said Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis who specializes in government ethics. Read more 

August 22: Professor Peter Joy discussed in the Washington Post what is next for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting case. "If Officer Wilson is found not guilty on the state level, he could still be found guilty on the federal level—there's no such thing as double jeopardy here, because they're separate sovereigns.” Read more 

August 22: Professor Neil Richards commented in the Associated Press and Washington Times on calls for law enforcement to use body cameras: “We live in a time when most people’s reaction to any problem is ‘clearly, if we have an app or some sort of a digital device, that will solve the problem,’” says Neil Richards, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Richards says the notion that body cameras might solve problems of police misconduct is “naive.” “The problem is that we can’t fix deep-seated social problems with a $10 gadget or with a million-dollar tank,” he says. Read more 

August 21: Professor John Inazu published an op-ed on CNN.com on “Are We Ferguson?” Read more 

August 21: Professor Peter Joy participated in an interview with CNN discussing the importance of the prosecution and defense determining what position Michael Brown was in when he was hit with the “kill shot” at the top of his head. View   

August 20: Professor  Peter Joy discussed Bob McCulloch’s potential decision on whether to ask for a special prosecutor for the Michael Brown case on Nbcnews.com: The decision on whether to ask for a special prosecutor is up to McCulloch himself, said Peter Joy, a Washington University professor of law. "You typically only ask for a special prosecutor when there is a conflict of interest in doing your job," Joy said. "He doesn't believe that there is a conflict of interest."  Read more 
Similar coverage ran in Emissourian and Star Advertiser 

August 20: Professor Peter Joy and Emeritus Professor Richard Kuhns discussed with St. Louis Public Radio the grand jury selection process for the Michael Brown shooting. The current presiding judge on the St. Louis County Circuit Court selected the grand jury from a randomly chosen master list. Professor Joy believes this "enables the presiding judge to ensure that the grand jury is representative of the community." Professor Kuhns states: “The prosecutor typically has de facto control over the grand jury. Except for usually minimal instructions from the judge, the prosecutor is the only person the grand jury deals with." Read more 

August 20: Professor Peter Joy commented in USnews.com on Governor Nixon’s response to the Michael Brown shooting. Professor Joy states: “Every once in a while a mayor does it or a governor does it, but it is very unusual, because then you have someone interjecting themselves into what should be the work of the criminal justice system.” Read more 

August 20: Professor Peter Joy participated in a KMOV interview where he discussed possible charges faced by Officer Darren Wilson and the need for the prosecution to have time to gather as much evidence as possible: “I don’t think you can fault any prosecutor for trying to get all the facts. You don’t want to rush a case and leave some critical facts out there,” Joy said. View  

August 20: Professor Adam Rosenzweig discussed tax inversion with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Will markets punish companies from being a Bermuda corporation because it follows British corporate law? Will [investors] be afraid these companies would be riskier because they are less regulated?” asked Adam H. Rosenzweig, a professor of international tax law at Washington University in St. Louis. “Ultimately it comes down to a business decision,” Mr. Rosenzweig said. “If you want to do business in Europe, then why not structure it as an inversion?” Read more 

August 19: Professor Peter Joy discussed in the Washington Post and Associated Press possible charges investigators may pursue in the upcoming Michael Brown case. Federal and state authorities will have the ability to make their own decision on whether to prosecute and each decision will have its own outcome. Prosecutors are able to opt not to charge Wilson. According to Joy, if they do prosecute more than likely they will more than will go with “murder or manslaughter – or nothing at all.” Read more 
Similar coverage ran in ABCnews , ColumbiaMissourian , and FoxNews 

August 19: Professor Peter Joy commented on the case against Darren Wilson in Newsweek: “It's a question of, 'Was it reasonable to act in the way the police officer did?' Being reasonable would be triggered by, 'Is there a reasonable risk of harm?'" Joy stressed that the ultimate verdict will depend on how the facts unfold. Read more 

August 19: Professor Peter Joy participated in an in-depth interview with Salon.com on some of the most pressing legal questions surrounding the investigation in Ferguson, including those concerning whether or not the police officer will be arrested. Read more 

August 19: Professor Gregory Magarian commented in Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster) on efforts by Ferguson police to contain protestors in a designated area: "This is a technique that law enforcement in the U.S. has increasingly used over the past 10-15 years," said Gregory Magarian, a law professor and expert on free speech at Washington University in St Louis. "They're trying to corral protesters into a contained space to make the job of law enforcement easier." He also discussed the arrest of several journalists at the protest: "The only way that police are within their rights to detain journalists is if the police are dealing with an emergency situation," Magarian told DW, adding that in this sense, journalists are like anyone else. But none of the arrests of members of the press in Ferguson met those criteria, the law professor argued. "There are too many cases of police seeming to go after journalists not just while the journalists doing their job, but because they're doing their job." Read more 

August 18: Professor Peter Joy commented for the Associated Press and CBS News about the choice of prosecutor in the Ferguson case: Under Missouri law, it "would be highly, highly, highly unusual" for a prosecutor to step aside merely because of racial tensions in a high-profile case, said Peter Joy, a Washington University law professor who directs the school's Criminal Justice Clinic. In Missouri, "the buck stops with the head prosecutor" in each county, Joy said. Read more 
Professors Joy's comments also appeared in ABC News Channel 13 and the Canton Daily Ledger.

August 18: Professor Peter Joy commented in the Associated Press and Al Jazeera America about whether the St. Louis County Prosecutor would step aside in the Ferguson case: In other states where high-profile shootings have called impartiality into question, authorities have moved to bring in special state prosecutors. But this would be extremely unusual in Missouri, according to Washington University Law Professor Peter Joy who directs the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic. Joy told the AP that because prosecutors in Missouri are elected officials, “the buck stops with the prosecutor” in each county. Read more 

August 18: Professor Peter Joy discussed on the use of force in an interview that aired on ABC News with Diane Sawyer.

August 18: Professor Peter Joy commented in the Associated Press on calls for prosecutor Bob McCulloch to step aside in the Michael Brown case due to questions about his ability to be unbiased after his father was killed as an officer on duty by African American male and about his past decisions not to prosecute officers. Professor Joy states: "the buck stops with the head prosecutor" in each county according to Missouri law. He believes it is highly unlikely the prosecutor will appoint someone else as long as he believes he will be able to be impartial. Read more 

August 14: Professor John Inazu published an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on “Let’s Talk About Race” Read more 

August 14: Professor Peter Joy commented for the Alaska Dispatch News on reasonable force and police brutality in the Michael Brown incident. Police may justify use of deadly force when individuals are unarmed as long as it does not violate a legal standard: Professor Joy states that “It is hard to imagine what would justify multiple gunshots at an individual going away from the police who’s unarmed.” Read more 

August 14: Professor Gregory Magarian and Professor Bruce La Pierre discussed the police force in Ferguson violating the first amendment of peaceful protestors and the right to demand the name of the shooter for St. Louis Public Radio. Ferguson government has inadvertently created distrust within the public eye by withholding information and disobeying rights to protest. Professor Magarian states “Police and officials in Ferguson have declared war on the First Amendment. Since Sunday’s police shooting of an unarmed student, Michael Brown, local officials and law enforcement have blatantly violated three core First Amendment principles: our right to engage in peaceful political protest, the importance of open government; and the freedom of the press.” Professor La Pierre believes that while there are no direct laws or cases that provide clear guidelines for exposure “…the police have dug themselves into a deep hole; first amendment, and common-sense, suggest that disclosure and timely updates about the investigations would go a long way to solving the immediate problems.” Read more 

August 13: Professor Maxine Lipeles represented the Sierra Club during a discussion presented to the Mehlville Board of Education on an anti-coal resolution according to Callnewspapers.com. The plant is a potential harm to those around but Ameren believes they are making changes by moving to a cleaner energy program and planning to close the plant. Professor Lipeles, who co-directs Washington University St. Louis Environmental Law Clinic, states: “They've made the decision to close the plant, so why is this relevant? It's because in the intervening eight years, all of these pollutants are going to continue to come out of this plant without any modern pollution controls, even though they're available.” Read more 

August 12: Professor Adam Rosenzweig commented in Stl. Today on the corporate tax code that puts American companies at a disadvantage when attempting a corporate inversion strategy: “My intuition is that there are companies looking for deals, since it’s a mergers-and-acquisitions-friendly environment. These are not tax-driven deals; they are putting tax advantages on top of strategic deals.” Read more 

August 8: Professor Hillary Sale was featured in the St. Louis Business Journal as she is selected as one of St. Louis’s Most Influential Business Women. Read more 

August 3: Professor Elizabeth Sepper commented in the Waco Tribune-Herald on the repercussions of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case. Sepper wrote: “[Hobby Lobby is] the corporate equivalent of the road to Damascus. Many more corporations will find religion to opt out of regulation that affects their bottom line."Read more 

July 2014

July 27: Professor Hillary Sale talked with Bloomberg Business Week about the high cost of replacing a CEO. "When you have to do a turnaround, or you have a company that has issues, it can be more expensive to bring in a new CEO," Sale said. "They have more leverage in those moments." Read More 

July 24: Professor Rebecca Dresser commented in the Christian Science Monitor about the FDA's unwillingness to check the safety of chemicals used in executions. “What is safety in this case?” Dresser asked. “It means that it causes a quick and painless death. But [the FDA] doesn’t want to get into the business of reviewing that. They’ve been permitted to take that position so far.” Read More 

July 24: In an article distributed by Reuters about European law firms promoting their "tax inversion" services--an action in which a company takes over a smaller company in a country with a lower corporate tax rate to lower its tax burden--Professor Adam Rosenzwieg commented, "Potentially what's happening here is that there's a new toy out there and everyone wants a piece of it." The article was picked up by CNBC, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Irish Times, Morningstar, Newslocker, and other outlets. Read More 

July 16: Associate Dean Michael (Mike) Koby commented in CNN.com on the recent immersion component of the online program Master of Laws (LL.M.) in the U.S Law program. Read more 

July 15: Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor Gregory Magarian, Professor Laura Rosenbury, and Professor  Marion Crain were mentioned in the New York Times as part of a group of constitutional law professors who  urged President Obama not to include a religious exemption in an expected order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more View Letter 

July 12: An opinion piece in the Japan Times referred to Professor David Law's essay, "The Anatomy of a Conservative Court: Judicial Review in Japan," in a discussion of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's revisions of the country's constitution to achieve his political aims. Abe encountered little resistance from the Supreme Court because "justices are rigorously vetted throughout their careers,and any with liberal or unreliable inclinations are winnowed out," the Times wrote, paraphrasing Law. "In addition, judges are usually appointed close to mandatory retirement age, meaning high turnover and ongoing opportunities to tweak the composition of the court." Read More 

July 3: Professor David Law commented in Voice of America on the Myanmar Parliament's efforts to strip the military of veto power in that country (Burma). "If they [the government] don't have seats in the parliament then you run a different risk which is that the parliament does whatever the parliament wants to do, but that may just lead to a coup," he said. "So the question is how do you have a democracy while also not giving the military both the ability and the desire to overthrow whatever government you create?" Read More 

July 1: The National Journal quoted Professor Neil Richards' comments to the Christian Science Monitor regarding "revenge porn," the practice of posting compromising photos of a former partner, usually a woman, online. "The great problem legislatures are facing is that they really want to do good here . . . and are under pressure to act sweepingly and broadly," Richards said. "But the best thing to do is to act carefully, because you can regulate revenge porn in a way . . . that respects the ability of major [news outlets] to report the news." Read More 

July 1: An article in the New Republic about polarization in the Roberts Court despite the number of 9-0 rulings quoted Professor Lee Epstein directly and a 2012 study by her, William Landes, and the Hon. Richard Posner (both from the University of Chicago). “Decisions are unanimous when the ideological stakes are not large enough to lead a Justice who disagrees with the majority to dissent,” the study found. Added Epstein, “The unanimity this term, in my view, really reflects case selection. The fraction of civil liberties cases this term is significantly lower. And the more civil liberties cases, the less likely decisions are to be unanimous.” Read More 

July 1: Professor Lee Epstein was quoted and cited as the source of a chart showing 9-0 and 5-4 SCOTUS rulings from 1958 to 2013 in a New York Times article analyzing unanimity in the court's 2013 term. “The higher unanimity rate might reflect an increase in cases with low ideological stakes,” Epstein said. “This term, about 36 percent involved questions of rights and liberties, compared with 57 percent in the three previous terms.” Read More 

July 1: In NPR's "On Point" program, Professor Elizabeth Sepper discussed the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling and the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). “Whatever we think about the outcome, this opinion radically changes religious liberty law. It throws out every 1st Amendment case that we have," Sepper said. "We have had cases in which the court said when you enter into commercial life, you can’t impose your values on others, namely employees. Justice Alito says, ‘Wrong, the RFRA does allow business owners to do that. This precedent just doesn’t bind us any more.” Sepper added that "this should be viewed as a loss from the perspective of most Christians. Most women who would consider themselves Christian take contractpetives and don't view them as abortifacients, nor does the medical establishment." Listen Here 

July 1: Writing in Christianity Today, Professor John Inazu discusses McCullen v. Coakley, a 1st Amendment case in which SCOTUS unanimously protected free expression in public spaces outside of abortion clinics. Inazu contrasted McCullen to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which dealt with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, not the 1st Amendment. Further, Inazu says the court should have used McCullen v. Coakley to overturn Hill v. Colorado, a decision upholding a state law "that restricted expression outside of abortion clinics." "Hobby Lobby, like McCullen, is a win for religious liberty," Inazu writes. "But it is a narrow and in some ways precarious decision, subject to the whims of future legislators or a slight shift in the Court's current composition. And it is not a First Amendment decision. We should be glad for Hobby Lobby, but we shouldn't lose sight of the unanimous decision in McCullen, and its reminder that when it comes to the roots of our religious liberty, the First Amendment is what matters the most." Read More 

July 1: Professor Elizabeth Sepper was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on the SCOTUS decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Calling the ruling an “anti-religious liberty decision,” she said that “corporations can impose their religious belief on employees. . . . It is discrimination for a health plan to meet all of men’s health needs and not meet women's.” Read More  

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