Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich will be a guest on the Sound of Ideas (90.3 WCPN) on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, to discuss a recent decision from the United States Supreme Court concerning a case in Cuyahoga County. In Ohio v. Clark, decided June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause did not prohibit the testimony of a preschool teacher, who testified at a Cuyahoga County trial that a three-year-old boy identified the defendant as his abuser. The young boy did not testify in the case, and the defendant argued that his lawyers should have been given some opportunity to ask the boy questions to test whether his statements were reliable. Professor Witmer-Rich will discuss how this local case impacts ongoing debates about the scope of the Confrontation Clause, and also discuss whether Ohio should put in place some procedure offering at least a limited right for defendants to ask questions of young children in these types of circumstances.
Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, C|M|LAW’s Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, has criticized media interpretations of EPA’s recently released draft assessment on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the water supply. Robertson previously commented on this topic in a Letter to the Editor of the Plain Dealer, and on Friday, published a short piece, EPA’s report on fracking has been given a positive spin by much of the media in Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Energy Report. In short, many news outlets portrayed EPA’s draft assessment report as concluding that fracturing is safe for the water supply. In fact, EPA’s report concludes that it does not yet have sufficient evidence to conclude that harm or risk is systematic or widespread. The report notes many limitations in the analyzed data, including the short duration of many studies.
Professor Robertson’s comments in Crain’s are available here:
Professor Robertson’s Letter to the Editor is available here:
On June 12-13, 2015, Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, C|M|Law’s Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, was an invited speaker for the plenary session at the Common Core of European Private Law Annual Meeting at Gothenburg University’s faculty of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg, Sweden. Robertson’s talk, Access to Nature: Reducing inequality through public access to privately-owned land for recreation was part of the conference’s plenary panel on reducing inequality through access to commons.
Since 2013, Robertson has served as a United States Reporter for the Common Core of European Private Law project’s Access to Commons working group.
Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis presented at an international bioethics conference hosted by the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. Professor Lewis was on a panel discussing advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART). Professor Lewis explained how attempts to restrict the use of human oocyte cryopreservation could have legal consequences. For example, some persons have argued that frozen eggs should only be used by women of child-bearing age. Opponents are concerned about the health of the woman and the physical and emotional well-being of the resulting child. Some opponents contend that it is unethical for a young child to be forced to be a care-giver for an elderly parent. Nonetheless, a law that places an age-limit on a woman’s right to use her frozen oocyte to conceive a child would probably be challenged on constitutional basis. A law based solely on chronological age would be under and over inclusive because it would ignore the fact that some older women are in better physiological condition than their younger counterparts. In addition, if the law is not apply to similarly situated men, it could be successfully challenged on equal protection grounds.
Professor Karin Mika attended the Burton Awards on June 15th. The Burton Awards is a National Award Ceremony for leaders in the law, focusing on those who change legal systems for the better, those whose writing in the law is influential nationally and internationally, and those who advocate clear writing as a means to uphold the integrity of the legal system. The ceremony and celebratory dinner takes place at the Library of Congress. This year’s awardees and attendees included Justice Sotomayor, Chief Justice Roberts, Judge Robert Katzmann (2d Circuit) with entertainment by Kristen Chenoweth. Professor Mika has been a national publicist for the Burton Awards since 2009.
A link to the Burton Awards website is available here.
Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio provided detailed referee comments/peer review of an article on the topic of self-determination for Western Sahara, for the Global Change, Peace & Security Journal, a refereed journal published by Routledge United Kingdom. Professor Sterio was selected as a referee in light of her scholarly work on self-determination.
In addition, Professor Sterio’s panel proposal entitled “International Law and States in Emergency: Responses and Challenges” was selected for the International Law Weekend 2015 conference in November 2015. International Law Weekend is a an annual international law conference organized jointly by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students’ Association. Professor Sterio’s proposal was selected among several other proposals through a competitve selection process.
Professor Daiker-Middaugh has been selected to serve as one of the Women Leader Facilitators at the Crain’s Cleveland Business Women of Note Summit on July 23rd at the Cleveland Convention Center. Professor Daiker-Middaugh has previously served as a Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note in 2004.
According to the event flyer, “Join us for the inaugural Women of Note Summit, presented by the Cleveland Foundation. A can’t miss morning of cross-generational learning, sharing experiences and creating new ideas through interactive table facilitation and dialog with women from all over Greater Cleveland. Our unique IGNITE conversations will ignite new ways of thinking about the future for women in our community.”
The flyer is available here: WON_Facilitators_6-11 copy
Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, wrote a Letter to the Editor entitled “Fracking not as safe for water supply as EPA study claims,” which was published by the Plain Dealer in its June 11th edition. A copy of the letter is available here.
Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis participated in a panel discussion on reproductive technology at the Health Law Professors’ Conference held at Saint Louis University School of Law. Professor Lewis’ presentation dealt with the adverse impacts the lack of regulation of assisted reproductive technology has on women and children. In particular, Professor Lewis discussed the use of human oocyte cryopreservation (HOC).
In 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine ASRM declared that HOC should no longer be considered to be experimental. Thus, that new reproductive technology provides a viable option for women seeking to preserve their fertility. Women who want to focus on their careers or those who have not let met “Mr. Right” may choose to have their oocytes frozen, so that they can defer motherhood. Other women are forced to have their oocytes frozen when faced with potential infertility as a consequence of medical treatment or military service. Women, men, and children may benefit from a technology that permits women to pause their biological clocks. If women do not have to worry about potentially becoming infertile, they can postpone motherhood until they are ready to parent. Unplanned pregnancies and infertility also negatively impact men. The availability of HOC will serve the best interests of children by permitting them to be born to parents who want them and who are able to care for them. Persons oppose to the use of HOC are concerned about the safety of the woman, the oocyte and the resulting child. Based upon the low percentage of live births resulting from the use of cryopreserved oocytes, opponents also argue that it is unethical to give women false hope. Those persons advocate banning the use of HOC or limiting it to use by women who are of child-bearing age. However, bans or strict restraints on the availability of HOC may infringe on a woman’s reproductive freedom and violate her right to be treated the same as a similarly situated man.
Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich was quoted in various national and local media outlets regarding a Cleveland Municipal Judge’s decision to find probable cause supporting various charges against the police officers involved in the Tamir Rice shooting, and the investigation report from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office. He was quoted on NPR’s Morning Edition, Yahoo news, and News Channel 5.