Professor Mead Writes, Comments on Supreme Court Case

Professor Joe Mead published an essay at HistPhil about donor disclosure requirements for fundraising charities in the pending Supreme Court case, Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. California. Professor Mead argues that the case fits within a long history of government regulation of charitable solicitation, including nefarious attempts to target the NAACP, out-of-state charities, and organizations such as advocating for LGBT equality. Professor Mead also describes the current regulatory context and suggests potential implications for the Court’s ruling.

HistPhil is a publication on the history of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, with a particular emphasis on how history can shed light on contemporary philanthropic issues and practice. The essay is available here:

In addition, Professor Mead was quoted by Bloomberg Tax in its preview article about this Supreme Court case:

Professor Forte Reviews “Free to Believe: The Battle over Religious Liberty”

In an article titled, “We are Free for a Reason,” Professor David Forte reviews Luke Goodrich’s book, Free to Believe: The Battle over Religious Liberty in America. Professor Forte’s review appears in The Federalist Society Review, and is available here:

Professor Sterio Submits Comments to ICC Prosecutor’s Office on Crimes of Cultural Heritage

Professor Milena Sterio, working with the Public International Law & Policy Group, submitted comments to the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) regarding the OTP’s draft policy on the prosecution of crimes of cultural heritage.  The comments are available here:

Professor Sterio’s Amicus Brief Cited by the International Criminal Court

Professor Milena Sterio was a lead author of the Public International Law & Policy Group’s Amicus Brief which was cited in the International Criminal Court Ntaganda Appeals Judgement delivered on March 30, 2021.

In particular, footnotes 2587, 2602, 2603, and 2604 on pages 422, 424 and 425 of the Court’s Judgement contain specific citations to the Amicus Brief’s analysis of whether the term ‘attack’ can apply to ransacking a hospital that occurred shortly after the fighting in the Congo civil war had concluded.

The Appeals Chamber ultimately confirmed the decision of the Trial Chamber, which found Bosco Ntaganda guilty of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and upheld the Trial Chamber’s sentencing judgment, which sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment.

Professor Forte Participates in Amicus Brief to the US Supreme Court

David Forte participated in the submission of an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in the case of North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention v. Will Raney

The case concerns the “church autonomy doctrine” based on the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, which declares that courts may not inquire into matters of church government or into disputes of faith and doctrine.  Will Raney was fired from a leadership position in the Southern Baptist Convention because of a conflict over policies relating to the expansion of the Baptist faith. He sued the Southern Baptist Convention in tort.

The district court dismissed the suit on the grounds of the church autonomy doctrine. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal as “premature” asserting that there were possible neutral principles of law independent of the church autonomy doctrine that might be applicable to the case. The amicus brief in support of a petition of certiorari to the Supreme Court argues that the district court was correct in determining that the church autonomy doctrine requires dismissal of the suit.

Professor Oh Argues Floyd’s Murder Was a Crime Against Humanity

In the wake of the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, Professor Reginald Oh has published an article in Washington Monthly titled, “Chauvin’s Murder of Floyd Was a Crime Against Humanity.” This piece is a follow-up to Professor Oh’s recent article, “Geography Helped Kill George Floyd.”

After noting Chauvin’s convictions, Professor Oh argues that “[t]he crime that the jury should have been able to consider and deliberate upon, however, is one that they had no jurisdiction to enforce—a crime against humanity, specifically, the crime of apartheid.”

Professor Oh explains that “Understanding Floyd’s murder as a crime against humanity means locating it within a pervasive pattern of police brutality against African Americans nationwide. It means concluding that Chauvin’s actions were not the isolated actions of an individual bad actor, but were consistent with routine and normal police interactions with Blacks. To see Floyd’s murder as a crime against humanity, then, is about seeing it as an act of systemic racism.”

Turning to the specific issue of “apartheid,” Professor Oh explains that this crime is defined in international law as “an inhumane act ‘committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.'” He then explains why the broader context of police violence against minority groups in the United States satisfies this definition.

Ultimately, Professor Oh argues, recognizing Floyd’s murder as a crime against humanity is “about clearly connecting racist policing and the persistence of racial segregation, so that we can transform policing rather than merely seeking individual accountability for individual police officers like Chauvin.”

Professor Oh Publishes Article on Segregation and the Killing of George Floyd

Professor Reginald Oh has published an article in Washington Monthly titled “Geography Helped Kill George Floyd.”

In the article, Professor Oh discusses the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, and argues that “the trial should be seen, not just as the trial of a rogue police officer, but as a trial of policing in the context of systemic racial segregation and racial dehumanization.” Professor Oh draws parallels between George Floyd’s killing and that of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, arguing that both killings are connected by the evil of racial segregation. He contents that “[r]acial segregation . . . kills Black people.”

Professor Oh argues that police must be trained to resist the dehumanization that naturally flows from racial segregation. He concludes that police must be taught “to see the Black people they are sworn to protect in their full humanity,” and to “begin to reorient policing away from reinforcing segregation to dismantling it.”

Professor Sterio Publishes Blog Post on Child Soldiers

Professor Milena Sterio published a blog post about the recent conviction of Dominic Ongwen, former leader in the Lord’s Resistance Army (Uganda), by the International Criminal Court. The post, part of an online symposium hosted by the blog “Armed Groups and International Law,” focuses on the issue of mitigation of punishment, as Ongwen was a child soldier. Ongwen’s sentencing hearing is taking place this week at the ICC.  Professor Sterio’s post is titled, “Precedent on the Prosecution of Juvenile Offenders for International Crimes.”

Professor Sterio Presents, Advises on International Law Topics

Professor Milena Sterio presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting on April 7th.  Her paper was titled “Women at the International Criminal Court” and it focused on the under-representation of women as judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys at the ICC.

Professor Sterio also presented to a cohort of Ukrainian politicians and lawyers (representatives from the Ukrainians Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Reintegration, as well as other government entities) on the topic of “Human Rights Documentation and Transitional Justice in Ukraine” on April 8.  Professor Sterio had been working with the Ukrainian ministries as an expert on the drafting of their new transitional justice laws.

Finally, Professor Sterio moderated a closed roundtable expert discussion on April 9 on the topic of the Special Court for Darfur.  The roundtable discussion was convened by the Public International Law and Policy Group, which has been working with the Sudan government on the creation of the Special Court for Darfur, an accountability mechanism whose establishment is part of the Juba Peace Agreement.  Professor Sterio has been working as an expert with the PILPG and the Sudan government on these efforts.  The roundtable discussion was attended by experts in the U.S. and Europe, as well as from Sudan.  

Professor Ray Co-Authors Blog Post on Digital Contact Tracing

Cornell Tech’s Critical Reflection’s blog published a post, “Privacy and Digital Contact Tracing,” co-written by Professor Brian Ray and Professor Jane Bambauer (University of Arizona). The post expands the argument that privacy critiques of digital contact tracing apps ignored long-standing public health norms, which they first developed in their article, “COVID-19 Apps Are Terrible: They Didn’t Have to Be.”