Thought Leadership

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks writes “Cheap and easy-to-use drones are making wars deadlier” at The Globe and Mail

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks, founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), now the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (ISPL), has contributed the opinion article “Cheap and easy-to-use drones are making wars deadlier” to The Globe and Mail.

In the article, Banks reviews the history of drone use in military operations, and how the evolution of drones to become cheaper and easier to operate has impacted the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas wars among others, particularly in terms of the laws of war.

Banks summarizes, “In any case, when these new technologies are in the hands of loosely organized terrorist groups or other non-state actors, there are no attempts to follow the laws of war. That’s the tragedy of the proliferation of drones: It leads to more civilian suffering and levels the playing field between terrorists and better-resourced national armies.”

Professor Nina Kohn Writes “The New Uniform Health Care Decisions Act: An Overview” for ABA Commission on Law and Aging’s Bifocal Journal

David M. Levy Professor of Law Nina Kohn has contributed “The New Uniform Health Care Decisions Act: An Overview” to the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging’s bi-monthly journal Bifocal.

Appearing in Bifocal Vol. 45 Issue 1 (Sept. 2023), Kohn provides a synopsis of the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) Uniform Health Care Decisions Act that was approved in July. The Act modernizes and expands on the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act approved by the ULC in 1993.

Some of the Act’s most notable provisions make it easier for people to create and use advanced directives, clarify when a surrogate may make healthcare decisions for a patient, and set forth what happens if a patient objects to a determination of incapacity, among several other provisions.

Kohn served as the Reporter for the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act.

Professor Nina Kohn Authors Chapter on Long-term Care in the Recently Published Book COVID-19 and the Law

Professor Nina Kohn has contributed the chapter Humane and Resilient Long-Term Care in the new book COVID-19 AND THE LAW: DISRUPTION, IMPACT AND LEGACY from Cambridge University Press.

Kohn explains, “This chapter examines the impact of COVID-19 on residents of nursing homes and other long-term care institutions, how ageism and other factors shape that impact, and what this suggests for regulatory approaches to ensuring high-quality, long-term care.”

Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews Scott J. Shapiro’s “Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks”

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute Shubha Ghosh has written a review of Scott J. Shapiro’s new book, Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks.

Writing on the JOTWELL blog, Ghosh concludes, “Maybe someone should make a movie out of Fancy Bear with its enchanting case studies and mind-blowing synthesis of law, philosophy, and technology. However, be prepared if that movie ends more like Oppenheimer than like Barbie.”

Professor Nina Kohn Co-authors “Biden’s nursing home staffing proposal is dangerously inadequate”

Professor Nina Kohn, along with Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Nursing, and Lori Smetanka, executive director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, have contributed the article “Biden’s nursing home staffing proposal is dangerously inadequate” in The Hill.

In the article, the authors outline dangerous gaps in the proposed nursing home staffing levels recently made by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They note that “CMS has proposed that nursing homes only be required to provide three hours of staff time per resident per day. That’s far less than what many states with state-specific minimum staffing standards require. It’s only 73 percent of the 4.1 hours per day that a rigorous CMS study found is necessary to avoid neglect.” 

Professor Kat Macfarlane Co-authors “A Categorical No to Categorical Accommodation Denials Related to COVID-19?” Essay

Professor Kat Macfarlane, director of the College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program, and Professor Irina Manta, Founding Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, have co-authored an essay on COVID-19 accommodations denials.

At the Bill of Health blog, Macfarlane and Manta write that post-2021, faculty and students with disabilities’ requests for accommodations to teach or attend classes remotely have not been met. The essay examines Oross v. Kutztown University where the plaintiff requested remote teaching and office hours accommodations due to health reasons. They were denied by the defendant and deposition testimony revealed that university staff had developed form language used to deny all remote teaching requests by Kutztown University faculty.

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in Oross’s favor as to his Rehabilitation Act claims for intentional disability discrimination and failure to accommodate.

The authors conclude that “In any case, the Oross decision represents a victory for individualized assessment, and a rejection of categorical bans on COVID-19 accommodations. Universities should heed the case’s warning and halt any pro forma denials.”

Professor Nina Kohn pens “Michael Oher’s Shocking Conservatorship Exposes Court Failures” in The Hill

Professor Nina Kohn has written an opinion article on Michael Oher’s conservatorship for The Hill.

In the article, “Michael Oher’s Shocking Conservatorship Exposes Court Failures”, Kohn identifies many critical issues with the Oher conservatorship, from legal representation to financial accounting, as well as how conservatorships (or guardianships) are mishandled by the courts. Potential avenues for improving how conservatorships are implemented are also outlined.

Kohn writes, “Fixing court systems will require ensuring that all judges who appoint conservators have the training needed to understand when an appointment is legally appropriate, and how to determine if that standard is met in a particular case. It will also require ensuring that courts have the systems they need to track cases and monitor those they appoint.”

Professor Jenny Breen Writes on the Supreme Court and Federal Regulatory Power

In her article at the New Labor Forum “Open for Business: The Supreme Court Curbs Federal Regulatory Power”, Professor Jenny Breen examines the recent SCOTUS decision in West Virginia v. EPA.

Professor Breen surmises, “If we aspire toward a world that is more supportive of working people, more genuinely democratic, and less beholden to the ideological views of a handful of judges, then unions and other forms of political organizing are the only way to get there.” 

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Discusses “Specific Suspicion” at Law and Society and Law of Policing Conferences 

Does the Fourth Amendment require officers conducting searches to have suspicion of a specific crime? Professor Lauryn Gouldin examines these topics in a current work in progress, “Specific Suspicion.” This project follows a related article, forthcoming in the Emory Law Journal, “Crimes of Suspicion,” that analyzes whether officers conducting street stops need reasonable suspicion of specific crimes. 

Gouldin presented her research last week at the Law and Society Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and will present at the Law of Policing Conference at the University of Chicago tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7.

Professor David Driesen writes on the recent SCOTUS ruling in Sackett v. EPA

In Professor David Driesen’s post at the Center for Progressive Reform, he writes “Confronted with Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s argument that the dictionary definition of the term “adjacent” includes things that are nearby but not connected, Justice Samuel Alito invoked an increasingly used device to avoid following the plain language of statutes demanding broad regulation to meet public goals — a presumption against alteration of the status quo that existed before the passage of legislation.