September 2, 2015

Walker’s Presidential Campaign: Down but Not Out, Experts Agree

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Category: Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at Marquette
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has slumped but that doesn’t mean you can predict his future in a race that is in an uncertain state.

Three expert political observers agreed on both parts of that statement in an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Eckstein Hall on Wednesday. In short, Walker’s down, but don’t count him out.

“It’s gut check time” for Walker, said Molly Ball, who covers national politics for The Atlantic. Walker has gotten away from the campaign messages that were working well for him both in Iowa and nationally, she said, and the surge of support for Donald Trump has deflated Walker’s campaign. She said it’s surprising to see someone known for his composure to be as rattled as Walker has appeared in some recent instances.   Read more »

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August 31, 2015

When Public Safety and Water Quality Collide

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Category: Environmental Law, Marquette Law School, Public
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Greater environmental protection and increased public safety are often believed to be synonymous, or at least to go hand-in-hand.  Sometimes, though, those goals are arguably in tension.  The application of salt to de-ice roads, parking lots, and sidewalks for safe travel is one such case.  Those who have lived and worked in northern climates are no doubt familiar with the sensation of excess de-icing salt crunching underfoot during the winter months, and have probably lamented the imStrifling blog photopact of excess salt on shoes, clothes, and vehicles.  Recent studies have shown that disproportionate application of deicing salt also has a significant and negative impact on water quality in the form of elevated chloride concentrations.

Not much attention has been paid to this problem from a legal or policy standpoint, and it’s unlikely that it can be addressed with traditional regulatory tools providing only limited authority over so-called “non-point sources,” such as farm fields and – as relevant to the problem of excess de-icing salt – roads and parking lots.  Alternative policy tools to address the issue might include a salt tax, green infrastructure, integrated watershed assessment and management, and self-governance at the community or individual levels incentivized by regulators or demanded by customers and the public.  Read more »

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Forward Thinking for a “New Season”

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Category: Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, Sports & Law
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During this time of the year when college football and the NFL are about to start anew, we as sports fans and consumers are inundated with numerous previews from websites and magazines (yes, some people still read things offline) about how the season will play out.

Predictions before the season are like noses—everyone seems to have one.

When I was a sports writer (oh, how long ago it seems), I dreaded the high school season previews. Not because we didn’t have good teams or outstanding players (ask me about current Michigan State junior wide receiver R.J. Shelton and I’ll have about 200 stories on his on-field exploits in high school).

Instead, it was the entire notion of writing about teams and individuals that had not done anything yet on the field. Coaches only had a vague notion about the season (unless they had numerous seniors returning), injuries had yet to come up, and you only had a decent idea of watching teams practice for all of maybe an hour in coming up with your preview. Read more »

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August 27, 2015

Flynn: “I’d Like to See Fifty More Prosecutors”

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Category: Criminal Law & Process, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at Marquette
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Don’t look only to the police to solve the problems of high poverty communities, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn told a capacity audience Thursday in the Appellate Courtroom at Eckstein Hall.

Flynn pointed to the need for better services to help people with mental illnesses and to deal with issues such as child abuse as steps that would help reduce crime.

And when it comes to crime specifically, he pointed to what he saw as failings of both the state and federal systems for prosecuting and punishing criminals. Many criminals don’t face punishment that discourages them from offending. Read more »

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August 26, 2015

Milwaukesha

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Category: Milwaukee, Public
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Funny how the words fit together so smoothly yet, when combined, seem grating to the ears of many who reside in the region.  The peculiar antipathy between Milwaukee County and Waukesha County may reflect the ways in which people have segregated themselves geographically based on cultural/political orientation.  Waukesha County is 94% “white alone” according to Census Bureau data, while Milwaukee County is over one-quarter black or African-American and over one-eighth Hispanic or Latino.  In the 2014 gubernatorial election, over two-thirds of Waukesha voters supported Scott Walker, while in Milwaukee County it was closer to one-third.  Waukesha is more affluent, less racially diverse, and more Republican than Wisconsin as a whole.  Milwaukee is the opposite.

There is, indeed, some basis for an us-and-them mentality.

But the positive connections are truly powerful.  To trace a bit of the history, Milwaukee’s population was about ten times greater than Waukesha’s from 1900 until 1950.  Then Waukesha’s population began to surge, growing more than four-fold since 1950, to about 400,000, while Milwaukee’s population has remained pretty constant at around one million.  The result is that Waukesha now has about 40% as many residents as Milwaukee, thus bringing the counties into closer balance.  Waukesha is now the third-most populous county in Wisconsin; in 1950, it was seventh-most populous, slightly ahead of Outagamie and Sheboygan and trailing Brown, Rock, and Winnebago, among others.  Waukesha has become a powerful residential draw and also a draw for businesses, almost certainly in large part due to its proximity to Milwaukee. Read more »

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August 21, 2015

An Alternative Arena Approach: Arsenal and Emirates Stadium

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Category: Milwaukee, Public, Sports & Law
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ArsenalRecently, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker approved an Assembly bill earmarking $250 million for the Milwaukee Bucks to use in financing their new downtown arena.

Since I was at the tail end of my London study abroad program at the time of the approval, it was interesting hearing a different perspective on the approach to arena building.

Over in the United Kingdom, it’s quite rare for the government to intervene (outside of the 2012 Olympics bid) in stadium deals.

I think back to the team I support as the ultimate in alternative model—Arsenal Football Club.

The Gunners were based in the Highbury, a 38,000-seat stadium that had existed since the 1920s. By the turn of the 21st Century, it was apparent to manager Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board that to compete in England and Europe consistently, a new revenue stream was needed. This was before the staggering media rights deals for the Premier League started increasing at an astronomical rate.

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August 20, 2015

Walker Leading in Wisconsin Republican Nomination Race, but His Job Approval Falls

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Still in the lead, but with cause for concern on the home front. That was the overall picture for Gov. Scott Walker as the Marquette Law School Poll on Thursday released its first wave of results on political issues since April.

For Hillary Clinton, frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president, the picture was: Still in the lead, but with some cause for concern on the Wisconsin front.

And for Democratic US Senate candidate Russ Feingold and Republican incumbent Senator Ron Johnson, the picture was of a race that is likely to end up being tight and intensely fought.

Walker remained the presidential candidate of choice for Wisconsin Republicans and independents leaning toward voting Republican. But, according to the poll, he had the support of 40 percent of the state’s Republican voters in April and the support of 25 percent in August. In the intervening time, the field of Republican candidates grew larger, there were a lot of developments in the campaign, and, polls of national opinion and opinion in key primary states indicated Walker had slipped in popularity in recent weeks.

But Walker’s 25 percent support still led the Republican field among Wisconsin voters, with Ben Carson at 13 percent, Donald Trump 9 percent, Ted Cruz 8 percent, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio each 7 percent, and Jeb Bush 6 percent.   Read more »

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August 17, 2015

From Marine to Law Student

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Marine CorpsDerek Randall is a rising second-year law student whose career path started in the Marine Corps and now is headed toward the JAG Corps.  In this interview, Derek discusses the interplay between military work and the study of law, as well as his amazing opportunity to work this summer at Quantico doing legal defense through Marquette’s Washington D.C. Initiative program.  Derek shared with me that he was already in the courtroom a few days after he arrived at Quantico this summer.  One of the highlights of his experience was a visit to Justice Sotomayor’s chambers at the United States Supreme Court.  Derek received the Huiras award this spring at Marquette for excellence.

1. How did you end up in law school?

Let me start off by saying that these statements reflect only the views of the author and do not reflect the position or views of the United States Marine Corps, Department of the Navy, or Department of Defense. Now that’s out of the way, I suppose I’m a career-changer in a certain sense. I became a field artillery officer in the Marine Corps in 2008 after graduating from Texas A&M University. While I loved serving in the Marine Corps, I ultimately did not enjoy many aspects of my specific job. For my last deployment to Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to take a non-traditional assignment that included, among other things, investigating malfeasance of low-level civic officials in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I ended up working closely with a Marine Judge Advocate (military lawyer) for a few months and really enjoyed the work. Once I got back from Afghanistan, I was due for a respite tour so the Marine Corps assigned me to Naval ROTC instructor duty for a year. Still keen on becoming an attorney, I took the LSAT and applied for the Marine Corps’ 2014 active-duty Law Education Program while I was teaching ROTC students. I was selected and received new orders to Marquette’s law school to complete the requirements for a Juris Doctor.  Marquette has a great reputation in the Navy and Marine Corps thanks to its relatively large Navy ROTC unit, so I’ve been thrilled with the opportunity to go to law school here while on active duty.

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August 5, 2015

An Expanded Water Law and Policy Initiative

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Category: Environmental Law, Marquette Law School, Public
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We frequently say that Marquette Law School hopes to be a place of which the community remarks,“That’s where you take the hard problems, the ones that affect us all.” As we observe the course of events in California and other parts of the world, it seems difficult to imagine a problem more intractable or more universal—a problem harder—than ensuring the availability of fresh water for domestic, medical, agricultural, and industrial uses. Indeed, Pope Francis recently cautioned in an encyclical that water, which is “indispensable for human life,” is “a fundamental right,” and he called for all interested parties to engage in “an open and respectful dialogue” about relevant policies and laws. Closer to home, with Associate Dean Matt Parlow’s leadership, the Law School has been actively engaged in the Milwaukee regional water initiative since its creation last decade; more recently, the Law School has sought to respond to President Michael R. Lovell’s call for greater engagement by Marquette University with matters involving water.

In these circumstances, it is a great pleasure to announce an expanded Water Law and Policy Initiative which will seek to help establish the Law School and, more broadly, Marquette University as a center for study, exploration, discussion, and education concerning water issues. Using an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, the initiative will seek, among other things, to assess the legal and regulatory aspects of water policy, to pursue opportunities for information exchange and collaboration within and outside the University, and to provide the means for those involved in Milwaukee’s water initiative to become better informed on legal and policy aspects of critical water-related issues.image001

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of David Strifling as the Initiative’s inaugural director. Dave is a Marquette lawyer (L’04) and Marquette engineer (L’00) with a Harvard master’s. He has served as an adjunct professor here for several years, practiced at Quarles & Brady, and previously taught at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. He has extensive practical experience in both environmental law and environmental engineering and holds active licenses in both disciplines, making him almost uniquely qualified to move this project forward in an interdisciplinary way; further background about Dave is available here. We are able to pursue this initiative because of support from the University’s Strategic Innovation Fund and from the Law School’s Annual Fund. Welcome, Dave.

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A Midwestern Law Student’s Summer in the UK

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20150715_142136_smOn top of a dormant volcano in Edinburgh, I took in the breath-taking view of the city (I also needed to take a breath after climbing for nearly two hours). I stayed on Arthur’s Seat for an hour, quietly reflecting about the previous two months and just how transformative they were for me.

In fact, I’d go so far as saying this summer is fundamentally life-altering.

I had a rare opportunity to study law abroad in London with Syracuse University for seven weeks. I’ve rarely been outside of the Midwest, much less the United States. Even though I had a passport, I never found the right reason to go out of the country.

This experience was the right one. Read more »

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August 1, 2015

Welcome to Our August Blogger

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cozumel_beachOur August student guest blogger will be 2L James Wold. James is originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, and has worked for over a decade as a sports editor. He is interested in sports law, particularly international sports law. Many thanks to our previous guest, 2L Erik Eisenheim.

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July 28, 2015

Broad Support for Regional Economic Cooperation Found in New Law School Poll

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Category: Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School Poll, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at Marquette
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A substantial majority of people in the Chicago “megacity” – the region stretching from the Milwaukee area, across metropolitan Chicago, and into northwest Indiana – want to see their political leaders make a priority of action that benefits the region as a whole, and not just actions focused on the needs of their own area.

But what does that mean when you get into details? How does that translate into reality?

That main finding of broad support for regional cooperation and those two questions shaped a groundbreaking conference at Marquette Law School on Tuesday. “Public Attitudes in the Chicago Megacity: Who are we and what are the possibilities?” focused on the results of what is believed to be the first extensive poll of residents of the sections of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana that are part of the “megacity.”  The conference was sponsored by the Law School and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Describing the broad conclusions, Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll and the Law School’s professor of law and public policy, said, “What we see is a substantial majority, over 70% in Illinois and Indiana, and 61% in Wisconsin, who say they would rather see cooperation among the governors and the elected officials,” than for political leaders to focus only on their own states’ concerns. Read more »

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