A New Era: The Rule of Law in the Trump Administration

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Category: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Federal Law & Legal System, Federalism, First Amendment, Human Rights, Immigration Law, Labor & Employment Law, Legal History, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Race & Law
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Well, here we are, January 20, 2017, and Donald J. Trump has been sworn in as this nation’s 45th president, though he achieved that position by losing the popular vote by the widest margin of any winning candidate in recent history (2.9 million more people voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton), and he arrives at his new position with the lowest approval rating of any president in recent history.

As numerous others before me have written, President Trump’s campaign was not traditional in any number of ways, and I expect that his presidency will follow that trend. For some, that’s been the whole point. For others, that’s a less-than-inspiring harbinger. I wrote this summer about my concern about the candidate’s rhetoric, proposed policies, and the rule of law.

Though he has since backed off some of his campaign promises (for example, about having a special prosecutor investigate rival Clinton for her use of a private email server—a favorite chant at his rallies was “Lock her up!”), nothing since that time has changed my view. I continue to believe that the president won’t be appreciably different from the candidate. Read more »

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Dick Enberg Offers Insights into the Incredible Al McGuire

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Category: Public, Speakers at Marquette
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Here’s a detail about Al McGuire you likely don’t know: Among his many habits, he liked to lie on the floor. Often, when he was in a hotel room, he would sleep through the night on the hard tile floor of a bathroom.

Here’s another one that carries more weight in showing what made McGuire such an amazing person: When he would drive from his home in Brookfield to Marquette University, there was a place where the route called for him to turn left and head for downtown. Once a month or so, he would turn right instead, with no destination in mind, determined to spend a hunk of time wherever he ended up, just exploring and immersing himself in real life.

That latter habit gave rise to one of the things McGuire would say to people: Take that right hand turn sometimes. Do things differently sometimes. Do the unexpected.  Experience life to the fullest.

These were among anecdotes and insights into the legendary Marquette basketball coach offered Tuesday by one of the nation’s best known sports broadcasters, Dick Enberg, during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School.

McGuire coached the Marquette team from 1964 to 1977, ending his career with Marquette winning the NCAA championship. For almost 20 years after that, he was an analyst on national telecasts of basketball games, paired with Enberg as the play by play announcer. The two became close friends.

After McGuire’s death in 2001, Enberg wrote a one-man play about McGuire. It is returning to the stage in Milwaukee, with a run at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Stackner Cabaret from Jan. 20 to March 19. The revival of the play brought Enberg, who recently retired after a six-decade career that included broadcasting just about every major sports event, to Milwaukee and to Marquette, which he called “my adopted university.”

Enberg said McGuire was “the most incredible character in my 60 years (as a broadcaster) that I’ve ever met.” He added, “There’s no one in second place. He was by far.”

McGuire, Enberg said, was incredibly complex. “He didn’t mind being controversial,” Enberg said. “He was distrustful, paranoid even sometimes . . . . He didn’t want too many people to get in his electrical field.” It took a while, but McGuire let Enberg inside his life.

McGuire was “a street genius that saw life so differently than all the rest of us,” Enberg said. He said that McGuire would see things happening on the street and offer deeply insightful explanations of what was going on that Enberg had missed.

Enberg said no one could coach a basketball game better than McGuire. He could work the players, the referees, and the crowd like no one else.

“I really do think about him every day,” Enberg said.

In the course of the hour-long program, Enberg also offered observations about his own career. Among them:

Baseball is the best game for an announcer. Enberg, who was the long-time voice of the San Diego Padres, said that if you can announce baseball well, you can announce anything.

The Wimbledon tennis tournament was his favorite sports event overall – and he saw just about every major event there was. He said he fell in love with Wimbledon, from the grass courts to having the best men and women tennis players in the world competing for two weeks to the drama of center court.

His favorite sports figure? There are so many good answers, Enberg said. He said John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, was “the greatest man I ever met,” except for Enberg’s own father. Baseball great Ted Williams was a huge childhood hero for Enberg and he got to know Williams in later years. A chance to have breakfast with Williams and chat casually, “how good is that?” Enberg asked. And golfer Arnold Palmer, “you felt you were in with royalty every time you were around him.”

As for one of his broadcast trademarks – the use of the phrase, “Oh, my” – Enberg gave examples of how many different ways it can be used, including at moments that are thrilling, dismaying, surprising, and tense. He said he used the phrase because it fit so many situations and because “the holies” (as in holy cow, holy Toledo, and holy mackerel) were already taken by other announcers.

Video of the program may be watched by clicking here.

 

 

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The Law Professor Who Coached the Marquette Football Team

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Category: Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Public, Sports & Law
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The Marquette University Law School has long been associated with the world of sports.  Although the National Sports Law Institute has represented the connection in recent years, the school’s relationship to the sports industry goes back much further than the 1989 founding of the Institute. Federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, later the first Commissioner of Baseball, was a lecturer at the law school shortly after it opened; Carl Zollmann, the first major sports law scholar, was on the Marquette Law faculty from 1922 to 194; and a number of outstanding athletes, including Green Bay Packer end and future U. S. Congressman Lavvy Dilweg and Olympic Gold Medalist (and future congressman) Ralph Metcalf studied at the law school in its early years.

However, no one has ever combined the two fields more perfectly than Prof. Ralph I. Heikkenin who, during the 1947-48 academic year, both taught full-time at the law school and coached the Marquette varsity football team, at a time when the team played at the highest level of collegiate competition.

Heikkinen was already well known to sports fans in the upper Midwest when it was announced that he would be joining the Marquette faculty and staff in the spring of 1947.  A native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Heikkinen had grown up in the community of Ramsey.  He had enrolled in the University of Michigan in the fall of 1935 where he excelled academically. Not only was he an outstanding student, but he was a published poet and the president of the student government.  On top of that, he was an under-sized lineman who made the powerful Michigan football team as a walk on.

Although he began his career as an unheralded newcomer, by the time he was a junior, Heikkinen had developed into one of the best two-way linemen in the country. Although just 6’ tall and weighing only 183 pounds, he was voted as his school’s MVP during both his junior and senior years and was chosen unanimously as a guard on the 1938 All-American team.  During Heikkinen’s senior year, the Wolverines, under new coach Fritz Chrisler, narrowly missed a perfect season thanks to a narrow 7-6 defeat at the hands of Minnesota, in which Michigan botched an extra point kick, and a 0-0 tie with Northwestern, which featured a Michigan missed field goal from the 6 yard line.  Even so, the team finished the season 6-1-1, ranked #16 in the country in the final Associated Press poll. Read more »

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Water: 2016 Retrospective (and Issues to Watch in 2017)

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Category: Environmental Law, Public, Water Law
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At this time of year it seems appropriate to both examine the year just ended and look forward to the one to come.[1] 2016 brought numerous developments in the water law and policy sector at the national and state levels, and also here at Marquette University Law School’s Water Law and Policy Initiative. 2017 promises more of the same.

Nationally, the Flint drinking water crisis continued to dominate headlines. While the quality of Flint’s drinking water is slowly improving, it’s certainly too early to declare the crisis over. As a stark reminder of that, an ongoing investigation led to a series of criminal charges against those at the heart of the disaster.  Here at Marquette, drinking water issues also took center stage. The Water Law & Policy Initiative’s September Public Policy and American Drinking Water conference, organized in combination with the Law School’s larger Public Policy Initiative, drew widespread attention and brought together national experts in a variety of water-related fields. It was at this event that Mayor Barrett spoke of the pressing risks of lead in Milwaukee because of the 70,000 lead laterals serving City of Milwaukee residences. The mayor’s comments at and after the conference provoked intense media coverage and quickly resulted in the City making numerous policy changes. For example, Mayor Barrett agreed to provide free water filters to affected citizens, and ultimately budgeted to pay a substantial part of the cost to replace (privately owned) lead service lines.

Many other stories also captured headlines in 2016.

Read more »

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U.S. Prison Population Continues Slow Decline; Wisconsin’s Inches Up

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Category: Criminal Law & Process, Federal Criminal Law & Process, Federal Sentencing, Public, Wisconsin Criminal Law & Process
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Ringing in the new year, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released its data on prisoners in the United States in 2015. After rising consistently for about four decades, the U.S. prison population (state and federal combined) peaked at a little over 1.6 million in 2009. Since then, the population has declined steadily, but very slowly. For 2015, the total was a little over 1.5 million, or about 35,000 less than 2014. The continued reductions are encouraging, but must be kept in perspective: the population remains many times above its historic norms. The current rate of 458 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents is over four times greater than the long-term rate of about 100 per 100,000 from before the imprisonment boom. We are still very much in the era of mass incarceration.

The Wisconsin numbers continue to be lower than the national norms, but are moving in the opposite direction. At yearend 2015, Wisconsin’s prison population numbered 22,975, up 1.7 percent from 2014. This amounts to 377 prisoners per 100,000. By comparison, Minnesota’s rate was just 196 per 100,000.

Here are a few additional observations:   Read more »

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Pathways to Future Environmental Legislation

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Category: Environmental Law, Public, Water Law
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Over the past quarter century, repeated congressional failures to enact any significant piece of environmental legislation led observers to describe such efforts as “gridlocked,” “deadlock[ed],” “dysfunction[al],” “broken,” the subject of “considerable, self-imposed inertia,” and the surrounding atmosphere as “highly inhospitable to the enactment of major environmental legislation.”[1] Things weren’t always this way, as I discuss in more detail below; in the 1970s, a remarkable burst of legislative activity largely shaped the field we know today as federal environmental law.

In a paper soon forthcoming in the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, I argue that a perhaps minor and certainly uncontroversial piece of environmental legislation known as the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 (“the Act”) reveals potential pathways through or around this modern gridlock. The Act prohibits the manufacture or introduction into interstate commerce of useful – but environmentally harmful – microscopic plastic particles known as “microbeads” that are commonly used in cosmetic products. Its provisions are direct and uncomplicated.

Yet the strategic building blocks underlying the Act—including an emphasis on public health issues and broad stakeholder support driven by industry concerns about unfair competition and opposition to local legislation—may provide innovative and useful foundations for future efforts to pass environmental legislation.

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Gender and Negotiation–Prof. Schneider Takes the TED Stage

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Category: Feminism, Marquette Law School, Negotiation, Public
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TED talks can be a wonderful vehicle for academics to present their research in an accessible, neatly distilled way for a large audience. Our own Andrea Schneider has a new talk in the best TED tradition, explaining her fascinating work on gender and negotiation. Delivered at a recent TEDx event in Oshkosh, Andrea’s talk is entitled, “Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense.” Congratulations, Andrea!

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Congratulations to the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors

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Category: Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
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The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition is the appellate moot court competition for Marquette law students and is the capstone event of the intramural moot court program.  Students are invited to participate based on their top performance in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy course at the Law School. 

Congratulations to the participants in the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Ambrose (Mitch) Bailey
Bryn Baker
John Binder
Meredith Donaldson
Corinne Frutiger
Jacob Heuett
Hayley Kresnak
A.J. Lawton
Ben Lucareli
Nathan Oesch
Robert Ollman
Courtney Roelandts
Anjali Sharma
Ashley Smith
Elisabeth Thompson
Tsz King Tze

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New Bloggers Start Off the New Year

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We are happy to welcome our two guest bloggers for the month of January.

Our Alumni Blogger of the month is Rebeca Lopez.  Rebeca is an associate at Godfrey & Kahn in Milwaukee, where she is a member of the Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group.  Her work involves a wide variety of labor and employment matters, including wage and hour claims, employment discrimination, and conducting internal investigations involving employees. Rebeca also assists clients with drafting and enforcing employment policies and agreements.

Rebeca graduated magna cum laude from Marquette University Law School. While in law school, Rebeca served as Business Editor of the Marquette Law Review and interned in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for Judge Lynn S. Adelman. Prior to law school, Rebeca was a Regional Coordinator and an Office Manager for a United States Senator.

Our Student Blogger for the month of January is Laura Mikeworth.   Laura is a 3L at Marquette Law School and a graduate of Marquette’s School of Arts and Sciences.  She currently serves as an Articles Editor on the Marquette Law Review, as well as a student leader for Marquette Law School’s Academic Success Program.  After graduation, Laura will be joining Foley & Larder LLP in their Milwaukee office.

Welcome!

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Big Dreams and Hidden Harms

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Category: Federal Law & Legal System, Immigration Law, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public
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One of the first choices that the Trump Administration will face after the upcoming inauguration is what to do about the “Dreamers.”  The name Dreamer has been used both to refer specifically to the young adults currently participating in the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival program (DACA) and, more generally, to any undocumented residents of the United States who were brought to this country by their parents when they were minors.

It is not difficult to be sympathetic to the plight of the Dreamers.  As undocumented residents of the United States, they were subject to immediate deportation under the law as it existed prior to 2012.  However, these longtime residents of the United States often had little memory of their birth country and may not have spoken any language other than English.  They grew up in the United States, and attended U.S. schools, and as a result they share the same hopes and dreams of any native born young adult.  Moreover, they were not morally complicit in their parents’ decision to enter the United States.  Prior to 2012, approximately 2 million people essentially found themselves trapped in a form of limbo – feeling American, unconnected to any foreign country, and yet unable to work lawfully in the United States or to plan for their future.

Legislation was first introduced in Congress in 2001 to resolve this situation and to permit these persons to obtain legal residence in the United States.  Titled the Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (or DREAM Act), this first bill and similar versions introduced in subsequent years were designed to create a 6-year pathway to permanent legal residency.  To be eligible under the DREAM Act, a young adult had to have been brought to the United States at a young age, was required to be a college graduate or a military veteran (or be currently enrolled or enlisted), and could not have a criminal record.  The DREAM Act and its successor bills boasted bipartisan support but never passed both houses of Congress, either as a standalone bill or as a component part of a comprehensive immigration reform package.

Frustrated by congressional inaction, President Obama chose to extend relief to the Dreamers in the form of a Presidential Directive. Read more »

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Not Just Another Email

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Category: Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Writing, Public
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My first legal writing assignment in law school was an e-mail memo. For the first few weeks or so of my introductory legal writing course, our professor guided my classmates and me through thorough examination and crafting of effective e-mail memos.  At the time, I found the exercise mundane—lacking the excitement and wonder of a full memo or brief.  It seemed more like diet legal writing that was focused on beginners. Boy was I wrong.

As a new associate, I spend much of my time researching developments in the law.  One effective way to communicate and document my research and conclusions is to submit an answer by e-mail. Looking back now, I wish that I had had the principles we learned in that legal writing class in mind when submitting my first such e-mail memo to a more senior associate at our firm.

My first version of an e-mail memo in practice was a disaster.  The question was simple: Whether there had been any new case or other law on a narrow issue. The answer, as I saw it based on my research, was just two sentences of text. So, I wrote down my answer in a colloquial e-mail, fired it off, and moved on to another matter. Oops.

Shortly thereafter, the senior associate that I sent that e-mail to walked into my office and politely asked me whether I had a copy of The Bluebook.  Then it all came back: Identify the question; give an answer; justify and support the answer by stating what the law is and how it would likely apply to these facts; consider counter answers where applicable; offer further discussion; check your cites. Needless to say, my first e-mail memo in practice did not follow this blueprint.

Now, my experience might not be everyone’s, but if I could add to the heap of advice law students receive, it would be to refresh that recollection of how to write a superb e-mail memo before pressing the send button as a new associate in practice. E-mail memos are not mere introductions to legal writing.

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Media Should Inform the Public on Why, Not Just What, of Criminal Legalities

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Category: Criminal Law & Process, Media & Journalism, Milwaukee, Public
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As we discussed potential procedures following the aftermath of acts causing tension between citizens of the Milwaukee area and police officers, a small group I was part of presented an interesting point. That point was that many times citizens are unaware of the on-goings of the criminal legal system. When situations arise in which officers or citizens are not found guilty subsequent to what seems to be a criminal act, onlookers are furious and the city burns—literally.

The media does little to help reduce the animosity, pointing fingers and creating distrust between residents and law enforcement by informing on the what, but failing to expand on the why. We as law school students are all legally educated, and most of us, at the least, have taken criminal law, even if we are not so knowledgeable as those who teach it. So, when an event takes place that seems unjust and nobody walks away in handcuffs, we understand why. The citizens of Milwaukee, however, don’t have that same knowledge and are understandably outraged. Read more »

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