Gerrymandering Opponents Describe Fight for Non-partisan Political Boundaries

Posted on Categories Election Law, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Gerrymandering Opponents Describe Fight for Non-partisan Political Boundaries

In 2011, Dale Schultz was a Republican state senator from Richland Center and he voted for a plan created by Republicans to draw new boundaries for legislative districts in Wisconsin that helped the party grow and solidify its control of the legislature.

It’s a long-standing practice in politics. In different times and places, both Democrats and Republicans have tailored district lines to favor their party. It’s called gerrymandering.

Schultz, who left the legislature in 2015, and a former state Senate colleague, Democrat Tim Cullen, who also left office in 2015, have come to call it an abuse of power. Continue reading “Gerrymandering Opponents Describe Fight for Non-partisan Political Boundaries”

October

Posted on Categories PublicLeave a comment» on October

rural road surrounded by trees with fall colorsI welcomed the recent tips on the Faculty Blog about how law students and law professors might survive the problems and stress of the pandemic.  However, the thrust of the tips seemed to be that we just have to get through or move past the actual and symbolic October of our lives.  Poets, by contrast, have over the years been more inclined to say we should savor October and stretch it out in our consciousness.

Printed below is what the poet Robert Frost had to say about October.  The grapes mentioned in the final lines, I think, are all of us.  We could be richer in mind and spirit if October lasted as long as possible.  With “hearts not averse to being beguiled,” we could better take on the challenges life has thrown our way.

October
by Robert Frost

O Hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not adverse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Sanity Maintenance: A Guide to Surviving October

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on Sanity Maintenance: A Guide to Surviving October

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” This Lenin quote has never felt more appropriate than in our past week of October. If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, burnt An image of fall in Door County, Wisconsinout, ready to pack your bag and get outta Dodge—you’re not alone. As a 3L who frequently questions “why was I born during this time period?” I have begun compiling a list of things that make me feel better on those days that everything seems, well, just too 2020.

  1. Look back to cura personalis. Care for the whole person. More than ever, now, we need our motto. We can cling to this truth when there’s nothing else to hold onto. Take care of yourself in whatever way you can.
  1. Go for a walk outside on campus to look at the fall leaves. Walk to the MU Starbucks if you need an easy, quick destination. I am happy to walk with anyone who would like to go. I can also provide a list of drink recommendations, as I have challenged myself to try something new every day for the past few months and a sizable amount of the new things have involved food or drink.

Continue reading “Sanity Maintenance: A Guide to Surviving October”

Students Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Posted on Categories Judges & Judicial Process, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Students Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Upon the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Student Bar Association collected some statements from students in order to honor her memory.

black and white picture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg sitting on a sofa in 1972
Justice Ginsburg in 1972, when she was Professor Ginsburg, a professor at Columbia Law School. Photo credit: Librado Romero-The New York TImes.

Foley Van Lieshout, 3L
I think all women feel connected in some way to Justice Ginsburg. Reading her opinions, concurrences, and dissents, I always respected and admired her reasoning, even if I didn’t agree with it. To me, Justice Ginsburg was not “Notorious RBG”; she was a giant. She had so much power. She was larger than life.

Anonymous 2L
As Professor Oldfather put it in Con Law 1L year: it’s best to have a diverse set of chili recipes — not only one — all to make one great pot. RBG helped diversify the SCOTUS chili recipe in ways we never thought possible. Her contributions will be remembered forever.

Emilie Smith, 2L
RBG was an example of the woman, and lawyer, I hope to be – fierce, unwavering and determined. No matter one’s political leanings, she was an impressive woman who handled every obstacle in her life with grace and perseverance. Everyone – members of the legal field as well as citizens of this country – can learn a lot from her legacy. “Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Zachary Lowe, 3L
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an absolute trailblazer not only in her field, but in the entire history of humanity. Her continuous push for equality and equity for the underrepresented will never be forgotten or fade away in time. Her memory will always live on in the spirit of those who push for a better present and future for those who are given less opportunities. Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for always fighting, even until your final days. “Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Continue reading “Students Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

Working Class Plight Calls for “Opportunity-Creating” Policies, Authors Tell Gousha

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Nick Kristof grew up in Yamhill, Oregon, a small town about 30 miles southwest of Portland, where the economy was based on agriculture, timber, and light manufacturing. Among those who rode on the same school bus he did were kids from a family that was doing well.

But over time, the economy of the area declined, many jobs disappeared, and that family lost its stability.

Kristof, who is now 61, went on to become a Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times columnist. But all five of the children in that family and a quarter of the kids who rode that childhood school bus with Kristof died what Kristof calls “deaths of despair,” including from drug overdoses and alcohol abuse.

That’s part of the reason why Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, wrote a book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. The bigger reason, though is that they found, as they researched the book across the United States, that what had happened to people in Yamhill was similar to what had happened to millions of working class people in urban, suburban and rural communities and of all races and backgrounds. Continue reading “Working Class Plight Calls for “Opportunity-Creating” Policies, Authors Tell Gousha”

Welcome to Our October Guest Blogger

Posted on Categories Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on Welcome to Our October Guest Blogger

head shot of woman named Liz SimonisOur Student Guest Blogger for October is 2L Liz Simonis. Originally from Milwaukee, Liz spent five years working in agriculture around the Midwest before moving back to the Cream City. Her legal interests are primarily in intellectual property and corporate law, but after spending six months in China, she has developed an interest in water law as well, including its ability to influence international relations. Liz has recently been awarded the AWL Foundation Scholarship by the Association for Women Lawyers. Congratulations Liz!

A Is for Activism — Or, Want to Know What’s Going on in Milwaukee During the Election Season?

Posted on Categories Feminism, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on A Is for Activism — Or, Want to Know What’s Going on in Milwaukee During the Election Season?

One of the best parts of my new position with the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette is getting the opportunity to meet and work with amazing faculty across campus. Working with our steering committee since last spring, we had planned to have a great conference focusing on suffrage and innovation—how was women’s intellectual empowerment linked to gaining the right to vote; and how the activism behind gaining the vote and then fighting for voting rights is imbued with innovative thinking and acting.

The good news is that the entire conference has gone virtual and our amazing speakers all taped their sessions in August. (You can watch my trailer here.)

This is now available on our incredible website which has all of the speakers, a really cool interactive timeline (with original documents and then discussion questions a teacher can use for class), voting resources, and more. Continue reading “A Is for Activism — Or, Want to Know What’s Going on in Milwaukee During the Election Season?”

Mapping the 2020 Vote Preference of Each Marquette Law Poll Respondent

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School PollLeave a comment» on Mapping the 2020 Vote Preference of Each Marquette Law Poll Respondent

Each dot on this map is a (weighted) interview with a Wisconsin registered voter conducted by the Marquette Law Poll from May to September, 2020. Dots are randomly distributed within the zip code (or county if unavailable) where the respondent lives.

You can view an interactive version of this map here. Please remember that dots are randomly placed within zip codes.

We talked to 3,219 people across our May, June, August, and September surveys. Pooling these together, 47% supported Biden; 42% supported Trump; and the remainder either supported someone else, weren’t sure, or didn’t plan to vote.

Maps like these are a useful antidote to the kind of choropleth maps that shade counties entirely one color or another. Even the most Republican counties are home to lots of Democrats; likewise, plenty of Republicans live in heavily Democratic cities of Madison and Milwaukee.

Marquette’s First Virtual Appellate Oral Arguments

Posted on Categories Legal Practice, Legal Writing, PublicLeave a comment» on Marquette’s First Virtual Appellate Oral Arguments

This weekend the Law School hosted its first ever virtual appellate oral argument competition.  The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition went forward virtually this weekend on the Microsoft Teams platform.  The oral arguments, originally planned for the spring, had been initially canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  Students and judges did a fantastic job of adapting to the new format.  Students who competed had a unique opportunity to practice a skill that will likely become a more regular part of legal practice.  Congratulations to the competitors, and thank you to the judges who graciously offered their time.

Goodbye, RBG

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Feminism, Human Rights, Public, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Goodbye, RBG

The actual Justice GinsburgShe stood, at best, five feet, one inch tall. But as she got older, she looked shorter—age and frailty bending her small frame forward.

Even so, she was larger than life.

Now, if had he known her, Shakespeare surely would have penned these words for her: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Most of you already know who “she” is. “She” is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and tonight, she died at the age of 87. She was a three-time cancer survivor. But a survivor, she was.

Cornell University had admitted her as an undergraduate, and she started classes mere months after her mother died. She ended up the highest-ranking female student in her class. And, during her first year of law school at Harvard as one of only nine women in a class of 500 men, she, the mother of a toddler, did her own studying and typed up notes for her husband Marty, a second-year law student who was undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. She juggled parenting a small child, pursuing her own rigorous studies, and managing her husband’s studies. When Marty graduated from Harvard Law and moved to New York for work, she followed, transferring to Columbia Law School. And ended up tying for first in her graduating class.

Considering her class rank and her achievements at two renowned law schools, you’d think she’d have no trouble finding a job. But you’d be wrong. As I’ve heard her say, she had three strikes against her: she was Jewish, she was a woman, and she was a mother. Fortunately, then, because no law firm would hire her, she eventually ended up working for the ACLU as a founding member of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. There, she was the architect of the litigation strategy that chipped away at laws that discriminated on the basis of sex. In her view, neither women nor men should be constitutionally bound by societal roles made legal based on what “women” or “men” should be.

Only she never was able to convince the Court that sex discrimination cases should receive strict scrutiny, like other suspect classifications. Continue reading “Goodbye, RBG”

How to Have Restrictive Contracts and Still Be “The Good Guys”

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property Law, Legal Practice, Negotiation, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on How to Have Restrictive Contracts and Still Be “The Good Guys”

Cover of Adventure Zone graphic novelJustin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy have built a podcast empire on being wholesome good guys. They come off to their fans as three brothers who are down-to-Earth, goofy, and will never do anything to hurt people. This has connected with podcast listeners worldwide, helping them build a massive fan base.

But at some point, businesspeople and celebrities make mistakes. For the McElroys, this mistake has come in the form of them trying to find ways to make money off the success of their podcasts. Prior to 2018, the McElroys had sold merch for their podcasts, gone on tours to do live recordings of podcasts, and had a brief TV adaptation of the podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” on the failed streaming platform Seeso, which was owned by NBCUniversal.

Then came the graphic novel adaptation of “The Adventure Zone,” which shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller’s list. The graphic novel, while illustrated by Casey Pietsch, features a gallery of fan art at the back of every volume. Given the relationship the McElroys have with their fans, it seems reasonable they would pay tribute to the fans and the artwork they create by including a gallery of artwork tied to the events of that volume.

This fan art gallery has become the center of a bit of controversy in recent weeks. Continue reading “How to Have Restrictive Contracts and Still Be “The Good Guys””

Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Simonis and Ryan

Posted on Categories Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Simonis and Ryan
head shot of woman named Liz Simonis
Liz Simonis (2L)
head shot of a woman named Kelly Ryan
Kelly Ryan (3L)

The Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation has named two Marquette University Law School students as the winners of AWL Foundation scholarships.

Liz Simonis, 2L, received the AWL Foundation scholarship. The AWL Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a woman who has exhibited service to others, diversity, compelling financial need, academic achievement, unique life experiences (such as overcoming obstacles to attend or continue law school), and advancement of women in the profession. Simonis, a Wisconsin native, received undergraduate degree in dairy science. She spent her last semester of undergrad between Beijing and Hangzhou, China, learning about dairy farming there. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she worked for as a dairy cattle nutritionist, visiting (in her conservative estimate) more than half of Wisconsin’s 9,000+ dairy farms. Being a dairy cattle nutritionist “requires an incredible amount of science and industry knowledge,” Simonis said. “It’s not like feeding your dog a scoop of dog chow.”

Simonis then transitioned to marketing product manager at a company in Iowa, where she took feeding concepts and developed them as products. However, she noted, her experience in Iowa also taught her that the world isn’t always a fair and equitable place. “In the year of our lord 2020, there are still people out there who will not respect you because of any number of ridiculous reasons. Breaking through that kind of stigma is at the core of what drew me to law school,” she said. She returned to Milwaukee to attend MULS, where is she is an active member of the student chapter of AWL and a volunteer at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic. Simonis is also a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Saint Thomas More Society, and the Environmental Law Society. She plans to sit for the patent bar when she’s done with law school.

Kelly Ryan, 3L, received the AWL Foundation’s Virginia A. Pomeroy scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Virginia A. Pomeroy, a former deputy state public defender and a past president of AWL. In addition to meeting the same criteria as for the AWL Foundation scholarship, the winner of this scholarship must also exhibit what the AWL Foundation calls “a special emphasis, through experience, employment, class work or clinical programs” in one of several particular areas: appellate practice, civil rights law, public interest law, public policy, public service, or service to the vulnerable or disadvantaged. During law school, Ryan has volunteered for the Domestic Violence Injunction Clinic and the Milwaukee Volunteer Legal Clinic and was selected for the mock trial team. She’s clerked for the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and the U.S. Copyright Office of Policy and International Affairs.

Ryan is vice president of the Intellectual Property Law Society and lead articles editor of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review. This fall, she will intern with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as part of MULS’ Prosecutor Clinic. She said the most interesting thing she’s experienced through her public service—interning at the county, state, and federal levels—“is seeing how profoundly law, policy, and government interact to impact people’s everyday lives.”

Simonis and Ryan will be officially honored (virtually) at AWL’s annual meeting on September 30. Congratulations to both women for outstanding service and for their representation of Marquette University Law School.