2020 News

Faculty & Staff
Post Crescent

Prof. Michael O’Hear, professor of law, discussed how it’s unlikely Gov. Tony Evers will grant clemency to Brendan Dassey, who is serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach and was featured in the Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer.” “I’d be very surprised if he did grant clemency to Mr. Dassey,” O’Hear said. “It is highly unusual for governors anywhere to grant any form of clemency — pardon or commutation — to individuals who have been convicted of major violent crimes. Usually, clemency is reserved for individuals who have been convicted of lower-level drug or property offenses.” 

Story appeared in the Post Crescent (Appleton), Oct. 19, 2020

Faculty & Staff
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, wrote about the lasting impact of the pandemic on education, specifically course modality. “Educators at all levels know a lot more now about teaching online than they did in March when the coronavirus crisis hit full stride and schools closed all over the nation,” Borsuk wrote. “Will that change how teaching is done in the future? Will there be a continuing interest among kids and parents in distance learning? Is there some kind of hybrid education in everyone’s future? Will virtual schools have a long-term boom?” 

Story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 16, 2020

Faculty & Staff
USA Today

Prof. Martin Greenberg, adjunct professor of law, discussed how, although many U.S. college football coaches are facing pay cuts as a result of financial challenges presented by the pandemic, the reductions in many cases are minimal because slashing football coach contracts is nearly impossible. "I’m looking for a legal reason as to how to kill these contracts," Greenberg said. "And I can’t find one.”

Story appeared in USA TODAY, Oct. 15, 2020

Faculty & Staff
Fox 6

Prof. Atiba Ellis, professor of law, discussed the federal appeals court ruling striking down an order that would have extended the period to count absentee votes in Wisconsin to six days after Election Day. “I was surprised (by the ruling),” Ellis said. “Mainly, because I think that on the one hand there are serious concerns surrounding COVID-19, and the trial court made some reasonable accommodations, but the seventh circuit — the federal appeals court in Chicago — basically said, ‘No. This is too soon. This is too close to the election to make these changes.’”

Story aired on WITI-TV (FOX 6), Oct. 9, 2020

WUWM-FM (89.7)

The Marquette Law School Poll was cited in numerous stories nationwide for its latest results, which found little change in voter preferences or attitudes following the first presidential debate and after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19. While twice as many respondents say former Vice President Joe Biden did better in the debate than those who say Trump did better, the shift in the vote margin since early September is a single point.

Stories appeared on or in USA TODAYPoliticoThe HillBloomberg NewsNewsdayFiveThirtyEightInternational Business TimesThe Capital TimesMilwaukee Journal SentinelMilwaukee Business JournalKenosha NewsUrban MilwaukeeFOX NewsCBSWITI-TV (FOX 6)WTMJ-TV (NBC 4)WDJT-TV (CBS 58)WBAY-TV (ABC 2, Green Bay),WMTV-TV (NBC 15, Madison)WKOW-TV (ABC 27, Madison)WFRV-TV (CBS 5, Green Bay)WQOW-TV (ABC 18, Eau Claire)Spectrum NewsWISC-TV (CBS 3, Madison)WKBT-DT (CBS 8, La Crosse)Wisconsin Public RadioWUWM-FM (89.7)WTMJ-AM (620)WisEye Morning Minute and dozens of other outlets, Oct. 8-12

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed polling numbers for former Vice President Joe Biden and the differences in Wisconsin voters now compared to during the 2016 presidential election. Franklin said the number of undecided voters in Wisconsin is about half that of 2016 and there is less room for President Trump to pick up additional support. He added that the latest Law Poll shows an increased determination to vote this year, and that is likely to benefit Biden.

Story appeared on The Guardian, Oct. 11, 2020

Franklin also spoke with several news outlets for other stories about President Trump’s approval ratings for the economy, President Trump holding rallies in swing states, the eroding republican support in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, the strategy behind the White House’s response to its COVID-19 outbreak, the shrinking influence of third party candidates in the 2020 presidential election and the various campaign strategies being employed through Wisconsin. 

Stories appeared on or in the Los Angeles TimesThe GuardianCNNSouth China Morning PostKHOU-TV (CBS 11, Houston) and WISC-TV (CBS 3, Madison), Oct. 6-9, 2020

The New York Times

Dr. Paul Nolette, chair and associate professor of political science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed the impact President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis may have on the upcoming presidential election. “There is that potential down the stretch as the election really continues, that people say, ‘You know what, this is the final straw. Trump just downplayed this virus, and now I am going to vote for (former Vice President Joe) Biden,’” Nolette said.

Story aired on WDJT-TV (CBS 58), Oct. 2, 2020

Nolette also spoke with WDJT-TV (CBS 58) for a Sept. 30 story about the varying perceptions of the presidential candidates following the first presidential debate. 

Franklin also commented on various Wisconsin-related news stories, including how the state is simultaneously seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases and presidential campaign attention, the decreasing percentage of undecided voters in Wisconsin, how there has been little change in voter attitudes toward the presidential candidates despite many major events taking place, as well as how President Trump’s visit to Kenosha impacted his polling numbers. 

Stories appeared on or in The New York TimesThe Capital TimesWTMJ-AM (620) and The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2020

The Washington Post

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed how former Vice President Joe Biden is trailing President Trump when it comes to support from Catholic voters. Franklin said he does not believe abortion is the dominant issue for many Catholics, given that Law Poll results show a majority of voters support abortion rights to some degree. 

Story appeared in The Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2020 

Franklin also spoke with The Hill for a Sept. 25 story about how tightening polls in key swing states like Wisconsin increases pressure for the Biden campaign. Franklin was also a guest on Channel 3000’s (WISC-TV) Live at Four to talk about how both major presidential candidates were faring in the polls prior to last night’s presidential debate.

The New York Times

The Marquette Law School Poll was cited in numerous stories for its national survey of public opinion of the Supreme Court completed three days before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The poll found Ginsburg to have been the best-known justice. Results also found that substantial majorities of both parties favor hearings on any nominee in event of 2020 vacancy and that a majority of Democrats favor increasing the size of the Supreme Court.

Stories appeared on or in the New York TimesNew York PostWashington PostThe Hill CNNThe GuardianThe Sacramento BeeWMTV-TV (NBC 15, Madison)Wisconsin State Journal and The Armenian Reporter, Sept. 19-22, 2020

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Law School Poll, also spoke with the Associated Press for a Sept. 21 story about new voter attitudes toward President Donald Trump, as well as the Washington Post for a Sept. 22 story about the influence of third party candidates in the upcoming presidential election. 

Faculty & Staff
The Washington Post

Rev. Gregory J. O’Meara, S.J., rector of the Jesuit Community at Marquette University and associate professor of law, discussed the self-defense claims being made in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse — the Illinois teenager charged with killing two protestors in Kenosha on Aug. 25. While some experts believe jurors might conclude Rittenhouse felt his life was in danger, O’Meara said he finds that idea unconvincing, “I don’t think a person of reasonable intelligence and prudence would think someone taking a deadly weapon from a 17-year-old is an attack of imminent death or great bodily harm.”

Story appeared in the Washington Post, Sept. 4, 2020

The New York Times

The Marquette Law Poll was cited in numerous stories nationwide for its latest results, which found only a slight change in voting preferences or attitudes in the wake of shootings and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in late August. In early September, 47% of likely voters say Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is their choice and Republican President Donald Trump is supported by 43%. Four percent say Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen is their choice, while 7% say they would vote for none of these candidates, didn’t know how they would vote or declined to say.

Stories appeared on or in the New York TimesThe HillPoliticoThe Chicago TribuneLos Angeles TimesBloombergNational ReviewUSA TODAYInternational Business TimesCourthouse NewsAljazeeraPatchFiveThirtyEightNews MaxReason.comFOX NewsCBS NewsThe Capital TimesKenosha NewsWisconsin ExaminerWKOW-TV (ABC 27, Madison)WLUK-TV (FOX 11, Green Bay)WFRV-TV (CBS 5, Green Bay)WTVO-TV (ABC 17)WKBT-DT (CBS 8, La Crosse)WISC-TV (3000)Milwaukee Journal SentinelMilwaukee Business JournalWITI-TV (FOX 6)WTMJ-TV (NBC 4)WISN-TV (ABC 12)WDJT-TV (CBS 58)Spectrum NewsWisconsin Public RadioWUWM-FM (89.7)WTMJ-AM (620) and several other stories, Sept. 9-11, 2020 

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, also spoke with several news outlets for stories about decreasing economic themes in President Trump’s messaging, as well as his handling of recent protests and the drop in likely third-party voters in Wisconsin. 

Stories appeared on or in the Wall Street JournalU.S. News & World Report and SHOWTIME’s The Circus, Sept. 9-15, 2020