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Rutgers Law in the News

Of the New Jersey legislative proposal to more clearly define who does or doesn’t qualify for a religious exemption from mandatory vaccinations for children, Professor Frank Askin said: “It gets tricky when they try to make people explain their religious exemption and some school official has to make a determination about whether there’s a sincerely held religiious belief.” (njspotlight.com, 6/20/15)

“Europeans have to adopt the ‘see something, say something’ policy, like in the U.S.,” said Professor John J. Farmer, Jr., speaking at the American Jewish Committee’s “A Defining Moment for Europe” conference, which took place in Brussels. (thejc.com, 5/7/15)

Professor Stuart Green commented on the use of the federal fraud statute in charges brought against Bridgegate figures Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly (Wall Street Journal, 5/3/14) and in the Record (5/2/15): “What they were alleged to have done – it’s nasty, and petty, and tacky – but it’s not so clear that it violates federal law.”

“He’s going to be crucified on the witness stand,” said Professor Frank Askin of David Wildstein, a cooperating informant in the Bridgegate investigation. (Record, 5/2/15)

Interviewed about possible charges against former Port Authority chairman David Samson related to his dealings with United Airlines, Acting Dean Ronald Chen said: “Prosecutors would have to show he got something that was not appropriate for him to receive.” (Bloomberg.com, 4/28/15)

Professor Vera Bergelson explained why a groping incident may not meet the definition of “sexual contact” under state statutes. (Jersey Journal, 4/14/15)

Professor Paul Tractenberg was interviewed for an article on the 20-year history of the State’s takeover of the Newark Public Schools. (Star-Ledger, 4/13/15)

Manuel Vazquez Seijido from CENESEX was the keynote speaker at the April 10 conference “The Global Struggle for LGBTQ Rights: Legal, Political and Social Dimensions.” (Washington Blade, 4/11/15)

Acting Dean Ronald Chen sees shift by New Jersey Supreme Court to a “pro-development” reading of the law in 62-64 Main Street, L.L.C. decision. (Record, 3/24/15)

Explaining aspects of New Jersey’s settlement with Exxon Mobil over the company’s pollution of two refinery sites, Professor Steve Gold said: "Getting the oil out, that's remediation. Bringing the beach and the bird population back to where they were before the birds were killed, that’s restoration. (Star-Ledger, 3/22/15)

Speaking of the suggestion that voting be made mandatory, Professor Frank Askin said: “I don’t think you can do it in this country because I don’t think the First Amendment would permit it.” (FoxNews.com, 3/20/15)

Professor Stuart Green commented on the corrupt behavior of some of the state’s school superintendents. (Asbury Park Press, 3/17/15) 

Professor George Thomas was interviewed about the admissibility of Robert Durst’s “killed them all” statement on HBO’s The Jinx. (BBC News, 3/16/15)

Commenting on possible civil action against those who posted vulgar tweets about former pitcher Curt Schilling’s daughter, Professor Bernard Bell said that there is a “First Amendment problem to deal with because it is speech and even as insensitive as it is I’m not sure it’s clearly unprotected speech.” Star-Ledger, 3/10/15)

Vice Dean Reid Weisbord explained that because of the terms of the will that granted Sweet Briar College the land on which it is built, it is very unlikely that the college will receive court approval to sell the land. (Business Insider, 3/9/15)

Professor John Leubsdorf discussed the factors that likely would have gone into the judge’s decision about approving fees in the Exxon pollution case. (New York Times, 3/9/15)

“It’s really got to be a true threat, where there’s some likelihood that the person is going to carry this out,” said Professor Bernard Bell of vulgar tweets made about former major league pitcher Curt Schilling’s daughter. (Asbury Park Press, 3/3/15) Bell’s comments were later cited in an Asbury Park Press editorial on free speech and social media.

The new contract negotiated by the Teamsters for Facebook shuttle bus drivers should raise the union’s standing in the upcoming vote to unionize drivers at other Silicon Valley companies, said Professor Alan Hyde. (USA Today, 2/21/15)

Professor Gary Francione, in a discussion about disturbing practices at the U.S. Meat Animal Reserarch Center, explains the animal abolition approach to animal rights and why there is no humane way to slaughter animals. (Breaking the Set, 2/6/16)

“Is this a true threat or abhorrent speech?” said Professor Bernard Bell in explaining why obtaining a conviction in a case involving anti-Semitic postings on social media would be difficult. (USA Today, 2/6/15)

Acting Dean Ronald Chen was interviewed for a piece about an Atlantic City resident who is fighting an attempt by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to take his house by eminent domain. (NJTV, 2/3/15)

Adjunct Professor Abed Awad commented on Muslims’ objections to visual images of Muhammad and other prophets. (New York Times, 1/14/15)

The first of a two-part broadcast titled “Consent to Harm” included interviews with Professor Vera Bergelson. (CBC Radio-Canada, 1/13 — part 2 will air 2/26/15)

“Maybe those old organizations, like unions, will turn out to be what workers in the new economy want,” said Professor Alan Hyde for a story on the growing support by Silicon Valley service workers for unions. (USA Today, 1/13/15)

Professor Gary Francione discussed the fundamental difference between animal welfare and animal rights with journalist Chris Hedges. (truthdig.com, 1/4/15)