Entries from April 2009
April 29th, 2009 · Comments
This week marks President Barack Obama's 100th day in office, a significant milestone for the new administration. While the president and his team work to address a number of pressing domestic problems including the economy and health care, the shadow of controversial Bush administration foreign policies still looms large.
Democrats in Congress are calling for a "truth commission" to investigate, and potentially hold accountable, those who carried out harsh interrogation methods used on terrorist suspects. President Obama rejected such a commission calling it a distraction from the nation's problems that would steal time and energy away from his policy agenda. Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to struggle with where to place foreign detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, as officials carry out the President's order to close the detention camp within a year.
In this episode of Law in 10, host Pam Hardy discusses President Obama's efforts to address the fallout of the Bush administration's foreign policy with Associate Dean William Aceves, an internationally-respected expert in the areas of human rights and international law.
April 22nd, 2009 · Comments
A case before the U.S. Supreme Court this week presents the high court with its first opportunity in more than 20 years to weigh in on the balance between student privacy rights and the rights of schools to protect students against drugs and weapons.
The case of Safford Unified School District v. Redding involves an eighth grade student forced to submit to a humiliating strip search by school officials based on the ultimately-erroneous claim that she was hiding prescription medication on her person. Did school officials over-react, or were they within their rights to search students who might be harboring dangerous items?
This episode of Law in 10 features host Pam Hardy in conversation with California Western Professor Rob DeKoven, whose research and writing covers issues of education and student rights.
April 15th, 2009 · Comments
It may have sounded like an April Fool's prank, but this was no joke. On April 1, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department was dropping all charges against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, convicted of seven felony counts of ethics violations last October.
The cloud over the Justice Department darkened further when a federal judge launched an outside investigation into what he called "shocking and disturbing" behavior by the government, whom he did not trust to conduct an honest review.
The allegation of criminal misconduct by federal prosecutors threatens our very notions of innocence and equal justice under the law. In this episode of Law in 10, host Pam Hardy speaks with Mario Conte, former Executive Director of Federal Defenders of San Diego and a Distinguished Practitioner at California Western.
April 9th, 2009 · Comments
The quick high and relatively low cost of crack cocaine fueled a wave of drug addiction and crime that swept U.S. cities beginning in the 1980s and contributed to stricter penalties for drug possession and dealing. Among its victims, the crack epidemic devastated thousands of American families through addiction, incarceration and separation. Pregnant women addicted to crack cocaine faced some of the harshest sentences, including child abuse, delivery of drugs to a minor and even homicide.
Although the short-term effects of prenatal drug exposure are serious and damaging, medical research now shows that the long-term effects on health and brain development are less severe. Was the "crack baby epidemic" dominating news reports and family courts in the 80s and 90s merely a myth? In this episode of Law in 10, host Pam Hardy speaks with Professor Janet Bowermaster, who teaches child and family law at California Western.
April 1st, 2009 · Comments
The catastrophic collapse of high-powered insurance and financial services firms such as AIG and Lehman Brothers, as well as the national outrage over the Bernie Madoff scandal and multi-billion dollar losses for investors, exposed flaws in the way financial services are regulated in this country. Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner unveiled new plans by the Obama administration to repair and regulate investment and banking organizations.
This episode of Law in 10 features host Pam Hardy in conversation with California Western teaching fellow Jeff Schwartz, who explains how the system failed so spectacularly and examines whether Geitner's proposals for regulating hedge funds and other investments will prevent another financial meltdown.