Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 26, All day
Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 27, All day
Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 28, All day
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Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 30, All day

WBB vs. Georgetown
Nov. 23, 02:00 pm
MBB vs. Rider
Nov. 24, 07:00 pm
Volleyball vs. West Virginia
Nov. 26, 06:00 pm
WBB vs. Iona
Nov. 26, 08:00 pm
Volleyball vs. Oklahoma
Nov. 29, 12:00 pm

Constitution Day program to address same-sex marriage

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas and KU School of Law will welcome guest speakers Tom Fisher and Roberta Kaplan, and moderator Stephen McAllister, for the 2014 Constitution Day program “Same-sex Marriage – Constitutional Right or the State’s Decision.” This program will explore U.S. Supreme Court cases surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage.

The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21. The event is free and open to the public.

The panelists will discuss the state of constitutional law regarding same-sex marriage, the arguments in favor of and against the recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear several recent decisions on this issue, and the likely future direction of litigation and the law.

Recent refusal to rule by the Supreme Court on cases in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin seeking to keep same-sex marriage bans in place has cleared the way for same-sex unions in those states. This development has increased the current number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 19.

“The topic is obviously very timely,” said Barbara Ballard, Dole Institute associate director. “Additionally, the representation of both sides highlights the process of constitutional law that we celebrate with this program each year.”

The annual Dole Institute Constitution Day program features attorneys or practitioners on opposite sides of timely constitutional issues who will discuss specific cases, as well as the constitutional law more generally. Stephen McAllister, E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law, will moderate this year’s discussion between Fisher and Kaplan.

“I am pleased we will be able to host speakers who have both been involved in the recent litigation at the highest level,” McAllister said.

Thomas Fisher is the solicitor general for Indiana, acting as the chief litigation policy adviser to the attorney general and providing oversight of state and federal litigation. A two-time recipient of the National Association of Attorneys General Best Brief Award for excellence in U.S. Supreme Court brief writing, Fisher has argued three times before the court, most recently in 2008 when he successfully defended Indiana's voter ID law in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and persuaded the court to permit states to require mentally ill criminal defendants to have trial counsel in Indiana v. Edwards. He has also argued significant Indiana constitutional law cases involving abortion regulations, same-sex marriage, toll road leasing, educational funding and attorney general authority over charitable trusts.

Fisher has taught as an adjunct professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and is a frequent speaker at a variety of continuing legal education forums. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Fisher worked in private practice in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., and clerked for Judge Michael S. Kanne of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Roberta Kaplan is a partner in the litigation department of law firm Paul Weiss, New York office, with extensive experience representing a diverse group of clients on high-profile matters ranging from stock recommendations, mutual funds, credit regulations, data confidentiality and constitutional rights. She has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers” and one of the top “40 Under 40” lawyers in the United States, as well as a 2013 “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer and 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" by Above the Law. She was ranked as number 5 in this year's "Politico 50." Kaplan has also been profiled in a documentary produced by the PBS MAKERS series.

Kaplan successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of her client Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case. In Windsor, the nation's highest court ruled that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics.  It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, offers free public programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as opportunities for students of all ages. 

For more information on this or any Dole Institute events, visit www.doleinstitute.org or call (785) 864-4900. The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus next to the Lied Center.

 

Symposium to explore legal elements of human migration

Thursday, October 16, 2014

LAWRENCE – Leading scholars in international, immigration and human rights law will explore the legal complexities surrounding human migration at the 2014 Kansas Law Review Symposium.

“Statelessness and Belonging: Perspectives on Human Migration” will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at the University of Kansas School of Law. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register and preview the complete schedule at law.ku.edu/stateless.

Speakers from across the country will discuss topics such as: refugee and asylum adjudication; ethics and values in the U.S. immigration system; citizenship and global public health crises, including Ebola; children awaiting adjudication at the U.S. border; human rights and allocation of vital resources to indigenous peoples; home state’s sovereignty over undocumented immigrants abroad; and individuals, corporations and the properties of citizenship. 

“There are an estimated 4,000 ‘citizens of nowhere’ in the United States today. A much higher number of people possess a formal nationality but live a similar experience to that of stateless persons: discrimination, loss of legal rights and lack of access to basic resources. Their marginalization touches many of the human rights crises of our time, domestically and internationally,” said Tamara Combs, symposium editor and third-year KU law student. “This is a broad and timely issue to explore as the nation continues to talk about possible reforms to the current immigration system.”

Speakers will include:

  • Lillian Aponte-Miranda, human rights lawyer and former associate professor, Florida International University College of Law
  • Maryellen Fullerton, professor of law, Brooklyn Law School
  • Bill O. Hing, professor and Dean's Circle Scholar, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Polly Price, professor of law, Emory University School of Law
  • Jaya Ramji-Nogales, professor of law and co-director, Institute for International Law and Public Policy, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Marcia Yablon-Zug, associate professor of law, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Lua Yuille, associate professor of law, University of Kansas School of Law

Scholarship associated with the symposium will be published in a spring 2015 issue of the Kansas Law Review. Questions? Contact Symposium Editor Tamara Combs at kulawrevsymposium@gmail.com.

Professor with extensive Supreme Court experience to share highlights from career serving KU and Kansas

Wednesday, October 01, 2014
 
LAWRENCE – Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister will share his experiences arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court and other career highlights during his inaugural lecture as the E.S. & Tom Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas.

McAllister is set to deliver “The Supreme Court and Kansas: A (Solicitor) General Talk about Studying, Teaching and Serving the Law” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A Kansas native, McAllister earned degrees from KU and its law school before clerking first for Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then for Supreme Court Justices Byron R. White and Clarence Thomas. He worked for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., before returning to KU to join the law faculty in 1993.

McAllister served as dean of the law school from 2000-2005, and he currently teaches constitutional law, civil rights actions, state constitutional law and torts. He has written on a wide variety of constitutional topics, including affirmative action, capital punishment, federalism, freedom of speech, the powers of Congress, sex offender laws and Supreme Court history.

During his years at KU, McAllister has served a number of Kansas Attorneys General and the Kansas Legislature as a legal adviser and litigator, beginning with his work on the sex offender civil commitment case (Kansas v. Hendricks) that went to the Supreme Court in 1996, and continuing through today as he prepares for Oct. 14 arguments at the Supreme Court in the case of Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, a dispute over water in the Republican River Basin. In between, he has worked on cases involving a variety of constitutional issues, including the death penalty, the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, school finance and freedom of speech.

McAllister’s Supreme Court advocacy has resulted in two Best Brief awards presented by the National Association of Attorneys General. In November 2010, the Supreme Court appointed McAllister to brief and argue in defense of the judgment in a case called Bond v. United States after the United States decided it would not defend the lower court’s ruling. 

McAllister has played a role in bringing several Supreme Court justices to KU and Kansas, and he persuaded two justices to teach in the law school’s summer program in Turkey. In 2013, McAllister and his family spent two weeks with Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife in Innsbruck, Austria, where Thomas and McAllister co-taught a course.

McAllister assumed the Hampton professorship in September 2013. The E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Professorship was established in 1985 by the family, law firm and friends of Salina lawyers E.S. and Tom W. Hampton. E.S. Hampton was a 1929 graduate of the law school and senior partner at Salina firm Burch, Litowich and Royce. His son Tom graduated from KU Law in 1959 and joined his father’s practice. The professorship honors the Hamptons’ legacy and aims to attract and retain quality faculty at KU Law.

Law alumna and former professor elected to KU Endowment board

Friday, September 26, 2014

LAWRENCE — KU Endowment’s Board of Trustees elected The Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha as new board chair and Charles E. Heath as vice chair, and elected five other University of Kansas alumni as trustees at today’s annual meeting of the association’s Board of Trustees. Tacha, the first woman to chair the board, succeeds A. Drue Jennings, of Prairie Village, who served four one-year terms.

The new trustees are Steve Lightstone, Kansas City, Missouri; Cathy Reinhardt, Lawrence; Annette Rieger, Seattle; Elizabeth “Beth” Stella, Lawrence; and Thomas Walsh, Leawood.

The Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha, of Lawrence and Malibu, California, graduated from KU in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and earned a juris doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1971. Since 2011, she has been dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. From 1985 to 2011, she served as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, and was chief judge from 2001 to 2007. Earlier, in 1974, she joined the KU School of Law faculty, becoming associate dean in 1977. In 1981, she was appointed KU’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, a position she held until 1985. She was elected to the KU Endowment Board of Trustees in 1992.

Charles E. Heath, of Lawrence, earned two degrees from KU — a bachelor’s in business in 1964 and a master’s in business administration in 1966. He is an independent director and compliance committee chair for Tortoise Capital Advisors’ closed-end funds. He also serves on the boards of directors for Corridor Energy and DCCCA. From 1971 until his retirement in 1999, he was employed by Employers Reinsurance Corporation, where he served from 1989 to 1999 as chief investment officer. He is a past president of the Kansas City Society of Financial Analysts and attained the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1974. He was elected to the KU Endowment Board of Trustees in 2006.

Steve Lightstone earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management in 1967 and a master’s degree in finance in 1970, both from KU. His wife, Terry, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1968. Steve is a managing director with CC Capital Advisors, an investment bank and a division of Country Club Bank. He serves on the Board of the KU Medical Center Research Institute and the medical center’s Far Above campaign committee. He has served on the KU School of Business Board of Advisors, the KU academic medical center’s Advancement Board, the Kansas City chapter of the KU Alumni Association and the KU Alumni Association Honors Program, among others. Steve is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.

Cathy A. Reinhardt graduated from KU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in history and in 1983 with a J.D. She and her husband, Norman St. Laurent, live in Lawrence. Cathy is president of Reinhardt Financial Services Inc. She is a past member of the KU Law Alumni Board of Governors. She is a member of the Elizabeth Watkins Society and a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.

Annette Rieger graduated from KU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work. Her husband, Roger, earned a bachelor’s in business in 1967; they live in Seattle. Annette and Roger are owners of a private family foundation, the Tudor Foundation, which creates programs focusing on mentoring, counseling and financial support of low-income, inner-city students. Annette worked in Protective Services for Children. She was named to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006. She is a former member of the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board and is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the KU Alumni Association.

M. Elizabeth (Beth) Stella graduated from KU in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in piano. She also earned master’s degrees in piano and in human development and family life and a doctorate in developmental and child psychology. Beth’s husband, Valentino (Val), is a distinguished professor in the School of Pharmacy. Beth retired as an associate research scientist at KU in 1998 and is a community volunteer. She serves on the Hall Center Advisory Board and on the center’s Far Above campaign committee. She also served on the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board. She is a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.

Thomas J. Walsh graduated from KU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Tom and his wife, Teresa, live in Leawood and have three grown children, two of whom also are KU alumni. Tom is co-chairman of Silpada Designs Inc., a company co-founded by Teresa in 1997. He joined the Silpada Board of Directors in 2013 after the founding families reacquired the company from Avon. Tom is also a partner at Think Big Partners, and he has founded and developed several successful businesses, including Central Interchange and H2O Resources. Before that, he was part of the executive leadership team at Jack Henry & Associates for 14 years. Tom is a member of the KU academic medical center’s Advancement Board and a life member of the Chancellors Club and the Alumni Association.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Law students taking on more cases through new partnership with Midwest Innocence Project

Monday, September 22, 2014

LAWRENCE – Since 1965, the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas School of Law has worked to obtain new trials for convicted individuals whose constitutional rights were violated. In the last five years, 38 Project clients have been granted new trials. But a lack of access to funding for forensic testing and expert testimony has hampered the Project’s ability to prove actual innocence, where the ultimate goal is exoneration. 

A new partnership with the Midwest Innocence Project aims to change that.

The Midwest Innocence Project, a member of the national Innocence Network, is dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Through the collaboration, KU’s Project for Innocence will take on Kansas innocence cases that originate with the Midwest Innocence Project. The KU clinic will receive financial support for investigation and litigation – including potential expert testimony and DNA and forensic testing costs – and will gain access to resources available through the Innocence Network.

“The partnership will benefit everyone involved,” said Jean Phillips, clinical professor and director of KU’s Project for Innocence.

“Despite generous private support from alumni, we don’t have the financial resources to pay for extensive testing,” she said. “A single DNA analysis runs $1,400, and one case frequently requires several tests for comparison purposes, which can add up quickly. This partnership will expand our capacity to serve clients who may be incarcerated unjustly and provide additional opportunities for our students to gain insight into the criminal justice system.”

According to the Midwest Innocence Project, recent independent studies conservatively estimate that between 2 percent and 5 percent of all inmates in America were falsely convicted. Some estimates reach as high as 7 percent, including up to 4 percent of inmates on death row. This equates to somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000 people in the MIP’s five-state region.

“After a conviction, the appeals process focuses more on finality over fairness. It is designed to be incredibly difficult and is very expensive,” said Tricia Bushnell, MIP legal director. “We are one of the few places indigent inmates can turn to regain their freedom when the legal system has failed. This partnership with the University of Kansas School of Law helps us expand our capacity to take cases and gives us a presence in the classroom to teach the next generation of lawyers, investigators and lawmakers how to identify and prevent these injustices.”

The partnership will have an immediate effect on the KU clinic’s work with clients like Floyd Bledsoe, who is serving a prison sentence for a first-degree murder conviction. Bledsoe has always maintained his innocence, but despite extensive efforts to establish he did not receive a fair trial, he remains incarcerated. With support from the Midwest Innocence Project, KU’s Project for Innocence will be able to continue to move forward with DNA testing in the Bledsoe case.

“The Midwest Innocence Project has many cases from Kansas waiting to be investigated,” said Alice Craig, supervising attorney for the KU clinic. “We have already begun to incorporate these cases into our caseload.”

Former KU law professor Paul E. Wilson founded what was then the Defender Project in 1965 to help prisoners who otherwise might not receive legal representation. Students in the clinic represent state and federal prisoners in appellate and post-conviction litigation in state and federal courts. Their work includes conducting fact investigations, drafting pleadings, filing motions, preparing for hearings and creating case strategy.

In addition to challenging convictions, in 2009 and 2011, a Project team won rare grants of executive clemency for three men convicted of robbery during a racially charged Civil Rghts-era trial in Wichita.

The Project receives more than 200 letters a year from inmates seeking assistance.

Pictured above, from left: Pete Smith, president of the Midwest Innocence Project board of directors; Tricia Bushnell, MIP legal director; Professor Jean Phillips, director of KU's Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies; and KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza

Law professor to argue before Supreme Court on water dispute

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas law professor has authored a study and will argue before the Supreme Court on a water rights case via a method that can be thought of as a more civil version of civil war.

Stephen McAllister, E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law, will argue on behalf of Kansas before the Supreme Court on Oct. 14 in a dispute about water rights and the Republican River. Lower courts have determined that Nebraska has pumped too much water from the river before it flows into Kansas and that Nebraska should pay Kansas $5.5 million. Nebraska claims that amount is too steep, while Kansas claims the payment should be higher. McAllister is arguing at the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who will join McAllister at counsel table for the oral argument.

McAllister also has written a new article to be published this fall in the law journal The Green Bag about original jurisdiction procedures, the process by which disputes between states often are initiated and decided in the Supreme Court.

“One of the ways to think of original jurisdiction is as ‘the other civil war,’” McAllister said. “Instead of states taking action against each other, militarily or otherwise, they can go to the Supreme Court and get a resolution of their dispute. Original jurisdiction gives the Supreme Court the chance to keep such disputes from ever reaching the point of violence or other punitive actions between states.”

Original jurisdiction was used only sparingly before the Civil War, but since then it has been used frequently to determine all manner of disputes between states over water rights, fishing rights, boundaries and occasionally other issues such as interstate pollution. One of the most famous recent cases was a dispute between New York and New Jersey over which state owned Ellis Island, home to the historic center that processed millions of immigrants to the United States.

This isn’t the first time McAllister has been involved in a water rights case that ended up at the Supreme Court via original jurisdiction. Kansas v. Colorado was a dispute over water rights to the Arkansas River. In that case, Kansas sued Colorado for taking more than Colorado’s share of the water in the river before it reached Kansas. McAllister worked on the case near its conclusion, assisting then-Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, writing briefs and providing consultation. McAllister’s work on that case and the Supreme Court’s decision prompted him to write another article in The Green Bag, agreeing with Chief Justice John Roberts that the Supreme Court alone had the constitutional power to determine the procedures for original jurisdiction cases and that Congress could not and should not get involved in such matters.

Some have argued that Congress has the power to dictate the procedures the Supreme Court uses in these state versus state cases, but McAllister in responding has noted that Congress has never purported to do so directly in the nation’s history.

“History suggests that Congress has never really thought they could or needed to get involved in these cases,” McAllister said. “I don’t see how Congress getting involved could make things any better. The court has developed procedures and provided a forum that has worked for the states.”

While some claim that the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to set certain parameters on the court, gives Congress the power to determine original jurisdiction procedures, McAllister disagrees.

“The logical extension of that argument is that Congress could completely control every aspect of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction, which would do away with separation of powers. The Supreme Court does not try to control or change the procedures Congress uses.”

In his upcoming arguments before the Supreme Court, McAllister will argue because it has been established that Nebraska pumped too much water from the Republican River and violated a previous compact between the states on water usage, Nebraska should have to pay Kansas significant damages, both to compensate for the loss to Kansas and to deter Nebraska from committing future violations.

“The upstream states always have an advantage, as far as first shot at the water and the ability to use what they want,” McAllister said. “You often end up with disputes arising from interstate water compacts arising decades down the road. I think one of the questions is, ‘How much remedy is appropriate in this situation? It’s an interesting question to argue because there aren’t really hard and fast rules here.”

The case will be both a chance for a KU professor to argue before the Supreme Court and for KU Law students to observe the preparation process firsthand. McAllister will take part in several moot court sessions before the October arguments in order to practice and prepare. In one of those sessions, KU faculty will represent the Supreme Court justices who will hear the case. Students will observe and be able to ask questions following the session.

This particular case will also be part of McAllister’s distinguished professor lecture, which he will present Oct. 6. His Supreme Court experiences, consulting with the Kansas Attorney General’s office and the intersection of the two with service, teaching and scholarship will all be part of the presentation.

Media advisory: KU law expert available to discuss KS Supreme Court’s consideration of offender registry case

Thursday, September 11, 2014

LAWRENCE — Corey Rayburn Yung, a University of Kansas School of Law professor with expertise in criminal law and sex crimes, is available to speak with the media about today’s Kansas Supreme Court hearing in Doe v. Thompson. The case addresses the constitutionality of the state’s Kansas Offender Registration Act, a 2011 law that retroactively lengthened the time one has to remain on the criminal offender registry. The plaintiff in the case is a convicted child molester in Johnson County. The U.S. Constitution bans “ex post facto,” or after-the-fact, punishments.

YUNG CAN DISCUSS: how similar cases have been resolved in other jurisdictions and any issues related to the ex post facto clause in relation to sex offender restrictions.

To schedule an interview, contact Mindie Paget at mpaget@ku.edu or 785-864-9205.

BIOGRAPHY: Corey Rayburn Yung’s research focuses on criminal law, sex crimes and judicial decision-making. His scholarship has been cited by several federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Yung is regularly consulted by the media and has been quoted in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, among other outlets.

KU law school selects Dean’s Fellows to mentor incoming class

Friday, September 12, 2014

LAWRENCE — Nine students at the University of Kansas School of Law have been chosen as Dean’s Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. 

The Dean’s Fellows are a group of second- and third-year law students selected to mentor first-year peers. Fellows offer academic support and guidance, serving as resources for students navigating the transition to law school. Fellows are selected through an application and interview process that considers their academic performance, campus and community involvement, and rapport with classmates.

“The program matches 1Ls with students who have gone through what they are about to go through,” said Paige Blevins, head Dean’s Fellow. “It encourages community, and community creates a more supportive system where students can succeed.”

The program is administered by the school’s Office of Admissions. The 2014-15 Dean’s Fellows are listed below by hometown.

BARTON COUNTY

Paige Blevins, a third-year law student from Great Bend, is this year’s head Dean’s Fellow. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at KU and has participated in Women in Law and the Public Interest Law Society. Blevins served as a staff editor for the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy and events coordinator for the Public Interest Law Society. She graduated from Great Bend High School and is the daughter of Ralph and Laura Blevins. 

JOHNSON COUNTY

Second-year law student Abby Hall, Overland Park, is a member of Women in Law, OUTlaws and Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She is a staff member on the  Kansas Law Review. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from KU. She attended Leavenworth High School and is the daughter of Jackie Millin.

Ben Ashworth, a third-year law student from Prairie Village, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science at KU. He is a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and writes a sports column for the University Daily Kansan. Ashworth served as the chief of defense for Traffic Court and as a staff editor on the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy. He also conducts research about international arbitration. Ashworth graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School and is the son of William and Gayle Ashworth. 

Maureen Orth is a second-year law student from Prairie Village. She is a member of the Kansas Law Review staff and the Native American Law Students Association. She participates in the Judicial Clinic. Orth holds a degree in English literature from Kansas State University and graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. She is the daughter of Jim and Trish Orth.

SEDGWICK COUNTY

Grant Brazill, a third-year law student from Wichita, completed a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Wichita State University. He has been involved in the Environmental Law Society and the 1L Mentor Program. He served on the staff of the Kansas Law Review and is a member of the Hispanic American Law Students Association. Brazill graduated from Wichita Northwest High School and is the son of Rick and Marlene Brazill. 

Julia Leth-Perez is a second-year law student from Wichita. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Wichita State University and serves as a KU Law Student Ambassador and member of the Dean’s Council, Women in Law and the Hispanic American Law Students Association. Beyond Green Hall, she serves on the Willow Domestic Violence Center Finance and Funding Committee. Leth-Perez is the daughter of John and Ellen Leth-Nissen and graduated from Circle High School.

WYANDOTTE COUNTY

Crystal Ellison, third-year law student from Kansas City, is vice president of the Black Law Students Association and a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and Women in Law. She serves as a Traffic Court judge. Ellison volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and CASA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies with a minor in political science from Park University. Ellison graduated from Wyandotte High School and is the daughter of Patricia Ellison and Cleveland Ellison.

Out-of-state students

ARIZONA

Annette McDonough, a third-year law student from Phoenix, holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Wyoming. She has been involved in Traffic Court, Women in Law, Native American Law Students Association and the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. McDonough served as the Westlaw student representative and participated in the In-House Moot Court Competition. She graduated from North High School and is the daughter of David Cox and Emily Jordan. 

UTAH
  
Jason Harmon, a third-year law student from Orem, completed a bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in Spanish and Portuguese at Utah Valley University. He has been involved in the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and served as a teaching assistant for the Lawyering Skills course and a staff editor on the Kansas Law Review. He graduated from Timpanogos High School and is the son of Phillip and Janet Harmon.

Study finds despite stereotypes, Muslim nations take nuanced approach to 'haram' imports

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

LAWRENCE — When the terms “Sharia” law or “Islamic law” pop up in the media, they are often misunderstood. New research from a University of Kansas School of Law professor and alumna shows that, even among the legal world, there is confusion of how Islamic law applies to international trade.

Islamic law declares the consumption of certain items such as alcohol, pork and pork products forbidden, or “haram.” Raj Bhala, associate dean for international and comparative law and Rice Distinguished Professor at the law school, and Shannon Keating, a recent KU Law grad, authored an article showing that the majority of Islamic nations do not ban the import of those three product groupings, even though World Trade Organization law allows them to do so. The reasons they found are numerous and nuanced.

Bhala and Keating analyzed the tariff schedules of every Islamic country in the world with a majority Muslim population who are members of both the Organization of Islamic Conference and the WTO to see how they handled the importation of the three haram product categories. The findings, published in the International Lawyer, the most widely circulated international law journal in the world, show “diversity within unity.”

“We thought perhaps most Muslim countries would invoke the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XX(a), or the public morality clause to ban importation of haram goods,” Bhala said. “Indeed that is true for Saudi Arabia and Yemen, but it’s not true for most of the 57 countries of the OIC.”

The unity the researchers found is that all the countries in question identify as Muslim and consider alcohol, pork and pork products haram. The diversity is that most allow their import but employ different kinds of import restrictions. Some nations did not know they could ban the import of such goods when they joined GATT. So many used tariffs, but of a wide range, to influence how the goods are lawfully brought into their countries.

Some nations imposed steep tariffs of 1,000 percent or more to effectively ban their import because virtually no one would be willing to pay that rate to have their product imported. However, that practice is rare as it largely encourages smuggling and black markets for haram goods.

Secularism and moral relativism are the two most intriguing reasons the researchers found for allowing importation of haram goods. While it might not be widely known in the West, many OIC countries are in fact secular societies. Not everyone in the nation, especially young people, routinely practices an orthodox version of Islam. Therefore they do not apply strict Islamic interpretations to their trade rules. Bhala gave the example of having traveled to Muslim countries around the world and being able to order alcohol in public venues.

“We wondered, ‘If this product is haram, why is it relatively easy to consume?’” Bhala said. “It turns out if a society is pretty secular in its attitudes, it’s not surprising that its trade policies would be less strict than the classical theory of the Shari’a might suggest.”

Moral relativism also largely influences the decision not to ban imports of haram goods. Muslim scholars have long debated the question of absolutes in the faith. Whether they exist, how they can be applied and consequences of their application, such as the banning of certain goods for everyone, are far from consensus ideas in many of the nations. The idea of moral relativism and how it applies to alcohol has gone back and forth in the United States as well, Bhala said, citing the nation’s era of Prohibition and the fact that there are still dry counties across the nation that prohibit alcohol sales.

Bhala and Keating began their research collaborations while the latter was a law student. She took Bhala’s Islamic law and international trade law classes and was a research assistant on his two-volume treatise project, “Modern GATT Law.” Keating took on the task of analyzing tariff schedules line-by-line for each of the countries in the OIC. The task was beneficial both for the research project and her career with New Markets Lab, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that focuses on trade and commercial law in developing countries.

“It was, at times, tedious, but I’m so enthusiastic about studying trade law and it was a great learning opportunity and chance to dig deeper into how it is applied around the world,” Keating said. “I went in without much expectation on what we’d find, but I think there are assumptions and expectations surrounding many of these countries. People might be surprised that there is no ban on haram products in most of the nations.”

Assumptions and stereotypes are often incorrect, even when applied to law, the researchers said.

“What that led us to conclude was, despite the stereotype of extremism and intransigence, most of the Muslim countries treat trade law and policy just like everybody else,” Bhala said. “There is greater maturity in these societies than we often recognize. And it’s reflected in their import rules. That is definitely not to say ‘they’re bad Muslims’ if they allow importation of haram goods. Not at all. It shows they’re thinking in a modern way, the same as so many other countries.”

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