Sunday, December 2, 2018

Loyola's Coelho Center Founder Tony Coelho Statement About Former President George H.W. Bush's Passing

As a driving force behind the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Coelho worked closely with then-President Bush to pass the groundbreaking legislation
                    
LOS ANGELES – Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy & Innovation founder and former U.S. Congressman Tony Coelho has been a key advocate for those with disabilities over the span of his career. As a driving force behind the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, Coelho worked closely with then-President George H.W. Bush to pass the groundbreaking legislation.

Coelho today released the following statement:

“Former President George H.W. Bush was one of the greatest men I ever knew. He was a great leader and humble public servant. He demonstrated true leadership in fighting for and signing into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – a crucial piece of legislation in the last thirty years, and one of his greatest legacies.

Now, 28 years later, people have forgotten how truly groundbreaking and controversial the ADA was at the time. But, back then, President Bush knew well the historic significance of his actions. I remember his words:

‘Last year, we celebrated a victory of international freedom. Even the strongest person couldn't scale the Berlin Wall to gain the elusive promise of independence that lay just beyond. And so, together we rejoiced when that barrier fell.

Now I sign legislation, which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one that has for too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse, but not grasp. Once again, we rejoice as this barrier falls, for claiming together we will not accept, we will not excuse, we will not tolerate discrimination in America.’

On that day, President Bush spoke of ‘a coalition in the finest spirit—a joining of Democrats and Republicans’ in working together to craft the ADA. And he recognized the effort’s global impact: ‘This historic act is the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities – the first. Its passage has made the United States the international leader on this human rights issue.’

Passing the ADA was not without controversy. There were powerful forces opposed to the ADA. I asked the President directly about the significant opposition he was facing. His response to me was simple and direct: “This is of personal interest to me and what you’ve done is what I want.” His final words, right before signing the ADA, sum up his conviction: ‘Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.’

May God Bless President George H.W. Bush for taking a sledgehammer to the shameful wall of exclusion by signing the Americans with Disabilities Act – his greatest accomplishment. And, may President Bush rest in peace. His greatest legacy, the ADA, lives on. He was my hero and I will miss him as a friend.” 

About The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy & Innovation
The Coelho Center, housed at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), pursues a unique three-pronged mission: convening thought leaders to pursue positive change on disability issues; leveraging technology to advance the lives of people with disabilities; and creating a pipeline of lawyers with disabilities to populate the bench and hold elected office. The Coelho Center also draws on multiple areas of expertise from other LMU colleges. Founded by former congressman, disability rights icon and LMU alumnus Hon. Tony Coelho (LMU ’64), The Coelho Center is the only organization of its kind at a Catholic university in America and the only one housed at a top U.S. law school. Details about The Coelho Center are available at www.lls.edu/coelhocenter.

About Loyola Law School, Los Angeles                    
Located on an award-winning Frank Gehry-designed campus in downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Law School is home to prominent faculty, dedicated students and cutting-edge programs. The Law School strives to instill in students the knowledge they need to excel on their chosen paths. It dedicates itself to preparing students for the rigors of practice with an extensive portfolio of practical-training opportunities, an 18,000-strong alumni network and a focus on social justice. Learn more at www.lls.edu.

MEDIA: Tony Coelho is available for phone-in interviews to discuss President George H.W. Bush’s legacy with regard to the ADA. To arrange an interview, please contact Loyola's media relations office.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Quest for Reparations

By Professor Stanley A. Goldman

This excerpt adapted from Prof. Goldman's new book, Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream: The Bargain That Broke Adolf Hitler and Saved My Motheroriginally appeared in the Nov. 30, 2018 edition of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. It is available from Amazon and Potomac Books.

In the late 1950s, four decades before the better-known and more all- encompassing German slave labor reparations cases of the late 1990s, a legal brief authored by the Conference on Jewish War Material Claims arrived at the Krupp Corporation. The document included the following allegations: “The firm of Krupp [had] exploited the prisoners’ labor without ever paying them for it, nor did it ever attempt to compensate its forced laborers for the injuries to life, health, freedom, and honor which were sustained,” and demanded that the company provide a financial settlement.

In response, the corporation’s representatives were adamant that any discussions of settlement that they might agree to participate in could not involve possible payments to the heirs of those already deceased, nor would they consider making any charitable contributions on their behalf. Furthermore, perhaps fearing that it could involve tens of millions of dollars in additional payouts, the company took the position that a Conference on Jewish war claims was not empowered to negotiate on behalf of potential gentile, as opposed to Jewish, plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs’ pro bono counsel in the negotiations, Benjamin B. Ferencz, who had been the youngest of the Nuremberg lead prosecutors, was appalled by these pre-negotiation restrictions. Ferencz was particularly eager that formerly subjugated Jews and gentiles should remain unified whenever possible and detested the suggestion that the discussions be limited to only certain former slaves. However, sadly concluding that Krupp would never make payments to non-Jewish victims based on a claim asserted by a Jewish organization, Ferencz agreed to the demands.

Krupp had been quite generous when providing retroactive compensation to his former German employees. In 1953, once he had felt secure at the head of his family business again, he sold off some of his land in order to make good on back payments owed to the company’s pensioners, and Ferencz believed a quick settlement could be reached by requesting a relatively modest sum.

Unfortunately, the very thought of compensation to non-German forced laborers, even in such a minimal amount, was abhorrent to Krupp, and negotiations between his designated agents and the plaintiffs’ Jewish lawyers proved fierce and unpleasant. “Each session was marred by recriminations, accusations of bad faith,” and even with what Ferencz later described as “anti-Semitic remarks” from the corporation’s representatives.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Remembering Professor Emeritus Dan Lazaroff, Founder of the Loyola Sports Law Institute

By Dean Michael Waterstone

Prof. Dan Lazaroff
I am saddened to share that Daniel Lazaroff, emeritus professor of law, has passed away.

Dan was very much a part of our Loyola community. He taught at the Law School from 1983-2015. During his tenure, he held the Leonard Cohen Chair in Law and Economics and served as the Director of the Loyola Sports Law Institute. Dan wrote extensively in the area of antitrust and sports law, contributing articles to the Pepperdine Law Review, Oregon Law Review, UC Davis Business Legal Journal, Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, Georgia Law Review and many more.

Early in his career, as a John Norton Pomeroy Scholar at NYU, Dan was a staff member of the NYU Law Review. After graduation, he practiced with the law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler in New York. In 1978, he joined the faculty of the University of Detroit, Mercy School of Law, where he taught for five years before joining the Loyola Law School faculty, where, fortunately for us, he spent the rest of his career.

Dan was a truly dedicated teacher and scholar. He also provided many hours of service both here at Loyola and within the legal profession, especially in the sports law area.

Professor Bryan Hull said, “I will always remember our many conversations on a wide variety of subjects, Dan’s intelligence and his sense of humor. He will be missed.”

Please keep the Lazaroff family in your prayers.

A funeral service will be held at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at Spago, 176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Cards may be sent to:

Barbara Lazaroff
805 North Sierra Drive
Beverly Hills CA 90210
LEAVE A TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR DAN LAZAROFF:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Intersection of LGBTQ Domestic Violence and Criminal Defense Issues

By Professor Christopher Hawthorne and Mieko Failey '13

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Domestic violence is a significant public health epidemic that impacts people across gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Similarly, in the LGBTQ community, domestic violence is just as common, and oftentimes, more common. For some communities, such as for transgender people and bisexual women, the rates can be more than double or nearly triple those of non-LGBTQ people. And while LGBTQ people experience many of the same imbalances of power within an intimate partner relationship, a significant difference is that LGBTQ survivors confront many barriers in access to resources because of discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or sexual orientation, including the threat of outing, explicit and implicit bias, transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia, and a lack of training for essential legal system actors. When LGBTQ people experience violence, this happens within a broader social context of anti-LGBTQ bias and oppression.

The dominant narrative about domestic violence often includes a cisgender, heterosexual framework. The experiences of LGBTQ survivors are often left out of this narrative. LGBTQ people experience higher rates of mutual arrest and/or wrongful arrest when law enforcement responds. This is often related to the perception that there is gender equality/equity and therefore an impossibility of a power imbalance. Law enforcement, who lack training on LGBTQ domestic violence issues, often conduct assessments based on gender expression, body size, and other physical characteristics. Once arrested, LGBTQ people report substantial rates of police misconduct based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation when they interact with law enforcement. Primary aggressors rely on these dangerous system actor responses as a tool to continue to maintain power and control over the survivor.

Friday, October 12, 2018

What Justice Kavanaugh Can Do To Redeem Himself

By: Christopher Hawthorne

This article originally appeared in The Daily Journal.

I am the director of the Juvenile Innocence & Fair Sentencing Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. My students, staff and I represent people in the California prison system who committed serious crimes as children. We petition for resentencing, gather mitigation evidence and represent our clients when they stand for parole. Nearly all of our clients are “lifers.”

You might say I have a rooting interest in the redemption of people who, like now-U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, have done bad things as children.

In California, juvenile offenders stand for parole in a special kind of hearing, called a youth offender parole hearing. In this hearing, juvenile offenders — no longer children, but now age 30 through 50 — discuss their childhood crimes, their behavior in prison and their plans for release.

A parole hearing, however, is not a free-for-all therapy session. My clients are there for a very specific purpose. They must persuade the Board of Parole Hearings that they deserve a certain result: freedom.

There are no rules of evidence at a parole hearing, no burden of proof. The result is entirely in the hands of two commissioners. The commissioners make findings and decisions based on their sense of our clients’ credibility and, in particular, how mature they are, how thoughtful, how they manage their anger and, most importantly, whether they take responsibility for what they did as children. Childhood, for the parole board, goes up to age 25.

Sound familiar?

My clients must describe in detail what they did — and not just their crimes. They must describe who they were as children, who they are now and why the difference means freedom. Everything is framed in the language of choice, even things they did when they were as young as 10 years old. Minimizing is prohibited. Outraged denial will get them a swift finding of unsuitability and three to 10 more years — not in the D.C. Circuit, but in the California prison system.

Well, you might say, that’s only right: These are people who committed serious crimes. But the process isn’t confined to the guilty. Even clients with credible claims of innocence have to go through this same process. And when I say credible, I mean a pretty good case, with substantial evidence, not just, “I don’t remember, so it didn’t happen.”

My clients don’t have to talk about a crime they didn’t commit, but they do have to “say they’re sorry” for something. For being wild; for running the streets; for a string of petty offenses; for hanging out with a gang. Even when they didn’t commit any crime.

Nonetheless, most of my clients — including the innocent ones — still think of the parole process as a valuable one. Yes, it feels unfair that something you did as a child is called a “choice” when you felt like you had no choices. But that’s what you do as an adult: You take responsibility. You say you’re sorry. You own up to things you didn’t think were wrong at the time because with maturity, you realize your wild teenage self was pretty destructive. You can contextualize your behavior, but the best thing you can do is look at your child self through your adult eyes and say, “Yes, I hurt someone.” And responsible adults try to address the hurt they’ve caused as children.

One of the unheralded advantages of privilege is the stuff you can get away with. When you hold noisy parties, police cruisers are not patrolling your Maryland beach house to see if sexual assault is taking place upstairs. You can consume illegal drugs, as long as you do it on your own private property. When you get arrested, droves of people beg the judge not to destroy your “promising future.” Sometimes, you even get that benefit when you are 53 years old.

My clients never received that benefit. Nobody thought they had “promising futures.” Everybody believed their accusers. It seemed only right and natural that they deserved a lifetime in prison, just as it seemed right and natural that Brett Kavanaugh deserves a lifetime on the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the reason my clients have a future at all is thanks to the Supreme Court and, in particular, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — Justice Kavanaugh’s predecessor. It was Justice Kennedy who initiated the prohibition of extreme sentences for children because of recent science showing that the juvenile brain doesn’t process moral or causal information like an adult brain. For nearly 30 years, Justice Kennedy was a swing vote for thoughtfulness and our evolving standards of decency. His voice will be missed on the court; it is painful to speculate how much.

Justice Kavanaugh will never have to stand for parole. He has lost his chance to say, in public, how sorry he is for what he did to Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez and others whose names we may never know. But he hasn’t lost his chance at redemption. Because children have their whole lives to take responsibility, think like adults and redeem themselves. They can learn compassion, humility and greatness of spirit at any age, even in their 50s. I have had clients who took that long, and their turnaround was both beautiful and heartbreaking.

As a Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh will have to rule on the fate of people like my clients — and not just my clients, but all of the dispossessed. Maybe, having gone through this hearing, he will understand how much he shares with these people, how much we all do. He not only sits in judgment on them, but in a very real way, he’s one of them. I hope that this experience has changed him. Maybe not right away. But then, he has a lifetime to seek redemption.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mark Judge Didn’t Help Christine Blasey Ford in the 1980s, But He Can Help Her Now

By Professor Maureen Johnson

This article originally appeared in The Daily Journal.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is as remarkable for what she asserts Kavanaugh did as for what she acknowledges Kavanaugh did not. More particularly, Ford doesn’t claim that she was raped by Kavanaugh. She testified that he stopped short, in part due to admonitions by Mark Judge. In fact, Ford testified that there were moments that she believed Mark might come to her aid. Ultimately, Mark threw himself onto the bed as Kavanaugh toyed pulling away Ford’s clothing. The ensuing tumble freed her from Kavanagh’s pin and allowed her to flee from the attack.

Ford’s recollection that Mark urged Kavanaugh to hold back not only demonstrates she made every effort to faithfully and truthfully recollect the incident, but it also provides extraordinary insight into the goings on in that fateful summer in 1982.

Boys will be boys. And in the 1980s, Mark obviously knew the limits. Entitled white boys could get away with the occasional sexual assault of a younger girl in a compromising setting. As Ford testified, the 15-year-old girl in her understandably didn’t want to tell her parents that she had been drinking — albeit one beer — at a home where chaperones were absent and certain of the boys were “stumbling drunk” and on the prowl. In judgmental 1980s speak, she was asking for it. And she wasn’t actually raped. Had she reported to her parents or law enforcement, the slap-on-the-wrist would have been — at best — a stern warning to Kavanaugh to lay off the beer and think twice about forcing himself on a 15-year-old.

That is why Mark urged Kavanaugh to hold back.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Silver Lining: Will McCain’s Legacy be America’s Rejection of Partisanship Politics?

By Professor Maureen Johnson

American values. It’s hard to imagine a statesman who so perfectly embodied American ideals as Sen. John McCain. Rather than jump the line on early release as a prisoner of war because of his privileged status, he refused. Honoring the military code of conduct that prisoners of war should be released in the order of capture, McCain was imprisoned for over five years – including two years of solitary confinement - enduring daily tortures that left him hobbled in body, but never in spirit. As universally agreed, he was a good man, a good husband and father, and a truly phenomenal American.

But McCain recently had one unabashed critic.

Donald Trump publically rejected the idea that John McCain was an American hero. Per Trump, McCain only was given that tag “because he was captured.” Trump added: “I like people who weren’t captured.” Trump continued his rebuke even after McCain revealed his battle with cancer. While fellow Republicans begged for reversal, Trump doubled-down, scorning and belittling an honored patriot whom almost all of us feel we have been blessed to admire and call our own.

Trump’s heartless comments are emblematic of a much deeper philosophy that cannot be reconciled with our American spirit. Whenever there is a winner, there is a loser. To say one automatically is worthy and the other is not is insidious, divisive and an affront to humanity. This especially is so when the perceived loser – the person violated – is a fellow American.

Imagine if the words Trump uttered were instead: I like police officers who don’t get shot. I like women who don’t get sexually assaulted. I like children who don’t get beat up by a schoolyard bully.

If John McCain taught us anything, it’s that we do not turn on each other. Americans have each other’s backs. Winners do so with grace. If this is done, the losing party is not disenfranchised. Instead, we tackle problems as Americans, not as embattled partisans bent on wielding power to destroy the other. In an open letter to America read two days after his death by long-time aide Rick Davis, McCain said just that.

In the words of Sen. McCain:

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all of the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been. We are 325 million opinionated vociferous individuals. We argue, and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before; we always do.”

McCain’s poignant words can bring us home.

America was great when we honored our fallen soldiers instead of kicking them to the wayside. America was great when we shared our good fortune, instead of whining like a spoiled child that we want all the candy for ourselves. America was great when our elders – including the very great John McCain – earned their spots as world leaders by championing democracy, instead of touting the purported charms of brutal dictators and autocrats.

And yes, America truly was great when a naval pilot in Vietnam named John McCain chose to forgo his get-out-of-jail-free card and instead stand in solidarity with his fellow soldiers. We know what reasoning Trump would have employed to weigh such a decision: winning.

Surely, that is what Trump thought he did when he got a waiver from serving in the military altogether due to his claim of being physically unfit because of a bone spur in his heel that somehow never since has caused him a problem. Imagine a 20-something Trump yucking it up at a Manhattan nightclub, boasting about how clever he was. If this was “winning,” who were the losers? Per Trump’s all-or-nothing winner-loser paradigm, the “losers” in his view must have been all those American soldiers who weren’t so clever and instead served their country when called, ultimately drawing their last breath on a battlefield in Laos.

This is the man we elected president? It is no wonder McCain’s final farewell to America has been perceived by many as a warning about the views of the current administration.

No doubt the impact of an American president’s ideals – or lack thereof – trickles down to the masses, most notably to impressionable children. Consider a 6-year-old trying to grapple with the idea of sharing: two scoops of ice cream for me, one for you. Or respecting a classmate: If you’re president, you can do whatever you want. Grab them by the p****. And then there’s truth: A lie isn’t a lie if you say it enough

Character matters. McCain possessed both the courage and grit to hold a mirror up to Trump. In doing so, he has held that same mirror up for the entire nation. Is Trump whom we want to become? Or is it true American heroes committed to service – like John McCain – whose aim is to unite rather than divide?

Just as presidential values can trickle down, the values of the American people can trickle up. Let’s honor McCain not as partisans, but as the Americans for whom he valiantly served in Vietnam, in that cage in Hanoi as a prisoner-of-war and in the grand halls of the United States Senate, where he called for the end to partisan politics. McCain rose like a phoenix from the most trying of times; so too can we.

Put simply, which of these two men do you want your son or daughter to emulate? Senator McCain, you have my vote.