Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Prof. Goldman: The Significance of The Electoral College

By Professor Stanley Goldman

This originally appeared on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2000 webnews edition of Fox News Channel.

We all remember the Electoral College, don't we? We learned in high school, and probably haven't thought about it since, that the people don't really vote for the President or the Vice President of the United States. Rather, we all vote for our own state's Electors, who in turn, cast their votes for the candidates who won that state's popular vote. Each state is given a number of Electors equal to the number of that state's Congressmen and Senators, with the District of Columbia being allocated three electors for purposes of presidential elections, for a grand total of 538. In order to be elected President or Vice President, a candidate must receive a majority of at least 270 votes. It is often said that if the Electoral College works the way it's supposed to, it's useless, and if it doesn't, it's dangerous.

This year could be the first time in a long time that those dangers may actually become legitimate issues. Several political experts believe that this could be the first time in a century and a quarter that one candidate, possibly Al Gore, could win the popular vote and yet a different presidential candidate, George W. Bush, might actually be elected President by winning the Electoral College. This could happen if Gore wins big states like California and New York by wide margins, but Bush wins more Electoral votes in closely contested smaller states. As unexpected a result as this may sound, there are even more startling possibilities thanks to the intricacies of the rules surrounding the Electoral College.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Prof. Goldman: Why House Resolution on Bigotry is Dangerous

Professor Stanley Goldman, director of the Center for the Study of Law & Genocide at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, writes the following in response to today’s House resolution on bigotry. Goldman, author of the critically acclaimed book, “Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream: The Bargain that Broke Adolf Hitler & Saved My Mother,” is available for additional commentary. You are welcome to quote directly from the statement below.

Prof. Stanley Goldman statement:

I believe Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is dangerously mistaken in her conclusion that freshman Minnesota Congresswoman llhan Omar’s controversial remarks about Jewish influence and dual loyalties are not deserving of specific censure because the young Congresswoman did not realize they were anti-Semitic.

The history of anti-Semitism, not unlike other bigotry, unfortunately illustrates that adherents often do not see themselves and their beliefs as anti-Semitic. Therein lies the true danger. Anyone who has studied, even superficially, the history of the 19th and 20th centuries alone should understand that the well-meaning, and otherwise decent, who trade-in stereotypes of Jewish influence and motives can be groomed to accept ever harsher responses to correct the perceived Jewish problem. 

This danger ever lurks from, not only the political extremes, as the anti-bigotry resolution passed today by the House of Representatives seems to suggest, but also from those of the political center. Once they accept a few small innocent lies, they are predisposed to agree to ever more disturbing ones. Passivity in the face of such intolerance is not benign.

The Modern Law of Class Actions and Due Process

By Professors Allan Ides and Simona Grossi

This article is available on SSRN.


Our goal in writing this article was to offer helpful insight for a reformed interpretation and application of Rule 23 that would make the Rule serve its intended democratic function. The idea of due process is a promise of the rule of law tempered by reasonableness, fairness, and efficiency. It embraces both the value of individual autonomy and the collective interests of the community. The idea of class actions, premised on due process, is to provide a pragmatic method of dispute resolution that is fair to the individual and responsive to the needs of the community and the challenges generated by widely spread and shared harms. In this respect, class actions operate as a tool of democracy. Rule 23 should be interpreted from this hopeful and effective perspective, one that balances individual autonomy against the legitimate needs of the community. But the Rule is not accomplishing its mission. As we show in the article, it appears to be infused with its framers’ self-doubts, and the Supreme Court treats it as an unwelcome guest in the home of traditional litigation forms—see, for example, our discussions of Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corporation (1999); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (2011); Jennings v. Rodriguez (2018); Nutraceuticals Corp. v. Lambert (2019).