UHLC in the News

June 2015


Same-sex marriage: Will conservative religious colleges lose tax-exempt status?

After last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling, the tax-exempt status of conservative religious institutions whose policies don't extend housing and other benefits to same-sex couples could be in question.

Supreme Court to Re-Hear UT Admissions Case White Woman Suing Over Affirmative Action

The long-running legal battle over affirmative action at the University of Texas is heading back to the Supreme Court. The high court has agreed to hear the case of Abigail Fisher for a second time.  Fisher is a white woman who sued after she was denied admission to UT-Austin in 2008.

SCOTUS, same-sex marriage, and Christian colleges

Conservative religious groups have shown concern over the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that has resolved the question of whether the U.S. Constitution establishes a right to same-sex marriage.

Supreme Court will hear UT affirmative action case for second time

For the second time, the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admissions will face the scrutiny of the U.S. Supreme Court, bringing potential resolution to a years-long case that could have broad implications for affirmative action at universities.

Did the Roberts Court Really Lurch Left?

For a group of nine justices that has been called one of the most conservative in recent memory, the Roberts court gave liberals reason cheer this term—from granting a historic nationwide right to same-sex marriage to upholding a key section of the Affordable Care Act.

Next Step for Death Row Defense Lawyer David Dow

In the wake of the Texas Supreme Court's ruling against death penalty defense lawyer David Dow in his battle with its sister criminal court, his legal team expects to seek a review in federal court.

Remember, don’t rush to get married in Harris County just yet

The Harris County Clerk isn’t ready for you and won’t be for at least a little while.

A week of generational change reflected in court rulings

Three Supreme Court decisions in a week topped Friday with the landmark ruling rendering same-sex marriage legal across America may be recalled as one of the most stunning moments in the court’s history of involvement in social change.

Court's Ban of Death Penalty Lawyer Will Stand

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled it has no authority or jurisdiction to intervene in its sister court's ban of prominent death penalty lawyer David Dow.

Texas High Court Affirms Suspension Of Death Row Atty

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday it doesn't have jurisdiction to overturn a sanction issued by the state's Court of Criminal Appeals that bars a prominent death penalty lawyer from appearing in that court for a year because he failed to give adequate justification for filing a late stay of execution motion.


Today, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) questioned health care insurance experts on the most recent harmful effects of Obamacare on the American people. 

City Honors faith-based volunteers, names Graves to Crime Lab Board

On Wednesday June 24, Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued proclamations honoring the three largest faith-based emergency response organizations for their service in the recent historic floods.

Experts eyeing bail reform in Harris County, statewide

In jails across the country, including Harris County, a majority of the people behind bars have not been convicted of a crime. In the jail complex on the north side of downtown Houston, more than 6,600 people, about three-quarters of the prisoners there, are waiting to go to trial. Each one costs taxpayers about $45 a day.

Koh Tang: Survivors of last Vietnam battle go back to honor missing comrades

Forty years ago, scores of inexperienced U.S. servicemembers waged a largely forgotten battle in a largely unknown place to rescue a mysterious ship from an unfamiliar enemy.

Will Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage challenge or change Christian colleges?

Friday's Supreme Court decision that states must authorize and recognize gay and lesbian marriages could create major legal challenges for religious colleges -- primarily evangelical Christian colleges that bar same-sex relationships among students and faculty members.

Health Care Law and Insurance Premiums

Professor Chandler’s testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Oversight regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums appeared on CSPAN.

Federal judge rules against Sysco merger with US Foods

Professor Bush was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding a federal judge’s ruling against the merger of Sysco and US Foods.

ACA uncertainty sends Tennessee official to DC to testify

The Tennesseean reported that Professor Chandler will testify before Congress today regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums.

UHLC Prof. Chandler to testify before Congress on insurance cost impacts of Obamacare  

UHLC reported that Professor Chandler will testify before Congress today regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums.

UH Experts Available to Address SCOTUS Decisions on Health Care, Same Sex Marriages

A press release from the University of Houston identifies several UHLC professors as experts available to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court decisions on health care and same sex marriage. The list includes Professors Seth Chandler, Patricia Gray, Geoffrey Hoffman, Jessica Mantel, Thomas Oldham, and Peter Linzer.

Immigration Article of the Day: Michael A. Olivas, The Growing Role of Immigration Law in Universal Higher Education: Case Studies of the United States and the EU

Professor Olivas’ recent article, The Growing Role of Immigration Law in Universal Higher Education: Case Studies of the United States and the EU (37 Houston Journal of International Law 353 (2015)), was highlighted as the ImmigrationProf Blog’s Article of the Day on Saturday, June 20.

Alleged Russian Taliban fighter says he is POW and cannot be criminally prosecuted

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted Professor Paust making a case for giving prisoner-of-war status to the Taliban.

Houston Campuses Getting Ready for Guns

Professor Olivas is quoted in an article on KTRH (Houston-AM 780) News Radio’s website, commenting on the new law that allows concealed handguns to be carried on university campuses in Texas.

Experts spar in Virginia court over status of accused Russian fighter for Taliban

Reuters reported in a news story that Professor Paust testified at a hearing in Richmond, Va., where attorneys for Irek Hamidullin (a former Russian army officer charged with terrorism and conspiracy for his role in a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan) argued that the case should be dismissed because he was a war combatant and was entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions. The article quotes from Professor Paust’s testimony.

Houston Law School Ranked High for Networking

Dean Baynes was quoted in a Texas Lawyer article, which reported that the Law Center was ranked seventh on a recent list of the top 25 law schools for “Quality of Network.”

Supreme Court dismantling of health care law could hit Texans hard

Professor Roberts was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding the number of people in Texas who may lose their health insurance if the Supreme Court strikes down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax subsidies for plans purchased through the federal insurance exchange. 

Immigrants Get More Court Access Under High Court Ruling

Professor Olivas was quoted in a Law360 article regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the case of Mata v. Lynch, reversing a 5th Circuit decision regarding jurisdiction to review a B.I.A. refusal to reopen a deportation case based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Did You Think Campus Carry Was Settled Law?

Professor Olivas was quoted in a Texas Tribune article regarding the new law that allows concealed handguns to be carried on university campuses in Texas.

Debit Card Scams: How to Spot, Report & Recover

Professor Alderman was interviewed for an article appearing on the CardHub.com website. The article identifies many common debit card scams and Professor Alderman discusses how consumers can best protect themselves.

Legislature hands new ‘upskirt’ law to Abbott.Courts had tossed previous law

Professor Linzer was quoted in an article available on the San Antonio Express-News’ website, commenting on the constitutionality of a bill that state lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott to rewrite a statute banning improper photography. 

Fact check: How does Australia's plan to strip foreign fighters of citizenship compare to other nations?

Professor Berman was quoted in an article reported by Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s FactCheck, commenting on the constitutionality of current legislation pending before Congress to revoke U.S. citizenship.

Need a repair? These steps will save you money and headaches

Professor Alderman was quoted in an article on ConsumerReports.org, commenting on actions that consumers can take if a product repair goes wrong.

Death row inmate released from prison

Professor Thompson was interviewed by KPRC (NBC-Houston) and quoted in an article on the station’s website. The news story reported that capital murder charges have been dropped against former Texas death row inmate Alfred Dewayne Brown.  Professor Thompson comments on the rule that requires prosecutors to show the defense any evidence that would tend to show innocence. 

The 'devious defecator' case shows why employers should never ask for DNA

An article by Professor Roberts was published on the Guardian’s website, commenting on the Lowe v. Atlas Logistics case and the legalities of taking employees’ DNA.

The 'devious defecator' case shows why employers should never ask for DNA

Professor Roberts was quoted in an article available on BioNews.org, commenting on the potential consequences of taking an employee’s DNA for identification purposes.

Congress must continue blocking ‘risk corridor’ bailout of insurance companies

An article on the Hill’s website mentioned Professor Chandler’s testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee hearing last summer on the bailout provisions focusing on Obamacare’s reinsurance and risk corridor programs.

Why Are Health Insurers Seeking Big Rate Hikes?

Professor Chandler has written an article available on National Review’s website, commenting on why health insurers are raising their premiums.

A state district judge has expanded the probe into Paxton’s alleged securities violation.More possible offenses investigated.

Professor Thompson was quoted in an article reported by the San Antonio Express-News’ website, identifying possible offenses that could justify the expansion of securities investigations such as the ongoing investigations of the Texas Attorney General. This is an expanded version of an article originally reported by the Houston Chronicle.

Judge expands scope of Paxton investigation

The Houston Chronicle quotes Professor Thompson concerning possible offenses that could justify the expansion of securities investigations, such as the ongoing investigations of the Texas Attorney General.

Brazos Bookstore hosted professor Thompson.

Brazos Bookstore hosted Professor Thompson this past Wednesday to discuss her new book, Cops in Lab Coats

Innovative University of Houston Law Center mentorship program to grow in second year

Initiative helps pair youth with adult role models and provides legal assistance to juvenile offenders.

A press release available on PRNewswire.com discussed the Juvenile & Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP) at UHLC (an offshoot of the Texas Innocence Network based at UHLC launched last fall) and that Professor Dow first proposed the idea in a TED talk. The press release mentions that JCAP will also work with Professor Marrus and Professor Heppard to develop additional hands-on training for law students interested in working with juveniles.

ProfNet Experts Available on Patriot Act, FIFA Indictments, College Funding, More

Professor Olivas was mentioned as an expert regarding “Elonis v. U.S.: Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions,” in a press release available on PRNewswire.com.

UH Law Center prof Zale says it will take time for laws to catch up with 'sharing economy'

Renting apartments, rooms, or homes raises new questions in property law

A press release available on Security @ IT BusinessNet’s website quotes Professor Zale extensively regarding her forthcoming paper, “Sharing Property,” which was presented at the April conference, "Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy," at Fordham University and will be published in the Colorado Law Review (Winter 2015/2016 edition).

Many insurers seek double-digit rate hikes for 2016: 6 things to know

An article on the Becker’s Hospital Review website quoted Professor Chandler’s comments to Politico regarding health insurance premiums.

First graduates of Houston-Calgary law school partnership earn dual JDs with degree emphasis in energy law

A press release reported that Andrea James, Julia Gill, and Barrett Schitka became the first graduates of the International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP), a dual-degree collaboration between the Law Center and the University of Calgary. Dean Baynes was quoted in the article.

University Of Texas Hosts Inaugural Texas Tax Faculty Workshop

The TaxProf Blog reported that Professor Wells will be participating in the Texas Tax Faculty Workshop at the University of Texas School of Law today. Professor Buckles will also be participating in the workshop.

Health experts see big price hikes for Obamacare

Politico quoted Professor Chandler on the reasons for rising insurance rates under Affordable Care Act plans.

The Cons of the ACA

A post on Professor Chandler’s ACA Death Spiral blog, “The Cons of the ACA,” was featured on RealClearPolicy.com. The entry includes the annotated text of a speech Professor Chandler recently presented at the annual conference of PIAA, a group of insurance professionals. In the speech, Professor Chandler discussed the architecture of the Affordable Care Act and its problems.

Football stadium tragedy serves as backdrop for latest legal thriller by UH Law Center's David Crump

PR Newswire published a press release regarding Professor Crump’s fifth book, Sudden Death Overtime. Professor Crump was quoted throughout the press release. This item appeared in multiple sources.

‘Devious Defecator’ Case Tests Genetics Law

The New York Times quoted Professor Roberts discussing how the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was applied in a recent case where genetic testing was used for non-medical purposes.

May 2015

Congressional action needed to optimize regulation of genomic tests

Science Daily and a number of other sources picked up on a press release discussing a New England Journal of Medicine article coauthored by Professor Evans on the topic of FDA regulation of genomic testing. Carrie Criado is credited as the author of the press release.

UH Law Center partners with Andrews Kurth for the IPIL Spring Lecture

PR Newswire published a press release announcing that UHLC’s Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law’s spring lecture will be sponsored by the Andrews Kurth law firm. Professor Joyce and UHLC alumnus Jeff Dodd were both quoted in the release. Professors Joyce and Vetter were identified as co-directors of the Institute.

Congressional Action Needed To Optimize Regulation Of Genomic Tests

A press release about the newly published New England Journal of Medicine article co-authored by Professor Barbara Evans appeared on PR Newswire. Professor Evans’ article discusses the potential consequences of the FDA’s proposed regulation of genomic tests and technologies under 40-year-old medical device regulations

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and America's Ineluctable Machinery of Death

An essay by Professor Dow appeared on the Beacon Broadside website. In the article Professor Dow writes about how the Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in the case of Witherspoon v. Illinois shaped the jury who sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.

Ridesharing Drivers Often Stuck in Insurance Limbo

Professor Alderman was quoted in an article on the NerdWallet website regarding gaps in insurance coverage for ridesharing drivers.

Critics say diversity lacking in new sheriff's command

Professor Olivas was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding the lack of diversity among Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman’s command post assignments.

AMC Nears Straight-To-Series Orders For 3 New Dramas

An articles on CraveOnline.com mentioned that “Goliath,” a planned drama series for AMC, is based on Professor Dow’s book, The Autobiography of an Execution.

Appeal to Reason

An article in Texas Monthly discusses Professor Dow’s temporary suspension from appearing before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and how the Texas Supreme Court has the opportunity to make things right by overruling the CCA.

"A Celebration of Entrepreneurs" Gala

Professor Chase will be honored today by the Houston Technology Center at the 2015 "A Celebration of Entrepreneurs" event, according an announcement available on YourHoustonNews.com. The event honors local entrepreneurs and celebrates those who have made significant contributions to the Houston community.

Are Threatening Rap Lyrics Protected by Free Speech?

Professor Olivas was interviewed by Houston Matters, commenting on why rappers sometimes find their lyrics used against them in court.

It’s the Nonstudent College Instructors Who Need More Protection

Professor Olivas authored an op-ed piece that was available on the New York Times’ website, regarding the need for more protection for nonstudent college instructors.

Luncheon & Continuing Legal Education Presentation

The New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association announced that Professor Olivas will give a CLE presentation in Albuquerque on May 29. The title of the presentation is "Hernandez v. Texas - A Landmark Case for Mexican American Civil Rights."

Texas law enforcement often doesn’t mirror the communities it serves

Professor Thompson was quoted extensively on the racial divide between the Texas law enforcement agencies and the community they serve in a report of a collaborative project between the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism and The Dallas Morning News.

Creator Of 3-D Printed Guns Sues Federal Government

KUHF interviewed Professor Linzer regarding a lawsuit filed by the publisher of 3-D printed gun blueprints against the State Department. 

Investigation into cheating at EPISD continues

Professor Kwok was quoted in an El Paso Times article regarding an investigation into artificially inflated test scores in the El Paso Independent School District.

Sysco to make its case for merger to judge this week

Professor Bush was quoted in an article on HoustonChronicle.com, commenting on the potential outcome of a court hearing next Tuesday, where Sysco Corp. will argue its case supporting its merger with U.S. Foods, Inc.

The Law of Rock and Roll

Tulane University Law School announced it will be holding a Law of Rock and Roll CLE on June 5 featuring Professor Olivas.  The announcement notes that Professor Yocel Alonso will also be speaking.


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