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ThinkProgress: "A leaked draft of the Clean Water Rule rewrite circulating around Washington has Scalia’s legacy all over it"

04/20/2017

ThinkProgress: "A leaked draft of the Clean Water Rule rewrite circulating around Washington has Scalia’s legacy all over it"

CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

. . . “If this rule were adopted, it would be an outrageous contraction of the scope of the Clean Water Act that is contrary to Congress’ clear intent, and this arbitrary reversal would never withstand review in court,” Karl Coplan, a professor at Pace Law School, told ThinkProgress.

But finalizing a rule based on Scalia’s interpretation in the Rapanos case could lead to legal trouble down the road for the administration. Lower courts have generally been split in their decisions about giving deference to Kennedy’s definition, or Kennedy and Scalia’s definition together. No court has upheld the Scalia opinion on its own — it’s always been taken in conjunction with the Kennedy test.

That means the Trump administration’s rewrite directly contradicts how the Court of Appeals has been interpreting the Rapanos decision, and throws into question how favorably the Court of Appeals would view the Trump administration’s rule if it were ever challenged in court. And if the challenge were to reach the Supreme Court while Kennedy was still on the bench, convincing a majority of justices to side with the administration’s rule would mean convincing Kennedy to disagree with his own opinion in favor of a definition he rejected more than a decade ago.

“If the Trump administration proposes a new rule along the lines of what is in the current draft I would bet good money that it would be overturned in court, and I say that without even knowing how they might embellish the record or try to defend this new approach,” Mark Squillace, professor at the University of Colorado Law School, told ThinkProgress in an email after reviewing the draft.

Perhaps further complicating matters concerning the Trump administration’s rewrite of the rule, industry groups close to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are reportedly pushing for the EPA to outsource rewriting the rule to private law firms. That would allow Pruitt to bypass career EPA employees who worked on promulgating the Obama administration rule, and would mean less public scrutiny of the decision-making process. Legal experts told Politico that such a move would be “likely legally doable,” but “almost unheard of.”

On April 19, amid rumors of outsourcing the rule-making process and Pruitt’s reported intention to rewrite the rule as quickly as possible, 26 environmental and conservation organizations sent Pruitt a letter asking the agency to reconsider basing the rewritten rule on Scalia’s opinion.

“We especially fear the damage that a final rule would inflict on the nation’s waterways if, as Executive Order 13,778 forecasts, it relies on a legal test that a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court rejected and that would weaken the federal rules so that they protect fewer resources than they have in several decades,” the letter read.

If the Trump administration moves forward and finalizes a rule based on Scalia’s opinion, the rule is certain to face a suite of challenges from environmental groups in court. And while the draft of the rule could certainly change before being finalized, Ann Powers of Pace Law School said that drafting a rule based on Scalia’s opinion certainly represents a step towards rolling back clean water protections for much of America’s wetlands and waterways.

“This is not a done deal tomorrow, but it is certainly a critical step in the path to undoing a great deal of protections for our national wetlands,” Powers said. “It would be very unfortunate if this were to be implemented.”

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WAMC/Northeast Public Radio: "Judith Enck: Adirondacks"

04/19/2017

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio: "Judith Enck: Adirondacks"

"Environmental conditions in the Adirondacks and Catskills have improved because of strong national environmental protection policies," says Judith Enck, the Elisabeth Haub Visiting Scholar at Haub Law School at Pace University. "Those improvements are now at risk if President Trump’s proposed budget, coupled with his anti- science policies, are put in place.

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Westchester Magazine: "914INComing’s Spring/Summer 2017 Networking Events"

04/19/2017

New York State Legislators Town Hall

This April 28 Town Hall event will feature a two-way dialogue with key state officials on pressing issues including the decommissioning of Indian Point, broadband investment, tuition, economic development initiatives, and pension reform.  The Town Hall will take place from 8 am to 10 am at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus at 861 Bedford Road.

http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/914INC-Incoming/April-2017/Spring-Summer-2017-Networking-Events/

 

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Westchester Magazine: "Pace Student Named 2017 Truman Scholar"

04/14/2017

Westchester Magazine: "Pace Student Named 2017 Truman Scholar"

Photo: Pace University student Taslim Tavarez Garcia, named a 2017 Truman Scholar, with Pace's President Stephen J. Friedman

A Pace University junior is among one of 62 students to receive a 2017 Truman Scholarship, an award that provides $30,000 for the recipient’s graduate school tuition and the opportunity to participate in professional development programming in preparation for careers in public service leadership.

Pace’s recipient, Taslim Tavarez Garcia, a junior at the university’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, has a proven track record in the field of public service. A first-generation immigrant from the Dominican Republic herself, Garcia established a college application workshop for undocumented immigrants, called ABRIR (Advocates Bring Resources to Immigrant & Refugees).

As a political science major, Garcia interns at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and volunteers for the office’s “We Are New York” program, helping immigrant New Yorkers practice English through volunteer-led conversation groups.

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Private schools sound warnings as free state tuition plan becomes law in NY"

04/13/2017

Westchester County Business Journal: "Private schools sound warnings as free state tuition plan becomes law in NY"

...Robina C. Schepp, Pace University’s vice president for enrollment and placement, criticized the state’s program in an op-ed for Crain’s New York Business, saying it shuts out private universities with proven records of maximizing graduate earning power.

“When free tuition comes at the expense of attending a school that may offer a better fit and superior career opportunities that lead to decades of higher earnings, it erases the very appeal of the Excelsior Scholarship,” Schepp wrote.

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CBS New York: "Neil Gorsuch Sworn In As 113th Justice Of The Supreme Court"

04/11/2017

CBS New York: "Neil Gorsuch Sworn In As 113th Justice Of The Supreme Court"

. . . Longtime Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman tells CBS2’s Brian Conybeare that Gorsuch, while conservative, is not as hard line as Justice Scalia was.

“Judge Gorsuch is clearly, absolutely qualified for this position,” Gershman said.

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Journal News: "New documentary explores a traditional Passover tale"

04/11/2017

Journal News: "New documentary explores a traditional Passover tale"

Documentary filmmaker Allen Oren has taken a traditional Passover story and given it new life.

The story — about four sons at the Passover table asking questions about faith, customs and practices of Jewish life — that Oren and countless generations have heard dating back to childhood, is the subject of his latest documentary.

"Four Sons and All Their Four Sons: A Passover Tale,"  is based on the story typically read from the Haggadah at a Passover Seder.  The 51-minute film will air on PBS  Apr. 9, 10 and 14.

The Four Sons story details a father's treatment of his four sons:  a wise son, an evil son, a simple son and a son that doesn't ask at the Seder table. The boys ask the father specific questions about Passover in the parable and their questions and answers are explored.

The Passover Seder is the meal served in Jewish homes commemorating the struggle and exodus of Jews leaving Ancient Egypt.  It marks the beginning of the seven-day observance of Passover.

"The story is beloved, despite being just a short fable about four boys at the Seder table and how they’re treated by their father," says Oren, a filmmaker and Pace University Communications professor.

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CBS News: "Federal investigators accuse Google of underpaying women"

04/10/2017

CBS News: "Federal investigators accuse Google of underpaying women"

WASHINGTON -- In recruiting videos, Google says it wants more women at the top of the company.

“We want to see more women in senior leadership positions,” says one video. “We want to see more people from underrepresented groups because it makes us a better company.”

But the Department of Labor is investigating the tech giant for gender pay discrimination.

At a court hearing Friday, a Labor Department official said the agency found “systemic compensation disparities against women” at Google.

The government sued Google in January, demanding statistics on employee compensation. Federal contractors are required to comply with federal civil rights law. The government says Google was selected randomly for an audit and refused to hand over data despite repeated requests.

“They run the risk of losing all their federal contracts -- that’s a significant punishment,” says attorney Randolph McLaughlin, who teaches labor law at Pace Law School. “To be accused in this day in age of paying hundreds of thousands of women across the board at a lower rate, that significantly has the potential to damage the brand.”

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Journal News: "Cuomo crafts a budget deal: Editorial"

04/10/2017

Journal News: "Cuomo crafts a budget deal: Editorial"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Red Room at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in Albany, N.Y. (Photo: Hans Pennink, AP)

. . . The governor's Excelsior Scholarship plan would provide free tuition at any SUNY, CUNY or state community college for middle-class families. Cuomo stood with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders when he unveiled the plan in January. Talk about burnishing your progressive cred. Nevermind that tuition is about a third of the cost of attending a SUNY; it looks good, it sounds good, and it really is a good effort. However, private colleges in the state — and there's lots of them — flipped. Calls for similar student aid access came from institutions like Pace University, ranked No. 2 in the nation for "upward mobility," that is, helping the poorest students get into the upper echelon of earners.

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