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ABA Journal featured Pace Law School professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman's piece "Do some states really prohibit bringing tampons and pads to the bar exam?"

07/24/2020

ABA Journal featured Pace Law School professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman's in "Do some states really prohibit bringing tampons and pads to the bar exam?"

Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman, Pace Law School professors, wrote a column on Law.com urging states to allow bar exam test-takers to bring their own menstrual products, rather than providing the items in public bathrooms.

Read the full ABA Journal article.

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New York Law Journal featured Haub Law Professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman's piece "Tampons and Pads Should Be Allowed at the Bar Exam"

07/23/2020

New York Law Journal featured Haub Law Professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman's piece "Tampons and Pads Should Be Allowed at the Bar Exam"

Bar exam takers around the country are facing unprecedented uncertainty. In less than two weeks, thousands of recent law graduates will sit down in hotel ballrooms, convention centers and large classrooms to take the test that they have been training for three (or more years) to take. With little notice, several states have cancelled the bar exam because of COVID-19 health concerns. Some states like New Jersey and Florida announced an online bar exam in lieu of traditional testing that otherwise would require hundreds or thousands of people to crowd into enclosed spaces for several hours a day over a two-day period. Oregon and Utah canceled their exams and granted a “diploma privilege” to allow law graduates to practice without taking the bar exam. New York axed its test just seven weeks before the big day, with no plans for an alternate test administration. Other states, including those where COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise, are going full-speed ahead with plans to administer in-person tests later this month.

Read the full New York Law Journal article.

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"The Nation" featured Pace University professors Emily Gold Waldman and Bridget Crawford in "Is the tax on tampons unconstitutional?"

10/01/2019

"The Nation" featured Pace University professors Emily Gold Waldman and Bridget Crawford in "Is the tax on tampons unconstitutional?"

...Through panels and discussion, Period Equity hoped to build upon a framework outlined in a 2018 law review by Emily Gold Waldman and Bridget Crawford, professors at Pace University. Since tampons and pads can be seen as a “unique proxy for the female sex,” Waldman, a constitutional law scholar, and Crawford, a tax attorney, argued the tax violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. “It was a sort of interesting intellectual puzzle in a way, because it’s not like right on its face [the tax] says women, but you’re talking about a product that is obviously inextricably linked to female biology,” Waldman said. She noted that menstrual products are often referred to as “feminine hygiene products.”

Period Equity and the local attorneys partnering with the group are aware that challenging the tax will require going against decades of established jurisprudence. In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled in Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney that a law giving hiring preference to veterans in the state — 98 percent of which were men at the time — over non-veterans wasn’t unconstitutional because it served a “legitimate and worthy” purpose. And while litigants in New York and Florida both voluntarily dismissed their cases once the legislature repealed the tax, the only case to have a hearing, California’s, was ultimately dismissed by the judge in 2018.

Still, Period Equity and its partners are optimistic. They point out that United States v. Windsor, which paved the way for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, was actually a tax case. “Tax is this amazing lens that really reduces discrimination to dollars and cents,” Crawford said. 

Read the full article.

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"Forbes" featured School of Law Professors Bridget Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman in "Female Founders Call Tampon Tax Unconstitutional And Put A Deadline On Reform"

06/13/2019

"Forbes" featured School of Law Professors Bridget Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman in "Female Founders Call Tampon Tax Unconstitutional And Put A Deadline On Reform"

Last October, period equity supporters celebrated Nevada's vote against the sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products. Nevada became the 15th state to eliminate the tax and fueled the national debate around what constitutes a necessity product and who gets to define it. However, as legislative sessions now come to a close for the summer, there has been no further substantial progress on this issue.

In an effort to put an end to this paralysis, the founders of women’s reproductive health brand LOLA, Jordana Kier and Alex Friedman, have joined forces with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Laura Strausfeld, from Period Equity, the nation’s first policy organization committed to menstrual equity and to ensuring that menstrual products are affordable, safe and available to those in need. Weiss-Wolf and Strausfeld spearheaded the 2015 movement and 2016 class action lawsuit that resulted in the prompt elimination of the tampon tax in the state of New York.

The two female-led organizations have launched "Tax Free. Period.", the first ever national legal, advocacy and messaging campaign aimed at eliminating said tax in all 35 remaining US states. 

Tax Free. Period. aims to mobilize legal action not only to remove the unjust financial burden on people with periods, but also to shift the public conversation and pave the way for future legal claims that support reproductive, menstrual and gender equity reforms.

The campaign leaders launched a microsite outlining the issue and simple ways to get involved, including putting pressure on lawmakers to act. The site includes educational resources, interactive materials and social media tools, including governors’ Twitter handles as well as the hashtag #taxfreeperiod to amplify the issue, and a link to donate to Period Equity.

The sales tax on feminine hygiene products has been estimated to add a collective $150M in annual expenditure for women in the US. LOLA and Period Equity illustrate the incoherence of tax regulations on the site with an interactive map where visitors can see examples of tax-exempt items by state, including Viagra, condoms, candy, lip balm, and even gun club memberships.

"A few months ago when Jenn and Laura contacted us and shared this idea to launch a public engagement, legal and advocacy campaign, it felt like the perfect fit for us at LOLA. We have donated over 2 million products to shelters in 27 states, and we know that 61% of our customers are being taxed on feminine hygiene products. We are very committed to ending the problem of access to feminine hygiene products for women living below the poverty line, so this collaboration was a no-brainer,” said Alex Friedman, cofounder of LOLA.

The menstrual equity initiative has gathered the support of prominent figures, among them tennis champion, investor and women's health advocate Serena Williams. "A tax on periods is wrong. Telling half of the population that their needs aren't important is wrong. I'm proud to support LOLA and Period Equity, who have teamed up to launch Tax Free. Period. to help right these wrongs and finally end these unfair policies once and for all in the U.S.," said the 23-time Grand Slam winner.

The campaign launch will be followed by a series of activations to ensure that the momentum continues until the next legislative session. A key objective is to shift the narrative around the tampon tax from unfair and inequitable issue to an illegal, discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional matter.

We are gearing up for 2020 to make sure that the tampon tax won’t just be a talking point, but that there will be clear action. We will follow by convening the Tampon Tax LAB (aka Legal Action Brainstorm) – basically, a legal hackathon – at Columbia Law School this fall, at which we will bring together practitioners and scholars in constitutional, taxation, and sex discrimination law, as well as experts in leveraging state ERA claims, to craft a formidable legal strategy,” emphasized Weiss-Wolf of Period Equity.

The leaders behind this campaign hope to spark a broader movement and have engaged key experts in the field such as Katherine Franke, Columbia Law Professor and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and Bridget Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman, Professors of Law at Pace University and co-authors of "The Unconstitutional Tampon Tax," a 2018 article in the University of Richmond Law Review which lays out constitutional arguments that can be used in litigation. Feminist Majority Foundation will also be a partner.

Read the full article.

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"Patheos" featured Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman of the Pace University School of Law in "Tax-Free Housing for Religious Leaders May Be Legal, But It’s Still Problematic"

05/21/2019

"Patheos" featured Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman of the Pace University School of Law in "Tax-Free Housing for Religious Leaders May Be Legal, But It’s Still Problematic"

In March, the Freedom From Religion Foundation lost a major legal battle in its effort to stop the government from giving religious leaders a huge unconstitutional tax break.

You can read all the details of that case right here, but here’s the gist of it: As it stands, the U.S. government allows religious leaders to deduct the cost of rent of their church-owned houses from their taxable income. It’s a benefit worth more than $800 million in lost tax revenue each year. 

But that “Parsonage Exemption” — technically, IRS Section Code 107, which applies to a “minister of the gospel” — does not apply to leaders of explicitly non-religious groups. That’s why FFRF sued.

Now, in a forthcoming paper for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online, professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman of the Pace University School of Law take a deeper dive into the ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — the ruling that overturned FFRF’s initial victory and preserved the religious perk.

Read the full article.

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"MSNBC" featured Pace Law professor Emily Waldman sharing her insights on the legacy of Justice Kennedy and the next nominee on the Velshi & Ruhle show

07/11/2018

"MSNBC" featured Pace Law professor Emily Waldman sharing her insights on the legacy of Justice Kennedy and the next nominee on the Velshi & Ruhle show

Watch MSNBC news clip.

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"The Journal News" featured Law Professor Emily Gold Waldman in "After tumultuous year, longtime varsity coaches could face uncertain future"

07/09/2018

"The Journal News" featured Law Professor Emily Gold Waldman in "After tumultuous year, longtime varsity coaches could face uncertain future"

For standout student-athletes like North Rockland track star Katelyn Tuohy and Ardsley boys basketball hero Julian McGarvey, the 2017-18 school year was an unforgettable one.

But for longtime coaches such as Manny Martinez, Dan O’Hare, Joe Biddy and Genette Zonghetti, it's one they would rather soon forget.

They were among several varsity head coaches who were let go this season despite years of service and success.

Martinez and O’Hare each coached girls basketball for more than two decades at Blind Brook and Carmel, respectively.

Biddy, the Suffern cross-country coach, was told he would not be retained for his 50th season next year after the team posted a 19-1 record in the fall.

Zonghetti was dismissed in a “complete blindside” as the Scarsdale girls lacrosse coach weeks before the start of her 11th season this past spring.

Arlington girls soccer coach Kieran McIlvenny, who led the Admirals to a state title in 2016 and was tabbed to coach in the annual High School All-American Game in December, was let go after winning five section titles in his 10 seasons at the helm.

“It's a shame,” said O’Hare, who was named league coach of the year five times during his 21-year tenure at Carmel. “There's no loyalty any longer – for the time, the effort, the energy that all of us coaches put in.

“It just seems like we can be tossed by the wayside, so to speak,” he added.

Regardless of opinions issued by coaches, legally, there is no recourse in New York for those ousted.

“The vast majority of employees (overall) are at-will employees and can get fired for no good reason or misconception. They can’t sue,” Emily Gold, a Pace University School of Law professor, told The Journal News/lohud.com in December.

In other states, these departures may not have occurred.

In Connecticut, coaches who have served in the same position for three years or for two consecutive years must be notified their contracts are not being renewed within 90 days of the conclusion of their team’s season. Coaches also may appeal decisions to the board of education.

Read the full article.

 

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