Program Updates - 2010
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? A Constitutional Diagnosis of the Federal Health Care Law (November 8, 2010)
AG Program Director James E. Tierney and Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder debated the constitutionality of the 2010 federal health care law. The debate was cosponsored by the Columbia Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society, and the Health Law Association.
Program Director James E. Tierney Discusses Michigan Assistant AG Controversy on Anderson Cooper 360 (September 30, 2010)
Program Director James E. Tierney, along with legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, was featured on a panel on the CNN show discussing the controversy surrounding the actions of Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, who has been accused of authoring inappropriate blog posts about the University of Michigan student body president, among other improper actions.
Missouri Attorney General and Program Director Discuss AGs' Roles in National Issues (mp3, September 30, 2010)
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster visited the AG Program to record a podcast with Director James E. Tierney. Koster and Tierney discussed the increasing role of state attorneys general in national issues such as healthcare and immigration, and how this trend may affect the ability of AGs to work together on crucial issues.
Tierney and others from the National State Attorney General Program also held productive meetings with Attorneys General Rob McKenna of Washington and Tom Miller of Iowa, as well as California State Treasurer and former Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
The Role of the State Attorney General Podcast, Featuring Director Tierney (May 24, 2010)
Program Director James Tierney took part in a discussion, produced by the Federalist Society's Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group, on the powers and duties of state attorneys general and their authority in enforcing state and federal laws.
Director Tierney Speaks at NAAG Chief Deputies Seminar, Meets with Illinois AG (May 18, 2010)
James Tierney gave a presentation on ethics in AG offices entitled "Rules of Professional Responsibility as Applied to Attorney General Offices" at the National Association of Attorneys General's Chief Deputies Seminar in Madison, Wisconsin.
Tierney also met with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on May 17 in Chicago.
Director Tierney Speaks at Suffolk University Law School Conference (April 9, 2010)
James E. Tierney delivered the opening address for a conference entitled States in the Vanguard: Protecting Consumers During the Financial Crisis, presented by Suffolk University Law School's Center for Advanced Legal Studies. The conference centered around states' past and ongoing efforts to regulate the financial sector and reduce home foreclosures.
Director Tierney: Comptroller of the Currency Can't Rewrite History (April 9, 2010)
Contrary to the testimonies of Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan and former Comptroller John D. Hawke, federal preemption of state anti-predatory lending laws has profoundly worsened the home foreclosure crisis, according to a study from the University of North Carolina's Center for Community Capital and funded by the National State Attorneys General Program.
“In contending that the preemption of state mortgage regulations had little effect on the current housing turmoil, Dugan and Hawke have made an intellectually indefensible attempt to rewrite history in order to absolve themselves of the clear culpability that their preemption policies visited on millions of American families,” said Program Director James E. Tierney in response to the comptrollers' testimonies to the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Related: National Banks Made Riskier Loans That Worsened Foreclosure Crisis, Study Shows
Director Tierney Participates in Columbia Panel Discussion (April 7, 2010)
James Tierney participated in a discussion as part of the Careers in Law Teaching Program's Spring Lunchtime Workshop Series with a panel of fellow Columbia Law School professors. The discussion, which focused on law school teaching careers other than full-time faculty positions, also featured Social Justice Initiatives Dean Ellen Chapnick, Rick Jones, Susan Kraham, and William Savitt.
National Banks Made Riskier Loans That Worsened Foreclosure Crisis, Study Shows (March 23, 2010)
In a new study funded by the National State Attorneys General Program, federal action to exempt national banks from state consumer protection laws was shown to cause more foreclosures and riskier lending practices. The study was led by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's Center for Community Capital.
View full report
Vermont Court Finds Tobacco Company Violated State's Consumer Fraud Laws (March 12, 2010)
The Vermont Superior Court has found that the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company deceived consumers in advertisements for Eclipse cigarettes. The Eclipse product was claimed to have been less likely to cause cancer than "traditional" cigarettes. Newly confirmed Federal Trade Commissioner and past Program associate Julie Brill helped to conduct the trial.
James Tierney Delivers Ethics Speech to Court of Armed Forces Judicial Conference (March 11, 2010)
Program Director James Tierney delivered a presentation on ethics to the 2010 Judicial Conference and Continuing Legal Education Program, presented by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Tierney appeared following James McPherson, Executive Director of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Director Tierney Records New Podcast, Comments on New York Attorney General's Investigation of Governor David Paterson (March 10, 2010)
In a new podcast, Program Director James Tierney discusses New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's investigation into corruption allegations surrounding Governor David Paterson. Topics include the role of the attorney general in investigating his own state's governor as well as potential political conflicts between Paterson and Cuomo, who is considered likely to run for governor in the fall.
Listen to the podcast
Program Personnel at National Association of Attorneys General Spring Meeting (March 4, 2010)
The National Association of Attorneys General's annual Spring Meeting took place in Washington, D.C. on March 1-3. Program Director James Tierney, Antitrust Project Lead Counsel Stephen Houck, and Charities Project Lead Counsel Cindy Lott were all in attendance.
Program Counsel and Lecturer-in-Law Julie Brill Confirmed to Federal Trade Commission (March 4, 2010)
Julie Brill's nomination to the Federal Trade Commission has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She was first nominated by President Obama in November of 2009. In addition to advising the National State Attorneys General Program and co-teaching a course on the role of state attorneys general, Commissioner Brill has worked as Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust in Vermont and as Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice.
"Julie Brill will help revitalize an FTC that has languished while consumers’ interests have given way to special interests," commented Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who introduced Commissioner Brill at her confirmation hearing.
Washington Post: "FTC gains full board, expected to tackle online issues"
Sen. Leahy's full statement
Attorneys General and Public Health Podcasts, featuring James Tierney and Kelly Brownell (March 1, 2010)
Program Director James Tierney and Yale Rudd Center Director Kelly Brownell recorded podcasts at Yale's Rudd Center on AGs' role in promoting public health. Click below to listen to the podcasts. For more information, please visit the Rudd Center website.
State Attorneys General and Public Health
State Attorneys General, Nutrition, and Obesity
Professor Tierney featured at CLS student career discussion (February 16, 2010)
On February 16, Program director James Tierney shared his career experience with law students at a lunch discussion hosted by the New England Law Students Association. The conversation was for the benefit of students interested in working in state government and small market practice.
Montana Attorney General testifies to U.S. Senate on Citizens United case (February 1, 2010)
Columbia Law School alumnus Steve Bullock, '94, the current attorney general of Montana, argued before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee has the potential to undermine long-established state election laws in Montana. The ruling struck down limitations on corporate sponsorship of election advertisements, and critics have noted that foreign corporations may now have a greater impact on American elections. Bullock argued that the Citizens case may have a disproportionate effect on state and local elections. "While we can legislate to hold Montana corporations accountable to their shareholders, our state laws may not always reach businesses incorporated elsewhere," Bullock argued to the Committee. "As you protect federal elections from foreign influence, understand that federalism requires room for states to protect their elections from foreign influence too, whether international or interstate."
Steve Bullock's full remarks
Executive summary of testimony
Related: Steve Bullock visits National State Attorneys General Program during Summer 2009 Guest Lecture Series (Video)
2009 Report of the National State Attorneys General Program (January 4, 2010)
Over the last year, the National State Attorneys General Program has seen a significant expansion of its programs – from the launch of three new funded initiatives, to the growth of its regional presence, to enhanced internship and post-doc opportunities for students. In its 2009 Report, the Program details the scope of its activities in 2009 and discusses its plans for the future.