Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs

Programs and Events 2008 - 2009

By Arthur D. Wolf, Director

Fall 2008

In September, we held our Third Annual Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, which signaled the completion of the drafting for ratification by the states. This year, professors Bruce Miller and Giovanna Shay addressed the impact of the Constitution on the actions of the government in fighting terrorism. The springboard for the discussion was the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2008, in Boumediene v. Bush. In that case, the Court ruled that alien detainees at Guantanamo Bay had a constitutional right to challenge their detention through a writ of habeas corpus. Professor Miller, an expert on terrorism, and Professor Shay, an expert on habeas corpus, gave an insightful and thought-provoking presentation.

In November, the Institute hosted the 13th Annual Supreme Court Review Conference. Professors Leora Harpaz, Sudha Setty, Shay, and Miller discussed the principal decisions of the Court’s 2007-2008 term. Professor Harpaz addressed the election and campaign finance cases, while Professor Setty examined the Heller case in which the Court reviewed the right of the people to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. In recent years, the Court has paid increasing attention to death penalty cases. Professor Shay explored the most recent involving the use of lethal injection and imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child. Professor Miller addressed the availability of the writ of habeas corpus for detainees at Guantanamo in light of Boumediene v. Bush. The program concluded with a discussion among the presenters and the audience.

The Institute also hosted the Second Annual Regional Fair Housing Conference. Organized by the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center and HAP, Inc., the conference presented a range of issues relating to current and historical matters focusing on equal housing opportunity. Speakers addressed, among other topics, predatory lending, the impact of the current housing crisis on minorities, and other timely subjects.

Professor Curt Hamakawa, the Director of the School of Business’ Center for International Sport Business, led a group of Western New England College faculty and students to the Beijing Olympics in the summer of 2008. In their presentation at the Law Center, they discussed the thrill of the Olympic Games as well as the exposure they had to Chinese culture and society.

Finally, Jed Horne, city editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, made a compelling presentation about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. He is the author of the award-winning book, Breach of Faith. Looking at the crisis through the lens of an experienced newsman, Mr. Horne described in great detail the excruciating period following the devastation left by Katrina.

Spring 2009

The Massachusetts Appeals Court conducted its semiannual sitting at the School of Law on April 8, 2009. The appeals panel comprised Presiding Justice Ariane Vuono and Associate Justices Francis Fecteau and our own William J. Meade ’89. Justice Meade received his B.A. degree cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1986. He began his career as an Assistant District Attorney. Prior to his appointment to the Appeals Court, Justice Meade, among other things, served as a Seminar Lecturer and Coordinator of a Clinical Program at Harvard Law School. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Law Review from 2003 to 2006. He was appointed by Governor Romney as an Associate Justice of the Appeals Court on December 22, 2006.

Justice Meade was not the only School of Law graduate in the Pelligrini Moot Court Room last April. A number of our graduates appeared before the Court to argue a wide variety of civil and criminal matters covering a range of constitutional, statutory, procedural, and evidentiary questions. Our graduates arguing before the Courtw ere Assistant District Attorneys Jane Davidson Montori ’79 and Dianne M. Dillon ’77; Springfield Corporate Counsel Edward Pikula ’83, and Attorneys Harry P. Carroll ’75, Peter P. Fenton ’80, Edward B. Fogarty ’82, Lisa Brodeur McGan ’90, Daniel Sandell ’03, Erin Wyllie ’90, and Kim Zadworny ’04.

This past spring, graduates who serve in our State Legislature and I met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Timothy Murray ’94 to discuss a variety of legislative matters and other important issues of law and public policy. Carrying out their promise to regularly visit the communitiesi n western Massachusetts, the Governor and Lt. Governor met with Senators Stephen Buoniconti ’95 and Gale Candaras ’82 and Representatives Cheryl Coakley Rivera ’95 and Angelo Puppolo ’01. Budgetary matters, the survival ofcommunity hospitals, education, healthcare, and the needs of the less fortunate were among the topics of discussion.

Finally, the School again this summer hosted two students from Siena College in upstate New York. This summer, Ryan Ziegler and Keri Timlin worked with Professors Barbara Noah and Sudha Setty on two important research projects. Keri worked on researching the issue of preventive detention and specialized courts in Great Britain. She focused on two main topics: (1) reviewing a number of counterterrorism books and writing brief memos that summarized the relevant contents of the books; and (2) writing a lengthy paper on the history of preventive detention and use of specialized courts in Great Britain, particularly focusing on the history of the Diplock Courts, which were used to try suspected terrorists during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Ryan researched and wrote an original paper about the regulation of prescription drugs, specifically controlled substances, in the United States.He described the federal and state regulatory schemes, and he examined some cases in which physicians appealed disciplinary actions against their licenses for alleged over-prescribing. Finally, he discussed the tension between maintaining access to controlled substances for appropriate medical use and regulating these substances in order to reduce illegal diversion and abuse.