Ipse Dixit


Jacqueline Lainez-Flanagan on Tax Policy & Human Rights

Season 1, Ep. 296

In this episode, Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law's Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic (Associate Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law), discusses her article "Holding U.S. Corporations Accountable: Toward a Convergence of U.S. International Tax Policy and International Human Rights" published in the Pepperdine Law Review. Lainez Flanagan begins by discussing the right of foreign nationals to seek redress for violations of international law norms in U.S. courts as originally set out in the Alien Tort Statute and recent Supreme Court jurisprudence increasing U.S. parent companies' protection from accountability for wrongs committed by subsidiaries.  She argues toward a convergence of American international tax policy and international human rights, outlining the vast tax benefits conferred upon U.S. parents through legislative grace, most notably the formation of foreign subsidiaries to hold profits offshore. She recommends using international tax policy to enhance the accountability of corporations, discussing existing tools and frameworks within the tax code that allow for its use in promoting human rights norms. She concludes by entreating care in foreign direct investment and the importance of respecting the rights of indigenous populations, natural resources, and native workers in foreign lands, noting that legislators, policymakers, and human rights advocates have opportunities to construct a viable tax justice framework from the existing schema embedded within the tax code.

This episode was hosted by Luce Nguyen, a college student and the co-founder of the Oberlin Policy Research Institute, an undergraduate public policy research organization based at Oberlin College. Nguyen is on Twitter at @NguyenLuce

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Aliza Shatzman on Holding Judges Accountable

Season 1, Ep. 758
In this episode, Aliza Shatzman, an attorney and advocate based in Washington, DC, discusses her article "Untouchable Judges? What I've learned about harassment in the judiciary, and what we can do to stop it," which will be published in the UCLA Journal of Gender & Law. Here is the abstract:Drawing from the author’s own experience of gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation during her clerkship and in the years following it by a former DC Superior Court judge, this Article analyzes the deficits in current federal and DC judicial reporting systems to demonstrate the urgent need for reform. I argue that harassment in the judiciary is pervasive, due to both enormous power disparities between judges and law clerks, and various institutional barriers that perpetuate misconduct and discourage reporting. I survey existing methods of judicial discipline in both the federal and DC Courts and argue that these provide insufficient redress for workplace misconduct. I then discuss the Judiciary Accountability Act (JAA) (HR 4827/S 2553), which would finally protect judiciary employees, including law clerks and federal public defenders, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enabling employees to sue their harassers and seek damages for harm done to their careers, reputations, and future earning potential. Furthermore, I argue that the DC Courts should be included in the JAA, because they are Article I courts created and regulated by Congress, and DC Courts judges are arguably federal judges for Title VII and disciplinary purposes. I also offer a variety of other proposed reforms, which would both strengthen the JAA and provide additional protections to uniquely vulnerable judiciary employees. I conclude by reflecting on my attempts to report the misconduct I experienced, how the systems failed me when I tried to report, and my efforts to seek justice for myself and accountability for the misbehaving former judge.This episode was hosted byBrian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Frye is on Twitter at@brianlfrye.