Loyola Law School Faculty Available to Comment on Convention Platform Issues

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles professors are available to comment on the range of issues expected to be addressed during the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, including:

Trump’s Vow to Relax Restrictions on Tax-Exempt Organizations Making  Political Statements

Professor Ellen Aprill is a nationally known expert on the requirements of tax-exempt organizations, including restrictions on their political activity. The founder of the Western Conference on Tax Exempt Organizations, Aprill has followed Donald Trump’s comments about relaxing rules prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from making certain political statements.

“Whatever the origin of the prohibition on political campaign intervention for charities, including churches, it has served to preserve such entities as nonpartisan havens in our increasingly partisan world,” said Prof. Aprill. “Previous legislative efforts to change this rule have failed. Moreover, donations to these organizations are tax-deductible, and it has long been an important principle of our campaign finance system that contributions for campaigns consist of only after-tax amounts. Otherwise, the government would in essence be subsidizing the campaign contributions of those who choose to support candidates. Changing this campaign intervention prohibition would undermine our entire system of campaign finance.”

Criminal Justice/Department of Justice: Professor Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor, is available to discuss the candidates’ differing platforms on criminal justice. “Although there are critical issues facing our criminal justice system today, precious little has been said by this election’s presidential candidates,” she has said.

Campaign Finance, Contesting a Convention: Professor Jessica Levinson, who teaches Laws of the Political Process and the Campaign Finance Seminar, has closely followed the nominating process. The president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, she is equipped to comment on the dramatic differences in the presidential nominees fundraising systems. She can also comment on the procedures for a contested convention.

Immigration Reform: Professor Kathleen Kim, faculty supervisor of the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, closely follows immigration policy, such as President Obama’s executive actions. “Immigration is one of the top campaign issues this election cycle,” she has said. “And with good reason: Our immigration system is in desperate need of reform, yet Congress has failed to respond.”

International Trade:

  • Professor Jeffery Atik, who studies innovation and competition law, views Donald Trump’s anti-trade policy platform as a death-knell for U.S. deals with Asia. “China is the central focus of Trump’s neo-nationalist ire; he promises to subject Chinese goods to punishing tariffs. Were he to do so, it would likely plunge the entire World Trade Organization into crisis, effecting a U.S.-style ’Brexit’ from the international trading system. “
  • Professor Justin Hughes, has opined on the prospective international impact of Brexit. He is an expert on the implications of international treaties on intellectual property issues

Supreme Court Nominations:

  • Professor Allan Ides, a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, has followed the nomination of the Hon. Merrick Garland and the impact of Scalia’s vacancy on the high court. “If the political winds start to look a Democratic sweep, Senator McConnell may re-assess his no hearings position in the hopes of preventing a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate from confirming a younger and more liberal Supreme Court prospect,” he has said.
  • Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon has followed the impact of the Supreme Court vacancy on civil rights law. “This is momentous. Justice Kennedy has finally found a racial affirmative action policy that he was willing to endorse,” she said in the wake of the Supreme Court opinion in favor of an inclusive admissions policy at the University of Texas.

Learn more at the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Election 2016 Commentary Guide.