From Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike to Maryland v. King, NYU Law professors weigh in on key issues in the news

In a series of opinion pieces this week, NYU Law professors have weighed in on a variety of key issues in the news, including Guantanamo detainees, the SCOTUS decision on DNA collection, the conflict in Syria, and the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Ryan Goodman

In the GuardianRyan Goodman, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law, considers how the laws of war apply to the more than 100 detainees at Guantanamo who are engaged in a hunger strike. More than a third of the hunger strikers are now being forcibly fed to prevent their deaths. “The U.S. government’s response, however, is legally untenable,” argues Goodman. “The government, effectively by its own admission and official policies, is acting in clear violation of the international laws of war.”

Barry FriedmanErin Murphy

Both Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, and Professor Erin Murphy have written pieces in response to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Maryland v. King that permits states to collect DNA from arrestees. Writing in Slate that the Supreme Court “fails the Fourth Amendment test,” Friedman posits that “what the justices seem to see only through a glass darkly is that there are two very different kinds of searches, reflecting two different kinds of policing. There are investigative searches, and there are regulatory searches… The categories matter because until you see them you can’t understand what the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure offers in each situation.”

Murphy has co-authored a piece in the Huffington Post on Maryland v. King with UVA Law Professor Brandon Garrett, with whom she submitted an amicus brief in the case. Murphy and Garrett’s amicus brief has also been cited by the Washington Post and Slate, and Murphy is also interviewed in U.S. News about the privacy implications of the Court’s decision.

Jerome CohenIn an op-ed in the South China Morning Post, Professor Jerome Cohen notes the 24-year anniversary of the June 4 Massacre in Tiananmen Square. “One of the less obvious, but abiding consequences of what the Communist Party now euphemistically refers to as 'the political turmoil' is the ongoing struggle among party leaders and law reformers to determine the extent of the party’s control of the judiciary,” Cohen writes.

Richard Epstein

Finally, in his weekly column in Defining IdeasRichard Epstein, Lawrence A. Tisch Professor of Law, considers the situation in Syria, and argues that the current administration’s policy of disengagement could lead to more conflict in the Middle East.

For further updates on the above issues and more, follow the authors on Twitter at @RichardAEpstein, at @BarryFriedman1, and at @rgoodlaw.

Posted on June 5, 2013