NotreDame Resources

Author: Dennis Brown and Gail Hinchion Mancini

NotreDame Resources
June 10-16, 2001

Church/state: The Supreme Court’s decision this week in Good News Bible Club v. Milford was good news, indeed, for the First Amendment, according to Richard W. Garnett , assistant professor of law at Notre Dame. “The court reaffirmed that the First Amendment does not require ? in fact, it does not permit ? government to discriminate against religious persons, organizations and ideas,” Garnett wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. “No doubt some will complain the decision permitting a Christian youth group to meet after school hours in public school facilities somehow lowers ‘the wall of separation’ between church and state. It does not. Justice Clarence Thomas’ clear and well-reasoned majority opinion honors our constitutional traditions of religious freedom and pluralism by welcoming, on equal terms, the faithful to the public square.” Professor Garnett can be reached for further comment at (219) 631-6981 or p. Tech transfer: Universities that jumped into the technology transfer business after passage of the 1980 Bayh-Dole act are pulling down almost $650 million a year from some 6,700 inventions created by their researchers. That amount could be higher if universities were to fine tune the process of tying ongoing inventor involvement to profits, according to research by Richard A. Jensen , professor of economics at Notre Dame. “Bayh-Dole mandated that the inventor be paid. But it’s how you pay them that makes the difference,” says Jensen, whose findings were published in American Economic Review. The vast majority of university-developed inventions require a lengthy incubation period, and have the best chances of reaching the markeplacet when the inventor remains tied in through such long-term fiscal incentives as stock options. Jensen can be reached for further comment at (219) 631-9382 or p. Jeffords: The recent shift in party control of the Senate illustrates yet again the ongoing close competition between the two major parties in the United States, says a Notre Dame political scientist who specializes in American political parties and interest groups. “The recent presidential election was decided by a razor-thin margin, and the current majorities in both the Senate and House are equally narrow,” says Christina Wolbrecht , Packey J. Dee Assistant Professor of Government and International Studies. "These narrow margins mean that if Democrats and Republicans are unwilling to compromise in order to achieve their goals then deadlock seems likely. " For Democrats, the change in the Senate is particularly momentous. Majority party status confers considerable institutional powers, the most important of which is the power to designate the chairs of the standing committees. Most of the policy making work of the Senate occurs in committee, and chairs have long been recognized as holding significant gate-keeping and agenda-setting powers. Democrats started the year locked out of control of either the executive or legislative branches; they have now been granted unexpected influence over the important business of the Senate. Professor Wolbrecht can be reached at (219) 631-3836 or p. Race relations: A new book coauthored by Heidi Ardizzone , visiting assistant professor of American studies at Notre Dame, provides a riveting portrait of race relations and the justice system in 1920s America. “Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White” tells the true story of first the love and then the trial between Alice Jones, a former nanny of mixed race, and Leonard Rhinelander, a young socialite from one of New York’s wealthiest and most prominent families. The couple met in 1921 and, after a three-year romance, married against the wishes of Leonard’s father. A month after the wedding, with questions arising in the news media about Alice’s background and race, Leonard left his wife and sued for annulment, charging she had defrauded him. The trial, before an all-male, all-white jury, hinged in large part on the question of whether ? as Alice claimed ? Leonard knew she was black when he married her. But it also included myriad questions concerning status, wealth, ancestry and morality. Generating as much media and public attention as any modern scandal, the case was chronicled in stories on the front page of The New York Times nearly every day for more than a month. Ardizzone and Lewis examine in detail the multiple racial, socioeconomic, sexual and ethical issues that arose in this national scandal that rocked jazz-age America. Published this month by W.W. Norton&Company, the book was coauthored by Earl Lewis, dean of graduate studies at the University of Michigan, where Ardizzone earned her master’s and doctoral degrees. Professor Ardizzone can be reached at (219) 631-4144 or p. p. p. Missile defense: “Some form of missile defense is nearly inevitable,” says Notre Dame political scientist Daniel A. Lindley . "Although defenses do not work now and will never be perfect, most technological hurdles will eventually be overcome. Problems such as decoys and multiple warheads will be greatly reduced once we focus more heavily on boost-phase defenses (the intercept of a missile in the early stage of flight). Boost-phase defenses make it easier to spread the “defensive umbrella,” and sharing defenses should go a long way towards mitigating other states’ objections." He adds: “It is noteworthy that the reaction worldwide has been muted. Russia wants to talk, India was encouraging, Europe did not go ballistic. The sky is not falling.” Professor Lindley can be reached at (219) 631-3226 or p. Nuclear crossroads: “South Asia at the Nuclear Crossroads,” a new study sponsored in part by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, examines the threat posed by nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia. Coauthored by David Cortright , a visiting fellow in the Kroc Institute, and Samina Ahmed, a research fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, “South Asia at the Nuclear Crossroads” urges policymakers to employ a more effective use of economic sanctions and incentives to curtail nuclear proliferation and defuse tension between India and Pakistan. Cosponsored by the Kroc Institute, the Managing Atom Project at the Belfer Center and the Fourth Freedom Forum in Goshen, Ind., the study analyzes attempts by the United States to contain nuclear danger through the use of sanctions and incentives. The authors assess the limitations of past strategies and offer suggestions for more refined and effective future actions. Among the study1s proposals is a “debt for disarmament” plan that would forgive Indian and Pakistani external debt obligations in exchange for concrete steps toward arms removal. Cortright and Ahmed hope the study “will be of value as the new U.S. administration reviews policy options toward nuclear proliferation in South Asia.” For more information, contact the Kroc Institute at (219) 631-6970

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