The headlines and tweets in recent days about the media’s gendered coverage of female Olympians are strikingly similar to findings from a media study I conducted with Professor Hannah Brenner on the gendered coverage of female Supreme Court nominees. (Remember the headlines when Obama nominated Justices Kagan and Sotomayor? “Then Comes the Marriage Question” was one of many in this vein…)
Vox offers a critique of the Olympics coverage here: Women are crushing it at the Rio Olympics, but the media keeps focusing on their husbands. For a summary of our media study on Supreme Court nominees, click through the slides below and read our article.
Cross-posted at the Legal Ethics Forum blog
Last week the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion affirming the Fourth Circuit’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. In the decision below, the Fourth Circuit upheld the FTC’s determination that the Board of Dental Examiners violated antitrust law in issuing cease-and-desist letters to non-dentists performing teeth whitening services, finding that the Board acted as a group of private dentists rather than as a state actor. Agreeing with the Fourth Circuit, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, observed: “Limits on state-action immunity are most essential when the State seeks to delegate its regulatory power to active market participants, for established ethical standards may blend with private anticompetitive motives in a way difficult for even market participants to discern. Dual allegiances are not always apparent to an actor.” The decision may have implications for state bar regulators, particularly regarding unauthorized practice of law enforcement.
For more about the potential impact of the case on the legal profession, see Ken Friedman’s Forbes article (he’s the VP of Legal and Government Affiars for LegalZoom) and commentary from PrawfsBlawg. (Disclaimer, I assisted in authoring an amicus brief on behalf of LegalZoom and others. I’m also working on a paper about antitrust enforcement and the legal profession—I hope to be posting it soon…)
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral argument in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, involving an antitrust challenge to the Board’s sending of cease and desist letters to non-dentists engaged in teeth whitening services. You can access the filings and more detailed coverage at Scotusblog. In my PR class today, we will discuss conflicts of interest inherent when regulators are members of the industry they regulate, and this case does a nice job of setting the issues, albeit in a somewhat different context than the way lawyers are regulated. I’m planning to use this NPR audio clip to spark discussion. For more detail on how the Court’s decision in this case might impact the legal profession, you can read this amicus brief, which I helped put together. And Scalia did ask a few questions about implications for the legal profession during oral argument (transcript here).