Research

Research centers lead the way

The Law School has four internationally acclaimed research centers, which, together with our academic programs, explore today's most timely and important issues in law and society. 

Just-in-time research that makes a difference

Racial justice, public health, wealth redistribution, the judiciary, and employment rights have been in the spotlight during the past several months. Indiana Law faculty have contributed to the debate, both as media experts and as research scholars.

For a complete listing of faculty media appearances, visit our In the Media page.

Racial justice: Resolving misunderstandings

Jeannine Bell, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, was frequently contacted by the media to share her expertise on race relations, hate crime, and police violence as the George Floyd murder trial and the Atlanta mass shooting unfolded. She was quoted more than 25 times in a wide range of media outlets both in the United States and abroad, including Voice of America, The Irish Times, Financial Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, WBUR, The Week, PolitiFact, Huffington Post, the StarTribune (Minneapolis), the News and Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.), and Malibu Times. The New YorkTimes sought Bell’s expertise on move-in violence for her comments on Them, a 10-part series on Amazon in which a middle-class Black family faces horror—in the form of racism from their new white neighbors. And Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman featured her on his podcast, Deep Background, in an interview titled “Understanding Hate Crime Laws.”

“There are so many misunderstandings and misconceptions about hate crime and police violence,” Bell said. “As a scholar who has been deeply steeped in the debates about hate crime and the data on policing for 25 years, I have appreciated this latest opportunity to share my knowledge with other scholars and the members of the general public, both here in the United States and around the world.”

Bell’s media commentary draws from her extensive scholarship. Her most recent works are “Lack of Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime: America’s Tepid Response to Bias-Motivated Crime,” 54 Studies in Law, Politics & Society (2021); “The Violence of Nosy Questions,” 100 Boston University Law Review 935 (2020); and “The Hidden Fences Shaping Resegregation,” 54 Harvard Civil Rights–Civil Liberties Law Review 813 (2019).

Public health, gun safety: Wide-ranging expertise

Jody Lyneé Madeira, professor of law and Louis F. Niezer Faculty Fellow, has contributed her expertise in the field of public health on topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic and nursing home care to fertility fraud and abortion access. Madeira is also an expert on the Second Amendment and was consulted in connection with Indiana’s handgun laws and the FedEx mass shooting in April. Her comments appeared in vice.com, Indiana Public Media, CBS 4 (Indianapolis), Fox 59 (Indianapolis), the Indiana Daily Student, the StatehouseFile.com, WCPO (Cincinnati), KVOA (Tucson, Ariz.), WTHI (Terre Haute, Ind.), WIBC (Indianapolis), WTHR (Indianapolis), and the Indianapolis Star.

Madeira’s latest works are “Risk Management Strategies for Physicians” (with Jerry A. Lindheim), in Reproductive Surgery: Current Techniques to Optimize Fertility, ed. Steven R. Lindheim and John C. Petrozza (Springer, forthcoming 2022); and “The Impact of an Interactive E-Learning Platform on Patient Comprehension Regarding Infertility Treatment: A Randomized Clinical Trial” (with Ashley K. Barbour, Abigail L. Bernard, Steven R. Lindheim, and Linnea R. Goodman), Fertility & Sterility 114:e25-e26 (2020 Supplement).

Taxation: A broken system and "Break into Tax"

Prof. David Gamage has been focusing his efforts on tax reform at both the federal and state levels. His op-eds and discussions of his scholarship and tax reform work can be found in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, Law 360, CNBC, Cal Matters, and The Lens. His most recent articles are “Tax Now or Tax Never: Political Optionality and the Case for Current-Assessment Tax Reform” (with John R. Brooks), North Carolina Law Review (forthcoming); and “Weathering State and Local Budget Storms: Fiscal Federalism with an Uncooperative Congress” (with Darien Shanske, Gladriel Shobe, and Adam Thimmesch), Michigan Journal of Law Reform (forthcoming).

Gamage recently testified before the US Senate Finance Committee on wealth tax reforms and other “proposals for fixing ways in which the tax system is currently broken,” and he has also recently testified before the Connecticut and Washington State legislatures. Gamage co-drafted a wealth tax reform proposal currently being considered by the California State Legislature and a “billionaire tax” accrual income tax reform proposal currently being considered by the New York State Legislature, in addition to advising on and helping draft a number of other recent tax reform proposals for both state governments and the federal government.

Leandra Lederman, William W. Oliver Professor of Tax Law and director of the tax law program, was quoted by the media on a variety of current tax issues, including on Marketplace, CNBC.com, WEHT TV, and in Tax Notes, where she was also the subject of an “Academic Spotlight” interview feature. Lederman and Prof. Allison Christians, McGill University Faculty of Law (Canada), have launched an innovative YouTube series, Break into Tax, which is aimed at law students and anyone anywhere in the world interested in learning about tax-related issues, broadly defined. Lederman’s latest articles, published in April, are “The Fraud Triangle and Tax Evasion,” 106 Iowa Law Review 1153 (2021) and “Valuation as a Challenge for Tax Administration,” 96 Notre Dame Law Review 1495 (2021).

Lederman has also launched a free scholarly workshop series on Zoom with Prof. Leopoldo Parada, University of Leeds School of Law (UK), The Indiana/Leeds Summer Tax Workshop Series. The talks focus on cutting-edge tax scholarship on international and cross-border tax issues and attract an average of over 100 tax experts and students from all over the world. Lederman also testified before the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on “Taxpayer Fairness” and adequately funding the IRS.

Politics and the judiciary: From recusals to rainbows

Charles Gardner Geyh, IU Distinguished Professor and John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, is an expert on the judiciary and judicial conduct. The media sought his views on several recent cases involving potential conflicts of interests, recusals, and failures to disclose during trials and judicial confirmation hearings. His advice appeared in the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, ABC News, law.com, Bloomberg Law, and the ABA Journal. Geyh has two articles scheduled for publication: “The Architecture of Judicial Ethics,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review; and “The Twilight of Judicial Independence,” Case Western Reserve Law Review.

Constitutional law expert Prof. Steve Sanders has commented on several current topics this year, including statewide mask mandates, rainbow flags in middle school classrooms, transgender pronouns, and the Trump impeachment trial. His thoughts can be found in the Chicago Tribune, the American Constitution Society Expert Forum, the Indianapolis Star, and WTHR (Indianapolis). His most recent article is “Dignity and Social Meaning: Obergefell, Windsor, and Lawrence as Constitutional Dialogue,” 87 Fordham Law Review 2069 (2019).

Labor and employment law: COVID-related rights and parental leave laws

Deborah A. Widiss, associate dean for research, professor of law, and Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellow, contributed her expertise as the Indiana General Assembly contemplated legislation expanding the rights of pregnant workers. She was interviewed by WFYI (Indianapolis), Indiana Public Media, and the Journal-Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Her most recent scholarship includes “The Hidden Gender of Gender-Neutral Paid Parental Leave: Examining Recently Enacted Laws in the United States and Australia,” Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal (forthcoming 2021) and “Equalizing Parental Leave,” 105 Minnesota Law Review (forthcoming 2021). Widiss was interviewed about the latter article on Experto Crede, a podcast hosted by the Minnesota Law Review.

Willard and Margaret Carr Professor of Labor and Employment Law Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt weighed in on range of important labor-related issues, including the positive potential for labor unions this year, COVID-related death benefits available to employees’ families, and COVID-based lawsuits against employers. WENY (Elmira, NY), NBC-10 (Philadelphia), and the Philadelphia Inquirer sought his advice. The sixth edition of Dau-Schmidt’s casebook, Legal Protection for the Individual Employee (with Matthew W. Finkin, Ruben J. Garcia, and Jason R. Bent) (West Publishing Co. 2021), will be released this summer. 

With Kevin Brown, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, as first author, Dau-Schmidt co-wrote “Bostock v. Clayton County Game Changer: US Federal Employment Law Now Covers Caste Discrimination Based on Untouchability” (with Annapurna Waughray and Lalit Khandare), 46 N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change (forthcoming 2021).

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