Faculty scholarship and activities
Emeritus Professor and past recipient of the Chesterfield Smith Professorship; Director of UF Center for International Financial Crimes Studies; Honorary Fellow, Society for Advanced Legal Studies, University of London
“Can health care suit make headway?” (March 23, Florida News Network)
Baldwin told the Florida News Network that the proposed lawsuit by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is on shaky ground when it comes to the commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution. “The only issue that the court would look at (would be to) see if the Congress has the constitutional authority to enact this legislation,” he said. “And all they would have to look at is Article I, Section 8.”
Emeritus Professor; Alumni Research Scholar
“Florida republicans take aim at Obama’s health care bill” (March 22, Palm Beach Post)
Little provided his opinion on regarding Florida’s Attorney General proposal to sue the federal government and make a state constitutional change regarding the health care bill. “That sounds like a lot of sound and fury that means nothing,” University of Florida Levin College of Law Emeritus Professor Joseph W. Little said of the proposed amendment.
Professor; Director of Center for Governmental Responsibility; Dean Emeritus
- “Crime scene photos request sparks privacy debate” (March 24, Associated Press)
Mills commented on the constitutionality of the request by media to view the video of the death of SeaWorld trainer. Jon Mills, an attorney for Brancheau’s family members, said in court that their right to privacy outweighs the public’s right to view the video captured by SeaWorld cameras. At a hearing that lasted less than hour, he asked the judge to permanently stop the video from being released. “There is no constitutional right to voyeurism and there is a constitutional right to privacy,” Mills said.
- Published Trade Secret Litigation and Free Speech: Is it Time to Restrain the Plaintiffs? 50 BOSTON COLLEGE LAW REVIEW 1425 ( 2009). The article was also selected by West Publishing as one of the best intellectual property law articles published in 2009 and will be reprinted in an anthology, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW REVIEW 2010.
UF Research Foundation Professor
- “Why did attorneys general file health care lawsuit in Pensacola?” (March 24, 2010, Pensacola News Journal)
Seigel provided his opinion as to why 13 attorney generals filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care bill signed into law by President Barack Obama. The Northern District of Florida, which stretches from Pensacola to Gainesville, covers a heavily Republican region peppered with active and retired military members. And the court has a conservative bent, points out Mike Seigel, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former federal prosecutor. “They could have brought it anywhere,” Seigel said. “I assume they decided the best shot was in a district where the judges have been around awhile and have been appointed by a conservative president.”
“Tiger Woods’ alleged mistress says he paid for sex. Would that make it prostitution?” (March 24, 2010, FoxNews.com)
Mike Seigel, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former federal prosecutor, said he found it unlikely that local law enforcement authorities would investigate possible charges of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution by Tiger Woods. If an investigation were launched, however, Seigel said investigators would be “very careful” to handle it as they would any other prostitution probe. “They are going to work very hard not to have an alleged defendant’s notoriety play a role in whether or not they pursue charges,” he said. “So if it’s something they don’t usually pursue, I doubt they would.” When Fox411 asked Devon James’ husband where Woods had had sex with his wife, he wouldn’t tell us.(Note: The James’ are both porn stars, and thus he said he did not care that she had had sex with the married golfer.) Seigel said it makes sense that neither James nor her husband would want to indicate exactly where any alleged paid-for sex might have taken place. “Criminal law is territorial, so if nobody knows where this allegedly occurred, then you really can’t pursue it,” Seigel said. “That reduces the chances of an investigation.” What could favor the possibility of an investigation, Seigel said, is a pattern of activity. Still, Seigel said he found it unlikely investigators would pursue misdemeanor charges against either James or Woods.
Professor; Associate Director, Center on Children and Families
County investigating Dove World’s tax-exempt status (March 25, The Gainesville Sun)
Willis told the Sun that churches are supposed to steer clear of politics to keep their tax-exempt status. The sign – referring to mayoral candidate and City Commissioner Craig Lowe, who is gay – is blatantly political, and tax-exempt churches are supposed to stray from politics, said Steven J. Willis, a law professor at the University of Florida who specializes in tax law. “I think it’s clearly political activity,” Willis said. But he said the Internal Revenue Service rarely enforces its no-politics clause for churches partly because it is difficult to prove. “Unless they do something really egregious, the government isn’t likely to do anything but give them a warning,” he said.
UF Research Foundation and Clarence J. TeSelle Professor
“Constitutionality of Health Care Law” (March 23, WRUF AM 850)
Wright told WRUF 850 that the government has the authority to tax people for health care. Attorneys general from several states are filing lawsuits to the health care bill President Obama signed today. The state of Florida stands as one of the thirteen states filing the lawsuit. University of Florida Law Professor Danaya Wright says the outbreak is just a political issue and not a constitutional one. Wright says the government has the authority to tax people for health care.