Christina Parajon Skinner
In March 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) entered into a consent order with a major German bank (with New York affiliate branches), Commerzbank AG, regarding that bank’s violations of state and federal anti-money-laundering (AML) laws. And Commerzbank has now paid $1.45 billion to the U.S. government to settle the allegations that it improperly facilitated business for Iran, Sudan, Cuba, and Myanmar, and “abetted a multibillion-dollar securities fraud” for a Japanese company.
The Commerzbank case is just one of several in a recent spate of international money laundering scandals. These cases have prompted regulators to question the effectiveness of existing money laundering controls and provoked thought about the optimal design of AML regulation. This Essay considers one recent proposal for bolstering the existing AML regime. In particular, the Essay considers the merits of a February 2015 proposal by the former superintendent of New York State’s Department of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, to increase senior executives’ personal responsibility for a financial institution’s AML controls.
Cristina M. Rodríguez
In his ambitious and panoramic article for the Columbia Law Review, Jon Michaels sets out to modernize our conceptions of the separation of powers, explaining how the basic three-branch model that every American school child learns to accept on faith has weathered the test of time. In An Enduring, Evolving Separation of Powers, Michaels makes two impressive and timely contributions to administrative law and constitutional theory. First, he provides a wide-ranging and textured account of systemic adaptation, showing how we have maintained our constitutional commitments to “constrained” and “rivalrous” government, despite sea changes in the scale, structure, responsibilities, and capacities of the institutions that make up the three branches of government—the executive branch in particular. Second, he sounds the alarm nonetheless, sizing up a new and growing challenge to those commitments—the privatization of government—while providing constitutional actors with some conceptual tools to confront it.
At the end of June 2014, the Supreme Court decided one of the most publicized controversies of decades. In a decision covering two cases, widely referred to as Hobby Lobby, the Court held that closely held for-profit corporations, based on their owners’ religious convictions, have a right under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to decline to provide employees with insurance that covers contraceptive devices that may prevent a fertilized egg “from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.”
A Strategic Legal Challenge to the Unforeseen Anticompetitive and Racially Discriminatory Effects of Baseball’s North American Draft
By: Stephen F. Ross & Michael James, Jr.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has honored a single player by retiring his number for every club. Absent special commemorations, no player will wear the number “42” in honor of the man who broke the color barrier to become the first African American to play major league baseball in the modern era: Jackie Robinson. MLB has also honored a single player—chosen from nominees from each individual club—by presenting an annual award for humanitarian service in his name; that honoree is Roberto Clemente. However, the sad reality is that if a fifteen-year-old Jackie Robinson were growing up today in South Pasadena, California, or if a fifteen-year-old Roberto Clemente were growing up today in Carolina, Puerto Rico, there is little chance that either would ever become a professional baseball player.
By: Robert G. Schwemm
On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court held in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (Inclusive Communities or ICP ) that parts of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) include a disparate-impact standard of liability. This standard allows liability without a showing of illegal intent and traces back to the Court’s 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., which endorsed impact-based claims under the federal employment discrimination law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.