Context from Campus: June 29-July 4

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The power of T Swift
Taylor Swift again proved why she’s among the most powerful businesswomen in the world this week when with one Tweet she brought Apple to its knees. Swift used her Twitter account to scold Apple for not paying royalties on test memberships of its new streaming music service, set to open on June 30. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” she posted. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Apple responded by changing its policies in a matter of hours, personally apologizing to 25-year-old Swift and reassuring artists that Apple would pay royalties on all music for its three-month trials. Law professor Jorge Contreras specializes in the area of intellectual property, law and science and property law and is available to speak about the royalties controversy. He spoke about this case today on “This Week in Law.” Tune in to hear his perspective or call him for a separate interview on the true legal implications of the debate in an ever-changing digital era.
Phone: 801-587-5471 | Email:

Hot decisions from the country’s high court
It’s a summer of big decisions for the U.S. Supreme Court. Professors from the U’s College of Law are available for commentary on several of the pending and recently decided issues and can explain what the outcomes mean.

  • Execution methods
    Glossip v. Gross — At issue is whether a particular drug—midazolam—during an execution is unconstitutional because it may result in the inmate experiencing severe pain as they are put to death. Law professor Shima Baradaran is an expert in criminal law and can speak about the death penalty and the issues at play in the case.
    Phone: 801-819-5322 | Email:
  • Armed Career Criminal Act
    Johnson v. United States — At issue was whether a section of the Armed Career Criminal Act, which imposes a 15-year mandatory minimum on certain felons who are in possession of a firearm, is unconstitutionally vague. On Friday, June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the phrasing was too vague. Law professor Carissa Byrne Hessick is prepared to comment on the case, including on its potential impact on gun rights and on how the case factors into Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent decisions in favor of criminal defendants.
    Phone: 801-587-8756 | Email:
  • Same-sex marriage
    Obergefell v. Hodges et al — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide on Friday, June 26. U Law professor Cliff Rosky is available to offer legal perspective on the case. Rosky was one of the primary authors of SB 296, Utah’s new antidiscrimination law that extends employment and housing protections to LBGT people.
    Phone: 801-230-9636 | Email:

Event Highlights:

Tuesday, June 30
Join the U’s College of Social and Behavioral Science for a new series of hikes led by college faculty and students for fun and learning along the trails of the Wasatch Mountains. The first hike of the series will be led by geography professor Richard Forster and will start at the G.K. Gilbert Geologic View Park with an explanation of how an 800-foot-thick glacier shaped the canyon. Stand near the spot where this glacier deposited icebergs into Lake Bonneville some 14,000 years ago. A short hike will follow with additional descriptions of the landscape and ecosystem, including signs of earthquakes that occurred on the steep slope segments in the hillside
G.K. Gilbert Geologic View Park, 9800 S. Wasatch Boulevard (at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon), 6 p.m.

Media Contacts For This Story

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