Sunday, July 19, 2015

"How a friendship between a California politician and a billionaire could shape climate policy"

Wonderful to speak with Laurel Rosenhall for the debut of Calmatters

This kind of coalescence is common in American politics, where campaign spending gives some advocates an outsized voice, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School who sits on the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. “This is the story of politicians and their benefactors,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that it’s nefarious ... This is just the way it is. You get meetings and people pay attention because you can write checks that have a lot of zeros.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Appeals Court Rips State Attorney for Misconduct at Trial"

Nice speaking with Brian Melley of the AP for this piece

Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson said the ruling was unusual in its anger, but seemed warranted based on descriptions of Bilotti's conduct.
"It could be that (Caltrans) should have won, but look what harm you did to your client, look what harm you did to yourself," Levinson said. "Attorneys push the boundaries, and that's different than just flagrantly going against the court and, frankly, just disrespecting the court."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Aide To California Senate Leader Accepted Pot Gifts From Marijuana Lobbyist

Good to talk with Amanda Chicago Lewis of BuzzFeed for this
Loyola Law School professor and Vice President of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission Jessica Levinson agreed, saying she felt that having an adviser who is not under contract directly with the legislature and therefore is not subject to gift limits seemed to show a violation of the intent and spirit of the law.
“If it’s permissible, it shouldn’t be,” said Levinson. “He seems to be holding himself out as working for the Senate pro tem and enjoying the benefits of working for Kevin de León but not the burdens. Along with the privilege and power of working for a state senator, particularly one in leadership, comes certain responsibilities, and chief among those is filing disclosure reports and being subject to a variety of restrictions.”

Sunday, July 5, 2015

S.F. killing sparks national outrage, likely political fallout

Spoke to the terrific Carla Marinucci for this piece

“Politically, the timing is great for Trump, because he has this heinous crime to point to, a tragic incident that appears to be the poster child that he’s right,” she said. “But the truth is that undocumented immigrants are going to commit crimes ... as will the people who are born here.”

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Supreme vitriol in high court’s dissents

Great to talk with Bob Elegko for this piece by John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Their affection for one another was certainly not reflected in the past two weeks of opinions. As Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson put it to my colleague Bob Egelko last week: “Justice Roberts is invested in upholding the integrity of the institution, and Justice Scalia is calling his colleagues morons.”