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October 31, 2015

Editor’s Message

State & Local Law News has three major purposes: to be the major source of information on Section conferences, webinars, and events, both past and upcoming, and member news; to notify members of nominations, proposed bylaw revisions, and other governance issues within the Section and the greater ABA; and to keep members abreast of substantive trends in the law.

A warm welcome to our new Section Chair Donna Frazier, Parish Attorney, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. In the “Chair’s Message” and her statement on the Section website, she expands on her goals for 2015–2016, including committees’ CLE involvement, expanded diversity, and collaborative programming and meetings with other ABA entities and national bar associations.

Congratulations to our Section members for a highly successful panel at the ABA 2015 Magna Carta 800th Anniversary celebration (one of 16 panels selected). David Callies, Andy Gowder, and Ben Griffith give us a front-row seat in London and at Runnymede, in words and photos, on page 5.

A special hurrah to Patricia Salkin, a Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (and former Section Chair), on her appointment as Interim Provost of the Graduate and Professional Division of Touro College. She continues to serve as Dean of the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Touro Law Center. The Jefferson Fordham Awards were presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago this August, and the winners are profiled in this issue. For more about Section members in the news, in particular Michael Dumas on his Law Student Award, see “Member News.”

Substantive trends: We are deeply grateful for Sophia Stadnyk’s long, continuing service as our U.S. Supreme Court reporter and for the quality of the material she provides. In Part 2 of her series on the 2014–2015 Term (for Part 1 see state_local_law_news/2014-15/summer/supreme_court_watch_home_stretch.html) she covers speech issues, Fourth Amendment challenges to statutes, the Fair Housing Act, and religious issues in hiring.

Sam Schwartz-Fenwick covered the potential impacts of Obergefell (prior to the Court’s decision) in the Summer 2015 issue and will offer the SLG Diversity panel on same-sex marriage, employment benefits, and religious issues at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego in February 2016.

The Section has covered fracking in CLEs, webinars, articles, and a book, Beyond the Fracking Wars—and the fracking wars continue. In this issue Beth Kinne provides a case study of natural gas storage and infrastructure in New York’s Finger Lakes region, with competing federal and state permitting requirements.

Erica Levine Powers