Bockman named interim Public Service Commission commissioner

COLUMBIA REGIONAL BUSINESS REPORT, 7 NOVEMBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. ROBERT BOCKMAN:

Robert Bockman, a former assistant Attorney General, has been appointed an interim commissioner of the South Carolina Public Service Commission by Gov. Henry McMaster. Bockman replaces Nikiya Hall, who resigned from her position as District 6 commissioner on Oct. 31 to take a job with Washington, D.C.-based utility Pepco.

Bockman, 71, served as general counsel of the Public Service Commission from 1977-81, providing advice to the commission and its members and representing the commission and staff in regulatory proceedings and appeals.

“It has never been more important for the Public Service Commission to be made up of public servants that will ask the difficult questions on behalf of South Carolinians, and I am confident that Mr. Bockman will do exactly that,” McMaster said in a news release.

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This SC man won a Supreme Court case. He wants to know why he can’t talk about it

THE STATE, 2 NOVEMBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. JOSH EAGLE:

The University of South Carolina law school is holding a three-day event to mark the 25th anniversary of a S.C. man’s legal victory in the U.S. Supreme Court. But the victor in that case, Davis Lucas, isn’t invited, and he’s upset.

The symposium, continuing through Saturday, focuses on the 25th anniversary of the Lucas v. S.C. Coastal Council case, a dispute over a beachfront housing lot. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case limited the government’s ability to regulate use of privately owned land. A quarter of a century later, attorneys, law professors and state regulators will be discussing the ruling’s impact on coastal development.

Lucas, who sued for the right to build on two lots on the Isle of Palms, is upset neither he nor his attorneys were invited to participate. He said he only found out the forum was being held because a friend’s son attends USC’s law school.

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Apple Co-Founder Blasts Elon Musk For Overhyping Tesla’s Self-Driving Feature

THE DAILY CALLER, 25 OCTOBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes there is “way too much hype” surrounding Tesla’s ability to deliver mass-produced self-driving electric vehicles.

Tesla’s self-driving capabilities are overblown and lead people to put too much trust in the car’s “autopilot” feature, Wozniak told reporters earlier this month. Many people inside Silicon Valley believe Wozniak was the brains behind Steve Jobs’ Apple computer.

“Tesla has in people’s mind that they have cars that will just drive themselves totally, and it is so far from the truth, so they have deceived us,” he said. Other analysts and academics have made similar complaints about Tesla’s auto feature.

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KCSD bullying case might impact SRO discussion

CHRONICLE-INDEPENDENT (CAMDEN, SC), 31 OCTOBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. JOSH GUPTA-KAGAN:

A civil complaint filed against the Kershaw County School District (KCSD) by the parent of an allegedly bullied student might have an impact on the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees’ discussions about school resource officers (SROs) with Kershaw County Council. The parties in the case are required to enter an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process by March 16, 2018. Meanwhile, other aspects of the case can move forward.

(In order to protect the identity of the student involved in the case, the C-I is not naming the student, his parent or the school where the alleged bullying took place.)

In the complaint, filed Aug. 18, the parent states that their child attended a particular school during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, during which they became the target of bullying and harassment from fellow students. The bullying allegedly took place in person and over social media. As a result, the parent claims their child “ended friendships, quit” a sports team, and “generally retreated from normal school-age activities.”

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Rock Hill man will argue self-defense, represent himself in murder trial

THE HEARLD, 28 OCT. 2017, FEAT. PROF. KENNETH GAINES:

stakes couldn’t be much higher for Keenan Miller.

The 22-year-old Rock Hill native is charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in a March 2016 shootout between rival groups. It all happened in the middle of Rock Hill’s Keels Avenue. Court documents show the trial is set for Monday.

Miller will have no lawyer, court documents show. He fired his two previous lawyers, court records show, and told the court in filings and in an August hearing he plans to go to trial without an attorney and argue self-defense.

New Minneapolis police data dashboard confirms that yes, black people get stopped more

MINNPOST (Minneapolis, MN), 13 OCTOBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

Do Minneapolis police unfairly target people of color, or don’t they?

Your answer to that question these days may say something about your politics, but getting to the actual truth behind it is complicated.

But thanks to newly available data on stops, citations and other actions taken by Minneapolis police, broken down by race, it’s possible to at least put some numbers behind the public debate about race and policing. And those numbers are not available thanks to a data request by a media organization or a lawsuit — they’re part of a new dashboard that is being published by the Minneapolis Police Department itself, in an effort to improve transparency and accountability to the public.

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California Wants to Make Your Robocar Dreams Come True

WIRED, 11 OCTOBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Congress may finally be hacking away at national legislation that would firmly delineate who is responsible for regulating what about autonomous cars, but California has a big role to play here. “California is special,” says Bryant Walker Smith, a legal scholar with the University of South Carolina School of Law who studies self-driving vehicles. “It’s really big, it’s where a lot of this action is happening, it has the track record to be thinking through these issues, and it’s pretty committed to them.” The state has been regulating self-driving tech since 2012, and to date, has barred anyone from running a human-free car on public roads.

This updated proposal, open for public comment until October 25 and set to be finalized before the end of the year, seems to confirm a change: This driverless vehicle thing is really happening. “It’s yet another step,” Smith says. “And these days, there are so many steps, so fast, that I’d say we’re running.”

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Police ‘interaction training’ will be worth it if it eases fear on all sides

DALLAS NEWS, 25 SEPT. 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

Beginning next year, Texas teenagers will start getting “how to” lessons in the startlingly obvious: how to get stopped by a cop.

Under a new state law, the 2018-19 school year will include instruction for public school and driver’s ed students in “interactions with police,” including safety recommendations and individual rights. At the same time, police officers will be given similar training about how they should behave during traffic stops and similar routine encounters with citizens.

Maybe this training is necessary, and it probably does no harm. Proposed curricula, which will be based on information already included in state driver-training manuals, is pretty straightforward stuff: Stay in your car, open the window, keep your hands visible. Be polite.

 

What I find distressing about all this is perhaps irrelevant, which is this: Such “training” might reinforce the notion that law enforcement officers and the communities they police are alien species, natural adversaries who inevitably misunderstand and mistrust one another.

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A year after the Townville Elementary School shooting, grief, questions, strength remain

ANDERSON INDEPENDENT MAIL, 27 SEPTEMBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. JOSH GUPTA-KAGAN

In a medical helicopter, caregivers attending to 6-year-old Jacob Hall tried so valiantly to save him that they rolled up their sleeves and transfused their own blood into his body, his family’s lawyers said.

Those desperate efforts were not enough to save the Townville Elementary School first-grader.

A year has passed since investigators said a teenager, Jesse Osborne, opened fire on the school playground.

And everyone — those connected to Jacob, to the Osborne family, to the school and its rural Anderson County community — is changed.

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