UK Hosting Big Names in Journalism

The UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications will be hosting four major speaking events at the University of Kentucky in the next few weeks.

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Tomorrow, Wednesday March 25, author and journalist Jeffrey Toobin to discuss his book, “The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the UK Athletics Auditorium of William T. Young Library. Toobin works as a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and is the senior legal analyst for CNN.  He has won an Emmy for his work at ABC News, and has authored profiles on several Supreme Court Justices.  Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin was an assistant US attorney in Brooklyn and an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counel Lowrence E. Walsh.  Toobin will speak as part of the 2015 Edward F. Prichard Lecture, which is sponsored by the University of Kentucky Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Center, and made possible in part from an endowment created by the family of Edward F. Prichard Jr.

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Also speaking tomorrow, South-African born Israeli author Benjamin Pogrund will speak at the Lucille Little Library in the Niles Gallery at 5:30 p.m.  Pogrund gained prominence through his reporting on Apartheid in South Africa, including reporting on theMarch 21, 1960 Sharpeville massacre, and a 1965 series on the mistreatment of black inmates and white political prisoners. Pogrund was put on trial several times, and imprisoned as a result of his reporting.  Pogrund immigrated to Israel in 1997, and has recently defended the country against criticisms of apartheid for Israel’s position against the Palestinians in the region.

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Tuesday, April 14, Jim Duff,  the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts will speak as part of the school’s State of the First Amendment Lecture.  Duff was appointed to the position by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr, and has served since January of this year.  Duff is the chief administrative officer of the of the federal courts.  Before his appointment, Duff served as chief executive officer of the Newseum in D.C.

pamela

On Thursday, April 16, CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown will speak in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building at the University of Kentucky. She will be speaking on Journalism as part of the Joe Creason Lecture series.  Brown is native of Lexington and graduated from Henry Clay High School before obtaining her degree in broadcast journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as a reporter for the university’s Carolina Week.  Brown is the daughter of former Governor of Kentucky John Y. Brown and former Miss America Phyllis George.  Before working for CNN Brown worked for ABC’s D.C. affiliate WJLA-TV.

All events are free and open to the public.

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Kakie Daily

Legacy Trail

With spring weather quickly approaching in the Bluegrass, what better way to enjoy some sunshine than with a nature trail?  The Lexington Legacy Trail is a 12-mile walking and biking trail and public art venue that begins at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden and ends at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The trail is open to the public and encourages the people of Lexington to enjoy the outdoors in an active, healthy way while representing important cultural moments in Lexington’s history.

The trail is intended for walkers, bikers, joggers, and skaters.  No horses or motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.  Pets are permitted if leashed, and owners are required to remove all waste.

You can visit mylegacytrail.com to view a full map of the Legacy Trail and to get more trail information.

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Top 10 Things UK Fans Are Thinking Now

With the Wildcats going into the sweet sixteen this Thursday, fans are beginning to have some unique thoughts. Here’s what we pulled together:

1) We’re playing West Virginia?

2) Is West Virginia even good this year?

3) I swear t0 god if West Virginia goes insane on three pointers again, i’m going to lose my MIND (See 2010 NCAA championship against WV).

4) I cried in 2010, I will not cry again.

5) 9:45PM game? Things are about to get rowdy.

6) Wait… Can I even stay up for a 9:45 game?

7) Of course I can, because I’m a Cats fan and I can do anything.

8) They’re gonna try and press us and we’re just gonna alley oop them like seventeen times. I’m not even worried.

9) But SHOULD I be worried???

10) Absolutely not because the University of Kentucky is the second most successful team in the HISTORY of college basketball, we have the tallest team with the most promising prospects for the NBA, we have a perfect record up to this point AND the BEST fan base in all of college sports.

But we may be biased.

GO CATS.

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Concussions and football: What are you really signing him up for?

By: Ben Tompkins (@bennytomp18)

Would you let your son play football? It’s a question that has quickly risen to the perennial dinner table gossip amongst parents. It shouldn’t strike you as news that football is a violent sport – after all, there’s a reason parents are required to sign medical releases before the beginning of each season. But as we continue to learn about the long-term affects of football on the brain and the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, it’s becoming clearer to parents that the dangers associated with the sport span long after the final whistle has blown.

I played football for 11 years. Through youth league, middle and high school, and a season of Division III ball, I was lucky enough to never have suffered a season-ending injury. You’re aware of the risks when you strap up your helmet and pop your mouthpiece in, but one thing that never became inherent until my career wound down was the significance of concussions.

In fact, it was my high school football coach Billy Martin who infamously stated during a Sunday film session, “Neurologists don’t know shit. They’re just trying to keep you off the field because back when they were in high school being a nerd, they got their girlfriend stolen by a football player.” As players, we were encouraged to purposely respond to the computer concussion tests at a slower rate so if we ever did find ourselves conducting them due to protocol, our scores wouldn’t be significantly different. My senior season, three of my teammates were told they had sustained so many concussions that if they kept playing, they ran the risk of injury so potentially threatening, it could kill them. They hadn’t even celebrated their 18th birthdays.

It wasn’t until the suicide of Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau that I truly learned about CTE. Here’s a guy that I grew up watching on television for 20 years, a guy that seemed so full of joy and appreciation for life, that abruptly decided to end it all. Then in December, seven months after Seau had taken his own life, I heard the word mentioned again: CTE.

Javon Belcher, a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and the mother of his three-month-old daughter. With his mother watching, Belcher gunned down his girlfriend, shooting her a total of nine times. He then traveled less than five miles to a team practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, holding a gun to his head. Kneeling in the parking lot, thanking Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and asking him to take care of his daughter while sirens grew louder in the background, Belcher pulled the trigger.

According to Boston University’s website, CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. Symptoms include confusion, aggression, depression, memory-loss, and early onset dementia. In the late stages, CTE may be clinically mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsonism.

In 2008 as more and more former NFL players and their families began to acknowledge the diagnosable symptoms of CTE, Boston University opened the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and named Dr. Ann McKee its chief neuropathologist. Already established as the standing director of neuropathology at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Bedford, Massachusetts, she began collecting brain samples and examining them for indicating signs of CTE. In September 2014, McKee published a study that concluded 76 of 79 former professional players had evidence of the condition.

The findings came as part of a wider study in which the department examined the brains of 128 deceased football players who had played the game at professional, semi-professional, college, or high school level. It found that of the 128 former players, 101 tested positive for the disease. Of the brains Dr. McKee had examined, 96% of former NFL players and 79% of former football players had tested positive for CTE.

When I wake up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, my body hurts. I’m 22 years old, and I can see what half a life of football has done to me. I rub my knees, thinking about how many times I elevated to catch a pass as a defensive back planted his helmet into them. I look at my fingers, all bent and crooked, having broken and jammed every one cushioning the blow from a quarterback’s strike. But the thing that scares me the most about the long-term affects of the sport I love is what I can’t see.

The only thing that’s visible is trying to focus on Billy Martin through watering eyes and a foggy headache as he asks, “Tompkins, can you go?”

It is the love of the game that pushes us to shake it off, turn it on, swallow it down and strap it up. It is the notion that if your brother is still standing in the huddle, then damnit, you better be too.

I don’t condemn the sport for the way my body feels in the morning because if given the chance, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. But as I begin to think about the sport that I love, and the people I’ll love as I’ll eventually raise a family of my own, I’m left considering this: Do I want to ensure that my son lives a full and healthy life, or do I want to hope for the best every time his helmet strikes another, knowing each blow could be amounting to irreversible mental deficiencies?

To me, it seems like a no-brainer.

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Rand Paul’s Tricky Presidential Prospects: Caucus plan still requires legal action, maybe to SCOTUS

–Matt Young
@mattyoungnow

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has not announced that he will run for President next year, but with his official decision coming within the next few weeks, all signs point to a White House bid.

But Kentucky has thrown a wrench into his plans. Kentucky Revised Statute 118.405 states: “No candidate’s name shall appear on any voting machine or absentee ballot more than once.” The statute also prohibits him from registering as a write in candidate if he already appears on the ballot. Paul has already announced his bid for reelection in the Senate, which would prohibit him appearing on next years primary ballot as a presidential candidate.

To fix the issue, Paul pushed the Kentucky Republican Party’s Executive Committee to hold a Presidential Caucus next year, rather than a primary. In a Caucus, delegates throw their support behind a candidate in a hectic show of political affiliation.

Last week the GOP Executive Committee gave preliminary approval to hold a caucus for the office of President in Kentucky. However, this is only the first hurdle Paul has to jump.

Paul has a solid outsider’s shot at winning the Presidential nomination for the Republican Party and was bolstered by his victory in the recent CPAC straw poll. If Paul does obtain the nomination, he is still faced with the KRS statute for the general election; he still cannot be on the November 2016 ballot as a candidate for both Senate and President; a stumbling block a caucus won’t clear.

Paul has two remaining options: change the law through the State Legislature or challenge it in the court system. There is little time remaining in the current Kentucky legislative session, and no bill to change the law seems forthcoming. The legislature will have its bi-annual budget session at the beginning of 2016, giving Paul another shot through that avenue. However, the State House is still controlled by Democrats, and the most recent round of polling shows Democrat Jack Conway ahead of all Republican candidates for Governor. There is still a long way to go, but should Conway win, Paul could also be facing a gubernatorial veto to any legislation that might change the ballot access law. Overcoming that veto might prove too big a hurdle. However, if a Republican becomes Kentucky’s next governor, or Conway decides not to veto a bill that could pass, Paul will be in the clear.

Should Paul not find success through the legislature he can sue over the constitutionality of Kentucky’s ballot access law. The argument could be made that Kentucky’s law adds a requirement to candidacy that the Constitution does not include. This results in an undue burden for a candidate running for office. Article I, Sections 1 and 3 of the Constitution lay out the requirements for Senatorial and Presidential candidacy. They include age, citizenship, and inhabitance; there is no mention of multiple candidacies.

However, should Kentucky defend its law the Commonwealth could argue that Article I, Section 4 states “The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.” Article II, Section 1 also gives states the right to appoint electors in a manner of their choosing.

The billion-dollar question then is, “what would the Supreme Court say?”

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up ballot access question in the past; two of which are particularly relevant to Sen. Paul. In Powell v. McCormack the Supreme Court heard the challenge of  Rep. Adam Powell was elected in the midst of a scandal, and the House leadership voted to exclude him from participating in Congress. The Supreme Court found that Powell was wrongfully excluded from service in-part because (in a bit of an over simplification) Congress had created a criteria for service that does not exist in the Constitution.

Stay with me here, as the tangled web of legality takes over.

The 14th Amendment incorporates federal rights in the Constitution to the States. Paul could make the argument that the right to ballot access, as decided in Powell, must also apply to the states, and that Kentucky has created a criteria for candidacy that does not exist in the Constitution.

Take special note of the one word difference between those two sentences. In Powell Congress created a criteria for service, as in after being elected. Paul is challenging the criteria for candidacy, as in before being elected. If Kentucky defends its law they can make the argument that Powell does not apply to Sen. Paul because he has not already been elected for the office(s) in question.

The case that would likely be most central to a court challenge, however, is U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton. Arkansas was one of many states that had established term limits for federal representatives. In Arkansas after an elected official had reached a specified number of terms of service their name could no longer appear on the ballot; however, they could still wage a write-in campaign and be reelected. Rep. Ray Thornton sued, claiming the law created undue restriction to his access to the ballot as a candidate.

The Supreme Court held that (again in an over simplification) the right to determine elected officials resided with the people, not the state. Therefore, not allowing Thornton’s name to appear on the ballot was an unconstitutional restriction, and that term limits were an unconstitutional requirement. Paul could argue similarly, that the people of Kentucky have the right to choose who they elect. The Supreme Court has already affirmed this, and he can use the Thornton decision to say that he is being held off the ballot unconstitutionally.

As solid a case as this seems, it is not a slam dunk. Kentucky could counter by arguing they are doing no such thing. They have not created an extraconstitutional requirement to Paul’s candidacy–after all, nobody is saying he cannot appear on the ballot–they have only created an inconvenience for Paul in that he must choose which office to appear on the ballot for.

Kentucky can argue that if it sees fit to have each candidate on the ballot only once they do not violate the Constitution to do so. Kentucky can argue that if it sees fit to prevent candidates from seeking every public office in an attempt to win any public office they do not violate the Constitution to do so. The law may be outdated, Kentucky can argue, and it may even be useless, but it is not unconstitutional. While few, if any Kentuckians would see a problem having Sen. Paul run for both Senate and President simultaneously, that alone is not sufficient grounds to strike the law. States have the right under the Constitution to establish the times, places, and manner of its elections. This Court cannot infringe upon that right simply because the choice made by a state may be disagreeable.

Which argument the Supreme Court might choose is anyone’s guess. While one might believe the four more conservative judges would side with Paul, and the five more liberal justices might side against him this is far from certain because Justice Anthony Kennedy, the usual ‘swing vote’ on the court, is a very friendly supporter of states rights. His vote alone could swing the case.

Of course this all assumes a lawsuit even happens. Paul might not run for President. The Kentucky Legislature might change the law so he can appear on the ballot twice. Paul might not win the Republican nomination, and not have to challenge the law at all.

But hey, this is politics. What would a Thursday afternoon be without a bit of wild speculation?

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Wage Gap for Kentucky Women One of Worst in the Nation

By: Brenton Ward

A new report out today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research purports that for for the past decade, the economic status for women in almost half of U.S. has either remained unchanged or worsened. Six of the bottom 10 states cited in the report are located in the south, with Kentucky ranking in the bottom third.  The report goes on to content that if women’s economic progress continues at this rate, the average wage gap between women and men isn’t expected to close for another 43 years nationally, and another 15 years after for women living in Kentucky.

“When half the country is not seeing any gains in women’s employment and earnings, it is a concerning prospect for the nation’s economy as a whole,” said IWPR President and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D, in the reports press release.

The report, “The Status of Women in the United States: 2015 Employment and Earnings” was compiled using data on women’s employment and earnings taken from government agencies and other sources, such the U.S. census, choosing indicators that “prior research and experience have shown illuminate issues that are integral to women’s lives,” according to the report’s methodology section.  While there are several factors to consider when comparing individual incomes on a large scale, women in America, on average, make about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes for a comparable job. The average women working in the United States is purported to lose more than $530,000 over her lifetime due to the gap, with losses being greater for women with higher education. Women with a college education will have lost almost $800,00 by the time she turns 59.

According to the report, women in Kentucky make 77.6 cents for every dollar a man earns. Millennial women experience depression 18.2 more days per year than Millennial men. 31.6% of employed women work in low-wage jobs, while men are 2.4 times more likely to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) occupations than women.The report also noted discrepancies among groups of women of different ages, races and ethnicity.  TK Logan, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Behavioral Science and the Center on Drug & Alcohol research, serves on the national advisory committee of the report.  “States were ranked based on performance in four areas including median annual earning for women who work full time, gender earnings ratio for full-time workers, women’s labor force participation, and the percent of employed women who work in managerial or professional occupations,” she said in a UKNOW release.

To view the full report visit, http://statusofwomendata.org

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UK swimmers invite to NCAA Men’s Championships

University of Kentucky swimmers Brandon Flynn and Kyle Higgins will represent UK Wildcats to compete at the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships held in Iowa City, Iowa, from  March 26 to 28.

Flynn will be competing in the 400 individual medley and is seeded 28th overall with a time of 3:44.99.

Higgins will race in the 200 butterfly and is seeded 25th with a time of 1:43.36.

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