Law and Disorder Radio – Lawyers You’ll Like: Rhonda Copelon – Bill Would Let Insurers Track Drivers – Bush Attempts to Bypass Endangered Species Act – Hosts: Dalia Hashad, Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

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Lawyers You’ll Like: Rhonda Copelon

Attorney Rhonda Copelon is a professor at the Law School of the City University of New York and director of the school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic. Rhonda is also the Legal Advisor to the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice.

From Article on New International Criminal Court: “The breadth and specificity of gender crimes in the court’s enabling statutes are directly attributable to a global caucus of women that formed in 1997 in the face of apathy and active resistance to prosecuting gender-based crimes. “Women made a huge difference,” said Rhonda Copeland, a professor at the Law School of the City University of New York and director of the school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic.

“They made it impossible to ignore that women have been left out of justice and that we have to be in it,” Copelon said. “If there were nobody there saying ‘this is violence,’ I don’t know how it would have happened.” Rhonda shares with listeners her history of fighting for the constitutionality of the abortion cases in New York City and its effect on poor women in a pre-Roe v. Wade climate. She also discuss the Harlem 6 case. This is the first part of the interview with Rhonda Copelon.

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Bill Would Let Insurers Track Where, When, How You Drive

A bill proposed by the California legislature would allow insurance companies to install black boxes on vehicles that track milage but also measure more sensitive information such as how aggressive you drive. The bill is structured so that insurance companies can encourage people to drive less with lower insurance. Consumer watchdogs say drivers shouldn’t have to choose between fair insurance rates and protecting their privacy when there are less intrusive ways to collect data.

Under the proposed bill titled AB 2800, the “black box” would allow insurance companies to track how fast drivers accelerate, where motorists go and which neighborhoods they drive through. The device would also monitor whether they come to a full stop at a stop sign; and when they apply their brakes. Privacy protection groups are also watching as similar proposals are being introduced in other states.

Guest – Carmen Balber, Consumer Advocate with consumerwatchdog.org

 

Bush Proposes To Bypass Endangered Species Act Experts

Currently under the Endangered Species Act, federal agencies are required to consult with federal wildlife experts to make sure activities such as mining, logging and road construction do not threaten endangered species. Now, the Bush administration has proposed a new plan that will give federal agencies the decision of whether they want expert consultation to determine if activities will affect endangered species.

Thousands of these consultations happen each year and federal wildlife experts have finely tuned their knowledge of protecting endangered species in the last twenty years. Critics say the proposal is a disturbing reversal.

Guest – Joel Kupferman, executive director and head attorney of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project