Friday, July 20, 2007

Columbia University Law School's Ruth Ginsburg-Ross Perot Connection

Besides giving a keynote address in March 2007 before a group that promotes on U.S. campuses opposition to Palestinian national self-determination rights, the Israel On Campus Coalition, Columbia University Law School Dean David Schizer has also been historically connected to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. A former classmate of the Columbia Law School Dean’s mother, Hazel Schizer, Justice (and former Columbia Law School professor) Bader-Ginsburg hired David Schizer to be her clerk during the 1994-95 court term. And when Columbia Law School needed a tax professor, Bader-Ginsburg recommended that the law school’s appointments committee hire Schizer.

Since July 2004, Schizer has been the Dean of Columbia Law School; and a daughter of Justice Bader-Ginsburg also apparently holds a position on Columbia Law School’s faculty. So don’t expect the U.S. Supreme Court to issue an injunction that blocks Columbia University’s plan to expand deeper into West Harlem, north of W.125th Street, despite the opposition of local community activists--if the legal case against Columbia’s latest land grabbing plan is allowed to reach the Supreme Court.

(In 1993, coincidentally, I wrote the following item about Justice Bader-Ginsburg’s historical links to Billionaire Ross Perot, which first appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative newsweekly Downtown.)

Anti-pot prohibitionist Ross Perot lost the 1992 presidential election. But the billionaire “populist” may soon have a special friend sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court bench for life. As the New York Times (6/16/93) noted on its back pages, the husband of former Columbia University Law School Professor Ruth Ginsburg—Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson corporate lawyer Martin Ginsburg—is “an expert on tax law who has been Ross Perot’s tax lawyer for years” and “was an economic adviser in Perot’s presidential campaign.”

In addition to representing the special interests of former Nixon Foundation Trustee Perot in recent years—at the same time his wife was sitting on a U.S. Circuit Judge or U.S. Court of Appeals bench—the husband of Clinton’s Supreme Court nominee also represented the special foreign interests of Switzerland’s Credit Suisse bank, as a registered foreign agent No. 3199, during the 1980s. The parent company of Credit Suisse—CS Holding—owned, in the early 1990s, 64 percent of the First Boston Corp. (whose executive committee chairman was a member of the New York Times Company corporate board named George Shinn).

Other clients whose special interests have been represented by the Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson corporate law firm with whom Justice Ginsburg’s husband has been associated between 1980 and 1993 are the following: The Embassy of Israel; The Government of Israel; The Israeli Ministry of Defense; Israel Military Industries; Mobil Oil Corp.; Occidental Petroleum; Michigan Tire; A.G. Metallgesellschaft; Grumman Corp.; Schenley Distributors; Virgin Island Rum Industries; Bendix Corp. and the Bank of America.

For many years, the senior partner in Martin Ginsburg’s corporate law firm was neoconservative “Reagan Democrat” Max Kampelman of the Anti-Defamation League [ADL]—which was criticized during the early 1990s for hiring private undercover agents to spy on U.S. citizens who criticize the Israeli government’s foreign policy.

Following her nomination by Clinton for a lifetime seat next to Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court, former Columbia Law School Professor Ginsburg confessed that “I have been aided by my life partner, Martin D. Ginsburg, who has been since our teen-age years, my best friend and biggest booster.” But Judge Ginsburg failed to disclose how much money her husband has received for representing the special interests of Ross Perot or acting as a foreign lobbyist for Credit Suisse, at the same time she was a U.S. Circuit or U.S. Court of Appeals judge.

Next: Grit TV Host and Blue Grit Author Laura Flanders: A 1991 Downtown Interview—Part 7

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