IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

January 11, 2021
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

IU Voices in the News

Fox 59

Legislators from both sides push Vice President Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

The Vice President would need the support of half of the president's cabinet to move forward. The group would then send a statement to the House and Senate saying the president is incapable of performing his duties. This amendment is typically held for when a president is incapacitated, like when the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan left him hospitalized. "However the president can then send a statement to the House and Senate saying he is capable, and he immediately becomes president again," explained Leslie Lenkowsky, a professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University. "The vice president and members of the cabinet have four days in which to contest that." Lenkowsky continues to say the House and Senate would then have 48 hours to take action on the vice president's rebuttal. "The bottom line seems to me, if President Trump were to contest any attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment, he could do so, and probably play out the clock," says Lenkowsky referencing the president's 13 days left in office.

Roll Call

Election vote divides Republicans as party wrestles with post-Trump identity

Republican members of Congress this week split into two basic groups: Those who used the power of their office to advance an effort to override the will of American voters and keep President Donald Trump in office, and those who declined to do so. ... "I think this sort of reflects the fact that Republicans are trying to figure out what a post-Trump future looks like, and how big of an influence he will have on the party after he leaves office," said Steven Webster, an assistant professor of political science at Indiana University who in August published a book, "American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics." Webster said the fact that this is happening without any real evidence of fraud, certainly fraud at the level that would change the result of the election, sets a dangerous precedent that is "a scary thought from the sort of little 'D' democratic perspective." "Just because it's unlikely to succeed this time doesn't mean that an attempt like this, in 12, 16, 20 years, would have the same outcome," Webster said ahead of the votes.

Related stories: WTHI


Indiana academics join others around world in letter calling for Trump's early exit

Among those calling for the impeachment or the use of the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump is a group of more than 40 Hoosiers who study politics for a living. They're part of a group of more than 1,400 professors around the globe who have signed onto an open letter to the Congress, Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet. ... Jeffrey Isaac and Kindred Winecoff, though, hope adding their names can lend credibility to the conversation. The open letter from the political science community was organized by a professor from Dartmouth is just a couple paragraphs in a Google document. But the response has been large with more than 150 pages of names and counting. "It's a bad, bad dangerous situation and I don't think the danger is over yet," said Isaac, James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. Winecoff, another professor of political science at IU, said, "We're in a very dangerous moment. We're not getting out of that simply."

Fox 59

Pence's role during Capitol riots, what's next before inauguration

Many in the Senate and House are now calling for the removal of the president by use of the 25th Amendment, Section 4. "It would take the VP and a majority of the cabinet to activate this," said Indiana University Associate Professor of Law Nicholas Almendares.

Fox 59

'Kids are going to remember this': Experts give advice on how to talk with children about DC riots

"How we deal with it is important," added Barbara Pierce, an Associate Professor of Social Work with Indiana University. "Validate those feelings for kids and to help them to feel safe." Pierce heard from families who are participating in e-learning following Wednesday's actions in Washington D.C. She says, it's important for parents and teachers to pay attention to what happened and what's followed. "The kids are making the association between what happened at the Capitol yesterday and their lockdown practices at school for shooter events. The kids are actually bringing this up," said Pierce.

Lakeshore Public Radio

IU professor and activist gives her perspective of events at Capitol

In response to protestors and rioters storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday (January 6th), Indiana University Professor Emerita, Ruth Needleman says the incident was predictable. "Because we have a president who has been calling for insurrection, who has refused to accept the fact that he lost by millions and millions of votes, the election, and then there's this core of senators and congressmen including our own, Braun, who refuse to recognize the democratic process and the institutions that are there," Needleman says. She adds that in all the states in which Senators and Representatives objected to the results, there have been at least one to three recounts and there has not been a single piece of evidence of fraud. "So the fact that this has gone on so long is an outrage," Needleman says.

ABC 57

Local experts react to chaos on Capitol Hill

The events on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in Capitol Hill were unlike anything we have ever seen in modern American history. Political experts have called the events unprecedented and saying it could have ramifications for our democracy. ... A political science professor at Indiana University South Bend worries about the long-term effect that it could have on America's democracy. Elizabeth Bennion said the main concern is what the events mean for the state of civil society and the future of our democracy. "The president has shown a willingness to skirt us constitution and the rule of law if it does not lead to the result that he wants," Bennion said. "And we're seeing that his followers are now excepting and adopting that message are moving towards more active and violent means of really taking on, by any means necessary philosophy that indicates that their support for the president is stronger than their support for democratic institutions."


AUDIO: 2021 is a mess. Here's how to stay positive

The first week of 2021 was rough. But, as advice columnists Daniel Lavery and Heather Havrilesky tell us, there's still room for optimism. ... Then, we talk to Dr. Y. Joel Wong, a professor at Indiana University, about the very real science behind positive thinking. A number of studies show that people who keep gratitude journals are mentally and physically healthier than those who do not. And finally, poet Ross Gay tells us about "The Book of Delights," his collection of "essayettes." Turns out, the more you look for delight, the more it shows up for you. Which seems like a pretty delightful thing to bring into the new year.

Bloomberg Wealth

The wealth tax is going global

In the U.S., even though President-elect Joe Biden isn't a fan of a wealth tax, progressives are pushing forward on the state level. They're starting in two Democrat-controlled states, California and Washington, where at least six of the world's 10 richest people reside. "All around the world you see increasing awareness of growing wealth and income inequalities, combined with growing awareness that our tax system is not up to dealing with this problem," said Indiana University law professor David Gamage, who has helped develop wealth tax proposals. ... Advocates of wealth taxes cite research showing the rich are actually less likely to move than other people, often because of strong business and social ties that were an essential part of their success. And if a few billionaires do leave to escape taxes? That's OK, said Gamage, the Indiana University law professor. "I would be fine with a few mega-millionaires and billionaires leaving in order to collect tax revenue from the rest," he said.


Trump's new rule restricting EPA's use of certain science could have short life

President Donald Trump's administration (Jan. 5) finalized a controversial rule that would make it more difficult for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use major health studies to guide pollution regulations. But the new rule -- which has been fiercely opposed by the scientific community -- could have a short life. ... John Graham, a risk analysis expert at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the newly appointed chair of EPA's advisory board of outside scientific experts, says the final regulation is more flexible than the initial proposal, and should be able to accommodate data privacy. He attributed the pushback to the rule partly to EPA's failure to bring scientists in to discuss their concerns. "The problem with this initiative and the Trump administration is they never had appropriate or serious outreach to the scientific community," says Graham, who headed the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under former President George W. Bush.

CBS Los Angeles

Study finds students falling behind more in math than in reading during COVID pandemic

The analysis of data from nearly 4.4 million U.S. students found those in grades 3-8 had lower than average math scores this year compared to previous years while most appear to be progressing at a normal pace in reading. The study, one of the first significant measures of the pandemic's impacts on learning, was conducted by Northwest Evaluation Association, a research-based not-for-profit organization that administers standardized testing. "What we see is that there's a moderate decline in math scores," says Jessica McCrory Calarco, an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University. "Reading scores seem pretty much on par what we've seen in previous years."


'The siding is coming off my house': Pendleton woman still dealing with aftermath of 2019 tornado

James Nehf, a professor at IUPUI's McKinney School of Law, said unless a company clearly states in its contract that it doesn't guarantee its materials or workmanship -- and that should be a red flag -- then Indiana law provides a two-year, if not indefinite, warranty. "They cannot get out of their responsibilities by just saying, 'Well, you signed off on the contract therefore you waived all of your rights and were off scot-free.' That's just not right," Nehf explained.


State lawmakers set aside bill to enhance penalties for rioting

State Sen. Jim Tomes, a Republican from Evansville, have helped authored a bill that would stiffen the penalties for people in Indiana arrested for rioting. Under the bill, it would make it a felony if seven or more people are involved in rioting and someone gets injured, or if property damage totals at least $750. ... Don't expect to hear much more about the bill. It will not be getting a committee hearing this session, according to State Sen. Mike Young, the chairman of the Committee on Corrections and Law Enforcement. ... Jennifer Drobac is a law professor at Indiana University. She told WISH-TV senators are right not to take up the bill. "My feeling is it raises concern," Drobac said. Here's why: We already have laws against looting, vandalism, violence, etc. This law enhances those and adds additional penalties and actually creates some ambiguity that I am extremely concerned about."

IU is making headlines every day

Visit our website for more Indiana University coverage from local, regional and national news media.
See all IU in the News articles