Alumni Short

LII Awards 2012 Wagner Prizes

Ithaca, NEW YORK, August 3, 2012

Each year at the conclusion of the U.S. Supreme Court term, the Legal Information Institute (LII) presents the Frank Wagner Prize to four editors of the Supreme Court Bulletin who have written exceptional analyses of the term’s proceedings. The award is funded by an LII donor in honor of Frank Wagner, a former Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court, a Cornell alumnus, and a long-time friend of the LII. Wagner, who works with the Bulletin editors, selects the recipients.

This year’s first-place prize went to Brandon Bodnar ’13 and Milson Yu ’13 for their analysis of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, which addressed the Anti-Injunction Act, and second-place to Amanda Bradley ’13 and Brooks Kaufman ’13 for theirs on Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, which addressed Medicaid. Both analyses pertained to the highly-watched health care cases, which were decided by the Court in June.

“I found both previews to be extremely well written,” says Wagner. “Though the Anti-Injunction Act argument was widely (correctly, it turns out) viewed as a nonstarter, Brandon and Milson did a wonderful job guiding readers through all of the ins and outs of this very complicated subject. And while few foresaw that severability would ultimately rule the day with respect to Medicaid, Amanda and Brooks concluded their beautifully detailed overview with a succinct and accurate treatment of the Government’s winning argument. I had a very difficult time choosing between the two articles.”

Adds Sara Frug, Associate Director of the LII, “This year's prizewinners devoted extraordinary time and attention to making the issues involved in the health care cases intellectually accessible to the people they affect — the general public.”

The Legal Information Institute (LII) is a small research, engineering, and editorial group housed at Cornell Law School. Its collaborators include publishers, legal scholars, computer scientists, government agencies, and other groups and individuals that promote open access to law worldwide. The LII’s Supreme Court Bulletin is an electronic journal, written and edited by second- and third-year law students, that offers commentary on all Supreme Court cases before they are argued. Nearly 50,000 people read each issue.

-- Owen Lubozynski