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News@Law, 11/24/2015

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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Today's News

Bloomberg
Be Thankful Carson Was Wrong About Jefferson
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. I come not to mock Ben Carson for forgetting that Thomas Jefferson was in France when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted, but to thank him for (unwittingly) raising the topic. My thesis is this: We should be thankful Jefferson was away. Notwithstanding the genius of the Declaration of Independence, its principal draftsman had truly terrible views about what a constitution should be like. If we’d followed them, we wouldn't have the Constitution we revere. In fact, I don't think we’d have much of a constitution at all.
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The Boston Globe
The birth of the super PAC
Americans, if your postprandial football game or James Bond movie marathon is interrupted — again and again — by presidential primary ads on Thursday, do not blame Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened a gusher of campaign cash. Blame instead a little-reported lower-court decision argued just days after Citizens United, which gave rise to the phenomenon of the super PAC, and which the Supreme Court, surprisingly, has never reviewed....Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe last week called it “comical” that super PAC contributions would be treated differently than contributions to the candidates themselves, since the supposed independence of the committees is little more than a fig leaf...The situation may be comical, but it’s also deeply damaging; Tribe called it “the plutocratic takeover of our politics.” Along with two other constitutional scholars who spoke on a panel convened by the campaign reform organization Free Speech for People (and which I moderated), Tribe believes that the SpeechNow decision is vulnerable to being overturned should a challenge be brought to the Supreme Court.
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Bloomberg
Islamic State’s Challenge to Free Speech
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein. The intensifying focus on terrorism, and on Islamic State in particular, poses a fresh challenge to the greatest American contribution to the theory and practice of free speech: the clear and present danger test. In both the U.S. and Europe, it’s worth asking whether that test may be ripe for reconsideration.
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C-Span
Landmark Cases: Brown v. Board of Education (video)
Tomiko Brown-Nagin analyzes Brown v. Board of Education in C-Span's Landmark Cases series.
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C-Span
Chief Justice John Roberts’ Approach to Opinion Writing (video)
Harvard Law School Professor Richard Lazarus joined via Skype to talk about Chief Justice John Robert’s approach to opinion writing assignments and other administrative tasks.
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Salon
Our political system is just this corrupt: Lawrence Lessig explodes our diseased, dangerous Congress
A book excerpt by Lawrence Lessig. Tweedism corrupts representative democracy. Not in a criminal sense, but in a design sense. Tweedism defeats the design weakens the dependency a representative democracy is meant to create. That systemic defeat is “corruption.” This is a particular way to understand the idea of “corruption,” as a way to understand the corruption of Congress. When we ordinarily use the term, “corrupt” is something we say of a person. And when we say it of a person, we of a representative democracy, by introducing an influence that mean something quite nasty. A corrupt person is an evil person, for corruption is a crime. There’s no ambiguity or uncertainty in the term. Like the death penalty or pregnancy, “corrupt” in this sense is binary.
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Bloomberg
Why Not Draw Straws? Elections Are All Random
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. I’ll cheerfully admit that until last weekend I had no idea that Mississippi decides tied elections by drawing straws -- much less that other states flip a coin. The only comparable version of planned randomness I’d heard of was the ancient Greek practice of choosing annual leaders by lottery. My first instinct on hearing about the Mississippi State House election that was resolved Friday in favor of the Democratic candidate was that this arbitrary practice should obviously be changed. On reflection, I’m not so sure.
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