Follow HLS on
The New York Times
Giving Bondholders a Vote in Debt Restructuring
An op-ed by Mark Roe
. Congress is poised to retroactively validate hardball restructuring tactics in the bond market that courts have struck down in major reorganization cases like that of Caesars Entertainment. The underlying problem is that since the 1930s, the securities laws has barred basic free contracting among bondholders, via the Trust Indenture Act of 1939. Although the ban is exceedingly poor — one can think of few groups less in need of contractual guidance in the United States than institutional bondholders — the lurking amendment would worsen the plight of the bondholder.
The Boston Globe
Former student forces R.I. prep school to confront its past
Anne Scott entered St. George’s School as a 10th-grader in 1977, just a few years after the prestigious prep school first admitted girls at its campus in Middletown, R.I. She was a good student, and a three-sport athlete, from the suburbs of Wilmington, Del. But a month after she arrived, a field hockey injury brought her into the orbit of the school’s longtime athletic trainer. He molested and raped her, and threatened to come after her if she told anyone. For years, terrified and ashamed, she did not. Finally, in her mid-20s, her life a shambles of diagnoses and hospitalizations, she told her parents, who took her to see Eric MacLeish, an attorney who would later gain renown representing abuse victims of Catholic priests...Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig
, who has known Scott since they were students at Penn, has signed on as co-counsel to MacLeish. Lessig, who was abused by the choir director as a student at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, N.J., said St. George’s needs to make therapy support “immediately available and not filtered through a lawyer.”
Sexual Assault Survivors Are Asking: Campus or Courtroom?
...The Stanford study is just one example of the many factors that make it difficult to quantify the scope of the sexual violence problem on college campuses. While awareness of the issue rose to the forefront in 2015, the hard work of assessing the true scale of the problem has posed challenges for those looking to prescribe a cure. ...“I don’t see any evidence that campuses are doing a good job or will do a good job at handling these cases,” Jeannie Suk
, a professor of criminal law at Harvard University, says. “If you treat sexual crimes differently than other serious crimes, it sends a message that these crimes are not as important. Just as we would for any other serious felony, we should involve the police.” While Suk does not support eliminating universities’ power to investigate and punish sex crimes, she believes campus adjudication systems are significantly less effective than the criminal justice system.
Islam Class Probably Can’t Solve Landlord Dispute
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
You might think Donald Trump could use a crash course in Islam, but there's no way to make him take it. A Massachusetts judge, however, faced with a convicted defendant who demonstrated anti-Muslim views, ordered her to take a class on Islam as part of her probation. Now the commonwealth’s Supreme Judicial Court will have to decide whether the sentence was an unconstitutional infringement of religious liberty or a common-sense, measure-for-measure matter of justice. The facts grow out of that most brutal of human interactions, the landlord-tenant dispute.
Third Avenue Portends Regulators’ Fears and Could Spur New Rules
Months of hand wringing about bond market liquidity couldn’t prevent one of U.S. regulators’ worst fears: The freezing up of a $788 million mutual fund that was meant to provide small-time investors with easy access to their cash. While hedge fund liquidations are taken for granted, the failure of the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund last week and its decision to halt redemptions is the type of situation the Securities and Exchange Commission dreads. By Monday, SEC staff were calling around to mutual funds with similar holdings, while fellow regulators pored over Third Avenue’s books at its offices in New York...“It makes me think of Bear Stearns” in 2007, said Norm Champ
, a former director of investment management at the SEC and lecturer at Harvard Law School. “Bear Stearns started falling apart, but that was early and everyone kind of thought we’d get by that. Now we have a fund in trouble when bond default rates are still historically low. What happens when they go up?”
Prophets, Psychics and Phools: The Year in Behavioral Science
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
Behavioral science has become the usual term for psychological and economic research on human behavior, often designed to explore people’s biases and blunders. For that research, 2015 has been a banner year, with an unusually large number of important books. Five of them stand out -- and two of these weren’t even written by social scientists.
Gun Rights Are Different From Travel Rights
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
What if the National Rifle Association is right that the no-fly list shouldn’t be used for denying people guns, as President Barack Obama has urged and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has said he will do? If you’re a liberal, the very idea may seem absurd -- but in fact there’s an important constitutional issue at stake. The problem isn’t that gun-sales restrictions are unlawful in themselves. It’s that the no-fly list is a black box full of errors, featuring limited opportunity for redress. Whether you like it or not, gun possession is a constitutional right under the Second Amendment -- unlike flying. That means we need to decide whether the government can restrict that right based on a determination of dangerousness that occurs with a very unusual form of due process.
Prosecuting Hate Speech Isn’t Easy
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
In the U.S., we tend to say that the cure for hate speech is more speech: If you don’t like what Donald Trump has to say about Muslims, speak out, or vote against him. Other democracies do it differently, and many make it a crime to incite racism and violence. This approach sometimes seems appealing -- but it’s also difficult to apply, as the Israeli Supreme Court showed this week when it declined to order the prosecution of the authors of a Jewish law book that arguably constitutes religious hate speech.