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The Supreme Court v. the Paris Agreement
A few hours after nearly every country in the world adopted the Paris Agreement last December, John Kerry went into enemy territory. Backed by the blinking lights of the Champs-Élysées, the bleary-eyed secretary of state clipped on an earpiece and started fielding questions from Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace. One of the main objections American conservatives have to any global climate deal is the fear that other countries will renege, making money off dirty energy while Americans sacrifice to clean the atmosphere like a bunch of chumps...But this week, another branch of government emerged as a threat to the plan. Chief Justice John Roberts, backed by his four fellow Republican appointees on the Supreme Court, barred the Obama administration from taking any steps to implement its plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants until the courts reach a final decision on the plan’s legality...Jody Freeman
, a Harvard University law professor who served as White House counselor for energy and climate change under Obama, disagrees. "There’s no argument for irreparable harm," she says. "There is no obligation on the part of the federal government to preserve the market share of the coal industry."
UB speaker assesses modern race relations (audio)
Race relations in America have improved, but they aren't always good. This assessment was provided by Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree
, who spoke Thursday at the University at Buffalo. Ogletree was the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Commemoration Speaker and also participated in a conversation with students, faculty and university friends.
America's bold effort to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants is on hold. On February 9th the Supreme Court, divided five to four along partisan lines, putting the brakes on Barack Obama’s flagship environmental policy, pending a possible ruling this summer. The plan forms the core of America’s recent commitments to cut emissions, made at the UN climate talks in Paris...States, utilities and mining companies have declared the plan to be too much, too soon. The attorney-general of West Virginia, one of the states opposing it, said he was “thrilled” after the court issued its stay. Richard Lazarus
, from Harvard Law School, calls the intervention “extraordinary”. Although compliance with the regulation is not required until 2022, the deadline for submitting first plans to cut back on emissions was supposed to be September.
Justice Department Has Few Tools to Fix Ferguson
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The Department of Justice must’ve expected that the Ferguson, Missouri, City Council would stall in accepting the terms of a consent decree over allegations that the city’s police and courts have violated black residents’ civil rights. The department had a 56-page complaint for a lawsuit at the ready, and filed it just a day after the council demanded several changes to the negotiated draft. Presumably, Ferguson won’t want the embarrassment or the expense of fighting a federal lawsuit. The department is using force as a negotiating tactic, and Ferguson will have to fold. Yet the episode raises a problem with roots in the history of civil-rights enforcement. What should the Department of Justice or the courts do if a city like Ferguson won’t accept a deal, and insists on litigating alleged civil-rights violations to completion?
Cry: Thousands of gallons of milk are poured down the drain every year, thanks to US state laws
An op-ed by Emily Broad Leib.
Glug, glug, glug… That’s the sound of milk being poured down the drain in Montana. Montana wastes untold amounts of milk every day due to an outdated law that requires a “sell by” date of 12 days after pasteurization and prohibits sale or donation after that date. This date is completely arbitrary, especially when compared to the industry standard for date labeling on milk—generally 21-24 days after pasteurization. Even more shocking, the date label on milk, like on most foods, is generally meant to indicate quality rather than its safety. Because pasteurization kills any harmful pathogens, milk is safe and generally still good well past the date. Montana’s is just one of many US state laws that cause confusion and massive amounts of waste. Even if food makes it to a home, more than 90% of Americans report that they mistake those quality dates labels for safety indicators, and subsequently throw away food that is still completely safe to eat. Confusion over date labels is a major contributor to the 160 billion pounds of food wasted each year in the US.
Love in the crosshairs
What are the secrets for long-lasting love? Lean closer to find out. — Keep curiosity alive. — Never assume anything about each other. — And, last but not least, open a joint bank account. With Valentine’s Day near, experts in negotiation, mediation, and lasting marriage shared that advice to a rapt audience at a panel called “Negotiating Love: Interpersonal Negotiation and Romantic Relationships,” held today at Harvard Law School (HLS). The session was organized by the Harvard Law School Negotiators
, a student group, to spread the word that effective techniques in interpersonal negotiation apply not only to the vagaries of international trade agreements and mergers and acquisitions but also to people’s everyday lives and to relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners.
The Patriot Ledger
Hot spots: 5 sites kissed by affection
To help starry-eyed lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day, here are five romantic sites to visit in the Boston area...A white marble bench at Harvard Law School is inscribed in all capital letters: “On January 17, 1985, not far from this spot, two people met and fell in love.” Presumably, they met and later fell in love. The letters are carved into the vertical edge of the otherwise simple bench.The bench is outside the Reginald F. Lewis International Law Center, also called Lewis Hall. The two people who fell in love later married and donated the bench, confirmed a spokesman for Harvard Law School, Steven Oliveira
. The man was a law student, the woman was not, and they met outdoors. The man is “very very anonymous,” said Oliveira.