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The Highest Court in the Land Shouldn’t Always Pull Rank
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
Who’s in charge of patent law? The answer lies in an ongoing conflict between two courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which was created by Congress in 1982 and given control over the entire patent law docket, and the U.S. Supreme Court, which gets to choose which Federal Circuit cases to review and which to leave untouched.
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of government-proof devices
The legal showdown between Apple Inc and U.S. law enforcement over encryption, no matter the outcome, will likely accelerate tech company efforts to engineer safeguards against government intrusion, tech industry executives say. Already, an emerging industry is marketing super-secure phones and mobile applications...But even a government victory could have unintended consequences for law enforcement, potentially prompting a wave of investment by U.S. tech companies in security systems that even their own engineers can't access, said Jonathan Zittrain
, co-founder of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "A success for the government in this case may further spur Apple and others to develop devices that the makers aren't privileged to crack," he said.
Apple v. FBI? Let Congress Decide
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The fight over whether Apple should write new software to unlock the iPhone used by the San Bernardino, California, killer may be poised to go to Congress -- and that’s the first good news I’ve heard about the confrontation. The case raises profound matters of public policy with constitutional, domestic and international ramifications. A magistrate judge working for the federal district court isn’t the right person to decide these issues, nor would higher courts be in a good position to make wise judgments on appeal. What we need here is a law -- one that reflects, to the extent possible, the legitimate competing values in play.
U.S. News & World Report
Christians Find Their Own Way to Replace Obamacare
The use of so-called “health sharing ministries” has soared in the wake of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms, but long-skeptical regulators are raising new questions about the plans’ aims to assist in the cost of medical bills while remaining exempt from rules placed on traditional insurance...Rachel Sachs,
academic fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, says some academics are concerned that the sudden growth in membership within health sharing ministries could threaten the private, individual health insurance market. Members of sharing ministries tend to be healthier because they avoid risky behavior, meaning that people who are sicker or have more expensive conditions to manage turn to the marketplace or to publicly funded Medicaid because ministries won’t share in many of their health needs. This results in adverse selection, particularly as the federal government and states are trying to enroll healthy, young citizens in tax-subsidized private insurance so they can balance the costs for people whose medical needs are more expensive and complex. “I think health sharing ministries seem to be terrific institutions for most of the people in them, but I do have concerns about their effects externally,” Sachs says.
Obama Makes Guantanamo Tribunals More Difficult
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
Buried in the middle of President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday on closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was a remarkable statement very close to a repudiation of the military commissions trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and nine other terrorists.
The State Journal
‘Make your place in history’
Books served as a window to the world for a young Charles J. Ogletree Jr
. His parents and grandparents may not have been formally educated — they weren’t even high school graduates — but Ogletree says they let him go to the library every Saturday. It was there he’d read and imagine places he’d never been and explore future career paths. “I didn’t read the books for no reason,” Ogletree said. “I read them because I wanted to be somebody who wrote books.” That was back then. Today, Ogletree is a Harvard Law School graduate and professor who’s written several books on education, race and other topics. He serves as both founder and executive director for the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice — an institute that’s engaged in a wide range of educational, legal and policy issues in the past six years. On Tuesday, Ogletree addressed students on the campus of Kentucky State University as part of its African-American Living Legends series.
Campaign-Finance Crusader Lawrence Lessig Thinks We Have a Lot to Learn from Donald Trump
Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig
declared his unlikely candidacy for president, last summer, on a single-issue platform: campaign-finance reform. He was forced to drop out before the second Democratic debate and has since been overtaken by his better-known (and, to be sure, better-financed) competitors. But that doesn’t mean he is done agitating, especially since the American public has caught on with his anti–Citizens United v. F.E.C. message. Here he expresses his admiration for Donald Trump, frustration with Bernie Sanders, and speculation on the future of both parties.