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The Harvard Crimson
The Unsung Story of Diversity at Harvard
An op-ed by clinical instructor Robert E. Proctor.
As Housing Day approaches and we celebrate “randomization” as a mechanism to diversify the House system, Harvard still struggles to make House staff more diverse. According to House lore, in the early 1990’s there was a top ranked law student, and later president of the Harvard Law Review, who applied to be a tutor in each Harvard College House. Without so much of an interview, every House outright rejected him—save one that rejected him after his interview. This law student went on to become the 44th President of the United States...Over 200 years after its founding, the United States elected Barack H. Obama the first African American President—a shamefully long overdue milestone. Yet, the United States was still ahead of Harvard, over a hundred years older, which failed to appoint African American House Masters until 2009.
The National Law Journal
Hundreds of Law Profs Call on Senate Leaders to Consider SCOTUS Nominee
A group of more than 350 legal scholars on Monday called upon Senators to fulfill their constitutional obligation to consider a U.S. Supreme Court nominee submitted by President Obama. In a letter sent to Senate leaders, 356 professors and scholars said that leaving an eight-justice court in place would have dire consequences. They asserted that allowing Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat to remain unfilled until after the presidential election could cripple the court and set bad precedent...Law scholars from more than 100 law schools signed on, including Harvard Law School professors Charles Ogletree
and Laurence Tribe
; University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky; University of California, Berkeley School of Law professor Herma Kay; Stanford Law School professor Deborah Rhode; and New York University School of Law professor Kenji Yoshino.
No, Republicans Won’t Succeed in Abolishing EPA: Legal Scholars
Be wary of any promises from Republican presidential candidates to abolish federal entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department, legal scholars told Bloomberg BNA, because they will not come true...“This is just red meat to their supporters, of course, and cannot be unilaterally accomplished,” Jody Freeman
, a professor at Harvard Law School, told Bloomberg BNA. “Presidents can ask Congress for skeletal agency budgets, try to stymie or slow agency work or control them and weaken regulation through centralized White House review, but they cannot eliminate agencies or zero out budgets by fiat, which is what these candidates are promising.” ...Laurence Tribe
, Harvard Law professor and legal scholar, told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail that the agency's origins are “legally irrelevant” to whether it could now be abolished. “The fact that an executive order by President Nixon preceded the Acts of Congress constituting the current EPA, delegating regulatory powers to that agency, authorizing its expenditures and appropriating the funds in its budget doesn't make it vulnerable to unilateral presidential abolition,” Tribe said.
The Harvard Crimson
Law School Activists to Continue Occupation
Three weeks into their occupation of the lounge in the Law School’s Caspersen Student Center, student activists said they will remain in the hall, despite the concerns of other students and administrators...“I think when we first started, we didn’t quite imagine exactly what it is we’re doing now,” Alexander J. Clayborne
, a member of Reclaim Harvard Law and the group Royall Must Fall, said. “We’ve basically transformed the space into a school within a school.” Some students, however, questioned the activists’ approach. One student critical of the occupation wrote an anonymous editorial in the Harvard Law Record, equating the activists to “bullies.”
Europe Gets Tough on Immigration, American-Style
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
Europe can’t build a wall to keep out Syrian refugees. But today European Union leaders did the next best thing from their perspective, announcing an agreement with Turkey to repel and return all those trying to come illegally into Greece by boat from Turkey. The plan represents a major shift for the EU in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis. In place of a generous legal approach that rejected mass returns of asylum seekers, Europe is now adopting a much more hard-line attitude that distinguishes sharply between migrants seeking illegal entry and refugees who’ve already been processed within Turkey and may be granted legal settlement rights and asylum.
Nature Reviews Genetics
Mitchochondrial replacement therapy: the IOM report and its aftermath
An article by I. Glenn Cohen and Eli Y. Adashi
...Mitochondrial replacement therapies (MRTs) constitute a family of technologies that seek to prevent the transmission of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from carrier mothers to their children. The embryos so created comprise nuclear DNA from the intended mother and nonpathogenic mtDNA from another woman (the 'mitochondrial donor')2. As such, MRTs allow a woman at risk to be the 'genetic mother' of the resulting child (at least in terms of her nuclear DNA) without passing on the pathogenic mtDNA...These technologies raise a series of ethical and social challenges that the IOM committee wrestled with, including: the requirement that embryos be destroyed in the process (as in pronuclear replacement therapy); the charge of 'playing God'; the impact on people with disabilities; the disruption of fixed conceptions of ancestry and kinship; and concerns about germline modification and unintended downstream social implications.
Independent Agencies Really Aren’t
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
A Senate committee report has charged that U.S. President Barack Obama “bowled over” the independent Federal Communications Commission when he urged it to regulate net neutrality last year. An influential commentator went so far as to say that the White House “broke the law.” But a clear understanding of executive power and the relevant law indicates that these claims are misguided. It’s perfectly appropriate for the president to try to influence an executive agency, even one that’s independent in the sense that its leadership can only be removed for good cause. Nothing in the Senate report even vaguely suggests that Obama or his aides broke any law.