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Environment & Energy News
Alaska’s hovercraft-riding moose hunter faces legal slog
The Supreme Court today strongly asserted Alaska's uniqueness when it comes to federal regulation of public lands in a win for the state and Native groups hoping to limit the government's reach. But the justices' unanimous opinion in the case Sturgeon v. Frost
did little to answer whether John Sturgeon -- who brought the case in 2011 -- will be able to use his hovercraft to hunt moose within a national preserve. Instead, the justices sent the case back to a lower court to hammer out some of the thornier issues, meaning Sturgeon may face years of more litigation..."As to the rivers, it really punts on that," said Robert Anderson
, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. "It'll be at least a couple more years of litigation." The decision won't have national significance because it "applied only for Alaska," Anderson said. But it was important for Native Alaskan groups concerned about government regulations reaching into private property within conservation units. "They protected the Native corporation lands," Anderson said.
Harvard offers business fundamentals course to incoming students
Incoming Harvard law students are learning about business concepts, thanks to an online program launched by the Harvard Business School. HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) teaches business fundamentals and is available to incoming Harvard law students for $300. Last year, 89 percent of students said the program increased their confidence in discussing business topics. "I thoroughly enjoyed my HBX CORe experience and found that a fresh background knowledge in business analytics and financial accounting helped me to better understand the decision-making factors managers often consider in domestic and international trade,” said Abraham Williamson
, a first-year student at Harvard Law School and a participant in the pilot offering of CORe last summer. “I would highly recommend HBX CORe to new 1Ls.”
Supreme Court Hints at Originalism’s Demise
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was best known for his philosophy of originalism, a method of interpreting the Constitution that relies on analyzing the original meaning of the text. On Monday, the court gave its first hint about the fate of originalism on the post-Scalia court: Its survival isn’t assured. In a two-page, unsigned opinion, the court unanimously reversed a ruling by the top court of Massachusetts that stun-gun ownership isn't protected by the Constitutional right to bear arms. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had taken the originalist view that stun guns aren't covered by the Second Amendment because they didn’t exist when the amendment was enacted and aren’t weapons used by the militias mentioned in the famously eccentric text.
New Technology Could Detect if ‘Sell-by-Date’ on Food Has Truly Arrived
... According to Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, 90 percent of us throw food away—either always, most of the time or occasionally—when that sell-by date arrives. But what many consumers don’t realize is that those dates aren’t intended to be hard-and-fast deadlines. “They’re a guess by the manufacturer when they think the food will not taste as good or not be at its top quality,” says Emily Broad Leib
, the director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. “They’re not intended to communicate safety.”
Here’s Why the Gawker Verdict Should Be—and Likely Will Be—Overturned
You could almost hear the gasps from media-industry insiders last week when a Florida court handed down a mammoth $115 million judgment against Gawker Media in a privacy suit by former wrestling star Hulk Hogan. But despite the headline-grabbing nature of the award, there are plenty of good reasons to believe the decision should be—and likely will be—overturned. ...As Harvard law professor Noah Feldman
pointed out in a recent piece for Bloomberg, a public figure like Hulk Hogan is assumed to have a somewhat more restricted right to privacy than a non-celebrity, thanks in large part to the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times vs Sullivan. And whatever protection the wrestler might have had was likely watered down even further by the fact that Hogan routinely talked about his sex life on talk shows.
Activists at the Gate
Your company could be doing better. The stock is in the doldrums, and the price-to-book ratio is low. On a variety of financial measures — shareholder returns, revenue growth, operational costs, and so on — the company is underperforming its peers. Cash flow is reasonably healthy, but one of the divisions is starting to falter. Adding insult to injury, management won the last say-on-pay vote by less than a large margin. ...Once activists cash out, how will their targets perform? “The jury is still out,” says Grossman. Despite claims that activist investors are “pumping and dumping,” a recent study of activist interventions between 1994 and 2007 by Harvard Law School professor Lucian Bebchuk
and others found that Tobin’s Q and return on assets were consistently higher three, four, and five years following the interventions. Similarly, a McKinsey study of 400 activist campaigns against large U.S. companies found that the median campaign reversed a downward trajectory in target performance, and created a sustained increase in shareholder returns.
What Is Critical Race Theory?
Racial-justice activists at Harvard Law School
(HLS) won one of the largest public battles over the school’s legacy this month, when the administration agreed to abandon the existing HLS shield. ...On Monday night, Reclaim HLS hosted a critical race theory teach-in by Khiara Bridges, an associate law professor at Boston University, modeled on how she teaches first-year criminal law. “We’re not pretending that we’re disconnected from the real world,” Bridges said as she opened her presentation, alluding to one of the motivating goals of critical race theory: to link activism with academics. The event took place in the student lounge of Wasserstein Hall, which members of Reclaim HLS have occupied for the last month to create opportunities for learning and discussion, and to bring visibility to their demands.
In Samsung v. Apple, It’s Parts Against the Whole
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The epic patent-infringement battle between Apple and Samsung will go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court announced Monday that, sometime in the term that begins in October, it will consider the $548 million in damages Samsung paid to Apple last year after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lowered the jury’s original $1 billion-plus verdict. Without reading too much into the tea leaves, it seems highly likely that the court took the case in order to change the law of damages in patent-infringement suits.