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Dog Bites Woman. It’s a Federal Case.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
Dog bites man may not be a news story -- but in nine western states, it’s grounds for a constitutional case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has allowed a lawsuit by a woman who fell asleep in her office after a hard night’s drinking, accidentally tripped a burglar alarm, and was bitten in the lip by a San Diego police dog responding to the alarm. What makes the case so interesting is that the San Diego Police Department trained Bak, a service dog, to enter a room and bite the first person she saw. Her training was to hold the bite in place until her handler ordered her to release her grip.
Harvard Law Record
The Academy and the Virtue of Contest
An op-ed by Scott Brewer:
This past Wednesday evening I attended the screening of the film “Bridge of Spies” that Dean Minow and the Program on Negotiation hosted here at HLS. I had known nothing of the main subject of the film, James B. Donovan, a 1940 HLS alum (played in the film by Tom Hanks) who had a distinguished career as a lawyer-statesman-negotiator. Donovan’s career came to mind as I listened to conversations among some of my colleagues about the controversial contest over student use of a WCC space that some students have been, as they put it, “Reclaiming” (actually, “claiming”?), while other students (one, Mr. Barlow, has been especially prominent) have been seeking to use it to speak by means of posters even as Reclaim has sought to deny him that speech. The film made clear that Donovan was willing to champion robust advocacy, as a matter of principle, even in support of deeply unpopular causes, at personal cost and risk. As far as I can tell, the historical record of Donovan’s life seems to support the conclusion that the real-life Donovan really had and lived by these views.
Once Ruled By Washington Insiders, Campaign Finance Reform Goes Grassroots
It was raining lightly when marchers of the Democracy Spring coalition set out Saturday, trudging past Independence Hall in Philadelphia on their way south toward Washington, D.C. ... The visionary of the new, expanded reform movement is another professor, Larry Lessig
of Harvard Law. He's written a book about political money, organized other grassroots groups, even tried running for president on the issue last year. At the march, Lessig said the goal is not to undo Citizens United. "Citizens United was the best thing for the reform movement since Richard Nixon. What it did was rally people," he said. But big donors already had too much sway, he said: "The democracy was already dead. The Supreme Court might have shot the body, but the body was already cold."
The Federal Government’s Sexual Reign of Terror on College Campuses
A new "sex bureaucracy" is attempting a full takeover of young people's sex lives through moral strictures that trample free speech and the due process of law. In only the most recent symptom of this disease, a court recently ruled that George Mason University wrongfully expelled a student in 2014 -- for engaging in consensual sex with his girlfriend. ...A forthcoming paper to appear in the August issue of the California Law Review outlines "The Sex Bureaucracy," which Harvard Law School professors Jacob Gersen
and Jeannie Suk
argue is thoroughly regulating "the space of sex" in America. The "bureaucracy dedicated to that regulation of sex ... operates largely apart from criminal enforcement, but its actions are inseparable from criminal overtones and implications."
Wall Street Journal
Who Knew About TB Risk From Elephants?
A letter by HLS’s Animal Law & Policy Program Fellow Delcianna J. Winders:
While tuberculosis cases rose last year in the U.S. for the first time in 23 years, the federal government has stopped regulating an important vector of this potentially deadly disease (“Tuberculosis Cases Climb for the First Time in Years
,” U.S. News, March 25). Experts have found that at least 18% of elephants in this country carry tuberculosis, and elephants can easily transmit TB to humans because it is airborne.
Harvard Law Record
Harvard Law Students, Allow Me to Say Something Controversial: You Might Be Wrong
An essay by Michael Shammas ’16
: Over the last few days, I’ve struggled to come up with an article that captures my conflicting thoughts about what’s going on right now at Harvard Law School. I’ve been depressed that the maturity of an important discussion on group identity has utterly failed to meet even the low standard set by my family’s internecine Lebanese dinner parties. So initially I came up with four words instead, words that are apparently controversial here at Harvard Law School, but that—when applied to all—facilitate respectful debate: “You might be wrong.”
Court Upholds ‘One Person, One Vote’ … Mostly
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
In a victory for both noncitizens and common sense alike, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the argument that state election districts must be drawn equally based on eligible voters rather than population. The court’s decision staves off a xenophobic push to discount noncitizens, which is a good thing. But almost equally noteworthy was an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, who was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas in saying that states could use eligible voters to redraw their districts if they wish.
New research: Insurance plan structure can have discriminatory effect
New research from the Harvard University Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
(CHLPI) is another piece of evidence showing how health insurance plan design may be trying to discourage enrollment by patients with certain conditions and also preventing some individuals from actually getting care. CHLPI looked at trends in state health insurance exchange plans over several years and reports they are “increasingly alarmed by lower rates of coverage for necessary HIV and HCV [hepatitis c] treatment regimens.” At the same time, cost sharing for those treatment regimens, even if the plan covers them, is increasing. They note, “This insurance practice has the discriminatory effect of discouraging individuals in needs [sic] of specific medications from enrolling in these plans or of shifting the burden of the cost back to these enrollees.” For example, the Harvard researchers found in 2016 some insurers are requiring coinsurance of 40 percent or more for all hepatitis c medicines; this high coinsurance is also sometimes required for most or all HIV medicines.
Activists Caution Admitted Law Students at Visiting Weekend
Prospective students who converged on the Law School’s campus last weekend found themselves in the midst of protests and a new financial justice campaign by activists. ...“The Fees Must Fall campaign is a start of a conversation around financial justice that we believe that Harvard Law School should be engaging in,” Reclaim Harvard Law member Sam S. Koplewicz [’16]
said. “It’s not just about fees; it’s also about wages for workers and healthcare for workers, and about how we invest our money. Those things cut across both financial discrepancies and racial discrepancies.”
Moyers & Company
Money-in-Politics Protesters Kick Off March From Philadelphia to DC
Saturday morning was rainy and cold, as a few hundred activists gathered in front of Philadelphia’s historic Independence Hall, home of both the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. They were there to draw attention to ways in which our government has become less representative and democratic. ... As they prepared to step off, Lawrence Lessig
, the Harvard professor, activist, march organizer and — briefly — presidential candidate, addressed the crowd. “When Madison puttered around in that building convincing people to sign onto a constitution,” Lessig said, “at the core of his ideal was a democracy that would be responsive to the people, with this ideal of equality.