Follow HLS on
The Boston Globe
Don’t deny hepatitis C patients a cure
How do you justify withholding a wonder drug from patients infected with a liver-killing virus until the disease starts to ravage their bodies? Why, in other words, do they have to become seriously ill before receiving help? Although biomedical advances have given rise to a new class of drugs that can cure hepatitis C, which is often fatal, a basic socioeconomic problem remains to be solved: Because of the high cost of the medicine, many public and private health insurers restrict access to treatment until the onset of liver damage. It’s a short-sighted approach that causes suffering and is at odds with a basic tenet of modern medicine — early intervention...“If there was a cure for Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis and we restricted treatment, there would be a huge outcry,” says Robert Greenwald
, director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School.
The Harvard Crimson
Experts in Psychology, Law Discuss Juvenile Sentencing
On Wednesday at Harvard Law School, experts in forensic psychology, law, and juvenile justice policy discussed the Supreme Court’s decision to retroactively apply a recent ruling to ban mandatory life without possibility of parole for some 2,000 incarcerated juvenile homicides. The event, which drew a large audience, was held as a part of the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital and the Law School...“When the Supreme Court eliminated mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicides, it was unquestionably an earth shattering decision,” Judge Nancy Gertner
, the moderator of the discussion and a lecturer at the Law School, said. “Given the plasticity of the juvenile brain, they ought to be sentenced to something that enables a right to hope.”...Panelist Robert T. Kinscherff
, senior fellow in law and neuroscience at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at the Law School, said that high rates of juvenile homicides in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to the rise of a perception by the public of the teenage “super-predator,” which influenced opinions around juvenile sentencing. “The fear of the future was that these teen super-predators were remorseless, heartless, highly violent, and were going to somehow attack us at our castle walls and bring us all down,” Kinscherff said. “It was heard in the legislature, and elsewhere, that if you’re old enough to do the crime, you’re old enough to do the time.”
Why Thousands of Americans Are Lining Up to Get Arrested in D.C. This Week
Chanting, "Money ain't speech, corporations aren't people!" and "We are the 99 percent!" around 425 protesters were arrested Monday in a mass sit-in on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and more have returned to face arrest Tuesday. The demonstration, called Democracy Spring, is advocating a set of reforms the organizers have dubbed the "democracy movement," demanding Congress amend campaign finance laws and restore the Voting Rights Act, among other actions...Lawrence Lessig
, a Harvard Law School professor and a frequent activist in campaign finance who briefly ran for president this year on the issue, largely agrees. "What excites me about this movement is that it's talking about things that Congress can do tomorrow," Lessig says..."The clever idea here is that each day there's the same type of action, ultimately culminating in the same arrest," says Lessig. "The question is, what will the police do when they realize there's a pattern here, and whether they're going to take other steps."
The Christian Science Monitor
Bernie Sanders to Verizon workers: I can hear you now
Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast went on strike Wednesday to protest an eight-month impasse with the company over their contracts....“I think what they’re fighting for is really the type of labor market that Americans believe should exist,” says Elaine Bernard
, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, “a labor market where there’s some commitment by a company to its workers, to a community, and to being a good corporate citizen.”
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Harvard law professor visits UMass, discusses Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The University of Massachusetts’ Judaic and Near Eastern Studies department and College of Humanities and Fine Arts welcomed author Noah Feldman
and Felix Frankfurter, professor of law at Harvard Law School, for a discussion titled “Violence, Politics and Religion: Can Israel Remain Jewish and Democratic?” on Wednesday at Goodell Hall. An audience of over 50 students and community members gathered for the event, which focused on solutions for democracy in the Middle East, specifically in respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “A lot of people think they know what the morally correct answer is,” Feldman said, “but that is radically different from knowing an answer that will satisfy you morally, while simultaneously working in practice.” Feldman gave two main proposals to developing democracy in Israel that he concluded as both unlikely, but not impossible. These proposals included both a one and two state solution. The one state solution Feldman offered varied depending on the ideals of the state. Within Palestine an egalitarian secular democracy was envisioned, whereas Israel envisioned a democracy that would be fixed to remain nationally Jewish. Feldman believed these conflicting views of democracy inhibit the creation of a singular state between Israel and Palestine. “I don’t think it would be very easy to pull off, but do I think it is impossible? No,” Feldman stated.
The Harvard Crimson
Divest Protesters Released, Likely to Settle Case
Four members of the student activist group Divest Harvard were arraigned and charged with trespassing after staging a sit-in in the lobby of the Boston Federal Reserve, home to the offices of the Harvard Management Company, which manages Harvard’s $37.6 billion endowment...According to Franta and Harvard Law School student Kelsey C. Skaggs
, a Divest Harvard member who attended the protest, the four activists were charged with trespassing. The charges were filed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Skaggs said.
Polygamy Is the Next Marriage-Rights Frontier
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
After the Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage decision, can a constitutional right to plural marriage be far behind? It seemed that way in 2013, when a federal district court in Utah followed the Supreme Court ruling by striking down part of the state’s bigamy law in a case involving the family featured in the television show “Sister Wives.” But on Monday a federal appeals court reversed the decision. It said that the case was moot because Utah prosecutors had shelved prosecution of the Sister Wives family and announced a new policy to prosecute polygamists only if they were also suspected of fraud or abuse.