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The New York Times
Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’
...Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency...Another critic, Laurence H. Tribe
, likened the rules to “burning the Constitution” — a charge that might have stung, since Mr. Tribe, a liberal constitutional scholar, was a mentor to Mr. Obama at Harvard Law School. Mr. Obama dismissed the criticism as the voice of Mr. Tribe’s client, Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in April. “You know, I love Larry,” he said, but “when it comes to energy issues, Larry has a history of representing fossil fuel industries in big litigation cases.”
A Fix for the Culture Wars
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
Last month, the University of Chicago appeared to pick sides in the latest iteration of America's culture wars. But it was really announcing just how silly those culture wars are -- and how to get past them. The school informed incoming students that its “commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called 'trigger warnings,' we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual 'safe spaces' where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own." Conservatives saw the letter as a political intervention, a courageous stand against “political correctness” -- as if the University of Chicago shared the concern of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and others about left-wing orthodoxy on campus, in the media and political debates. But the letter’s real lesson lies elsewhere. It’s a political intervention that doesn't involve contemporary political issues at all.
Roger Ailes’ Empty Lawsuit Is a Threat to Free Speech
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The defamation lawsuit that Roger Ailes’s lawyer is threatening against New York magazine would seem to have no chance of legal success. So why has the former chairman of Fox News bothered to hire the lawyer who brought down Gawker on behalf of Hulk Hogan? The answer is that the threat puts the magazine on the defensive -- and that's a problem for free speech. The First Amendment has been interpreted to protect even defamatory speech against public figures. But as the Hogan case shows, not every court applies the constitutional standard correctly. In that environment, even legally empty threats have a chilling effect.
Complaint alleges discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients
This morning lawyers at the Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation
of Harvard Law School filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Human Services alleging that seven insurers in eight states, including Humana, Cigna and Anthem, are discriminating against people with HIV/AIDS by “refusing to cover key medications and requiring high cost sharing.”...Center attorney Kevin Costello
said under the ACA, it is illegal to target the sick. "What the Affordable Care Act says is you are not allowed as an insurer to discourage enrollment for high-cost populations.”
Fight Back News
Class struggle on Harvard campus: Dining workers announce strike vote
The union of the 750 food service workers at Harvard University held a briefing and rally on Sept. 7 to announce their intent to hold a strike vote. The union, UNITE HERE Local 26, has been in negotiations with the university administration since late May, and workers say that little progress has been made on their two major issues...Collin Poirot
, a second year student at Harvard Law School, said that it is especially important for students to show up in support of staff. “We’re here to show the university administration that students and workers are united, and that we will always have the backs of Harvard workers, just as they have always had ours.”
The Harvard Crimson
Law School Launches Series on Diversity
After a year that saw Harvard Law School embroiled in debates over race and diversity, Law School Dean Martha L. Minow
has launched a new lecture series entitled “Diversity and U.S. Legal History.” The 10-week series, which kicked off Wednesday, is a joint effort on the part of the Dean’s office and Law School professor Mark Tushnet
’s reading group, which bears the same title as the series....The lecturers—who include Law School professors Randall L. Kennedy
, Tomiko Brown-Nagin
, Annette Gordon-Reed
, Michael Klarman
, and Kenneth W. Mack
, Divinity School professor Diana L. Eck—will discuss topics ranging from race in American history, to challenges facing Latinos, the originalist case for reparations, and religious pluralism...Law School professor Joseph William Singer
delivered the first talk—“567 Nations: The History of Federal Indian Law”—to a crowded room Wednesday in the school’s student center. Singer recounted the development of colonial and United States law regarding Native Americans from the 18th century to the present, arguing that certain judicial rulings or government actions were unconstitutional.