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When Judges Pull the Plug on Rural America
An op-ed by Susan Crawford.
Lincoln made sure we had railroads; FDR made sure we had electricity; Eisenhower made sure we had highways. What U.S. president will make sure we make a national upgrade to competitive, last-mile-fiber-plus-advanced-wireless connections? The question has become even more vital after a disappointing recent court decision that gave the thumbs up to a tactic of big communications companies who, for business reasons, refuse to extend service to rural communities: they can continue to lobby for laws that prevent those communities from setting up their own networks.
The Jerusalem Post
B’Tselem: IDF war crimes probes are a whitewash
The IDF’s war crimes probes in the 2014 Gaza war are a thinly veiled attempt to appear to investigate while providing a whitewash mechanism to clear all the soldiers, commanders and politicians involved of wrongdoing, a B’Tselem report said on Tuesday....In a recent posting on the influential Just Security blog, top ICC commentator Alex Whiting
(along with Ryan Goodman) wrote that “where military forces follow targeting practices that repeatedly result in unjustified civilian casualties...‘or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events’ – could provide a hook for prosecution.” While not addressing Israel specifically, he added, “The Office of the Prosecutor has indicated that it might argue that failing to correct a process that results in repeated unjustified civilian casualties could satisfy the intent requirement in the Statute.”
Nudging Works. Now, Do More With It.
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein
. Last Wednesday was a historic day for behavioral science. The White House released the annual report of its Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. The U.K.’s Behavioural Insights Team released its own annual report on the same day. With the recent creation of similar teams in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Qatar, the two reports deserve careful attention. Outlining dozens of initiatives, the reports offer two general lessons about uses of behavioral science by governments. First, both teams are enlisting behavioral science not for controversial purposes, but to encourage people to benefit from public programs and to comply with the law. Second, governments are constantly testing the tools to see whether they actually work.
Merrick Garland Shouldn’t Get His Hopes Up
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. If Hillary Clinton wins in November, will the lame-duck Republican Senate confirm Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court? Last week, Clinton said she would look for diversity and wouldn’t feel bound to renominate Garland, which in theory should give Republican senators more reason to confirm Garland, before Clinton can nominate a more liberal candidate. Yet a careful analysis of Republican senators’ incentives in the case of a Democratic win in November points the other way. If Republicans lose the presidency, the party will enter an intense period of self-reflection and disarray. And if they also lose the Senate, the disarray will be greater still. Under those conditions, it seems most likely that Republican senators wouldn’t want the final act of their majority session to be acquiescence to the judicial candidate nominated by President Barack Obama. Instead, looking to future primary challenges, they’ll have reason to reject Garland by denying him a vote -- even if that may lead to a more liberal Supreme Court in the long run.
The Washington Post
In Wells Fargo hearing, executive pay ‘clawbacks’ are likely to take center stage
Anyone paying attention to Tuesday's Senate Banking Committee hearing over Wells Fargo's sales tactics is likely to hear a lot about a single word: "Clawbacks." It's the practice of doing just what it sounds like: Taking money back from an executive for compensation they've already been paid for things such as misconduct, gross negligence or "material" errors...Jesse Fried
, a professor at Harvard Law School who studies corporate governance, says "it's still extremely rare to hear of a public company using its own voluntarily adopted clawback provision" to go after their own executive's pay.
The National Law Journal
Harvard Overhauls Student Orientation to Promote Inclusion
Harvard Law School first-year students arrived on campus last month to an orientation program redesigned to better help them understand the educational road ahead and foster an inclusive atmosphere...We spoke with dean of students Marcia Sells
about the revamped orientation and what was new at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school this year.
DC Circuit primer: All you need to know ahead of the Clean Power Plan’s pivotal court date
Make no mistake, the Clean Power Plan is almost certainly heading for an ultimate showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court. The stakes are so high that virtually any lower court decision will be challenged. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit slated to consider the case first, with oral arguments beginning Sept. 27. So is that court's decision just a mere formality? Absolutely not, say experts..."The lower court decision sets up the case," said Ari Peskoe
, senior fellow in electricity law at the Harvard Law School Environmental Law Program Policy Initiative. "The D.C. Circuit decision is going to be important regardless."
World War II Leak Case Is a Win for Edward Snowden
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. The secrecy rules for grand juries contain no exceptions for cases with historical importance. In an important victory for historians, however, a divided appeals court is unsealing testimony from a 1942 leak investigation after the Battle of Midway. The decision, which was opposed by the Obama administration, sheds some light on the debate about whether the leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden were justified by historic importance or were an inexcusable violation of national security.