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Trump attacks flag-burning, legalized after a 1984 arrest in Texas
When counter-protesters ripped up an American flag at a White Lives Matter rally last month in southwest Houston, their actions - though repugnant to many - were protected by the First Amendment, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court case out of Texas decided in 1989. With an early-morning tweet on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump reignited the debate over whether to punish those who burn, rip or otherwise desecrate the flag. However, constitutional scholars said his suggestion of imprisoning flag-burners or stripping their citizenship was outside the mainstream of contemporary legal thought...If Trump got to pick another justice or two after Scalia's replacement, then the 1989 decision might face a reversal, said Richard D. Parker
, a criminal justice professor at Harvard Law School...Parker, the Harvard Law professor, leads the Citizens' Flag Coalition, which advocates for a constitutional amendment to let governments outlaw flag-burning. He said popular will should overrule the Supreme Court justices.
The Harvard Crimson
Lewis Headlines Debate on Constitutionality of Final Club Sanctions
Four professors debated the First Amendment implications of the College’s plan to penalize members of single-gender social organizations on Tuesday, reframing a controversial campus issue in constitutional terms...David L. Howell, a professor of Japanese history, and Diane L. Rosenfeld
, a lecturer at the Law School and founding director of the Gender Violence Program, argued in favor of the constitutionality of the policy at the debate, while computer science professor and former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 and visiting Harvard Law professor Sanford V. Levinson
argued the sanctions violated First Amendment values.
Anti-Trump forces launch attack on Electoral College
Anti-Trump forces are preparing an unprecedented assault on the Electoral College, marked by a wave of lawsuits and an intensive lobbying effort aimed at persuading 37 Republican electors to vote for a candidate other than Donald Trump...“There might well be a clamor to get rid of the Electoral College altogether, a move that would have some disadvantages (like eliminating Hamilton's safeguard) but many advantages as well,” said Laurence Tribe
, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University. “Anyhow, clamor and anger have become par for the course in this loony election year.”
Hard time gets a hard look
...This fall, a new Harvard course has helped students become part of the effort to reform the nation’s criminal justice system. Schiraldi, Harvard Law School lecturer Nancy Gertner
, and Harvard sociologist Bruce Western are teaching a graduate seminar examining the origins of U.S. mass incarceration and helping students craft workable solutions for getting, and keeping, people out of prison...“Each of us in different ways has been teaching and working on the problem of criminal justice policy,” said Gertner, who served as a federal judge in Massachusetts for 17 years. “We thought there would be some unique value in bringing together three perspectives: the social science on problems of crime and criminal justice, the perspective of policy research and analysis, and law.”
New York Daily News
Here’s how Trump’s plan to defund sanctuary cities could play out
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to cancel all federal funding for immigrant-friendly “sanctuary cities” — a move that could put him on a collision course with not just New York, but hundreds of jurisdictions around the country...“In terms of him completely defunding sanctuary cities by not giving them any funding whatsoever, it would be virtually impossible to do,” said Phil Torrey
, a lecturer at Harvard Law School.
Support for the undocumented
As President-elect Donald Trump puts together the administration that will help transform his campaign pledges — including those on immigration — into action, Harvard’s community is coming together around members who might be affected...The Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, based at Harvard Law School, is also planning a series of “know your rights” information sessions in the weeks to come, as well as specific sessions for students who want to fill out their DACA renewal paperwork, according to Deborah Anker
, clinical professor of law and director of the program...Anker advised students to understand their personal situation, as they may qualify for different programs and alternate deferrals. One encouraging fact, Anker said, is that there is a strong pro-immigrant community in the area, with legal clinics not just at Harvard, but also at Boston University, Suffolk University, and Boston College. That community has mobilized quickly, she said, and she expects that as the weeks pass and Inauguration Day nears, a lot of resources will become available for those who need them.
Withdrawals from International Criminal Court Raise Questions
Recent withdrawals from the International Criminal Court have raised questions about the court’s future...Alex Whiting
is a law professor at Harvard University in Massachusetts. He once supervised investigations and legal action against suspects for the International Criminal Court. He expects the court to survive. “I think there will be some difficulties, but that the court is not going to collapse,” Whiting told VOA. He said one reason is the court’s special power to bring action against the world’s worst kinds of crimes.
Sanctuary Cities Are Safe, Thanks to Conservatives
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. President-elect Donald Trump says he will make “sanctuary cities” help deport immigrants by taking away their federal funding if they don’t change their policies. The good news is that he and Congress can’t do it -- not without violating the Constitution. Two core rules of federalism preclude Trump’s idea: The federal government can’t coerce states (or cities) into action with a financial “gun to the head,” according to Supreme Court precedent developed by Chief Justice John Roberts in the 2012 Affordable Care Act case. And federal officials can’t “commandeer” state officials to do their work for them under a 1997 decision that involved gun purchases under the Brady Act.
Five Books to Change Conservatives’ Minds
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
As the 2016 presidential election made clear, we live in the era of the echo chamber. To escape their own, progressives need to be reading the best conservative thought -- certainly Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, but also more contemporary figures such as Antonin Scalia and Robert Ellickson. The same is true for conservatives, if they hope to learn from progressives. Here are five books with which they might start.
The Huffington Post
Bahrain To Hold Major Celebration At Donald Trump’s D.C. Hotel
The Embassy of Bahrain plans to host its annual National Day celebration at President-elect Donald Trump’s lavish Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C....“They know that they will be currying favor with Donald Trump,” said Laurence Tribe
, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School. “Around the world it’s regarded as an ordinary way of business that you favor the enterprises and businesses of the head of the government in order to get ahead of everybody else.”