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The Boston Globe
Trump AG pick could halt legal pot industry
Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, who has a long history of hard-line opposition to marijuana, could unravel the burgeoning recreational marijuana industry across the country, including in Massachusetts. Senator Jeff Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and Alabama attorney general, has been taking on marijuana dealers since the 1970s...The tension between federal law and the law in states where voters have legalized marijuana for recreational use created a practical problem for the Obama administration, said Charles Fried
, a former solicitor general of the United States and longtime Harvard Law School professor. The Obama administration has chosen to solve it through nonenforcement, he said. But “somebody who is indicted, prosecuted, and convicted has no defense by saying, ‘It’s legal on the ground in Colorado!’ Now you may have a hard time getting a jury to convict, and it may be extremely unpopular, and it may be a bad idea,” he continued, “but as a legal matter, it’s clear cut.”
The Rachel Maddow Show
Trump vulnerable to lawsuits from competitors (video)
, Constitutional law scholar at Harvard University, talks with Rachel Maddow about the possibility that companies competing against Donald Trump's business while he is president could sue him for having an unfair advantage.
The New York Times
Yale Sets Policy That Could Allow Renaming of Calhoun College
On Friday, the university announced a new procedure for considering the renaming of university buildings, along with an official reconsideration of the controversial decision last spring to keep the Calhoun name. A new — and final — verdict is expected early next year. That policy requires anyone calling for a renaming to submit a formal application, including a dossier of historical research justifying the renaming according to a set of general principles created by an independent 12-person committee named in August by the university’s president, Salovey, in response to continuing furor over the Calhoun decision...“They did a very good job fleshing out the issues and creating guideposts on how to deal with a question that is probably going to come up again and again,” said Annette Gordon-Reed
, a historian at Harvard Law School and a member of a committee that voted last year to scrap that school’s seal, which honored a family of 18th-century slave owners.
On what Noah misses: the continuing debate about the electoral college
An op-ed by Lawrence Lessig
. My friend and colleague Noah Feldman is angry that I would be so “cavalier” about “following the procedures … that shape our constitutional norms.” In my view, however, it is in understanding those procedures that we should be most careful not to be cavalier. I—along with many others—believe the electors were intended to be something more than mere cogs. That they instead were to exercise judgment in deciding how to cast their ballots. Noah disagrees with this conventional view. The college’s “purpose,” he tells us, “is simply to effectuate the results of the electoral system we have.” That certainly is the view among the commentators and pundits. But that claim needs more support if it is to dislodge the view of many scholars, including, for example, our colleague Larry Tribe (“electors are free to vote their conscience”) and the extensive analysis of Columbia Professor Richard Briffault.
Indian Nationalism Goes to the Movies
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
Amid rising Hindu nationalism, the Supreme Court of India has ordered theaters to play the national anthem before films and directed moviegoers to stand at attention -- no excuses. The Indian Constitution is a wonder of the world, but this decision undercuts free-speech and individual rights at a moment when the country can ill-afford it. The court, which has the final word in interpreting the constitution, can still reverse itself. And it should, because the court’s job is to protect rights, not to impose duties and obligations when the legislature has not done so.
Law professor: Trump’s businesses make him a ‘walking, talking violation of the Constitution’
A constitutional law professor warned that the day Donald Trump takes the oath of office he will be breaking the law, calling the president-elect a “walking, talking violation of the Constitution,” due to his business dealings. Appearing on MSNBC’s Am Joy with host Joy Reid, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe
detailed the many ways Trump and his family’s continuing involvement with his business is expressly forbidden by the law, specifically citing the “emoluments clause” in the Constitution. “It’s called the emoluments clause and it basically says no officer of the United States can be on the receiving end of any kind of benefit, economic benefit, payment, gift, profit, whatever, from a foreign government or its corporations or agents,” Tribe explained before pointing to Trump’s kids having one foot in his administration and the other in Trump’s businesses. “In this case Donald Jr. or Ivanka or Eric — then there would be a close relationship that could never be disentangled by the American public.”
Making airport PreCheck free could save TSA millions: report
A study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a way to get more people to sign up for expedited security screening and save the government money: make PreCheck free for frequent fliers...Security expert Bruce Schneier
has long criticized the enhanced post-9/11 security screenings as "security theater" that do not make anyone safer."I want PreCheck-style screenings for everyone," said Schneier, a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center. He worries that giving PreCheck only to frequent travelers or those who pay creates a class divide — the poor get invasive screenings, while the wealthy are in the faster lines.
The Huffington Post
Why Trump Would Almost Certainly Be Violating The Constitution If He Continues To Own His Businesses
Far from ending with President-elect Trump’s announcement that he will separate himself from the management of his business empire, the constitutional debate about the meaning of the Emoluments Clause — and whether Trump will be violating it — is likely just beginning...Professor Laurence Tribe
, the author of the leading treatise on constitutional law, and others said the Emoluments Clause was more sweeping, and mandated a ban on such dealings without congressional approval. Painter now largely agrees, telling ProPublica that no fair market value test would apply to the sale of services (specifically including hotel rooms), and such a test would apply only to the sale of goods. The Trump Organization mostly sells services, such as hotel stays, golf memberships, branding deals and management services.
Virtual Reality and Dangerous Fantasy in Jerusalem
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. You never know what you’re going to get on a visit to Jerusalem. The latest addition to the Holy City is -- I kid you not -- a virtual-reality experience at the foot of the Western Wall. Tackiness aside, the virtual tour of an imaginatively reconstructed ancient Israelite temple does carry a worrisome message for the future of peace in the Middle East: The once-radical idea of rebuilding the temple on the site is gradually getting mainstreamed.
Trump’s First 100 Days: Science Education and Schools
On the campaign trail, education often took a backseat to issues like trade and immigration for Donald Trump. He offered few concrete details about his plans, which were often vague and even at odds with what any president has the power to do. Yet the tone of his campaign—and his rhetoric on issues ranging from minorities to climate change—has many educators and academics worried about the future of liberal arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. “Donald Trump has shown a contempt for science, a willingness to play fast and loose with the very idea of truth and an absence of intellectual curiosity,” says Laurence Tribe
, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School. “This leaves me with the sinking feeling that he will have a terribly destructive impact on the entire project of making excellent education broadly available.”