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Environmentalists Brace For Scott Pruitt To Take Over EPA
What will an anti-regulation, climate skeptic do as head of the Environmental Protection Agency? Environmentalists are bracing. But Scott Pruitt will also face limits if he tries to strip the agency of its power...Jody Freeman
is the director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law. She also advised the Obama White House and is on the board at ConocoPhillips. She says EPA administrators get most of their power through setting program budgets and deciding which new programs to pursue or not pursue, and Pruitt would have wide discretion on enforcing environmental rules. JODY FREEMAN: And if he wants to slow down enforcement or treat the states more gently, be a little more lax, he can certainly try to do that.
New York Daily News
Trump’s conflicts con will fail
An op-ed by Laurence Tribe and Mark Green
. For those worried about corruption and cronyism, Donald Trump’s coming for-profit presidency will hardly “drain the swamp.” Rather, it will create a new one, albeit with large, gold-plated all caps letters branding it a TRUMP property. His recent late-night misdirection by tweet on a busy news day, calling off a planned press conference on potential conflicts of interest, was clever but predictable — and predictably wrong. His effort to combine public service and self-enrichment would be blatantly unethical, unprecedented and unconstitutional.
The New York Times
To Combat Trump, Democrats Ready a G.O.P. Tactic: Lawsuits
...As Democrats steel themselves for the day next month when the White House door will slam on their backs, some of the country’s more liberal state attorneys general have vowed to use their power to check and balance Mr. Trump’s Washington...For the moment, the precise shape of Trump-branded targets is hard to make out. At the annual meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., two weeks ago, bipartisan bewilderment about the president-elect’s true intentions abounded...“People are coming up to me and saying, ‘What’s going to happen?’” said James E. Tierney
, a former attorney general of Maine, who ran a program studying attorneys general at Columbia Law School. Mr. Tierney, a Democrat, now lectures at Harvard Law School. “There’s a lot of eye-rolling down here, in both parties, like, ‘Oh my God.’”
High Country News
Feds withheld key documents from Standing Rock Sioux
The Army made a stunning admission earlier this month when it announced its decision to require a deeper environmental review and more extensive consultation before deciding whether to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. In its consultations with the Standing Rock Sioux about the pipeline crossing underneath Lake Oahe within a half mile of the reservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purposefully withheld key studies that could have helped the tribe evaluate the risks...Kristen Carpenter
, Oneida Indian Nation visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, was amazed to learn that the government had denied these documents to the tribe. “To me that’s stunning,” she says. “People have been camped out and facing violence for months, when this information has been available all along. It’s the very information that would have allowed them to participate more substantially. The tribes didn’t have enough information at their hands to be fully informed.”
Why General Motors is asking the Supreme Court to say it’s only 7 years old — not 108
When a company reorganizes itself through a bankruptcy, is it the same company? And if so, is it liable for alleged wrongdoing committed by the previous version of itself? These are questions raised by General Motors’ efforts to dodge hundreds of lawsuits related to a potentially fatal ignition-switch flaw in millions of its older sedans...Mark Roe
, a Harvard Law School professor who specializes in corporate bankruptcy, says GM’s use of the 363 Sale process doesn’t conform to the reason why the doctrine exists. “The GM sale was not a true third-party sale,” Roe told Salon. “It was General Motors selling to a reorganized version of itself. The factories were the same, the employees were the same. There isn’t the same reason to protect a third-party buyer.”
Cherokees’ Gay-Marriage Law Is Traditional
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest registered Native American tribes in the U.S., has officially decided to recognize same-sex marriage. The tribe, as a separate sovereign, isn’t bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 gay-marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. But its judgment relies in part on evidence of historical recognition of same-sex relationships among Cherokees -- a basis for contemporary gay rights that is different from, and in some ways deeper than, the equality and dignity rationales that the Supreme Court used.
Critics bash Trump children’s presence at tech meeting
Three of Donald Trump’s adult children attended a Wednesday meeting the president-elect convened with top Silicon Valley executives, prompting backlash from critics with questions about conflicts of interests...Laurence Tribe
, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, pointed out that mixing politics and business comes with inherent issues. “Next time one of those ‘children’ meets or talks with a Silicon Valley leader about a matter of interest to Trump's business empire, that leader will certainly know that he or she is dealing with a member of the President's inner circle of government power,” Tribe said.
Virginia Cracks the Code on Voter ID Laws
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. One of the most remarkable things about voting where I do, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is that no one asks you for identification: Who you are is based on trust. But that charming civic experience may not be long for this world. Although several voter ID provisions were struck down before the 2016 election, an appeals court has now upheld Virginia’s law -- and in essence provided a road map for how states can require ID without violating the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution.