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Lessig, lawyers to offer support to anti-Trump electors
A prominent Harvard University law professor is teaming with a California-based law firm to offer legal support for any members of the Electoral College seeking to oppose President-elect Donald Trump in violation of state law. Larry Lessig
says his new effort, which he calls “The Electors Trust,” will provide free counsel to electors, provided by the midsize firm, Durie Tangri, whose partner Mark Lemley is a longtime associate of Lessig’s. More significantly, Lessig said, the Trust will offer a platform – with guaranteed anonymity – for electors to strategize about stopping Trump from taking the White House. It’s a platform, he said, that could help electors coordinate to determine whether they’ve gathered enough support to stop Trump from winning the presidency. “It makes no sense to be elector number five who comes out against Trump. But it might make sense to be elector 38,” Lessig said in a phone interview.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Black Lives Matter, the next stage of the civil rights movement
An op-ed by Randall Kennedy
. Black people have been struggling to free themselves from racist oppression throughout American history. They have revolted, fled, petitioned, boycotted, exposed abuses through journalism and propaganda, prayed in, stood up, and sat down. An iteration of black resistance that was begun in 2013 marches under the banner of Black Lives Matter...An area that has proven to be peculiarly resistant to racial reform is the administration of criminal justice, perhaps because it consists of literally millions of low-visibility, highly discretionary decisions that are not easily subject to effective regulation. Typically, however, courts, including the Supreme Court, have made no serious effort to supply such regulation. Instead, obtuse interpretations of the Fourth Amendment have permitted police to use race as a factor in traffic stops, leading to the notorious infraction of "driving while black."
Newly elected Kim Foxx details plans to reshape state’s attorney’s office
Newly elected Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx detailed her plans Monday for reshaping the second-largest prosecutor's office in the country, including creating a unit to target firearms trafficking and revamping the team that reviews potentially wrongful convictions....Foxx has turned to Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan Jr
. to reorganize the office's conviction integrity unit, created by Alvarez in 2012. The conviction review unit Sullivan created and ran for the Brooklyn, N.Y., district attorney's office has an independent advisory panel staffed by outside attorneys that issues nonbinding recommendations on whether convictions should be dismissed. Sullivan could not be reached for comment Monday, but Foxx said he "will design a unit that fits for Chicago."
Facebook needs to hand over its algorithm if it really wants to end fake news
On Sept. 5, 2006, Facebook transformed from a technology platform into a media company. That was the day the social media site replaced its chronological list of friends’ updates with its algorithmic news feed...Facebook’s only chance to escape this kind of responsibility may be to open its News Feed to others, says Jonathan Zittrain
, a computer science and law professor at Harvard University...Zittrain suggested third-parties build on top of the existing algorithm, offering the News Feed as a customizable stream that others modify to suit their audiences.
Trump wants to unshackle Main Street banks
Main Street banks believe they've been unfairly swept up by the tsunami of regulation triggered by the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. But President-elect Donald Trump and his allies have signaled a desire to reverse rules that are seen as burdensome for community banks, freeing them up to give more loans...But Hal Scott
, director of a Wall Street-funded nonprofit called the Committee on Capital Markets, complained that Dodd-Frank "lumps in all other banks" beneath that "super level" of regulation. Scott, a Harvard Law School professor, said there is "growing consensus that the regulatory burden should be relieved for small community banks."
The Financial Times
Help with college debts is the latest attempt to stem the brain drain
...The top law firms are making fewer and fewer partners, making it trickier for young lawyers to make it to the top. At the same time, there has been a big shift in the legal profession over the past decade, in which associates no longer see partnership at the firm where they started as the ultimate goal...It is every lawyer’s dream: a paid week off work with no access to a smartphone, learning from top professors at Harvard Law School...Best of all — client work is not allowed to get in the way, says Professor Scott Westfahl
, the director of executive education at Harvard Law School, who runs the programme...“It’s just an extraordinary investment, the idea that you’re taking associates offline, letting them come together for a week of learning every year for four years — and putting them together with their peers from other offices lets them build relationships that will last for many years,” says Professor Westfahl.
Hunger for change
At the same time the government urges Americans to eat healthy foods, it heavily subsidizes farmers who produce corn and other crops used in junk foods, and invests little in those who grow fruits and vegetables. The result? A pound of fresh broccoli costs about $2 in any supermarket, while a calorie- and fat-filled cheeseburger is half that price in many fast-food restaurants. This system that makes healthy food expensive and junk food cheap should be fixed, said a panel of experts who gathered at Harvard Law School on Nov. 30...Bittman was joined by...Emily Broad Leib
, assistant clinical professor of paw and director of the Food Law and Policy clinic...Leib expressed concern about a House bill that proposes cutting food stamp benefits by $40 billion. “This could be small compared to what we might see coming,” she said. “This program is a safety net for many people that otherwise wouldn’t be able to put food on the table.”
A College Newspaper Takes the Right Stand
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The University of Kentucky is suing its own student newspaper to stop the publication of documents relating to a report of sexual assault and harassment. The case, which is expected to be resolved this month, pits federally guaranteed student privacy rights against the First Amendment and the public’s right to know. It also involves policy questions about how universities should handle sexual misconduct. Privacy for victims -- and for those who might be accused and then cleared -- is extremely important. But freedom of the press outweighs those interests, especially because universities are at the center of a significant struggle to determine the best way to deter and punish such cases.
Donald Trump ‘a walking, talking violation of the constitution’ according to law professor
Donald Trump's business dealings and his family's ongoing involvement in his finances will make the President-elect "a walking, talking violation of the Constitution" when he takes office, according to a legal expert. Professor Laurence Tribe
, a constitutional law expert at Harvard University, claimed Mr Trump's involvement in business could cause conflicts of interest, in line with the US Constitution's "emoluments clause"...But Professor Tribe said the President-elect would need to go further and sell off all his business interests to remove himself of emoluments difficulties. "[Mr Trump] is a constant emolument magnet. He thinks of himself as a babe magnet, but he's an emoluments magnet," Professor Tribe added.
Time for Another Constitutional Convention? (audio)
, activist, Harvard law professor, and author of Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It (Twelve, 2015), and Walter Olson, senior fellow at Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, preview their debate over the wisdom of convening another Constitutional Convention. Could it bypass the gridlock in Congress?