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The New York Times
Student Victims Seek to Become Creditors in ITT Bankruptcy
It seems only right that victims of predatory for-profit education companies should have their student loans forgiven. After all, in addition to being left with mountains of debt, former students have worthless degrees from schools that no longer exist, such as those once operated by the defunct Corinthian Colleges or ITT Educational Services. Because taxpayers backed most of these loans, however, the Department of Education has been loath to forgive them. So it was gratifying to see five former ITT students take matters into their own hands this week by petitioning a federal bankruptcy court to consider loan forgiveness as part of the company’s liquidation...on Jan. 3, lawyers at the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard Law School filed to intervene in ITT’s liquidation, which is currently being overseen by James M. Carr, a federal bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of Indiana...“We’re trying all the angles, all the avenues,” Toby Merrill
, founder and director of the Harvard project, said in an interview...“All of these students have filed their own claims with the Education Department,” said Eileen Connor
, director of litigation at the Harvard project. “But the Department has been sitting on them, and they are not visible in any way.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Sex Bureaucracy
An op-ed b
. Often with the best of intentions, the federal government in the past six years has presided over the creation of a sex bureaucracy that says its aim is to reduce sexual violence but that is actually enforcing a contested vision of sexual morality and disciplining those who deviate from it. Many observers assume that today’s important campus sexual-assault debate is concerned with forcible or coerced sex, or with taking advantage of someone who is too drunk to be able to consent. But the definition of sexual assault has stretched enormously, in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Indeed, the concept of sexual misconduct has grown to include most voluntary and willing sexual conduct.
Trump’s Trade Team Suggests His Hardnosed Campaign Talk Was No Bluff
The makeup of President-elect Donald Trump’s trade team suggests he wasn’t joking when he promised voters to shake things up. On the campaign trail, Trump portrayed an America that has been shortchanged by bad trade deals and unscrupulous trading partners, leading to the hollowing out of the nation’s manufacturing sector. He promised to label China a currency manipulator and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico..."It’s clear this wasn’t just campaign rhetoric. The team that the President-elect has put in place was at the core of advising him during the campaign and has a clear playbook of what it wants to implement," said Mark Wu
, an assistant professor at Harvard Law School who worked in the office of the U.S. trade representative under George W. Bush. "They’ve been pretty straightforward about their view of the status quo, which is that it undermines American economic interests."
Will Obama Grant More Clemency Requests With Less Than 2 Weeks In Office? (audio)
Harvard Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr.
talks about his work on criminal justice reform, and the last minute clemency requests to President Obama.
This Era of Institutional Flip-Flops May Be Different
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
Welcome to the period of “institutional flip-flops” -- sudden abandonment of seemingly firm institutional principles, prompted by just one thing: the political party of the current president. A few months ago, many Republicans were enamored with an eight-member Supreme Court, an idea that Democrats treated as a constitutional atrocity. Now that a Republican is about to become president, prominent Democrats have no problem with a short-handed court, while Republicans treat the very thought as an outrage.
India’s High Court Favors Nationalism Over Democracy
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
India’s constitutional democracy has always struggled to tame the country’s religious and caste divisions, especially during elections. The Supreme Court of India has now issued an important ruling that makes things worse, not better. On the surface, the court struck a blow for religious neutrality, holding that referring to religion or caste in a race for office will disqualify the results. In reality, the decision delivered a gift to the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party at the expense of India's minority faiths and castes. That’s especially worrisome in our present historical moment, when nationalist parties are challenging free democratic speech around the world.
The New York Times
The Voter Fraud Case Jeff Sessions Lost and Can’t Escape
When Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Donald J. Trump’s choice for attorney general, answers questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, he can expect to revisit a long-ago case that has followed him. In 1985, when Sessions was the United States attorney in West Alabama, he prosecuted three African-American civil rights activists, accusing them of voter fraud...Asked by a grand juror whether she’d voted absentee for the first time in the September primary, a Perry County resident named Fannie Mae Williams answered: “Uh-huh. First and last.” Two other women told the grand jury they were done with voting, according to the book “Lift Every Voice,” by Lani Guinier
, a professor at Harvard Law School...Hank Sanders organized a team that included defense lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center, including Guinier.