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News@Law, 01/11/2017

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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Today's News

PBS Newshour
Can a president’s farewell speech help write history? (video)
President Obama will deliver his farewell address to the nation this evening before a room full of supporters in Chicago. We discuss a little of the Obama legacy and look ahead to tonight’s speech with two historians, “NewsHour” regular Michael Beschloss, and Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard University..."This is a chance to cement his legacy and talk about the kinds of things that he wanted to do as president. And he is facing a situation where people might try to undo a good amount of that. So, I think this is a good way for him to sort of lay a template, perhaps, for historians later on, even though that’s almost an impossible thing to do. But I think it’s a way for him to talk about his legacy, to sort of say to the American people what was important to him, what he thinks he accomplished as president."
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Politico
5 Ways You’ll Know if Trump Is Playing by the Rules
An essay by Norman Eisen, Richard W. Painter and Laurence H. Tribe. Never in American history has a president-elect posed more conflict-of-interest and foreign-entanglement questions than Donald J. Trump. Trump, the owner of a large real estate and licensing business with holdings around the world, has promised that on January 11, less than two weeks before he takes office, he will announce his plan to separate himself from his businesses. After repeatedly hesitating and delaying, will he finally do the right thing? Here are five key questions we must ask to evaluate whether the plan truly mitigates the risk of corruption and scandal.
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Boston Herald
Harvard, MIT researchers to keep AI in line
Researchers from Harvard and MIT and philanthropists including the founders of LinkedIn and eBay are teaming up in a multimillion-dollar effort to make sure artificial intelligence is designed and used to make the world a better place...The Knight Foundation, the MIT Media Lab, Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar have combined to create a $27 million fund called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund that will support research and development to make AI beneficial for humans. The Media Lab and Berkman Klein Center are the first “anchor institutions”...“There’s definitely urgency,” said Urs Gasser, executive director of the Berkman Klein Center. The concerns, Gasser said, are less a robot uprising and more about whether AI understands the concept of fairness.
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USA Today
Ex-ITT students want to join suit to get debt canceled
They said they were defrauded, and now they want a seat at the table. Last week, a group of former ITT Tech students moved to establish themselves as creditors in the school's bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana...The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School is representing the students. Eileen Connor, director of litigation for the center's Project on Predatory Student Lending, is the lead attorney representing the students. She was unavailable for comment.
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Bloomberg
The Long Arm of U.S. Law Stretches to Asia
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. U.S. law can reach American sex offenders abroad so long as they haven’t resettled in another country, according to a federal appeals court. The decision, issued last week, extends U.S. law beyond its borders through an expansive interpretation of Congress’s authority under the Constitution’s commerce clause. It bucks the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent trend of limiting laws’ reach abroad, at least in part because of the powerful desire to condemn sex with minors. But as a precedent, the decision will apply to other, more ordinary crimes committed by Americans abroad, with potentially troubling consequences.
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Elle
The Complicated Legacy of Our First Black President
Tonight President Obama will deliver his farewell address. He will use the opportunity to remind the nation of what he accomplished during eight difficult but historic years in office...I thought of this while waiting at a White House reception in September for the president to dedicate the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. I found myself with Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, who represented Anita Hill during her testimony to the Senate confirmation committee and who taught both President and First Lady Obama when they were in law school. Ogletree had recently gone public about his Alzheimer's diagnosis and its effects were becoming apparent. When the Marine Corps Band started to play "Hail to the Chief," everyone in the large crowd pressed forward, but Ogletree was the only one the president and first lady stopped to greet. The professor immediately assumed the role of teacher—speaking clearly, cogently, and with composure during his brief personal encounter with the Obamas.
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The Harvard Crimson
Law School Alumni Confident in Capital Campaign
Some Harvard Law School alumni and officials are confident that the school’s fundraising success will continue “unabated” after Law School Dean Martha L. Minow steps down at the end of the academic year, building on momentum that has already carried the school past its capital campaign goal of $305 million....In an email, Steven Oliveira, the Law School’s dean for alumni affairs and development, declined to disclose the exact amount the Law School has raised in its campaign so far. He said the school “will not be setting a new goal but will continue to raise money for our ongoing campaign priorities.”
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Bloomberg
Cash Discounts, Credit Surcharges and Free Speech
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. In New York and nine other states, merchants are barred from charging credit-card purchasers a surcharge, but are allowed to offer discounts for paying in cash. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the fascinating question of whether this requirement violates the merchants’ freedom of speech. It’s a juicy constitutional question: Are prices subject to the First Amendment at all? And it sweetens the pot with an intellectual problem in law and economics: Given that we know customers react differently to surcharges and discounts, even when they’re economically equivalent, should the state be allowed to ban one and require the other?
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