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The Washington Post
White House draft order calls for review on use of CIA ‘black site’ prisons overseas
An executive order apparently drafted by the Trump administration calls for a policy review that could authorize the CIA to reopen “black site” prisons overseas and potentially restart an interrogation program that was dismantled in 2009 after using methods widely condemned as torture...“The president would get a huge symbolic boost with his base while not violating the law and while changing nothing of substance,’’ Jack Goldsmith
, a former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and a Harvard Law School professor, said in an interview. “He would get maximum symbolic value while doing nothing. Trump’s a genius at this.” But Goldsmith, who as the OLC chief rescinded some of the Bush administration’s torture memos, also predicted that Trump would “regret” this executive order, if it is issued, and that the “symbolic bang that Trump sought would backfire” on the administration.
This should be Trump’s top priority on financial reform
An op-ed by Hal Scott
. The Trump administration's top financial regulatory priority should be a review of government-mandated bank capital requirements. In order to achieve economic growth, President Trump should adopt a more market-based approach. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, bank capital in the United States stands at a record high of $1.9 trillion, an increase of $630 billion, or 50 percent, over the pre-crisis amount. This increase is almost double the equity raised from all IPOs in the United States since 2008. Academic research shows that high capital requirements reduce bank lending and economic growth.
President Trump’s Other Big Supreme Court Decision: Culture Warrior or Corporate Lawyer?
Chuck Cooper is a veteran of the culture wars with a long legal career arguing hot-button social issues cases before the Supreme Court. In 1982, he wrote a brief on a case arguing in favor of giving tax breaks to private schools that discriminated based on race; in 2013, he defended California’s ban on same-sex marriage. George Conway, by contrast, is the consummate New York corporate lawyer. With a long career at the white-shoe firm of Wachtell Lipton, Conway has specialized in the very cosmopolitan area of securities litigation. He has only argued before the Supreme Court once, winning a unanimous decision on an important but decidedly un-sexy securities law case involving an Australian bank. Now the two men are embroiled in a quiet but fierce competition behind the scenes for one of the most important but least known positions in the Justice Department: Solicitor General...Charles Fried
, who served as Solicitor General under President Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1989, says he’s “very fond” of Cooper, who worked in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and then in the Office of Legal Counsel at the time. “He’s a true movement conservative, no question about it,” Fried said. “We had a lot of fights, because he wanted to go much further than I did… So we shouted at each other. But it’s all right, I always liked it.”
Brexit or Not, Parliament Reigns Supreme
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The U.K. Supreme Court’s judgment on Tuesday requiring Parliament to authorize Brexit was conservative in the deepest and best sense of the term. Allowing the government to withdraw from the European Union without a parliamentary vote would have enabled the prime minister and her cabinet to change U.K. law on their own, a violation of Parliament’s traditional sovereignty. In practice, if Parliament votes in favor of Brexit, the judgment may not slow down the process very much. But the court nonetheless imposed a respect for orderly constitutional forms -- and required Britain’s elected representatives to take full and individual responsibility for their epochal decision.
The Harvard Crimson
Student Groups Seek Role in Law School Dean Search
Just weeks after University President Drew G. Faust launched the search for the next Dean of Harvard Law School, student groups at the school have started organizing to make themselves “an indispensable part of the process.”...The Law School’s student body president Nino Monea
wrote a letter to Faust Jan. 18 requesting that Faust and Garber attend a student forum about the dean search, a student become a member of the committee leading the search, and that students help interview candidates for the position.Monea said he was disappointed with the level of student involvement in the search Faust originally described...Kristin A. Turner
, the president of the Black Law Students Association, shared Monea’s concerns about how the search will incorporate student voices..Natalie D. Vernon
, the president of the Women’s Law Association, said she she hopes the next dean continues to improve gender equity at the school and adapts the curriculum to the changing legal profession.
Can Trump Bring Back Torture?
The Trump administration is looking into bringing back torture, according to a draft order published by the The New York Times and the The Washington Post on Wednesday. ...Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law professor and former Bush Justice Department official, wrote on the legal blog Lawfare:
“I am confident that the report that Trump gets from his top intelligence officials will advise him that a return to the bad old days is not legally available,” adding that “I am also confident that if President Trump ordered waterboarding, neither the CIA Director nor the Secretary of Defense would carry out the order.”