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Los Angeles Times
In Dismantling Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Trump Hands Victory to the States Fighting It
President Donald Trump on Tuesday will order the Environmental Protection Agency to dismantle his predecessor's landmark climate effort, backing away from an aggressive plan to cut emissions at power plants that had been the foundation of America's leadership on confronting global warming..."There is a real question of whether they can legally dismantle the Clean Power Plan and replace it with nothing," said Jody Freeman
, who was Obama's adviser on climate change and now directs the environmental law program at Harvard. Before the plan was put in place, she said, utilities found themselves exposed to potentially costly nuisance lawsuits from states demanding they take action to limit exposure to the public health threat of carbon. Those suits could re-emerge, she said, if the revised EPA plan lifts greenhouse gas restrictions on power companies.
President Trump to order review of Clean Power Plan
President Trump is set to make a trip to the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday to sign an executive order that will "initiate a review" of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan and unravel a handful of other energy orders and memorandums instituted by his predecessor...Exactly how the Clean Power Plan will affect the Paris Climate Agreement is "unknowable," Richard Lazarus
, an environmental law professor at Harvard University told ABC News. "As a formal matter, we cannot really withdraw from Paris for about two years," said Lazarus.
Trump’s Frustrations Were Built Into the Job
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. Constitutional checks and balances are doing their job, making sure Donald Trump doesn’t rule on his own. First, it was the courts blocking the president’s executive order on immigration -- twice. Now, remarkably enough, it’s Congress, which has refused to repeal the Affordable Care Act and change Obamacare into Trumpcare. Last week’s developments on Capitol Hill may seem more surprising, because a Congress of the same party is typically a weaker check on a president than an opposition-dominated one. But the constitutional design of separation of powers is supposed to work regardless of parties -- and in historical terms, it often has.
Montana’s effort to ban Sharia law part of nationwide debate
Muslims complain they're frivolous bills meant to spread fears and sow suspicion of their religion in a nation divided. But supporters of state proposals, including one in Montana, to prevent Islamic code from being used in American courts argue they aren't overtly anti-Muslim and are needed to safeguard constitutional rights for average Americans...But Will Smiley, an editor at the Harvard Law School's SHARIAsource
, an online collection of academic writings on Islamic law, is skeptical the bills proposed by lawmakers would have made a difference in the initial ruling. "These new laws don't provide any new safeguards," Smiley said. "Courts can still make mistakes, like most observers agree that New Jersey court did."
A cap-and-trade system for vehicle emissions?
Economists and regulatory experts are proposing a cap-and-trade system for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions to replace existing fuel economy standards...Michael Greenstone and Sam Ori from the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute and Cass Sunstein
, former President Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and now a legal scholar at Harvard University, saw an opening...Sunstein, one of the country's leading legal scholars, argued that EPA could implement the system after 2025 without passing legislation because it is required to regulate tailpipe emissions. "The Trump administration has a policy challenge," he said. "They seem inclined to think that it's too aggressive now, but how to form a new proposal is very much in their hands...If the legal and administrative challenges can be met, they can meet their own goals, which is having something less burdensome, and energy savings goals."
Fake news is giving reality a run for its money
That “fake news” is both pervasive and dangerous is no longer in doubt. How best to respond, however, is still an open subject. Because of that, the topic made for a lively panel at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society...What is fake news? The range of possibilities, said Berkman Klein Fellow An Xiao Mina
, is broad enough to render the term almost meaningless, and can encompass everything from “when an Onion article is cited as news to dealing with state-sponsored propaganda botnets.” Professor Jonathan Zittrain
, George Bemis Professor of International Law and co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center, offered a definition based on intent, defining fake news as that which is “willfully false,” which he said means a story “that the person saying or repeating knows to be untrue or is indifferent to whether it is true or false.”
We’ve Heard All about Fake News—Now What?
There has been no shortage of events at Harvard on the public’s loss of trust in journalism and the prominence of fake news stories and outlets. In many ways, Thursday’s panel at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, moderated by Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow
, was a practical outcome of those discussions. The panel, titled “Fake News, Concrete Responses: At the Nexus of Law, Technology, and Social Narratives,” presented four Berkman Klein staff members who talked about existing and potential tools with which to combat the wave of misinformation that escalated during the 2016 election cycle and shows no sign of slowing down today. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” quoted Bemis professor of international law Jonathan Zittrain
, a co-founder of the center.