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Harvard enviro law guru on his biggest win, why he worries
is known as the "dean of environmental law," but he'd rather be called the "solicitor general for environmental law." To his close friends, he's Richy. The Harvard Law School professor is well known in environmental and legal circles. He's argued before the Supreme Court 14 times and participated in 42 cases before the high court. He's also the former roommate of Chief Justice John Roberts. Lazarus has taught at top law schools, worked in the Justice Department's environmental division and was executive director to the commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. He recently spoke to E&E News about his longtime friendship with Roberts, sizing up Supreme Court justices and his stint selling ice cream in Urbana, Ill.
The New York Times
Was Trump’s Syria Strike Illegal? Explaining Presidential War Powers
President Trump ordered the military on Thursday to carry out a missile attack on Syrian forces for using chemical weapons against civilians. The unilateral attack lacked authorization from Congress or from the United Nations Security Council, raising the question of whether he had legal authority to commit the act of war...On Thursday, Mr. Trump said, “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” He also invoked the Syrian refugee crisis and continuing regional instability. Jack Goldsmith
, a Harvard law professor who led the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department in the Bush administration, wrote that this criteria for what is sufficient to constitute a national interest was even thinner than previous precedents and would seemingly justify almost any unilateral use of force.
Panthers doctor: ‘Turf war’ keeping neurologists off NHL study group
A Miami-based neurologist who has treated Florida Panther players says a "turf war" is preventing neurologists from being represented on the National Hockey League's Concussion Subcommittee. Since 1997, the subcommittee has been advising the league on how best to treat players who suffer head injuries and brain trauma...One Harvard University law professor says that the NHL should overhaul its medical structure to free team doctors and trainers from any real or perceived conflicts of interest. Glenn Cohen
, a Montreal native who is the director of Harvard Law School's Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, published a report in November that urged the NFL to adopt new guidelines for team medical staff so doctors who treat players are not required to report to coaches and other team management. "For both the NFL or the NHL, whenever you have a club physician who is trying to serve both the interests of an injured player and management, there's a recipe for an ethically problematic state of affairs," Cohen said in an interview this week.
‘Extreme Vetting’ Also Threatens Privacy of Americans
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. The “extreme vetting” proposals floated this week by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly include the idea of making visitors to the U.S. open their phones and disclose their contacts, passwords and social media handles to immigration authorities. This might potentially be constitutional, because visitors outside the U.S. don’t necessarily have privacy protection. But it’s a serious threat to Americans’ constitutional rights anyway. The intrusion into core privacy of visa applicants through the fiction of consent can easily be extended to U.S. citizens in a wide range of situations.
Judge, lawyers fight over pick of foreperson in Aaron Hernandez trial
Jurors in the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial began their second day of deliberations today, while behind the scenes the former New England Patriots player's lawyers and the judge were squabbling over perceptions of racism. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke, exhuming a fight thought buried Thursday, told Hernandez's defense team he found it "astounding" they would object to his selection of a white woman to serve as foreperson...But Hernandez attorney and Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan Jr.
said what Locke did was make sure a white woman was put in charge and could not be removed as an alternate. "We find it offensive that with the jury predominantly filled with people of color, they cannot self-govern. We think it violates Mr. Hernandez's due process rights," Sullivan said.
The Harvard Crimson
Students, Profs Skeptical of Title IX Office Restructuring
As Harvard’s Title IX Office splits into two separate offices in response to “community feedback” about the University’s response to sexual assault on campus, some student activists and professors question whether that change will lead to substantive improvements...“In many ways, it seems to be more about optics than about function,” said Katherine Leung
[`17], a third-year Law student and co-president of the Harassment Assault Law-Student Team...Concerns about the separation between different stages of Harvard’s response to sexual assault complaints are not new. In 2014, 28 Law professors sharply criticized the University-wide Title IX procedures when they took effect, arguing in an op-ed in the Boston Globe that these procedures put “the functions of investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review in one office.” Law professor Janet Halley
, who signed the letter, called the new structure “window dressing.” “It does not provide either neutrality or independence of decision-makers handling particular cases,” Halley said. “The Law School procedures show how to do that, and at some point the University is going to need to move to a structure like those."
Infrastructure vulnerabilities make surveillance easy
An op-ed by Bruce Schneier
. Governments want to spy on their citizens for all sorts of reasons. Some countries do it to help solve crimes or to try to find "terrorists" before they act. Others do it to find and arrest reporters or dissidents. Some only target individuals, others attempt to spy on everyone all the time. Many countries spy on the citizens of other countries: for reasons of national security, for advantages in trade negotiations, or to steal intellectual property. None of this is new. What is new, however, is how easy it has all become. Computers naturally produce data about their activities, which means they're constantly producing surveillance data about us as we interact with them.
Justice Gorsuch Ushers In a New Era
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. Forget Robert Bork. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch after the rejection of Merrick Garland marks the new high-water mark in the overt, partisan politicization of the U.S. Supreme Court. After the Democratic Senate rejected Bork 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan got to choose another appointee. After the Republican Senate refused to vote on Garland last year, President Barack Obama was denied the same chance. We’ve entered a brave new world, in which the party that controls the Senate can now control court appointments.