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News@Law, 09/05/2017

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

Bloomberg
Richard Posner, Leader of a Legal Revolution
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein. Judge Richard Posner, probably the world’s most influential legal thinker over the last half-century, retired from the federal bench on Saturday. If a Nobel Prize were to be given in law, he would be the first to receive it, solely on the basis of his academic contributions. Apart from that, he wrote more than 3,300 opinions as a federal judge. In countless areas, involving questions that grab headlines (like same-sex marriage) or highly technical matters, his analysis has proved enduring and defining.
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The Washington Post
Democrats will need more than words to fight DACA repeal
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday responded harshly to reports that President Trump was inclined to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program...Laurence Tribe posits a broader protection beyond simply using the information DACA beneficiaries provided, citing a series of cases “involving government pulling the rug out from under those who rely to their detriment on its express or implied promises that would form part of the legal narrative.” He tells Right Turn, “Clearly, in serving its interests in smoking people without papers out of the shadows and into the open, the government — by promising them that, if they registered for DACA and complied with various other conditions, they’d not be targeted for deportation — created not just some technical estoppel but a basic duty as a matter of due process of law.”
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Newsweek
We need stronger labor unions to protect the middle class
An op-ed by Sharon Block. Labor law in our country is profoundly broken. The National Labor Relations Act is the federal statute that protects the right of employees to join a union, engage in collective bargaining or just stand together with coworkers to have a say in what happens at work. Congress passed the law in 1935 to “ encourage collective bargaining.” But the NLRA is failing to fulfill this purpose.
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TheWrap
Google Is in a Fight for Its Name That Involves Aspirin and T-Pain
...Now Google is a brand worth an estimated $113 billion, and the word “google” is often used as a verb meaning “to search online.” Two entrepreneurs — who are not quite on the level of Page and Brin — are trying to exploit the popularity of the term, saying it has become so common that Google should no longer have a monopoly on its own name....“Consumers are in charge of the language,” Harvard law professor Rebecca Tushnet told TheWrap. “Whatever they think is a generic term for a product or service, is.”
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Bloomberg
Trumpism Shapes Ruling on Texas Sanctuary Cities
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. President Donald Trump has threatened to punish any “sanctuary city” that resists turning over undocumented immigrants to federal agents -- although he almost certainly lacks the authority to do so. So it’s noteworthy this week that a federal district court in Texas has held that even the state legislature can’t entirely force sanctuary cities to work alongside the federal government on immigration matters.
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The New York Times
Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues
...Public-school teachers who accept perks, meals or anything of value in exchange for using a company’s products in their classrooms could also run afoul of school district ethics policies or state laws regulating government employees. “Any time you are paying a public employee to promote a product in the public classroom without transparency, then that’s problematic,” said James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine who is a lecturer at Harvard Law School. “Should attorneys general be concerned about this practice? The answer is yes.”
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ABA Journal
Federal guidelines on campus sexual misconduct ‘seriously overbroad’ say some Harvard law faculty
Four Harvard Law School academics have asked the U.S. Department of Education to revisit policies regarding campus sexual misconduct investigations...The Harvard memo (PDF) was signed by Janet E. Halley, Elizabeth D. Bartholet, and Jeannie Suk Gersen, all of whom are Harvard law professors, and Nancy Gertner, a lecturer at the school who is also a retired federal judge. They submitted the memo to the Department of Education Aug. 21. “Definitions of sexual wrongdoing on college campuses are now seriously overbroad. They go way beyond accepted legal definitions of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. They often include sexual conduct that is merely unwelcome, even if it does not create a hostile environment, even if the person accused had no way of knowing it was unwanted, and even if the accuser’s sense that it was unwelcome arose after the encounter,” the memo reads.
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CNN
The corporate war against unions
...The truth is that many people want to be in a union, and, by most public opinion measurements, that desire has not waned, and has even strengthened in recent years, according to some scholars. Richard Freeman, co-director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, points out, "In 2002 the proportion of workers who said they would vote for a union rose above the proportion that said they would vote against a union for the first time in any national survey: a majority of nonunion workers now desire union representation in their workplace."
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Bloomberg
Punching In: New Faces at Labor Department, Fresh Overtime Uncertainty
Congress is back tomorrow with a full plate and an unclear path forward, muddled by squabbling between President Donald Trump and the GOP leadership at the Capitol. At the top of most lists is some sort of appropriations legislation to keep Uncle Sam’s lights on before the current funding measure runs dry at the end of this month...Not everyone is sure the Trump administration drops the appeal. Sharon Block, who ran the DOL’s policy shop in the Obama administration, told me the new decision still limits the department’s regulatory authority in a way the White House might not like. “If they’re being truthful that they want to promulgate a new rule, I guess they have to figure out a rationale for a salary threshold that aligns with his reasoning,” Block said, referring to Mazzant.
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Mother Jones
Meet the Anti-Union Crusader in Charge of Rolling Back Regulations at Trump’s Labor Department
President Donald Trump likes to tout his affinity for the American worker. He’s climbed into an American-made big rig in the White House driveway. He’s donned a hard hat while addressing West Virginia coal miners. And he’s boasted about hiring “thousands and thousands and thousands” of union workers...Trump’s budget proposed cutting the Labor Department’s funding by about 20 percent while boosting funding for the department’s union watchdog by 22 percent, despite the fact that union membership is at a record low. Most of the proposed cuts targeted workforce training programs that enjoy bipartisan support. Outside of targeting unions, Trump’s Labor Department is mostly focused on getting out of the way of employers. “Overwhelmingly, I would define their mission as a negative one,” says [Sharon] Block, who is now director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife program.
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