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News@Law, 09/25/2017

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

Bloomberg
In NFL Fight, Trump Embraces Political Correctness
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein. In calling on NFL owners and fans to punish athletes who engage in political protests, President Donald Trump has become a Super Bowl champion of something he purports to oppose: political correctness. Apparently he’s fine with punishing dissenters, so long as he abhors what the dissenters are saying. In recent years, many Republicans and conservatives have complained that political correctness -- on university campuses, in workplaces and elsewhere -- can squelch minority opinions and enforce a left-wing orthodoxy. They’re right.
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The Boston Globe
DeVos rescinds Obama-era guidance on investigating campus sexual assault
Citing a key federal court ruling in a Brandeis University case, the Trump administration on Friday advised college officials across the country to evaluate sexual misconduct claims by the same standard of evidence they use for any other student infractions. The move by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could make it tougher to prove allegations of sexual assault at some universities...“I think that a lot of people are reacting with panic,” said Janet Halley, a Harvard Law School professor and expert on sexual harassment.
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Marketplace
Could public pressure cause Facebook to regulate itself? (audio)
An interview with Yochai Benkler. Politicians, the public, and regulators are all starting to face up to the power of social media companies. Particularly ... Facebook. That company said last week it would give Congress thousands of political ads, linked to a possible Russian propaganda campaign. Facebook will also update its ad technology to try to keep political advertising in check. But it's looking more and more like Facebook's days of sell first, apologize later could be coming to an end.
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The Guardian
West courts Libyan general accused of human rights abuses
European leaders are embracing a Libyan general who has ordered his soldiers to commit war crimes, according to new evidence that has been analysed by senior legal experts. The allegation of human rights abuses by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east, comes as the general is due to arrive in Rome on Tuesday, where he will be received by Italian officials...The legal questions, and longstanding doubts among officials in the west about Haftar’s trustworthiness, have not dissuaded European leaders from seeking to forge an alliance with him. The analysis by Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel to the general counsel of the Pentagon, and Alex Whiting, a former international criminal prosecutor at the ICC, paints a troubling picture of Haftar’s record. The two experts point to a video that was posted on YouTube on 10 October 2015, recording a speech that Haftar gave to his LNA fighters on 18 September.
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All About Alpha
Hedge Fund Activism The Facts Don’t Bear Out the Dire Warnings
Lucian Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law, has been at the heart of scholarly arguments over corporate governance for a long time, perhaps since 1990, the year he edited a textbook on Corporate Law and Economic Analysis. That was also the year Bebchuk, along with Marcel Kahan, authored a seminal article on “legal policy toward proxy contests.”...His more recent work includes a paper with Alon Brav, of Duke University, and Wei Jiang, of Columbia Business School, on the long-term effects of hedge fund activism. The argument of this paper is in line with Bebchuk’s long held convictions on the subject. He and his colleagues take issue with the common contention that hedge fund activism in particular represents a short time horizon, that hedge funds push for immediate pay-outs at the expense of long term strategic thinking.
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The Boston Globe
Dante Ramos: Facebook needs more human eyeballs
On their own, computers don’t know that it’s bad to treat racists or anti-Semites as just another niche marketing demographic. But Facebook and Google aren’t deploying enough human eyeballs to prevent the misuse of their ad systems. Instead, they’ve been making money off it...Facebook and Google, in contrast, have consciously decided to offer ads, via automated sales platforms, to algorithmically identified interest groups. Because of narrow targeting, people who might otherwise spot a misleading ad, and raise a ruckus about it, may never see it in the first place...“If they’re just passing along content from someone else, they can’t be held liable,” says Harvard Law School professor Rebecca Tushnet.
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The Harvard Crimson
Lawyers Discuss CIA Torture Lawsuit
Two members of the legal team that settled a lawsuit earlier this year against the psychologists who designed and implemented a Central Intelligence Agency torture program spoke Friday afternoon at the Law School about their work on the landmark case. Paul L. Hoffman—a civil and human rights lawyer and lecturer at the Law School—and criminal defense lawyer Lawrence S. Lustberg played major roles on the American Civil Liberties Union’s litigation team in Salim v. Mitchell, filed on behalf of three former CIA detainees...Elvina Pothelet, a visiting researcher at the Law School, said she was impressed with the obstacles the litigators surmounted in arguing the case to a settlement. “It gives hope that this kind of case can find their way to the courts,” she said. Lindsay A. Bailey [`19], a second-year Law student, agreed. “It’s inspiring to hear about the cases that are a win, because we take a lot of losses in the human rights litigation field,” she said.
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New York Daily News
Trump Justice turns against Obama’s DOJ and worker rights in SCOTUS case
Sheila Hobson never imagined the lawsuit she filed seven years ago about some unpaid overtime would one day become a Supreme Court case with far-reaching implications for American workers. But two days ago, on the eve of oral arguments, she came in for an even bigger shock — the U.S. government, her biggest champion, had suddenly switched sides...The answer is in an amicus brief filed by the U.S. Solicitor-General’s office in her case, National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil. The Trump Justice Department had reconsidered the position taken under President Obama, the brief said, and “reached the opposite conclusion.”...The new position of Trump’s Justice Department threw that principle out the window, said Sharon Block, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and a former Obama administration official. “It could essentially close the courthouse door on workers,” she said.
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The Harvard Crimson
Diversity Task Force Releases Draft Report
A University-wide task force focused on diversity and inclusion recommended Monday that central administrators work with individual schools to devise plans to ensure historically marginalized groups experience “full membership in the Harvard community.”...“I’m certain there will be some discussion as to what do these recommendations mean, but I think at least it’s a helpful starting point, as opposed to sort of throwing it up in the air and saying ‘we’d like the school to be like this,’ in a very vague way,’” Law School Dean of Students Marcia Sells, a task force member, said.
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