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News@Law, 10/03/2017

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

The Wall Street Journal
The SEC Plans to Collect Too Much Information
An op-ed by Hal Scott and John Gulliver. Is your personal information safe from the Securities and Exchange Commission? The SEC has mandated that U.S. stock exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority establish a database by November 2018 that will store the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and brokerage accounts of tens of millions of U.S. investors as part of the Consolidated Audit Trail. Like Equifax and the SEC’s database of corporate filings, the CAT will be a prime target for cyberthieves. And a breach of the CAT could be even more consequential. Cybersecurity experts have said hackers could use the personal information it will store to make direct withdrawals from investors’ retirement accounts.
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Green Tech Media
Did Rick Perry Just Propose a Value-of-Coal Tariff? (audio)
An interview with Ari Peskoe. Thought that controversial grid resiliency report ordered by Energy Secretary Rick Perry was only an intellectual exercise? It didn't take long for the Department of Energy to put it into action -- in exactly the way that critics feared when the report was first announced. Last week, Perry asked federal energy regulators to consider new rules that would value coal and nuclear plants that are capable of keeping 90 days of fuel on hand. In other words: Find a way to help keep struggling baseload plants open by offering them a new financial incentive.
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The Wrap
High School Colin Kaepernicks: You Can Take a Knee During National Anthem
Public high schools are sending conflicting messages to their football players and cheerleaders about possible punishment for refusing to stand during the pre-game national anthem. One Louisiana school district threatened to suspend protesting players from the team, while a New Jersey high school said the students have the First Amendment right to protest. Which is correct?...A public school that punishes a student for a silent protest could face a lawsuit for violating the student’s First Amendment rights, Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe told TheWrap. “Any student punished by a public school or other governmental entity for taking a knee could challenge the punishment successfully in court, probably with the assistance, pro bono, of the local chapter of the ACLU,” Tribe said.
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The Washington Post
Russians took a page from corporate America by using Facebook tool to ID and influence voters
Russian operatives set up an array of misleading Web sites and social media pages to identify American voters susceptible to propaganda, then used a powerful Facebook tool to repeatedly send them messages designed to influence their political behavior, say people familiar with the investigation into foreign meddling in the U.S. election...The revelations come at a moment when investigators are widening their probe into how Russian operatives used Facebook, Twitter, Google and other technology platforms to widen fissures in the United States and spread disinformation during election season...“There’s been some thought that the Internet was a goose laying golden eggs, but now there’s a sense that all the eggs are not golden,” said Jonathan Zittrain, faculty director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
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Middle East Eye
Anti-violence law is another victory for Tunisian women
An op-ed by Ramy Khouili and Daniel Levine-Spound `19. On 26 July 2017, the Tunisian parliament passed a law on the "Elimination of Violence Against Women," a broad piece of legislation which promises to dramatically impact the state’s handling of gender-based violence, the prosecution of abusers, and the protection of survivors. Hailed as a "landmark step" in Tunisia’s efforts to combat violence against women, the law defines new criminal offenses, significantly modifies current legislation and mandates several new government initiatives. Following the announcement of the final vote, celebratory cries and a spontaneous rendition of the Tunisian national anthem broke out in parliament. But the unanimous vote belies years of arduous effort that ultimately led to its enactment.
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Mother Jones
The Supreme Court Could Prevent Millions of Workers From Suing Their Employers
...On Monday, the Supreme Court opened its fall term with National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, and two similar cases, that will determine whether companies can force workers like Hobson to sign away their right to file collective suits. The decision in the cases, which were heard jointly, has the potential to push millions more workers into individual arbitration hearings that lack many of the protections of the US legal system...Sharon Block, the director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program and a former NLRB board member, is concerned that Murphy Oil could be used to stamp out other workplace rights. Block and Benjamin Sachs, a Harvard law professor, recently highlighted how the Trump administration’s brief casts doubt on the legal protections for collective actions outside of a traditional union context. That interpretation, Block says, could prevent workers from jointly asking for wage increases or joining worker centers that advocate for higher wages. Those rights are particularly important as union membership declines.
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Law360
Internal Collaboration At Firms Is Key In Complex Market
As the needs of clients become increasingly complex and professional expertise gets more specialized, collaboration within law firms will be more important than ever, according to a Monday presentation by a Harvard Law School researcher. There is a “significant correlation” between the number of internal connections a professional services provider has and its business outcomes, Heidi Gardner, a distinguished fellow at Harvard Law School, said Monday during her presentation for edTalks, a webinar series put on by Exterro and Georgetown Law Continuing Legal Education. “By collaborating, highly specialized experts can integrate their knowledge to tackle more complex, sophisticated issues than any of them could tackle alone,” Gardner said.
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The New York Times
Tackling ‘the Thin File’ That Can Prevent a Promotion
Recently, I have worked with a number of professional services firms committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Many offer diversity training and leadership development programs, and many support affinity groups for traditionally underrepresented groups. However, none has been able to crack what sometimes feels like a code set in stone: significantly increased diversity at the entry level, but very little change at the top...What if a de-biasing algorithm were used making sure the language in the feedback given was not inadvertently favoring one group over another? Field experiments by Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio of Harvard Law School suggest that such a process can level the playing field better than traditional, yearly performance appraisals.
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The Hill
Overnight Energy: Interior watchdog probes Zinke’s charter jet use
...Joe Goffman, a long time air pollution attorney and a key architect of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, will be the next executive director of Harvard Law School's Environmental Law Program. Goffman has worked for 30 years in various government roles. He was senior counsel in the Environmental Protection Agency's air and radiation office during the Obama administration, and since President Trump's inauguration, has worked in the Democratic staff on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Using the vast intellectual and educational resources of the law school and the larger university, the ELP has already proven itself to be one of the country's most effective platforms to advance national environmental policy," Goffman said in a statement.
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The Harvard Crimson
Panelists Share Perspectives on Social Media’s Impact
As social media becomes increasingly integral to everyday life, four Harvard professors discussed its impact on individuals’ identities and relationships at a panel event Monday. Panelists including Law School professor Yochai Benkler, Berkman Center fellow Judith S. Donath, Medical School professor Michael O. Rich, and Kennedy School professor Todd T. Rogers gave their perspectives on social media in a panel moderated by Government Department Chair Jennifer L. Hochschild and organized by Harvard’s Mind Brain Behavior initiative. Benkler discussed the phenomenon of “fake news,” delineating two contrasting psychological theories about how humans consume information.
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Kaiser Health News
Hepatitis C Drug’s Lower Cost Paves Way For Medicaid, Prisons To Expand Treatment
...Faced with a lawsuit in Delaware, the state Medicaid program began loosening up treatment criteria this year, and in January will begin approving enrollees regardless of the severity of their disease. The state joins more than a dozen others that no longer (or never did) restrict hepatitis C treatment based on disease severity, said Kevin Costello, director of litigation at Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, which has been a key player in litigation in Delaware and other states.
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