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The New York Times
E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule
The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight over the future of America’s efforts to tackle global warming...Jody Freeman
, director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law School, said the Energy Department proposal combined with the Clean Power Plan repeal signaled that the Trump administration was putting its thumb on the scale in favor of fossil fuels. “You see a pretty powerful message. Disavow any effort to control greenhouse gases in the power sector, and instead, intervene in the market to promote coal. It’s a wow,” she said.
Thaler Changed My Life (and Everybody Else’s)
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein
. I first heard about Richard Thaler in the 1980s, in a locker room at the University of Chicago. I had run into Steve Shavell, an economist at Harvard Law School, who asked me what I was working on. I mumbled some question I had, about whether people really behaved as rationally as economists said they do. Shavell responded without a lot of enthusiasm: “Oh, you should be reading Thaler, that guy from Cornell.” That afternoon, I looked up Thaler’s work. It was like a burst of sunlight, or the first chord of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”
The Boston Globe
Harvard Law team helped group that won the Nobel Peace Prize
A small group from Harvard Law School was basking in a bit of reflected Nobel Peace Prize glow on Friday. The team of six people helped the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the prize, by providing legal advice as the organization participated in negotiations for the first treaty to abolish nuclear weapons, one of the Harvard group’s leaders said. Bonnie Docherty
, a lecturer at the school and an associate director of the school’s International Human Rights Clinic, said Friday afternoon that she and her colleague, Anna Crowe
, headed a group of four law students in assisting ICAN, a Geneva-based coalition of disarmament activists.
The Boston Globe
Time to rewrite the Constitution?
Last month, representatives from 22 states gathered in Arizona to plan the nation’s first constitutional convention since 1787...“Our Constitution needs some pretty important repair and it’s absolutely clear Congress is never going to propose it,” says Lawrence Lessig
, a left-leaning Harvard law professor and convention enthusiast. “In my view, [a convention] is the only option.”...For instance, says Harvard law professor Michael Klarman
, “we have this Electoral College system which allows you to become president even though your opponent won two percent more of the vote — which is a lot of votes, 3 million votes.”
Thurgood Marshall: Activist, judge and the story of his quest for racial justice in America
By the time the US supreme court banned the death penalty in cases of adult rape, in 1977, Thurgood Marshall had been a justice on the court for 10 years. He wrote a brief concurrence in the case, Coker v Georgia, citing his opposition to the death penalty, which then as now disproportionately targeted African American men...“The places he was going were places where there weren’t any other lawyers who were going to do this work,” said Kenneth W Mack
, a Harvard Law School professor who wrote Representing the Race: the Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer. “They were also places where almost nobody had ever seen a black lawyer before. And he had to do things like challenge the local practices of segregation, come into a courtroom, call white people as witnesses, cross-examine them."
Harvey Weinstein Has No Case Against the New York Times, Legal Experts Say
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has said he plans to sue the New York Times because the paper only gave him two days to respond to allegations that he sexually harassed women for decades. Does he stand a chance in court?...“The short answer is that he’s almost certainly a public figure who can prevail only if he shows that the paper acted with reckless disregard of whether the story was true or false,” Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet
told TheWrap. “Departing from journalistic practices by not giving him ‘enough’ time to respond almost certainly isn’t enough to show reckless disregard.”
Trump Administration Wants to Repeal — Not Replace — Clean Power Plan
The Trump administration now says that it wants to repeal the Obama administration’s prized environmental policy: the Clean Power Plan, which mandates 32% cuts in CO2 emissions by 2030...“If (critics of the law) were right, government could never regulate newly discovered air or water pollution, or other new harms, from existing industrial facilities, no matter how dangerous to public health and welfare, as long as the impacts are incremental and cumulative,” write Jody Freeman
and Richard Lazarus
of Harvard Law School.
Texas Public Radio
It’s Time To Reform The Electoral College (audio)
An interview with Lawrence Lessig
. The results of the 2016 presidential election prompted many Americans to question the electoral college – a winner-takes-all system which empowers a group of 538 electors to name the next president of the United States. Equal representation, citizen-funded elections and equal access to the ballot are the three actionable steps towards change, suggests Equal Citizens, a nonprofit founded by renowned law professor Lawrence Lessig.
Tech’s fight for the upper hand on open data
One thing that’s becoming very clear to me as I report on the digital economy is that a rethink of the legal framework in which business has been conducted for many decades is going to be required. Many of the key laws that govern digital commerce (which, increasingly, is most commerce) were crafted in the 1980s or 1990s, when the internet was an entirely different place...Meanwhile, a case that might have been significant mainly to digital insiders is being given a huge publicity boost by Harvard professor Laurence Tribe
, the country’s pre-eminent constitutional law scholar. He has joined the HiQ defence team because, as he told me, he believes the case is “tremendously important”, not only in terms of setting competitive rules for the digital economy, but in the realm of free speech. According to Prof Tribe, if you accept that the internet is the new town square, and “data is a central type of capital”, then it must be freely available to everyone — and LinkedIn, as a private company, cannot suddenly decide that publicly accessible, Google-searchable data is their private property.
The Boston Globe
Governor Baker’s opioid proposals take a wrong turn with drug sentencing
An op-ed by Nancy Gertner
. Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal to increase penalties for those whose illegal drug distribution causes an overdose death sounds good — at first glance. Increasing sentences usually does. The approach also sounded good in the 1980s and 1990s, when a crack cocaine epidemic led Congress to approve of mandatory minimum sentences that doubled or tripled drug penalties — 10- or 20-year sentences, even life imprisonment. But the move did little to stem drug-related crimes or addiction.
Chattanooga man loses his job after sitting during national anthem at a weekend event
A man says he lost his job because of the stance he took at an event that NewsChannel 9 sponsors. The termination comes during a national conversation about respect for the American Flag...One Harvard Law School Professor we talked to says the law in Tennessee is written so that employers like 9Round can run their businesses however they want. "Employers are entitled to fire people what's known as "at will." That is for any reason they have, or for no reason at all," Mark Tushnet
In Yet Another Sop to Coal Industry, Trump’s EPA Moves to Gut Obama Emissions Reg
President Donald Trump claimed in September that he did away with the Clean Power Plan, one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious efforts for tackling climate change. The plan was the first to set a limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. Dispensing with the regulation, Trump told a rally in Alabama, was simple as “Boom, gone.”...“Pruitt doesn’t believe in this stuff, so he’s actually in a paradoxical position,” says Joe Goffman
, the former EPA attorney who is now at Harvard Law School’s environmental program. “If they do propose a replacement for the Clean Power Plan, what he’ll be doing is putting his signature on the proposal which will require to some extent power plants to address their carbon emissions.”
Harvey Weinstein Ousted From Production Company Following Sexual Harassment Allegations (audio)
An interview with Nancy Gertner
. More fall out against Harvey Weinstein on Monday — as Hollywood heavyweights come out against the six-time Oscar winning producer. They're reacting to last week's searing New York Times story that Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed women for years, and for years kept it all quiet through at least eight legal settlements.
A People’s Choice Guide to the Economics Nobel
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein
. Because economics is such a diverse field, with many distinguished thinkers, predicting the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics is notoriously difficult. But suppose that we narrowed the field, so as to focus on candidates who have not only made important theoretical contributions, but have also had a significant impact on the world, and affected the lives of numerous people?
EPA Ready to Attack Clean Power Plan
The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering its options to repeal or replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the signature climate regulation of former President Barack Obama...Joseph Goffman
, who served as Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate and Senior Counsel in the EPA and helped develop the CPP, and is now joining the environmental law program at Harvard Law School, said in an interview with POWER on Friday that “It seems to me that this is a thinly veiled but concerted strategy for Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration to avoid signing any rule that would require mandatory CO2 reduction from the power sector."