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The Wall Street Journal
With Little Dissent, Supreme Court Justices Toast Harvard
A majority of Supreme Court justices reached across the ideological—and generational—divide Thursday to rule that their alma mater, Harvard Law School, totally rules. “The Harvard justices who preceded those on this stage, from Joseph Story to Antonin Scalia, have had an oversize influence on the law,” Chief Justice John Roberts, class of 1979, told a crowd of scholars, students and alumni gathered at Harvard’s Memorial Hall to celebrate the professional school’s bicentennial. Justices Anthony Kennedy (’61), Stephen Breyer (’64), Elena Kagan (’86) and Neil Gorsuch (’91), joined by retired Justice David Souter (’66), concurred. Then, under the gentle questioning of the law school dean, John Manning
, the justices reminisced about law-school days, poked fun at one another (and their Yale-educated colleagues) and imagined dinner-table conversations with long-deceased predecessors. Although light in substance, the program gave a glimpse of the justices’ wit and personalities away from the solemn and sometimes somniferous legal points they make in oral arguments at the court.
Manafort Indictment Is the Start of a Complicated Story
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. So now we know how this game of Clue starts: Paul Manafort with a wire transfer in the parlor. But Democrats who are getting revved up for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to follow the money from Russia to Donald Trump’s campaign shouldn’t get too excited, at least not yet. The indictment of Manafort and his associate Rick Gates means that this investigation is going deep into the weeds. Once it’s there, it could become permanently entangled with arcane bank accounts, front companies with weird names and pro-Russian Ukrainians with even more unpronounceable names.
The National Law Journal
The ‘In-House Revolution’ Has Turned General Counsels Into Advocates
The role of general counsel has evolved to the point now where they have “the access, influence, power and resources” to advance social justice causes, Kim Rivera, chief legal officer and general counsel of HP Inc., said Friday at a Harvard Law School bicentennial event. But that wasn’t always the case...During a panel discussion titled “In-House Revolution,” Rivera and general counsels Horacio Gutierrez of Spotify, Deirdre Stanley of Thomson Reuters and Laura Stein of The Clorox Co., said encouraging their legal teams and the law firms with whom they work to get involved in social justice issues is “the right thing to do.”
The Harvard Crimson
Law School Bicentennial Hosts Senators and Other Notable Alums
Thousands of alumni, students, and faculty crowded Harvard Law School’s lecture halls and meeting rooms Friday for a full day of sessions with senators, judges, and renowned legal scholars to celebrate the school’s 200th birthday.
The Law School, which was founded in 1817, has already hosted a series of events this year celebrating this milestone...Richard Lazarus
, a Law School professor and the chair of the bicentennial programming, said the aim of the event was to celebrate the Law School with action, rather than reflection. “The basic aim and goal of the October summit is basically to celebrate the Law School, but not to celebrate the Law School by reflecting on how wonderful Harvard Law School is, but by kind of being wonderful,” Lazarus said...Rebecca A. Vastola
[`20], a first-year law student who attended the Senators’ event, said that the focus on government and public interest speakers was especially appealing to her. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity, for those of us that this is corresponding with our first year at Harvard,” Vastola said.
The New York Times
James Madison’s Lessons in Racism
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. When we think about the framers of the Constitution and how they handled the issue of race, we conjure up the extremes: the hypocrites and the heroes. At one end is Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that “all men are created equal” but believed Africans were inferior and fathered children with an enslaved woman. At the other end is Alexander Hamilton, who, at least as depicted by admirers like the biographer Ron Chernow and the playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, was an ardent abolitionist. This framing, however, is simplistic and misleading.
The Wall Street Journal
Who Will Rein In Facebook? Challengers Are Lining Up
We’re treated to fresh reports nearly every day about how Facebook Inc.’s efforts to keep bad actors from abusing its platform fall short...While the current Congress is loath to mint new regulations, that hasn’t stopped Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) and Mark Warner (D., Va.) from proposing the Honest Ads Act, which would force internet companies to tell users who funded political ads...The new bill is an obvious way to bring the tech giants in line with other media, with whom they clearly now compete, says Yochai Benkler
, a Harvard Law School professor and co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
Vanguard’s Genocide Problem
The first six agenda items for next month’s Vanguard shareholder meeting cover riveting topics such as the appointment of trustees, service agreements, and the investment objectives of certain index funds. The seventh and final item concerns genocide. That got serious in a hurry. A group of activists is asking Vanguard to adopt a new policy to avoid buying stock in companies that “substantially contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity.”...“This meeting and this resolution comes at a unique moment,” said Stephen Davis
, associate director of Harvard Law School’s Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors. Vanguard and its competitors “have really begun to take environmental, social, and governance issues seriously as investment risks.”
The Associated Press
DeVos May Only Partly Forgive Some Student Loans
The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration's policy of erasing that debt..."Anything other than full cancellation is not a valid outcome," said Eileen Connor
, a litigator at Harvard University's Project on Predatory Student Lending, which has represented hundreds of defrauded students of the now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges. "The nature of the wrong that was done to them, the harm is even bigger than the loans that they have."
A supremely jolly affair
Although the speakers were U.S. Supreme Court justices who routinely rule on the nation’s most serious issues, it was a jolly affair. Six high-court judges, five current and one retired, gathered Thursday evening to talk about their former lives as law students, about the lessons they learned, the classes they favored, and the memories they cherished from the years before they sat on the highest court in the land. Laid back and genial, the justices, all graduates of Harvard Law School (HLS), engaged in a roundtable conversation with fellow alumnus Dean John Manning
’82, J.D. ’85, before a packed house at Sanders Theatre to mark the beginning of the celebrations of the School’s 200th anniversary.