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The first time Smart professor of law Jon Hanson
lived on wheels, he was managing a restaurant and sharing a trailer with his high-school sweetheart, Kathleen. The newlyweds had bought the trailer cheap and persuaded their shop teacher to let them fix it up during class senior year. Neither planned to attend college. That changed after Hanson’s father died, when something jumped out among his father’s few possessions: his books. Applying to Rice on Kathleen’s suggestion, Hanson got in and soared, earning a fellowship for research in Europe. (They traveled in a camper van there, later taking their three kids across America in an RV.) Then on to Yale—he to the law school, and Kathleen to the college. By Hanson’s “2L” year, he’d coauthored his first law-review article, and was off to the scholarly races. At Harvard, Hanson stands out for connecting law to the mind sciences and for his approach to legal education.
The Harvard Crimson
Do the FAQs Need FAQs?
It was quietly posted on the website of the Title IX Office last week. Though billed as “Frequently Asked Questions” on the university’s newly created sexual assault policies, the 10-page document reads like much more than that: a backdoor revision to the existing procedures that appears to contradict or significantly alter the meaning of some policy provisions...Many of the questions posed and answered seem to be direct responses to the concerns of Harvard Law School professors, who broke away and established their own, significantly better sexual assault policy last year.
Gun Laws Upheld, But It’s Complicated
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
On the surface, Monday's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upholding most of the assault weapons bans passed by New York and Connecticut is a win for gun-control advocates. But down in the weeds, the unanimous decision by a panel of three Democratic appointees nevertheless points to potential trouble for similar laws should they ever be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court held that assault weapons do in general fall within the core protections of the Second Amendment. But the judges applied a lenient standard to uphold the laws -- and a more aggressive Supreme Court might well apply a tougher standard and strike them down.
Ben Carson’s Odd Take on the Constitution
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein
. So far as I know, no neurosurgeon has ever written a book about the U.S. Constitution. But then again, no neurosurgeon has ever made a serious run for the presidency. Combining personal graciousness and plain exposition with some wild right-wing clichés, Ben Carson’s slim volume tells us a lot about the sources of his appeal. Like the man himself, the book is not what you might expect.
What Ails the Academy?
...The distressing features of this much larger part of the higher-education industry have spawned a critical, even dire, literature that merits attention for its own sake—and because the issues echo in the elite stratum, too. And for those seeking entry to the top-tier institutions, the ever more frenzied admissions lottery has begun to provoke overdue skepticism. Herewith, an overview of some recent books with heft....Lani Guinier
looks beyond Bruni’s personal narratives and advice to the societal consequences of college admissions as the ultimate funneling device. In The Tyranny of the Meritocracy
(Beacon, $24.95), the Boskey professor of law advances a broad argument about the definition of merit as social benefit rather than as individual accomplishment, and the role of inclusiveness in strengthening the civic fabric and better addressing human problems.
This Is No Way to Regulate GMOs
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. Scientists say they hope to avoid government regulation of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, by using a variant on a powerful new method to knock out some plant genes. This thinking is worrisome -- not so much for scientific reasons as for legal ones. When research is aimed at achieving a regulatory goal rather than a scientific one, it's a sign that something is wrong with the regulations, and that they need to be changed sooner rather than later.
Half the Republican Field Seeks Advice From This Princeton Professor
Robert P. George is not
a political consultant. “I’m not Karl Rove or David—what’s his name?—Axelrod.” In fact, he says, “Any candidate who’d ask me for campaign advice should drop out immediately, because he’s too stupid to be running for president.” Yet few advisers are having more influence on conservative thinking this presidential campaign cycle...“What he brings to the debate is even more method than ideas,” says his friend Mary Ann Glendon
, of Harvard Law School. That method being his commitment to the proposition that, as he explains it to students, “when two people who are well disposed engage in debate, despite their differences they are bound together as a little community integrated around a common good. What is that good? Getting at the truth.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Delta sued by hunter over exotic animal trophy ban
An expert in animal law has flown to the defense of Delta Air Lines after a group of safari hunters sued the airline over its ban on transporting exotic animal hunting trophies...Earlier this year, a petition on Change.org asked Delta, the only U.S. airline serving South Africa directly, to stop transporting exotic animal hunting trophies. The petition was filed by Chris Green
, a Delta Diamond Medallion frequent flier who has since become the executive director of the animal law and policy program at Harvard Law School. This week, Green responded to the lawsuit in a letter on the Change.org petition page, writing that public response to the lawsuit “will confirm to Delta Air Lines that it did exactly the right thing by listening to the majority of its customers,” adding that “Delta should be commended for sticking to its principled stance.” The post generated hundreds of comments in support in less than 24 hours.