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Andrew Manuel Crespo

  • Latino legal advocates on Breyers’ legacy: ‘A consistent voice for fairness’

    January 28, 2022

    Latino advocacy groups, lawmakers and scholars had nothing but praise for Justice Stephen Breyer, the great-grandson of immigrants from Romania, after he announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on Thursday. “I think he was a moderate liberal who could be counted on to come out on the right way on a lot of cases that affected Latinos,” said Kevin R. Johnson, the dean of the University of California Davis School of Law, who is of Mexican American heritage. ... Andrew Crespo, professor at Harvard Law School, clerked for Breyer during the 2009-10 term. He recalled going to lunch with the justice, which required finding a spacious restaurant, “so that, when we’re sitting down and he’s telling us all these stories about the court, that we weren’t accidentally sitting next to a reporter.” “He bounced back from defeats faster than, I think, his clerks did,” Crespo told Bloomberg Law’s Cases and Controversies podcast. “He always thought maybe, maybe the best will come.”

  • Fox commentators go off on Biden’s vow to nominate Black woman for court

    January 28, 2022

    CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson reacts to some conservative commentators blasting President Biden's plan to pick a Black woman for the Supreme Court [including commentary from Professor Andrew Crespo].

  • The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021

    Pragmatic Justice

    January 27, 2022

    Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer ’64, who focused on the consequences of his judicial decisions, has announced that he will step down after more than a quarter century on the Court.

  • Breyer’s Clerks Recall ‘Happy Warrior’ (Podcast)

    January 27, 2022

    Justice Stephen Breyer is known for letting his flamboyant intellect shine on the bench. And, according to those who clerked for him, Breyer’s personality outside of the courtroom was no different. ... Breyer was described as someone with an insatiable, extroverted mind, who thrived on conversation—sometimes to a fault. Andrew Crespo, a former clerk and current Harvard Law School professor, said going to lunch with the Justice required finding a restaurant with lots of space “so that, when we’re sitting down and he’s telling us all these stories about the Court, that we weren’t accidentally sitting next to a reporter.”

  • Man standing in front of a large building column

    Andrew Manuel Crespo elected to American Law Institute

    January 21, 2022

    HLS Professor Andrew Crespo was one of 59 members elected to the American Law Institute this year. Thirteen Harvard Law School alumni were also elected.

  • Court Reform Is Dead! Long Live Court Reform!

    December 13, 2021

    Joe Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court voted on the final version of its report last week. ... Almost no one thinks that the Constitution forbids adding justices, but the draft sounded notes of grave caution all the same. “The risks of court expansion are considerable,” it emphasized. One of the commissioners, the Harvard professor Andrew Crespo, worried that arguments in favor of expanding the Court had been “teed up to be knocked down.” In effect, he remarked, the report sent “a message that the underlying problem … is neither urgent nor serious, if it even exists.” Joined by another commissioner, the NAACP lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, Crespo’s minor rebellion was the only part of the October meeting to draw serious coverage—forcing the commission back to the drawing board. This was not the first time the commission had accidentally generated the reform energy it was supposed to contain. Back in June, the group convened publicly to discuss for the first time the merits of various reform proposals. And although the interminable meeting seemed intended to sap the will of reform advocates, the testimony that received the most attention by far was that of the Harvard professor Nikolas Bowie, which went viral on Twitter and was given pride of place in both national reporting and op-eds calling for a more democratic law. Building on earlier calls to “disempower” the Supreme Court, Bowie’s testimony helped many progressives see that the threat posed by that institution goes beyond the reactionary attitudes of individual justices, and includes the undemocratic power the justices wield, regardless of ideological leaning.

  • Supreme Court Panel Divided on Expansion Approves Report

    December 8, 2021

    A White House Commission studying changes to the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously to send its report to President Joe Biden after sidestepping the most controversial proposals to expand the court’s membership or limit the justices’ terms. Members, who voted 34-0 Tuesday, emphasized that their approval of the final report doesn’t signal support for all the proposals examined by the panel. ... Some may be disappointed that the report doesn’t make specific recommendations, said former U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, who said she supports changes to the court. “But that was not our charge,” Gertner said. Instead, “the tasks set before us was to capture that deep, live, and consequential debate, fully and fairly, without short changing either side,” said Harvard Law School Professor Andrew Manuel Crespo. ... The commission concluded that the least controversial changes, like term limits, were the hardest to enact, said Harvard Law School Professor Larry Tribe. And the most controversial—expanding the number of justices—the easiest to do, he added.

  • “Decarcerating” America

    October 15, 2021

    As she assumes her new role as organizing fellow for Harvard Law School’s new Institute to End Mass Incarceration (IEMI), community organizer Brittany White finds herself thinking of Bianca.  ... The institute proposes a new role for lawyers in the push to “decarcerate” America. “Lawyers think that power comes from law and permits, that the way liberal lawyers can make a difference is by going in and bringing power to clients. That’s not the way we think about it,” says faculty director and Wasserstein public interest professor of law Andrew Manuel Crespo. “We take our inspiration and our cues from movement work,” such as the civil-rights movement or labor organizing, because such things “have had the biggest impact on changing deep structural injustices in America.” The Institute, Crespo says, proposes that “power comes from the ground up,” and lawyers, in particular public defenders, should use their legal expertise to “help communities activate their power.” They want to teach the next generation of lawyers to be active partners with community organizers like White in the fight to end mass incarceration.

  • black and white image of a large prison

    ‘What can we do to help create 150 years of change in 10 years?’

    June 24, 2021

    Andrew Manuel Crespo ’08 and Premal Dharia, leaders of the ambitious new Institute to End Mass Incarceration, take aim at ‘one of the defining civil rights issues of our time.’

  • Impact Defense Initiative team outside Wasserstein Hall

    Justice for all

    June 9, 2021

    A Harvard Law School clinic works to overturn a federal policy in D.C. that advocates say leads to racial injustice and contributes to mass incarceration.

  • 87 Ex-Prosecutors Push DOJ to Stop Charging DC Gun Cases Federally, Leading to Longer Sentences

    May 24, 2021

    Eighty-seven former federal prosecutors are pushing the Biden Justice Department to end a Trump-era “felon-in-possession” initiative that lets prosecutors shift gun cases out of D.C.’s Superior Court and into federal District Court, where sentences can be twice as long. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, the lawyers wrote, “Excessive sentences exacerbate the underlying drivers of violence, producing shame, isolation, stunted economic opportunity, and exposure to further violence.” They added that the policy also increases racial inequity... “The civil rights groups are against it, the locally elected officials are against it, and scores of former federal prosecutors are against it,” wrote Harvard Law Professor Andrew Crespo, who is director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration. “The Biden administration could easily and immediately end it. Instead, they came to court today to defend it.”

  • Man wearing a blue suit leaning against a tree

    ‘If the world’s a stage, then being a lawyer is a tremendous role to play’

    May 10, 2021

    If all the world’s a stage, Frankie Troncoso ’21 has an outsized role to play.

  • 2021 Last lectures grid

    Harvard Law School’s 2021 Last Lecture Series

    May 5, 2021

    The Last Lecture Series at Harvard Law School, sponsored annually by the 3L and LL.M. class marshals, is an HLS tradition in which selected faculty members impart insight, advice, and final words of wisdom to the graduating class.

  • A zoom image of man wearing a blue jacket and white shirt smiling during a talk.

    The art of being a lawyer

    May 5, 2021

    Like artists, lawyers must interpret and decipher the world around them, said Andrew Manuel Crespo ’08, Professor of Law, during his Last Lecture for graduating Harvard Law School students.

  • Can this Latina law professor tapped by Biden help reform the Supreme Court?

    April 15, 2021

    A Latina law school professor has been tasked with examining the future of one of the country's three branches of government. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order creating a presidential commission to study whether the Supreme Court should be overhauled, and he has named Yale Law School professor Cristina M. Rodríguez as its co-chair. Rodríguez and Bob Bauer, a professor at the New York University School of Law, will head the bipartisan commission to examine arguments both for and against a reform. ... The commission includes some of the nation’s best-known legal scholars and experts: Laurence H. Tribe of the Harvard Law School, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and Andrew Crespo, also of the Harvard Law School. Crespo, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, was the first Latino president of the Harvard Law Review.

  • Screenshot of a group of students on Zoom, showing the churros they just made.

    La Alianza provides students space for professional development and activism

    April 14, 2021

    During a remote year, the group launched a mentoring program, hosted alumni panels, and created innovative ways to connect with members around the world.

  • United States Supreme Court in Washington DC

    President Biden appoints 16 Harvard Law School faculty and alumni to panel studying Supreme Court reform

    April 14, 2021

    President Biden appointed 16 members of the Harvard Law School community — seven faculty and nine alumni — to a new presidential commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Advocates Say How Gun Crimes Are Charged In Washington D.C. Is A Civil Rights Issue

    April 13, 2021

    A struggle is underway over how prosecutors charge gun crimes in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department says it needs flexibility to bring some cases in federal court, where penalties are higher. But civil rights groups say the policy discriminates against Black residents. NPR national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson reports. Featuring Harvard Law professor Andrew Crespo.

  • Biden Justice Department will continue to push D.C. gun cases to federal court

    April 1, 2021

    The new top federal prosecutor in Washington is standing by a Trump-era Justice Department policy of charging certain gun crimes in federal court instead of locally, continuing an initiative that draws stiffer prison sentences and has concerned some city leaders and criminal justice reform advocates...Harvard law professor Andrew Crespo, one of Reed’s lawyers, said it was disappointing that the new leadership of the U.S. attorney’s office was retaining an approach that has been “widely criticized by people who are fighting for racial justice and racial equity in the District and who care about D.C. rights.” “There’s a broad consensus that mass incarceration doesn’t work and doesn’t make us safer,” he said. “President Biden said that his first week in office and he is right. But this is straight out of the old mass incarceration playbook that President Biden was criticizing a few weeks ago.” The government’s assertion that it is now targeting only people deemed violent, Crespo said, is inconsistent with its decision to keep prosecuting his client in federal court.

  • The Racist Justice Department Policy That Shows Why D.C. Needs Statehood

    March 23, 2021

    On Monday, the House of Representatives’ Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on H.R. 51, a bill that would grant statehood to the District of Columbia...On Friday, however, Biden’s Department of Justice underscored D.C.’s lack of authority over criminal prosecutions, a direct consequence of its lack of state sovereignty. In a court filing, the DOJ confirmed that it would continue the Trump administration’s policy of charging certain firearm offenses in federal court instead of D.C. court—exposing defendants to far lengthier prison sentences...Civil rights advocates were heartened when Biden named Channing Phillips, a proponent of home rule, as acting U.S. attorney for D.C. Their hopes were dashed on Friday, when Phillips informed a federal judge that he would maintain the program. Phillips suggested that his office had solved the racism problem by applying the policy District-wide, but there is no doubt that it will still reflect the broader racial disparities that infect D.C. policing. After all, Black people make up around 47 percent of the District’s population and 97 percent of those charged with being a felon in possession. Andrew Crespo, a Harvard Law professor and head of the school’s Impact Defense Initiative, speculated on Monday that Phillips’ position might be “a mistake,” pointing out that several key Biden nominees to the DOJ still haven’t won Senate confirmation. Crespo highlighted Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, two civil rights luminaries, are awaiting a vote; once they’re confirmed, they may reassess a broad range of criminal justice policies, including this one. A Justice Department fully staffed with Biden appointees may overrule Phillips and demand an end to this holdover policy from the Trump years.

  • Close up of metal handcuffs on top of pile of one hundred dollar bills.

    Banking on crime: The economic contours of policing in America

    February 18, 2021

    Experts discuss the myriad ways money and wealth influence criminal processes and outcomes as part of the yearlong "Policing in America" colloquium series, led by Harvard Law Professors Alexandra Natapoff and Andrew Manuel Crespo.

  • Premal Dharia

    Premal Dharia joins Harvard Law School as inaugural executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration

    February 10, 2021

    Premal Dharia, founder and director of the Defender Impact Initiative, is joining Harvard Law School as the inaugural executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration.

  • Molly Brady wearing a bright red jacket sits in front of a computer and teaches her class in Zoom

    2020 in pictures

    January 5, 2021

    A look back at the year at HLS.

  • criminal justice illustrations

    ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for change’

    November 19, 2020

    HLS faculty on COVID-19 and the pressing questions of racism, racial injustice, and abuse of power that have driven this difficult year—and that are the focus of three new lecture series at the school.

  • Will the Liberal Justices Find New Alliances?

    October 13, 2020

    Andrew Crespo, a Harvard Law School professor, discusses how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death leaves the court's three remaining liberals looking for new alliances. Steve Sanders, a professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, discusses how two conservative justices used the court's rejection of an appeal, to complain that the court's 2015 same-sex marriage ruling threatens religious liberty. June Grasso hosts.

  • Night Time Police Intervention

    A ‘reckoning’ for policing in America

    September 23, 2020

    In the first of a seven-part series about policing in America, experts discuss how this moment may be an inflection point.

  • D.C. crackdown on gun crime targeted Black wards, was not enforced citywide as announced

    September 4, 2020

    An initiative cracking down on gun crimes in the District targeted three predominantly Black wards and was not enforced citywide as announced, U.S. prosecutors acknowledged in court records, drawing attacks that the policy disproportionately subjected African American defendants to lengthier prison terms. The geographic targeting of the program launched in February 2019 — under which felons caught illegally possessing guns are charged under federal statutes — was recently disclosed after a defendant challenged the program backed by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D)...The initiative’s original scope was disclosed by prosecutors in litigation with defendant John Victor Reed, who moved this March to dismiss his one-count indictment from March 2019 of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Represented by federal defenders and Harvard law professor Andrew Crespo, Reed argues the program unlawfully nullifies the authority of local gun statues and courts, is arbitrary and capricious and retaliates against defendants who sought pretrial release in D.C. Superior Court... “It’s bad enough that D.C. is the only city in the country without any control over its local prosecutor,” Crespo said. “At a minimum, it deserves honesty and transparency from its U.S. attorney.” Crespo declined to comment on the U.S. attorney's office reported modification of the program, saying the change has not been reported to the court.

  • Unpacking DHS’s Troubling Explanation of the Portland Van Video

    July 27, 2020

    An article by Andrew Manuel CrespoOver the past few days, millions of people have seen a now-viral video in which two federal agents dressed in full combat gear removed an apparently peaceful protester from the streets of Portland, Ore., and carried him away in an unmarked van. Stories have emerged of other people being taken or pursued by federal agents in a similar fashion. Meanwhile, troubling videos show federal agents in Portland beating a peacefully resolute U.S. Navy veteran and, on a separate occasion, shooting a man in the face with a nonlethal munition, which broke his skull. As criticism of these events rolled in—including from virtually every relevant state and local official in Oregon—the Department of Homeland Security scheduled a press conference earlier this week to try to reclaim the narrative. If the point of that press conference was to reassure an anxious nation that this unfamiliar and recently constituted federal police force is following the law, it likely achieved the opposite effect. In particular, there is a two-minute segment of the press conference that is both revealing and highly disturbing. It shows that one of the top commanders of this new paramilitary federal police force—Kris Cline, Deputy Director of the Federal Protective Service—apparently does not know what the word “arrest” means. To say as much might seem like harping on semantics or, worse, like picking on Cline for speaking inartfully. But it is absolutely critical to unpack and examine Cline’s words—because the word arrest is one of the most important words in the constitutional law of policing.Simply put, for an arrest to be constitutional it must be supported by probable cause. This means that the arresting officer must be able to point to specific facts that would cause a reasonable officer to believe that the person being arrested has committed a specific crime.

  • Trump’s Power and Limits in Policing U.S. Cities

    July 27, 2020

    Enforcing law and order in U.S. cities, traditionally the function of local, county and state police, is a new priority of the federal government. President Donald Trump said the deployment of federal agents in Portland, Oregon, will be replicated in Chicago, Seattle and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help combat violent crime and civil unrest. At least some state and local leaders say they don’t welcome the assistance. Isn’t policing a local issue? Generally speaking, yes -- the U.S. Constitution reserves police powers for states to exercise. The federal government’s involvement at the local level is limited to specific purposes such as combating crimes covered by federal law (examples are bank robbery, kidnapping, weapons possession and counterfeiting), protecting federal properties like courthouses and safeguarding U.S. constitutional rights...Can cities decline help or kick out federal officers? Again, not if those officers are protecting federal rights and enforcing federal crimes such as vandalizing a courthouse or post office. “Portland can’t say, ‘We don’t want you in our cities -- go home,’” said Andrew Crespo, a professor at Harvard Law School. Federal authority generally prevails under the Constitution when it conflicts with state authority, he said. More plausible legal challenges might focus on the conduct of the officers -- for instance, whether they are violating free-speech rights by discouraging demonstrations or protections against unreasonable seizures and searches. Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, unsuccessfully sought a court order to block federal agents from detaining protesters without explanation.

  • The federal police in Portland don’t even understand what ‘arrests’ are

    July 24, 2020

    An article by Andrew Manuel Crespo: This past week, the Department of Homeland Security held a news conference to clear up a few things about the federal paramilitary police force grabbing protesters on the streets of Portland, Ore. If the goal was to reassure everyone that these armor-clad agents were acting lawfully, it did not go well. Instead the conference revealed, with painstaking clarity, a very big problem: The deputy director of President Trump’s new federal police force does not know what the word “arrest” means. This isn’t just semantics. In our legal system, the definition of the word “arrest” is critical because it marks an important dividing line under the Fourth Amendment. For an arrest to be legal, it must be supported by probable cause. That means the arresting officer must be able to point to specific facts that would make a reasonable person think that the person being arrested committed a specific criminal offense. By contrast, if the police have a noncoercive, consensual interaction with a civilian (sometimes called a “contact” or an “engagement” in law enforcement lingo), then the person has not been “seized” for Fourth Amendment purposes, and the police do not need to explain or justify why they approached the suspect in the first place. In other words, you can think of the word “arrest” as an on-off switch for the Fourth Amendment’s essential protections. When the police arrest someone, they are constrained by the Constitution. Before then, the Constitution’s protections are substantially weaker — if they exist at all. Given the central importance of the word “arrest” in the constitutional law of policing, it is chilling to see a commanding officer of a law enforcement agency demonstrate a basic misunderstanding of its meaning.

  • How the federal police in Portland are avoiding accountability

    July 24, 2020

    There’s no dispute that the federal government’s decision to dispatch officers to Portland, Ore., has exacerbated protests in the city. The Department of Homeland Security pointed to weeks of vandalism at the federal courthouse as a rationale for the deployment, but the presence of the DHS officers and their often heavy-handed tactics has resulted in an expansion of the size of the protests and the number of conflicts...Harvard law professor Andrew Crespo, on Twitter earlier this week, outlined a significant constitutional problem with the Portland detention captured on video. He pointed out that the official excuse for seizing the demonstrator was that he had been in an area where another person was pointing a laser device at officers’ eyes. But that isn’t sufficient for probable cause, Crespo noted, meaning that the arrest violated the protester’s Fourth Amendment rights. In a phone call with The Post, though, Crespo highlighted a more significant part of the incident. Instead of charging the protester with something, they simply let him go. The same thing happened to Pettibone. To a layperson, that seems like good news. But from an accountability standpoint, it's problematic. “If you push them out the back door of the station house and they never get charged, there’s not a case,” Crespo said. “They’re not going to be a defendant who can to raise the Fourth Amendment issues in a protective posture by trying to suppress any evidence.” “Which means that if there’s going to be judicial review,” he said, “it’s got to come the other way: That person has to go out and sue these agents or the department.” “It’s much harder to bring that sort of suit as a plaintiff,” he said, “than to raise these questions as a defendant. And the government gets to control who’s going to be a defendant or not by deciding who to charge or not.”

  • A Harvard Law Professor Explains Why Federal Officers’ Tactics In Portland Are Unlawful

    July 24, 2020

    Unidentified federal officers in Portland  — and soon, in Chicago and Albuquerque —have been arresting and detaining protesters in unmarked vehicles, sometimes far away from the federal buildings they're purportedly there to protect. In one notable instance, two federal officers grabbed a man off the sidewalk and, without identifying themselves or giving a reason, put him in an unmarked van and drove off to question him. The Department of Homeland Security claims the officers' tactics here are lawful. Harvard Law professor Andrew Manuel Crespo says they are decidedly not. "The person in charge of this newly beefed-up, paramilitary federal police force doesn't know what an arrest is," he says of Federal Protective Services Deputy Director Chris Cline. "It means he doesn't know when they're violating the fourth amendment — like they unquestionably did." Listen to Professor Crespo explain why the officers' conduct is unconstitutional — and why he finds it frightening that authorities seem to think otherwise.

  • illustration

    Distance Learning Up Close

    July 23, 2020

    Teaching and learning at Harvard Law School in the first months of the pandemic

  • A Killing in Broad Daylight

    July 23, 2020

    In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, legal scholars see a moment of reckoning.

  • Two DHS Officials Apparently Just Admitted Their Troops Have Been Violating the Constitution

    July 23, 2020

    Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf and one of his subordinates  appear to have admitted their agents have been making unconstitutional arrests of Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland during a series of public appearances. Here’s the exact comment. “Anytime that you attack a federal facility such as a courthouse in Portland that is a federal crime,” Wolf told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night. “Attacking federal police officers–law enforcement officers–which they have done for 52 nights in a row is a federal crime. So, the Department, because we don’t have that local support, that local law enforcement support, we are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals and we need to do that because we need to hold them accountable.” Anticipatory arrests, of course, are prohibited under the U.S. Constitution...Harvard Law Professor Andrew Crespo summed up the constitutional issues with the Kline-Wolf approach. “I don’t know if shining a laser at someone is a federal crime,” he wrote. “It doesn’t matter. The police do not have probable cause to arrest you just because you are standing near someone else who may have committed a crime.” The U.S. Supreme Court, Crespo noted, weighed in on this issue in a landmark Fourth Amendment case from 1979. In Ybarra v. Illinois, a 6-3 majority of justices concluded that a state statute allowing police to search people on the premises of a location where a valid search warrant is executed violates both the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unlawful searches and seizures as well as the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of Due Process...Eventually, Cline said, the protester was released “because [DHS] did not have what they needed.” “Translation: They did not have probable cause,” Crespo stated.

  • A federal officer in a camouflage uniform wearing a gas mask pepper sprays a protester wearing a motorcycle helmet next to a graffiti covered building.

    Professor Crespo says events in Portland raise serious concerns about unlawful police tactics

    July 21, 2020

    Andrew Crespo ’08 recently discussed the federal government’s law enforcement actions in Portland, Oregon with Harvard Law Today.

  • The prosecution of Michael Flynn is not over yet

    June 29, 2020

    An article by Andrew Manuel Crespo and Kristy Parker: On Wednesday, two accounts of the Department of Justice — one grounded in fact, the other in fiction — were on display in the nation’s capital. The first occurred before the House Judiciary Committee, where Andrew Zelinksy, a career prosecutor currently working at the Justice Department, took the extraordinary step of testifying about political interference in criminal cases from “the highest levels of the Department,” namely by Attorney General William Barr. Zelinsky described career officials being overridden and departmental sentencing practices violated, all to give “a break” to President Trump’s close associate Roger Stone, who has been convicted of conduct that threatened our country’s national security. At virtually the same moment, a divided three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, issued an opinion in the prosecution of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Barr intervened in that case to give a break to yet another close Trump associate, by filing a highly unusual motion to dismiss the case even though Flynn had already twice pleaded guilty. Under the governing federal rules, such a dismissal requires “leave of court,” and the judge overseeing Flynn’s case, Emmet Sullivan, was preparing to hold a hearing on the government’s request. But in an unprecedented move, the Appeals Court stepped in before Sullivan had even considered the government’s motion and ordered him to grant it.

  • Hearing sought in Justice Dept. bid to undo Flynn guilty plea, as nearly 1,000 ex-prosecutors prepare to oppose conviction reversal

    May 19, 2020

    A retired federal judge appointed to oppose the Justice Department’s bid to dismiss former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI on Monday requested a hearing for oral arguments after he briefs the court. The request for a hearing sets the stage for a pitched legal and political battle triggered by Attorney General William P. Barr’s April 30 move to undo the conviction of the highest-ranking Trump adviser convicted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation...In a 34-page friend-of-the-court brief organized by attorneys with the nonpartisan, nonprofit profit Protect Democracy and Harvard Law School professor Andrew Manuel Crespo, former prosecutors argued Supreme Court precedent gives Sullivan authority to undertake “a searching review” of Flynn’s case and to “protect the public interest in the evenhanded enforcement of our laws.” “Our democracy is safe only when the enormous power of federal law enforcement is applied equally to all citizens based on facts and the law, rather than the political whims of a particular president,” the group wrote. “President Trump and Attorney General Barr have flouted these principles by seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Michael Flynn for what appear to be partisan political reasons.”

  • Judge Sullivan Can Reject the Government’s Motion to Drop Flynn’s Case

    May 19, 2020

    An article by Andrew Crespo, Laura Londoño Pardo '21, Nathaniel Sobel '20, and Kristy Parker: In the wake of Attorney General William Barr’s unprecedented decision to drop the Department of Justice’s years-long prosecution of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, many are asking: Is this the end of the case? Two recent orders issued by Judge Emmet Sullivan, the judge presiding over Flynn’s prosecution, make clear the answer is no...Given the unique circumstances of this case—including the nature of Flynn’s actions, the Justice Department’s remarkable reversal, and the facially implausible arguments the department has offered to support that reversal—Judge Sullivan’s obligation to conduct a thorough inquiry into the government’s decision is of the utmost importance. Assisted by Judge Gleeson, he should conduct an evidentiary hearing into the circumstances surrounding the government’s change of heart. And if that hearing confirms what the already available public record seems to show, Judge Sullivan should reject the government’s motion and proceed to exercise the judiciary’s core task at the end of every criminal case in which the defendant has already pleaded guilty: impose a sentence.

  • Multicolored hands layered over each other

    How can law students help in the midst of COVID-19?

    April 29, 2020

    Lee Mestre helped to coordinate Harvard Law School student aid efforts after natural disasters in New Orleans and Puerto Rico. Now she's using that experience to help law students support people in Massachusetts affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Andrew Crespo works from a podium as he teaches his online class from his home

    Zooming in on faculty at home

    April 29, 2020

    With a little help from their at-home photographers, HLS professors share what teaching classes via Zoom looks like.

  • Doctors and Medical equipment

    Emergency statutes must be passed to protect doctors and hospitals from potential lawsuits, say Harvard Law professors

    April 7, 2020

    HLS Professors Glenn Cohen and Andrew Crespo discuss their proposals to protect doctors and hospitals from potential lawsuits and criminal prosecution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Protect the Doctors and Nurses Who Are Protecting Us

    April 3, 2020

    An article by I. Glenn Cohen, Andrew M. Crespo, and Douglas B. White: Our health care system is on the cusp of a crisis not seen before. A ventilator shortage is coming, if it’s not already here. Hospitals, physicians and nurses are likely to face a terrible choice: Should they withdraw or withhold ventilators from some patients so that others with better odds of survival might benefit from the machines? Doctors are used to discontinuing ventilator treatment if it doesn’t achieve a patient’s goals or is inconsistent with a patient’s wishes. But Covid-19 presents an altogether different issue: Denying some patients short-term ventilation, against their wishes, will probably cause them to die when they might have gone on to live long and healthy lives with the treatment. But it will also make limited numbers of ventilators available to other patients who are more likely to survive. Facing this dilemma, doctors and medical ethicists have designed model triage protocols that ration and reallocate scarce ventilators among patients, with a goal of saving the most lives. But some doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are already wondering whether following those protocols will put them at risk of being sued or even prosecuted.

  • A Proposal to Offset Prosecutors’ Power: The ‘Defender General’

    January 27, 2020

    Justice Elena Kagan calls it her hobbyhorse. Justice Sonia Sotomayor says it is a kind of malpractice. Criminal defense lawyers, they say, often fail to put aside ambition and vanity when their cases reach the Supreme Court. These lawyers, the justices say, should step aside and let Supreme Court specialists handle the arguments. “Case in and case out, the category of litigant who is not getting great representation at the Supreme Court are criminal defendants,” Justice Elena Kagan said at a Justice Department event in 2014...Making sure criminal defendants have consistently able lawyers at the Supreme Court would be a start. But a new article published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review by Professors Daniel Epps of Washington University in St. Louis and William Ortman of Wayne State University says more is needed...The article builds on earlier work. A 2016 article in the Minnesota Law Review by Andrew Manuel Crespo, a law professor at Harvard, proposed a partial fix. It urged the justices to appoint expert lawyers to argue as friends of the court alongside the defendants’ own lawyers.

  • 2019 faculty hires

    New this year for HLS faculty

    September 12, 2019

    With the start of the academic year, four new scholars have joined the ranks of the Harvard Law School faculty and two have been promoted to professor of law.

  • Andrew Manuel Crespo

    Andrew Manuel Crespo ’08 appointed professor of law at Harvard Law School

    June 28, 2019

    Andrew Manuel Crespo ’08 has been promoted to professor of law at Harvard Law School, effective July 1, 2019. Crespo, who joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2015, is the first Latino to be promoted to a tenured position on the HLS faculty.

  • Unexpected Reunion

    May 30, 2019

    Most law school graduates look forward to seeing their mothers and favorite professors at their commencement ceremonies. Very few see their 4th grade teachers or the mothers of their professors cheering them on as they receive their diplomas. Michael Donohue is the exception.