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Daphna Renan

  • Supreme Court group photo from April 2021.

    Politics, the Court, and ‘the dangerous place we find ourselves in right now’

    September 21, 2022

    In the first of a Harvard Law School series on the Supreme Court and its role in American democracy, panelists debated the impact of politics on the Roberts Court.

  • U.S. Supreme Court building, looking up towards the sky from the bottom of the stairs.

    Harvard Law faculty weigh in: The 2021-2022 Supreme Court Term

    June 25, 2022

    Harvard Law School experts weigh in on the Supreme Court’s final decisions.

  • The U.S. Presidency: Looking Forward

    January 15, 2021

    The latest episode of Reasonably Speaking brings together a panel of top scholars in U.S. presidency and political science to discuss the future of the U.S. presidency Post–Trump. In “The U.S. Presidency: Looking Forward,” ALI President David F. Leviis joined by David M. Kennedy and Terry M. Moe of Stanford University, and Jack Landman Goldsmith and Daphna Renan of Harvard Law School for a timely conversation on the most important office in our government.

  • Trump’s firing of Krebs denounced by Boston-area scholars, Dems

    November 18, 2020

    President Trump’s abrupt firing Tuesday of the country’s top election security official who publicly said Trump lost to president-elect Joe Biden in an election drew outrage from Massachusetts political science scholars and officials. Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, had also said the Nov. 3 election was reliable and free of interference. Trump announced his firing on Twitter Tuesday night...Though other presidents have fired those they considered disloyal, and previous election results have been disputed, there are few parallels to Trump’s firing of Krebs simply for telling the truth, academics said...Daphna Renan, a professor at Harvard Law School, said the firing was “appalling — but, unfortunately, no longer surprising.” “Constitutional democracy depends on the integrity and leadership of officials like Christopher Krebs,” Renan said in an e-mail. “Regretfully, at the moment, it depends on their heroism as well in response to a reckless president intent on undermining our democracy.”

  • Harvard Law School honors Ginsburg

    September 28, 2020

    During her first year as the sole woman on the US Supreme Court in 2006, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a foreword for a biography of the 19th-century lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood and presented the book to a new law clerk in her chambers. On Thursday, the clerk, Daphna Renan, now a professor at Harvard Law School, highlighted the foreword as an example of how Ginsburg broke barriers for women while simultaneously honoring her predecessors in the fight for equality. “Justice Ginsburg was a giant in the law, a luminary, and a leader, as you’ve heard, but she was always ... keenly aware of those who paved the way for her even as she trained her sights on how she could better pave it for others,” Renan said. She delivered the remarks during a virtual Harvard Law School event honoring Ginsburg, who died last Friday...Harvard Law’s current dean, John F. Manning, said the institution regrets the discrimination Ginsburg endured on campus. “It is hard to imagine a more consequential life, a life of greater meaning, and more lasting impact. And Justice Ginsburg did all of this while carrying the heavy weight imposed by discrimination,” he said. “To our eternal regret, she encountered it here at Harvard Law School.” The virtual event included tributes from Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard Law professors Vicki Jackson, Martha Minow, and Michael Klarman...Brown-Nagin’s remarks explored what Ginsburg’s death means to the civil rights movement and comparisons between Ginsburg and the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black man to serve on the Supreme Court. Beyond fighting for women’s rights, Brown-Nagin said, Ginsburg had a deep understanding of racial discrimination and poured that insight into cases dealing with race. She cited Ginsburg’s dissent in a 1995 school desegregation case in Missouri in which the justice wrote it was too soon to curtail efforts to combat racial segregation given the state’s history of racial inequality. “The Court stresses that the present remedial programs have been in place for seven years,” Ginsburg wrote. “But compared to more than two centuries of firmly entrenched official discrimination, the experience with the desegregation remedies ordered by the [lower court] has been evanescent.” Ginsburg was, Brown-Nagin said, a “tremendous intellect, a courageous human being, and a giant of the law.”

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg arriving at the State of The Union, wlaking down the aisle surrounded by justices and members of Congress.

    ‘It’s hard to imagine a more consequential life’

    September 25, 2020

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s influence on Harvard Law School runs deep. On Thursday, September 24, a star team of Harvard deans and HLS professors remembered Ginsburg as a teacher, boss, colleague, inspiration and friend.

  • ‘We have lost a giant’: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

    September 19, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-58, whose lifelong fight for equal rights helped pave the way for women to take on high-profile roles in business, government, the military, and the Supreme Court, died on Sept. 18. She was 87. “Justice Ginsburg personified the best of what it meant to be a judge. She brought a deep intellectual and personal integrity to everything she did,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “... We have lost a giant.” ... “Very few individuals in history come close to the extraordinary and significant role played by Justice Ginsburg in the pursuit of justice before she joined the bench,” said former Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard. ... “The Constitution’s heart aches at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing,” Laurence Tribe ’66, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. ... Harvard Law School Professor Daphna Renan, who served as a law clerk for Justice Ginsburg during the 2006-2007 term, said: “RBG was tenacious, unflappable, and deeply wise.

  • ‘We have lost a giant’: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–2020)

    September 18, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-58, whose lifelong fight for equal rights helped pave the way for women to take on high-profile roles in business, government, the military, and the Supreme Court, died on Sept. 18. She was 87.

  • Mazars, Vance and the President’s Two Bodies

    July 22, 2020

    An article by Daphna RenanThe Supreme Court ended this term with two blockbuster decisions on the presidency and the separation of powers. Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Vance both concern similar subpoenas, issued by congressional committees and the New York district attorney’s office, respectively, for information about the finances of Donald J. Trump, the individual (as well as his children and affiliated businesses). Of course, although these subpoenas concern personal finances and private business dealings, they pertain to the person who today serves as the nation’s chief executive. The opinions reveal a Supreme Court grappling with the implications of the president’s “two bodies”—the inseparable duality of the individual president and the institutional presidency. The president is both a human being, with human failings, and an institution co-equal with Congress and the Supreme Court. In an article, published this week in the Columbia Law Review, I argue that this duality is the defining ambiguity of the constitutional office of the president. Seemingly disparate debates on topics ranging from presidential impeachment, to litigation settlements involving the executive branch, to the legal status of presidential tweets, to the remedies available for presidential misconduct reflect this long-standing, ongoing ambivalence about the nature of the presidential office. The two-bodies prism can elucidate the controversy at the crux of the subpoena cases: Mazars is rooted in the principle that the two bodies are inextricable, their boundaries difficult to define. Vance cautions, however, that public law must not entirely collapse them. In this sense, the duality provides a normative justification for both opinions.

  • Daphna Renan, Elizabeth Papp Kamali and Alexandra Natapoff.

    Scholars bring wide-ranging expertise and experience

    July 1, 2020

    Effective July 1, two faculty members were promoted and a new scholar joined the Harvard Law School faculty.

  • Daphna Renan

    Renan appointed professor of law at Harvard Law School

    July 1, 2020

    Daphna Renan, a scholar of presidential power and administrative governance, has been promoted to professor of law at Harvard Law School, effective July 1.

  • Daphna Renan

    Last Lecture: “Humility, humanity, integrity and imagination define truly great lawyers,” says Daphna Renan

    May 20, 2020

    In her Last Lecture on May 13, Harvard Law School Assistant Professor Daphna Renan emphasized her kinship with the Class of 2020. She had…

  • Dehlia Umunna, Daphna Renan, Ruth Okediji, Naz Modirzadeh

    Harvard Law School Last Lecture Series 2020

    May 20, 2020

    The 2020 Last Lecture Series is an HLS tradition where selected faculty members impart insight, advice, and final words of wisdom to the graduating class. Speakers this year included Dehlia Umunna, Daphna Renan, Ruth Okediji, and Naz Modirzadeh.

  • 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.

  • Illustration of cords being plugged into the White House.

    Presidential Power Surges

    July 17, 2019

    Particular moments in history and strategic breaks with unwritten rules have helped many U.S. presidents expand their powers incrementally, leading some to wonder how wide-ranging presidential powers can be.

  • Presidential Power Surges

    July 9, 2019

    Particular moments in history and strategic breaks with unwritten rules have helped many presidents expand their powers incrementally, leading some to wonder how wide-ranging presidential powers can be. [With comments from Noah Feldman, Mark TushnetMichael KlarmanJack GoldsmithDaphna Renan, and Neil Eggleston].

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    Collaboration zone

    April 26, 2019

    Library event provides unique opportunity for faculty-student interaction.

  • Daphna Renan

    Daphna Renan: Presidential Power, National Security

    January 29, 2019

    "I think criminal procedure is a very fundamental part of the constitutional law of democracy,” says Assistant Professor Daphna Renan, who writes about structural constitutional law, administrative law, and the Fourth Amendment. “When can the government use force against its own citizens? When can it search individuals, communities and communications? How do emergent technologies challenge existing legal frameworks? For anyone who cares about power and how law constrains and enables it, there are no more pressing questions than these.”

  • Trump’s threat to end FEMA aid to California: All heart and soul

    January 10, 2019

    The breakage of “norms” by President Trump has become a dominant theme of his critics. What a norm actually is when it comes to the presidency is now the subject of considerable academic research. But as the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said of pornography, we know it when we see it, and we saw it Wednesday. ... That norm, now broken, could be considered a subcategory of a presidential norm lay people might just call “thinking.” We know that when we see it, too. A more elevated version came from Daphna Renan, who in the Harvard Law Review identified the norm of the “deliberative presidency.” “The deliberative-presidency norm requires a considered, fact-informed judgment,” she wrote, a collective effort in which experts are consulted and meetings held before a president acts. In other words, a president is supposed to know what he’s talking about.

  • 25 Harvard Law Profs Sign NYT Op-Ed Demanding Senate Reject Kavanaugh

    October 4, 2018

    Roughly two dozen Harvard Law School professors have signed a New York Times editorial arguing that the United States Senate should not confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Harvard affiliates — including former Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and Laurence Tribe — joined more than 1,000 law professors across the country in signing the editorial, published online Wednesday. The professors wrote that Kavanaugh displayed a lack of “impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land” in the heated testimony he gave during a nationally televised hearing held Sept. 27 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee....As of late Wednesday, the letter had been signed by the following: Sabi Ardalan, Christopher T. Bavitz, Elizabeth Bartholet, Christine Desan, Susan H. Farbstein, Nancy Gertner, Robert Greenwald, Michael Gregory, Janet Halley, Jon Hanson, Adriaan Lanni, Bruce H. Mann, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Robert H. Mnookin, Intisar Rabb, Daphna Renan, David L. Shapiro, Joseph William Singer, Carol S. Steiker, Matthew C. Stephenson, Laurence Tribe, Lucie White, Alex Whiting, Jonathan Zittrain

  • HLS200 finale celebrates clinics

    HLS 200 finale celebrates clinics

    May 2, 2018

    On April 20, HLS in the Community wrapped up a year-long celebration of Harvard Law School's bicentennial by highlighting the contributions made by HLS clinics and students practice organizations (SPOs).

  • HLS in the Community

    Preview: “HLS in the Community” will celebrate clinics and bicentennial finale

    April 9, 2018

    On April 20, Harvard Law School will host the third and final major event in its year-long program celebrating 200 years of HLS. HLS in the Community will convene alumni, faculty, students, and staff to explore the extraordinary reach and impact of Harvard lawyers.

  • Trump and the law

    November 28, 2016

    At a recent event, several HLS professors discussed the scope and limits of a president’s executive and judicial powers, the role the courts may play, and the ways in which Trump could reshape the authority and operation of an array of government agencies.

  • Aya Saed named a 2016 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow

    April 13, 2016

    Harvard Law student Aya Saed ’17 was among 30 recipients selected to receive the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, the premier graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants.