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  • From inner-city kid to DSU graduate

    May 12, 2014

    Commencement speaker Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School evoked the 1954 fight for the right to a public education led by Thurgood Marshall, grandson of a slave and later a Supreme Count Justice.

  • Clafin Award Degrees to Largest Class in School’s History

    May 12, 2014

    Claflin University awarded degrees to the largest class in the institution's history during its Commencement Convocation on Saturday...The ceremony's guest speaker was Dr. Charles Ogletree, from Harvard Law School, who urged graduates to remember those who came before them and helped lay the foundation of the road they have traveled.

  • Are you more likely to die in your sleep if you eat cheese? Graph website shows incredible coincidences

    May 12, 2014

    Unusual patterns have been revealed by a science website that compares graphs - and its figures will confuse and amaze you. The site was created by Tyler Vigen [`16], a scientist who is studying at Harvard Law School in the US. He brought together graphs from around the world and compiled the ones with similar trends together, sparking some worrying conclusions. One graph suggests the amount of films Nicolas Cage appears in, has a direct correlation with the number of people who drowned by falling into a swimming pool. Both figures dipped in 2003 before spiking in 2007, falling again and then rising from 2009. Another strange trend is the Age of Miss America appears to correlate with the amount of murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects.

  • Where Majority Doesn’t Rule

    May 12, 2014

    At some companies, shareholders lose even when they win. Vornado Realty Trustis a case in point. At every annual meeting since 2007, investors have approved a resolution asking the company to require that the board win a majority of the vote to get re-elected. For the past four years, shareholders in the U.S. real-estate investment trust also have backed a measure asking that each board member be required to stand for election every year. Vornado has refused to implement either proposal...Majority-vote requirements are now common, and the Shareholder Rights Project run by Harvard law professor Lucian Bebchuk has helped get 121 companies to commit to annual elections since 2011.

  • The Lawyer Behind the Drone Policy

    May 8, 2014

    When the White House nominated David Barron to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, based in Boston, it expected the usual Republican opposition. Mr. Barron, a Harvard law professor, is known as a liberal who was pointedly critical of President George W. Bush’s national security policy. What it didn’t expect — but should have — was that Democrats would have some problems with the nominee, too. Mr. Barron served as a top official in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President Obama, and he wrote several memos justifying the use of drones to kill an American citizen affiliated with Al Qaeda. The citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, died in a C.I.A. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

  • Reinventing the internet: A political protocol to protect the internet, and where to find it

    May 8, 2014

    When Turkey’s dictator blocked Twitter and YouTube earlier this year, many citizens quickly found other ways to access the sites, proving further support for the adage that “the net interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it.” The saying, and the tools that make such rerouting possible, are a testament to the flexible technical protocols that make the internet so accessible to so many people. Yet the ability of Turkish citizens to see blocked websites is also a triumph for the internet’s political protocols, which time and again lead unaffiliated people to unite in an effort to overcome censorship…The most level-headed response to the outcry came from Jonathan Zittrain, a computer science and law professor at Harvard, who pointed out that it would be hard for the U.N. or anyone else to exert control over the internet for the simple reason that it’s not really something that can be owned in the first place.

  • Carmen Ortiz in the Spotlight, Under Fire

    May 8, 2014

    As Massachusetts' first female and first Hispanic U.S. Attorney, Carmen Ortiz was widely considered a potential rising star in Democratic Party politics. But over the past three years she has had her hands full with controversial cases that have left whatever political plans she may have had in a state of uncertainty…That same year — 2011 — Ortiz's office pursued federal charges on behalf of MIT against a talented computer programmer named Aaron Swartz…“If Aaron had been Goldman Sachs than it would have been handled in a much different way," said Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig, Swartz's friend and mentor.

  • Clarence Thomas Wishful Thinking, Revised

    May 8, 2014

    An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Speed-reading Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in the prayer case decided Monday, I got carried away. For years I’ve been frustrated with Thomas’s idiosyncratic argument that the establishment clause of the First Amendment was actually intended not only to bar establishment of a national religion but also to protect state establishments of religion. As I wrote on Tuesday and at much greater length in an academic article and in a book, this view is wrong and historically unsupported. No state admitted to having an established religion by 1789. The New England states facilitated local funding of ministers, but they didn’t call it an “establishment,” which was already a dirty word. And Thomas’s idea of protecting state establishments was, unsurprisingly, unmentioned in any state ratifying convention or in Congress when the clause was being proposed and discussed. In short, there’s no evidence in support of the view, and lots against it.

  • Alan Dershowitz decries Dzhokhar Tasarnaev’s consitutional challenge to death penalty

    May 8, 2014

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers want to stage a constitutional challenge to the death penalty in the wake of last week’s botched Oklahoma execution — but a leading death penalty opponent says the accused jihadi is the wrong poster boy for the cause. “This is not a good case,” Harvard Law School professor and constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz said about Tsarnaev, accused of acting on a Islamic extremist agenda in the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath that left four people dead, hundreds injured, and more than a dozen badly maimed.

  • Why Officials Don’t Tell the Media Everything

    May 8, 2014

    An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. The White House Correspondents' Association dinner, which I attended last Saturday night, is an astonishing spectacle -- a unique combination of journalists, government officials and celebrities. Amid the laughter and the conviviality, however, there is an uneasy undercurrent: Many journalists are disturbed that outside of an annual dinner, they cannot get a lot of access to those same officials.

  • The Meat We Eat: HLS hosts a forum on industrial animal farming (video)

    May 8, 2014

    How does the U.S. currently regulate animal farming, what are the barriers to reform, and what can be done to strengthen protections for consumers, animals, and nearby communities? How can we create a more transparent food system so that consumers can choose healthy, sustainably- and humanely-raised food? Those were some of the questions addressed when the Harvard Food Law Society hosted The Meat We Eat: 2014 Forum on Industrial Animal Farming, on Friday, April 4. The forum, co-hosted with the HLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, explored the legal and policy aspects of industrial animal farming and related effects on public health, the environment and animal welfare.

  • White House offers to show senators drone memo

    May 7, 2014

    Hoping to head off another confirmation battle, the White House said Tuesday that it will allow senators to review a secret paper justifying the drone strike on an American citizen written by one of President Barack Obama’s appellate court nominees.The White House is hoping the memo’s disclosure will lead to confirmation of David Barron for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Barron is a Harvard Law professor who had worked as acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department on the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaida leader killed by a U.S. drone in 2011.

  • Russia Quietly Tightens Reins on Web With ‘Bloggers Law’

    May 7, 2014

    Russia has taken another major step toward restricting its once freewheeling Internet, as President Vladimir V. Putin quietly signed a new law requiring popular online voices to register with the government, a measure that lawyers, Internet pioneers and political activists said Tuesday would give the government a much wider ability to track who said what online...The level of challenge is rising, but “we also see the amount of resources going into censorship increasing greatly,” Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School who specializes in Internet law, said in a telephone interview.

  • Combating the power of Super PACs (video)

    May 7, 2014

    Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig joins Ronan Farrow to discuss the Super PAC he created and if they are bad for America.

  • ‘Trauma Sensitive’ Schools

    May 7, 2014

    The most artfully devised curriculum means little to a student whose mind is fixed on last night’s shooting outside or the scary, violent fight between parents that broke out in the kitchen. Brilliant teaching often can’t compete with the sudden loss of a parent or friend. Yet incidents like these reverberate in schools and pose deep challenges to educators… “You might say in class, ‘Don’t forget we have a spelling test on Friday,’” says Joel Ristuccia, a child psychologist and member of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., who leads a certificate program at nearby Lesley University to help educators create trauma-sensitive schools. A traumatized student, he says, “might respond as if a saber-toothed tiger just walked in the room.”

  • Google Autocomplete Still Blocking ‘Bisexual’: LGBT Advocates Fight For Fair Treatment Of Search Terms

    May 7, 2014

    Type a search term into Google’s ubiquitous blue box, and there’s a good chance you’ll reflexively scroll down to the autocomplete suggestions. While you may not think much about those suggestions, you probably think even less about the ones you never see. Here’s why you should start: For about half a decade, bisexual advocates have been fighting to get Google Inc. to untangle the word “bisexual” from its complex predictive algorithm.... Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University, who has followed those lawsuits, said he believes similar autocomplete court battles would be “doomed to failure” in the United States, where Google has strong First Amendment protections on its side. “Fundamentally, it’s Google’s search engine and they can do what they want with it,” he told IBTimes. “They can impose whatever filter they want on particular results, so a legal claim there is unlikely to be successful.”

  • Committee Formed To Bring FAS Sexual Assault Policy into Line with Revised Univ. Standard

    May 7, 2014

    After months of scrutiny directed at the University’s policies concerning sexual assault, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced Tuesday the creation of an FAS committee charged with bringing Harvard’s largest branch into compliance with a University-wide sexual assault policy still being reviewed by the Federal Office for Civil Rights...The faculty members of the committee include…Law School professor Ronald Sullivan Jr., the master of Winthrop House.

  • School network consortium partners with Cyberlaw Clinic to create privacy toolkit for school systems

    May 7, 2014

    With the help of the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Consortium of School Networks (“CoSN”) has released the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit, issued in March as part of CoSN’s new Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, provides an in-depth, step-by-step privacy guide is to help school system leaders navigate complex federal laws and related issues.

  • Judicial Nominee’s Memos on Drones Stirring Bipartisan Concern in the Senate

    May 6, 2014

    President Obama’s choice for a powerful appeals court appointment is in peril from both the left and the right, highlighting how the fraught politics of an election year are threatening the president’s agenda even among his allies on Capitol Hill. The nomination of David Barron, who was a Justice Department lawyer at the start of the administration and is now a Harvard Law School professor, is mired in a maw of contentious issues. Republicans object to what they say are his radically liberal views on the Constitution. Democrats in conservative-leaning states, especially those who are up for re-election, are wary that a vote for him might backfire with voters at home. And members of both parties say they are disturbed by Mr. Barron’s authorship of legal memos that justified the United States’ killing of an American citizen overseas with a drone.

  • Senator Rand Paul may block selection of judge

    May 6, 2014

    An influential US senator from Kentucky has threatened to derail President Obama’s nomination of a Harvard Law School professor to fill a rare vacancy on the federal Appeals Court in Boston, the court that helps establish the region’s legal climate. US Senator Rand Paul said in a letter to Senate leadership that he will block the confirmation of David Barron to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit until the White House releases controversial memos Barron drafted that justified the US military’s unchecked killing of American citizens overseas…Barron is married to former Boston Globe editorial columnist Juliette Kayyem, a Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts. His nomination was supported by lifelong Republican John F. Manning, a colleague at Harvard Law, and Charles Fried, also a Harvard professor and solicitor general to President Reagan.

  • Secret ‘Added Sugars’ Threaten Your Health: Will Disclosure Help?

    May 6, 2014

    An op-ed by Lauren Willis (visiting professor) and Marina Cassio '15. “Of the 600,000 items in the American grocery store, 77 percent of them have added sugar,” says Robert Lustig in a recent article published in the MIT Technology Review. “You can’t even reduce your consumption when you’re trying to.” But proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label on every package of food Americans buy may help. Among other things, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is adding a line for “Added Sugars.” The goal is to encourage Americans to eat less added sugar to lower obesity and improve health.