In the News

HLS faculty weigh in on recent legal news

A selection of analyses and opinions from Harvard Law School experts.

Supreme Court’s chance to do the right thing on Obamacare

An op-ed by Laurence H. Tribe. The Supreme Court is about to hear a case — King v. Burwell — that again threatens to undermine the Affordable Care Act and strip health insurance from millions of Americans. The King challenge, which focuses on a handful of words in that famously long piece of legislation, is a clever one. But it’s too clever by half. Finding for the challengers would require taking a few words in the ACA out of their proper context, ignoring the law’s structure and purpose, and even jettisoning the conservative justices’ own pro-states’ rights views.Continue Reading at The Boston Globe »

A Financial System Still Dangerously Vulnerable to a Panic

An op-ed by Glenn Hubbard and Hal Scott. Dodd-Frank restrictions on the Federal Reserve’s powers to act as lender-of-last-resort, coupled with restrictions on federal guarantees for bank deposits and money-market funds, pose a threat to U.S. and global financial stability…The Dodd-Frank Act (July 2010) pulled back the Fed’s lender-of-last-resort powers for non-banks. They can now be exercised only with the approval of the Treasury secretary, and the Fed cannot lend to a single institution as it did with AIG . It must now only lend under a broad program, and must also meet heightened collateral requirements. In addition, the FDIC cannot expand guarantees to bank depositors without congressional approval, and the Treasury can’t do the same to money-market funds without new legislative authority. These changes could make it difficult for the Fed and other regulatory bodies to act effectively in the next crisis.Continue Reading at The Wall Street Journal »

The Wrong Path to Higher Ed Equality

An op-ed by Tomiko Brown-Nagin. President Obama’s free community college proposal and college ratings initiatives promise to further the historic expansion of college access begun in 1965, when Congress created the Pell Grant Program, which pried open the doors of higher education to deserving but poor students. But the administration’s chosen means to the praiseworthy end of further expanding college access do not fundamentally challenge inequality in higher education; instead, they reinforce our two-tiered and unequal system. Federal policy instead should encourage academically qualified, lower-income students to matriculate to selective, four-year colleges. A monetary rewards system (a Race to the Top for higher education) or statutory mandates could advance that objective.Continue Reading at Inside Higher Ed »

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