The Courts and Public Opinion

Michael Klarman’s scholarship has focused on the effect that court rulings have on social reform movements. He argues that when courts get ahead of public opinion, political backlash often follows. That’s what he found in an earlier book he wrote on race and the U.S. Supreme Court, and it is a phenomenon he has also observed in cases involving the death penalty and abortion.mIn his new book, “From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage” (Oxford), the HLS professor explores whether the same effect has taken place when it comes to same-sex marriage litigation.Continue Reading »

A Theory of Connectivity

The highly connected nature of today’s world has all sorts of benefits—but all sorts of potential costs as well, from loss of control of private data to a world financial system so intertwined that when one part of it falls, it’s hard to keep other parts from toppling along with it. In “Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems,” John Palfrey ’01 and Urs Gasser LL.M. ’03 draw on their work at the HLS Berkman Center for Internet & Society to start developing a “normative theory identifying what we want out of all this connectivity.”Continue Reading »

Recent Faculty Books – Fall 2012

Professor Einer Elhauge ’86 is author of the e-book “Obamacare On Trial” (Edward Elgar), focused on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act case decided by the Supreme Court in June. Elhauge raises points that were not aired in the courtroom, including the fact that the constitutional framers themselves had approved mandates to buy health insurance.Continue Reading »