An op-ed by Noah Feldman: Senator John McCain may not have meant to say that a Republican Senate would refuse to vote, either up or down, on any Supreme Court nominee put up by Hillary Clinton. But what if Republican senators just said they would vote down any candidate Clinton nominated? Would the resulting political standoff amount to a constitutional crisis?
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein: t’s hard to imagine a presidential election with higher stakes than the current one: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offer radically different ideas about the country’s direction, and many people believe that one or the other would be catastrophic. Yet new evidence raises the possibility that we will see an unusually low voter turnout.
With racial disparity in incarceration rates greater in Massachusetts than the country as a whole, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants on Thursday said the courts are taking steps to study and address that issue. … “We need to find out why,” Gants said. Gants said Dean Martha Minow of Harvard Law School has agreed to investigate ethnic disparity in the state’s incarceration rate.
Mary T.W. Robinson, a former president of Ireland and current United Nations Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, spoke about widespread human displacement due to climate change at a discussion at Harvard Law School on Thursday evening. Law School Dean Martha L. Minow moderated the discussion in front of a packed audience. “There is nobody on earth who is more involved, who has done more on the subjects that bring us here today,” Minow said when introducing Robinson. … “The piece that really stood out to me was the need for us to most recognize the problem, but to think about it in a way that is proactive so that we are doing things that are active,” clinical professor of law Tyler R. Giannini said.
U.S. securities regulators are set to soon propose dramatic changes to how investors choose between board candidates offered by activist investors and those offered by a company. The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected as early as next week to propose rules that would make it easier for shareholders to vote on board candidates nominated by investors, in competition with those pushed by the company’s management, according to people familiar with the matter…The current rules’ limit on choosing from both slates may have resulted in the wrong candidates being elected inasmuch as 22% of all votes conducted from 2008 through 2015, according to a forthcoming study by Scott Hirst, a professor at Harvard Law School. The study, aimed at providing the first set of data to the debate about universal proxies, looked at what would happen if shareholders were able to vote freely for their favored candidates by reviewing “withhold” votes. These withhold votes come up when a shareholder votes on one card, either from management or the dissident, but doesn’t cast shares for one or more of those candidates in what amounts to a protest abstention.
Representatives from NASA, Space Systems Loral, and SpaceX discussed the future of laws governing outer space during a panel at the Law School Wednesday. As technology advances and the possibility of humans populating other planets comes ever closer, panelists proposed potential methods of expanding current law practices to fit a new frontier that is not on Earth—a sort of “space law.” Stephen F. Meil, a Law School student and editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, the organization that organized the event, said there were few formal programs in “space law” in the country. For NASA Chief of Staff Michael J. French, it was precisely this unknown territory that drew him to the industry in the first place. “I foresaw an upcoming intersection of business, law, politics, and all those unique things in a new and undefined way,” French said.
Fatima Al Qubaisi [LL.M. `17] has gone from being the first Emirati female student to graduate with a law degree from Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi to the first Emirati woman to join Harvard law school in the US. It’s probably no surprise because she comes from a family of pioneers known for their achievements. “I belong to a family that likes to break records. My aunt, Amal Al Qubaisi, is one of my role models as she is the first female President of the Federal National Council,” says Ms Al Qubaisi, 25.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Compared with the rest of the third presidential debate Wednesday night, the opening conversation about the Constitution was practically Lincoln-Douglas-like as the candidates answered questions and didn’t interrupt each other. But the discussion of the seminal gun control case D.C. v. Heller was borderline incomprehensible unless you’ve recently taken constitutional law. And in giving an answer intended to express moderation on gun rights, Hillary Clinton missed a chance to express support for the original meaning of the Constitution.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. An extraordinary poll released Wednesday showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump both losing in Utah to Evan McMullin, a conservative Mormon ex-CIA officer only on the ballot in 11 states. The best explanation for the rise of this independent candidate is that Mormons, who tend to have deeply conservative values, are genuinely repulsed by Donald Trump. And not just by the crude comments and allegations of sexual assault that recently came to light, but also by Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiment, which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints implicitly condemned 10 months ago.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Is Brexit unconstitutional? That’s the key issue in a suit argued this week before the High Court in London. What makes the question especially piquant is that Britain doesn’t have a single written constitution, but rather a complex tradition of constitutional law made up of principles, precedents and practices accrued over generations. Under those principles, the answer to whether the U.K. can leave the European Union without a parliamentary vote is … maybe. It seems most likely that the High Court — or the Supreme Court, which will hear an appeal next — will say that Brexit can be accomplished without it. But to reach that conclusion, the British courts will have to expand existing principles, and grapple with the meaning of the referendum as a political tool. It’s a sad day for the country that arguably invented representative government.