Nancy Pelosi is letting Trump know he can ‘get away with murder’ by not impeaching him: Harvard Law Professor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is letting President Donald Trump know he can “get away with murder” by refusing to open an impeachment inquiry on him, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University opined Wednesday. Constitutional law scholar and Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe admitted he is a lifelong Pelosi fan but agreed with George Conway, husband of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, who criticized the House speaker for her continued stance against impeaching Trump. … Tribe elaborated to Newsweek on Wednesday afternoon that George Conway is right and Pelosi is wrong “because both the Constitution and common sense tell us you don’t refuse to convene a formal process to investigate a serious crime just because it looks like the criminal has the jurors in his hip pocket.”

We Are Living in Historic Times. Or Are We?

An article by Cass Sunstein:  If we are living through historic events, would we know? In 1965, Arthur Danto, a philosopher at Columbia University, argued that it is impossible to tell, when you’re in the midst of things, whether an event is going to be deemed “historic” by future historians. If something happens – Russia successfully reclaims Crimea, for example, or Pete Buttigieg declares that he’s running for president – its ultimate significance will be determined by causal chains that cannot possibly be anticipated, and by an assortment of events that have yet to take place.

Harvard dean ousted after Weinstein case to challenge school on academic freedom from within

The Harvard Law professor whose planned legal defense of accused rapist Harvey Weinstein caused a campus furor that cost him a faculty dean position wants to use the episode to restore academic freedom, he said Thursday evening. In his first remarks since he lost the deanship last month, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. said he envisions creating an institution that could work within and beyond Harvard to reform academia and restore reasoned discourse on campuses. It was unclear exactly what shape that might take. But with his wife, fellow Harvard Law professor Stephanie Robinson, he launched an online video to begin to marshal support…“Our firm belief is that universities are doing a disservice to its students to allow them to substitute emotion for rigor,” said Sullivan. “And part of our goal is to recenter the intellectual project at the university. It’s not just Harvard. We see this as a much more systemic problem. To the degree that we can use what happened with us to impact and change the ways in which universities are educating its students, then we’re happy to do that.”

Too easy?

Back in 2009, median pay for FTSE 100 bosses was £2.19m compared with £21,580 for the average UK worker. That meant the 2009 ratio of boss-to-worker pay was 102:1. Then, between 2009 and 2017, bosses’ median pay grew by 7.3 per cent a year while the average UK worker’s pay grew annually by just 1.8 per cent. The effect of those differing growth rates was to take the boss-to-worker ratio to 155:1…It would be fatuous to suggest that the average boss had somehow become 50 per cent more capable than the average worker in that period. Yet, in effect, this is what the apologists for UK corporate governance would have us believe…It fools no one. For example, Lucian Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law School who specialises in executive pay, is in no doubt that rising executive pay since the 1980s is all about power and rent extraction under the cloak of corporate-governance rules. These rules are chiefly framed by what Professor Bebchuk labels “the optimal contracting approach”, which attempts to overcome the core problem present in almost every organisation, namely that the people hired to run it don’t have the same interests as the people who hired them.

New Zealand Court, Blocking Extradition, Is Latest to Rebuke China’s Judiciary

A New Zealand court on Tuesday blocked a murder suspect’s extradition to China, the latest repudiation of a Chinese legal system under Communist Party control…In a strongly worded ruling, the New Zealand court ordered the country’s government to consider human rights risks in China before deciding that the suspect, Kyung Yup Kim, should be sent there…But in its 99-page judgment, it directed the justice minister in New Zealand’s current center-left government to determine whether China valued adherence to the international human rights agreements it had signed. The minister, Andrew Little, must address evidence that torture of prisoners in China persists and is difficult to detect, the panel of judges wrote. Mr. Little must also seek evidence about “the extent to which the judiciary is subject to political control.”…Tony Ellis [Human Rights Program Visiting Fellow], Mr. Kim’s lawyer, said Mr. Little faced “a difficult if not impossible task” in answering “the profound and important questions posed by the Court of Appeal.”

Amid a Flurry of “Cultural Appropriation” Claims Aimed at Carolina Herrera, What is Going on (Legally)?

The Mexican government has lodged a “cultural appropriation” complaint against Carolina Herrera for its use of indigenous patterns and textiles in its Resort 2020 collection. Garments from the New York-based brand’s latest collection that “feature a traditional flower embroidery known as ‘istmo de Tehuantepec,” as well as those with “a colorful ‘Saltillo Sarape’ stripe pattern” have led the Mexican culture ministry and the fashion media, alike, to call foul. But legal experts suggest there is more to consider here…“In some countries, courts have construed existing intellectual property laws to establish modest limitations on uses of traditional knowledge,” according to William Fisher, a professor of intellectual property at Harvard Law. For instance, “Australian courts have ruled that the importation and sale of carpets bearing images derived from motifs developed by Aboriginal groups violated Australian copyright law.” Other countries, he notes, such as Philippines and Guatemala, “have created sui generis regimes that [exclusively] govern traditional knowledge.”

The best way to tell when food goes bad isn’t by looking at its label

If you’ve ever found yourself in your local grocery store wondering what the difference is between “sell by,” “best by,” “expires by,” or “use by” food labels, you’re not alone.  That confusion contributes to American consumers trashing $161 billion in food each year. Yet most people might be surprised to know that these labels often have very little to do with food safety…Apart from infant formula, which is required by law to have a “use by” date, there has never been federal oversight over date labels. According to Emily Broad Leib, the director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, one way large companies set dates is by hiring taste testers to sample a given product over different periods, and then report when they think something tastes stale or slightly off. And, “in states that require date labels on a lot of different foods, some small food companies that we talked to said, ‘We don’t have any money to do taste testing. We just pick a date out of thin air,’” Leib says. These estimates are typically conservative, so the quality of food may still be fine long past the various best-by dates, Leib explains.

Does LaCroix Contain Toxic Chemicals? Here’s What Two Separate Lawsuits Allege

Things sure aren’t sparkling. La Croix’s parent company National Beverages facing a new lawsuit after new allegations that the company’s president considered falsely claiming its drink containers were free of the toxic chemical BPA. The chemical is said to affect neurological development in children. Shares of National Beverage fell to a multiyear low on Wednesday on the news of a lawsuit against the company…La Croix has been no stranger to controversy over the last year…Last year a Chicago law firm filed a class action lawsuit. The suit alleged that La Croix misled consumers by labeling La Croix as “all natural” in which the lawsuit says the product is “manufactured using non-natural flavorings and synthetic compounds…Although it can be misleading to consumers, “The term natural has escaped an enforceable definition by the Food and Drug Administration” according to Nicole Negowetti of The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.

Are Employment Contracts With Unenforceable Terms Unethical?

An op-ed by Terri Gerstein and Brian Shearer:  Would it be ethical for a lawyer to draft an employment contract in which a fast food worker is paid not with money, but only in burgers and fries? What if the lawyer’s client—the employer—asked for it? Most lawyers would balk at fulfilling such a blatantly illegal request. Unfortunately, for years, many lawyers have done something very similar: They’ve routinely included clearly illegal or unenforceable terms—like bogus noncompete agreements—in worker contracts. Fortunately, someone is now asking questions about this practice. On Wednesday, the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law submitted a letter to the California State Bar requesting an ethics ruling to stop lawyers from writing employment contracts with clearly unenforceable terms. The California Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct should swiftly respond that such conduct is unethical.

Inside the NRA’s finances: Deepening debt, increased spending on legal fees – and cuts to gun training

The National Rifle Association spent growing sums on overhead in 2018 even as it cut money for core activities such as gun training and political efforts, ending the year deeper in debt, new financial documents show…Professor Howard E. Abrams, a tax expert at Harvard Law School, said the NRA’s spending on overhead was “extraordinarily high.” “It is surprising that an organization as well-known as the NRA would have to spend that much on administrative and fundraising costs,” he said. “That is money that isn’t going to legislative programs, safety and training programs, and other core activities. It is sort of a cost of running the business. But it is a big cost.”