Can Cruz legally be president? Ivy League scholars debate

In a public debate at Harvard, two constitutional law scholars have tried to answer whether Republican Ted Cruz is eligible to become president. Harvard professor Larry Tribe argues that based on the text of the U.S. Constitution, Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother, may not be considered a natural born citizen. Yale professor Jack Balkin counters that newer laws in place by the time Cruz was born gave him that designation.

What If We Built a C-SPAN on Steroids?

An op-ed by Susan Crawford. In her recently released book, Dark Money, Jane Mayer painstakingly traces the startlingly successful efforts by Charles and David Koch and their conservative allies to use their billions to shape American policies. Mayer’s work pays special attention to state-level politics, and for good reason: For years, groups like ALEC, the State Policy Network, and (more recently) the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity have been focused on nullifying any progressive national policymaking through state legislation…Whether or not you agree with the overall policy goals of the Koch brothers, we have a democracy problem: At the same time that state legislative activity has gained in importance, the number of traditional news reporters covering statehouses has plummeted…The first step towards righting this asymmetry is access, and there’s a good idea out there you need to know about: State Civic Networks are state-based, non-profit, independent, nonpartisan, “citizen engagement” online centers, and they should exist in every state.

Central Bankers in Europe Put Clearinghouses to the Test

European central bankers this week began testing how a bank default would pressure certain trade-plumbing firms, the latest sign of concern over the clearinghouses that aim to limit markets’ vulnerability to the damaging fire sales that characterized the 2008 crisis…Hal Scott, Nomura professor of international financial systems at Harvard Law School, said when comparing all last-resort lending powers across Europe, the U.K., Japan and the U.S., the Fed has “the weakest of the four,” in part because of new restrictions placed in the postcrisis Dodd-Frank law.

Let Them Have Teslas

An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Tesla Motors has taken the first step toward challenging a year-old Michigan law that bars direct-to-consumer auto sales in the state. I trust you’ll agree with me that the law is a blatant piece of protectionism, designed to help car dealers at the expense of consumers. But that still leaves an important — and interesting — question: Is the law not merely dumb, but unconstitutional, too?

Committee and Activists Debate Law School Seal

After a lull in activism over race relations at Harvard Law School, about 100 affiliates gathered at a “community meeting” Thursday afternoon to discuss the school’s controversial seal, which is currently under review…Alexander J. Clayborne, a Law student affiliated with Royall Must Fall, said he was pleased at the turnout of faculty and staff at Thursday’s meeting. While he called the conversations that took place “robust,” he expressed disappointment at what he called a one-sided approach in favor of changing the seal. He said he had hoped Law School affiliates with opposing views would attend and debate the merits of the seal change with the activists. “Student activists are accused of stifling free speech on campus, but whenever there is an opportunity to engage with people who disagree, the people who disagree don’t show up,” Clayborne said. “That’s a level of intellectual cowardice that needs to be called out.”

The best response to Israel’s new stop-and-frisk law: Stop showering

An op-ed by Fady Khoury, S.J.D. candidate. What does Israel’s new stop-and-frisk law mean? What should you do about it? Prior to the new law, which was passed in the Knesset on Tuesday, police were authorized to search anyone without a warrant if they had reasonable suspicion (probable cause) that the person was carrying a weapon illegally (on their person or in their car), or was planning to commit a crime with a weapon. One can question what constitutes reasonable suspicion within that framework, but in short, at least there existed an objective element the officer needed to seek: a weapon. The suspicion that someone is carrying a weapon can’t just be made up, although we know there has always been an element of arbitrariness — after all, we are talking about the Israeli Police.

CEO Dauman takes over chair at Viacom, replacing Redstone

Aging media mogul Sumner Redstone stepped down as executive chairman of Viacom on Thursday and was replaced by CEO Philippe Dauman, a move that immediately disappointed investors. Although the decision mimicked a similar move at sister company CBS, Thursday’s action has the potential to set off a future board fight…Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard law professor and director of its program on corporate governance, said the board conflict highlights the problems of companies with two classes of stock — one set that holds voting power, and another that does not. He said in an email that Viacom’s corporate structure is now “highly problematic and fraught with risks for public investors.” “The company’s CEO is unaccountable to public investors and accountable only to a person whose health prevents him from actively monitoring the affairs of the company,” Bebchuk said.

Commissioner Rob Manfred addresses future challenges for Major League Baseball

Commissioner Rob Manfred was at Harvard Law School on Tuesday for a brief but informative talk, one that covered new ground on several key issues. The conversation began with a half hour of questions from Professor Michael Klarman and was followed by 20 minutes of questions from students in the audience…Manfred was a graduate of Harvard Law in the class of 1983, after which he worked at a large law firm called Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius, where he specialized in labor and employment law. It was that practice that led him to baseball, as the firm was hired by the league around the time of the 1990 lockout. Manfred would continue to work with MLB as outside counsel through the 90s, a period which included several highly contentious labor struggles, including the 1994 strike.

ISIS Is Changing Our Attitude Toward Free Speech, but Not Guns

Threats of insurrection have always been met with more than easy bromides, however. But even so, it’s startling to see how much the debate has changed recently. Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, a former official in the Obama administration, has asked whether it’s time to reject the “clear and present danger” standard in favor of one that suppresses “explicit or direct incitement to violence, even if no harm is imminent.”