Will China Cheat American Investors?

An op-ed by Jesse M. Fried and Matthew Schoenfeld: While Washington and Beijing battle over trade, a worrisome cross-border financial link has escaped scrutiny: Americans now collectively own most of the public equity of China’s biggest tech companies, including Alibaba, Baidu and Weibo. This relationship is strange (imagine if the Chinese owned most of Amazon, Facebook and Google). It’s also extremely risky, at least for American investors.

Republicans in Congress aren’t cheering big win in Obamacare repeal lawsuit

While Republicans like President Donald Trump lauded a Texas judge’s decision last week that the Affordable Care Act — colloquially known as Obamacare — needed to be repealed, not everyone in the party is certain that this issue will redound to their political benefit. … Another dimension of the controversial case is the fact that Judge O’Connor is widely perceived as a partisan judge, raising questions about his reasoning for deciding that Obamacare must be overturned. “Judge O’Connor’s opinion was legally indefensible from start to finish,” Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School, told Salon by email. “I rarely reach this conclusion, but only a results-driven policy agenda could begin to explain his absurd conclusion that Congress’s 2017 decision to zero out the penalty for not buying the insurance mandated by the ACA while retaining the rest of the ACA somehow rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional. People who castigate judges as ‘activists’ whenever they reach liberal results had better step up to the plate and join those across the spectrum who are condemning this latest ruling as way outside the legal ballpark.”

China may tweak its plan to dominate tech, but it won’t back down

China’s efforts to become a global powerhouse in the technology of the future are under attack. But don’t expect it to beat a retreat….But any measures Xi might announce are expected to be a continuation of the gradual changes it has been introducing in recent years to open more of its economy to the world. “China is accelerating a series of economic reforms, many of which it would have enacted eventually anyway, and attempting to package it as a major concession to US demands,” said Mark Wu, an international trade professor at Harvard Law School. Trump administration officials are still taking a wary approach to what China’s offering.

Harvard Law professor: GOP power plays may be unconstitutional

A Harvard Law School professor, who also was a President Barack Obama appointee, says recent Michigan Republican moves to strip Democrats’ authority may be unconstitutional. Laurence Tribe is a professor of constitutional law at Harvard who helped write the constitutions of South Africa, the Czech Republic and Marshall Islands. He told the Michigan Advance that a GOP plan to move campaign finance oversight from the secretary of state’s office to a proposed commission and another that would allow the Legislature to name itself as an intervening party in court cases might violate the state Constitution. “I think a compelling argument can be made that the attempt by the Michigan Legislature to restructure the State’s system of government in response to the Democratic victories in the elections for executive branch officials violates the letter and spirit of that bedrock provision of the Michigan Constitution,” Tribe wrote in an email.

Labor set for nuclear showdown as Gareth Evans warns of risk to US alliance

Gareth Evans has warned signing up to the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons will “tear up” the United States alliance ahead of a critical contested vote in an otherwise tranquil Labor conference. … Australia has consistently refused to support or sign the ban treaty – supported by 122 countries – arguing that it relies on the protection of the United States nuclear umbrella. A paper by the International Human Rights Clinic at the Harvard Law School, published in December, concluded if Australia signed the treaty it would have to leave the nuclear umbrella but the US-Australia alliance is otherwise legally compatible with it.

How the courts can help in the climate change fight

A Quebec environmental group is taking the federal government to court. ENvironnement JEUnesse filed a class-action suit on behalf of Quebeckers aged 35 and under seeking a declaration that the government’s behaviour in the fight against climate change infringes on their human rights. The claim also seeks punitive damages…. Harvard law professor Richard Lazarus characterizes efforts to legislate solutions to systemic challenges such as climate risk as “super wicked problems.” He observed that “climate-change legislation is especially vulnerable to being unravelled over time … especially because of the extent to which it imposes costs on the short term for the realization of benefits many decades and sometimes centuries later.”

What Does Rudy Giuliani Know?

Less than two weeks after joining President Trump’s legal team last April, Rudy Giuliani let slip to Sean Hannity that his client reimbursed Michael Cohen for the $130,000 he paid Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election. This contradicted Trump’s claim that he had no knowledge of the payment, which has since been thoroughly disproven. At the time, the president tried to explain that Giuliani had yet to “get his facts straight” while preaching the need to “learn before you speak.” … Despite the typo-ridden arguments Giuliani and Trump have laid out on Twitter, this is not the case. As Harvard Law professor Alex Whiting pointed out the same day as Giuliani’s walk-back tweet, if Trump were to be convicted of the crimes the SDNY seems to have proof he committed, he would be looking at a minimum of close to three years in prison.

Republicans in Congress aren’t cheering big win in Obamacare repeal lawsuit

While Republicans like President Donald Trump lauded a Texas judge’s decision last week that the Affordable Care Act—colloquially known as Obamacare—needed to be repealed, not everyone in the party is certain that this issue will redound to their political benefit. … “Judge O’Connor’s opinion was legally indefensible from start to finish,” Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School, told Salon by email. “I rarely reach this conclusion, but only a results-driven policy agenda could begin to explain his absurd conclusion that Congress’s 2017 decision to zero out the penalty for not buying the insurance mandated by the ACA while retaining the rest of the ACA somehow rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional.”

A Crisis That Hasn’t Happened

An op-ed by Jack Goldsmith: When President Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign on November 7 and appointed the unqualified Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, just about everyone assumed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was in trouble. … These are but the latest in an 18-month-long string of extraordinary achievements by the Department of Justice in investigating the chief executive and his associates despite Trump’s objections, threats, and firings of important DoJ officials. There has been feverish concern that Trump’s actions would destroy the department’s independence. Quite the opposite has happened. Trump’s efforts have failed entirely. And DoJ independence is stronger than ever.

Labor set for nuclear showdown as Gareth Evans warns of risk to US alliance

Gareth Evans has warned signing up to the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons will “tear up” the United States alliance ahead of a critical contested vote in an otherwise tranquil Labor conference. … A paper by the International Human Rights Clinic at the Harvard Law School, published in December, concluded if Australia signed the treaty it would have to leave the nuclear umbrella but the US-Australia alliance is otherwise legally compatible with it.