Honduran man waits for asylum after 12-year fight

When he arrived at the Texas border, Celvyn Mejia Romero was a scared 10-year-old, with a machete scar and memories of a murdered uncle as reminders of why he’d embarked on a long, perilous journey from Honduras…”He explained the harm he had suffered but he couldn’t really explain the underlying reasons,” John Willshire-Carrera, co-managing director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services, says of his client…”The process has become more responsive to children’s needs …,” says Nancy Kelly, the Boston clinic’s co-managing director. “On the other hand, a series of decisions have been made which seem to be making it harder for children who, in our opinion, are true refugees from getting relief because of the way gang-related harm is viewed.”

Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional

Despite including a tax, Obamacare doesn’t violate the Constitution’s requirement that all tax bills originate in the House of Representatives, a key appeals court said Tuesday in a ruling that gives the Obama administration a health care win before the courts…Legal scholars say origination clause challenges, historically, have been a tough sell in the courts. Indeed, it is “very rarely litigated,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health expert at Harvard Law School who said “it has only been considered by the U.S. Supreme Court a handful of times.”

Barack Obama could curb corporate ‘inversions’ on his own: Ex-US official

President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for US corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called “inversion” deals, a former senior US Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their US tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration.

Lew Can Use Tax Rule to Slow Inversions, Ex-Official Says

The U.S. Treasury Department should use immediate stopgap regulations to make offshore transactions known as corporate inversions less lucrative, said the department’s former top international tax lawyer. The administration can unilaterally limit inverted companies from taking interest deductions in the U.S. or from accessing their foreign cash without paying U.S. taxes, Stephen Shay said in an interview and in an article published today in Tax Notes. “If you take away the incentives, a large portion of these deals would not happen because they are indeed tax-motivated,” said Shay, who left the Obama administration in 2011 and is now a professor at Harvard Law School.

Spending Big to Fight Big Donors in Campaigns

An unlikely alliance of liberal intellectuals, big donors and Republican strategists has hit on a solution to the influence of big money in politics: even more money. Starting Monday, the recently formed Mayday “super PAC” began a $12 million advertising campaign to help elect lawmakers of both parties who support proposals to diminish the influence of big donors. The PAC is the most ambitious effort yet to turn dismay over supersize contributions into a winning political issue. “Inside-the-Beltway people don’t think this issue matters, they don’t think voters vote on the basis of this issue, and they advise their politicians not to talk about it,” said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School with ties to Silicon Valley who is a founder of the Mayday PAC with Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. “We think this issue does matter, and we want to prove it.”

Judges Block Abortion Curb in Mississippi

A federal appeals panel on Tuesday blocked a Mississippi law that would have shut the sole abortion clinic in the state by requiring its doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, something they had been unable to do…Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, said that the principle of state responsibility enunciated by the circuit court “is deeply established and fully entrenched.” “It goes not only to the issue of reproductive freedom but to the very character of the federal union,” he said.

Gay Marriage Nears Supreme Court With Inevitability Tag

If a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage looks inevitable, perhaps it is. Since a pivotal high court ruling 13 months ago, gay-marriage advocates have tallied more than two dozen lower court victories without a single defeat. With this week’s decision in Virginia, two federal appeals courts have now backed same-sex marriage. Courts have consistently read last year’s ruling, U.S. v. Windsor, as undercutting any rationale for state bans. “I can’t think of any Supreme Court decision in history that has ever created so rapid and broad a lower-court groundswell in a single direction as Windsor,” said Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School. “Nor can I think of any historical examples in which lower courts have so overwhelmingly and universally read a Supreme Court decision one way, only to have the court say ‘Never mind, you’ve all gotten it wrong.’”

Banks Cash In on Inversion Deals Intended to Elude Taxes

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, recently said, “I love America.” Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, wrote an opinion article saying, “Investing in America still produces the best return.”Yet guess who’s behind the recent spate of merger deals in which major United States corporations have renounced their citizenship in search of a lower tax bill? Wall Street banks, led by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs…“This is an economic game. There are no virgins anywhere,” said Stephen E. Shay, a professor at Harvard Law School and a former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration. “We can’t look to the banks to stop inversions. They will not look at this based on morality. They will look at it on the basis of fees.”