The Poor Need Ryan’s Regulation Reform

An op-ed by Cass. R. Sunstein. While Representative Paul Ryan’s new anti-poverty plan has provoked significant discussion, little attention has been given to his ideas for regulatory reform. Those ideas deserve separate analysis and also considerable credit. They point in helpful directions, and they suggest the possibility of bipartisan cooperation on some important questions.

D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies

Millions of Americans are not entitled to government health insurance subsidies under Obamacare because of the way the law is written, a divided three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday…Court rules allow any active member of the appeals court to vote for an en banc hearing, according to I. Glenn Cohen, a professor at Harvard Law School. “There is nothing in the rules that say that people who were confirmed after the decision was taken up but before it was issued do not get to sit, so I imagine it means the now-Democrat stacked group will vote for en banc rehearing,” he said.

KCBS Interview: Google Considers Transforming New York City Pay Phones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

Pay phones, often thought of as things of the past, may see new life as Google is considering a plan to turn them into in Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City, according to published reports. Susan Crawford, a visiting professor in intellectual property at Harvard Law School and a former Obama administration technology adviser, told KCBS that she thinks it’s a great idea to use pay phones as 21st century infrastructure. “They’re magic in a sense. They’re connected to telecommunications lines and power. So you can imagine having pay phones all over the city that have been turned into Wi-Fi hotspots and also charging stations and information kiosks for tourists,” she said.

Mideast war crimes? (video)

Secretary of State John Kerry presents his ceasefire plan to Israel and Hamas and it raises an important underlying legal question: are these war crimes? Professor Gabriella Blum, a former attorney for the Israel Defense Forces and a Professor of international humanitarian law at Harvard and Ronan Farrow debate.

Obama Could Invoke An Old Law To Stop Companies From Leaving America To Save On Taxes

President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called “inversion” deals, a former senior U.S. 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 U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration. He also served as international tax counsel at Treasury from 1982 to 1987 in the Reagan administration.

More states push homicide charges in heroin overdoses

As legislators across the country pass anti-heroin bills and health officials hold community summits, prosecutors in more states are pursuing homicide, and similarly serious charges, against those who provided the deadly doses…”It’s a growing trend, but still a tactic used in a minority of states around the country,” said Ron Sullivan, director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School.

Should you follow an activist into a stock? (subscription)

We’re living in the era of the activist investor. Last year Carl Icahn and his ilk launched initiatives at 200 companies—including Microsoft, Dell, and Dow Chemical—aimed at sprucing up management, improving operations, selling off certain units, and ultimately improving the share price. That’s a sevenfold jump compared with a decade earlier, according to Harvard research, and the ranks of prominent megaphone-wielding investors seem only to be growing. That prompts an obvious question: When Icahn leaps, should you jump too? The short answer: Yes. Evidence shows that buying stocks after change-oriented campaigns are instigated can yield superior returns for several years…Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard Law School professor who also heads the university’s Program on Corporate Governance, found similar initial gains.

A tribute to Nadine Gordimer

By Margaret H. Marshall. During the long years that I was unable to return to South Africa, where I was born, raised, and lived for the first 25 years of my life, I could spend time with Nadine Gordimer only when she visited Boston. She often stayed with close friends of hers in their home on a quiet, leafy street, close to the center of Harvard. She seemed to thrive during those visits, tasting the freedom that we who are privileged to live here too often take for granted. It was a response I knew well: I had endured the offensive restrictions of apartheid, and breathed deeply on my few visits to the United States before I settled here.

D.C. Circuit Court limits Obamacare funds, White House hopes to appeal the ruling

A three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Affordable Care Act cannot provide subsidies to millions enrolled under the federal health care exchange because the law, as written, does not allow it…Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe told the Financial Times that he would not “bet the family farm” on the law being vindicated on appeal. Tribe is a longstanding supporter of the Affordable Care Act. “It looks like the panel is quite divided over what to do with what might [have been] an inadvertent error in the legislation or might have been quite deliberate,” Tribe told the Financial Times. “But it’s very specific that only people that go onto a state exchange are eligible for the subsidies. And if that becomes the ultimate holding of the U.S. Supreme Court, where this is likely to end up — that’s going to have massive practical implications for the administrability of Obamacare.”