Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs…“Would potential female associates welcome this option knowing that they can work hard early on and still reproduce, if they so desire, later on?” asked Glenn Cohen, co-director of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, in a blog post last year. “Or would they take this as a signal that the firm thinks that working there as an associate and pregnancy are incompatible?”
John P. Carlin, U.S. assistant attorney general for national security, spoke and answered questions about cyber threats and the Department of Justice’s continued efforts to fight terrorism Friday at Harvard Law School…The event was moderated by Law School professor Jonathan L. Zittrain, who serves on the board of directors for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the NSA’s advisory board.
Congress does not hide elephants in mouse holes. That colorful legal concept — which means government agencies can’t find sweeping new powers by re-interpreting minor sections of existing law — may determine the success or failure of proposed EPA power-plant regulations, rules that some observers have described as the nation’s most ambitious action on climate change to date…“It’s a beautiful rule. It is incredibly creative. The question is, Is it legal?” said Richard Lazarus, the Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS)…In a discussion on the proposed regulations Wednesday at the Maxwell-Dworkin building, Lazarus and Archibald Cox Professor of Law Jody Freeman, director of HLS’ Environmental Law Program, said that the proposed rules not only step into the gap created by Congress’ refusal to pass climate legislation, but also have the potential to both transform the national energy scene and invigorate international climate-change negotiations.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. The worst fight between justices in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court grew out of a dispute about whether coal miners should be paid for the time it took them to travel thousands of feet up and down a mine shaft to do their jobs. The bitter interpersonal war it generated between Justice Hugo Black and Justice Robert Jackson started in 1945 and reached its climax in 1946, when their dispute hit newspapers’ front pages and cost Jackson the chief justiceship. So you’d think the question of what activities count as part of the workday would’ve been solved by now, 70 years later. You’d be wrong. In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a dispute between an Amazon.com contractor and its employees about whether workers should be paid for time spent going through security checks to make sure they haven’t stolen from the warehouse on the way home.
An op-ed by Susan Crawford. Three years ago, cable titan John Malone — chairman of Liberty Global, the largest cable company in the world — said that when it comes to high-capacity data connections in the U.S., “cable’s pretty much a monopoly now.” Last month, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proved Malone’s point: For high-capacity wired data connections to the Internet, Wheeler said that more than 80 percent of Americans have just one choice — their local cable company. The cable companies long ago divided the country among themselves, and it’s about to get worse. A proposed $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would strengthen the industry’s near-monopolistic power. If the merger goes through, the chances of fiber competition emerging to challenge cable’s dominance become even lower than they already are.
While students active in the queer community said that they welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to let lower court judgments allowing gay marriage stand, some said that they worried that the issue of same-sex marriage overshadows other concerns of the BGLTQ community…Harvard Law School professor Michael J. Klarman said that he was surprised that the Court opted to uphold the lower court rulings rather than hear the case. He added that public support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise in recent years. “The future seems pretty clearly inevitable, in that [public] opinion is going to move in the direction of gay marriage even if the Court doesn’t intervene,” Klarman said.
American public schools rely on a funding system that is rife with inequalities, experts said during a panel at the Graduate School of Education on Thursday. “Our goal is easy to articulate and hard to get there. It is to make sure every child in this country has access to world-class education. Race, socioeconomic status, zip code, and neighborhood shouldn’t matter,” said forum moderator Susan E. Eaton, research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, quoting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne S. Duncan ’86.
When is a war not a war? Does it matter, when a bomb is dropped or a missile launched, whether it’s called “counterterrorism,” or “armed conflict,” or “hostilities”?…The administration has also said its actions are a legal response to the threat because Syria is “unwilling or unable” to fight the Islamic State itself. Naz Modirzadeh, founding director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, called that concept an example of “folk international law.” Established law, she wrote Thursday on the Lawfare blog, includes no such distinction for violations of sovereignty.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Class action lawsuits are big business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce — admittedly, not the most objective source — estimates that securities class actions alone cost shareholders $39 billion a year. When you add in all other class actions — for accidents, accounting errors, you name it — you can understand why potential corporate defendants as well as plaintiffs’ lawyers fight tooth and nail over every inch of the legal terrain. When the U.S. Supreme Court takes up an important question of how these class actions will proceed, as it is doing in the case of Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company LLC v. Owens, it’s worth taking notice of what the court is doing — and why.
There’s a “food fight” going on in Colorado, one that will appear on the ballot that gets mailed to you next week. Prop 105, one of four statewide ballot questions, would require labeling of some genetically modified food…Another expert told us that Colorado could run into trouble if it wished to require GMO labels on food products merely passing through Colorado on the way from one state to another, but that the state could require GMO labels on all foods produced here, regardless of whether it was intended for export out of Colorado. “The products are produced by and in Colorado and I know of no principle of federal law that would preclude such a law,” replied Jacob Gerson, a professor of law with Harvard.