House approves of counselors for student veterans

… The non-profit Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School unveiled a new website that features the Massachusetts Veteran Benefit Calculator. It is designed to help Massachusetts residents who have served in the military and their dependents to determine if they might be eligible for financial assistance, of up to an estimated $1,000 under the Chapter 115 Benefits Program that provides one-time or ongoing cash assistance based on need. State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office conducted a 2017 study that reported that between 2014 and 2016 only 14,390 of the state’s estimated 325,000 veterans received Chapter 115 benefits. It is likely that thousands more veterans are eligible but are not aware of the program. “Our hope by sharing this tool is that by next Veterans Day there will be a much smaller gap,” said Betsy Gwin, associate director of Veterans Legal Clinic.

More and more workers are taking advantage of informal activism

Former WeWork chief executive and co-founder Adam Neumann walked away with a $1.7 billion payout when he was forced out of the company. Now, ahead of the planned layoffs of thousands of workers, WeWork employees are organizing to make demands of management. … According to Sharon Block, executive director of the labor and worklife program at Harvard Law School, informal actions like WeWork’s have the potential to address issues more quickly than formal union bargaining. “It’s understandable that workers want a process that’s more agile and can be more responsive to their needs in the moment,” she said. Forming a union to bargain with an employer may be a years-long process but, Block added, union bargaining does have the advantage of making it legally binding for the employer to come to the negotiating table.

Mulvaney’s move to join impeachment testimony lawsuit rankles Bolton allies

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s last-minute effort to join a lawsuit that could determine whether senior administration officials testify in the impeachment inquiry was an unwelcome surprise to former top national security aides, highlighting internal divisions among President Trump’s advisers in the face of the probe. … Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert at Harvard Law School, said Mulvaney’s last-minute move could be an attempt to give himself legal cover to put off the House demand. By attaching himself to the Kupperman case, Mulvaney could avoid having to testify in the House inquiry for months if the suit is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. “I think he’s trying to be shielded from having to obey his legal duty to comply with an obviously valid subpoena,” Tribe said.

DACA At The Supreme Court

Mitchell Santos Toledo [’20] was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 2 years old. He’s one of the 700,000 DREAMers whose case will be heard Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court. … NINA TOTENBERG: Mitchell Santos came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 2. His father and mother came with temporary visas and brought Mitch and his older sister. They never left. Soon, Mitch had two more siblings born in the U.S. who were American citizens. Mitch’s father managed to support the family doing manual labor under the table. MITCHELL SANTOS: He would tell us time and time again, your priority here is to study. Your priority is to do the best you can academically. TOTENBERG: Mitch doesn’t remember an aha moment, a realization that he and his family were undocumented. SANTOS: You start going through these milestones of adolescence, like applying for a driver’s license. And then I realized, oh, wait; I can’t do that.

Trump Tax Case Should Be an Easy Supreme Court Call

An op-ed by Cass Sunstein: Some observers are wondering whether the Supreme Court will let President Donald Trump keep his tax records secret. With respect to presidential prerogatives, many fundamental issues remain open. Perhaps the current court will resolve this one in his favor? That’s unlikely. Whatever one’s political convictions, it’s hard to object, on strictly legal grounds, to a federal appeals court decision this week rejecting Trump’s effort to block a subpoena issued by New York prosecutors demanding the records. In fact, the case is so simple and straightforward that it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if the justices decline to consider it at all.

Antitrust officials warns Big Tech companies on data collection

The Justice Department’s top antitrust official warned Big Tech companies Friday that the government could pursue them for anticompetitive behavior related to their troves of user data, including for cutting off data access to competitors. “Antitrust enforcers cannot turn a blind eye to the serious competition questions that digital markets have raised,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim told an antitrust conference at Harvard Law School. Delrahim did not name any specific companies, but his office is investigating companies including Google while the Federal Trade Commission probes Facebook. The House Judiciary Committee is also conducting an inquiry looks at those two companies plus Amazon and Apple.

Forgiveness in an age of ‘justified resentments’

Dehlia Umunna remembered seeing the fear. “His eyes were dark,” Umunna recalled. “And he was close to tears. And he looked at me and said, ‘Will I be going to jail and will I be going to jail for a very long time?’” “He was shaking,” she said. “I looked over at his mom and his mom was shaking. She was nervous. She was holding the hands of her 13-year-old boy.” Umunna, a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and deputy director of the Criminal Justice Institute, subsequently learned that the boy, who suffered from bipolar disorder and ADHD, had been surreptitiously videotaped playing video games in his living room wearing only his underwear. By the time he arrived at school the next day, the video had been posted online, where it had been seen by 300 of his peers, who proceeded to tease him. Frustrated and angry, he was heard to say, “I understand why the Parkland shooter did what he did.” …“And as I looked over the case, I said to myself, this is exactly what [Prof.] Martha [Minow]’s book talks about,” she recalled. “This is a prime example of where we should nudge the courts and the decision-makers to exercise forgiveness.”…Umunna’s comments came during a panel discussion of “When Should Law Forgive?”, a new book by Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor and former dean of HLS. The book explores the complicated intersection of the law, justice, and forgiveness, asking whether the law should encourage people to forgive, and when courts, public officials, and specific laws should forgive. In addition to Umunna and Minow, panelists included Carol Steiker ’86, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program; Toby Merrill ’11, an HLS lecturer on law and director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending; and Homi K. Bhabha

She Stole Something While Struggling With Heroin Addiction. Cops Turned Her Into A Facebook Meme.

On May 31, Meghan Burmester became a meme. She was featured, along with four other women, on the Harford County Sheriff’s Office “Ladies’ Night” Facebook post for alleged theft under $1,500. “Oh yes! It’s Ladies’ Night here in Harford County!” the post said. “This month we are running our summer special – turn yourself in, and get a free stay at the Harford County Rock Spring Road Spa (a.k.a, Harford County Detention Center). Sorry, no pedicures, manicures, facials, massages, spa services included (or available).” The Maryland department’s “Ladies’ Night” Facebook posts, which feature a handful of women who have open warrants against them usually for alleged theft or traffic- or drug-related offenses, are a big hit with its 55,000 followers…“If you looked like one of the people being mocked by the police department, what kind of confidence would you have in police?” David Harris, the managing director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School and a civil rights advocate, told BuzzFeed News. He said the Houston Institute is in the process of recruiting more people to review offensive social media posts by law enforcement agencies and to identify potential relations between agencies’ Facebook posts and possible racial disparities in how they use force and conduct arrests or traffic stops.

Legal experts: Gordon Sondland’s revised testimony could seal Donald Trump’s doom

According to several legal experts, the revised testimony on the Ukraine scandal by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is highly damaging to President Trump. In his new statement, Sondland admitted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knew he U.S. would withholding military aid until his country granted Trump’s request for an investigation of the company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden. This is a crucial piece of evidence suggesting that the U.S. president that committed a serious ethical violation, and perhaps a crime. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe told Salon by email that Sondland’s statement “contributes to the overwhelming evidence that President Trump abused his power and engaged in bribery and extortion by illegally conditioning the military aid Congress had voted for Ukraine upon President Zelensky‘s willingness to help him in the 2020 election by announcing an investigation into Hunter Biden.”