Hundreds Buried In Nameless Graves In Waltham ID’d By Local Historian And High-Schoolers

…Kadden, a teacher at Gann Academy, a Jewish high school in the city, is here to explain the work of Alex Green, a fellow at Harvard Law School and local historian, who has for years made it his mission to solve a 60-year-old question: Who is buried in Metfern Cemetery? It’s the final resting place of hundreds of people who, like O’Connell, lived in one of two now-defunct institutions in Waltham for people with mental and physical disabilities. Most are buried beneath cinder block-like stones half-sunken into the earth.  Green has collected their names and information in a spreadsheet that gets more and more personal. “It includes who their parents were, what country they came from, if they ever worked jobs, what jobs they had, if they were immigrants, whether they were veterans or not,” Green lists off. “It basically tells the story of someone’s life in a single row.”

Trump’s shutdown threat based on fake border fears

An op-ed by Samuel David Garcia ’19 and Victoria Ochoa: Every single morning before the sun rises, Jorge Gonzalez is already hard at work in Mission, Texas, a border town. Gonzalez is a day laborer who focuses on home maintenance. He is also an undocumented immigrant. On the earnest savings that he and his wife have been able to put together, they have been able to afford a modest house in the Rio Grande Valley and assist both of their daughters financially when they went to college. Gonzalez is just one of an estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants who wake up each day and contribute to moving America forward by being a part of our labor force.

Stock Market Distress Signal: How Low-Cost Index Funds Are Taking Over

Sounding the alarm on index funds. How their runaway success has reshaped power and accountability in boardrooms and on Wall Street. Guests:
John Coates, professor of law and economics at Harvard Law School where he teaches corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and finance. Member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchanges Commission.

Mark C. Jefferson Appointed As Harvard Law’s Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Equity

Harvard Law School has appointed Mark C. Jefferson as its next assistant dean for community engagement and equity. Jefferson joined Harvard Law in 2017, working as director of community engagement and equity. Before coming to the school, Jefferson served as assistant director of admissions at the University of Michigan Law School, according to Harvard Law Today. Under his new role, Jefferson will continue to work in the Dean of Students Office on topics such as academic advising and peer mentorship development.

The 2020 presidential election could determine whether Trump faces consequences for alleged crimes

Friday’s filings by federal prosecutors painted President Donald Trump as aiding in and conspiring to commit a federal crime. … The harsh reality is that any supposed “immunity” a president has from indictment while in office expires when his time is over. For Trump, that could be on January 20, 2021, if the statute of limitations — the deadline by which prosecutors must bring criminal charges — has not yet expired. “People recite the mantra, ‘No one is above the law’ yet fail to acknowledge the tension between the principle and the idea that a president could be immune from indictment until he’s out of office,” said Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard.

Your love of index funds is terrible for our economy

Stock index funds have grown so popular that they now command $4.6 trillion in assets. That might seem like a good thing. After all, index funds have “democratized” investing and simplified the process for the average person. But the truth is that index funds have gotten so big that they now pose a major risk to our economy — and even to capitalism itself. … Harvard Law School professor John Coates likes to say that index funds create “social benefits” in the form of lower expenses. That’s true, but it is only captures a piece of the picture.Because even when active managers underperform as they charge higher fees than index funds, they are still adding lots of value in our economic system.

A.I. experts warn of loss of free will, need for morality

Pew Research Center asked 979 technology experts, business and policy leaders, scientists and science-minded activists and the like just how they thought artificial intelligence would impact humans by the year 2030 — and while 63 percent waxed positive, another 37 percent warned of the negatives. … As Judith Donath, faculty fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society said, in her response to the Pew survey: “By 2030, most social situations will be facilitated by bots. … At home, parents will engage skilled bots to help kids with homework and catalyze dinner conversations. At work, bots will run meetings. A bot confidant will be considered essential for psychological well-being, and we’ll increasingly turn to such companions for advice ranging from what to wear to whom to marry.”

Lawmakers reach compromise on $867 billion farm bill

After months of negotiations, federal lawmakers have compromised on a new farm bill, putting the legislation on track to be passed by both the House and Senate this week. … The compromise bill, unveiled Monday night, leaves out controversial work requirements for food stamp recipients that were part of the House version of the bill — a key sticking point during negotiations. It also maintains conservation programs the House bill proposed eliminating. It seems to generally, with a few exceptions, maintain programs as they have been in the past,” said Erika Dunyak, a clinical fellow at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.

Supreme Court’s Conservative Revolution Will Wait Another Day

An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Justice Clarence Thomas has a message for Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Let’s roll. Kavanaugh, however, isn’t yet taking up the invitation. The newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually join a conservative majority of five to roll back large swaths of liberal jurisprudence. Yet it’s noteworthy that Thomas is already impatient with Kavanaugh, just a couple of months into the latter’s life tenure. All this is the takeaway from the tea leaves of an otherwise opaque opinion issued Monday with Thomas dissenting from the court’s refusal to hear a case brought by Planned Parenthood.

White House Scrambles To Find New Chief Of Staff As Prosecutors Push Forward (audio)

Partisan rhetoric in Washington is intensifying, as new court filings suggest President Trump may have skirted campaign finance laws. Federal prosecutors are recommending prison time for two former members of Trump’s inner circle: former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his personal attorney Michael Cohen. At the same time, the president’s current circle continues to break apart with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly planning to leave at the end of the year. Guests…Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge, senior lecturer at Harvard Law School, and WBUR legal analyst.