Trump found a new way to stress-test the Constitution

President Donald Trump, by his simultaneous existence as a real estate tycoon and President, continues to test the US Constitution in ways that the founding fathers didn’t anticipate and for which the current legal and political systems are completely unprepared. The founders didn’t specifically anticipate a hotelier President pushing his golf resort as the ideal location for an international meeting of heads of state. … Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, who thinks Trump should be impeached, tried to give Trump a lesson Twitter about emoluments recently. “Memo to POTUS: There are TWO Emoluments Clauses. The one you’re violating when you line your pocket by having Pence stay at your resort & commute is the Domestic EC. The one you’re planning to violate by having the G7 stay at the Doral w/out Congress’s consent is the Foreign EC.”

‘Absolutely impeachable’ for Trump to direct ‘hundreds of thousands’ of dollars to his business, Congressman says

Representative Jamie Raskin slammed President Donald Trump, accusing him of violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution by directing “hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars” to his personal businesses. Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, made the remark during an interview with CNN on Monday, saying that the president’s actions were “absolutely impeachable.” … Constitutional legal scholar Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard University, slammed Trump over both issues in a series of tweets last week. He, like Raskin, pointed out that these were clear violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. “The Foreign Emoluments Clause is the core anti-corruption clause of Art I. The Domestic Emoluments Clause is the core anti-profiteering clause of Art II,” Tribe explained. “Congress’ consent (or lack of it) is key to the first. It’s irrelevant to the second. Trump is violating both.”

Want your criminal record expunged? New study offering free legal assistance could help

A new study launching in Kansas hopes to take a long-term look at how clearing criminal records can help improve the lives of ex-offenders. Over the next year and a half, Kansas Legal Services will be looking for 300 to 450 Kansans to participate in an expungement study that will offer legal assistance to convicts who want a clean slate. To be eligible for the study, a person must have a conviction eligible for expungement under Kansas law, served their sentence in full including any parole or probation and paid all associated fines and fees. Study participants must also agree to let researchers from the Harvard School of Law Access to Justice Lab track their lives for up to five years to see how their situations — especially housing and job opportunities — change.

Like a fish out of a war zone

An article by Samantha Power:  From the moment I arrived at Harvard Law School in late August of 1995, I feared I wouldn’t last. During the nearly two years I had just spent as a war correspondent in the Balkans, I found myself imagining how gratifying it would be to learn the law and pursue the arrest of Balkan war criminals as a prosecutor at The Hague. But as I struggled to adjust to my new life back in the United States, all I could think about was the place I had left behind. The day before law school began, I had loaded up a Ryder truck in Brooklyn with two suitcases, a bicycle, and my laptop, and driven toward Boston. Just as I reached the city, NPR cut into its radio program with a breaking news bulletin: “NATO air action around Sarajevo is under way.” By my second week at HLS, U.S. air strikes had broken the siege of Sarajevo and brought the Bosnian war to an end.

Presidential Power Must Be Curbed After Trump, 2020 Candidates Say

Democratic presidential candidates broadly agree that President Trump has shaken the presidency loose from its constitutional limits and say that the White House needs major new legal curbs, foreshadowing a potential era of reform akin to the post-Watergate period if any of them wins next year’s election. … But though the candidates “seem committed to reforming the presidency,” they might have second thoughts from the vantage point of the Oval Office, said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration who reviewed their responses. “The next Democratic president will happily accept new rules on tax releases, but will have a harder time accepting constraints on security clearances and emergency or war powers,” he said. “Institutional prerogative often defeats prior reformist pledges.”

Some industries see Trump’s rule killing going too far

When President Trump won in 2016, corporate America was eager for Republicans to begin rolling back the Obama legacy on everything from banking to the environment. But it seems that for at least some industries, the president and his party have gone too far in rolling back environmental standards. … Caitlin McCoy, a climate, clean air and energy fellow at Harvard Law School, noted that in the case of the European Union, high gas taxes and factors like affordable public transit, rather than stringent regulations, pushed consumers to seek higher-efficiency vehicles. … Hana Vizcarra, a staff attorney with Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program, credited mainstream investors as well as the general public for pushing the oil and gas industry to take greater action on climate. She noted that corporate actors have always had to balance a mix of pressures, including federal regulations that have driven or suppressed environmental action. “Right now, we are seeing a pretty dramatic shift in terms of how those buckets balance out,” Vizcarra said. …  But former EPA official Joseph Goffman warned against interpreting this period as an invitation to continue to back off regulation that is explicitly geared toward protecting public health and the environment. “We have to be clear about this: Corporate pursuit of self-interest is not a substitute for public policy. They are not working as surrogates to the government; they are working out workarounds to respond to state and federal government,” Goffman said.

The Auto Rule Rollback That Nobody Wants, Except Trump

An op-ed by Jodi FreemanAuto companies prize certainty in how the government regulates them because of the long timelines involved in designing and manufacturing cars and trucks. Now the Trump administration has upended that certainty by going to extraordinary lengths to roll back Obama-era greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards that even much of the industry supports. It’s a senseless exercise of apparent presidential pique. Worse, it threatens to undo what would be the country’s most important climate achievement, the doubling of vehicle fuel efficiency to about 55 miles per gallon by 2025. Those standards all told would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by six billion metric tons, cutting auto sector emissions in half by 2025, and saved American families more than $1.7 trillion in gas, with an average fuel savings, for instance, of more than $8,000 for a 2025 model vehicle over its average lifetime.

The anti-liberal moment

Shortly after its post-World War I creation, the foundations of Germany’s Weimar Republic began to quake. In 1923, Hitler staged an abortive coup attempt in Bavaria, the so-called Beer Hall Putsch — a failure that nonetheless turned Hitler into a reactionary celebrity, a sign of German discontent with the post-war political order. … Liberalism “constantly disrupts deeply cherished traditions among its subject populations, stirring unrest, animosity, and eventually political reaction and backlash,” Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule, one of the most prominent of the reactionary anti-liberals, said in a May speech.

Tulsi Gabbard Announces Fixing Democracy As First Act As President

In a wide-ranging conversation about the state of our democracy with Equal Citizens founder and Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, Gabbard also supported a wide range of specific democracy reforms, including the use of ranked choice voting, proportional allocation of electors in the electoral college, and getting big money out of politics to end corruption. She pledged democracy reform would be her first priority as president. “You’re a candidate who supports fundamental chance, who supports HR1,” said Lessig. “Would you support what we call POTUS1? Would you say that, like Nancy Pelosi, you think democracy reform is the first Congress should take up in 2021?”

Why even the most successful professionals feel insecure

Laura Empson is a former investment banker and strategy consultant who became an academic. She has conducted academic research into professional organisations for more than 25 years and is now professor in the management of professional service firms at Cass Business School, London, director of the Cass Centre for Professional Service Firms and senior research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Centre on the Legal Profession. She spoke to AFR BOSS magazine about the complex challenges of leading professional services firms, which flout the conventional “rules” of management and leadership, and why they are often home to so-called insecure overachievers. … “A professional needs a considerable degree of autonomy to make decisions about how best to deliver a professional service to their clients. Traditionally, professionals, and certainly senior professionals, have had a considerable degree of freedom and independence from managerial control. But as the firms have grown, and some of them are now very large indeed, there has to be some kind of overarching organising principle to get these independent professionals to work together. That’s where the leadership comes in.”