Google AI Struggles to Keep Mosque Shooting Clip Off YouTube

YouTube has tried to keep violent and hateful videos off its service for years. The Google unit hired thousands of human moderators and put some of the best minds in artificial intelligence on the problem. … He posted a manifesto filled with references to internet and alt-right culture, most likely designed to give journalists more material to work with and therefore spread his notoriety further, said Jonas Kaiser, a researcher affiliated with Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. “The patterns seem to be very similar to prior events,” Kaiser said.

Some essential reading for ethically compromised parents

…. While teaching, I saw repeatedly the extent to which my students’ ethics — or ethical lapses — were shaped by their helicopter parents. Now, I’d love to be the one to put a learning on those adults. …“The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education,” by Lani Guinier. Harvard law professor Guinier delivers an uplifting vision for higher education. She demands we abandon America’s “Testocracy,” which obsesses over standardized test scores that measure little more than access to privilege, in favor of a truly collaborative approach to admissions and education that emphasizes people’s holistic competence. This wake-up call asks America to shatter its current higher education paradigm, because it is neither equitable nor effective.

Congress Has a Breaking Point. This Week, Trump Might Have Found It.

Time and again — when President Trump stood by Saudi Arabia after the killing of a Virginia-based journalist, when it looked as if he might intervene in the special counsel’s Russia investigation and when he threatened to declare a national emergency to pay for his border wall — lawmakers on Capitol Hill warned him not to push them too far. This week, in a remarkable series of bipartisan rebukes to the president, Congress pushed back. … The rejection of Mr. Trump’s national emergency declaration could also give ammunition to a half-dozen legal cases challenging the president’s exercise of that power under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, said Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush. “Some judges may count that as evidence of congressional intent,” Mr. Goldsmith said, though he added that he disagreed with that view.

Connecticut Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families’ Case Against Remington To Proceed

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday to reinstate a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer Remington, filed by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. If Remington loses the suit, it would be a landmark ruling that would deal a huge blow to the gun industry. Guest: Nancy Gertner, former Massachusetts federal judge, senior lecturer at Harvard Law School and WBUR legal analyst.

Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

An article by Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker: … On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though it’s not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject failure” in its discriminatory, ineffective, and inaccurate application. He also declared that the death penalty itself is an immoral practice. Is this latest development in California, like the California Supreme Court’s decision in 1972, just a small roadblock to the continued use of capital punishment? Or is it a harbinger of further decline and perhaps even abolition of the American death penalty? We think the latter.

Hooked on Mueller probe? HLS student’s blog posts are must-reads

… Co-founded in 2010 by Harvard Law School (HLS) Professor Jack Goldsmith; Robert Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law; and Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes, the national security website [Lawfare] has become a go-to source for timely expertise on a host of related legal issues, from surveillance and cybersecurity to interrogation and war powers. … Though its masthead is stocked with seasoned legal firepower from across the country, two of Lawfare’s most widely discussed stories in the past few months — an exhaustive analysis of the so-called Steele dossier and a look at efforts to obstruct justice during Watergate — were co-authored by Sarah Grant, a highly accomplished yet stunningly modest third-year at HLS.

Trump’s ’emergency’ is already doing serious harm. Courts must end it if Congress can’t.

An op-ed by Laurence Tribe: The Senate has now joined the House in approving a resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” to get billions of dollars that Congress refused to give him for a wall on the southern border. Even Republican Sen. Mike Lee, who led a last-ditch effort to strike a deal with the president, supported the 59-41 congressional rebuke. The resolution is less than a page long and does little to capture the full human stakes of Trump’s latest act of self-aggrandizement. The declaration itself is causing serious harm to our border communities — and that harm can’t be undone if Trump vetoes the resolution, as he has vowed he will. Cities like El Paso, Texas, thrive as safe and successful communities precisely because of their cooperative relationship with the Mexican authorities and people.

Unpopular Speech in a Cold Climate

An article by Jeannie Suk Gersen: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This exhortation by an anti-royalist revolutionary, in “Henry VI, Part II,” remains one of Shakespeare’s most dependable laugh lines. Lawyers are a pain. At some point or another, everyone wants to get rid of them, especially when legalities seem to stand in the way of sweeping social change. Therein lies the bite of the joke. As the Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens once wrote, in a footnote to a dissenting opinion, Shakespeare “realized that disposing of lawyers is a step in the direction of a totalitarian form of government.” It was decidedly unfunny, last month, to see the words “Down w Sullivan!” spray-painted on the doors of Winthrop House, the residence of Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., the first African-American faculty dean of an undergraduate house at Harvard. (Sullivan is also a colleague of mine at Harvard Law School and a renowned defense attorney.)

The second Manafort sentencing was a good day for justice

After the skimpy sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in Virginia last week, Wednesday proved satisfying for those straining to see some semblance of equal justice under the law. … Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe told me that “the crimes charged appear to be very serious and distinct enough from the federal crimes for which Manafort has been sentenced to avoid any double jeopardy problem either as a matter of New York law or as a matter of federal constitutional law in the event that the Supreme Court were to jettison the separate sovereigns doctrine in Gamble v. United States, currently awaiting decision after the December 6 oral argument.”