Originalism and the Death of Conservatism

During judicial confirmation hearings on Tuesday, the Senators’ questions about Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy centered on whether he is an “originalist.”  This comes as no surprise, since, thanks to Justice Thomas and the late Justice Scalia, originalism is now the litmus test for conservative judges.  Voters and pundits on the Right now ask judges whether they are activist or originalist, whether they legislate from the bench or interpret the law as its writers meant.

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Going to a Firm? Take the Public Interest Pledge

When Trump won the election, I spun out a little. To avoid months of anxiety before Election Day, I had refused to believe he could win even though a pit in my stomach told me otherwise.

But he won. I took a couple hours to grieve, and then I started asking myself (and, honestly, anyone who would listen): “What do we do?!”

The best answer has been to prepare ourselves. We need to get out of our feelings, focus, and plan, especially as lawyers-in-training who are in close proximity to the institutions that sanctioned this mess. The weeks and months ahead will be filled with bias and bigotry. We need to get comfortable now with constant activism and dissent. We need to be empathetic, to keep having difficult conversations with family and friends, and to organize.

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President Faust: Alumnae Should Have Role in Dean Search

Dear President Faust,

Thank you for the invitation to provide input regarding the search for the next Dean of Harvard Law School. I am writing on behalf of the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance (“HLSWA”). Founded in 2010, the HLSWA represents over 13,000 women who have graduated from Harvard Law School — 32% of the HLS alumni. One of the primary goals of the HLSWA is to increase the presence of HLS alumnae in positions of power and leadership.

As the largest and most active HLS alumni and special interest group, we write to encourage the Search Committee to include in the evaluation of candidates for the position of Dean of HLS evidence of his or her commitment to promoting advancement of women and gender equality.

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The Dean Search: An Open Letter from The Women’s Law Association to President Faust

Dear President Faust,

Thank you for welcoming the opinions of the law school community in your search for the next Dean of Harvard Law School. As a part of the law school community, the Harvard Women’s Law Association (WLA) is one of the largest and most active student organizations on campus. We are a diverse group dedicated to supporting women at the law school and beyond, and we wanted to share our collective vision for the future of our institution.

The selection of the next Dean will send a message about Harvard Law School’s mission and values that extends far beyond Cambridge. The next Dean needs to work to promote diversity and gender equality, social justice, innovation in legal education, student inclusiveness and community building, and transparency, and the message we send with this selection should emphasize a commitment to this work. We need a Dean who is committed to building upon the public interest work advanced by Dean Minow. We need an active leader who will lead the law school through a challenging political, social, and economic climate, and who will accelerate the mission “to educate leaders who contribute to the advancement of justice and the well-being of society.”

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Record Review: The Bachelor Week 10

Oh hi! I didn’t see you come in. I was just sitting on my couch thinking about what I’m doing with my life and how to maintain a sense of purpose in these final months of my education (…just kidding, I was watching Hawaii 5-0 on Netflix). But now that you’re here, I can get down to the important and meaningful work of writing about The Bachelor. Where did we leave off last week?

That’s right! Raven just told the world she’d never had an orgasm (with her ex-boyfriend, or, alternately, ever?), then toddled into the Fantasy Suite to share a night of passion with Nick. (Gross.)

Continue reading Record Review: The Bachelor Week 10″

It Got Really Ugly Really Fast

This past presidential election and its aftermath show how divided this country is over so many social and other issues. Many on both sides of this divide carry a tinder box of opinions that can catch fire at the slightest provocation.

Students of American history well know that American institutions have been tested in battle before and survived. For example, Thomas Jefferson led the nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and Andrew Jackson was not accepted by some as a “legitimate” president. Suffice to say that “false facts” are not a recent creation. So, while we should all probably despair a little less about the future of our country, that doesn’t make our interactions with people who hold strong opinions that are contrary to our own any less challenging. I learned this the hard way.

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An Interview with Professor Tribe

Professor Laurence Tribe is part of a legal team that has filed a lawsuit against President Trump, arguing that transactions between the Trump Organization and foreign governments violate the Emoluments Clause in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution. The Record recently spoke to Professor Tribe about the Emoluments Clause and the lawsuit his group has filed.

The Record: Explain the lawsuit you’ve filed against the President – what is the Emoluments Clause and how has President Trump violated it?   Continue reading “An Interview with Professor Tribe”

Record Review: The Bachelor Week 9

Hello my turtledoves. I’m sorry this week’s recap is late! I’ve fallen victim to the post-Parody plague, and every surface in my apartment is now covered with a film of cough drop wrappers, Saltine crumbs, and half-drunk mugs of tea. But Parody was so worth it! And really, all great art is about suffering.

Speaking of suffering, let’s jump into this past week’s episode. Much of the Internet found it super boring, but I actually thought there was a lot going on. The episode begins with a totally spontaneous and unexpected conversation with Andi Dorfman, who broke Nick’s heart three years ago (How was that only three years ago? It feels like so much longer).

“Andi is the last person I ever thought I would see,” Nick says, his eyes totally dead, his face registering none of the expressions human beings associate with surprise.

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“All Rise!”, Episode 6: Michael Klarman

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its sixth episode (and first episode of its second season): an interview with Harvard Law School professor Michael Klarman. Klarman is a leading constitutional scholar, a specialist in the racial history of the Supreme Court, a Bancroft Prize winner, and the cause of Harvard Law’s longest waitlist. He joined All Rise! in January to discuss growing up, betting, the Constitution, Donald Trump, UVA and baseball.

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 2Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

At The Harvard Law Forum: Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice

A decade ago, William Quigley penned “Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice.” In it, he reminded students that “justice is a counter-cultural value in our legal profession…you cannot be afraid to be different.” To keep the message of the letter alive, The Harvard Law Forum and the Public Interest Committee of the Harvard Law Student Government invited four incredible classmates and alums who chose public interest vocations to share their testimonies about living out the politics of joy and justice. Continue reading “At The Harvard Law Forum: Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice”

A Response to Alexander J. Cullen’s “In Support of the Immigration Ban” published in the Harvard Crimson on February 19, 2017

I commend Mr. Cullen’s satirical editorial recently published in The Crimson for challenging all Americans who defend the remaining rotting columns of white supremacy to face the mirror and consider our place on this land’s past, present, and future. His piece can be read here: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/2/22/alexander-cullen-in-support-of-the-immigration-ban/

Read plainly, Mr. Cullen argues that Trump’s travel ban is necessary to protect American freedom from people in the seven banned countries who threaten our values from beyond our borders. Though people may “travel to the United States to partake in our democratic tradition—and even serve in our military,” he argues, “due caution is necessary to protect our solid ground of liberty from anyone who fundamentally opposes it.” This, told through the lens of Pedro Salsedo who arrived in the Americas on Columbus’ voyage of 1492. Ironic—I know.

Although difficult, at first, to recognize as satire, if you follow his arguments closely, you’ll realize that he never intended for us to consider his notions seriously. First, Mr. Cullen references Salsedo, his ancestor on the Santa Maria who traveled with Columbus to Puerto Rico in 1492. But a cursory web search reveals that Columbus did not visit Puerto Rico in 1492 and the Santa Maria ran aground in Haiti before venturing as far east as PR.[1] So what is Mr. Cullen getting at, if not signaling to the reader that she should treat with skepticism his remaining positions?

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Record Review: The Bachelor Week 8

And we’re back! I know we’re a little bit late this week. That’s because I do have other stuff going on in my life, such as Parody (which you should all go see!) and working on a cat puzzle in the TAP office. (And … classes? Sure. Classes too.)

But it was worth the wait, because this week’s episode was Hometown Dates, where Nick travels back to the hometowns of each of the remaining women and meets their friends and family members who are willing to appear on this ridiculous show. Despite whatever absurd cliffhanger we had last week with the women talking about how nervous they were about being turned away, Nick gives roses to each of the remaining ladies (Raven, Rachel, Corinne, and Vanessa), and away we go.

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HLS’s Student Summer Contribution Policy Disadvantages Poorer Law Students

This is the story of two talented, hardworking Harvard Law School 1Ls: Amy and Kara. Both Amy and Kara are going to be working for ten weeks this summer at a large firm in New York City. Both will earn roughly $30,000. For Amy, all her summer post-tax earnings accrue to her as financial gain, while Kara will only keep about $9,000.

The reason for this disparity is because Amy’s parents pay for her tuition and she is not eligible for Harvard Law’s need-based financial aid grants. As such, all of her earnings go to her bank account, and none will be used to offset any financial aid.

However, Kara, who comes from a modest financial background, was eligible for about $30,000 in need-based aid her 1L year, and most of her earnings will be used to offset that financial aid in her 2L year. At first it may seem strange or even counter-intuitive that Amy’s family wealth and Kara’s relative need leads to that outcome.

Here’s how it happens:

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Students Take to Streets in Anti-Trump Protests

Starting with the Women’s March on January 21, scores of Harvard Law students joined hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching in Boston and around the country for left-leaning causes in the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

In the weeks following the Women’s March, HLS students joined several other demonstrations in the Boston area, including a demonstration for the release of detainees at Logan International Airport on January 28 and a protest against President Trump’s anti-immigration executive orders in Copley Square on January 29.

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