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Judge denies Solomon injunction

New Jersey District Court Judge John C. Lifland last week denied a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the federal government from enforcing the Solomon Amendment, at least while the case was being decided. The Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, whose membership is anonymous, had filed the lawsuit along with other organizations, law professors and law students against the Defense Department and other government agencies.

Meanwhile, Lambda sent President Summers a petition urging him “to defend Harvard’s nondiscrimation policy against the Solomon Amendment.” The petition had the signatures of 1082 members of the Harvard community, including 602 current students at Harvard Law School.

The Record will run an article next week detailing the judge’s report and gathering reaction from interested groups.

Prominent Democrats to speak at HLS

This weekend, Harvard Law School will be the site of the first annual Democratic Law Students Convention.

Organized by the HLS Democrats, the convention will feature political figures such as Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, former Governor Michael Dukakis, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and more.

The two-day event already has students registered to attend from at least twelve schools and six states. Organizers hope to create an opportunity for young democrats from around the northeast to gather with political leaders to discuss the Democratic party, the upcoming election and various current political issues.

Panel discussions will include, “Running for Office as a Young Democrat,” featuring young, politically-active Democrats such as Massachusetts State Senator Jarrett Barrios.

All of the scheduled events will take place in the Ropes Gray Room on the second floor of Pound Hall.

The Friday schedule includes: Rep. Ford at 4 PM, former DNC Chairman and current National Co-Chair of Dean for America Steve Grossman at 5:30 PM and a reception with representatives from the various presidential campaigns at 6:30 PM.

The Saturday schedule includes: Gov. Rendell at 10:15 AM, a panel on the media and the 2004 election featuring speakers from the K-School, Boston Globe, and New York Post at 11:00 AM, Robert Reich at 12:15 PM, Gov. Dukakis leading the panel on running for office at 2:30 PM and Rep. Frank at 4 PM.

Senate begins all-night marathon session

On Wednesday night, Senate Republicans launched 30 hours of uninterrupted debate on President Bush’s blocked judicial nominees. The “reverse fillibuster” is an attempt by Republicans to bring attention to the four nominees blocked by Senate Democrats:Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, Texas judge Priscilla Owen, Mississippi judge Charles Pickering and lawyer Miguel Estrada.

Democrats point out that they have approved 168 of Bush’s nominees.

Because Senate rules require agreement from both sides to quickly confirm a nominee, the GOP cannot force a confirmation vote as long as one Democrat is present on the floor tonight. But if they fall asleep or stop paying attention, the GOP will immediately confirm the nominees, said Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

In turn, Tom Daschle said if Republicans stop paying attention he will immediately pass Democratic legislation such as a bill to raise the minimum wage.

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