The striking down of California’s Proposition 8 voter initiative banning same-sex couples from marrying sets up what may be a quick appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. … Two Harvard University law professors said that the Supreme Court will probably be closely divided on the issue. …
… Professor Charles Fried predicted the Supreme Court would find gays have a constitutional right to marry. “I think it’s hard to avoid,” . . . said Fried, who served as U.S. Solicitor General under Republican President Ronald Reagan.
The fulcrum of that nine-judge court is likely to be Justice Anthony Kennedy … said professor Mark Tushnet … “Whatever he thinks, that’s what the law is going to be,” Tushnet said in a phone interview. “He has been a reasonably strong proponent of gay rights on the court. Whether this is a bridge too far or a bridge too soon, I don’t think anybody can tell.”
Some AT&T shareholders want more than just dollars and cents from the board of directors in the aftermath of the company’s aborted takeover of T-Mobile: They want to know how company money is being spent to influence politics. … The divide over political disclosure at AT&T is nothing new — shareholder groups have been pressuring the company on the issue since 2004. … This year, however, AT&T investors are planning to put the measure up for vote again … as the company is coming off a publicly bruising and politically expensive battle over its failed T-Mobile deal.
“AT&T’s recent complete disaster in the Deutsche Telekom deal … that’s exactly the kind of thing that will make the board and managers and shareholders think long and hard about disclosure of political activity,” said John Coates, a corporate governance expert and professor at Harvard Law School.
Companies dislike the idea of giving investors more say over who runs for board seats. Among their arguments: It could shift power to shareholders, such as unions, which may have goals at odds with maximizing value. The stock market doesn’t agree, according to economists Bo Becker, Daniel Bergstresser and Harvard Law School Professor Guhan Subramanian.
We used to know how to know. Get some experts, maybe a methodology, add some criteria and credentials, publish the results, and you get knowledge we can all rely on. But as knowledge is absorbed by our new digital medium, its becoming clear that the fundamentals of knowledge are not properties of knowledge but of its old paper medium. Skulls dont scale. But the Net does. Now networked knowledge is taking on the properties of its new medium: never being settled, including disagreement within itself, and becoming not a set of stopping points but a web of temptations. Networked knowledge, for all its strengths, has its own set of problems. But, in knowledges new nature there is perhaps a hint about why the Net has such surprising transformative power. David Weinberger — senior researcher at the Berkman Center and co-director of the Harvard Law School Library Lab — talks about some important take aways from his new book “Too Big to Know.”
On Jan. 28, the Harvard Law Review elected Conor S. Tochilin [’13] as its 126th president. Tochilin, a second-year student at the Law School, is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at Harvard Business School in addition to a law degree. … “Because I have a lawand business background, I felt like it would be a fun management challenge in addition to immersing myself in the legal scholarship,” he said.
The coverage of Perry v. Brown–aka the Prop. 8 Ruling– from various news sources. Front page news on all sites surveyed except for Fox News.
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have limited effect outside California because it is based on voter repeal of a right a minority already enjoyed.
Like Judge Walker, the panel found that Proposition 8 – passed by California voters in November 2008 by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent — violated the equal protection rights of two same-sex couples that brought he suit. The proposition placed a specific prohibition in the State Constitution against marriage between two people of the same sex.
NYTimes: Marriage Ban Violates Constitution, Court Rules.
Tuesday’s decision is likely just the second stop in a battle that could next be appealed to an expanded 11-judge panel of the same court—or directly to the Supreme Court. . . . Andy Pugno, general counsel for the ProtectMarriage.com coalition, the official proponents of Propostion 8, said he would “immediately” appeal the ruling. That likely would cause the verdict to be further stayed.
Update at 1:54 p.m. ET. Newt Gingrich Condemns Decision:
“Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let’s end judicial supremacy,” Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich’s Twitter page says.
Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. Pelosi Reacts:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrat in the House,says on her Twitter page that Prop 8 was ruled to be “what we knew it to be: unconstitutional. Victory for equality & CA families!”
Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for the two couples who successfully sued to overturn the ban have repeatedly said they would consider appealing to a larger panel of the court and then the U.S. Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit. . . .
The panel also said there was no evidence that former Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker was biased and should have disclosed before he issued his decision that he was gay and in a long-term relationship with another man.
A video profile of HLS student Cortlan Wickliff ’13: Cortlan was just 19 when, in 2010, he became the youngest African-American man to earn a bioengineering degree at Rice University. There he worked on a number of major research projects, including ways to test the sensitivity of premature babies’ hearing, developing a heart- and respiration-rate monitor for infants and modifying pacemakers to better monitor vital signs. Cortlan’s interest in the medical field developed early. … Now in his second year at Harvard LawSchool, Cortlan plans to specialize in intellectual property.
Daniel Halperin: “Clearly [Mitt Romney] is making money on the low rate of capital gains,” Halperin said. “You could say a couple of things about that. First of all, the effective (tax) rate that is shown is much lower than his rate really is, because he has all kinds of income that doesn’t appear on the return – all of the deferred compensation he has and also the unrealized gains on his assets. … If the stock goes up or the property goes up in value, you don’t have to pay taxes on it until you sell it. If you have the kind of money he has, you never sell it. And when you die, that gain disappears.”
An opinion piece by HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig: … [Congress], the core of our democracy, is politically bankrupt. And it was therefore appropriate, indeed, essential, that the president make its reform the catalyst for any real “change.” If this indeed was to be “change you could believe in,” changing Congress had to be part of the plan. … Yet three years into this administration, we have yet to see the plan. In Obama’s first year as president, reform of Congress was nowhere on his agenda.