Monthly Archives: April 2014

Net Neutral?

By Noah Marks  Last week, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that the FCC’s third attempt to regulate “in defense” of net neutrality would allow “commercially reasonable” agreements between content providers and Internet service providers. The “commercially reasonable” test aligns with the January DC Appeals Court decision striking down the FCC’s previous attempt but…

Jonathan Peters on the Constitutionality of Prosecuting Wikileaks

HLPR Online editorial staff Writing for the online edition of the Harvard Law and Policy Review, Jonathan Peters argues that the Justice Department should proceed carefully in any prosecution of Wikileaks or Julian Assange due to serious constitutional concerns: [T]he standard the Court used for prior restraint in the Pentagon Papers case could be roughly the same…

The “Pen and Phone”: Executive Action in Immigration Reform

By Ana Choi The comprehensive immigration reform package passed by the Senate last year has yet to be taken up by the House of Representatives, due to partisan disagreement over issues such as the path to citizenship and reinforcement of border security.  Meanwhile, President Obama has come under increasing pressure to use his executive power…

Create Real Redistricting Reform through Internet-Scale Independent Commissions

Micah Altman, MIT Libraries; Brookings Institution Michael P. McDonald, George Mason University; Brookings Institution Discussion of redistricting reform often generates more heat than light. Much of the commentary dismisses the possibility of thoughtful, responsible electoral mapping altogether. Critics who dismiss responsible electoral mapping generally takes one of two lines of argument: Either they urge the…

Elections in America: Campaign Finance Reform

Mr. Robert Maguire did not express any opinions about what the future of campaign finance should be; he just presented the findings of his research. Likewise, Mr. O’Mara made it clear that his comments only reflect his personal opinion and not that of Congressman Sarbanes. With the McCutcheon decision fresh in everyone’s minds, the panelists…

Elections in America: Voting Rights

This afternoon, the Harvard Law and Policy Review was privileged to host a panel on voting rights. The panelists (James Blacksher, Heather Smith, Rachel Schneider, and Ronnie Cho) discussed the implications of recent Supreme Court decisions and restrictive voting laws on voter registration and the franchise. Although the panelists discussed the significant setbacks that voting…

Elections in America: Expert Panel Discusses Need to Separate the Districting Process from Self-Interested Legislators

  HLPR’s Spring 2014 Symposium on Elections in America, held on Saturday, April 5, began with a panel on electoral districting.  Districting is one of the most consequential aspects of elections—often deciding outcomes, ensuring perennial incumbency, and strengthening or weakening the political influence of particular communities—yet it is also one of the least transparent processes…

Elections in America Symposium Keynote Address: Congressman Sarbanes

  This year’s keynote speaker was Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD). Congressman Sarbanes is the author of the Government by the People Act (H.R. 20), which would create a new public campaign financing system to give candidates a way to wage campaigns without taking donations from special interests. The congressman spoke about how, because his district…

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