With spring term classes just beginning, Harvard Law School's campus is beginning to swing back into its cycle of stressed out law students chugging coffee, sleeping in Langdell, and nervously cramming for their next Socratic interrogation. Yet the break has not been devoid of news from the campus just north of the yard. Here's what you missed over the winter recess.
Cruzin’ and Law Reviewin’
Flyby’s favorite HLS alumni serving in the U.S. Senate reconnected with his former law school once again this January—this time on the pages of the Harvard Law Review’s latest issue. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas who graduated from the Law School in 1995, authored a 10,000-word essay on the “Limits of Treaty Power,” offering his thoughts on Bond v. United States, a case currently before the Supreme Court. Cruz argues that the case, which addresses the federal government’s power to make treaties, represents a significant moment in which the Court must limit the President’s power. In a technical constitutional analysis that spans 181 footnotes, Cruz left a staunchly conservative mark on the Law Review, seen by many as the height of the liberal academia. Perhaps the Law School has evolved from its time as the Kremlin on the Charles, an accusation which Cruz aired last year, or maybe the Senator is simply making the first step.
Barron Battles On
Harvard Law School professor David J. Barron, a former Crimson president who was nominated by President Barack Obama in September for the First Circuit Court of Appeals, made it one step closer to becoming a federal judge this January. After facing an uphill battle in the Senate as Obama’s nominees were rejected one by one, filibuster reform in December seemed to ensure his confirmation. On January 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Barron, along with 28 other nominees, to the full Senate. Yet Barron did face some opposition, particularly from Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, who called Barron’s views “far outside the mainstream.” Barron passed through with a vote of ten to eight and is expected to be confirmed soon. Meanwhile, here at Harvard, President Drew G. Faust charged Barron with heading a task force to look at email privacy policies across the University. The report is supposed to be issued to Faust in January. The question remains—which body will work faster, a committee made up of Harvard faculty members or the United States Senate?
Grade Inflation, Law School Style
While grade inflation at Harvard College has made headlines across the country, even more serious problems are coming out of Harvard Law School. The jury is still out on whether Mathew Martoma, a former hedge fund manager, carried out one of the largest insider trading schemes in history. But there is no question that he cheated the system as a student at Harvard Law School a decade and a half ago when he was expelled for creating a false transcript in an application for a clerkship. Martoma changed several grades from B’s to A’s, and then faked even more evidence to cover his tracks. Perhaps this can serve as a lesson to the College: if you are concerned about grade inflation, you can always just expel the students with A’s.