CALL FOR ABSTRACTS AND REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: 2015 Annual Conference
Law, Religion, and American Healthcare

Saturday, May 09, 2015
Conferences
2014-2015
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East BC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce plans for…

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SAVE THE DATE: Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 30, 2015 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Conferences
2014-2015
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East AB
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for the Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review symposium, with leading experts discussing major developments during…

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Appeals Court Cancels Arguments on Health Law Subsidies

Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014
by Jess Bravin

A federal appeals court on Wednesday canceled December arguments over health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, following the Supreme Court’s Nov. 7 decision to review the issue…

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Who Would Have Health Insurance if Medicaid Expansion Weren’t Optional

New York Times, November 3, 2014
by Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — its expansion of Medicaid to low-income people around the country — must be optional for…

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Texas Women Forced to Reassess After New Ruling on Abortions

New York Times, October 3, 2014
by Laura Tillman and Erik Eckholm

The day after a federal appeals court allowed stringent new abortion restrictions to take effect in Texas, patients arrived on Friday at Whole Woman’s Health here in the Rio Grande Valley to…

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Health Law Gets Reprieve As Appeals Court Agrees To Rehear Key Case

NPR, September 4, 2014
by Julie Rovner

The controversial federal court decision that threatened the future of the Affordable Care Act is no more. The full District of Columbia Court of Appeals Thursday agreed to rehear Halbig v.…

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Will Textualism Kill Obamacare?

The New Yorker, September 3, 2014
by Jeffrey Toobin

The Affordable Care Act is heading for another near-death experience in the Supreme Court. In July, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued…

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Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction on Abortion Clinics

NPR, August 29, 2014
by Carrie Feibel

A federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical…

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California Court Limits Caregiver Suits

New York Times, August 19, 2014
by Judith Graham

The California Supreme Court has ruled that a home health aide may not sue a client with Alzheimer’s disease for an injury incurred on the job. The case is one of the…

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The Question Doctors Can’t Ask:

The Atlantic, August 11, 2014
by James Hamblin

When police in Texas City, Texas, arrived at a suburban apartment on August 7, they found an eight-year-old boy who was seriously injured. He had been shot in the face,…

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Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional

Washington Times, July 29, 2014
by Stephen Dinan and Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Legal scholars say origination clause challenges, historically, have been a tough sell in the courts. Indeed, it is “very rarely litigated,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health expert at Harvard…

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Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional

Washington Times, July 29, 2014
by Stephen Dinan and Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen

[...] Legal scholars say origination clause challenges, historically, have been a tough sell in the courts. Indeed, it is “very rarely litigated,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health expert at Harvard…

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Appeals court rules FDA can continue allowing antibiotics in animal feed:

Al Jazeera America, July 24, 2014
by Marisa Taylor

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can continue its policy of allowing widespread antibiotic use in animal feed – a practice believed by…

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BREAKING — D.C. Circuit strikes down tax credits in federal exchanges

Washington Post, July 22, 2014
by Jonathan H. Adler

This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released its much awaited opinion in Halbig v. Burwell.  In a 2-1 opinion, the Court held that the Internal Revenue…

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D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies:

Washington Times, July 22, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] To redress the potentially fatal blow to its signature law, the administration will likely seek an “en banc” hearing on the case by all the judges in the D.C. Circuit. That…

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D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies:

Washington Times, July 22, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] To redress the potentially fatal blow to its signature law, the administration will likely seek an “en banc” hearing on the case by all the judges in the D.C. Circuit. That…

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Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

NPR, July 16, 2014
by Alan Greenblatt

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday. Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed…

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After Hobby Lobby, ACA exceptions may become the rule

Reuters, July 15, 2014
by Interview with Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

Holly Fernandez Lynch analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision, saying the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed by Congress, will shape the impact as much as the…

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Abortion Clinic Protections Proposed in Massachusetts

New York Times, July 14, 2014
by Jess Bidgood

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers expressed support for a bill filed on Monday that they say would address safety concerns that arose when theUnited States Supreme Court last month struck down 35-foot buffer zones…

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Dozens Of Religious Groups Refuse To Sign Contraceptive Opt-Out

Kaiser Health News, July 14, 2014

The two-page form, designed to accommodate religious beliefs, is regarded as an untenable compromise by some religious employers, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, GOP governors see little fallout from…

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Conflicting Views Of Supreme Court’s Contraception Decision Cloud Other Cases

Kaiser Health News, July 8, 2014
by Julie Rovner

The Supreme Court’s decision last week that some for-profit corporations don’t have to comply with the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act may have raised more questions than…

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When Religious Freedom Clashes with Access to Care:

NEJM, July 2, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), Gregory Curfman

At the tail end of this year's Supreme Court term, religious freedom came into sharp conflict with the government's interest in providing affordable access to health care. In a consolidated…

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Hobby Lobby stunner:

Washington Times, June 30, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

[...] Holly Lynch, a health and ethics expert at Harvard Law School, said she was “not surprised in the least that contraceptives in particular were not covered directly in the…

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Court strikes down abortion clinic buffer zones

Washington Post, June 26, 2014
by Robert Barnes

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s…

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New York’s Ban on Big Sodas Is Rejected by Final Court

New York Times, June 26, 2014
by Michael M. Grynbaum

The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead. The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s…

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Judge Upholds Policy Barring Unvaccinated Students During Illnesses

New York Times, June 22, 2014
by Benjamin Mueller

In a case weighing the government’s ability to require vaccination against the individual right to refuse it, a federal judge has upheld a New York City policy that bars unimmunized…

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Contraceptive Coverage Case Decison Still Pending

Kaiser Health News, June 16, 2014

The decision on the legal challenge to the health law's birth control mandate will be issued by the end of this month. Also yet to be released is the Supreme Court's opinion on abortion opponents' free-speech challenge to a Massachusetts…

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EU’s top court may define obesity as a disability:

BBC, June 12, 2014

Denmark has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the case of a male childminder who says he was sacked for being too fat. Karsten Kaltoft weighs about…

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Patrick airs $20m plan to combat opioid use:

Boston Globe, June 10, 2014
by Brian MacQuarrie

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans Tuesday to upgrade treatment for opioid addicts, expand insurance coverage, and coordinate with the other five New England governors to stem an epidemic that has…

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Judge Voids Expansion of Discount Drug Program

New York Times, June 8, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has struck down a new rule requiring drug companies to offer certain drugs at discounted prices, saying the Obama administration had no authority to issue…

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New York City Soda Fight, in Court, Tests Agency’s Power

New York Times, June 4, 2014
by Michael M. Grynbaum

ALBANY — New York City’s battle over sugary drinks is entering its endgame. But much more than soda is at stake. A plan to limit the sale of large, high-calorie…

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Supreme Court strikes down Florida law on intellectually disabled death row inmates

Washington Post, May 27, 2014
by Robert Barnes and Matt Zapotosky

The Supreme Court gave greater protection Tuesday to death row inmates seeking to prove they should not be executed because they are intellectually disabled, and it ruled that laws such…

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Next battleground in abortion fight:

CBS News, May 27, 2014
by Stephanie Condon

For the past three years, anti-abortion activists have worked methodically to across the country to test the limits of Roe v. Wade by advancing a variety of new laws limiting access to…

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Trial Over Alabama Abortion Law Begins

ABC News, May 19, 2014
by Philip Rawls

The operators of three of Alabama's five abortion clinics testified Monday they use out-of-town doctors who wouldn't be able to admit patients to local hospitals as required under a new…

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Uganda Nurse Is Jailed In HIV Transmission Case

NPR, May 19, 2014
by AP

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan court on Monday sentenced a nurse to three years in jail after finding her guilty of criminal negligence for allegedly trying to infect her…

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Missouri Backs Criminal Checks for Health Insurance Advisers

Boston Globe, May 16, 2014
by David A. Lieb

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Despite a federal court order against their current law, Missouri legislators voted Thursday to toughen requirements even further for people seeking to work as insurance…

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Clashing Rights:

Northeastern University Program on Health Policy and Law, April 25, 2014
by featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In recent years, the First Amendment’s free speech clause has played an increasingly critical role in the battle over reproductive rights. For example, states seeking to limit access to abortion…

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Mass. limits use of the potent painkiller Zohydro:

Boston Globe, April 23, 2014
by Milton J. Valencia

Saying the state faces a continuing public health crisis, Governor Deval Patrick’s administration imposed sweeping restrictions Tuesday on prescribing the powerful painkiller Zohydro, just before a ban on the controversial…

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Missouri plans execution after Oklahoma stay over drug secrecy

Reuters, April 22, 2014
by Carey Gillam

Lawyers for a Missouri death row inmate on Tuesday were seeking to halt his execution over concerns about the state's secret lethal injection drugs a day after an Oklahoma court…

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Judge overturns North Dakota law banning most abortions

CNN, April 17, 2014
by Carma Hassan and Dana Ford

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that North Dakota's abortion law, considered one of the most restrictive in the nation, is unconstitutional. The law banned most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat…

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When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue

New York Times, April 16, 2014
by Stephanie Strom

Might downloading a 50-cent coupon for Cheerios cost you legal rights? General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker,…

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US judge blocks Mass. ban on painkiller:

Boston Globe, April 15, 2014
by Milton J. Valencia

A federal judge struck down the state’s first-of-its-kind emergency ban on Zohydro on Tuesday, saying Massachusetts had no authority to overrule a federal decision to approve the powerful, controversial painkiller.…

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Book Launch: The Witch-Hunt Narrative:
Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
2013-2014
Wasserstein Hall 2019A
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Please join us for the launch of Professor Ross E. Cheit's new book The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual…

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Italian court overturns divisive ban on donor eggs, sperm

Reuters, April 9, 2014
by Naomi O'Leary

Italy's constitutional court overturned a ban on using donor sperm and eggs in fertility treatments on Wednesday, knocking down part of a divisive set of restrictions on assisted reproduction. The…

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Judge hits state on painkiller ban:

Boston Globe, April 8, 2014
by Milton J. Valencia

A federal judge said Tuesday that she will probably strike down Governor Deval Patrick’s emergency ban on the sale of Zohydro, a controversial painkiller that has been approved by federal…

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Arizona Limit on Non-Surgical Abortion Allowed by Judge

Bloomberg, April 1, 2014
by Edvard Pettersson

An Arizona law limiting women’s access to drug-induced abortions was allowed by a federal judge to take effect in a defeat to reproductive-rights activists fighting parts of a 2012 state overhaul of…

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Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Generic Drug Case

New York Times, March 31, 2014
by Andrew Pollack

As the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been critical of brand-name manufacturers that try to block generic versions of their high-priced medicines. But Teva is…

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Make it Work!:

Harvard Law Review 128, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Co-Director)

This short essay is part of a Harvard Law Review Symposium honoring Justice Breyer on his 20th Year on The Supreme Court. It examines Breyer's opinions and impact on the…

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