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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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
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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U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law

Al Jazeera America, March 27, 2014

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas' tough abortion restrictions that have forced the closure of nearly 20 clinics around the state. The court said the new rules don't…

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Q & A: Supreme Court Hears Cases on Contraception Rule

New York Times, March 25, 2014
by Adam Liptak

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in a pair of challenges to a part of President Obama’s health care law that requires many employers to provide insurance coverage…

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Mass. granted permanent custody of Justina Pelletier:

Boston Globe, March 25, 2014
by Patricia Wen

A long-running child custody case took a dramatic turn Tuesday, when a Massachusetts juvenile court judge awarded permanent custody of teenager Justina Pelletier to the state Department of Children and…

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A Stillborn Child, A Charge of Murder and the Disputed Case Law on ‘Fetal Harm’

ProPublica, March 18, 2014
by Nina Martin

Rennie Gibbs, a 16 year old in Mississippi when she gave birth to a stillborn child, is facing life in prison for taking cocaine during her pregnancy. Hers is among…

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Everything You Need to Know about the Healthcare Contraception Mandate

Shape, March 17, 2014
by Cristina Goyanes, interview with Holly Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] Starting March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing religious disputes over the contraception mandate, which requires employer health insurance coverage of contraceptive methods (without deductibles or co-pays).…

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Was the Medicaid Expansion Coercive?

Routledge, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

In The Affordable Care Act Decision: Philosophical and Legal Implications, Fritz Allhoff and Mark Hall, eds. In this book chapter on the ACA decision, NFIB v. Sebelius, I focus on the Court's…

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Court skeptical of IQ scores in deciding execution

SF Gate, March 4, 2014
by Mark Sherman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Courtindicated Monday that states should look beyond an intelligence test score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible…

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Court Rules Against Notre Dame in Contraception Case:

Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014
by Louise Radnofsky and Brent Kendall

A federal appeals court Friday ruled against the University of Notre Dame in a legal proceeding claiming the Obama administration's contraception-coverage requirement is forcing it to violate its religious beliefs.…

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DEA needs warrant to access Oregon prescription database, judge says

The Oregonian, February 11, 2014
by Helen Jung

Federal drug investigators can’t access an Oregon-maintained database that records patients’ prescription information without first getting a warrant, a federal judge in Portland ruled. In the opinion issued Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge…

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Australia genetically modified crops row goes to court:

BBC News, February 11, 2014

Steve Marsh said he lost organic certification on 70% of his farm after GM canola seeds blew over from Michael Baxter's farm in 2010. Mr Baxter's lawyers say the organic…

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Religious groups to back Obamacare contraceptive mandate:

Washington Post, February 4, 2014
by Tom Howell, Jr. quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] In its filing, the AJC said the case presents a rare instance in which they see a clash between religious liberty and the equal rights of women. They said the government’s…

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Judge Rejects Execution Delay Over Use of Compounded Drug

New York Times, January 27, 2014
by Dan Frosch and Sabrina Tavernise

Lawyers for a Missouri inmate said Monday that they would appeal a decision not to grant a delay in his execution, arguing that the drug to be used was likely to…

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Brain-dead Texas woman taken off ventilator

CNN, January 27, 2014
by Caleb Hellerman, Jason Morris, and Matt Smith

Fort Worth, Texas (CNN) -- A wrenching court fight -- about who is alive, who is dead and how the presence of a fetus changes the equation -- came to an…

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Hospital, family concur that brain-dead Texas woman’s fetus ‘not viable’

CNN, January 24, 2014
by Greg Botelho

For the first time, John Peter Smith Hospital acknowledges that Marlise Munoz, who is being kept on a respirator under Texas law, has been brain dead since November 28 and…

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Court upholds inmate’s right to sex change

Boston Globe, January 17, 2014
by Milton J. Valencia

A federal appeals court upheld Friday a landmark order that the state must provide a taxpayer-funded sex change for a transgender prisoner convicted of murder, after finding that the surgery…

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Supreme Court justices question size of buffer zones around Mass. abortion clinics

Washington Post, January 15, 2014
by Robert Barnes

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday aggressively questioned whether a Massachusetts law that creates buffer zones around abortion clinics unconstitutionally inhibits the free-speech rights of antiabortion activists. Several justices made clear in…

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Federal Judge Upholds Health Care Subsidies

New York Times, January 15, 2014
by Robert Pear

A federal judge rejected a legal challenge on Wednesday to a central part of President Obama’s health care law, ruling that millions of low- and moderate-income people could obtain health…

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Federal Judge Upholds Health Care Subsidies

New York Times, January 15, 2014
by Robert Pear

A federal judge rejected a legal challenge on Wednesday to a central part of President Obama’s health care law, ruling that millions of low- and moderate-income people could obtain health…

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High Court’s Pass On ‘Fetal Pain’ Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

NPR, January 13, 2014
by Julie Rovner and Liz Halloran

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of…

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‘Aid in Dying’ Ruled OK in New Mexico:

Time, January 13, 2014
by Maya Rhodan

A New Mexico district judge ruled on Monday that terminally ill patients who are mentally competent have a constitutional right to seek a physician’s assistance in ending their own lives. The decision…

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone law

The Republican, January 12, 2014
by Shira Schoenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of Massachusetts' buffer zone law, in a case that has national implications for the ability of cities and states…

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West Hartford Parents Back In Court In Custody Dispute With MA Authorities

The Hartford Courant, January 10, 2014
by William Weir

A custody dispute between Massachusetts and a West Hartfordfamily whose daughter is being held at Boston Children's Hospital returned to court Friday. Justina Pelletier, 15, has been at Boston Children's Hospital since February,…

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U.S. argues nuns have no complaint over birth control requirement

NBC News, January 3, 2014
by Maggie Fox

A group of Colorado nuns has no reason to appeal the birth control mandate in the health care law because it doesn't have to provide contraception anyway, the U.S. government…

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Health Law Challenge Opens Up New Front

New York Times, January 1, 2014
by Adam Liptak

In temporarily blocking enforcement of the part of President Obama’s health care law that requires many employers to provide health insurance coverage for birth control or face penalties, Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday opened a second front…

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Court blocks hospital from disconnecting Jahi McMath from life support

CNN, December 30, 2013
by Catherine E. Shoichet and Caleb Hellerman

[...] Doctors and a judge have declared her brain dead and said there's no chance Jahi will come back to life. A deadline loomed Monday as a judge had said…

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Supreme Court Position on Obamacare Birth Control Mandate a Tough Call

Washington Times, December 25, 2013
by Tom Howell, Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch

[...] "It also probably will not matter that three of the court’s justices - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan - are female, even if the case involves the coverage of contraceptive services that…

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Right-to-die challenge reaches Supreme Court

BBC News, December 16, 2013

It involves family of the late Tony Nicklinson of Wilts, who had locked-in syndrome, and Paul Lamb of Leeds, who was paralysed in a road crash. They want the law…

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The Jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit

Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2013
by Eric M. Fraser, David K. Kessler, Matthew J.B. Lawrence, and Stephen Calhoun

Abstract: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is unique among federal courts. It is well known for its unusual caseload, which is disproportionally weighted toward administrative law. What…

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Do Chimps Have Human Rights?

Time, December 2, 2013
by Bryan Walsh

As scientists have studied the chimpanzee, they’ve found more and more similarities between humans and their closest living relatives. But when it comes to the courts, chimps and humans couldn’t…

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Thalidomide lawsuit settled in Australia, NZ for $81m

BBC News, December 2, 2013

A lawsuit filed by more than 100 people in Australia and New Zealand who suffered birth defects caused by the drug Thalidomide has been settled. British company Diageo, which did…

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Supreme Court to decide Obamacare birth control mandate

Washington Times, November 26, 2013
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch

[...] Ms. Lynch said the outcome is a particularly hard one to predict. But she thinks the court will dispense with the constitutional claims and focus more heavily on religious-freedom protection in…

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Frustration From a Deal on Flawed Hip Implants

The New York Times, November 25, 2013
by Barry Meier

Patients injured by a flawed hip implant sold by Johnson & Johnsonhave directed their anger at myriad places over the years. The regulatory system that allowed the product’s sale. The company…

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Genes without Patents

Harvard Gazette, November 14, 2013
by Alvin Powell, featuring I. Glenn Cohen

As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan questioned Myriad Genetics’ attorney about patenting genes, Chris Hansen rejoiced. The attorney said that yes, genes should be patentable. But it was only under…

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Reproductive Rights around the Globe

Thursday, November 07, 2013 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein 1019
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

A discussion of selected topics in the field of international reproductive rights, moderated by Elizabeth Bartholet, Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor…

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When Less Information is Better:
Blinding as a Solution to Institutional Corruption

Friday, November 01, 2013 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West B
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University presents a multidisciplinary symposium to examine potential solutions to institutional…

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In Reversal, Court Allows Texas Law on Abortion

New York Times, October 31, 2013
by Erik Eckholm

Only three days after a federal judge blocked a new Texas law that threatened to shut down many of the state’s abortion clinics, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth…

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Judge blocks parts of Texas abortion law

The Washington Post, October 28, 2013
by Juliet Eilperin

A federal judge in Texas blocked two key parts of the state’s controversial abortion lawMonday, ruling that one part is unconstitutional while another provision imposes an undue burden on women in…

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Plan B:

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Contraception Journal, October 2013
by I. Glenn Cohen, Lisa Sullivan, Eli Y. Adashi

The 8-year legal feud over access to emergency contraception between reproductive health advocates and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took multiple unexpected turns before coming to an abrupt end…

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Chris Hansen on “Dis-Owning Nature: The BRCA Gene Patents and the Supreme Court”

Program on Science, Technology, & Society at HKS, November 12, 2013
by Featuring I. Glenn Cohen as a discussant

ABOUT THE SPEAKER Chris Hansen joined the ACLU in 1973. He spent 10 years at the NYCLU specializing in complex litigation seeking reform of the mental retardation and mental health…

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Mexican man with Asperger’s syndrome wins court battle

BBC News, October 16, 2013

A 25-year-old Mexican with the autistic condition Asperger's has won the right to make key decisions about his life without parental consent. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ricardo…

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HLS Panel Discusses Gene Patents

The Harvard Crimson, September 24, 2013
by Andrew Ma

"Panelists at Monday’s discussion about the recent Supreme Court decision against gene patenting agreed that although patenting might provide incentives to aspiring innovators, it often hinders scientific progress, especially when…

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