Harvard Law School's oldest policy journal.

Student Blog: The impact of the Affordable Care Act on Drug Trafficking

Posted on November 20th, by nrupkey in Featured Items, Student Commentary. No Comments

By Colin Ross, HLS Class of 2016 –

Forget the Tea Party – it’s international drug traffickers who truly fear the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The law of supply and demand makes it clear why. Traffickers service, and help create, the American demand for illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. In 2010, about 1 million Americans suffered from cocaine dependence or abuse; about 350,000 suffered similarly from heroin. Those customers send a steady stream of cash that keeps traffickers well-armed, equipped, and funded. We see the devastating effects of that cash flow when traffickers fight their rivals in bloody battles on Mexican streets or brazenly assassinate top prosecutors in Honduras.

No one could fault the United States for lacking enthusiasm in combatting the international drug trade.  But that enthusiasm is usually directed at drug supply—arrests, interdictions, seizures, Miami Vice. Squeezing supply can keep demand in check by making drugs far more expensive and far less accessible than they would be in a legal market—and it has. But the remaining demand is large enough to keep the traffickers prosperous. But were this persistent customer base to begin to erode, traffickers would be in trouble.

Meanwhile, in the hallowed … Read More »

2014 Symposium Announced

Posted on November 5th, by nrupkey in Featured Items, Symposium. No Comments

This year’s symposium (set for early 2014) addresses the War on Drugs, an age-old issue that has recently generated intense debate.

We are currently preparing a list of panelists representing a wide range of philosophical, geographic, and occupational viewpoints. We are planning to invite a mixture of legal practitioners, academics, and non-profit and industry representatives in order to present a diverse range of viewpoints in keeping with our mission of non-partisanship.

Be sure to check back soon for more updates.

The image was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Colpolwpowell.png, which indicates that it is in the public domain.

Student Blog: Rosie the Riveter Cuts the Cap

Posted on November 4th, by nrupkey in Featured Items, Student Commentary. No Comments

By Jenna Tynan, HLS Class of 2016 –

This year, Harvard Business School celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first coed class.  This effort to break gender barriers in education was just one piece of the greater movement (advanced through direct action, judicial decisions, and legislation) to enhance the status of women in the business community.  The next legislative advance for female entrepreneurs comes from an unlikely source: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA).

The specific provision in the 600-plus-page document eliminates caps on contracts set aside for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB).  Previously, contracting officers could only set aside contracts valued less than $6.5 million for manufacturing and $4 million for all other industries.  Proponents believe that government agencies will be in a better position to meet the statutory goal of WOSBs representing no less than 5% of federal contracting and subcontracting revenue.  But should women business owners celebrate because the NDAA has cut the cap?

The legislation provides an example of how the law of unintended consequences may thwart otherwise favorable efforts.  The legislative history itself fails to indicate dubious intentions: Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) proposed the amendment, which was co-sponsored by six … Read More »