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Daily Archives: January 21, 2019

Can the Senate Decline to Try an Impeachment Case?

Lawfare: “Does the Senate have an obligation to conduct a trial of the president if the House impeaches him? With the increased prospects for an impeachment inquiry now that the Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives, most discussions of impeachment have assumed that, should the House vote to impeachment, the Senate will then hold a trial. This is the logical construction of the Constitution’s provisions setting out the impeachment process: If the House impeaches, then it would follow that the Senate tries the case. This is what the Senate did on the two occasions, in the cases of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, that the House voted articles of impeachment.

The current Senate rules would further support this view. They contemplate that when the House has voted an impeachment, the Senate will be notified, the House managers will present their case and trial proceedings, which the rules prescribe in some detail, will begin.

But it also possible that, in this time of disregard and erosion of established institutional practices and norms, the current leadership of the Senate could choose to abrogate them once more. The same Mitch McConnell who blocked the Senate’s exercise of its authority to advise and consent to the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, could attempt to prevent the trial of a House impeachment of Donald Trump. And he would not have to look far to find the constitutional arguments and the flexibility to revise Senate rules and procedures to accomplish this purpose…”

Machine Learning and the Rule of Law

Chen, Daniel L., Machine Learning and the Rule of Law (January 6, 2019). Computational Analysis of Law, Santa Fe Institute Press, ed. M. Livermore and D. Rockmore, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3302507 “Predictive judicial analytics holds the promise of increasing the fairness of law. Much empirical work observes inconsistencies in judicial behavior. By predicting judicial… Continue Reading

IMF World Economic Outlook Update, January 2019

A Weakening Global Expansion Amid Growing Risks “The global expansion has weakened. Global growth for 2018 is estimated at 3.7 percent, as in the October 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast, despite weaker performance in some economies, notably Europe and Asia. The global economy is projected to grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in… Continue Reading

Survey: Few Americans Willing to Pay for Privacy

Center for Data Innovation: “Only one in four Americans want online services such as Facebook and Google to collect less of their data if it means they would have to start paying a monthly subscription fee, according to a new survey from the Center for Data Innovation. Few surveys of Internet users’ attitudes toward online… Continue Reading

Copyright Office Releases “Copyright and Visual Works: The Legal Landscape of Opportunities and Challenges”

“The U.S. Copyright Office has submitted a letter to Congress detailing the results of the Office’s public inquiry on how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are registered, monetized, and enforced under the Copyright Act of 1976. The Office sought commentary on the marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations… Continue Reading

Shutdown Hits Industries Nationwide

WSJ.com [paywall]: “The partial government shutdown is affecting a wide range of business and financial concerns nationwide. From a report: Shuttered government offices are stalling the approval of new loans, initial public offerings, the processing of tax documents, and the approval of new products such as prescription drugs, among other effects. While some programs are… Continue Reading

400 free Ivy League university courses you can take online in 2019

Quartz: “The eight Ivy League schools are among the most prestigious colleges in the world. They include Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania. All eight schools place in the top fifteen of the US News and World Report 2018 national university rankings. These Ivy League schools are… Continue Reading

Can your students tell the difference between fact and fiction?

“Can your students tell the difference between fact and fiction? The Checkology® virtual classroom can help. What is the Checkology virtual classroom? It’s where students learn how to navigate the challenging information landscape by mastering the skills of news literacy. The virtual classroom’s lessons help educators equip their students with the tools to evaluate and… Continue Reading

AI is sending people to jail—and getting it wrong

MIT Technology Review – Using historical data to train risk assessment tools could mean that machines are copying the mistakes of the past. “AI might not seem to have a huge personal impact if your most frequent brush with machine-learning algorithms is through Facebook’s news feed or Google’s search rankings. But at the Data for… Continue Reading

Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism

Los Angeles Review of Books – Nicholas Carr’s review of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power By Shoshana Zuboff To the Googles and Facebooks of the world, we are neither the customer nor the product. We are the source of what Silicon Valley… Continue Reading

2018 Index of Economic Freedom

“For much of human history, most individuals have lacked economic freedom and opportunity, condemning them to poverty and deprivation. Today, we live in the most prosperous time in human history. Poverty, sicknesses, and ignorance are receding throughout the world, due in large part to the advance of economic freedom. In 2018, the principles of economic… Continue Reading

San Diego’s Smart Streetlights Yield a Firehose of Data

IEEE Spectrum: “San Diego’s network of smart streetlights, which has been rolling out since early 2018, continues to grow. To date, some 2,000 of the sensor-laden devices have begun gathering pictures, sounds, and other data. So far, the city has focused on the image data, using it to count pedestrians and cars as they move… Continue Reading