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104 Harv. L. Rec. 1 (1997)

handle is hein.journals/hlrec104 and id is 1 raw text is: WOW~                                                                      America's Oldest
aft                                                   Law School
SHartvard Law RECOD3 ET
VoIlume 10., No. 1                    Camibridge 02138                 Friday, January 17, 1997

Tribe Argues Life and
Death Before High Court

By Maria Green
In a case that could have pro-
found implications foir the way
Americans face death and dying,
Prof. Laurence Tribe '66 argued
before the Supreme Court last
week that terminally ill patients
have a constitutional right to doc-
tor-assisted suicide.
I certainly found the case
among the most intriguing and
challenging and signili-
cant that    I've  ever
worked on, said Tribe,
who argued Vacco v.
Quill pro bono.
The question of how
the constitution defines
personal liberty in the
context of' tile decisions
people make about their
own death when death is
inninent and inevitable
seems important.
It has a powerful
human dimension. he
added. To force people,
when they are already dying, to
submit to the total government
control that is implicit in saying
that the only relief available to
them is illegal, is hard to square
with our tradition.
Tribe said that he had
enjoyed the oral argument, which
he called quite a workout.
I felt as good about the oral
argument as I've ever felt about
an oral argument, he said.
Tribe said he was eager take
the discussion beyond some of
the dry, abstract categories in
which these issues are sometimes
discussed, like the difference
between withdrawing treatment

and helping to die.
The Court first recognized a
constitutional right to (lie in 1990,
wO'hen it Ruled that terminally ill
people can refuse lifie-sustaining
medical treatment.
Under current law, Tribe
said, when patients decide to
withdraw treatment they may
legally be offered terminal barbi-
turates - essentially, drugs that
allow them to fall into a coma

from which they never awaken,
and in which they remain during
the week to two weeks that it
takes to die fi'om starvation and
Although the situation only
applies to one to two percent of
such patients, for some it is the
only way of avoiding excruciating
pain, Tribe said.
The dangers inherent in
allowing assisted suicide, such as
undue pressure and incorrect
diagnoses, are no greater than
those already existing, Tribe said.
The abuses are already pre-
sent in practices like terminal
sedation and would be much less

present if we were to bring it out
into the open.
Asked if the situation is an
;-sue now   because so many
i- nericans are dying alone in
nursing homes, Tribe referred
instead to advances in modern
It modern medicine hadn't
been able to prolong life Iso thatl
people die prolonged deaths
rather than quick deaths by infec-
tion, he said, tile situ-
ation would not arise
so oftenl and ill so
many peoples' lives.
Tile   profile
has changed, he said.
Given antibiotics and
modern methods, few-
er people (lie quickly.
Tribe   notedI
ithat some in the  press
had reported that tile
justices had appeared
mystified in the face of
the complicated facts
at play in the discuss-
sion. This was not his impres-
I think that some of the
press was mystified ... but I'm
quite sure that none of the jus-
tices were mystified in the least,
Tribe said.
I would say that the justices
seemed very much on the ball,
very focused and very inclined to
ask appropriately tough ques-
Some of' the justices, he said,
were more inclined to challenge
the question of whether the Court
please see TRIBE, page 3

Student Expelled for
Forging Transcript

By David Lenter

A male student has been
permanently expelled fi'om the
Law   School for extensive
forgery on his undergraduate
transcript.  No one on the
Administrative Board, which
recommended the punishment,
would rel-ase tile

name or year of th
Stephen Kane, one
two voting adminis
trators on the board
said he came acros
the   prohlem    l
I discovered
discrepancy in wha
tWe student rffeie
as undergraduate
records,    Kane
said. He brought
the issue to the atte
Administrative Boa
board began lookin
matter in   Septen

said. In cases in which the
Administrative Board decides
to expel a student, a two-thirds
vote of the faculty is required
for imposition of the expulsion.
This vote, carried overwhelm-
ingly according to Kane, at the
Dec. 13 faculty meeting.
Kane said the expelled stu-
dent chose not to appear before
the board and did

le                      not request a sup-
plementary   hear-
ing. In every disci-
of                      plinary proceeding
s-                      a charged student
d,                     h as a right to a
ss                     hearing before the
n                      board. and in cases
ill which the board
a                      votes to dismO)isss or
it                      expel a student, the
d                     Istudent  has   the
right to a sup-
Registrar Stephen Kane   ihtnntar
hearing fbefore
ntion ofthe  a hearing officer appointed
trd, and the  fi'om the faculty by the dean.
g into the     The expelled student has
tuber  and   left the law school, according to

Kane   would  not state
.pecifically what prompted him
to look at the student's records.
He said when he read the
records, he noticed that what
the student claimed to have
done as an undergraduate and
what it seemed he could have
done didn't correspond.
There were time periods
that didn't make sense, Kane
Kane would not say which
school the expelled student
attended as an undergraduate,
in part because they may be
pursuing   litigation  them-
selves, he said.
The board voted to expel
the student in December, Kane

As to the precise nature of
the f'orgery, Kane would not
provide details. It was pretty
extensive forgery, he said.
The board was scrupulous
in  examining  the  evidence
against the expelled student,
-Kane said.    We     really
were very detail-oriented in
gathering all the information,
and the evidence was over-
whelming, he said.
Once the board studied all
the evidence, it did not consid-
er any other form of punish-
ment, Kane said. If you sub-
mit false credentials, that's
pretty serious. ... There is some
please see EXPULSION, p. 2

D.C. Stalking Statute Survives
Constitutional Challenge

By Hal Poret

In a recent ruling that will
provide strong support for the
continued effort to create effec-
tive anti-stalking legislation, the
District of Columbia Court of
Appeals held that a D.C. stalk-
ing statute was not unconstitu-
tionally vague or overbroad.
Statutes attempting to crim-
inalize stalking have met with
various  constitutional chal-
lenges in recent years. Most
prominently, defendants prose-
cuted under new stalking laws
have invoked the void-foir-vague-
ness and overbreadth doctrines,
as   well    as   the    First
Amendment's protection of fl'ee
speech in attempts to strike
doiwn these laws.
The void-for-vagueness doc-
trine requires that all criminal
statutes are clear and specific
enough in the definition of pro-
hibitrd conduct to provide actu-
al notice to ordinary people as to

what actions will constitute vio-
lations of the law. The goal of
this doctrine is to avoid vague
statutes that create the opportu-
nity for arbitrary and discrimi-
natory enforcement of the law.
The   landmark    void-for-
vagueness situation occurred in
the case of Papachristou v.
Jacksonville, in which the city of
Jacksonville, Florida had an
anti-loitering ordinance written
in such vague language that vir-
tually anyone seen in Harvard
Square today could be arrested
under it. The Supreme Court
invalidated the ordinance, hold-
ing that it did not sufficiently
define the offense so that people
could know whethir or not their
conduct was punishable by law.
In the stalking context, the
void-foi-vagueness   doctrine
pioses a difficult challenge to
legislators, who must write a
statute that adequately and
specifically defines what will
please see STALKING, p. 2

By Jacob Appel
Students and faculty return-
ing from the winter holidays were
saddened to learn of the deaths of
three long-time members of the
Harvaid Law School community.
Louis L. Jaffe, Byrne Profbssor of
Administrative Law, Emeritus,
former  Assistant  Dean   of
Admissions Molly Geraghty and
Kay Lee, the right arm of the
Office of' Career Services were all
affiliated with HLS for many
Prof'essor' Jaffe, a leading
authority on administrative law,
died on December 11 at a nursing
home in Norwood, Massachusetts
at the age of ninety. Since his
retirement in  1976, lie had
resided in Cambridge and sum-
niered in Martha's Vineyard.
Colleague Clark Byse, anoth-
er former occupant of'the Byrne
Chair in Administrative Law,
noted that Louis Jafle was one of
the giants of' the Harvard Law
School, not only in his field,
administrative law, where he was

one of the three outstanding     recognition for
scholars of his time, but in other  the relationshi
fields like torts and legislation.  and  administi
Dean Clark
'72      praised
Jaffe's contribu-
tions  to  legal
education.                                     I
Professor Jaffe
was a significant 5
Force in the post-
war development
of Harvard Law
School,  Clark
I le[ played
a major role in
tihe creationl of
the   field   of'
law. As a fio'mer Prof. Louis Jaffe (1905-1996)
student       of'
Professor J1affe, I personally can  nendition ofth
attest to the skills and unique  FrankfMurer, se
style that he brought to the class-  with  Supireml(
roonn, ho said.              . Lu u is Brandei
,affe originally joined tie  Depression era
HI ari'vaird Law School filI ty in  cult, af'f'e 'etL
1950 and rapidly rose to preemi-  and earned a S.
nence in both administrative and
tort law. He earned national          please Sv,

his research into
p between courts
rative agencies.
This    ground-
breaking work
focused on the
role   of   tile
Commission and
the development
of  the    then
nascent television
While a stu-
dent at    ILS,
,Jaffe served on
the Harvard Law
Review,    was
ranked third in
his class, and
with the recom-
en Professor Felix
Vcujeol a clerkship
e Court Justice
6s. Finding the
ajo) maiket diffi-
ii'neld to Harvard
..D. in 19:32.
T JAFFE, p :g1 2

HLS Mourns Three of Its Own
Louis Jaffe, Ad Law Expert, Dead at 90


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