Are safe injection facilities for heroin users a step in the right direction?

The mayor of Ithaca, New York, last week, announced a plan to open sites where heroin users can safely inject the drug under med­ical super­vi­sion. Assis­tant pro­fessor Leo Beletsky thinks the idea isn’t that far-​​fetched, saying “We need inno­v­a­tive inter­ven­tions because what we are doing is not working.”

3Qs: What’s next in the partisan fight to replace Scalia?

Pres­i­dent Obama intends to ful­fill his con­sti­tu­tional duty to nom­i­nate a new Supreme Court jus­tice to replace Antonin Scalia, but Senate Repub­li­cans have vowed to block his pick. We asked law pro­fessor Daniel Medwed how this polit­ical battle is likely to play out.

3Qs: Justice Scalia’s legacy, and what his death means for politics and the law

Supreme Court Jus­tice Antonin Scalia’s death touched off a polit­ical debate that could define Pres­i­dent Obama’s final year in office and bring drama to an already con­tentious pres­i­den­tial pri­mary. Pro­fessor Michael Melt­sner, a con­sti­tu­tional law expert, called Scalia’s death “a great blow to Repub­li­cans” and “a gift to Hillary Clinton.”

Supreme Court of the ‘60s lent ‘legal force to the dissatisfaction with bigotry’

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and retired fed­eral judge Nancy Gertner dis­cussed during last week’s Myra Kraft Open Class­room lec­ture the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the U.S. Supreme Court between 1953 and 1969, when Earl Warren served as chief justice.

Northeastern community reacts to new Boy Scouts policy

Stu­dents and fac­ulty described the group’s deci­sion to lift its ban on openly gay leaders while allowing church-​​sponsored units to con­tinue excluding gays for reli­gious rea­sons in unequiv­o­cally strong terms. “Claiming ‘morality’ or ‘reli­gious beliefs’ cannot over­ride basic prin­ci­ples of equality,” noted soci­ology pro­fessor Suzanna Walters.

Should human organs be for sale?

I’m not arguing that all body prod­ucts should be col­lected and dis­trib­uted in the same way,” says Kara Swanson, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of law at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, “but I think that his­tory sug­gests that we would be well-​​served by set­ting aside our instinc­tive fear of paid body prod­ucts as an his­toric artifact.”

3Qs: Banking on the body

Are body prod­ucts like blood, milk, and sperm mar­ketable com­modi­ties, gifts to help others, or both? Kara Swanson, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of law with exper­tise in the his­tory of sci­ence and med­i­cine, explains the ori­gins and con­se­quences of the debate in her new book “Banking on the Body.”

The law’s role in supporting sustainable cities

At a recent con­fer­ence at Northeastern’s School of Law, former Envi­ron­mental Pro­tec­tion Agency admin­is­trator Carol Browner said his­tory and nature can help guide cities in finding inter­dis­ci­pli­nary solu­tions to chal­lenges in urban sustainability.