Utopian social movements often degenerate into unruly—and sometimes vicious—mobs. During the French Revolution, the slogan “liberty, equality, fraternity” quickly led to the guillotine as the Jacobins unleashed the Reign of Terror. We are witnessing a softer version of this at Harvard, America’s most elite university, where Ronald Sullivan, an African-American law professor, faces professional retribution for the sin of representing a (presumed innocent) client (Harvey Weinstein) accused of sexual assault. Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz denounced the incident as “The new McCarthyism comes to Harvard.”
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In January, the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) issued a landmark decision in Procopio v. Wilkie. This case established that US Navy veterans who served within the twelve nautical miles of the coast of the Republic of Vietnam ("blue water veterans") from January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, are entitled to VA disability compensation benefits for medical conditions shown to result from exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange. This marks a change in the established VA law (38 USC § 1116), which since its implementation in 1991 has provided for presumptive benefits for Vietnam veterans who served in Vietnam during the specified time period and have a diagnosis of one of the medical conditions listed in the statute.