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OpenMarket: December 2010

  • V.A. Judge Rules Against Obama's Health Care Law

    December 13, 2010
    A Virginia federal judge has declared federal health care legislation unconstitutional. In response to the decision, which was handed down earlier today, CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said:
    Judge Hudson’s ruling is a welcome reaffirmation of the Constitution’s limits on the federal government.  Those limits are totally at odds with the Obama Administration’s attempt, in its individual mandate provision, to transform a person’s decision not to buy health insurance into an activity subject to Congress’s power over interstate commerce.  Because this ruling comes only days before the anniversary of the Senate’s rushed Christmas Eve vote on Obamacare, it is, quite frankly, a great way to start off the New Year.
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  • CEI Weekly: Federal Regulations Are Killing Jobs

    December 13, 2010
    CEI Weekly is a compilation of articles and blog posts from CEI’s fellows and associates sent out via e-mail every Friday. This week features Ben Lieberman's op-ed on federal regulations that are costing Americans their jobs.
  • TSA's Bad Policies Aren't Going Away

    December 13, 2010
    Public outrage at the TSA's new policies has died down. That's a real shame, because people are still having experiences like this one.
  • Supreme Court will not Hear Columbia University Eminent Domain Case

    December 13, 2010
    It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will not take up a challenge to the Empire State Development Corporation's property takings in Manhattan's West Harlem neighborhood. The notorious ESDC, also responsible for the Atlantic Yards land grab in Brooklyn, wishes to seize property near Columbia University in order to allow the university's planned expansion to move forward. Standing in the way are several small businesses, who object to their properties being included in ESDC's area blight condemnation. New York State, which has one of the worst eminent domain statutes in the nation, has...
  • Ruling in Virginia's Challenge to Obamacare Individual Mandate Expected Today

    December 13, 2010
    A ruling in Virginia's constitutional challenge to Obamacare's individual mandate is expected later today.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute joined in an amicus brief filed in support of Virginia's lawsuit by the Cato Institute and constitutional law professor Randy Barnett.  You can find that amicus brief at this link. Earlier, I discussed why the health care law's individual mandate (requirement that individuals buy health insurance) exceeded Congress's power under the Interstate Commerce Clause.  You can find that discussion at...
  • Objection in Ercoline v. Unilever (Breyers Smooth & Dreamy) class action

    December 13, 2010
    We had to mail it to the court rather than electronically file it so it may not immediately show up in the docket, but today the District of New Jersey will receive my objection to the $0 settlement in Ercoline v. Unilever, No. 10-cv-1747. Earlier.
  • More Disincentives to Work, Thanks to the Federal Government and the Stimulus Package

    December 12, 2010
    Thanks to food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies, and other welfare benefits, many "poor" people have far more disposable income than self-supporting households earning $40,000 to $60,000 a year.  Veronique de Rugy points to a finding that “a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year” -- even excluding benefits from Supplemental Security Income.  "America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system." These disincentives to work were expanded in the...
  • Are Government Employee Unions Losing the Democrats?

    December 10, 2010
    Government employee unions have long been renowned as one of the Democratic Party's most loyal and dedicated supporting constituencies. For years, Democratic politicians have supported public employee unions' agenda of increased government spending, leading to more government jobs and thus more potential union members. For teachers unions -- which are among the most politically powerful government unions -- Democrats have helped them resist popular school reform efforts that could threaten the government-school monopoly, including school choice and charter schools. That was great deal for the unions and their political allies, but a dead weight on everybody else, as taxpayers funded a continually expanding government sector, while a growing number parents saw their children stuck in underperforming schools. Now cracks are finally starting to show in that alliance -- and they may get...
  • New Fast Food Restaurants Banned in South Los Angeles

    December 10, 2010
    New fast-food restaurants are now banned in South Los Angeles.  Say goodbye to many entry-level jobs in that poor urban area. The cockamamie idea behind this ban is that since minorities are disproportionately obese, and since they disproportionately patronize fast-food restaurants, such restaurants are thus guilty of  "food apartheid."  (Never mind that many fast-food entrees are not particularly fatty, that baked goods are a bigger source of calories for kids than fast-food items like pizza, and that it is possible to lose weight while regularly eating at McDonald's, as various people have, including...
  • Energy Drink Ban? What's Next?

    December 10, 2010
    Lynne Nowick, a legislator in Suffolk County, New York, wants to ban energy drinks for anyone under the age of 19 years old. Why? She says it's because the drinks "could potentially be dangerous to teens" and some parents don't know the risks. She seems to believe that it is her duty to assess the risks and make the decision for teens and their parents. After all, nanny state knows best, right? According to a "nutrition expert," whatever that means, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension: "Energy drinks can cause sleeplessness and high blood pressure in teens." Personally, government sticking its nose into my morning coffee gets my blood boiling and keeps me up at night; perhaps we can ban government bans for a while. During the...

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