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OpenMarket: March 2012

  • Today's Links: March 29, 2012

    March 29, 2012
    OPINION JIM MAXEINER: "What Germany Can Teach the U.S.: Rewrite Old Laws" "In 1955, after ten years of American occupation and 80 years of bad law-making from the governments of Otto von Bismarck to Adolf Hitler, Germany announced a house-cleaning of its laws. At Parliamentary direction, the Federal Ministry of Justice collected all of the existing laws it believed the government should keep. Laws not in the collection were no longer valid. How has Germany kept current since then? For one thing, it sporadically conducts new spring cleanings. Most recently, it reduced 2,039 laws to 1,728." PETE SEPP: "...
  • No to Broccoli Mandate, Yes to Health Insurance Mandate?

    March 28, 2012
    Over at the Daily Caller, I go over some possible explanations for the different results and conclude:
  • Obamacare Harms State Finances, Imposes Unfunded Mandates, Drives Up State Budget Deficits; Even Democrats Criticize Provisions

    March 28, 2012
    While public attention has focused on Obamacare's unconstitutional "individual mandate," challenged yesterday in oral arguments at the Supreme Court, other parts of the health care law are more worrisome to governors facing massive state budget deficits that will be aggravated by Obamacare. As the National Governors Association noted in its Fall 2011 "Fiscal Survey Of States," "state spending on Medicaid is likely to continue to see above average growth due to… the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” (Obamacare is known as the "Affordable Care Act" or PPACA.) A congressional report, "Medicaid Expansion In The New Health Law: Costs To The States," "conservatively...
  • Today's Links: March 28, 2012

    March 28, 2012
    OPINION RICH LOWRY: "Madison's Last Stand" "The shade of James Madison hovers over the Obamacare argument at the Supreme Court. It is the system of limited and carefully divided government powers that he had a large hand in crafting — and defended so ably in the Federalist Papers — that is at stake in the contest over the constitutionality of the individual mandate. If the mandate stands, it will be the latest blow to Madison’s scheme, which is the best architecture for self-government yet devised by man, but has been steadily worn down over time." ALLIE BOHN: "Yes, the States Really Reject Real ID" "Remember that time when...
  • March updates

    March 28, 2012
    • If you listen to one oral argument from March 27, well, I have to say that you need to listen to Paul Clement's performance in HHS v. Florida. But if you have time for a second oral argument, and you have a hankering for Third Circuit class action action, I'd be curious about your thoughts of the argument in Dewey v. Volkswagen. See also.
    • Following up on our earlier post, the Third Circuit denied the motion for sanctions without comment, or permitting us to file a reply brief. (...
  • The FCC's Concern for Competitors, not Competition

    March 27, 2012
    Last week, the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee held a hearing on Verizon Wireless’s proposed purchase of spectrum from Cox Wireless and SpectrumCo. The spectrum at issue was purchased in the 2006 AWS spectrum auction, and has lain fallow ever since. Verizon Wireless seeks the spectrum to expand its capacity and meet growing consumer demand for mobile broadband. But federal law requires that the FCC approve the purchase before the deal can be consummated. (47 U.S.C. § 310(d)) Unfortunately, the FCC can grant or deny such applications on a whim, as the Act only requires the...
  • Congressional Blowout Over Cosmetics Law Reform

    March 27, 2012
    Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on cosmetics regulation to consider whether Congress should beef up federal law to ensure public health and safety. Ironically, many calls for federal action came from industry, mostly small firms that simply want the freedom to innovate and market products across state lines without running up against 50 different sets of rules and who want to restore consumer confidence about the safety of their products. Unfortunately, federal action may move the debate in a...
  • Regulation of the Day 215: TacoCopter

    March 27, 2012
    A group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs has found a peaceful use for unmanned attack drones that almost everyone can support: delivering food to hungry people. The only thing stopping them is the FAA.
  • Today's Links: March 27, 2012

    March 27, 2012
    OPINION JEB BUSH: "Have You Ever Tried to Eliminate a State-Run Commission?" "The accretion of old law is a problem across the spectrum of American government. Once laws are passed, they just don't go away. In 2000, we attempted to eliminate 141 Florida boards and commissions out of the more than 800 that existed at that time. Only 10 were eliminated and the legislature created another 31. Clearly, we put the effort in the loss column! " JOHN VILLASENOR: "Eye-Tracking Computers Will Read Your Thoughts" "Eye-tracking, which uses images from one or more cameras to capture...
  • Rhode Island Pension Reform Shows Boldness Pays

    March 26, 2012
    Across the nation, large and growing budget deficits have forced politicians from across the political spectrum, including some Democrats, to seek to bring public employee compensation under control. This has required them to take on government employee unions, which has created considerable friction between the unions and their traditional Democratic allies (a point I've noted elsewhere). Many Democratic lawmakers' reform proposals have not been as far-ranging as those put forth by their Republican counterparts, but deep-blue Rhode Island is a notable exception. In fact, the Ocean State's  pension reforms are the boldest in the nation to date....

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