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OpenMarket: August 2013

  • CCAF in today's New York Times

    August 13, 2013
    The Adam Liptak article also generously cites my Congressional testimony on cy pres. Earlier: Marek v. Lane; Dry Max Pampers.

    We maintain a complete set of our press coverage. Have we forgotten something? Drop us a line.

    In addition, when I started doing this in 2009, I joked that there were only a dozen cases worth reading. That number is way up in 2013. We'...
  • Federal Income-Based Repayment Plan Encourages Skyrocketing Law School Tuition

    August 13, 2013
    A recent item in The Washington Post explains "how Georgetown Law gets Uncle Sam to pay its students’ bills," averaging $158,888 over three years, taking advantage of perverse incentives in a federal student-loan program. A federal income-based repayment plan forgives the student loan debt of law students who go to work for the government or a "public interest" law firm 10 years after they graduate, as long as they pay a small percentage of their income in the first ten years after graduation towards paying off part of their student loans. Typically, much of those law students' loans are not paid off by the end of 10 years, and thus are forgiven at taxpayer expense. But Georgetown has figured out a way to take things even further and make...
  • Florida’s Unwrapped Gift to Taxpayers

    August 12, 2013
    People who don’t do their jobs are usually held accountable, right? Not if you work for Miami-Dade County. Robert Akras, a Miami-Dade County property surveyor who makes $86,238 a year has been missing in action from work. This did not sit well with newly elected Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who has tried to fire Akras for not showing up for work, but was advised against doing so by Miami-Dade County Attorney Robert Cuevas.
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    August 12, 2013
    83 new regulations, from sweet cherries to air.
  • Some updates

    August 11, 2013

    • The Ninth Circuit rejected en banc review of our victory in HP Inkjet. Here, for the record, is our successful opposition to the en banc petitions.
    • In Wyeth Securities, the district court reduced an excessive fee request by $3,037,500. That puts CCAF over the quarter-billion-dollar mark lifetime in attorney-fee reductions or rejections in cases where we objected. I can't say I'm thrilled with the opinion, which makes a number of legal mistakes that will get used against future objectors, doesn't fairly address...
  • Not With Banks, Not With Retailers, But With Freedom

    August 9, 2013
    In explaining my policy positions, I often find myself pointing out I am neither pro-business nor pro-bank, but pro-market. My Competitive Enterprise Institute colleagues and I might have a position that lines up with a particular industry group on one issue but opposes it on another. The only guide we have is which policies further consumer choice and the free market, and which restrict it. Two events that have arisen over the past couple weeks illustrate this principle. Banks and retailers often are at opposite ends of a policy fight, and this is reflected in some high-profile provisions of the 2,500-page Dodd-Frank financial "reform" legislation. I find myself siding with bankers against retailers in one instance and with retailers against bankers in another. In one instance, the Durbin Amendment controls prices on debit card processing fees for retailers. On this, I line up with...
  • Sixth Circuit victory: In re Dry Max Pampers Litigation

    August 9, 2013
    A great opinion protecting class members against predatory attorneys. Congratulations to CCAF attorney Adam Schulman (Georgetown Law '10), who won his first appellate oral argument.

    Details at Point of Law. Earlier on this blog.
  • Perspectives on Honeybees and Pesticides

    August 8, 2013
    If you believe the headlines, honeybees may soon be endangered, pesticides are to blame, and regulations offer an easy solution. Yet headlines belie the truth of the matter: Some honeybees have left their hives to never return, but we really don’t know why. Referred to as “colony collapse disorder,” the disappearance of honeybee colonies raises concerns that it will be increasingly difficult to produce food without enough of these pollinators. Ironically, the proposed “solutions” involving banning agro-technologies from pesticides to biotechnology, may do even more harm to agricultural production while not helping the honeybees at all. A key target of the anti-pesticide crowd is a class of chemicals called Neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids encapsulate seeds, which eventually produces plants that systemically...
  • CEI Podcast for August 8, 2013: CEI Appeals Dismissal of Dodd-Frank Lawsuit

    August 8, 2013
    CEI general counsel Sam Kazman discusses plans to appeal the case.
  • Senate Immigration Bill Authorizes E-Verify as Surveillance Tracking

    August 8, 2013
    The Senate immigration bill (S. 744) is immense, so most Americans (and, more importantly, journalists) can be forgiven for missing the part that authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use the bill’s mandatory employment verification system (E-Verify) as a surveillance system for workers. The Senate’s E-Verify proposal is electronic national ID, allowing employers to identify new employees using a biometric system containing photographs or substantial personal information (p. 531). To assuage fears that E-Verify would expand to other uses, the authors of the bill included a clause...

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