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OpenMarket: April 2014

  • CEI Testifies against National Labor Relations Board Rule to Allow Ambush Elections

    April 16, 2014
    NLRB Ambush Election HearingOn three separate panels, I testified last week against the flaws inherent in the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) latest proposed rule. The NLRB benignly purports to re-examine “Representation Case Procedures.” The rulemaking is commonly known as the ambush elections rule, as a result of a key component that could require elections in as few as ten days. FIRST PANEL On the first panel, I addressed the election date at the heart of the proposal. Approvingly quoting a letter from eighteen United States Senators who commented against the proposed rule, I noted that, “...
  • First Ever Constitutional Ruling against Dodd-Frank Voids Destructive "Conflict Minerals" Section

    April 14, 2014
    Today’s ruling of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that Dodd-Frank’s "conflict minerals" disclosure mandate violates the First Amendment is the first time ever a court has ruled that a provision of Dodd-Frank violates the Constitution. Regulations issued under Dodd-Frank have been struck down for reasons such as inadequate cost-benefit analysis and other procedural violations, but this is first time a provision has been found to be unconstitutional. And it couldn't happen to a more misguided and destructive provision of the law! As my Competitive Enterprise Institute colleague Hans Bader and I have written in blog posts, articles, and regulatory comments, the...
  • Encouraging News about Honeybee Health

    April 14, 2014
    A recently released study in Europe reports some good news about honeybee health, which should prompt public officials to reexamine a recent ban on some agricultural products. "It's the first major study of pests and diseases that affect honeybees. A lot of it seems very encouraging," honeybee researcher Tom Breeze, says in a Reuters news story. The study examines honeybee populations in Europe after recent disappearances of entire bee colonies during the winter—a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder—which began in 2006 and has continued to be a problem with large losses reported after the winter of 2012-2013. After hives suffered considerable losses in some places in Europe, the EU took a knee jerk response by...
  • CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    April 14, 2014
    59 new regulations, from rearview cameras to pocket gophers.
  • Unions Attack Right-to-Work

    April 14, 2014
    The battle over Right-to-Work is heating up in Missouri, as proponents and opponents pour on the rhetoric.
  • Wasserman on cy pres

    April 13, 2014
    University of Pittsburgh Law Professor Rhonda Wasserman has a paper on cy pres forthcoming in the USC Law Review, "Cy Pres in Class Action Settlements." The paper discusses in detail two CCAF cases, In re Baby Products Antitrust Litig., and Marek v. Lane.
  • Unconstitutionally Overbroad New Jersey Anti-Bullying Law Challenged; Reference To "Head Lice" Deemed "Bullying"

    April 11, 2014
    New Jersey's anti-bullying law, which applies to the state's schools and universities, is so overly broad that a fourth-grader was punished just for noting, in response to a question, that a classmate had suffered from head lice. A civil-liberties group called the Rutherford Institute is now representing that student in a First Amendment challenge to the law, notes the Newark Star-Ledger in an article titled, "Civil liberties organization asks federal court to...
  • CEI's WorkplaceChoice.org Scores Paycheck Fairness Act

    April 10, 2014
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute scored Wednesday’s vote in the U.S. Senate on the passage of S. 3772, The Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would fundamentally change the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits employers from paying women less than men for performing the same work in the same workplace. The score will be incorporated into CEI’s Congressional Labor Scorecard that can be seen in full on CEI’s labor policy website, WorkplaceChoice.org. CEI opposes numerous provisions of the proposed bill:
    • Sections 3(a) and (b) proposes to sharply curtail employers’ defense to discrimination claims based on “any factor other than sex,” and their ability to discipline employees.
    • Section 3(c) would expose employers for the first time to...
  • EEOC Loses Hypocritical Lawsuit against Employer over Background Checks

    April 9, 2014
    "In this case the EEOC sued the defendants for using the same type of background check that the EEOC itself uses." So began a 3-to-0 ruling Wednesday by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp. (Apr. 9, 2014). CEI joined the Pacific Legal Foundation's amicus brief in support of the employer sued by the EEOC, the federal civil-rights agency. (EEOC stands for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.) As former assistant attorney general Roger Clegg (now at the Center for Equal Opportunity) notes,
    The Obama Administration sued Kaplan for running credit checks on employee applicants – similar, by the way,...
  • Pompeo-Butterfield Food Labeling Bill: Valuable But Needs Work

    April 9, 2014
    Earlier today, Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) introduced a bill in the House that would establish federal standards for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods and preempt a growing patchwork quilt of state action on GE labeling. The underlying motivation behind the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (H.R. 4432) is praiseworthy, so the congressmen deserve an A for effort. However, the execution leaves more than a little to be desired. This year, an estimated 25, or more, states will consider legislation or ballot initiatives that would mandate special labeling for many GE foods. As I’ve written before, those proposals are bad policy, make no sense scientifically, would needlessly raise the cost of producing and selling safe, nutritious and wholesome food, and are arguably unconstitutional on several grounds. Nor would they give consumers...

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