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OpenMarket: Law and Constitution

  • Seila Law Leaves More Questions than Answers over the Constitutionality of Past CFPB Actions

    July 2, 2020
    On June 29, the Supreme Court ruled the structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the majority opinion, arguing that “the structure of the CFPB violates the separation of powers,” but noting that “the CFPB Director’s removal protection is severable from the other statuary provisions bearing on the CFPB’s authority.” In non-legalese, this essentially means that the agency may continue to exist so long as the CFPB director is removable by the president at will.
  • CEI Files New Challenge to the Administration's Fuel Economy Standards

    May 1, 2020
    CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman discusses the issue with Walter Kreucher, one of the petitioners in the case, Walter Kreucher, a retired automotive engineer who spent over three decades working on regulatory compliance programs.
  • Like the Sun Not Rising in the East?

    April 30, 2020
    The Federal Register, the official daily government publication of regulations, proposed rules, and similar items did not go online today. We were awaiting today’s Federal Register in order to file a lawsuit challenging the new federal auto fuel economy rules. Now we’ll have to wait a bit.
  • DEREGULATION IN AN EMERGENCY: The President’s Emergency Powers Include Not Just Imposing Regulations on Industry, but also Suspending Regulations

    April 23, 2020
    Across the country, governors have suspended harmful regulations on an emergency basis due to the COVID-19 crisis. The improvements that have resulted have got people asking if the regulations were ever really needed at all. If we are better off without these regulations, what others are also causing more problems than they solve?
  • VIDEO: Cato Experts on Coronavirus and the Constitution

    April 23, 2020
    Recently three legal experts from the Cato Institute hosted a fascinating discussion of recent pandemic-related legal enactments, “Coronavirus and the Constitution.” Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Walter Olson addressed recent moves from local, state, and federal officials, comparing them to similar policies in previous public health emergencies, reaching all the way back to the 18th century.
  • As Supreme Court Debates CFPB Constitutionality, Agency Accountability Hangs in the Balance

    March 13, 2020
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether, as currently structured, it is too far removed from executive oversight. The outcome of this case has become increasingly important given the Bureau’s continuous efforts to skirt legal accountability and harass businesses into near bankruptcy.
  • Best Books of 2019: Legal Systems Very Different from Ours

    December 26, 2019
    Many years ago at a Mont Pelerin Society conference in Reykjavik, I saw David Friedman give a talk on Icelandic law during the Free State period, roughly 1000-1300 A.D., when the island had no central government. As it turns out, Free State Iceland was just one of many times and places in history that had governance without government.
  • Weighing Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism

    December 24, 2019
    Recently economics professor Walter Block of Loyola University New Orleans wrote a great op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism.” It helps clarify some confusion about the relative merits of different economic systems and the ostensible aspects of capitalism and socialism that people most often object to.
  • Year in Review 2019: Supreme Court

    December 24, 2019
    The nature of the term ending in June 2019 was set at the end of 2018 when the cases were selected. When the term opened there were only eight justices on the court, Justice Kennedy having stepped down—Justice Kavanaugh was in the middle of a very contentious nominating process. Given this it appears the justices avoided many of the big and important issues, leaving those to the October 2019 term. But there were still some very interesting cases.
  • Dutch Supreme Court Upholds Climate Lawsuit against Government

    December 20, 2019
    The Dutch Supreme Court on December 20th rejected an appeal by the Dutch government to overturn an appellate court’s October 2018 decision to uphold a lower court’s June 2015 decision requiring the government to cut Holland’s carbon dioxide emissions at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

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