August 7, 2018
Social media outlets have been filled with commentary this week about the decisions by Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify to remove content created by talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. This is a useful opportunity to clarify what actually counts as “censorship” and what responsibilities that media platforms have to the public.
August 1, 2018
The Trump administration is expected tomorrow to release its proposed revisions of the Obama administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards for model years 2021 and later. On Saturday, July 28, The New York Times posted a leaked draft that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent in May to the White House for review. The question of the hour is whether the final draft released tomorrow will retain or retreat from the May draft’s bold initiatives.
July 27, 2018
Federal employee unions and the Trump administration sparred in court over a set of executive orders that make changes to official time and grievance procedures on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson heard oral argument yesterday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In conjunction with the oral argument, federal employee unions held protests across the country.
July 24, 2018
Big news out of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals—the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is unconstitutionally structured. The FHFA was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and tasked with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giant government-sponsored enterprises that were put into conservatorship after imploding during the mortgage meltdown. The agency has been a topic of controversy since its inception, with a novel structure that heavily insulates it from presidential control.
July 21, 2018
U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan on July 19 dismissed New York City’s climate change lawsuit against British Petroleum, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell. Keenan’s reasoning is similar to that of U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who last month dismissed Oakland and San Francisco’s climate litigation against the same oil companies.
July 17, 2018
Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s nominee to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (formerly known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB), will have her Senate confirmation hearing this Thursday, July 19, before the Senate Banking Committee. The position of BCFP director is critically important. Not only does the Bureau have the authority to regulate nearly every consumer financial product in the economy, but the director has enormous unilateral power and discretion in writing and enforcing those rules.
June 30, 2018
In a move that furthers the Trump administration’s goal of reducing unnecessary and duplicative red tape while also helping refocus his agency’s efforts on its statutorily-defined core functions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum announcing that the agency would limit its interference with the Army Corps of Engineers’ permitting process under the Clean Water Act. In particular, Administrator Pruitt said the agency will prepare a proposed regulation that restricts EPA’s ability to override the Army Corps’ permitting decisions either before or after the fact.
June 28, 2018
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup this week dismissed the climate change lawsuit brought by Oakland and San Francisco against British Petroleum, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—the world’s five largest investor-owned oil companies.
June 27, 2018
Public sector workers who haven’t affirmatively chosen to support labor unions should see a bump in their paychecks, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The decision holds that forcing public sector workers to financially support a union violates their First Amendment speech and associational rights.
June 21, 2018
Today’s Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair is extremely disappointing and will likely cost online sellers and consumers dearly. Stopping state regulatory and tax power at each state’s border should be the default rule for online commerce, but the court has chosen to set state tax authorities loose on small Internet retailers and their customers across the country.