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OpenMarket: Devin Watkins

  • 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.
  • Best Books of 2019: A Republic, If You Can Keep It

    December 18, 2019
    Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch explains in vivid detail the purpose of the separation of powers in his 2019 book "A Republic, If You Can Keep It." He presents specific examples of what happens when those lines are blurred. He shows how accountability of our government to the American people through their elected representatives is undermined by giving unelected officials unreviewable power to determine the law.
  • 'Gundy' Decision Could Signal Fundamental Reform of Administrative State

    June 26, 2019
    It is hard to describe how important the Supreme Court decision last week in Gundy v. United States is. In one sense, nothing changed—no case was overturned, no new law was made, and Mr. Gundy is still going to jail. But in another way, the Gundy ruling suggests that the way our government works will be substantially changed towards greater democratic involvement.
  • Support Builds for EPA to Reconsider Endangerment Finding

    April 12, 2019
    In the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that Environmental Protection Agency had the power to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to regulate pollutants from new vehicles when they “cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” The court went on to rule that the EPA had failed to adequately explain its decision not to regulate carbon dioxide in this manner.
  • Supreme Court Likely to Limit Administrative State's Ability to Interpret Rules

    April 1, 2019
    Last week the Supreme Court heard a case on limiting the powers of the administrative state that could be one of the most important this term. The Trump administration has actually agreed that the executive branch’s ability to interpret its own regulations should be limited (it is remarkable that the executive branch is advocating limiting its own power), although it doesn’t contend that it should be entirely overturned.
  • News Media Go Along with Greenpeace’s Attempt to Pretend Patrick Moore Not a Founder

    March 22, 2019
    For years Greenpeace has pretended that Patrick Moore was not one of the original co-founders of the radical environmental pressure group. More recently, a number of media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Yahoo News, Newsweek, Esquire, Huffington Post, Eco-watch, and Electrek, have fallen in line with Greenpeace’s duplicity.  On March 12th, Moore’s opposition to global warming alarmism was tweeted by President Trump.
  • Agencies Failing to Follow Law on Key Financial Regulation

    March 12, 2019
    The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 is one of the worst pieces of legislation to have become law in recent history. It created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an independent government unto itself, unaccountable to the president, Congress or the American people. Another provision, the Durbin amendment, was meant to save consumers money, but ended up costing those with a checking account an estimated $8 billion in additional fees.
  • Confusing Poll Clouds Public Perception of Trump Emergency Declaration

    February 21, 2019
    President Trump’s national emergency declaration is constitutional, as I explained in a recent op-ed in the Washington Examiner. That’s an important fact, because we trust in our political leaders to obey their oath of office in defending the Constitution. So it might seem troubling if most Americans expect the president’s emergency declaration will be struck down in court, as today’s headline in The Hill proclaimed.
  • Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Soda Labeling Ban for Wrong Reasons

    February 1, 2019
    This week the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held unconstitutional the size requirement in San Francisco’s soda warning labeling regulation. However, there are broader problems with the law that the Ninth Circuit failed to identify.
  • Warren Wealth Tax Proposal Raises Constitutional Questions

    January 25, 2019
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed a new wealth tax. We don’t know a lot of details on what is being proposed, but what little we do know suggests there is a constitutional problem. The Washington Post reported yesterday that Warren is being advised by two economists “on a proposal to levy a 2 percent wealth tax on Americans with assets above $50 million, as well as a 3 percent wealth tax on those who have more than $1 billion.”

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