CEI Today: States join Dodd-Frank lawsuit, the greens fret over cloud computing, and a court rules on TSA airport scanners
DODD-FRANK - SCOTT PRUITT AND ALAN WILSON
'The tendency of the law must always be to narrow the field of uncertainty." Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that more than a century ago, but the sentiment runs all the way to our nation's roots. Under our Constitution, the rule of law provides the certainty and transparency necessary to protect individual liberty and support economic growth.
But the 2010 federal financial-reform law known as Dodd-Frank continues to undermine economic growth and the rule of law by injecting immense uncertainty into our economy. As law professor David Skeel demonstrated recently in these pages, the law's Title II gives the Treasury secretary and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. unprecedented authority to "liquidate" financial companies. This grants immense power to a handful of unelected federal bureaucrats, empowering them to pick winners and losers among a liquidated company's investors. This arrangement destroys rights long protected by bankruptcy law.
For that reason and others, the attorneys general of South Carolina, Oklahoma and Michigan last week joined a federal lawsuit challenging Dodd-Frank's unconstitutional "orderly liquidation" provisions.
GREENS FRET OVER CLOUD COMPUTING - MARLO LEWIS
As I sit here typing away, Amazon.Com’s Cloud Player serves up 320 tunes I’ve purchased over the past year and a half. I can play them anywhere, any time, on any computer with Internet access. I don’t have to lug around my laptop or even a flash drive. What’s not to like?
Our greener friends worry about all the power consumed by the data centers that deliver computer services over the Internet. Think of all the emissions!
TSA COURT RULING - MARC SCRIBNER
This afternoon, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) petition for writ of mandamus, which called on the court to enforce its own order that the Department of Homeland Security (the Transportation Security Administration’s parent department) begin a legally required notice-and-comment rulemaking regarding the TSA’s use of advanced imaging technology (AIT) scanners in airports. CEI earlier submitted an amicus brief supporting EPIC’s motion on behalf of Robert L. Crandall, former chairman and CEO of AMR and American Airlines, and a coalition of organizations.
While we hoped the notice-and-comment period would be opened sooner, we view the court’s decision as a victory. The TSA’s dilatory tactics that have successfully prevented public and independent expert involvement in the AIT scanner regulatory process, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, will no longer protect it from outside scrutiny.