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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Daily Update

Title

The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Issues in the News

 

1. LEGAL

The Supreme Court agrees to examine whether public employee unions must obtain permission from members before spending dues on political causes.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on why the First Amendment is key to this case:

“In Washington v. Washington Education Association, [the Washington State Supreme Court] declared unconstitutional a Washington State law that barred public employee unions from spending a teacher’s service charges on political causes, absent affirmative consent from the teacher. The court ruled that forcing the union to get affirmative consent for such political spending, rather than putting the burden on the teacher to formally make an affirmative objection, burdened the union’s own First Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of that ruling, and will hear arguments that it be reversed on January 10.”

 

2. INTERNATIONAL

France announces the launch of an all-news channel to compete against CNN International and BBC World.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Isaac Post on other attempts by the French--and French-Canadians--to advance their national interests through cultural policy.

 

3. HEALTH

A new strain of avian flu spreads to humans, sparking renewed fears of a global pandemic.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Fellow Dr. Henry I. Miller on the regulatory obstacles to developing a bird flu vaccine:

“Vaccination to prevent viral and bacterial diseases is modern medicine's most cost-effective intervention. Vaccines to prevent the expected avian flu pandemic could save the lives of millions—if vaccine R&D were not in such a sorry state, as the result of an unfortunate confluence of biology and public policy.”