Public Policy

  • September 15, 2014

    FCC Gets More Than 3M Net Neutrality Comments

    The Federal Communications Commission has received more than 3 million comments from companies, consumers, advocacy groups and others on its proposed new rules guiding how Internet traffic may be managed, setting an agency record, it said on Monday.

  • September 15, 2014

    Use 'Big Data' With Caution, EEOC Counsel Urges Employers

    A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission official on Monday warned that longstanding employment laws could be easily applied to employers' increasing use of "big data" but that companies could diminish liability risks by keeping detailed records of how they are using data and avoiding social media profiles.

  • September 15, 2014

    DC Circ. Bucked Precedent In Meat-Labeling Row, Groups Say

    Meat packaging industry groups called for the D.C. Circuit to rehear a case in which it decided en banc in July to uphold stricter labeling rules for the meat industry, saying Friday that the ruling contradicts the circuit’s own precedent and creates a “regulatory morass.”

  • September 15, 2014

    7th Circ. Puts Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Ruling On Hold

    The Seventh Circuit granted Indiana's attorney general a stay on Monday that blocked its ruling invalidating the state's ban on same-sex marriage from taking effect until the U.S. Supreme Court takes action on the state's petition to have the appeals court ruling overturned. 

  • September 15, 2014

    DC Circ. Urged To Force EPA To Change Chromium Rule

    Environmentalists and an industry group told the D.C. Circuit on Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t properly draft rules limiting chromium emissions from chromium electroplating and anodizing facilities, arguing that the rule, if allowed to stand, could affect air toxics standards in the future.

  • September 15, 2014

    Feds Get Heat For Oversight Of Ark. Medicaid Expansion

    Reacting to a government watchdog’s report, two high-ranking GOP lawmakers on Monday demanded the Obama administration explain its oversight of spending under Arkansas’ unusual Medicaid expansion, which uses federal dollars to buy private insurance.

  • September 15, 2014

    NJ Senate Panel Moves To Block Emissions Pact Withdrawal

    A New Jersey Senate committee on Monday struck back against Gov. Chris Christie's move to repeal rules associated with the state's former participation in a regional carbon emissions cap-and-trade pact, passing a resolution to override the administration.

  • September 15, 2014

    Fla. AG Moves To Join 4 Gay Marriage Suits To Cut Confusion

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi moved to intervene Friday in four cases challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying her office's clear involvement is needed to promote an “orderly and consistent resolution” to the common issue running through them.

  • September 15, 2014

    SEC Should Be Denied Conflict Mineral Rehearing, Groups Say

    A coalition of business groups has urged the D.C. Circuit to rebuff the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s bid for an en banc review of an earlier decision to strike down a central tenet of the agency’s conflict minerals rules.

  • September 15, 2014

    Noel Canning Halts NLRB's Appeal, New Vista Tells 3rd Circ.

    New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation LLC urged the Third Circuit on Monday to table the rehearing of a National Labor Relations Board appeal in an unfair labor practices dispute because two agency orders at issue involve two agency members found to be invalidly appointed in the U.S. Supreme Court's blockbuster Noel Canning ruling.

  • September 15, 2014

    WTO Approves Informal Mediation For Food Safety Disputes

    The World Trade Organization has approved a voluntary mediation system designed to let members resolve food safety policy disagreements, allowing them to avoid the WTO’s complicated legal dispute policies.

  • September 15, 2014

    Data Issues Threaten ACA Coverage For 500K Consumers

    Nearly 500,000 Americans are poised to see their Affordable Care Act coverage canceled or become more expensive because of conflicting information regarding their citizenship or income, far fewer than once feared, the Obama administration said Monday.

  • September 15, 2014

    IRS Must Make Phone Tax Refund Rule, High Court Told

    Plaintiffs who successfully challenged the Internal Revenue Service's tax on long-distance telephone calls asked the Supreme Court on Monday to force the agency to create a rule overseeing the procedure to refund the taxes.

  • September 15, 2014

    USDA Hit With Suit Over New Poultry Inspection Regs

    A nonprofit group has slammed the U.S. Department of Agriculture over new rules governing the slaughtering of young chickens and turkeys, claiming in a federal lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., that the rules will shift critical portions of food safety inspections from highly trained federal inspectors to slaughterhouse personnel.

  • September 15, 2014

    Pa. Auditor To Probe Corbett's Medicaid Waiver Spending

    Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Monday his office has asked Gov. Tom Corbett to account for $48 million his administration said it spent preparing for the launch of its recently approved waiver plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  • September 15, 2014

    TransCanada Urges SD To Renew Keystone XL Permit

    TransCanada Corp. on Monday asked South Dakota utility regulators to recertify its permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which expired in June after being originally approved four years ago, a move that pipeline opponents have already vowed to fight.

  • September 15, 2014

    Challenge To FAA Drone Guidance Faces Long Odds

    A recent challenge to Federal Aviation Administration guidance grounding all model aircraft use as the agency weighs new commercial drone rules spotlights the regulatory uncertainty facing the drone industry, but the protest may be tough to get off the ground as a sweeping overhaul looms.

  • September 15, 2014

    DOL Floats Rule Banning Fed. Contractor Pay Secrecy

    Acting on an April executive order from President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule Monday that would bar federal contractors from firing or discriminating against employees or applicants who discuss their pay, or the pay of their co-workers.

  • September 15, 2014

    OECD Eyes Bitcoin, Tobacco Smuggling As Tax Crime Issues

    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is focusing a sharper eye on how digital currencies like bitcoin can be used by money launderers to evade taxes, as well as on the illicit tobacco trade, an organization head said Friday at a tax crime forum.

  • September 15, 2014

    WTO Chief Won't Link Trade Pact With Food Security Push

    The head of the World Trade Organization on Monday made clear that he will not bend to the demands of developing countries that have blocked the implementation of a trade facilitation deal over concerns about legal challenges to domestic food security programs, saying the two issues must proceed separately.

Expert Analysis

  • A Look At The New US And EU Sanctions On Russia

    Triplett Mackintosh

    While the latest U.S. and EU sanctions do not cut off entire sectors of the Russian economy, they come close, say attorneys with Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Next Possible CFPB Targets: Foreclosures And Law Firms

    Richard B. Benenson

    Currently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands at the threshold of a circuit split regarding the scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, with foreclosure entities — for now — enjoying an exemption from FDCPA enforcement, say Richard Benenson and Emily Renwick of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • ACA Tax Subsidy Dispute May End Up Before High Court

    J. Peter Rich

    Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit as it prepares to hear Halbig v. Burwell en banc, it is expected that the full court will rule in favor of the government, which may ultimately result in appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, say J. Peter Rich and Lauren D'Agostino of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Problems With Volume Of Commerce In Antitrust Sentencing

    Robert Connolly

    As the Sentencing Commission reviews the antitrust guidelines, we urge that consideration be given to reforming the way volume of commerce escalates an individual’s recommended prison guidelines range, say Robert Connolly and Joan Marshall, partners with GeyerGorey LLP and former Antitrust Division prosecutors.

  • Answering Your Questions On NJ's 'Ban-The-Box' Law

    Jill R. Cohen

    New Jersey employers should understand that the Opportunity to Compete Act that Gov. Chris Christie recently signed into law is more lenient than prior iterations — which would have prohibited employers from asking about criminal records until after a conditional offer of employment was made to an applicant, says Jill Cohen of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Are Overreach

    Darryl T. Landahl

    Although regulators may argue otherwise, there is no known legal support for the position that 25 U.S.C. § 1621e(a) preempts all plan limitations from Native American health providers' recovery claims or that the statute was intended to provide unabated coverage for services from such a provider, say Darryl Landahl and Shelley Nordling of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

  • FCC Health Fund Points To Next-Generation Network Growth

    Randall B. Lowe

    Next-generation networks are on the rise and the Federal Communications Commission's Healthcare Connect Fund offers health care providers the ability to reverse the trend of decreasing revenues and increasing costs while delivering new and improved services, says Randy Lowe of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Liquor Licensees May Have To Bite The Bullet

    Alex Fuller

    In an effort to avoid controversy — and confrontations with armed patrons — many restaurants and retailers take a “live-and-let-live” approach to Second Amendment activists openly carrying firearms in their businesses. However, they may be doing so at the risk of losing their liquor licenses, especially in Texas, says Alex Fuller of Gray Reed & McGraw PC.

  • OPINION: SEC’s Pay-To-Play Rule Should Be Upheld

    Raymond M. Sarola

    The strict liability and broad scope of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay-to-play rule is an important and necessary aspect of a prophylactic approach designed to prevent and deter pay-to-play activities, says Raymond Sarola of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

  • New Calif. Appeal Bond Rules Correct Outdated Process

    Lisa Perrochet

    An overdue amendment to the California statutes governing deposits in lieu of appeal bonds brings the deposit procedure in line with modern banking and investment practices. Two important changes will streamline the process, say Thomas Watson and Lisa Perrochet, partners with Horvitz & Levy LLP and drafters of the bill.