Public Policy

  • February 27, 2015

    Automakers Slam Renewed House Vehicle Safety Bill

    A bill geared at reforming automobile safety standards in the wake of the notorious General Motors Co. ignition switch and Takata Corp. air bag recalls was reintroduced Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives, drawing opposition from automakers who claim the bill will lean on new vehicle taxes for funding.

  • February 27, 2015

    White House Unveils Consumer Privacy Bill Of Rights

    The White House on Friday proposed a bill following through on President Barack Obama’s two-year-old commitment to put forward legislation setting in place a consumer privacy bill of rights.

  • February 27, 2015

    Bank Regulators Watching NY's Money Laundering Crackdown

    A coming New York state proposal to require top bank executives to personally attest to the quality of their institutions’ anti-money-laundering policies represents a major escalation of pressure on firms to prevent financial crimes that will be closely watched by other regulators, experts say.

  • February 27, 2015

    White House Rebuts Warren's Investment Arbitration Op-Ed

    In response to a blistering rebuke from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a top White House official on Thursday gave a vehement defense of a controversial trade agreement provision enabling companies to arbitrate investment disputes directly against foreign governments, which critics fear could undermine legitimate regulatory efforts.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fla. AG Defends State's Credit Card Surcharge Ban

    Florida's attorney general defended a state law that prevents merchants from imposing credit card surcharges, telling the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday that the statute is intended to protect consumers from unfair pricing and doesn't restrict businesses' free speech rights.

  • February 27, 2015

    Pa. Senate Democrats Unveil Liquor Privatization Alternative

    A day after the Republican majority in the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill to privatize the sale of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania, Senate Democrats unveiled a rival proposal Friday aimed at modernizing the existing system of publicly owned liquor stores.

  • February 27, 2015

    House Reps. Propose Bill On Overseas Data Storage

    A bipartisan pair of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation Friday to limit law enforcement's access to electronic data stored overseas, following the same bill being introduced in the Senate two weeks ago.

  • February 27, 2015

    Same-Sex Couples Lay Out Equality Case In Supreme Court

    Couples in four Midwestern states where same-sex marriage bans still remain have rung the opening bell in their case for marriage equality, telling the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday that they can no longer wait for their marriages to be recognized.

  • February 27, 2015

    Committee OKs Bill To Fight Trafficking By Gov't Contractors

    In a bid to strengthen human trafficking protections, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a bill Friday that would nail down the definition of prohibited recruitment fees sometimes charged to foreign workers on government contracts, while also passing legislation regarding North Korean sanctions.

  • February 27, 2015

    Pa. Gov. Urges Obama To Beef Up Oil Rail Transport Safety

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday urged President Barack Obama to push for stricter oversight of the transportation of oil by rail, including the prompt issuance of tougher safety regulations crafted in the wake of several fiery derailments involving crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken Shale.

  • February 27, 2015

    Judge Urged To See If Obama Defying Immigration Injunction

    Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked a Texas federal court Friday to hold an emergency hearing to order the federal government to show cause whether it is complying with the injunction blocking the president’s deportation relief policies, saying media reports suggest that the executive branch is forging ahead anyway. 

  • February 27, 2015

    GOP Reps. Reboot 4 Bills To Clamp Down On Immigration

    Several Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday reintroduced two immigration bills focusing on issues related to deporting unauthorized minors, a bill requiring all employers to use E-Verify, and a bill applying criminal penalties to illegal immigration that now also blocks funding for the president’s executive actions.

  • February 27, 2015

    Pols Introduce Bill To Stop FCC Preemption Of State Laws

    Republican legislators on Thursday introduced a bill to block a Federal Communications Commission decision overriding state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that restrict towns from expanding municipal Internet service, a move the FCC said would increase competition.

  • February 27, 2015

    Murray Urges Immediate Action To Stop EPA's Carbon Rule

    Murray Energy Corp. said Thursday that the D.C. Circuit must act now to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants — or coal-based facilities will go “cold” waiting for further litigation to play out.

  • February 27, 2015

    DOI Provides $60M To Tribes In Water Rights Pact

    U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell signed an agreement on Friday with the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes to guarantee their water rights in the state of Nevada and provide $60 million for water projects on the tribes’ reservation.

  • February 27, 2015

    11 Power Players In 2015 Business Tax Reform

    Momentum in Washington is growing behind the idea of a 2015 tax reform package, but lawmakers won't be able to realize that possibility on such a tight deadline without a phalanx of power players to push the effort along. Below, experts share their thoughts on 11 individuals who hold tax reform power in their hands.

  • February 27, 2015

    LA Tells High Court To Reinstate Hotel Search Law

    The city of Los Angeles has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling striking down a city law allowing warrantless searches of hotel registries, arguing that the law is necessary to prevent crime and that hotel registries aren’t protected from police inspection.

  • February 27, 2015

    White House Rolls Out Rural America Export Initiative

    The White House rolled out its "Made in Rural America” initiative on Thursday, to increase investment in small rural businesses and promote both exports and domestic distribution from rural areas in the U.S.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fed Gives More Time For SIFI Surcharge Comments

    The Federal Reserve on Thursday gave banks and other interested parties more time to comment on a proposal that would require the largest financial institutions to maintain an additional layer of capital.

  • February 27, 2015

    DHS Shutdown Averted With Weeklong Funding Bill

    The U.S. House of Representatives averted a shutdown of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security late Friday, passing a weeklong funding measure after the Senate passed a $39.7 billion bill funding DHS through 2015 after earlier resolving an immigration-related impasse.

Expert Analysis

  • This Week In Congress: Netanyahu's Controversial Visit

    Richard A. Hertling

    As predicted, Congress managed to avoid a Department of Homeland Security shutdown, but the continuing resolution was shorter than expected. Both chambers will need to spend time this week trying to resolve the funding issue. Meanwhile, other issues remain up in the air as attention turns to Iranian nuclear development, with the Israeli prime minister scheduled to address Congress on Tuesday, say members of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Lawsky Speech Portends Strict NY Cybersecurity Standards

    Alexander H. Southwell

    In a Feb. 25 speech, Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky of the New York Department of Financial Services advanced his view that states can play a “catalytic” role in raising cybersecurity practices, and he appears to be seeking regulation that could require third-party vendors in sectors far from the regulatory purview of the DFS — including law firms — to effectively comply with stringent cybersecurity requirements, say attorneys with... (continued)

  • Marijuana Legalization Creates Risks For Gov't Contractors

    Lucas Hanback

    Washington, D.C., just became the most recent jurisdiction to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. But federal contractors — a huge percentage of the D.C. population — still face catastrophic penalties for violating laws that prohibit drug use by federal contractor employees, says Lucas Hanback of Rogers Joseph O’Donnell PC.

  • Takeaways From High Court's NC Dental Opinion

    Amy Paul

    The U.S. Supreme Court's message in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission is clear — the actions of active market participants cannot be cloaked as government action merely because a state has established a regulatory board to oversee the industry in which they participate, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Oakland Pushes Ahead With Progressive Wage-And-Hour Laws

    Katherine S. Catlos

    Far from Gertrude Stein’s description of her former hometown — “there is no there there” — Oakland is poised to be a frontrunner in terms of progressive wage-and-hour protections in California. The transportation industry, hotels and restaurants will likely be the first to feel the impact, say Katherine Catlos and Gabriel Rubin of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP.

  • FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Regulations — What Lies Ahead?

    John Beahn

    If allowed to stand, the Federal Communications Commission's revised network neutrality regulations will have far-reaching implications for the telecommunications, media, content, Internet and technology industries. One of the first decisions that net neutrality opponents will need to make is whether to seek a judicial stay of the order and the regulations, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Unmasking Justice Roberts' Umpire Metaphor In ACA Fight

    Robert B. Hoffman

    What is so concerning about King v. Burwell is that an issue of statutory construction regarding the Affordable Care Act has become so politically driven — the fact that, in all likelihood, the split will hew closely to the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative blocs on how to interpret a statute is a troubling sign of the times, says Robert Hoffman of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • Can Federal Immigration Law And AB 60 Be Reconciled?

    Mary E. Pivec

    Employers now face a Hobson’s choice when it comes to structuring a policy position on whether to accept California A.B. 60 driver’s licenses as valid identity documents in the I-9 employment verification process, says Mary Pivec of FordHarrison LLP.

  • Work In Progress: Reconciling US And EU Derivatives Rules

    Cyrus Amir-Mokri

    Despite efforts to coordinate with respect to over-the-counter derivatives reform, differences in U.S. and EU approaches persist. Many market participants are concerned about how best to reconcile the sometimes disparate equivalence and substituted compliance approaches in the U.S. and EU, since the consequences can sometimes be as stark, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Data Collection Rule Repeal Will Help NJ Businesses

    Kendall L. Houghton

    Stemming from the Third Circuit's ruling in New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff, New Jersey’s amendment to remove data collection requirements provides relief not only for stored value card issuers but for all players in the SVC industry, including retailers and restaurants, say attorneys at Alston & Bird LLP.