Public Policy

  • August 27, 2015

    Injunction Denied In States' Suit Over Clean Water Act

    A Georgia federal judge on Thursday denied Florida and 10 other states' preliminary injunction bid in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act, saying only an appellate court can hear the rule challenge.

  • August 27, 2015

    USCIS Provides More Guidance On Status Adjustment Deal

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced additional guidance on Thursday for the implementation of a class action settlement allowing some foreign individuals the possibility of reopening their adjustment of their status applications, revising the step-by-step determinations on whether cases can be reopened.

  • August 27, 2015

    340B 'Mega-Guidance' Dials Back Patient Eligibility

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday unveiled highly anticipated "mega-guidance" on important policies in the 340B drug discount program, and experts say that fewer patients will be eligible under the new standards.

  • August 27, 2015

    Ill. Has 3 Weeks To Pay Medicaid Fees, Budget Crisis Or No

    A federal judge gave the state of Illinois three weeks to figure out how it's going to pay Medicaid providers that are in danger of falling through the cracks while the state continues to operate without a budget, saying on Thursday that she was reluctant to drag Gov. Bruce Rauner before the court for failure to comply with an earlier order.

  • August 27, 2015

    10 Years After Katrina, Legal Fallout Continues

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, lawyers throughout the Gulf region have worked hard to recover and dig into the multitude of legal issues that washed up with the storm, and some of those questions — such as whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be held liable for any damages and how to help adversely affected communities — have not yet been resolved.

  • August 27, 2015

    On Biosimilar Names, FDA Charts Middle Course

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance on Thursday regarding naming of biosimilars wasn't a clear-cut victory for either brand-name or generic-biologic makers, according to experts who say that a requirement for biosimilars to carry distinct nonproprietary names will be offset at least partly by other provisions.

  • August 27, 2015

    Ex-Rep. Schock Told To Hand Over Docs In Grand Jury Probe

    An Illinois federal judge on Thursday ordered former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock to produce a trove of documents from his time in Congress for a private review, a day after the U.S. Department of Justice derided his claims that the records weren’t covered by a grand jury subpoena.

  • August 27, 2015

    $225M Exxon Deal Offers Blueprint For Pollution Review

    ExxonMobil Corp.’s $225 million pollution settlement with state environmental authorities, approved by a New Jersey judge this week, is notable not only for its size and the level of public scrutiny it endured, but also the guidance it provides companies facing similar claims for natural resource damages, attorneys say.

  • August 27, 2015

    FTC Taps Baker Botts Partner For Deputy Chief Trial Counsel

    The Federal Trade Commission has selected a veteran Baker Botts LLP attorney to be the next deputy chief trial counsel for the agency’s competition bureau, the firm announced Thursday.

  • August 27, 2015

    DOL, USCIS Seek Ideas On Info Collection Changes

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a notice extending the period for public comment on its information collection regarding the L-1 blanket petition, while the U.S. Department of Labor has issued its own notice asking for revisions to the National Agriculture Workers Survey.

  • August 27, 2015

    Navajos Back DOI Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

    The Navajo Nation has urged the Ninth Circuit to keep more than 1 million protected acres around the Grand Canyon off limits to uranium mining, saying the tribe's "long and sordid" history with uranium mining backs the government's decision to err on the side of environmental protection.

  • August 27, 2015

    FCC Pressed On 'Katrina Petition' Multilingual Radio Alerts

    The NAACP and more than two dozen other minority groups called on the Federal Communications Commission to require emergency broadcasts in multiple languages, as part of the “Katrina Petition” that has languished at the agency for almost a decade.

  • August 27, 2015

    Watchdog Demands Answers On Imports Of Chinese Poultry

    Food & Water Watch asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday to shed some light on the agency's purported approval of poultry imports from a Cargill Inc. outpost in China, flagging possible inconsistencies with a 2006 rule that put strict conditions on poultry trade between the two nations.

  • August 27, 2015

    Sens. Pressure NHTSA To Reform Early Warning Rules

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must increase early warning requirements, two U.S. senators said in a Thursday letter to the head of the agency, arguing such rules are necessary to help prevent deaths like those connected to General Motors Co. and Takata Corp. defects.

  • August 27, 2015

    Clean Power Plan Casts Shadow Over Utility Deals

    Southern Co.'s admission that the Clean Power Plan influenced its $8 billion move to acquire gas infrastructure utility AGL Resources is a sign that coal-heavy utilities may look to cut deals with their gas-focused counterparts to handle the plan's stiff carbon emissions reduction targets.

  • August 27, 2015

    EPA's Clean Water Rule Halted In 13 States

    A North Dakota federal judge on Thursday blocked the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' rule clarifying the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act in 13 states just one day before the rule was to go into effect, calling the measure "exceptionally expansive." 

  • August 27, 2015

    Send FCC Joint Sales Ban Dispute To 3rd Circ., Panel Told

    A pair of trade groups Thursday urged a D.C. Circuit panel to move a challenge of the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed ban on joint sales agreements between local television stations to the Third Circuit, saying it had retained jurisdiction.

  • August 27, 2015

    Clerk’s Appeal Can’t Hold Up Marriage Licenses, 6th Circ. Says

    A Kentucky clerk who has refused to hand out any marriage licenses in protest of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide must issue licenses while appealing her case, the Sixth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

  • August 27, 2015

    CFTC Ratchets Up Retail Forex Protections After Swiss Shock

    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission enshrined new protections Thursday for retail forex investors in response to January's Swiss franc market shock, but at least one commissioner said the high leverage ubiquitous in retail forex was still a “recipe for financial disaster.”

  • August 27, 2015

    SEC Official Calls For Transparency On Bank Waivers

    A top U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official on Thursday said the agency should be more transparent about its process for giving regulatory waivers to lawbreakers, amid criticism that Wall Street banks too often get a free pass.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Aggregation Rule May Be As Important As Methane Regs

    Michael J. Nasi

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for methane emissions has received the bulk of media attention, another proposed rule on the aggregation of multiple surface sites into a single source for air-quality permitting purposes may have as much or more of a direct impact on oil and gas operations, say attorneys at Jackson Walker LLP.

  • TCPA Issues Familiar And Unique To Health Care Providers

    Lewis S. Wiener

    Many of the issues facing health care companies under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act are similar to other industries — consent and the scope of that consent, reassigned numbers, opt-outs and large potential exposure to statutory damages. However, the Federal Communications Commission's recent TCPA order also holds a new exemption for the health care industry, say attorneys at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Taking On LGBT Issues In The Texas Workplace

    Stephen J. Roppolo

    Same-sex marriage. Sexual orientation anti-discrimination ordinances. Transgender accommodations. Texas employers, already buffeted by changes in union organizing and wage-and-hour rules, should come to grips with the legislative and enforcement landscape over LGBT rights since the only constant in employment law is more change, says Stephen Roppolo of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • A Likely Fatal Blow To Republicans' Pay-To-Play Challenge

    Raymond M. Sarola

    The D.C. Circuit’s opinion this week shooting down the New York and Tennessee Republican parties’ First Amendment challenge to the SEC’s pay-to-play rule contains strong and convincing language that the lawsuit is untimely. The opinion also suggested that the D.C. Circuit may not view the ultimate merits of the challenge favorably, says Raymond Sarola, associate at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and a former policy adviser in t... (continued)

  • A Look At The Tax Plans Of Presidential Candidates

    Robert J. Leonard

    At this stage, the field of candidates is quite diverse and unsettled — as is the eventual tax agenda for 2017 after the election of a new president. But a general consensus for comprehensive tax reform appears to be developing on both sides of the aisle, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, including former counsel to the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • DC Circ. Conflict Minerals Ruling Is Business As Usual

    LaDawn Naegle

    Last week the D.C. Circuit upheld it's previous decision that a portion of the U.S. Securities and Exhange Commission's conflict mineral rule violated the First Amendment. For issuers, it's business as usual since the 2014 decision, with only issuers who voluntarily describe any of their products as "DRC conflict free" being required to provide a third-party audit in 2015, say LaDawn Naegle and Randy Wang at Bryan Cave LLP.

  • Inside DOD's Interim Rule On Cloud Cybersecurity

    Lawrence Prosen

    As the sophistication of cyber incidents increases and the security of government-protected data gains ever heightened stance, it is key that we continue to develop stronger regulations and protections. The U.S. Department of Defense interim rule relating to DOD-contracted cloud computing services is a good next step — but it is only a step on an undoubtedly long road, says Lawrence Prosen of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Think 10th Circ. Endorses State RPS? Think Again

    Harvey L. Reiter

    While some advocates of renewable energy have characterized the Tenth Circuit's ruling in Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Joshua Epel as an endorsement of states adopting renewable portfolio standards, that is not the case. The Commerce Clause may not bar states from favoring one energy technology over another, but it does bar states from favoring in-state over out-of-state competitors, says Harvey Reiter of Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • Key Online Lending Takeaways As Regulators Assess Industry

    Christopher L. Allen

    Regulators are assessing what a well-calibrated online lending regulatory framework may look like — one that balances greater access to credit with appropriate risk management and borrower protections. This may impact investments relating to online lending and the M&A opportunities available to strategically acquisitive bank and nonbank lenders, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Paid Sick Leave For Contractors Is Par For The Course

    Joshua F. Alloy

    President Obama's expected executive order on paid sick leave for workers employed by federal contractors and subcontractors is the latest in a series of employment-related executive orders intended to improve wages, benefits and terms and conditions of employment for employees of government contractors, says Joshua Alloy of Arnold & Porter LLP.