Public Policy

  • February 27, 2017

    Senate Advances Interior Pick Zinke Toward Final Vote

    The Senate has worked its way closer to a final vote on President Donald Trump’s pick for the Department of the Interior, after Rep. Ryan Zinke’s nomination passed a key hurdle Monday.

  • February 27, 2017

    Power Cos. Slam EPA Mercury Rule Cost Analysis In DC Circ.

    A coalition of state and power industry players on Friday told the D.C. Circuit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to properly analyze the costs associated with a regulation aimed at reducing mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired electricity plants.

  • February 27, 2017

    Ill. Court Employee Gets 3 Years' Probation For Lying

    A former Cook County Clerk employee indicted for lying to a federal grand jury received three years' probation in Illinois federal court on Monday — a much lighter sentence than both the government’s recommendation and sentencing guidelines for lying under oath about allegations of pay-to-play hiring.

  • February 27, 2017

    Pa. Trans Students Win Pause Of 'Assigned' Bathroom Rule

    Three transgender students at a suburban Pittsburgh high school won their bid on Monday in federal court to temporarily halt the school district policy requiring them to use restrooms that don’t conform with their gender identities, a decision activists cast as a win in the wake of President Donald Trump’s rollback of transgender bathroom guidelines.

  • February 27, 2017

    FCC’s Dem Says She Won’t Agree To Open Internet Reversal

    Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the lone remaining Democrat on the FCC whose vote helped pass 2015 net neutrality rules along party lines, defended on Monday the Obama FCC’s Open Internet Order and said she will not agree to undo the landmark rulemaking.

  • February 27, 2017

    Gorsuch? Garland? Why Not Confirm Both, Dem Suggests

    Democratic Sen. Tom Udall hatched an elaborate political scheme Monday to place Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court alongside current nominee Neil Gorsuch, signs that liberals won’t soon forget the GOP’s record blockade of the D.C. Circuit chief judge in the last year of the Obama presidency.

  • February 27, 2017

    VA Chief Floats 'Choice 2.0' Model To Improve Veteran Care

    Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Sunday that scrapping the current program allowing veterans to seek U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-funded health care outside of the VA system is one of his main priorities as VA chief, saying it currently involves too much red tape.

  • February 27, 2017

    Pentagon IG Report Blasts Defective Parts Response Process

    The Pentagon’s inspector general estimates that the Defense Logistics Agency Land & Maritime has left $3.4 million on the table because of ineffective procedures for seeking restitution from contractors who provide defective spare parts, according to a Thursday report.

  • February 27, 2017

    Navajos Seek Win On Liability In Utah Voting Rights Suit

    The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission pressed a Utah federal court Friday to find San Juan County liable for failing to provide equal opportunities to vote for all voters in its suit challenging the county’s predominantly mail-in voting system as detrimental to Navajo citizens.

  • February 27, 2017

    EU Trade Chief Wants Vigorous Debate On Arbitration Reform

    European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Monday welcomed the forthcoming public commentary on her office’s push to install a global court for settling investment arbitration, saying that open consultations on the subject are vital.

  • February 27, 2017

    Power Groups Want To Move Issues To Clean Power Plan Suit

    Power industry groups want the D.C. Circuit to consolidate a request for the court to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s denial of administrative petitions to reconsider or delay the Clean Power Plan, which aims to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, with the main suit challenging the rule’s overall legality.

  • February 27, 2017

    Sen. Markey, Advocates Decry Attacks On FCC Privacy Rules

    Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and several public interest groups including Public Knowledge and the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday warned that Republicans are taking aim at online privacy protections put in place by the Federal Communications Commission last year, saying they are ready for a fight.

  • February 27, 2017

    NJ 'Airbnb' Bill Would Regulate, Tax Short-Term Rentals

    A New Jersey Assembly panel on Monday advanced Democrat-backed legislation to regulate online short-term rental marketplaces like Airbnb and FlipKey by approving bills that would require licenses to rent spaces and impose taxes for doing so.

  • February 27, 2017

    Pfizer's $1.1B Bond Can Be Redeemed If US Tax Laws Change

    Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. late Friday priced a $1.1 billion bond to be sold to institutional investors in Taiwan, a deal that includes a provision that would allow the company to redeem the bond in the event of changes to U.S. tax law.

  • February 27, 2017

    Senate Confirms Wilbur Ross As Commerce Secretary

    The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Commerce Department Monday, meaning billionaire investor Wilbur Ross will take the helm of the agency as one of the nation’s key economic officials.

  • February 27, 2017

    White House Continues To Push Back On Alleged Russia Ties

    The White House on Monday pushed back against reports that it had pressed CIA Director Mike Pompeo and senior lawmakers to defend it against claims of alleged improper contact between Trump campaign staff and Russian officials, as well as a Republican lawmaker’s call for a related independent investigation.

  • February 27, 2017

    Boston Taxi Cos. Say Uber Suits Too Different To Join

    Two sets of Boston taxi companies accusing Uber Technologies Inc. of unfair competition because the company didn't have to follow local taxi rules on Friday asked a Massachusetts federal court not to consolidate four cases for trial, as the suits involve different local laws and allegations.

  • February 27, 2017

    USPTO Stays Mum On Chief Due To ‘Unusual Circumstances’

    Citing ‘unusual circumstances,’ the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday extended a deadline to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request asking who the director of the agency is, amid continuing confusion surrounding the USPTO’s leadership.

  • February 27, 2017

    AT&T Urges FCC To Clear Wireless Regulatory Roadblocks

    AT&T Inc. has pressed the office of the Federal Communications Commission's head to streamline the locating of infrastructure for wireless facilities as the agency considers a request to eliminate local regulatory roadblocks to help pave the way for fifth-generation wireless.

  • February 27, 2017

    House OKs Tweak To Native American Employment Grants

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill tweaking federal policy for Native American employment training programs Monday, adding additional flexibility for tribes and the Interior Department.

Expert Analysis

  • What To Know About Trump's New Border Security Guidance

    Sujata Ajmera

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently issued guidance addressing President Donald Trump’s January executive orders regarding border security and enforcement. Under the guidance set forth, we can expect a significant uptick in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehensions, deportations without hearings, mass detentions and local law enforcement participation in these efforts, says Sujata Ajmera of Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • How Chicago's Rental Car Tax Crossed The Line

    Catherine Battin

    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent Hertz ruling held that Chicago's requirement that rental car companies located within three miles of the city collect and remit tax on rentals violates the state constitution. The ruling invites further challenges to the city’s expansive imposition of the lease tax, say Catherine Battin and Lauren Ferrante of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • FERC's Pipeline Review Process Is Working As Intended

    Jay Costan

    Outgoing Commissioner Norman Bay surprised the natural gas industry on his last day at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month, advocating a more cautious approach to pipeline approvals in light of environmental controversies. But FERC is fulfilling all its pipeline review responsibilities under the law, and has no authority to make the changes Bay suggests, says James Coston of Dentons US LLP.

  • The Next Battleground For SEC Judge Constitutionality

    Thomas O. Gorman

    If the en banc D.C. Circuit in Raymond J. Lucia Cos. agrees with the Tenth Circuit's opinion in Bandimere, the two decisions would represent substantial authority for the proposition that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's administrative law judges were appointed in violation of the Constitution, says Thomas Gorman of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • How CMS' Notice Affects Medicare Advantage Organizations

    Jon Biasetti

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently advised that quota share reinsurance arrangements are not a statutorily permitted form of reinsurance for Medicare Advantage organizations with respect to Medicare Part C business. This will limit the ability of MAOs to obtain capital relief or share risk with joint venture partners, say John Biasetti and Ben Sykes of Locke Lord LLP.

  • In Congress: Gorsuch, CR, Trump's 1st Speech To Congress

    Richard Hertling

    Both chambers are set to return on Monday after a weeklong recess, kicking off a six-week session of legislative business. The issues expected to dominate this work period include the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiations over how to keep the government funded beyond the scope of the current continuing resolution, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Opinion

    Proposed Bill Threatens Franchising In Florida

    S. Douglas Knox

    The Protect Florida Small Business Act recently introduced in the Florida Legislature, if passed, would constitute the most invasive, onerous and intrusive state franchise relationship law ever enacted in the United States, if not the world, say attorneys with Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Paid Administrative Leave: There Ought To Be A Law

    Gregory J. Rolen

    California public entities and employees are being increasingly victimized by paid administrative leave abuse. Although sometimes an indispensable practice, PAL is metamorphosing as a means to not only shortcut public employees’ workplace rights, but also to destroy reputations, says Gregory Rolen of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • What Lawyers Can Learn From Kellyanne Conway

    Michelle Samuels

    Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway's TV appearances provide some examples of what lawyers should and shouldn't do when speaking to the media, says Michelle Samuels, a vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • How States Might Challenge The OCC's Fintech Charter

    Brian G. Barrett

    Some state banking regulators see the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's plan to create a new charter for financial technology companies as a direct threat to their existing authority. Litigation challenging the preemptive effect of the fintech charter would likely involve an interpretation of the limitations on the OCC’s statutory preemptive power, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP.