Public Policy

  • March 20, 2018

    What To Watch For As Lighthizer Heads To Capitol Hill

    The Trump administration’s trade policy is under close public scrutiny as the White House prepares to move ahead with new tariffs on steel and aluminum, girds for a new fight with China over intellectual property enforcement, and tries to keep negotiations with its closest allies afloat. It is against this backdrop that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will testify before the two congressional trade committees this week.

  • March 20, 2018

    DOL's Health Plan Worries Overblown, Biz Advocates Say

    Concerns that the U.S. Department of Labor’s plan to make it easier for businesses to offer so-called association health plans will send costs surging for sicker workers are overblown, business advocates told a House of Representatives subcommittee Tuesday.

  • March 20, 2018

    Kennedy Scolds Sotomayor At Abortion Case Arguments

    Justice Anthony Kennedy chided Justice Sonia Sotomayor during Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments in a closely watched abortion case after she discussed what she found on the website of one of the anti-abortion petitioners, scoffing that he himself didn’t “go beyond the record to look on the internet because I don’t think we should do that.”

  • March 20, 2018

    Pa. Rep. Introduces Bills To Boot Justices Over House Maps

    A Pennsylvania House Republican formally introduced legislation Tuesday seeking to impeach four of the state Supreme Court justices, all elected as Democrats, who voted to impose new congressional maps, a day after two federal court rulings ensured the new districts would be in effect for upcoming elections.

  • March 20, 2018

    Perry's Proposed DOE Budget Cuts Rile Senate Panel

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Tuesday faced bipartisan fire from members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources over research and development cuts in the Department of Energy's proposed 2019 budget, echoing criticism he received last week from House appropriators.

  • March 20, 2018

    Fla. Owners Want Compensation For Banned Bump Stocks

    A group of bump fire stock owners filed a putative class suit in Tallahassee, saying that Florida's new gun control law that will bar ownership of bump stocks fails to compensate gun owners who already own these rapid-fire accessories for their soon-to-be-illegal property.

  • March 20, 2018

    FDA Skirts Suit Over Lack Of Warning On Hair Straighteners

    Organizations suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after it declined to add a formaldehyde warning on keratin hair straighteners failed to allege the agency's inaction increased the groups' expenditures on addressing the issue, a D.C. federal judge ruled in tossing the case Monday.

  • March 20, 2018

    EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Downfall Of Latham's Chairman

    Latham & Watkins LLP Chair Bill Voge announced his immediate resignation Tuesday afternoon following an admission that he had engaged in communications of a sexual nature with a person not connected to the firm.

  • March 20, 2018

    Judge Alsup Embraces Giving Climate Change Its Day In Court

    Climate change science will go on trial Wednesday in U.S. District Judge William H. Alsup's San Francisco courtroom at a landmark “tutorial” hearing that lawyers say underscores the judge's unflinching willingness to immerse himself in the scientific and technological issues that underpin complex, high-stakes cases.

  • March 20, 2018

    EPA's Regional Haze Rule Upheld By DC Circ.

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s move to incorporate its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule into regional haze regulations, a blow to green groups that challenged it as insufficiently protective and power industry groups that said it improperly wiped out states’ older pollution control plans.

  • March 19, 2018

    Fla. OKs Budget With Cash For Two Citrus Canker Judgments

    A lengthy legal fight ended for thousands of Florida homeowners Friday when Gov. Rick Scott signed the 2018-19 state budget, including $52 million for judgments they won as compensation for Florida's having cut down their healthy citrus trees in an effort to eradicate the plant disease citrus canker.

  • March 19, 2018

    Senate Confirms Trump's Customs and Border Protection Pick

    The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s choice to permanently lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday, elevating longtime agency official and acting Director Kevin McAleenan with a bipartisan vote.

  • March 19, 2018

    DC Circ. Told To Ignore Shepherds' H-2A Visa Rule Challenge

    The federal government and a pair of ranch advocate groups voiced their opposition on Friday to a D.C. Circuit challenge brought by organizations representing foreign-born shepherds that claim the government is illegally issuing the shepherds H-2A nonimmigrant temporary work visas even though their work is more permanent.

  • March 19, 2018

    Feds Must Meet High Extortion Bar In Boston City Hall Case

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Monday ruled federal prosecutors will have to prove a pair of Boston City Hall aides directly benefited when they allegedly pressured a music festival to hire unneeded union labor, upholding a high standard prosecutors have said they likely cannot meet.

  • March 19, 2018

    DC Circ. Asked To Void FAA Flight Paths For SoCal Airports

    Culver City, a Santa Monica civic group and local residents told the D.C. Circuit on Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration did not adequately assess noise, air pollution and other environmental factors before implementing new flight paths for Southern California airports as part of its air traffic control modernization program.

  • March 19, 2018

    Tax Court Ruling ‘Absurd,’ Professors Tell 2nd Circ.

    A U.S. Tax Court ruling denying a Connecticut woman's bid to reclaim her overpayment in a case of first impression led to an “absurd” result and must be overturned, according to an amicus brief filed in the Second Circuit Friday by two tax professors.

  • March 19, 2018

    Enviros' Suit Says San Diego County Climate Plan Too Lax

    Environmental groups have escalated their battle against San Diego County’s plan to deal with the effects of climate change, claiming in a state court lawsuit filed Friday that the Southern California county's revised approach is inadequate.

  • March 19, 2018

    Treasury Urges 5th Circ. To Reinstate Anti-Inversion Rule

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury urged the Fifth Circuit in an appeal filed Friday to resurrect a temporary rule invalidated by a Texas federal court after it sank a planned $160 billion merger between Pfizer Inc. and Irish counterpart Allergan PLC, saying that it had fulfilled its obligations in promulgating the rule.

  • March 19, 2018

    Feds Finalize E-Commerce Buying Plan, But Seek Law Tweaks

    The U.S. General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget on Friday issued their congressionally mandated implementation plan for upping the use of e-commerce portals like to buy off-the-shelf items, committing to a phased implementation and requesting more authority to speed the process.

  • March 19, 2018

    Trump Unveils 4-Point Plan For Easing Opioid Crisis

    President Donald Trump unveiled a four-part plan Monday for curbing the opioid crisis with a wide-ranging mix of policies, including tougher criminal enforcement, stricter border security, expanded addiction treatment and a nationwide educational campaign.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Congress Should Uphold Tribal Sovereignty Without Delay

    Willie Hardacker

    Congress should pass the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act to return the law to what it was for 70 years, before the National Labor Relations Board decided to stop recognizing tribes as governments, says Willie Hardacker, general counsel for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

  • NJ Employers Should Note Evolving Cannabis Laws

    Ruth Rauls

    While no new laws have been finalized yet, the stars may be aligning in New Jersey for significant changes to how it deals with cannabis. For employers, this means more employees using marijuana, medical or recreational, in the near future, says Ruth Rauls of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

  • Tax-Exempt Organization Restructurings Made Easier

    Matthew Elkin

    The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2018-15, easing rules for restructuring tax-exempt organizations. Such organizations will no longer be required to file a new exemption application provided the reorganized entity meets certain criteria, say Matthew Elkin and Shira Helstrom of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Changes To Rule 23 Are Coming, Are You Prepared?

    Niki Mendoza

    Proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23, which governs class actions, are set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2018, pending approval. The amendments would significantly alter class action litigation procedure from notice to settlement, says Niki Mendoza of Garden City Group LLC.

  • Tax Planning In The Age Of Tax Reform: Part 3

    Ellen McElroy

    A number of provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act require further guidance or technical correction. To ensure that their implementation can withstand subsequent scrutiny, companies should fully document their processes, their analyses and their support for technical positions taken, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland LLP.

  • How The Export Control Reform Act Would Impact Companies

    Mario Mancuso

    Last month, U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., introduced the Export Control Reform Act of 2018, which could have a significant impact on restricting access to U.S. technology, even within the United States. Companies should be aware that the act would increase compliance complexity and heighten enforcement risk, say attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • Tax Planning In The Age Of Tax Reform: Part 2

    Ellen McElroy

    Businesses face challenges in implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, especially given its size and scope and the ambiguities that remain regarding its application. Unfortunately, if administrative guidance and technical corrections are not issued soon, companies may lose valuable rights, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland LLP.

  • Trends In China's Food And Packaging Laws: Part 2

    David Ettinger

    China has recently implemented a number of changes to its food regulatory system. U.S. beef can again be imported to China after a 14-year prohibition. But companies must comply with new standards for food manufacturer certification, food labeling and food packaging, say attorneys with Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • Employer Takeaways From Calif.'s Response To #MeToo

    Jamie Wright

    Because there is a clear definition of sexual harassment under both California and federal law, there are several precautions that employers can take to prevent the #MeToo movement from occupying their workspace, even as state representatives work to bolster the statutory scheme of protection, says Jamie Wright of Albright Yee & Schmit APC.

  • Section 232 Tariffs: More Questions Than Answers

    Donald Cameron

    The recent announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs provided few answers regarding their scope and operation. The sooner definite procedures for exclusions and exemptions are established, the better for the global economy, say Donald Cameron and Mary Hodgins of Morris Manning & Martin LLP.