Public Policy

  • December 7, 2017

    US, Hedge Funds Spar Over Puerto Rico Oversight Law

    Attorneys for the federal government filed a legal brief Wednesday defending the 2016 law enacted by Congress to address Puerto Rico's unwieldy debt crisis against a hedge fund's contention that the members of the federal board representing the commonwealth were unconstitutionally appointed.

  • December 7, 2017

    Rep. Says Ex-IRS Staff Records In Bias Row Should Be Public

    The chair of a congressional committee that oversees the Internal Revenue Service is pushing for an Ohio federal court to unseal documents related to the agency’s political bias scandal against conservative groups, according to a statement released Thursday.

  • December 7, 2017

    BLM Finalizes Delay To Methane Venting Rule Compliance

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Thursday announced it will finalize its plan to suspend or delay several provisions of an Obama-era rule limiting methane venting and flaring from gas wells on public lands as the rule may be revised or rescinded.

  • December 7, 2017

    Outcome Cloudy On Int'l Interest Deductions In Tax Bill

    As tax writers work to align the tax reform bills passed in both houses of Congress, tax specialists predicted the Senate version’s international tax provisions would prevail over those in the House bill in most instances, but suggested the final version of the limit on interest deductions from international group members was harder to predict.

  • December 7, 2017

    Trump Asks For Stay On Allowing Transgender Troops

    The Trump administration on Wednesday urged a D.C. federal court to let it hold off on allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the military while it appeals that directive, arguing it won’t have time to implement the new policy by Jan. 1 and that the court’s decision contained errors. 

  • December 7, 2017

    Pa. Auditor General Rips Philly Parking Authority Board

    The board of the Philadelphia Parking Authority failed to properly oversee the tenure of a former executive director who ran the agency like a personal fiefdom before resigning in 2016 amid sexual harassment allegations, according to two separate reports released Thursday by Pennsylvania's auditor general.

  • December 7, 2017

    Trump Overstepped On Monuments, Enviro Groups Insist

    A coalition of environmental groups added its suit Thursday to a slew of challenges to President Donald Trump's decision to shrink national monuments in Utah, asserting that the White House does not have the authority to remove special protections for large swaths of land.

  • December 7, 2017

    Senate Indian Affairs Panel OKs Victim Assistance Bill

    The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee has passed through a bipartisan bill that the committee’s chairman, who proposed the legislation, said on Wednesday would go toward strengthening resources for Native American victims of crimes.

  • December 7, 2017

    Sinclair-Tribune Merger Could Boost Minority Biz, FCC Hears

    Conservative political commentator Armstrong Williams told the Federal Communications Commissions in an ex parte filing that Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media Co. would allow minority-owned businesses to gain licensed stations and market share.

  • December 7, 2017

    Senate Panel Advances Trump's 5th, 8th Circ. Picks

    The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a pair of Fifth Circuit nominees, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP partner James Ho, along with Eighth Circuit nominee L. Steven Grasz of Husch Blackwell LLP over objections from Democrats.

  • December 7, 2017

    Delrahim’s SEP Policy Could Mean Enforcement Shift For DOJ

    Recent statements by leaders in the U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division have signaled a possible shift in policy in favor of patent holders when it comes to standard-setting organizations and their potential for anti-competitive conduct. While experts told Law360 that it’s not clear what the remarks will mean for SSOs when it comes to enforcement, they’re watching to find out.

  • December 7, 2017

    Senate Confirms Trump's Pick For EPA Enforcement Chief

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Susan Bodine, a former chief counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a onetime Barnes & Thornburg LLP partner, to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement arm.

  • December 7, 2017

    Trump Taking Risk With Lax Asia Policy, Ex-USTR Official Says

    Between an abrupt withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and an early-stage policy heavily focused on enforcement, the Trump administration is at risk of being left out in the cold in the crucial Asia-Pacific region, former U.S. trade official Barbara Weisel told Law360.

  • December 7, 2017

    Fed. Reform Means Scores Of Tax Decisions Await States

    A swift march toward tax reform by the U.S. Congress means state legislatures, which gavel in next month, will be faced with responding to a giant overhaul of the federal tax code.

  • December 7, 2017

    Judge Pushes Back On Gov't Bid To Limit DACA Discovery

    A California federal judge on Wednesday defended his decision ordering the government to hand over evidence in a challenge to the planned end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, telling the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the government had misconstrued his order in its petition.

  • December 7, 2017

    Net Neutrality: How We Got Here

    The Federal Communications Commission is on track to scrap its so-called net neutrality rules at its upcoming December meeting, offering another interesting development in the complicated history of internet regulation.

  • December 7, 2017

    Immigrants Win Class Cert. In Arizona License Denial Suit

    An Arizona federal judge on Wednesday granted class certification to one class of immigrants in a legal advocacy groups' suit against the state over its practice of denying driver's licenses to certain immigrants, saying the allegedly discriminatory policy violates the constitutional rights of all class members.

  • December 6, 2017

    Sportscaster Urges 1st Circ. To Nix Test Used In ADA Cases

    Renowned Boston sportscaster Bob Lobel took his discrimination lawsuit against a golf course to the First Circuit on Wednesday in what his attorney called a bid to make the game more inclusive by upending a ubiquitous ban on golf carts driving on putting greens.

  • December 7, 2017

    Top Texas Policy Developments Of 2017

    Against a backdrop of Republican Party infighting, Texas lawmakers in 2017 passed a controversial immigration bill, extended the lifespan of the state's energy regulatory agency and eschewed local control in favor of statewide rules on ride-hailing apps and texting while driving.

  • December 6, 2017

    Miami Could Attract Hedge Funds If SALT Deductions Axed

    For years, inertia has been Nitin Motwani’s greatest foe in his attempts to lure hedge fund owners in the northeast to Miami, which he has pitched as a tropical low-tax paradise. But with the Republican tax bill proposing to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes, he’s sensing an opportunity to finally overcome it.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Leave The Never-Was-Neutral Net Alone

    Doug Hass

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai bills his recent net neutrality proposal as a “repeal” of the 2015 rules, but it really just imposes his own version of net neutrality through impenetrable and ultimately ineffectual disclosures that both harm providers and confuse users, says Doug Hass, general counsel at Lifeway Foods Inc.

  • Navigating Whistleblower Protections Across The Atlantic

    Lynne Bernabei

    Both the Dodd-Frank Act in the U.S. and rules under the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. provide whistleblower protections for financial industry employees who report fraud and regulatory breaches. Whereas the specific protections in the U.S. and U.K. differ somewhat, many of the protection mechanisms are remarkably similar, say Lynne Bernabei and Kristen Sinisi of Bernabei & Kabat PLLC.

  • New Burma Act Would Hinder US Investment In Myanmar

    Geoffrey Atkins

    Some experts estimate that the Burmese military controls up to 50 percent of the country’s economy, and that an additional 20 percent is controlled by individuals and entities targeted under separate sanctions programs. As a practical matter, enactment of the Burma Act of 2017 would mean that a significant portion of Myanmar's economy would be off-limits to U.S. investors, say members of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • 5 Things US Cos. Should Know About Labor Reform In France

    Severine Martel

    The French government recently unveiled administrative orders setting out details of the reform aiming to revise French employment law. Now, with 2018 upon us, U.S. companies operating businesses in France need to be prepared for the implementation of those changes, say Severine Martel and Marie Brunot of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Putting China’s Fair Competition Review System Into Action

    Shelley Zhang

    Five competition-related authorities recently issued another “top-level design" for promoting implementation of China’s Fair Competition Review System, which should contribute to achieving the Chinese government's goals of regulating the activities of government agencies and maintaining fair competition in markets, say Shelley Zhang and David Goldstein of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Opinion

    Trump's Contraception Rules Suffer From Fatal Legal Flaws

    Nancy Northup

    As the comment period comes to a close Tuesday for the Trump administration’s interim final rules on contraception, the administration will start preparing final regulations — risking access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act for thousands of women, says Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

  • How Lying To The US Government Can Land You In Jail

    Wilfredo Ferrer

    Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and many others have not been charged with the crimes for which they were being investigated. The reasons why prosecutors make charging decisions are complex and case-specific. Regardless, the extraordinary scope of Section 1001 can easily ensnare the unwary, say Wifredo Ferrer and Michael Hantman of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Congressional Forecast: December

    Richard Hertling

    Members of Congress face a daunting to-do list in the final weeks of 2017. While some believe a looming deadline will help get things done, there is worry on Capitol Hill that the legislative pileup and long-simmering partisan battles on major budget and policy issues have created a prime opportunity for political brinkmanship to paralyze the high-stakes negotiations, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Green Amendment

    Maya van Rossum

    Instead of pleading with lawmakers to do the right thing, constitutional amendments would elevate environmental rights to the status of our most cherished liberties, says Maya van Rossum, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Temple’s Beasley School of Law.

  • Trump’s 'Buy American' Order Already Packs A Punch

    Howard Roth

    The secretary of commerce report on the "Buy American and Hire American" executive order was due at the White House on Nov. 24. Though the report is not yet public, it is in the foreground of the debate on legislative and regulatory actions, and it is changing the landscape for many organizations, says Howard Roth of Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP.