Public Policy

  • December 14, 2017

    Cherokee Must Wait On Final Freedmen Citizenship Order

    The Cherokee Nation is eager to fully grant citizenship to descendants of slaves owned by tribal members, but they’ll have to wait a little longer after a D.C. federal judge said Thursday that more briefing was required before closing out a mandate first issued in August.

  • December 14, 2017

    FCC Overturns Net Neutrality Rules

    As anticipated, the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to overturn Obama-era net neutrality rules mandating that internet service providers treat all online content equally, handing industry groups a win and offering ISPs leeway to try out “fast” and “slow” lanes for web traffic.

  • December 14, 2017

    Final Tax Bill To Allow State Income, Sales Tax Deductions

    The final tax cut bill speeding through Congress will allow a deduction for state and local property taxes as well as income or sales taxes while maintaining a $10,000 cap proposed in earlier versions, according to a Thursday announcement from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

  • December 14, 2017

    Fla. High Court Won't Rule On Gov.'s Plan To Name 3 Justices

    The Florida Supreme Court said Thursday that it would not decide on whether Gov. Rick Scott can appoint the next three Supreme Court justices on his final day in office because the governor has not yet acted on his stated plan.

  • December 13, 2017

    Electronic System Proposed For Visa Applicants' Med Data

    The State Department plans to set up a new electronic system that would allow doctors to enter the medical exam results of visa applicants, according to a notice published Wednesday in the Federal Register.

  • December 13, 2017

    Texas, 11th Circ. Nominees Defend Views To Senate Panel

    Nominees to the Eleventh Circuit and a Texas district court defended their past writings and advocacy before a U.S. Senate panel Wednesday, with Texas nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk saying his past advocacy on religious objectors would not color his work as a judge.

  • December 13, 2017

    The Biggest Immigration Policy Changes From 2017

    This year has seen its fair share of immigration policy upheavals, including three successive travel bans, the phaseout of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and more scrutiny for business-related immigration. Here are the major immigration policy changes from 2017.

  • December 13, 2017

    High Court Should Take On Net Neutrality, Watchdog Says

    The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Wednesday that it had thrown its support behind a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a D.C. Circuit decision that approved the classification of internet service as a Title II public utility and greenlighted the net neutrality rules currently in effect.

  • December 13, 2017

    Smaller Carriers Chafe At FCC Coverage Data Requirement

    A trade group representing smaller wireless carriers asked the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to revise its “simply incorrect” projection that data collection to determine eligibility for Mobility Fund subsidization of rural telecom infrastructure would not burden carriers.

  • December 13, 2017

    House Republicans Cheer FCC Plan To Kill Net Neutrality

    House Republicans on Wednesday backed the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to strike down net neutrality rules issued under the Obama administration that prevent internet service providers from throttling content delivery speeds for individual sources, saying the rules subject ISPs to outdated regulations written for the landline telephone era.

  • December 13, 2017

    Lucia Case Best Opportunity To Rule On ALJs, Attys Say

    The U.S. Supreme Court should hear former investment adviser Ray Lucia’s case questioning whether the hiring of SEC administrative law judges violates the Constitution, with his attorneys arguing Wednesday that his case presents a “clean opportunity” to decide the matter.

  • December 13, 2017

    WTO Lowers Expectations After Fruitless Meeting In Argentina

    World Trade Organization members wrapped up their biennial summit without agreement on any major issues Wednesday, opting instead to kick the can down the road and focus on smaller agreements in areas like fishing subsidies, e-commerce and investment.

  • December 13, 2017

    Trump's Picks For OSHA, DOL Solicitor Clear Senate Panel

    A Senate panel approved a raft of nominations Wednesday for a variety of key positions within President Donald Trump’s administration, advancing to the full chamber a top FedEx safety official for the next head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and a Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner for the U.S. Department of Labor’s top legal post.

  • December 13, 2017

    Ill. Nuke Plant Subsidies Do Step On FERC, 7th Circ. Told

    A coalition of power producers on Tuesday told the Seventh Circuit that the effort by Illinois to prop up two struggling Exelon Corp. nuclear power plants is an overreach of authority reserved for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, adding that Supreme Court precedent showed the state went too far.

  • December 13, 2017

    Next 'Inevitable' Tax Battle Might Be Over Meat, Study Says

    Just as the fight over soda taxes was settling down, new research out Monday predicted the next tax battle would likely be over meat, going as far to call future levies on animal protein “inevitable.”

  • December 13, 2017

    The Biggest Energy Rulings Of 2017

    Climate change played a starring role in major energy rulings this year, as courts ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to more closely study pipeline greenhouse gas emissions, backed states' use of nuclear plant subsidies to decrease GHG emissions and thwarted the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate-friendly energy and environmental regulations finalized during the Obama administration. Here are the biggest energy-related rulings from 2017.

  • December 13, 2017

    Miami Beach Can't Enact New Min. Wage, Fla. Panel Says

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court's decision blocking Miami Beach's proposed minimum wage increase, saying a 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution doesn’t nullify a 2003 state statute that prohibits municipalities from adopting their own wage floors.

  • December 13, 2017

    Native American Group Blasts North Dakota Voter ID Law

    A group of Native American voters on Wednesday said that North Dakota’s recently passed voter identification law doesn’t offer important voting rights protections and that Native Americans are disproportionally hurt by the law.

  • December 13, 2017

    Senate Dems Press NLRB General Counsel On Priorities

    Two prominent Democratic senators, worried that a memo by National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter B. Robb signaled an abrogation of NLRB efforts to protect worker rights, requested information from the former management-side labor lawyer in a Tuesday letter.

  • December 13, 2017

    Senate Confirms Texas' Willett For 5th Circuit Seat

    The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to the Fifth Circuit, in a sharply divided vote, sending the Lone Star State's "Twitter laureate" to the federal bench.

Expert Analysis

  • A Look Back At 2017's Enviro And Energy Law Developments

    Stacey Mitchell

    2017 has been a year of dramatic shift in United States energy and environmental policy. As the year draws to a close, it’s an apt time to review the key steps taken to achieve President Donald Trump’s campaign goals, assess the impacts of the administration’s actions, and postulate on what may be coming next, say Stacey Mitchell and Kenneth Markowitz of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • The Trump Administration’s Move Against SEC Judges

    Daniel Walfish

    The government’s new position on the constitutionality of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s administrative law judges is more far-reaching and potentially consequential than is generally understood, says Daniel Walfish, a former SEC senior counsel now with Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP.

  • Series

    40 Years Of FCPA: The Untold Story Of The Resource Guide

    Charles Duross

    Much has been written about the 2012 "Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," but no one has talked about the behind-the-scenes work that produced the guide — until now, say Charles Duross, former chief of the FCPA Unit at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Kara Novaco Brockmeyer, former chief of the FCPA Unit at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • The Most Noteworthy Class Action Developments Of 2017

    Neal Marder

    This year has seen significant developments in the field of class action litigation. The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision continued to work its way through the courts, the appeals courts have made strides on issues like ascertainability and standing to pursue injunctive relief, and Congress is considering legislation that would alter the class action landscape, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • A Quick Look At California's New Housing Bills: Part 2

    Andrew Faber

    California's new housing bills are a step toward addressing the state's affordable housing crisis, but they are not without several deficiencies. There is a distinct lack of state funding for housing, and the bills do not provide for additional California Environmental Quality Act categorical exemptions for housing projects, say Andrew Faber and Michael Branson of Berliner Cohen LLP in the final part of this article.

  • EPA Maintains Renewable Fuel Standard Status Quo, For Now

    Joel Beauvais

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard program has been the subject of considerable controversy this year, with important developments across all three branches of government. Joel Beauvais and Steven Croley of Latham & Watkins LLP analyze key elements of two recent EPA actions in this area, and highlight one of the looming questions for the program.

  • Proposed Calif. Anti-Discrimination Regs Cast A Wide Net

    Brian Inamine

    Companies based in California as well as those that do business there should be aware of proposed national origin discrimination regulations, which give teeth to an existing state statute that identifies national origin as a prohibited basis for discrimination, says Brian Inamine of LeClairRyan.

  • Considerations Before Self-Reporting Under New FCPA Policy

    Olga Greenberg

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s new Foreign Corrupt Practices Act policy confirms and reiterates the standards for voluntary self-disclosure, full cooperation, and timely and appropriate remediation. However, firms have to carefully assess the potential benefits along with the costs and risks, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland.

  • IP Protection Tips For Connected And Autonomous Vehicles

    Clinton Brannon

    The best intellectual property strategy to protect connected and autonomous vehicle developments will depend on multiple factors. With appropriate planning, a company may successfully employ a strategy involving both patents and trade secrets to maximize the chances of protecting innovation, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Following The IRS Guideline On Missing Plan Participants

    Mark Bodron

    A recent Internal Revenue Service memorandum addresses when IRS examiners should pursue potential penalties for failure to begin making required minimum distributions to missing participants in qualified plans. By following this road map, plan administrators can ensure that, in the event of an IRS audit, penalties will not be imposed, say Mark Bodron and Gabriela Alvarez of Baker Botts LLP.