Public Policy

  • February 14, 2018

    House Passes Changes To CFPB, SEC Disclosure Rules

    The House of Representatives passed a package of bills Wednesday altering CFPB mortgage disclosure rules, SEC oversight rules and companies’ disclosure requirements, with backers saying the legislation would help encourage growth in the markets.

  • February 14, 2018

    FTC Picks Prodded On Tech, Data Safety At Senate Hearing

    The four nominees seeking to fill posts on the Federal Trade Commission appeared in front of a Senate committee on Wednesday, answering questions from lawmakers about the power of big technology companies and consumer protection issues surrounding data breaches and privacy.

  • February 14, 2018

    FCC Reauthorization Bill Clears House Committee

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved an amended bill Wednesday afternoon that would reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission for the first time in two and a half decades, providing funding to help broadcasters with the post-spectrum auction reorganization and implementing other process reforms.

  • February 14, 2018

    Ex-Chair Laments Trump's FCC As 'AWOL' On Cybersecurity

    Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler derided the absence of his former agency in efforts to enhance U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure during a Wednesday panel at the Brookings Institution, stressing the need for active enforcement and more "agile regulation," particularly as the rollout of 5G nears.

  • February 14, 2018

    Lawmakers Want Action On Stalled USTR Nominees

    More than two dozen lawmakers on Wednesday urged the Senate leadership to quickly approve a fleet of pending Trump administration nominees to serve in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, stressing the need for a fully staffed agency to deliver a cohesive trade policy.

  • February 14, 2018

    Enviros Sue EPA, FWS For Release Of Info On 3 Pesticides

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday filed suit In D.C. District Court against two government agencies, alleging they violated public records law by failing to release information about how certain pesticides might harm Endangered Species Act-protected animals and habitats.

  • February 14, 2018

    Groups Can't Sue Over Halted Pay Data Collection, OMB Says

    President Donald Trump’s budget office urged a Washington, D.C., federal judge on Tuesday to toss a suit challenging its decision to halt an Obama-era plan to make businesses turn over detailed worker pay data, saying the decision isn’t reviewable because the plan isn’t dead and could still take effect.

  • February 14, 2018

    Warren Slams Trump's Gibes Over Native Ancestry Claims

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., upbraided President Donald Trump on Wednesday for disrespecting Native American people with mocking references to her as “Pocahontas,” saying she hadn’t used her claimed Native descent to help her career and slamming the federal government for failing tribal communities.

  • February 14, 2018

    Trump Entities Shouldn't Face Work Rule Claims: NLRB Memo

    The Trump Organization shouldn’t have to deal with allegations that it forced workers to abide by unlawfully broad confidentiality rules, according to one of a spate of advice memorandums recently released by the National Labor Relations Board general counsel's office.

  • February 14, 2018

    9th Circ. Should Reverse Calif. DACA Injunction, Feds Say

    The Trump administration on Tuesday urged the Ninth Circuit to reverse a California federal court’s order that temporarily barred it from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, arguing that it is an agency action that courts must defer to.

  • February 14, 2018

    Army Electronic Warfare Unit Head Gets Nom To Lead NSA

    President Donald Trump has nominated the head of the U.S. Army’s electronic warfare unit to lead the National Security Agency, as well as the U.S. Cyber Command, according to a Tuesday tweet by the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator.

  • February 14, 2018

    Trump Narrows Southern Fla. Judicial Finalists To 3

    President Donald Trump is expected to nominate two Miami-Dade state court judges and a Podhurst Orseck PA attorney to fill three of the five vacancies on the Southern District of Florida bench, sources confirmed to Law360 Wednesday, while concerns over picks for the other two vacancies remain.

  • February 14, 2018

    Enviros, Utilities Push For Greener Electric Grid Policies

    The continued greening of the U.S. electric grid is an inevitability, and state utility regulators need to push policies that increase clean energy deployment while maintaining reliability, the main trade group for the U.S. utility industry and a leading environmental group said Wednesday.

  • February 14, 2018

    Mnuchin Vows To Close Carried Interest Loophole In Tax Law

    The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS will issue guidance within the next two weeks to avoid an end run around a requirement in the new tax law that investments must be held for three years for carried interest profits to qualify for preferential capital gains tax rates, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday.

  • February 14, 2018

    Things To Know About The New Rail, Trucking Agency Chiefs

    The U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. Department of Transportation nominees late Tuesday, including the heads of the nation's rail safety regulator and the nation's commercial motor vehicle safety regulator, filling key leadership positions amid heightened safety concerns following several high-profile accidents. Here are a few things to know about the newly confirmed officials.

  • February 14, 2018

    Enviros To Sue EPA, Army Corps For Clean Water Rule Delay

    Environmental groups on Wednesday said they plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers for violations of the Endangered Species Act over a two-year postponement of the effective date of an Obama-era rule defining the government's authority under the Clean Water Act.

  • February 14, 2018

    Idaho Breached ACA With Health Insurance Move, HHS Told

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and other major U.S. health organizations urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday to take action against Idaho after it authorized the sale of health insurance plans that allegedly violate the Affordable Care Act.

  • February 14, 2018

    Ex-NFLer's Pot Decriminalization Suit Hits Possible Snag

    A Manhattan federal judge expressed sympathy Wednesday with the medical marijuana movement's frustration over the failure of leaders in Washington, D.C., to acknowledge the plant's benefits, but he warned he may not have jurisdiction over a former NFL star's suit demanding decriminalization.

  • February 14, 2018

    Feds Want End To Texas Suit Over Indian Child Welfare Act

    The U.S. Department of the Interior urged a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a suit led by Texas alleging a federal law that sets rules for adoption and custody cases involving Native American children is unconstitutional, saying challenges to the law belong in state court. 

  • February 14, 2018

    Sailing Looks Clear For 10th Circ., Other Judge Picks

    President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Tenth Circuit and three other federal courts look to have a clear path forward after they laid out their judicial philosophies before a Senate panel Wednesday, their thoughts ranging from giving more time for jury selection to encouraging more “coordination” between district courts and the patent office.

Expert Analysis

  • Understanding FERC's Natural Gas Certificate Policy Review

    Cynthia Taub

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced in December that it will review its 1999 certificate policy statement for deciding when a proposed natural gas project is required by the public convenience and necessity. Based on comments from the commissioners, this review may include potential changes to the commission’s environmental review process, say Cynthia Taub and Monique Watson of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • 10 Highlights From FINRA’s 2018 Priorities Letter

    Emily Gordy

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's annual regulatory and examination priorities letter is a road map to areas on which FINRA will focus in the coming year. Firms must use this information to assess strengths, identify gaps and shore up weaknesses, says Emily Gordy, a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and a former senior vice president at FINRA.

  • What To Know About CMS' New Bundled Payment Model

    Deborah Gersh

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced a new voluntary bundled payment model with the goal of incentivizing financial accountability, care redesign, data analysis and feedback, provider engagement, and patient engagement. The move suggests the agency will remain a player in testing and facilitating value-based payment reform, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Interpreting Treasury's Report On Russian Oligarchs

    Mario Mancuso

    The recent report by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation is not a "sanctions list." Yet the prospect remains that parties identified in the report could become targets of sanctions or other restrictions — and transactions with such parties could also become subject to closer scrutiny, say attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • Key Recent Changes To Lobbying, Campaign Finance Rules

    Melissa Laurenza

    The 2018 midterm elections are quickly approaching, bringing with them anticipated increases in political activity along with public scrutiny. Melissa Laurenza and Samuel Olswanger of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP examine recent changes to federal and state lobbying, gift and campaign finance laws and analyze their significance.

  • Highlights From DOD Acquisition Panel's 1st Report

    Stuart Turner

    In 2016, Congress instructed the U.S. Department of Defense to convene a panel of procurement professionals to review the regulations governing DOD procurements. The first volume of the panel's report, weighing in at nearly 650 pages, has a lot to offer, and in places proceeds well beyond the limited remit of "amendment or repeal" of existing regulations, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter.

  • How To Serve Your Blind Client Effectively

    Julia Satti Cosentino

    While a client’s visual impairment can create challenges for an attorney, it also can open up an opportunity for both attorney and client to learn from each other. By taking steps to better assist clients who are blind or visually impaired, attorneys can become more perceptive and effective advisers overall, say Julia Satti Cosentino and Nicholas Stabile of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.

  • Opinion

    CFPB’s Payday Loan Protections Protect Big Business Too

    Daniel Karon

    Mick Mulvaney, acting U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, recently put the brakes on rules the bureau had developed to regulate payday lenders' abuses. But a weakened CFPB isn’t just bad for payday loan borrowers — it's bad for reputable companies who benefit and thrive from enforcement that reins in cheaters, says Daniel Karon of Karon LLC.

  • Questioning USPTO Estoppel Rule 42.73(d)(3)(i): Part 2

    Allen Sokal

    No statutory provision specifically provides for the patent applicant or owner estoppel of Section 42.73(d)(3)(i) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's final rule implementing the America Invents Act. It appears that this section may be beyond the scope of the USPTO’s rulemaking authority, say Allen Sokal and William Smith of BakerHostetler.

  • What To Expect After Trump's State Of The Union Address

    Jeffrey Turner

    As President Donald Trump emphasized in his recent State of the Union speech, the U.S. economy appears to be strong. Unfortunately, as the Democratic response confirmed, the state of affairs on Capitol Hill is anything but. Jeffrey Turner and David Schnittger of Squire Patton Boggs LLP outline what Congress must do in the next month or so.