Free speech roundup

  • “EEOC to Gadsden Flag Lovers: Shut Up or Face Costly Lawsuits” [Hans Bader]
  • Ellen de Generes raises First Amendment defense in suit by real estate agent with joshed-over name [Ronald Collins]
  • Background: in England (generally unlike U.S.), tasteless jokes and online insults have been prosecuted as crime [Guardian on moves there to classify “misogyny” as hate crime]
  • Melania Trump’s defamation suit against U.K.-based Daily Mail is filed in Maryland, also names obscure blogger from that state [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • Tale of ginned-up out-of-state defamation lawsuit meant to aid in “reputation management” takedowns gets even weirder [Paul Alan Levy, earlier]
  • University of Tennessee, a public institution, cites First Amendment in dropping probe of Prof. Glenn Reynolds over controversial tweet [Robert Shibley, FIRE]

“Woman Stuck by Needle in Target Parking Lot Awarded $4.6M”

Mrs. Garrison’s suit, in Anderson County, S.C., says she was in a Target store parking lot “when her daughter picked up a hypodermic needle. Garrison swatted it out of her hand and was stuck in her own palm. Garrison was bedridden because of medication prescribed because of the potential risk of HIV.” A jury awarded $4.6 million. [Insurance Journal]

“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone”: Obama’s regulatory rush

An unprecedented volume of rulemaking by the Obama administration, at a pace of one major rule every three days, will soon be followed by an even more intense binge of the “midnight” regulation seen at the end of many presidential tenures. Sam Batkins of American Action Forum and Sofie Miller of George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, authors of two recent papers on the subject, discuss in a Federalist Society podcast moderated by Hoover’s Adam White. More: binge of Obama labor regulation will cost economy $80 billion over ten years [Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins for NAM]

September 28 roundup

  • Today at Cato, Josh Blackman discusses his new book Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power with comments from Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes and Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, Ilya Shapiro moderating [watch live 12 noon Eastern]
  • Breed-specific laws fuel mass euthanasia: “Montreal Gearing Up To Sentence Huge Numbers Of Innocent Dogs To Death” [Huffington Post]
  • Feds prepare to mandate mechanical speed governors capping road speed of tractor-trailers; truckers warn of crashes and traffic jams [AP/San Luis Obispo Tribune]
  • “You have to go back to the Red Scare to find something similar,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) of advocacy-group subpoenas by Hill committee in “Exxon Knew” probe. Or just five months to the CEI subpoena [Washington Post hearing coverage which oddly omits mention of CEI episode]
  • “I’m not here to take away your guns.” Why Hillary Clinton’s assurances ring hollow [Jacob Sullum] Trump’s comments defending stop-and-frisk and no-fly no-buy further undercut his never-impressive claims as defender of gun liberty [AllahPundit, Leon Wolf, Ilya Somin]
  • Why my Cato colleagues believe the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) is worth supporting as a trade liberalization measure despite some suboptimal aspects [Daniel J. Ikenson, Simon Lester, Scott Lincicome, Daniel R. Pearson, K. William Watson, Cato Trade]

“The FDA cultivates a coterie of journalists whom it keeps in line with threats”

Charles Seife in Scientific American tells the story of how, using the “close-hold embargo” and other techniques, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies shape what you read about them when major initiatives and findings are announced. I sum up highlights in my new Cato post. More: Megan McArdle.

Banking and finance roundup