- “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]
“The Icelandic government has confirmed it is considering launching a lawsuit against British supermarket Iceland over its name.” The British retailer, which specializes in frozen foods, has been doing business for 46 years. [The Guardian]
New court reforms proposed by the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice would do away with many criminal defendants’ right to cross-examine accusers before a jury. The rules provide that what are deemed “vulnerable” victims and witnesses, mostly in sex cases, will instead be allowed to undergo cross-examination recorded in advance for later play in court. [BBC] Here in the U.S., the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause might have a thing or two to say about that.
The Venezuela regime of strongman Nicolas Maduro has issued a decree providing that, to quote CNBC, “workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.” It’s shocking, yet as I note in a new post at Cato, “in fact elements of forced labor have cropped up in socialist experiments even in nations with strong track records of constitutional government and civil liberties, such as postwar Britain.” Happy (free and unbound) Labor Day!
- Wells Fargo declines to serve firm that sells knives online, which might relate to a “mass de-risking” trend that followed Operation Choke Point [Kelsey Harkness/Daily Signal, H. Clay Aalders/The Truth About Knives]
- “Time For Securities Lawyers To Stand Behind Their `Confidential Witnesses'” [Lyle Roberts via Daniel Fisher]
- Attractions of English law may help London retain luster as financial center post-Brexit [Jon Sindreu, WSJ]
- “Hillary Clinton’s ‘Exit Tax’ Is an Unseemly Example of Banana Republic Economics” [Daniel Mitchell, related earlier] Three good ideas from Clinton’s small business tax plan [Scott Greenberg, Tax Foundation]
- Lawyers file class actions against Yale, Harvard, MIT, many other universities, objecting to excessive fees on retirement fund investments [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism; Benjamin Edwards, PrawfsBlawg]
- “White House climate disclosure plan is major executive overreach.” [Ray Lehmann, R Street Institute]
- As government’s grip tightens in Turkey, Erdogan begins rounding up journalists [New York Times, Jonathan Turley on aftermath of coup attempt]
- German court fines man $2,480 for comparing state politician’s IQ to that of “a piece of toast” [Deutsche Welle]
- University of Cape Town disinvites free speech hero and Cato fellow Flemming Rose, of Danish cartoons fame, prompting letters of protest from Nadine Strossen, Floyd Abrams, Kenan Malik [John Samples]
- “If it’s perceived by the victim, then it is” — adviser to London police on online insults as hate crime [Express] “Nottinghamshire police to count wolf-whistling in street as a hate crime” [Guardian, quoting three backers and no critics of idea]
- Maybe our state AGs could offer tips on punishing wrongful advocacy: campaigners in UK want to prosecute public figures for fraud in promoting Leave side in Brexit referendum [Business Insider on “Brexit Justice” effort]
- Meanwhile, here: prominent Harvard Law professor says “rule of law” and “First Amendment” are “almost entirely without content” [David Bernstein on views of Mark Tushnet]
The European Union may bring member states before the European Court of Justice for protecting freedom of expression too vigorously, reports Jacob Mchangama. “Even historic defenders of speech like Denmark and the United Kingdom are starting to choose ‘social harmony’ over free expression.” [Foreign Policy]
Curbs on CEO pay, laws requiring worker representatives on company boards? Sounds as if incoming British prime minister Theresa May wants Euro policy despite Brexit [Sam Bowman, Telegraph]:
Take worker representation on company boards. It sounds fair, if worryingly European, but can backfire badly.
Volkswagen’s board turned toxic when its former chairman allied himself with workers’ representatives to block layoffs and wage cuts at the firm’s notoriously inefficient main factory in Wolfsburg, in exchange for support on other issues. In the wake of the carmaker’s costly emissions scandal, a former supervisory board member said in a newspaper interview that “it just killed the board as a place of proper discussion”.
Britain has voted Leave in its European Union referendum. The Euro cause, though strong in London and environs, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and university towns, failed to carry substantial cities like Birmingham and Sheffield and was shellacked in the industrial north and across many other parts of England. Remain — a position backed by the large majority of educated commentators, by business and cultural notables, and by the leadership of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Scottish Nationalist parties — has been reduced to what the funeral industry calls cremains.
The successful vote will begin an undefined dance of negotiation with Brussels, which has a hundred ways of stalling and complicating that process. Following earlier anti-EU votes in member countries, in fact, Brussels simply ignored the voters and came back a while later to ask again for the answer it wanted. Should the British political leadership want the negotiations to lead nowhere, it has many ways to connive at that. However, both Conservative and Labour parties must now confront a crisis of revolt from their members. The issue is particularly acute for the Tories because Prime Minister David Cameron led the Remain cause, and rival Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, made a compelling alternative leadership figure for Leave.
One theme on Twitter last night was curious: a number of commenters chided Wales for voting Leave even though it receives substantial regional subsidies from the European Union. (See here, here, and here.) In short, subsidies don’t always buy love. On balance, though, isn’t it probably a good thing if such programs fail to purchase local political sentiment?