May 22 roundup

  • Lacey Act madness: might Feds be empowered to disrupt summer concerts by seizing musicians’ Gibsons? [Bedard, DC Examiner; earlier; recent Heritage Foundation work; reworded to reflect comment from “Density Duck,” below]
  • Contributors to new “Privatization Blog” include friend of this blog Coyote, e.g. here and here;
  • “Big Government Causes Hyper-Partisanship in the Judicial Appointment Process” [Ilya Shapiro] Fuels Culture War, too: “The faster the state expands, the more likely it is to violate your values” [Matt Welch]
  • Demagogy on expatriates: Schumer proposal for stiff tax on emigrants may have read better in original German [Ira Stoll, Roger Pilon/Cato, Paul Caron/TaxProf]
  • Georgia high court considers $459 million fax-spam verdict [AJC, AP, my take] “Hot fuel” class actions enrich the usual suspects [PoL]
  • New rebuttal to trial lawyer/HBO movie “Hot Coffee” [Victor Schwartz et al, auto-plays video] Ted Frank crossed swords with Litigation Lobby on the movie in January, particularly on the question of coffee temperature and the Liebeck case [PoL]
  • Overlawyered “will become the first [law] blog teenager this summer” [Bruce Carton, Legal Blog Watch] “I’ve been a fan of Walter Olson’s Overlawyered blog for years.” [Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess] Thanks!


  • Youtube version of the coffee movie. The video is very slow and has long introductions and you can skip them in this version.

    Even better if you can download it and double the speed.

  • Nobody’s threatened to “sieze” anything. In fact, according to Sen. Alexander, the DoJ and Fish&Wildlife have said that they won’t do that. He and Sen. Wyden just want to make a law guaranteeing that it can’t happen. The whole “poised to seize” is the article writer’s invention.

    Not that the whole “we’re not going after musicians” thing excuses anyone. If anything, it makes it more questionable as to why only Gibson was raided.

  • You make a good point and I’ve reworded so as not to track the Examiner’s perhaps overwrought headline. Musicians are definitely scared of taking their instruments across international lines, but that’s still a step short of domestic raids.

  • The registrant of the website is the US Chamber of Commerce, hardly an unbiased entity on this subject.
    Nowhere on the site do they explain who they really are. The site however criticizes incomplete disclosure from the makers of the coffee movie, while incompletely and misleadingly reporting on their own.

    From their website:
    About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. They all share one thing in common—they count on the Chamber to be their voice in Washington, D.C.

    With that said, 200 degree coffee in and of itself, should not be considered an excessively dangerous product. Combined, however, with flimsy cups and cracked lids, in my opinion, makes it dangerous. In addition, packaging the coffee on its side, in a paper bag is negligent on the part of the vendor.

  • Walter: Thank you. Like I said, it’s not that this isn’t a problem; let’s just be clear on what the problem actually is. Nothing kills a genuine concern quicker than aiming it at the wrong target.