June 24 roundup

  • Judge lifts gag order against Reason magazine in commenter subpoena case, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for Manhattan is shown to have behaved even more outrageously than had been thought [Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, Ken White/Popehat (magistrate’s approval of gag order looks an awful lot like rubber stamp; AUSA directly contacted represented party), Paul Alan Levy (when bloggers push back, gag orders tend to get lifted), Matt Welch again with coverage roundup]
  • Maryland authorities clear “free range” Meitiv family of all remaining charges in kids-walking-alone neglect case [Donna St. George, Washington Post]
  • Disgraced politico Monica Conyers sues McDonald’s over cut finger [Detroit News]
  • American Law Institute considers redefining tort of “battery” to protect the “unusually sensitive”, Prof. Ronald Rotunda on problems with that [W$J]
  • “Did you ever falsely represent yourself as an attorney?” asks the lawyer to her client in front of reporter [Eric Turkewitz]
  • Feds endorse alcohol-sniff interlock as new-car option, critics say eventual goal is to force it into all cars, assuming rise of self-driving cars doesn’t moot the issue first [Jon Schmitz/Tribune News Service]
  • Echoes of CPSIA: regulatory danger is back for smaller soap and cosmetic makers as big companies, safety groups combine to push Personal Care Products Safety Act [Handmade Cosmetic Alliance, Elizabeth Scalia, Ted Balaker, Reason TV and followup (Sen. Dianne Feinstein objects to “nanny of month” designation, points to threshold exemptions for smaller businesses), earlier on predecessor bills described as “CPSIA for cosmetics”, National Law Review (panic over recent NYT nail salon expose might contribute to momentum)]


  • People keep pointing to carve-outs for “small manufacturers”. It was supposed to be one of the big concessions in the CPSIA negotiation, the grudging acceptance of low-volume producers.

    But if you actually look at the regulations, the exemptions only apply to testing. You’re still required to meet the standards if you want to sell stuff to kids; the exemptions just say that you can take the manufacturer’s word regarding the lead content of their products. It’s not a relaxation of the standards, just a relaxation of the verification requirements.

    And I’m sure it’ll be the same way for cosmetics and soaps, regardless of what Feinstein thinks. I’m also sure that the people writing this law have the idea in mind that they just won’t enforce it on small producers, that low-volume small businesses can just “fly under the radar”.

  • […] [Mark Steyn on Preet Bharara’s “prosecutocracy” and the Reason subpoena, earlier here, here, […]

  • […] has well have a macro that generates gag orders” [Ken at Popehat on Reason subpoena, earlier here, […]