March 13 roundup

  • “Near the end of her new proposal to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple, Senator Warren asks, ‘So what would the Internet look like after all these reforms?’ It’s a good question.” [Geoffrey Manne and Alec Stapp, Truth on the Market/CNBC]
  • Floral arrangements as constitutionally protected expression: Cato files amicus on behalf of First Amendment rights of Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman not to serve a wedding of which she disapproves [Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran, Washington Supreme Court]
  • “Over several months, man repeatedly threatens his next-door neighbor with profanity, racial epithets. The police investigate, warn the man to stop, and then arrest him when he does not. Eventually, the man leaves the apartment complex after the landlord declines to renew his lease. Can the neighbor sue the landlord for failing to intervene sooner? The Second Circuit says yes, the neighbor’s Fair Housing Act claims should not have been dismissed. Dissent: The FHA doesn’t say landlords can be liable for tenant-on-tenant harassment; more likely it precludes such claims.” [IJ “Short Circuit” on Francis v. Kings Park Manor, Second Circuit; Scott Greenfield]
  • Gender identity: R. Shep Melnick on where the momentum is headed among judges, regulators, and administrators [Liberty and Law]
  • Comfort for lawmakers means discomfort for taxpayers? Study finds “growth in state government expenditures in warm states was higher after the introduction of air conditioning” [Thomas A. Garrett and Natalia A. Kolesnikova, Cato Journal]
  • “Succubustic” is not a word you should probably use at all, certainly not to describe any real person, and most definitely not if you are a lawyer to describe a judge [Lowering the Bar]

One Comment

  • Warren’s idea to break up the tech giants is a distortion of anti-trust law. There is nothing keeping competitors from challenging these companies and in fact both Apple and Facebook have been losing customers recently (Facebook declining online use, Apple dropping iPhone sales). Walmart is challenging Amazon for home delivery. Anti-trust law was meant to prevent companies who kept competition out via bad practices, not to punish success.
    The problem with the trans debate is that the noble idea that people should be respected even if they are odd or different has turned into one of using force. There are proposals and actual cases of people being disciplined or even fired for not using made-up pronouns (which in most cases one cannot even know, since few of us know anything about the thousands of people we encounter in our lives). More worrisome, the absolutist tendencies lead to demands that girls who wish to be boys be allowed to shower with the boys in high school (or even jr high), and vice versa, in spite of how this violates all sorts of privacy laws and leads to sexual harassment issues. Most schools do NOT have private changing facilities for each individual, in spite of claims that this is the solution. Boys who claim to be girls winning sports events is another injustice. The victory they seek is not mere tolerance, they want to dominate and humiliate normal people.
    The artistic expression issue (cakes, flowers) is another case where it is not enough that there are plenty of florists or bakers who will serve a gay client–advocates want to humiliate anyone who does not approve. They are insisting that ALL people celebrate gayness, no exceptions. One can see how hypocritcal it is by noting that no cases have involved asking a halal baker to bake a gay cake.