- SEC in-house administrative law judges are unconstitutional, rules 10th Circuit, creating circuit split [ABA Journal, Jonathan Adler]
- “Dear Sen. Warren: If we care to share our policy views, we’ll let you know. Otherwise MYOB. Signed – 33 firms” [Elizabeth Warren letter demanding to know what financial firms think of delay in Labor Department fiduciary rule, coverage WSJ/MarketWatch]
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s grab for more regulatory power over financial institutions would erode due process protections [New York Post quoting Mark Calabria]
- “Supreme Court Probes Whether Miami Can Sue Banks Over Foreclosure Crisis” [Daniel Fisher, earlier on Bank of America v. Miami here, etc.] Arnold Kling’s prescriptions for getting the government out of the mortgage market;
- Mini-symposium on the personal benefit standard for insider trading in the recent Supreme Court case of Salman v. U.S. [Bainbridge]
- India’s devastating crackdown on cash [Cato Daily Podcast with Jim Dorn and Caleb Brown]
- John Cochrane and Stephen Bainbridge on Dodd-Frank reform in a new administration;
- Gift of insider information to friends or family is insider trading, rules SCOTUS in Salman v. U.S. [Thaya Brook Knight, Bainbridge, WLF, Ira Stoll; earlier]
- Five state legislatures (California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut) now push private employers to enlist employees in state retirement plans. Caution needed [Vimbai Chikomo, AMI Newswire, SIFMA, NAIFA, Bloomberg in August on new rules; earlier here and here]
- “The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: Myth and Reality” [new Oonagh McDonald Cato Policy Analysis, Mark Calabria]
- Federalist Society podcast with Jason Johnston and Thaddeus King on class actions in consumer finance agreements;
- More on why de novo bank starts have become so uncommon [Kevin Funnell]
- Supreme Court will hear “Slants” trademark case, which could prove relevant to Washington Redskins controversy [Eugene Volokh on Lee v. Tam]
- Ooh: Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley says SCOTUS vacancy being “stolen” which “delegitimizes” any nominee [Roger Pilon] More on President-elect Trump and the Supreme Court: Jeffrey Rosen/Politico, Josh Blackman/National Review;
- “Whether a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction to review an order denying class certification after the named plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice.” [Microsoft v. Baker]
- Are malicious prosecution claims cognizable under the 4th Amendment? [Damon Root, Reason on Manuel v. City of Joliet; more, Glenn Harlan Reynolds/Cato Supreme Court Review]
- “Justice Kennedy: The Once and Future Swing Vote” [Ilya Shapiro] Justice Sam Alito’s speech to Federalist Society lawyers looks to post-Scalia era [Adam Liptak, NYT]
- “Supreme Court Justices Push Back On Government’s Expansive Insider-Trading Theories” [Daniel Fisher, earlier on Salman v. U.S., Thaya Brook Knight and related video]
- Trying to pressure banks to cease tax refund anticipation lending, FDIC staff crossed several lines of impropriety [inspector general executive summary via Kevin Funnell]
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, class action lawyers’ best friend, aims to suppress arbitration [WSJ, The Hill, earlier here, here, here]
- When CEOs campaign for their view of social justice, do they disserve shareholders’ interest? To the point of incurring liability? [Kevin LaCroix]
- “Insider Trading: The Unknowable Crime” [Thaya Brook Knight and Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus brief in Salman v. U.S.]
- “The Number of Publicly Traded Firms Has Halved” [Alex Tabarrok; Naomi LaChance, Inside Sources, on decline of IPOs] Does SEC Chairman Mary Jo White get it? [Hodak Value]
- Tax havens and tax competition serve vital policy function, to “curtail the greed of the political class” [Dan Mitchell] Related: “The War Against Cash, Part III”
- To keep your sex business free from the coils of federal regulation, your best bet might in fact be Ted Cruz, implacable opponent of Operation Choke Point [Elizabeth Nolan Brown; more from Snopes on rather silly attacks on Cruz for doing job lawyers are expected to do for clients in Texas case]
- Snoopy, you’re not systematically important: judge frees MetLife from SIFI designation under Dodd-Frank [Thaya Brook Knight/Cato, John Cochrane]
- What with Sen. Elizabeth Warren trying to put a lid on some companies’ criticism of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, hope it’s still OK for the rest of us to talk about it [Thaya Brook Knight, Cato]
- Sen. Warren isn’t only one using letters to SEC to browbeat businesses: New York City elected Public Advocate Letitia (“Tish”) James tries to hassle gunmaker Sturm Ruger to comply with various demands of gun control advocates [Manikandan Raman, Benzinga/Yahoo; more on Ms. James and her blames]
- Next term Supreme Court will consider case on scope of insider trading law, Salman v. U.S. [Ira Stoll, more] “Returning to Common-Law Principles of Insider Trading After United States v. Newman” [Richard Epstein, Yale Law Journal on Second Circuit’s decision via Stoll]
- DoJ cracks down on big-investor activism — at least when of a sort antitrust enforcers don’t like [Matt Levine]
- SCOTUS takes up oral argument Monday on one of this year’s cases on uninjured plaintiff standing [Anne Friedman/DLA Piper, Richard Samp/WLF on Spokeo, Inc., v. Robins, more from Theodore Olson/Lucas Townsend, WLF on uninjured-plaintiff class actions]
- Time magazine asked law professors to pick best and worst SCOTUS rulings. Much consequentialism ensued [Orin Kerr, Ilya Somin]
- Fisher v. University of Texas, the affirmative action case, returns to the high court [Alison Somin, Federalist Society blog]
- CBIA vs San Jose case could upend some of zoning law [Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus, Cato, via @nickzaiac]
- Rebuff to DoJ: “Supreme Court denies cert in US v. Newman insider trading tipping case” [Prof. Bainbridge, more, Peter Van Doren/Cato]
- Will Court agree to revisit Alien Tort Statute in Ivory Coast-related case of Nestle v. Doe? [WLF]
- Can defendant moot a class action by fully satisfying claim of named plaintiff? [Daniel Fisher on Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez] “Gomez Is Not the Slam Dunk You Think It Is” [Andrew Trask]
Much can and will be said about the attack in Texas and its aftermath, but here is what came to mind for me. On current trends, many outspoken Americans will soon be living in hiding or under guard. To me that’s a bigger story than whether I find their views unsavory. And of course it’s going to happen to many whose views I don’t find at all unsavory. That’s the lesson of Salman Rushdie and his translators, the Danish cartoonists etc. And even when many respectables are living in hiding, under guard, or dead, a large bloc of polite opinion will still look the other way. Something is wrong in that.
As for what can be done, as a writer, I naturally think in terms of what writers and editors can do. The PEN gala award was a good example of a positive step that deserves our applause. It would be a positive step if Yale University Press had printed the (very tame) Danish Mohammed cartoons when it published a book on that episode. It would be a positive step if CNN and other networks did not black out or crop out even very tame cartoons when covering the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Danish Jyllands-Posten episode, or the winning Garland contest entry. When there is no solidarity, the minority of publications that remain uncowed stick out more, and so are in more danger.
The threats are nothing new: mobs ransacked newspaper offices and lynched editors in the Nineteenth Century, 21 died when unionists bombed the L.A. Times in 1910, and so forth. Somehow it didn’t shut them up, and I hope we have the resolve not to let it shut us up either.
And very appropriately, too. But at least six literati, including Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and novelist and New Yorker contributor Teju Cole, have withdrawn from next month’s gala to express distaste for the murdered cartoonists, a gesture about which Matt Welch has a few comments. More: New York Times, AP. And from fatwa target Salman Rushdie, who knows a thing or two about this topic:
“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name,” Mr. Rushdie said. “What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”
Bonus: “Knowledge starts as offendedness”: new Jonathan Rauch video interview for FIRE on free speech from the Salman Rushdie case to now.
If you defend freedom of speech today, realize that “blasphemy” is its front line, in Paris and the world. …
Most of the prestige Western press dodged the running of the [Danish Mohammed] cartoons, and beneath the talk of sensitivity was often simple fear. As journalist Josh Barro noted today on Twitter, “Islamists have by and large succeeded in intimidating western media out of publishing images of Muhammad.” …
[On the modern European rise of laws against “defamation of religion” and related offenses]: One way we can honor Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, and the others who were killed Wednesday is by lifting legal constraints on what their successors tomorrow can draw and write.
Also recommended, this thoughtful Ross Douthat column on blasphemy and religious offense. Douthat is not enthusiastic about blasphemy generally, but makes an exception for instances where it is done in defiance of grave dangers. “If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it’s something that almost certainly needs to be said … it’s precisely the violence that justifies the inflammatory content. … if publishing something might get you slaughtered and you publish it anyway, by definition you *are* striking a blow for freedom, and that’s precisely the context when you need your fellow citizens to set aside their squeamishness and rise to your defense.”
“So many of Charb’s fellow journalists have long been aware of these threats, and have said nothing,” writes Mark Hemingway in the Weekly Standard. Jytte Klausen, author of a book on the Danish cartoon episode, in Time: “Over the past five years, [the editors of Charlie-Hebdo] have been left alone standing in defense of press freedom.” And Alex Massie at The Spectator:
[The 1989 fatwa against Salman Rushdie] was a test too many people failed back then. We have learned a lot since then but in many ways we have also learned nothing at all.
In 2012, Rushdie wondered if any publisher would have the courage to endorse The Satanic Verses if it were written then. To ask the question was to sense the depressing answer. They would not.
As for the present day, CNN, NYT, AP, NBC, ABC, the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, and the CBC, will *not* be running Charlie-Hebdo cartoons, though a number of American publications did so, including Daily Beast, Vox, and Bloomberg. No UK paper on Thursday morning runs the cartoons on its cover — though the Berliner-Zeitung in Germany publishes a full spread of them.
23 cartoonists respond [BuzzFeed]. Claire Berlinski’s firsthand account of the attack scene, and Charb’s now-famous “die standing” vow. Andrew Stuttaford at Secular Right on whether anything will now change in Europe’s slow constriction of free speech: he fears not (& Hans Bader, CEI).