Trump’s regulatory reform

Cass Sunstein, who headed up regulatory review under President Obama, is favorably impressed with the attention to detail of a document that helped flesh out President Trump’s recent executive order on regulation. [Bloomberg] “Other countries have gone much further than Trump’s ‘two-for-one’ order, without any ill effect.” [Hans Bader, CEI; Ryan Bourne, Cato] For 2-for-1 deregulation to work, maybe agencies should get transferable reduction credits to sell to each other [Daniel Takash and Nick Zaiac, The Hill] “Regulatory Reform: A new approach for the Trump era” [Christopher DeMuth Sr., The Weekly Standard via Michael Greve]

More on the fast Trump pace on deregulation in this new Cato podcast in which Caleb Brown interviews Susan Dudley and Peter Van Doren:

Campus climate roundup

  • Hundreds of colleges now have bias response teams, with many deeply involved in regulating speech [Adam Steinbaugh, FIRE survey]
  • Trump’s tweet made old idea new: in 1991, Rep. Henry Hyde filed unsuccessful bill to cut off federal funding of colleges that punished students for speech otherwise protected by First Amendment [The American Interest, earlier] A new cadre of federally mandated administrators, modeled on Title IX coordinators and backed by the threat of funding cutoffs, to ride herd within universities? Uh-oh [Michael Rappaport, ambivalent]
  • Arizona lawmakers quickly kill bill to cut state support from classes and activities that “promote division, resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class,” which would have extended earlier curb on Mexican and other ethnic studies [Tucson Star, Arizona Republic, Christian Science Monitor; background Melinda Anderson, Atlantic]
  • 47 Boston College faculty members ask “zero-tolerance” policy on hate speech. That’s different from the speech that Arizona was looking at that “promote[s] division, resentment” along ethnic lines, right? [Washington Times]
  • At the University of Minnesota, you might lose a student-advisor job for not demonstrating “a commitment to social justice growth and promotion to residents.” [David Blondin, Minnesota Republic/Campus Reform]
  • View that speech is violence, and thus properly countered by violence in response, is popular at UC Berkeley student paper [screencap by Ashley Rae on Twitter] More: The new religious establishment: Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion has $20 million a year, 150 staff [Heather Mac Donald]

Harvard law faculty (and Mike McConnell) on Neil Gorsuch

The Harvard Gazette asked HLS faculty what they thought of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch:

“He’s a brilliant, terrific guy who would do the court’s work with distinction.” — Laurence Tribe.

“He’s immensely qualified for the Supreme Court — an outstanding lawyer, and judge, and person.” — Jack Goldsmith.

“The Democrats have to let somebody go through. And there is not going to be anybody more acceptable than him.” — Charles Fried.

“The single most qualified person” on Trump’s list of 21 potential nominees, a judge “who is smart and has integrity. This is a man of enormous achievements” — Richard Lazarus.

“”What struck me was his real, genuine reverence for the Constitution and the rule of law that came through on a daily basis, As a judge, he believes that cases should be decided on the basis of the law and not on the basis of policy or personal preferences. His judicial record shows he applies the law impartially.”

“He’s really a kind, genuine and decent man,” she said. “He’s a great boss and a great mentor for all clerks, including myself. Any clerk you speak to, would just speak glowingly and lovingly of him.” — Jane Nitze, who served in the Obama administration after clerking first for Gorsuch and then for Sonia Sotomayor (Gorsuch serves as a feeder judge for liberal as well as conservative Justices).

More here (Liz Mineo, Harvard Gazette). And for those who prefer a West Coast academic view, Prof. Michael McConnell — a rare conservative on the Stanford law faculty who formerly served as a judge alongside Gorsuch on the Tenth Circuit — in this appreciation at Hoover salutes Judge Gorsuch’s impartiality and devotion to constitutional principle:

I asked my research assistant to pull every case in the last five years where Judge Gorsuch sat with both a Republican-appointed and a Democratic-appointed judge and the panel split as to the outcome. The results were striking. In almost a third of the cases, Judge Gorsuch voted with his presumably more liberal Democratic colleagues rather than the presumably more conservative Republicans. That is the mark of an independent, non-partisan jurist.

This is not just my opinion. In the days since the nomination, several liberal professors have studied his record and come to a similar conclusion.

Bonfire of the Obama regs: the Congressional Review Act

“The revival of Congressional activity under the CRA is a welcome development and shows that Congress is taking seriously its responsibilities both as ultimate lawmaker and in oversight of federal agencies,” said Olson. I’m quoted among other regulation-watchers [Aileen Yeung, Western Wire] More on the belated vitality of the Congressional Review Act: Brian Mannix/Law and Liberty; Kim Strassel/WSJ; Paul Larkin/Heritage.

“The Met wins admission charge lawsuit, but lawyer may rack up $350K”

“The big winner from a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art over its recommended $25 admission charge is the plaintiffs’ lawyer — who is seeking a staggering $350,000 fee for handling a case that resulted in a nonmonetary settlement.” [Julia Marsh, New York Post]

More: Center for Class Action Fairness has objected.

Good riddance (if they’re indeed going) to the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals rules

President Trump is said to be considering an executive order suspending for a time the Dodd-Frank law’s provisions on conflict minerals, which have harmed American companies and consumers and also plunged many communities further into impoverishment in some of the poorest sections of Africa. Congress should rise to its part by repealing the provisions, I argue at Cato at Liberty. More: Hans Bader/CEI, Kevin Drum/Mother Jones, earlier, and as part of a wider look at securities regulation, Wallace DeWitt/National Affairs. More: Dominic P. Parker and Bryan Vadheim, JAERE; Tate Watkins, WSJ.

Stupid but constitutional

David Lat, in a brief assemblage of Antonin Scalia anecdotes, gives this one:

“…A lot of stuff that’s stupid is not unconstitutional.”

“I gave a talk once where I said they ought to pass out to all federal judges a stamp, and the stamp says—Whack! [Pounds his fist.]—STUPID BUT ­CONSTITUTIONAL. Whack! [Pounds again.] STUPID BUT ­CONSTITUTIONAL! Whack! ­STUPID BUT ­CONSTITUTIONAL … [Laughs.] And then somebody sent me one.”

And now Charlie Eastaugh on Twitter has posted the above picture. If you’d like your own new version, he sells that too.

P.S., a Twitter exchange shedding more light:

Free speech roundup