- Democratic contenders’ platforms on employment issues: Sanders still gets out furthest to left but Warren, Buttigieg, and O’Rourke giving him some serious competition [Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox]
- Occupational licensure: more states embrace reform [Eric Boehm] Bright spots include Colorado (Gov. Jared Polis vetoes expansion) and Pennsylvania (recognition of out-of-state licenses) [Alex Muresianu and more] Connecticut catching up on nail salons, in a bad way [Scott Shackford]
- “Trump’s Labor Board Is Undoing Everything Obama’s Did” [Robert VerBruggen, NRO] A theme: to protect employee freedom of choice [Glenn Taubman and Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Federalist Society]
- Mistaken classification of a worker as an independent contractor, whatever its other unpleasant legal implications for an employer, is not an NLRA violation when not intended to interfere with rights under the Act [Todd Lebowitz; Washington Legal Foundation; In re Velox Express]
- Modern employers need to watch out for their HR departments, says Jordan Peterson [interviewed by Tyler Cowen, via David Henderson]
- Despite effects of federal pre-emption, state constitutions afford a possible source of rights claims for workers [Aubrey Sparks (Alaska, Florida constitutions) and Jonathan Harkavy (North Carolina), On Labor last year]
Protectionism for the benefit of stateside shipping interests wins out over the rescue-and-rebuild interests of Puerto Rico and its citizenry. And yes, non-Jones ships have already been coming to help in the island’s Hurricane Maria recovery, so forget the claim heard last week that lack of port capacity and the availability of U.S. government vessels makes the law irrelevant. [Scott Shackford, Reason, earlier here and here] And given the Act’s impact on consumers in Hawaii and Alaska, how can it be that all four members of the Hawaii congressional delegation, and two of the three from Alaska, are stalwart backers of the law? [Colin Grabow, Cato] More: Tyler Cowen.
- After criticism of heavy-handed Ankeny, Iowa police raid on persons suspected of credit card fraud, not actually reassuring to be told militarized methods needed because one house occupant had firearms carry permit [Radley Balko, more, more]
- Advocates strain mightily to fit unpopular Dunn verdict into Stand Your Ground theme [David Kopel, Jacob Sullum] More: sorry, pundits, but Rasmussen poll shows public’s plurality SYG support unshaken [Althouse]
- “‘Drop the Cabbage, Bullwinkle!’: Alaskan Man Faces Prison for the Crime of Moose-Feeding” [Evan Bernick, Heritage] “Criminalizing America: How Big Government Makes A Criminal of Every American” [ALEC “State Factor”]
- “We’ve also bred into dogs … an eagerness to please us.” Bad news for K-9 forensics [Balko]
- “Has overcharging killed the criminal trial?” [Legal Ethics Forum] Is the “trial penalty” a myth? [David Abrams via Dan Markel, Scott Greenfield]
- What if cops, as opposed to, say, gun owners, were obliged by law to purchase liability insurance? [Popehat]
- That’s productivity: North Carolina grand jury managed to crank out roughly one indictment every 52 seconds [Tim Cushing, TechDirt]
Some serve essentially as security guards for federal installations and lack much of an outside presence, but others — quite a few others, in fact — are capable of engaging in antics like SWAT-style environmental raids on rural settlements.
Product liability reaches the famed Alaskan dogsled race:
Iditarod mushers are known for missing digits. …
When Mitch Seavey nearly lost his index finger last year in Ophir, however, his Iditarod was over. In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the former champion now says the blame lies with the Oregon company that made the knife he sliced his finger with, and Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sold it to him.
- Just as FDA begins laying groundwork for mandatory salt reduction in prepared food, research raises new doubts about the science [Reuters, Atlantic Wire, Alkon]
- Feds now scrutinizing “everything about kids’ food” [Star-Tribune] Top-down remake of school lunches runs into trouble in Congress [AP]
- “Christmas tree tax”: blame big growers and GOP lawmakers, not White House [Tad DeHaven, , Mark Perry]
- Living right by a USDA-designated “food desert,” she’s “never had better access to food in my life.” [Angie Schmitt, Urbanophile] “As income rises, so does fast-food consumption, study finds” [L.A. Times, Sullum] “You can eat local, or you can eat organic, but it’s very hard to do both.” [Felix Salmon]
- Bloomberg News (not Bloomberg Hizzoner) hypes food-as-addiction, child obesity figuring in more custody battles [WSJ] Michelle Obama on the role of personal responsibility, alas not in this realm of life [Andrew Coulson, Cato]
- Private bed-leasing law is finally restoring Maryland’s depleted oyster stocks [Rona Kobell, Reason] Catch shares for Alaskan king crab might even be saving human lives [Adler]
- Why bother cooking for your kids at all? Feds ramp up program that serves them dinner as well as breakfast, lunch [Stoll]
Don’t Do It Dept.: Alaska is the only remaining state without a law school, so (it’s argued) it must need one. Right? [ABA Journal] Because of the absence of a law school in the Last Frontier, the Alaska Law Review has been published at academic institutions in the Lower 48, first UCLA and more recently Duke.
High cost of the ethics wars? Today’s New York Times quotes Alaska’s lieutenant governor on the reasons for the governor’s surprise departure:
At the news conference, Ms. Palin cited numerous reasons for quitting, including more than $500,000 in legal fees that she and her husband, Todd, have incurred because of 15 ethics complaints filed against her during her two and a half years as governor. She said all of the complaints had been dismissed, but she still had to pay lawyers to defend her.
Further: WSJ Law Blog with letter from Palin lawyer Thomas Van Flein (outlining possible after-the-fact state indemnification of cost of officials’ legal counsel when complaints are found without merit).