Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Public health roundup

  • After a crackdown on saloon drinking backed by Theodore Roosevelt and others, creative New Yorkers opened 1500 new “hotels” and complied with rules linking alcohol to food by serving desiccated sandwiches meant not to be eaten [Darrell Hartman, Atlas Obscura on Raines Law]
  • “‘The evidence is very, very strong that there’s a powerful potential health benefit if you can’t get people to quit entirely, to get them to switch from cigarette smoking to vaping,’ Olson said.” [Scott McClallen, Center Square] Here comes Massachusetts to make things worse [Jeffrey Singer]
  • If you suppose that transcontinental air travel is worsening the risk of global pandemics, then you may suppose erroneously [Johan Norberg “Dead Wrong” video]
  • Zoning will not bring slimness: “Fast-Food Bans Are a Dumb Idea That Won’t Die” [Baylen Linnekin] Having a supermarket enter a food desert has at best a minor effect on healthy eating [Hunt Allcott et al., Quarterly Journal of Economics, earlier]
  • The imperialism of public health: wealth inequality, affordable housing declared topics for action by the public health profession [Petrie-Flom]
  • “From the 1910s through the 1950s, and in some places into the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands — of American women were detained and forcibly examined for STIs…. If the women tested positive, U.S. officials locked them away in penal institutions with no due process….. During World War II, the American Civil Liberties Union not only failed to oppose the Plan; its founder, Roger Baldwin, sent a memorandum encouraging its local branches to cooperate with officials enforcing it.” [Scott W. Stern, History.com]
  • Public health campaign against arsenic-tainted wells in Bangladesh appears to have inadvertently increased child mortality in places where alternative was surface water, which is more likely to carry microbial contamination [Nina Buchmann, Erica M. Field, Rachel Glennerster, & Reshmaan N. Hussam, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 180]

September 25 roundup

  • “Small claims court for copyright” idea, now moving rapidly through Congress, could create a new business model for troll claimants [Mike Masnick, TechDirt; EFF on CASE Act] A contrasting view: Robert VerBruggen, NR;
  • “If Boston is weirdly NOT full of good restaurant/bar/cafes for its size, and if people don’t want to stay after they hit 26 or so, these throttled [liquor] licenses are one of the real structural reasons why.” [Amanda Katz Twitter thread]
  • Push in California underway to join a trend I warned of five years ago, namely states’ enacting laws to encourage tax informants with a share of the loot [McDermott Will and Emery, National Law Review]
  • Baltimore food truck rule challenge, single-member districts, sexting prosecution, and more in my new Free State Notes roundup;
  • “For years the Westchester County DA, Jeanine Pirro, now a Fox News host who opines on justice, rejected Deskovic’s requests to compare the DNA evidence against a criminal database. Deskovic was not exonerated until 2006, after he had served 16 years” [Jacob Sullum, Reason]
  • Come again? “Louisville judge rules Kentucky speed limit laws unconstitutional” [Marcus Green, WDRB]

October 3 roundup

  • “Rejected Applicant Sues Law Schools for Violating Magna Carta” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]
  • “Attorney sued for malpractice is suspended after releasing client’s psychiatric records” [Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal]
  • Moving state and local alcohol regulation past the bootlegger/Baptist era [Cato Daily Podcast with Jeremy Horpedahl]
  • In Charlottesville today? I’ll be on a University of Virginia School of Law panel discussing redistricting / gerrymandering reform, campaign and election law, Maryland politics and more [Ele(Q)t Project]
  • Rejecting ADA claim, Georgia Supreme Court says man cannot blame sleep apnea for “alleged inability to be truthful, accurate, and forthcoming” in bar application [Legal Profession Blog]
  • Update: after national outcry, county D.A. in North Carolina drops charges of unlicensed veterinary practice against Good Samaritan who took in pets during Hurricane Florence [Wilson Times]

Liability roundup

Backdoor regulation of consumers, and its political attractions

Government often makes a show of regulating business when its real aim is to regulate what consumers or citizens do. When direct coercion seems “brutal, unfair, and wrong… Switching to indirect coercion is a shrewd way for government to sedate our moral intuition.” Some examples that come to mind: campaigns that at base aim to regulate consumers’ eating and drinking choices instead often take the form of campaigns against manufacturers and sellers of food and drink, who as targets are inevitably less humanized and sympathetic. [Bryan Caplan]

November 15 roundup

Turning the legal screws on retail wine-over-the-net

The powerful alcohol wholesalers’ lobby has been putting the legal squeeze on consumers’ access to retail wine across state lines. I explain in a new Cato post.

More: Also possibly relevant, this 2012 paper by Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaum, abstract:

This study develops thirteen criteria to detail diverging direct shipping laws of the U.S. states. It also investigates why some states have prohibitive laws by utilizing a logit regression model. Regression results provide strong support for public finance and special interest arguments: It appears that states concerned about incurring losses in tax revenues, that is, that are heavily dependent on federal aid and have low state revenues, and protecting the wholesalers and retailers that benefit from the three-tier system (at the expense of wineries and wine drinkers) are most likely to have a prohibitive law.