- “Expensive new licensing requirements and the bureaucratic headache of implementing” new regulations are expected to reduce further the number of agencies offering international adoption to U.S. families [Liz Wolfe, Reason] And don’t forget to mark your calendar and, if you can attend in person, register for next week’s July 19 Cato conference on adoption policy, at which international adoption will be one focus;
- Report confirms again what I wrote nearly a year ago: many persons are being held in jail longer under Maryland’s ill-thought-out venture in restricting cash bail [Lynh Bui, Washington Post, my WSJ piece last September, more]
- Online data protection episode is just latest instance of how California initiative process can put disturbing leverage in private hands [Cathy Gellis, TechDirt]
- “The cans now read ‘NON-TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT ALMA MATER IPA’ with no other Pitt-related images.” [Grant Burgman, Pitt News on campus beer trademark controversy]
- “Pregnancy discrimination? Don’t rely on government for additional protection” [Vanessa Brown Calder, Cato]
- If you’re looking to dodge voir dire scrutiny: “How To Get On a Jury” [Mark Bennett, Reason]
Protected geographical designation laws, which prevent the sale in some countries of articles like Champagne or Gouda cheese unless produced in the indicated locality, are sometimes defended as advancing consumers’ interest in fraud prevention or accuracy in labeling; it is also suspected that they can serve to curtail competition and protect incumbents even when no genuinely distinctive local contributions are at issue of soil, technique, etc. In 2000, Newcastle Breweries and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, obtained a designation on Newcastle Brown Ale, a popular product dating back to 1927, to prevent it from being sold unless manufactured in the city. That didn’t work out so well when the brewery moved to nearby Gateshead four years later. Dan Lewis, Now I Know:
EU regulators took notice and weren’t as forgiving as the brewers would have hoped. The owners of the Newcastle Brown Ale brand had two obvious choices: move back across the Tyne or change the name of the product. Neither was a good option, so the brewery decided to do something new: they applied to have the registration canceled. And as seen in this pdf, they were successful. In August 2007, the EU revoked Newcastle Brown Ale’s PGI status, allowing it to be made across the river — or anywhere else.
Today, Newcastle Brown Ale is made in neither Newcastle nor Gateshead. Heineken, which bought the Newcastle’s brewers in 2008, has since relocated operations to Amsterdam.
- Craft brewery regs, Peter Angelos has another special bill in Annapolis, county council vetoes on development, and more in my latest Maryland roundup [Free State Notes]
- Oh, that pro bono: celebrity lawyer’s pro bono contract for sex accusers included up to one-third commission on selling their stories to media outlets [John Solomon and Alison Spann, The Hill]
- Forget that Viking cruise down the Mississippi River, Jones Act makes it a no-go [WQAD] “The Jones Act costs all Americans too much” [Bloomberg View editorial; earlier here, etc.]
- Cato Daily Podcast with firearms policy expert David Kopel on interstate right to carry and restricting bump stocks;
- Not-so-nastygram in beer biz: “As far as cease and desists go, this is about as good as it gets.” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- Activist nonprofits with big endowments using litigation to go after soft drink companies. Loser-pays would help [Tiger Joyce, Inside Sources, see also]
- “Cigar City” a familiar monicker for Tampa. Likelihood of confusion between a beer and a salsa brand? [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- USDA checkoff programs, which require farmers and ranchers to participate in group marketing, suffer setback in Montana federal courtroom [Baylen Linnekin, Reason; Joe Fassler/New Food Economy on First Amendment challenge]
- C. Jarrett Dieterle reports from craft brewers conference [Inside Sources] More profiles of Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso [Reason, The American Conservative; earlier here and here] The great German (regulated) beer stagnation [Esme Nicholson, NPR, 2016]
- Class action: consumer fraud to call dried/powdered vegetable ingredients “veggies”? [Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post] Entrepreneurial lawyers fatten on slack-fill cases [Candy Industry] If only buyers holding a sandwich had a way of judging its weight other than package size [Jake Offenhartz, Gothamist on suit against Pret-a-Manger]
- “The real opposition to food trucks was not coming from restaurants but from commercial real estate interests” [Aaron Renn, Urbanophile]
- Good: Incoming Agriculture Secretary Perdue to introduce “flexibility” into Obama-era school lunch mandates [Tony Mecia, Weekly Standard; Baylen Linnekin, Reason; Joe Simonson, Heat Street; Pat Roberts letter; earlier]
- Also good: FDA delays mandate for calorie labels on prepared food [Tim Devaney/The Hill, WSJ editorial, Seyfarth Shaw, earlier]
- And your hot dog isn’t from Frankfurt or Wien either: consumer class actions claiming beer names are geographically misleading struggle to convince judges [Greg Herbers, WLF]
- “We must destroy the ice cream man,” Senators told at hearing [Renae Ditmer, Indian Country Today]
- Canada recalls batch of liquor for having too much alcohol. Way to set up a sure-fire punch line [Canadian Food Inspection Agency]
- Yet another blow to oft-refuted “food deserts” theory [Christine Vaughan et al., RAND Corporation, earlier]
Jim Caruso, CEO of Frederick, Md.’s Flying Dog Brewery, talks with Cato’s Caleb Brown about legal and regulatory issues in the craft beer business. We earlier followed Flying Dog’s successful First Amendment battle with Michigan regulators over its Raging Bitch label beer, the proceeds from which the company used to endow a speaker series on free speech.
Besides that case, Caruso discusses the “three-tier” system of alcohol distribution set up after Repeal, which is “pretty loose” in much of the West but far stricter in many Eastern states where memories of rum-running lingered on (“organized crime was basically created by Prohibition”). In some states, so-called franchise laws lock manufacturers permanently into an initial choice of distributor for a territory. Some of the laws even authorize distributors to sell brand rights to each other without consulting the original maker, which thus winds up with a distributor it did not have even a notional original role in picking. Originally rationalized as a way to shield small distributors from the clout of giant national brewers, these laws live on into an era in which small craft producers may face well-heeled, politically powerful state distributors.
Did Cato just file the most not-safe-for-work amicus brief in Supreme Court history? It’s on the question (Lee v. Tam) of whether the government can deny trademark protection to words and phrases that are slurs and, in so doing, gather to itself the task of defining what is a slur. The case, involving the Asian-American band The Slants, is widely seen as foreshadowing the eventual outcome of the challenge to the Washington Redskins’ trademark.
Joining Cato as amici: humorist and Cato fellow P.J. O’Rourke; Profs. Nadine Strossen, Clay Calvert, and Erik Nielson; the Reason Foundation; Frederick, Md.’s Flying Dog Brewery and famed artist Ralph Steadman, whose work adorns its labels; and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. It’s signed by Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry and written with Trevor Burrus’s assistance.
NSFW warning: as hinted, this brief uses obscene and disparaging words and phrases by the dozens and dozens, so be forewarned.
- Bad Texas law requiring breweries to give away territorial rights for free violates state constitution, judge says [Eric Boehm]
- California’s identity theft statute bans so many more things than just identity theft [Eugene Volokh]
- Cato Unbound symposium on Indian Child Welfare Act/ICWA, to which I contributed, wraps up [Timothy Sandefur on sovereignty and fixes] Minnesota’s Indian foster care crisis [Brandon Stahl and MaryJo Webster, Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- If you want to hear me translated into Arabic on bathroom and gender issues, here you go [Al-Hurra back in May]
- Asset forfeiture: “New Mexico Passed a Law Ending Civil Forfeiture. Albuquerque Ignored It, and Now It’s Getting Sued” [C.J. Ciaramella] “IRS Agrees to Withdraw Retaliatory Grand Jury Subpoena Against Connecticut Bakery” [Institute for Justice] “California Asset Forfeiture Reform Heading to Approval” [Scott Shackford]
- Evergreen: “‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.” [Adrian Bott]
- Has Obama administration endorsed anti-GMO campaign with new labeling law? Not really [Thomas Firey, Cato, earlier here, here, etc.]
- United Nations anti-tobacco meeting seeks to exclude persons overly involved with tobacco production, ban list turns out to include many officials of member governments [Huffington Post UK]
- Dumping Michigan tart cherries to comply with USDA marketing order? There must be a better way [Baylen Linnekin]
- “I am the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers’ beer.” [Science Daily, prompting Christopher Snowdon’s recollection of that line of song]
- Feds alone have spent $500 million chasing food-desert mirage, with “negligible” impact on health [Mac McCann, Dallas News, earlier]
- “FDA Assigns Zero Value To Smokers Who Die Because Of Its E-Cigarette Regulations” [Jacob Sullum, more on vaping]
- “Don’t Ground ‘Uber in the Sky'” [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer on Cato Institute brief in FAA v. FlyteNow]
- Trademark spats bog down the world of craft brewing and those over place names are among the worst [Timothy Geigner/TechDirt on Miami Brewing/M.I.A. Beer Co. conflict]
- After the Freddie Gray trials, redistricting, StingRay, cyberbullying, eminent domain and more in my new Maryland roundup at Free State Notes;
- “Attorney: DOJ’s pursuit of Post Office’s competitors shows hypocrisy of administration” [Jessica Karmasek/Legal NewsLine (fixed link), earlier on FedEx trial here, here, here]
- Trial lawyers seize on New Jersey law to file wave of cases challenging online agreements [The Economist]
- FDA’s war on vaping pleases big tobacco firms, makes little sense otherwise [Jonathan Adler, Jacob Sullum]