Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’

Climate advocacy as “racketeering”: they knew

They knew, because their own allies had told them: “As you know, deception/disinformation isn’t itself a basis for criminal prosecution under RICO.” — an official of the Union of Concerned Scientists, writing to the organizers of a campaign to enlist scientists behind a call for a RICO investigation of the fossil fuel industry for its statements about climate change. The letter added, explaining UCS’s unwillingness to back the letter, “We don’t think that Sen. [Sheldon] Whitehouse’s call gives enough of a basis for scientists to sign on to this as a solid approach at this point.” [Reason]

Despite cautions like these, calls for a RICO investigation soon caught on among the political class and an investigation launched by Democratic state attorneys general has now aimed dragnet climate subpoenas at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and, thus far less directly, at nearly 100 advocacy, free-market, and university-based groups. “These include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the George Mason University Law and Economics Center, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, the Cato Institute [which publishes Overlawyered], the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and on and on,” writes Ronald Bailey. CEI responded to the subpoena here (in a brief written by Andrew Grossman) and here, and on May 13 Cohen Milstein, the private contingency-fee law firm representing the attorney general of the Virgin Islands, responded, reserving the right to compel compliance with the subpoena, which demands the production of ten years’ worth of documents.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are among public figures who have backed calls for a racketeering investigation of fossil fuel companies’ participation in climate debates. I have found no evidence that either has expressed concern about the direction in which such investigations are headed.

Medical roundup

Bernie 2016 lawyer: take down that parody image of our candidate

BernieIsMyComradeDaniel McCall of Liberty Maniacs has put out a parody image in which the likeness of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is lined up as the latest in a row of figures such as Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Yesterday, invoking the campaign’s trademark and copyright interests, a Seattle lawyer named Claire Hawkins “has demanded that McCall stop purveying this image.” It’s the latest in a series of aggressive moves by campaigns and candidates including Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, and Ron Paul, as well as the Republican National Committee, to assert intellectual property as a reason for taking down works that play on their image in either unfavorable or favorable ways as a means of expression. [Paul Alan Levy, Consumer Law & Policy; Ron Coleman, Likelihood of Confusion]

April 6 roundup

  • Do lawyers find ways to litigate over the effects of the leap day, Feb. 29, that is inserted into the calendar every four years? Glad you asked [Kyle White, Abnormal Use]
  • Weren’t regulations supposed to have fixed this, or is it that accommodation rules for air transport are legally separate from those for ordinary commerce? “More flights seeing odd animals as emotional support companions” [WHIO]
  • Tiny desk and art magnets: Zen Magnets wins partial but important legal victory against Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) [Zen Magnets, Nancy Nord, earlier]
  • Federal government, which has passed no law on private-sector LGBT bias, considers withholding funds to punish North Carolina for declining to have one [New York Times; earlier on Obama EEOC’s wishful effort to generate such coverage through reinterpretation of other law]
  • Spirit of trade barriers: Nevada workers walk off job to protest use of workers from other U.S. states [Alex Tabarrok] Expansion of foreign trade “has revealed, not created, problems in the American economy” [Scott Lincicome] More: “Limiting trade with low-wage countries as severely as Sanders wants to would hurt the very poorest people on Earth. A lot.” [Zack Beauchamp, Vox; related Jordan Weissmann, Slate (what Sanders told NYDN “should be absolutely chilling to the developing world… inhumane”)]
  • Latest ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) cause célèbre is over 6-year-old Lexi, whose world is getting upended because of her 1.5% Choctaw descent (a great-great-great-great grandparent on her father’s side) [Christina Sandefur/Federalist Society blog, Naomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post earlier generally on ICWA and in my writing at Reason and Cato on the Adoptive Couple case]

Hillary’s chronic anti-speech instincts

While on the topic of presidential candidates’ disturbing views on speech: Matt Welch recalls the former Secretary of State’s many campaigns against controversial videogames, ads, and entertainment, her regular support for government intrusion in communications technology and social media on a rationale of national security, and her far from wholehearted defense of speech values when an inflammatory amateur YouTube video caused riots in Muslim nations [“Hail to the Censor! Hillary Clinton’s long war on free speech,” Reason] Nor should we forget the Citizens United case, which arose from a legal effort to suppress a critical movie made about her: Mrs. Clinton imagines that “allowing more campaign-related speech has made elections less competitive” [Jacob Sullum, Reason] More/update: Matt Welch.

While we’re at it: that period of his career when Bernie Sanders bent himself in knots to rationalize government censorship of opposition voices. [Michael Moynihan, Daily Beast] Bonus: Bernie sees brighter side of breadlines!

Crime and punishment roundup

Medical roundup

  • Even into the thick of the scandal revelations, Sen. Bernie Sanders “wanted to believe that the VA was a model for government-run health care” [Tim Mak, The Daily Beast]
  • Issues include state licensing, location of service for legal purposes: “How Congress Can Remove Barriers to Affordable, Quality Telemedicine” [Michael Cannon, Cato]
  • “Resistance to anesthesia in the 19th century” [R. Meyer and S.P. Desai via Tyler Cowen]
  • “There’s no evidence the FDA blocks innovation or makes innovation harder or makes it more costly,” claims one Harvard professor. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) disagree and have introduced a FDA reciprocity bill to “make it easier for U.S. patients to access drugs and devices already approved in other developed countries” [Alex Tabarrok first, second, third (Daniel Klein and William Davis survey) posts]
  • “Judge rules against Al Qaeda supporter who claimed medical malpractice against his jailers.” [Reuters]
  • No, these aren’t “three parent” babies and Congress should not be talked into moral panic about them [Andrew Stuttaford]
  • “Increase in nursing malpractice claims” [Nursing Services Organization and CNA Professional Liability via TortsProf]

Banking and finance roundup

New Hampshire decides: Senator Venezuela vs. Citizen Vuvuzela

Our coverage of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), winner of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, is here, including gun liability (more), Citizens United, Glass-Steagall, and Supreme Court issues.

Our coverage of businessman Donald Trump, winner of the Republican primary, is here, and includes coverage over many years of his activities as a litigant as well as his political career.

Banking and finance roundup

  • Bernie Sanders still rants and raves about Glass-Steagall Act. Who will break the news to him? [Catherine Rampell/WaPo, P.M. Carpenter (Krugman, Pearlstein in accord with Rampell), earlier] “Hillary Clinton vows to go ‘well beyond’ Dodd-Frank” [Housing Wire via Kevin Funnell]
  • “In the past, ‘financial institutions were unwilling, for relationship reasons, to litigate against each other…That has changed dramatically.'” [Daniel Fisher quoting New York attorney Brian Fraser]
  • “Government Thinks You’re Too Dumb To Try Crowdfunding” [Ben Weingarten, The Federalist]
  • “If every bank behaved like Abacus, the financial crisis wouldn’t have occurred.” So guess which bank got prosecuted [Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker back in October]
  • Billions in free money for consumers, just by regulating credit card fees! Sorry, it’s not that simple [Todd Zywicki]
  • “The war against cash”: government vs. the cash economy [Daniel Mitchell, Cato, first and second post]
  • New IRS authority to secure revocation of passports should give pause to everyone concerned about American liberty [Investors Business Daily]