Six years into its battle, tiny-magnet maker Zen Magnets has won another key round against the Consumer Product Safety Commission in court, persuading a Colorado federal court to reverse a Commission order ordering a halt to its sales [Nancy Nord] A larger and at the time better known maker of tiny magnet sets, Buckyballs, folded under the Commission’s pressure. More on Zen Magnets’ fight here and here.
- “Special economic zones can be anything from tools of crony capitalism to seeds of a freer world order.” [Tom W. Bell on The Political Economy of Special Economic Zones by Lotta Moberg]
- 33 state constitutions have “baby Ninths,” which like federal version suggest existence and protection of some unenumerated individual rights. Potential there [Anthony B. Sanders, Rutgers Law Review forthcoming/SSRN]
- Judge hears argument on Seattle law ordering landlords to accept first otherwise qualified tenant who applies [Heidi Groover/The Stranger, earlier]
- Labeling of food, other products as “natural” helps keep class action lawyers in business [Julie Creswell, New York Times]
- SESTA, FOSTA, and trafficking: L.A. Times editorial warns on dangers of abridging Section 230 protections for Internet freedom [earlier here, here, etc.]
- Saga of Zen Magnets versus the CPSC, told in detail [Alan Prendergast, Westword (Denver); earlier; related, Nancy Nord]
- Elected-official governance of how state university law centers sue local governments = “interference”? [J. Clara Chan, Chronicle of Higher Education; Jane Stancill, News and Observer; Ana Irizarry, UNC Daily Tarheel; James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, Jesse Saffron, Alex Contarino, Frank Pray]
- Zen Magnets update: “How One Man’s Quest To Save His Magnets Became A Massive Regulatory Battle” [Jeremy Kutner, Huffington Post, earlier]
- “The solar eclipse is no longer mysterious, supernatural, foreboding, or ominous.” Or cause to delay a trial [court order in U.S. v. Bishop, M.D. Fla.]
- Trump vs. business: “His recurring message is that any executive who doesn’t do as Trump wishes can expect retribution from the most powerful man on earth.” [Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune/syndicated]
- Wales: “Mute and autistic girl was seized from family and locked up after false abuse claims” [Lucy Johnston, Express] On “facilitated communication” and the like, see earlier posts here and here;
- California bill would extend pre-litigation subpoena power, a powerful tool in inflicting cost and loss of privacy on targets, from current holders (state AG, county DAs) to city attorneys in San Francisco, L.A., San Diego, and San Jose [Civil Justice Association of California Bulletin; Amanda Robert, Legal NewsLine]
Last year the Tenth Circuit struck down the CPSC’s ban on tiny desk magnet sets. Pursuing the legal consequences of an earlier recall order, however, the CPSC has required the destruction of $40,000 worth of rare-earth magnets from the inventory of defiant manufacturer Zen Magnets. You can watch the resulting “funeral” at my new Cato post.
- Administration tees up massively expensive regulation docket for after election [Sam Batkins, American Action Forum]
- More on FedEx’s resistance to fed demands that it snoop in boxes [WSJ Law Blog, earlier]
- Ethics war escalates between Cuomo and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, but is sniping in press suitable role for prosecutor? [New York Post, Ira Stoll]
- “Mom Hires Craigslist Driver for 9-Year-Old Son, Gets Thrown in Jail” [Lenore Skenazy]
- One-way fee shifts, available to prevailing plaintiffs but not defendants: why aren’t they more controversial? [New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Watch]
- Water shutoff woes sprang from Detroit’s “pay-if-you-want culture” [Nolan Finley, Detroit News]
- “CPSC Still Trying to Crush Small Round Magnet Toys; Last Surviving American Seller Zen Magnets Fights Back” [Brian Doherty]
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing a voluntary recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes. … Refunds will be processed through a Recall Trust that will be funded by Mr. Zucker, but created and controlled by CPSC.
According to Zucker in a press release:
The settlement amount is less than 1% of the original $57 million that the CPSC estimated a recall to cost and is not a fine or penalty….
In February of 2013, the CPSC took unprecedented action by naming Zucker personally under the controversial Park Doctrine as an officer of the company that sold Buckyballs®.
This happened after Zucker, in what was itself an unusual if not unprecedented stand for an executive at a firm subject to CPSC regulation, took a vigorous public stand defending his product against the commission’s recall demands and even employed jokes and caricatures to make fun of CPSC commissioners. Earlier coverage here. More: Nancy Nord.
- U.S. Commission on Civil Rights commissioners Gail Heriot, Peter Kirsanow: Administration’s new policy on race and school discipline likely to make schools more chaotic [Robby Soave, Daily Caller, 2011 related, earlier here, etc.]
- French court: fan club members suffered legally cognizable emotional damage from Michael Jackson’s death [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
- “The Newkirk incident demonstrates why cameras in the courtroom are a bad idea” [James Taranto, includes bonus New York Times disgrace]
- Claim: advocates stymied firearms research over most of past two decades. Accurate? [Fox News]
- Another look at the CPSC’s war on former Buckyballs CEO Craig Zucker [Jim Epstein, Reason, earlier]
- Chris Christie use of monitorships in white-collar prosecutions draws renewed scrutiny [New Republic, earlier]
- In which I am included in a list with George Will and Heather Mac Donald, all very flattering etc. etc. [Charles C. W. Cooke, NRO]
- D.C.: disbarred lawyer sat for years as workers comp judge [Washington City Paper]
- “German home-school family won’t be deported” although Supreme Court declines to hear asylum appeal [AP; discussion in comments earlier]
- Incoming Australian attorney general: we’ll repeal race-speech laws that were used to prosecute columnist Andrew Bolt [Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Herald-Sun, earlier]
- Texas sues EEOC on its criminal background check policy [Employee Screen]
- After Eric Turkewitz criticizes $85M announced demand in Red Bull suit, comments section turns lively [NYPIAB]
- If only Gotham’s official tourism agency acted like a tourism agency [Coyote on NYC’s official war against AirBnB; Ilya Shapiro, Cato; earlier here and here, etc.]
- “Lawmaker wants Georgia bicyclists to buy license plates” [WSB]
- Religious liberty implications of European moves to ban infant circumcision [Eugene Kontorovich]
- Video on CPSC’s quest for personal liability against agency-mocking Craig Zucker of Buckyballs fame [Reason TV, earlier]