“It can’t be overstated what a procedural and logistical nightmare it is to get a car impounded in the city of Chicago.” [C.J. Ciaramella, Reason] Related, Atlanta area: “Lawsuit claims Doraville officials writing tickets for profit, not enforcement” [WXIA, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News] And Pagedale, Mo., a small St. Louis suburb, has agreed “to stop bankrolling itself by fining its residents into the poorhouse.” [Scott Shackford, Reason]
“We should consider how the technology is likely to be used, not how its proponents say it will.” [Matthew Feeney, Cato]
Chicago requires food trucks to carry GPS tracking devices; police then get access to the resulting data. Is that constitutional under the Fourth Amendment? [Ilya Shapiro and Aaron Barnes on Cato amicus brief in LMP Services v. City of Chicago, on appeal to Illinois Supreme Court]
Tickets — with penalties, reaching an absurd $105,761.80 — all part of a man’s apparent ploy “to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend via the Chicago government.” And it didn’t exactly fail at that aim, either; she wound up paying quite a bit to put the matter behind her. [Dan Lewis, Now I Know]
“In Indio and Coachella, prosecutors take property owners to court for some of the smallest crimes, then bill them thousands and threaten to take their homes if they don’t pay.” [Brett Kelman, The Desert Sun, California, via Dan Mitchell who besides citing this story, and my writing on the new Philadelphia bulletproof glass law, relates local government ticketing sprees arising from Chicago window sign rules and Los Angeles pedestrian laws] The Institute for Justice [press release] has now filed a lawsuit challenging the Indio/Coachella practices. [Kelman, Desert Sun]
- Big news: U.S. Department of Justice changes sides in Lucia v. SEC, challenge to constitutionality of SEC use of administrative law judges [Thaya Brook Knight, Cato; Knight and Ilya Shapiro in August; Kevin Daley, Daily Caller]
- Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, oral argument Nov. 28: SCOTUS considers limits on securities class actions in state courts [Washington Legal Foundation]
- GAO: 2013 financial-agency guidance on leveraged lending was in effect a rulemaking, but wasn’t submitted to Congress as required. Time for review [Michelle Price, Davide Scigliuzzo, Reuters]
- Missed, from last March: shareholder class action lawyers suing Sprint sought to charge for 6,905 hours of work by (as it turned out) disbarred attorney [Joe Palazzolo and Sara Randazzo, WSJ; Doug Austin, eDiscovery Daily Blog]
- Joseph Stiglitz would like to outlaw Bitcoin [Jim Epstein, Reason]
- Bad idea watch: “Chicago Council Considers Banning Cashless Stores” [Charles Blain, Market Urbanism Report]
A class-action suit charges that the sheriff and public defender’s office in Cook County, Ill. have failed to protect female public defenders and law clerks from detainees who expose themselves and harass the women in other ways. According to the suit’s allegations, the authorities tried bribing serial offenders with free pizza if they refrained from misbehaving but the policy “backfired, allegedly, because some detainees who learned of it would then start acting out just so they could get pizza when they stopped.” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar] “A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said the pizza rewards program described in the lawsuit never took place.” [ABC News]
From Chicago to Baltimore and beyond, don’t assume that consent decrees with higher levels of government (the U.S. Department of Justice included) are the best route to police reform. John McGinnis, Liberty and Law:
Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, has welcomed the lawsuit [by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan] and is looking to acquiesce in a consent decree which will create a new set of rules for the police department and a monitor to enforce them.
This collusive suit is a bad idea. To be sure, the Chicago Police Department needs reform, but this method reduces democratic accountability, imposes unnecessary costs, and most of all runs the risk of letting more people die from uncontrolled crime. And it is very unlikely to do what is most needed: eliminating or reducing the protections against discipline that police enjoy in union contracts or under civil service laws.
For an example of the kind of consent decree that is likely to be agreed upon, look at similar litigation in Baltimore….
…the greatest problem for lawful policing is that police departments have difficulty firing the few bad actors disproportionately responsible for civil rights violations because departments face constraints imposed by union contracts and civil service laws. The Baltimore consent decree does not rewrite these contracts or laws nor it is clear that it would have the power to do so. And I expect no different result in Chicago. Thus, the consent decree may retard the most important kind of police reform by giving a false sense of progress.
- Chicago and Cook County paid sick leave ordinances spell “major headaches” for employers [Kimberly Ross and Craig Thorstenson, Ford Harrison]
- “DoL Withdraws Joint Employer Guidance” [Kim Slowey/ ConstructionDive, Catherine Strauss and Tami Earnhart, earlier here, etc.]
- How South Dakota came to deregulate hair braiding [John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader]
- Emmanuel Macron has big plans, very much including reform of France’s deeply un-libertarian labor law [Sylvain Cypel, New York Review of Books]
- State of play at NLRB on employees’ taping things: “You can still limit recordings in your workplace, as long as you don’t ban all recordings outright.” [Janette Levey Frisch]
- Over business protests, NYC’s left-leaning council and mayor keep enacting union-backed burdens on employers [Connor Wolf, earlier; related here, here, here, etc.]
- Clean Water Act’s citizen-suit procedure can “be a huge money maker” for private groups: “Policing for profit in private environmental enforcement” [Jonathan Wood]
- “Chicago Alderman Tells Property Owners to ‘Come Back to Me on Your Knees’ or Face Zoning Changes” [Eric Boehm, Reason]
- Wetlands: “Farmer faces $2.8 million fine after plowing field” [Damon Arthur, Redding Record-Searchlight]
- Urban bike lanes are green religious monuments, writes Arnold Kling, a biker himself;
- Climate change shareholder disclosure: “Class action lawyers have become very clever at developing these cases for profit.” [Nina Chestney, Reuters]
- “Why full compensation for property owners might lead to more unlawful takings” [Ilya Somin]