Reader Chaim Gordon, a Georgetown 2L and former clerk with the Institute for Justice, cc’d us on an excerpted email to call our attention to
… a potential rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or legislation by congress (S. 3400, H.R. 5386), see, e.g. (PDF), banning “the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use in public facilities of drop-side cribs.” As a parent, I feel violated (not really, because I own two such cribs already), and as a multiple-drop-side-crib-owner, I feel robbed.
I have been following this story for over a year now, and it seems to me that this rule/legislation is likely to implemented (I think that a rule is more likely than a bill). Originally, I thought that this ban was an effort by the crib manufacturers to reduce potential liability without losing market share by way of voluntary action. I now think that something more sinister is at work here. I now think that the manufacturers want to increase demand for their product by taking a large portion of the used-crib market/family-gift competition out of the picture. (Drop-side cribs used to comprise around 50% of the new crib market, and now, because of CPSC warnings and voluntary measures, that percentage has dropped to around 20%.) This of course comes at the expense of the innocent parents who may have been counting on selling their used cribs or giving their used cribs to family members (and at the expense of parents who will have to pay more for a used/new crib). Personally, I have never heard of a regulation that limited the rights of consumers to resell (or give away) their legitimately purchased, but now considered deficient, product (consider used cars without airbags).