- “Addicts Use Imodium to Help With Detox. That’s a Terrible Reason for the FDA to Make It Harder to Get” [Mike Riggs, Reason] Expect runs: “Does anyone see the humor/irony here? A diarrhea medicine package that’s hard to open?” [Josh Bloom, ACSH]
- “The Return of Drug Reimportation?” [Roger Pilon, Cato; more thoughts from David R. Henderson]
- California Supreme Court rules research drugmakers legally responsible “for harm caused by defective warnings in labels on generic versions of their products” [T.H. v. Novartis; Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, Steven Boranian (“awful”), Jim Beck]
- “Abuse-Deterrent Opioids and the Law of Unintended Consequences” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato Policy Analysis]
- Should the FDA approve Metformin for possible anti-aging effects? [Alex Tabarrok]
- “FDA Proposes to Delay Off-Label “Intended Use” Rule” [Stephen McConnell]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded an earlier Justice Department memo which had prescribed a hands-off approach to enforcing some aspects of the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. A needless step backward for federalism and state autonomy, or a necessary implication of the rule of law and the associated geographical uniformity of federal law? Some commentaries: Ken White/Popehat; Jacob Sullum (“Although [the] move reflects Sessions’ well-known opposition to marijuana legalization, it is not clear how big an impact it will have on the cannabis industry, because federal prosecutors have always had broad discretion but limited resources in this area”); Jonathan Blanks (“This move endangers state-legal businesses and violates the principle of federalism that has been central to the Republican Party for decades”); Jonathan Adler; Ilya Somin; Jeffrey Miron (“Marijuana liberalizations (decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization) have generated none of the negatives asserted by Sessions [who compares the drug to opiates and links it to violence]; in fact, the evidence shows minimal impact on use, health, traffic safety, education, or crime”).
- Drivers’ license should signify ability to drive motor vehicle safely. Denial for miscellaneous arm-twisting reasons – e.g. child support – is bad policy. [Beth Schwartzapfel, Marshall Project (“43 states suspend driver’s licenses for unpaid court debts, but only four require a hearing beforehand to determine whether the failure to pay is willful or simply a reflection of poverty.”); Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stacy Cowley and Natalie Kitroeff, NYT (“Twenty states suspend people’s professional or driver’s licenses if they fall behind on [student] loan payments, according to records obtained by The New York Times.”)] Earlier here (tax delinquents in New York), here, here, here, etc.;
- Under centuries of precedent, bail must be individualized as well as not excessive [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus in Walker v. City of Calhoun, Eleventh Circuit] And my piece on Maryland’s botched bail reform is now available ungated at Cato;
- Harvey Silverglate recounts an old tale of prosecutorial entrapment — starring Robert Mueller, then acting U.S. Attorney in Boston [WGBH]
- Criminal justice, mass incarceration, and the libertarian cause: Radley Balko’s speech on winning Bastiat Award [Reason]
- “The Troubling Expansion Of The Criminal Offense Of Obstructing The IRS” [Kathryn Ward Booth, Vanderbilt Law]
- Murder rap for drug supplier after overdose distorts both criminal law principle and incentives [Scott Greenfield, earlier here and here, see also here and here (prescribing doctors)]
- “Oral Contraceptives Should be Free (From the Third-Party Trap)” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
- Arbitrator awards $17.5 million after hospital fires neurosurgeon: in retaliation, or because he didn’t disclose problems with the law unrelated to practice? [Mike Baker, Seattle Times]
- Idea of empowering government to rewrite recipes for packaged food has gotten more traction in British public health sector than here [Sean Poulter, Daily Mail]
- Encyclopedia time: you can look up a variety of health topics in the now-online Encyclopedia of Libertarianism including Michael Cannon on health care generally, Gene Healy and Bruce Benson on illegal drugs, Jeffrey Schaler on psychiatry. And the Routledge Encyclopedia of Libertarianism includes Jessica Flanigan on libertarianism and medicine;
- If treatment deviating from the standard of care is the standard for malpractice, then some patients in pursuit of unconventional therapy choose it, and the law of waivers and of assumption of risk should respect their autonomy [Nadia Sawicki via TortsProf]
- About the Washington Post’s big opioid-legislation exposé, a few questions [Robert VerBruggen]
- “Will Spokane Pass an Expensive, Unenforceable Ban on Rail Shipment of Fossil Fuels?” [Erin Mundahl, Inside Sources] New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blockades a natural gas pipeline, and New England economy pays the price [WSJ]
- “Plaintiff firms have filed some 800 complaints against marijuana businesses” alleging California Prop 65 (toxics warnings) violations [WSJ editorial, more on Prop 65]
- Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, originally published in 2008 under editorship of Ronald Hamowy and now free online at Cato Institute, has article on “Environment” by Jonathan Adler; more background here;
- Fake all the horns: entrepreneur’s scheme could make rhino poaching uneconomic, but enviro groups dead set against [John Stossel/Reason post, video]
- Yes, you are ingesting pesticides. No, it’s not a problem [Matan Shelomi, Quora/Forbes]
- The economic way of thinking tends to inoculate one against fads like the peak oil scare [Ron Bailey]
- “This Massachusetts Lawmaker Wants to Throw Folks in Prison for Having Secret Car Compartments” [Scott Shackford; earlier on compartment bans here, here, and here]
- Traffic stops dangerous and intrusive. Why not focus them where they’re most needed? [Steve Chapman] More: a different view from Scott Greenfield;
- Why is AG Sessions enabling forfeiture end runs by police around their own state lawmakers? It’s not good federalism [Natalie Delgadillo, Governing] Angling to end suit, Philadelphia offers to end use of asset forfeiture funds for law enforcement [Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer]
- White-collar prosecution: “Time To Revisit The Yates Memo?” [Robert Bork, Jr.]
- What happened when Rhode Island inadvertently legalized indoor prostitution [Elana Gordon, NewsWorks]
- What if U.S. Department of Justice policies had to be run through OIRA regulatory review for cost-benefit comparison, as many other agencies’ do? [Mark Osler, Marshall Project]
- What if law firms advertising about drugs had to live with the same set of rules as drug firms advertising about drugs? [Beck, Drug and Device Law]
- Jury: no injury damages for testosterone-gel plaintiff, but lawyer got us upset at AbbVie so here’s $150 million anyway [Lisa Schencker, Chicago Tribune]
- “Plaintiff’s design defect claim was that the defendant shouldn’t have used ibuprofen at all, but rather [an alternative compound] even though the FDA has not approved [that compound] for sale in the United States.” That won’t fly even in California [Beck]
- Sky-high prices: “The pharmaceutical market is anything but free at present” [Marc Joffe, Reason]
- Opioids epidemic poses a policy challenge but no time to panic [Jeffrey Singer/Cato, related podcast, op-ed, panel; an ACA angle?]
- “Gene editing isn’t about designer babies, it’s about hope for people like me” [Alex Lee, Guardian]
A hydroponic-tomato setup and the finding of soggy tea leaves in discarded trash led heavily armed cops to stage an early morning surprise raid on a Kansas family’s home, part of a police venture called Operation Constant Gardener. As noted earlier, my colleagues at the Cato Institute filed an amicus brief urging the Tenth Circuit to uphold the family’s rights by applying “the knock-and-announce rule… an ancient one rooted in the English common law dating back to the early 17th century.”
…this week a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that the family could move forward in court. The decision has larger implications for Fourth Amendment litigation and legislation targeting badly behaving police officers.
The scorching judicial pronouncement blasted authorities for laziness and possible fabrication, the kind of overzealous police work that’s become a sometimes deadly facet of the drug war….
“The defendants in this case caused an unjustified governmental intrusion into the Hartes’ home based on nothing more than junk science, an incompetent investigation, and a publicity stunt,” Judge Carlos Lucero wrote in his opinion. “The Fourth Amendment does not condone this conduct, and neither can I.”…
The appellate win, if not successfully appealed, means the Hartes will be able to press their case in district court.
And this from Ilya Shapiro on the new Tenth Circuit decision:
Even if the court didn’t fully address the issues Cato raised in our brief, the ruling in Harte v. Board of Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas is a step forward….
The Tenth Circuit mostly agreed with Cato on the Fourth Amendment issue. Two judges on the three-judge panel found that the district court had been wrong to grant summary judgment to the police on the search and seizure issue, with Judge Carlos Lucero alluding briefly to the knock-and-announce requirement. It was a convoluted opinion that took a long time to produce because of each judge writing separately and different sets of judges coming together on different parts of the ruling. Most importantly, Judge Gregory Phillips, joined by Judge Lucero, found that “what the deputies learned early on in the search dissipated any probable cause to continue searching.”
Ultimately, the judges only discussed in passing the police-militarization and general-warrant concerns raised by Cato and sided with the police on the excessive-force claims. Nevertheless, the court held that what the Hartes experienced qualified as unreasonable search and seizure – and also let them continue with their state-law claims – so Harte v. Board of Commissioners represents a positive development in the jurisprudence surrounding dynamic police raids.
Law enforcement officials in some states are seeking warrantless access to prescription databases. A New Jersey bill “would require officials to ‘certify’ that they are engaged in a specific investigation,” seeking to calm fears that enforcers will begin trawling data for people to investigate. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has already signed a similar bill. “In California, the Supreme Court ruled recently that the state Medical Board can dig through prescription drug records without a warrant or subpoena.” [Associated Press via Scott Shackford, Reason]
As the Wall Street Journal reports, former Mississippi attorney general and longtime Overlawyered favorite Michael Moore has been collaborating with Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine, with other elected government attorneys, and with other trial lawyers to seek lift-off of suits against painkiller makers and distributors. The headline was “Lawyers Hope to Do to Opioid Makers What They Did to Big Tobacco,” which got several of us going on Twitter:
Parlay sweetheart attorney general contracts into multi-billion-$-fees? https://t.co/t9OQ2zupwm
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) July 24, 2017
Which in turn played off Jonathan Adler’s:
Create a highly profitable cartel that funds state projects & is protected by federal regulations? https://t.co/2Vxf9ujp2W
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) July 24, 2017
And Gabriel Malor’s:
Get astoundingly rich with the help of Congress? https://t.co/VUxoX9bC6P
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 24, 2017
Mine drew a number of responses, including this from Bloomberg View business columnist Joe Nocera:
Damn straight! That's the business model.
— Joe Nocera (@NoceraBV) July 24, 2017
Don't forget: …and actually secure the future of the manufacturers, with the consumers the only ones who lose anything.
— Carl V Phillips (@carlvphillips) July 24, 2017
Woo Hoo! I can't wait until I get to tell a cancer patient all I can give her is a Tylenol! ?
— Bona Felis (@scsloan01) July 25, 2017
In a more conventional op-ed vein, there’s this from Tiger Joyce.