Posts Tagged ‘insurers’

ACLU: don’t let New York regulators squelch NRA’s First Amendment rights

I’ve been critical of the ACLU lately but its amicus-brief defense of the NRA’s First Amendment rights against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strong-arm use of insurance and bank regulation is vital, timely, and right:

Public officials are, of course, free to criticize groups with which they disagree. But they cannot use their regulatory authority to penalize advocacy groups by threatening companies that do business with those groups. And here the state has admitted, in its own words, that it focused on the NRA and other groups not because of any illegal conduct, but because they engage in “gun promotion” — in other words, because they advocate a lawful activity.

Substitute Planned Parenthood or the Communist Party for the NRA, and the point is clear. If Cuomo can do this to the NRA, then conservative governors could have their financial regulators threaten banks and financial institutions that do business with any other group whose political views the governor opposes. The First Amendment bars state officials from using their regulatory power to penalize groups merely because they promote disapproved ideas.

My post from May on the topic is here. More on the ACLU brief: Dan M. Clark, New York Law Journal; Declan McCullagh.

“When It Comes To Police Reform, Insurance Companies May Play A Role”

To what extent can insurance companies, which seek to minimize payouts for official misconduct, play a constructive role in police reform? “One of the first things I found was this pamphlet from Travelers Insurance about how to do a strip search, and I just thought people in my world have no idea that this stuff is out there and it’s really fascinating,” says University of Chicago assistant law professor John Rappaport, who “says he spent years studying police reform before it dawned on him to ask” what role insurance companies might play. After-the-fact review of use-of-force incidents and training of officers are among existing roles for some insurers. One factor, according to Joanna Schwartz of UCLA: the private companies are relatively free from “the political counterforces that could prevent the city council or mayor from pushing hard on a law enforcement agency to reform.” [NPR] Much more: Radley Balko.

Banking and finance roundup

Environment roundup

March 9 roundup

  • Roundup of James Q. Wilson appreciations [Michael Greve] The controversial book a 29-year-old Wilson never wrote [Helen Rittelmeyer]
  • “Secret Class Action Settlements” [Rhonda Wasserman (Pitt), SSRN, via Stier] “Classic scholarship: Class action cops” [Trask/Class Strategist] Where should class-action scholarship go next? [same, more]
  • So does this mean GOP’s overturn-Kelo bill would kill the Keystone pipeline? [Stoll]
  • Stossel on illegal lemonade stands and vague laws that make everyone guilty; guest star is Cato’s Harvey Silverglate [YouTube]
  • No Fluke? Linda Greenhouse’s recollection of Lilly Ledbetter case is fairly fictionalized [Ed Whelan, earlier]
  • Footsie with plaintiff-lawyer adversaries: “Allstate vs. former Allstate adjuster” [Ron Miller]
  • Benjamin Barton reviews the Winston-Crandall deregulate-lawyers book [MSLR/SSRN via Instapundit, earlier]

September 6 roundup

Sebelius and health insurers: shut up, she explained

Eugene Volokh, Michael Cannon and Ed Morrissey react to the Secretary’s announcement that her Department of Health and Human Services will show “zero tolerance” for regulated health insurers who inflict “misinformation” on the public in the course of blaming ObamaCare for rate increases. More: Monday WSJ editorial (“Zero tolerance for expressing an opinion, or offering an explanation to policyholders? They’re more subtle than this in Caracas.”) And Michael Cannon at Cato at Liberty has a further roundup post of reactions.