- New D.C. regs threaten to strangle capital’s vibrant food truck culture [Michael Hamilton/Greater Greater Washington, Jessica Sidman, Washington City Paper]
- Food Safety Modernization Act would impose only modest costs on farmers, or so we kept being assured when it passed in 2010. Someone tell the orchard guys [WaPo, earlier] Town of Brooksville becomes ninth in Maine to pass symbolic “food sovereignty” resolution [Jordan Bloom, The American Conservative; Food Renegade (Dan Brown of Blue Hill)]
- “Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food” by lawprof Timothy Lytton [Prawfs]
- “Why Is Your Child’s Safety The Responsibility Of Some Stranger Who Sold You Instant Soup?” [Amy Alkon]
- Two views of so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” [Ramesh Ponnuru, pro; Baylen Linnekin, con]
- Aaron Powell ties Bloomberg’s soda ban in with John Stuart Mill and the dreadful-sounding new book Against Autonomy [Libertarianism.org] Too bad editors of the New York Daily News, which lives by newsstand choice, can’t identify with food choice [Charles Cooke]
- “California Chef Who Gives Away Free Foie Gras Gets Sued. Again.” [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
- “Food desert” myth, widely credited in policy circles a very short time ago, now sinks beneath sands of contrary evidence [Jacob Geller; earlier here, here, here, here, here, etc.]
One important reason same-sex marriage won on three state ballots last month is that many Republican voters, especially in affluent suburbs, crossed over to vote in favor of it. I’ve continued to document this phenomenon in a piece in this weekend’s Washington Post “Outlook” section (incorporating precinct-level detail on Minnesota and Maine) as well as in a second Huffington Post piece (with precinct-level detail on Maryland; my earlier HuffPo piece is linked here). Also, this Cato podcast:
One correction on the podcast: I mistakenly said Question 6 carried the two biggest Romney counties in Maryland, but I should have said two of the biggest three.
P.S. Mine was the second-most-popular article on WashingtonPost.com as of early morning Dec. 2.
Voters in four states will decide same-sex marriage ballot questions on Nov. 6. As many readers know, I’ve been writing actively on the Maryland question, and those interested in catching up on that can follow the links here to find, among other things, my recent interview on the subject with the Arab news service Al-Jazeera, my thoughts on Judge Dennis Jacobs’s decision striking down Section 3 of DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act), and my reaction to the other side’s “bad for children” contentions.
The Cato Institute has been doing cutting-edge work on the topic for years from a libertarian perspective; some highlights here.
Yet more: Hans Bader on religious liberty and anti-discrimination law [Examiner, CEI] And my letter to the editor in the suburban Maryland Gazette: “Civil society long ago decoupled marriage law from church doctrines.”
- Maine Supreme Court agrees that not having to show up in court might be reasonable accommodation for plaintiff claiming PTSD disability [Volokh]
- Guess how much Richard Kreimer, the New Jersey homeless guy, has made in his many lawsuit settlements [Newark Star-Ledger, PoL]
- Given the problems with business-method patents, you can see why banks would want to dodge them [Felix Salmon]
- Contempt: “Calling the jailing of a person ‘civil’ doesn’t mean they put curtains on the cell windows.” [Greenfield]
- “Class Counsel Request $90.8M In Fees In Black Farmers Case” [BLT]
- Law school accreditation, recusal standards, international law among topics in new issue of Federalist Society’s ABA Watch;
- Electricity-wise, EPA puts the squeeze on the juice [Andrew Grossman, Heritage; Weston Hicks, AgendaWise; Tatler]
Fact-checking a Maine Congresswoman: my latest at Cato-at-Liberty.
A little food stand in scenic Damariscotta, Maine calls itself Grill Zilla BBQ, and recently received a letter from trademark lawyers. Even if its owners hadn’t made the mistake of using a green reptile mascot, they would probably have heard from the Japanese conglomerate Toho, which is quite vigorous about policing verbal and visual echoes of its “Godzilla” mark. [Kennebec Journal]
- Naperville, Illinois: psychologist sues homeless man saying she was defamed in his blog [AP]
- Unusual case from Erie, Pa.: “Girl claims injuries from price scanner” [AP/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Judge dismisses complaint for lack of evidence [Erie Times-News]
- Too true: “Motion Control Advances Mean Future Generations Could Play Outside” [Brian Briggs, BBSpot via Free-Range Kids]
- Huzzah for Husson: Maine university drops quest to add law school [Bangor Daily News]
- Town sued over pool drowning of 13 year old boy seeks to add boy’s parents to suit [Ridgewood News, NorthJersey.com]
- Manhattan judge sanctions Morelli Ratner law firm $6,000 over “spiteful”, “wasteful” lawsuit against former client [NYLJ, January]
- “Canada is now a land that prosecutes comedians for their jokes.” [Steyn, Maclean’s] Ron Coleman’s unkind comment: “I’ve heard their comedians. It’s about time.”
- “Smokey the Bear’s rules for fire safety also apply to government: Keep it small, keep it in a confined area, and keep an eye on it.” [David Boaz, Cato at Liberty]
- Judge finds Army Corps of Engineers negligent in Katrina levees suit [WSJ Law Blog, Krauss/PoL]
- Feds raid the Gibson guitar factory in Nashville on an exotic-woods rap [The Tennessean] Eric Scheie has a few things to say about what turns out to be a remarkably comprehensive federal regulatory scheme on trade in wood enacted with little public discussion as part of the 2008 farm bill [Classical Values]
- In the mail: Amy Bach’s new book Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court, very favorably reviewed by Scott Greenfield not long ago (AmLaw Daily interview with author);
- Pension tension: link roundup on CALPERS mess [Reynolds]
- Maine passes very sweeping law banning marketers from collecting or using wide array of information about minors, but state acknowledges that much of the law probably wouldn’t pass constitutional muster and won’t be enforced [Valetk/Law.com, Qualters/NLJ]
- StationStops, which provides a mobile app for NYC commuter schedules, seems to have survived its legal tussle with New York’s MTA and thanks those who helped call attention to the story, with generous words for a certain “great blog”;
- Lawsuits cost Chicago taxpayers $136 million last year [Fran Spielman, Sun-Times]
- Blawg Review #238 is from Joel Rosenberg and bears the title, “Celebrating the International Day of Tolerance … and the NRA’s Birthday” [WindyPundit]
[Bumped Monday a.m. for readers who missed it over the weekend]
The piece appears in the business section of Saturday’s Times, and it’s a perfectly good one as far as it goes. It starts off with a wooden toy maker in Ogunquit, Maine, who estimates that it would cost him $30,000 to secure testing for the 80 items he makes, using such materials as maple, walnut oil and local beeswax. It touches on the strains between large and small manufacturers, as well as the thrift-store and vintage-book angles. Overall, it’s really not a bad piece of its sort.
Aside from its timing, that is. The Times has now gotten around to covering some of the harm done by this law ten months after the Washington Post and other media had begun reporting the basic outlines of the story; nine and a half months after a furor had built to national proportions, prompting both members of Congress and the CPSC to hurry out supposed clarifications; nine months after hundreds of bloggers were on the case, the law’s effects on thrift stores were making headlines from coast to coast, and the Times’s continuing failure to report on the law’s effects had commentators noting its “weird blind spot” on the issue; eight and a half months after a deeply clueless Times editorial assailed critics of the law who “foment needless fears that the law could injure smaller enterprises like libraries, resale shops and handmade toy businesses”; seven and a half months after protests by minibike dealers began drawing wide national coverage; seven months after critics rallied on Capitol Hill, and the Washington Post joined in reporting on the law’s dire effects on vintage (pre-1985) kids’ books; and so on to the present.
Okay, so the Times was — well, not a day late and a dollar short, but more like 300 days late and many billions of dollars in overlooked costs short. Still, let’s be grateful: the paper’s news side has now implicitly rebuked the editorial side’s fantastic, ideologically blinkered dismissal of “needless fears that the law could injure smaller enterprises”. And the Times’s belated acknowledgment of the story can serve as permission for other sectors of the media dependent on Times coverage — including some magazines and network news departments — to acknowledge at last the legitimacy of the story and begin according serious attention to the continuing CPSIA calamity. When they do, they will find much to catch up on. (& welcome Handmade Toy Alliance, Chris Fountain readers)
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from Ethel Everett, illustrator, Nursery Rhymes (1900), courtesy ChildrensLibrary.org.