Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Schools roundup

  • “Sen. Kamala Harris introduces bill to lengthen school day by three hours” [Yelena Dzhanova, CNBC]
  • “The Hidden Costs of Chicago’s Teacher Strike” [John McGinnis, Liberty and Law]
  • “The logic behind school busing is back. And so is flight from government-operated schools.” [Matt Welch, Reason, mentioning new report on controlled choice by David Armor for the Cato Institute Center for Educational Freedom]
  • Ambition of suppressing or even banning private schooling [earlier] by no means confined to the UK’s loony-Left Labour Party, so be ready for it [Ira Stoll, Education Next]
  • “The Seattle school district is planning to infuse all K-12 math classes with ethnic-studies questions that encourage students to explore how math has been ‘appropriated’ by Western culture and used in systems of power and oppression” [Catherine Gewertz, Education Week; “framework” via Amir Sariaslan on Twitter]
  • “Threatening Teachers’ Ability to Control Their Classrooms: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights gets it wrong on school discipline.” [Gail Heriot] Survey finds significant rise in number of teachers attacked by students [Hans Bader; earlier here, etc.]

Discontinue prosecution of shoplifting, get more of it

On the West Coast, changing public policies including lighter legal consequences for theft and lower priority of police response have led to a rise in shoplifting and other crime in stores, sometimes blatant. Compounding the problem: stores fear large liability payouts should they chase or touch a suspected miscreant [Christopher F. Rufo, City Journal; Scott P. Lindsay study for Downtown Seattle Association]

Wage and hour roundup

  • After Target, under pressure from activists, announced a $15 companywide minimum wage, “workers say they’ve had their hours cut and lost other benefits, such as health insurance.” [Eric Boehm, Reason]
  • New Chicago scheduling ordinance is “the ultimate intrusion of government in the workplace.” [Chicago Tribune editorial; Allen Smith, SHRM; Fisher Phillips]
  • “As predicted, the $15 wage is killing jobs all across the city” [New York Post editorial; Billy Binion, Reason; Michael Saltsman and Samantha Summers, Crain’s New York letter (defenders of hike playing fast and loose with numbers) ]
  • The Federalist Society held a teleforum with Tammy McCutchen of Littler Mendelson on the lower courts’ reception of the Supreme Court’s decision one year ago in Encino Motorcars on FLSA interpretation [earlier]
  • By next year I expect Left Twitter to be asserting in the alternative that this famous Seattle restaurant 1) never existed, 2) remains open and has no plans to close, and 3) was sunk by issues unrelated to the minimum wage. [Jason Rantz, KTTH (Sitka & Spruce)] More on restaurants: Legal Insurrection (closure of West Coast chain); Tyler Cowen (NBER working paper on what kinds of restaurants are most likely to be affected);
  • “In the past five years, nearly two-thirds of companies have faced at least one labor and employment class action and, overwhelmingly, companies report that wage and hour matters are their top concern in this category.” [Insurance Journal, Carlton Fields Class Action Survey]

Prosecution roundup

  • Let justice be done: conviction integrity units “operate within prosecutors’ offices to investigate old cases for errors or misconduct that may have led to a wrongful conviction.” [C.J. Ciaramella]
  • “Allegation: Georgetown, Ind. man comes home to find his wife and two children killed. He’s detained for 13 years before he’s finally acquitted in a third trial. And this happens because the state lied about an ‘utterly unqualified’ assistant pretending to be a blood-spatter analyst. (The extent of his scientific training was a single chemistry class, which he flunked.) And there’s so, so much more. The state also lied about running a DNA test that could have exonerated the man. The second prosecutor was sanctioned for trying to cash in on a book deal. The first prosecutor ended up representing the real murderer. Click on the link, dear reader, for a shocking civil rights case that the Seventh Circuit is absolutely sending to trial.” [Institute for Justice “Short Circuit” on Camm v. Faith]
  • In the new 2018-19 term Cato Supreme Court Review, Anthony J. Colangelo writes about Gamble v. U.S., the dual-sovereignty double jeopardy case;
  • “Baby’s Death in Mother’s Bed Leads To 5-Year Prison Term. But Was It Her Fault?” [Cassi Feldman, The Appeal]
  • Seattle: “King County Took Money From an Anti-Prostitution Organization. Then ‘Unprecedented’ Felony Prosecutions of Sex Buyers Began.” [Sydney Brownstone, The Stranger last year; more (judge rejects disqualification motion)]
  • So it does happen: court denies prosecutor absolute immunity for withholding exculpatory evidence [Penate v. Kaczmarek, First Circuit]

Schools and childhood roundup

June 5 roundup

  • Why New York City can’t build new infrastructure at reasonable cost (“Every factor you look at is flawed the way the MTA does business, from the first step to the end.”) [Josh Barro]
  • “‘He’s finally getting his due.’ Serial ADA filer faces charges as store owners rejoice” [Sam Stanton, Sacramento Bee on tax charges against Scott Johnson, whose doings are often chronicled in this space] Flashback: vintage Sacramento billiards parlor Jointed Cue closes after being named in one of Johnson’s 1,000+ accessibility suits [Kellen Browning, Sacramento Bee last year]
  • “Four-Year Court Battle Between Deaf Advocates and Harvard Over Closed Captioning of Videos Proceeds to Discovery With Some Limitations” [Kristina M. Launey & Minh N. Vu, Seyfarth Shaw; earlier on takedown of Berkeley online courses]
  • More on copyright battle between state of Georgia and Carl Malamud over whether he can publish online the laws of Georgia with annotations commissioned and approved by the state under agreement with private publishers [Adam Liptak, New York Times; earlier]
  • Reviewing the harms of rent control: a view from Seattle [Kevin Schofield, SCC Insight]
  • California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) “imposes liability on cities that elect their representatives through an at-large system and have racially polarized voting.” Generous attorneys’ fee provisions have encouraged assembly-line filing of complaints [Federalist Society forum with J. Michael Connolly; Mark Plummer, LAist; Carolyn Schuk, Silicon Valley Voice (Sunnyvale); Robert Haugh, Santa Clara News Online]

May 9 roundup

  • Next sector for a boom in IP litigation: trade secrets? [Ike Brannon]
  • Creating split among federal appeals courts, Seventh Circuit rules auto-erotic asphyxiation falls under insurance policy exclusion for “self-inflicted injury.” [Volokh; Tran v. Minnesota Life Insurance Company] In its commentary, the Institute for Justice is willing to go there: “Will the Supreme Court resolve the split? Don’t hold your breath.”
  • “The county has assigned at least four prosecutors to handle the Bellevue cat case” as Miska, the most notorious cat in King County, Washington, lawyers up [KIRO, update]
  • I’m quoted in article on Supreme Court’s agreeing to consider whether 1964 ban on employment discrimination because of sex includes ban on transgender discrimination [Nicole Russell, Washington Examiner]
  • Federalist Society podcast on populist antitrust with Babette Boliek, Geoffrey Manne, William Rinehart, Hal Singer, and Joanna Tsai;
  • Did a mobile home park violate housing discrimination law by checking applicants’ lawful immigration status? Fourth Circuit ruling threatens to open “disparate-impact” floodgates Supreme Court warned of in earlier case [Ilya Shapiro and Nathan Harvey on Cato cert amicus in Waples Mobile Home Park v. de Reyes]

In the Washington Post on the Maryland minimum wage

New from me and Cato colleague Ryan Bourne in the Washington Post:

One thing we’ve learned in this year’s debate over a statewide $15 minimum wage, now set to become law after the legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto today, is that affluent central Maryland doesn’t want to listen to hard-hit rural Maryland….

In the debate over the $15 minimum wage, lawmakers from [already high-wage] Montgomery County, Baltimore City and Howard County were nearly unanimously in favor, with most delegates supporting strong versions of the scheme. Meanwhile, most lawmakers from depressed parts of the state were passionately opposed.

Guess who had the numbers to outvote whom?…

Affluent sections of Maryland can vote for $15 without much worry that a large share of their job base will disappear. Poor counties can’t.

Whole thing here (update: unpaywalled version). Related: Highly informative Jacob Vigdor/Russ Roberts interview on the Seattle studies, and on the strategies that employers (restaurants in particular) use to adjust [David Henderson, Econlib] More on the problems of applying a uniform law to portions of the country with seriously different wage levels and costs of living [Daniel McLaughlin, NRO] Some observations of mine at an earlier stage of the Maryland debate [Free State Notes] Ryan Bourne on adjustments at Whole Foods following its accession under political pressure to a $15 minimum [Cato].

Wage and hour roundup

  • Politicians interfere with a complex industry they don’t understand: when the $15 minimum wage came to New York car washes [Jim Epstein, Reason: article, 13:32 video]
  • “D.C. Repeals a Minimum Wage Hike That Restaurant Workers Didn’t Want” [Eric Boehm, Reason] “Tipping lawsuit leads popular Salem restaurant to declare bankruptcy” [Dan Casey, Roanoke Times]
  • Challenging a premise: “Why a federal minimum wage?” [Scott Sumner] “Pew Map Shows One Reason a National $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Work” [Joe Setyon, Reason]
  • New evidence on effects of Seattle $15 minimum: benefits go to workers with relatively high experience, “8% reduction in job turnover rates as well as a significant reduction in the rate of new entries into the workforce.” [NBER] “Minimum wage hike in Venezuela shuts stores, wipes out many jobs” [Hans Bader]
  • “Ontario labour minister’s office vandalized after minimum wage cap announced” [Canadian Press, CBC background of Ford provincial government rollback of Wynne-era labor measures]
  • DoL plans new rules on joint-employer definition [Jaclyn Diaz, Bloomberg; Alex Passantino, Seyfarth Shaw, earlier]

“Seattle returns to Wells Fargo because no other bank wants city’s business”

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh: after spurning Wells Fargo Bank, the city of Seattle has gone back after finding no other bank wants its business. “The City Council in February 2017 voted 9-0 to pull its account from Wells Fargo, saying the city needs a bank that reflects its values.” Aside from the scandal over fabricated customer accounts, “Seattle was the first to make the Dakota Access Pipeline — fully operational since last June — a major reason for severing ties with the bank.”

It turned out, however, that other large money-center banks like JP Morgan Chase have also riled anti-fossil-fuel activists with their own involvements in project finance. “Glen Simecek, president and CEO of the Washington Bankers Association, a trade association of banks across Washington, said he wasn’t surprised the city had a tough time attracting a new partner” citing “disdain” by members of the city council. “It is a challenge, I don’t envy bankers trying to walk that line. They want to serve the city, but the challenge of an activist city council makes that harder to do.” [Lynda V. Mapes, Seattle Times]

The only way to make the story funnier would have been for Wells Fargo to have said no.