- Antitrust legislation once targeted the unstoppable rise of chain stores A&P and Sears, both now bankrupt [my new Cato post, quoting Joe Nocera, Bloomberg (“The next time you hear somebody say that the dominance of Walmart or Amazon or Facebook can never end, think about Sears. It can — and it probably will.”)]
- When you wish upon a suit: visitor grabs Disney cast member and screams at her after she asks him to move out of parade route, later pleads no contest to disorderly conduct, now wants $15,000 [Gabrielle Russon, Orlando Sentinel]
- Tomorrow (Thurs.) at noon Eastern, watch a Cato panel on “Coercive Plea Bargaining” with Scott Hechinger of Brooklyn Defender Services, Bonnie Hoffman of the NACDL, and Somil Trivedi of the ACLU, moderated by Cato’s Clark Neily. Could you resist taking a plea bargain if faced with a false accusation? [Marc John Randazza, ABA Journal]
- “I am a Democrat. But this may be the dumbest thing I have seen…. the Speech or Debate Clause makes about as clear as anything in the Constitution that a court cannot enjoin legislative officials from taking a fundamental legislative action such as a vote.” [Howard Wasserman on suit by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) asking court to, among other things, order delay of Senate vote on Kavanaugh nomination]
- An ideological screen for CLE? Following demands from tribal attorneys, Minnesota bar authorities order shelving of continuing legal education class on Indian Child Welfare Act developments taught by attorney Mark Fiddler, who often handles ICWA cases on side adverse to tribes [Timothy Sandefur]
- Left-leaning Florida Supreme Court nixes plan to let incumbent Gov. Rick Scott fill vacancies, entrenching its leftward lean for a while at least depending on outcome of governor’s race [Spectrum News 9]
The European Union’s new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is sometimes defended as a response to the prospect that too much data will concentrate in the hands of the biggest corporate data users. Per the WSJ, however, one of its earliest effects “is drawing advertising money toward Google’s online-ad services and away from competitors that are straining to show they’re complying with the sweeping regulation.” In particular, Google is showing a higher rate of success in gathering individuals’ consents to be marketed to. [Tyler Cowen] With bonus mention of CPSIA: “The Inevitable Lifecycle of Government Regulation Benefiting the Very Companies Whose Actions Triggered It” [Coyote]
Yes, this is a marketing campaign, but oh what a marketing campaign: makers of Country Time lemonade pledge funding to pay the fines and legal fees of kids busted for setting up lemonade stands.
Kids across the country are getting busted for operating lemonade stands without a permit. We're taking the lead to #SaveLemonadeStands by paying for kids' fines + permits this year. For every RT this gets we’ll donate $1 (up to $500,000) to help kids next year + beyond.
— CountryTime (@CountryTime) June 7, 2018
- One-woman false-accusation machine induced Pittsburgh police to file eight criminal cases against couple; one was jailed for six days and the other for six months before she admitted making it up [Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- Regulation is the bane of a great many California small businesses, and that goes for Humboldt County marijuana growers too [David Boaz, Cato]
- One Billy Goat might have cause to regret picking trademark fight with another [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- “Antitrust Jurisprudence Is the Right’s Greatest Legal Success” [John McGinnis, Law and Liberty]
- State Attorney General Election Tracker is a new resource from law firm Cozen O’Connor tracking campaign and election news from state attorney general elections across the country;
- “Iowa judge admits hundreds of his rulings were ghost-written by attorneys” [Clark Kauffman, Des Moines Register]
- “One-Sided Loser Pays Is the Worst of Both Worlds” [Mark Pulliam at his new blog Misrule of Law, and thanks for mention]
- My first piece for Quillette debunks claims of jump in rate at which gay men are being murdered in U.S.;
- Welcome news: Department of Justice memo advises DoJ attorneys to seek dismissal of meritless False Claims Act suits [Reuters, Federalist Society teleforum with Brandon Moss, Greg Herbers/WLF, Michael Granston memo]
- Empirical evidence on factors that lead to approval of low-quality patents [Timothy Lee, ArsTechnica, noting ideas for improving patent review process: (1) eliminate issuance fees, (2) limit re-applications, (3) give senior examiners more time per patent]
- “Will we see tort reform in the midterms?” [Joseph Cotto interview with me for San Francisco Review of Books, YouTube audio, 33:51]
- FSMA will drive many smaller farmers/foodmakers out of business, only question is how many [Baylen Linnekin, our earlier]
“Produce growers represent a textbook example of what businesses describe as regulatory fatigue….’It is just that one layer after another gets to be — trying to top the people before them,'” says an apple grower near Albany. Food law expert Baylen Linnekin sees a comparative compliance advantage going to mass-scale growers as well as foreign produce suppliers. And now here comes the Food Safety Modernization Act, often warned of in this space [Steve Eder, New York Times]
For years the government of Spain did its best to suppress small-scale cheesemaking, one of the traditional products that now does much to burnish the image of Spanish food around the world. But scofflaw dairies kept the craft alive, I explain in a new Cato post based on an Atlas Obscura account (“Franco had imagined large, industrial operations. Instead Spaniards enthusiastically supported small, black market cheesemakers.”)
House members introduce “Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441), which would restore the traditional joint employer standard that the NLRB upended and modifies the definition of joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act to be consistent with the definition under the National Labor Relations Act.” [Trey Kovacs, CEI, Connor Wolf/Inside Sources Ben Gitis, American Action Forum, earlier on Browning-Ferris and joint employer standard]
Loyal patrons of well-known Manhattan restaurant China Fun were surprised by “the restaurant’s sudden Jan. 3 closing,” explained by owners’ son Albert Wu in a goodbye letter citing ten categories of regulation-driven cost including health insurance, insurance, and the minimum wage [New York Daily News]. The “endless paperwork and constant regulation that forced the shutdown accumulated over the years”:
“The climate for small businesses like ours in New York have become such that it’s difficult to justify taking risks and running — nevermind starting — a legitimate mom-and-pop business,” read a letter posted by the owners in the restaurant’s front door.
“The state and municipal governments, with their punishing rules and regulations, seems to believe that we should be their cash machine to pay for all that ails us in society.” …
Wu cited one regulation where the restaurant was required to provide an on-site break room for workers despite its limited space. And he blamed the amount of paperwork now required — an increasingly difficult task for a non-chain businesses.
“In a one-restaurant operation like ours, you’re spending more time on paperwork than you are trying to run your business,”
A spokesman for the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city offered small business free help from compliance advisers.