- Bay Area, L.A., and D.C. area should take an affordable housing lesson from cities that build: “Houston, Dallas, and NYC: America’s Great 3-Way Housing Supply Race.” [Scott Beyer]
- All things bright and beautiful/All creatures great and small/All things wise and wonderful/The Commerce Clause reaches ’em all [John-Michael Seibler, Heritage, on Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Tenth Circuit decision upholding as constitutional federal rules requiring owners to preserve Utah prairie dog habitat on private land; earlier on PETPO v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service here, here, and here] Photo: Wikimedia Commons;
- WSJ editorial takes dim view of Louisiana coastal erosion suit against oil firms, earlier here, here, here, here, here, and here;
- “You’re Not a Progressive If You’re Also a NIMBY” [Robert Gammon, East Bay Express] “Density Is How the Working Poor Outbid the Rich for Urban Land” [Nolan Gray, Market Urbanism] “The absence of gentrification causes displacement” [Michael Lewyn, same]
- “Let’s Make America a Mineral Superpower” [Stephen Moore and Ned Mamula, Bakersfield.com/Cato]
- Backing off from a bad law: Washington, D.C. considers ending tenant purchase rights for single-family homes [Carolyn Gallaher, Greater Greater Washington]
- Chicago mayor not the only one pushing this awful idea: New Mexico lawmakers propose requiring high school grads to apply to college or file alternate life plan [Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal]
- “New York’s Bid to Control Religious Schools” [Avi Schick, WSJ/Yeshiva World]
- “Couple’s three girls were taken away after Walmart reported innocent bath time photos” [Derek Hawkins, WaPo/The State, Jacob Sullum, Reason]
- Also soliciting public comment: “Education Department delays Obama rule encouraging racial quotas in special ed” [Jerome Woehrle, Liberty Unyielding; Erica L. Green, New York Times; Hans Bader/CEI last fall] “Civil Rights Commission Takes on Issue of Minorities in Special Education” [Christina Samuels, EdWeek] And: “Federal Special Education Law and State School Choice Programs” [Tim Keller and Nat Malkus, Federalist Society]
- New from Cato, edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore: “Critics of State Education: A Reader.”
- “Everybody Hates DC’s Proposal Forcing Daycare Workers to Get College Degrees” [Eric Boehm, Reason, earlier here and here]
Even in a nation overwhelmed by well-intentioned but misguided occupational licensing laws, the District of Columbia’s childcare degree requirement has achieved particular notoriety. …
Specifically, the requirement that childcare workers obtain an associate degree in early childhood education or childhood studies (or at least an associate degree that includes 24 semester credit hours in these subjects) is problematic for three main reasons:
1. The requirement disproportionately hurts low-income childcare workers and individuals seeking to become childcare providers….
2. The requirement reduces the ability of out-of-state childcare workers to move to the District of Columbia….
3. The requirement will raise the cost of daycare in the District.
A yet more basic problem is that there are large numbers of persons who would make or are making excellent caregivers, some of whom are experienced parents themselves, whose liberty the D.C. law abridges. In addition to abridging their liberty to offer their services, the law also abridges the liberty of families who would like to engage those services.
Note that in order to engage in paid child care in the District, it wouldn’t do to have a bachelor’s degree or for that matter any number of impressive advanced degrees. There would have to be that concentration of specific coursework. The continued survival of the human race is evidence that children can be raised successfully without credentials of that sort being expected of caregivers.
- D.C. debates requiring employers that offer free employee parking to offer all other employees equivalent cash value [David Boaz, Cato]
- ADA frequent fliers in Gotham: “These handicapped New Yorkers are behind hundreds of lawsuits” [Melkorka Licea, New York Post]
- When should judges keep celebrity divorce records private? [Naomi Schaefer Riley, Acculturated, quotes me]
- “The Libertarian Lawyer Who Battled Jim Crow” [Damon Root on Moorfield Storey and Buchanan v. Warley]
- Antonin Scalia and legal education [Adam White, National Affairs]
- “Note to Texas, Florida: Insurance Fights Over Sandy Rage On” [David B. Caruso and Jennifer Peltz, Insurance Journal]
Washington, D.C. “Council Chairman Phil Mendelson …has proposed a moratorium through the end of 2018 on [labor-law] bills that would negatively affect businesses.” About time, too: “While D.C., like Seattle and San Francisco, has the slack to absorb large-scale folly thanks to its role in hosting a booming sector of today’s economy, it is not entirely immune from nearby competition, a few miles away in Virginia and Maryland.” Let’s hope this snaps the recent streak of employer mandate legislation in cities and states that see themselves as progressive. I discuss in my new Cato post.
- “You Can’t Sue People for Being Mean to You, Bob” – ACLU brief in Robert Murray-John Oliver case. Or can he? [Lowering the Bar, Popehat]
- Eugene Volokh will keynote lunch and colleague Emily Ekins will describe results of a new survey on free speech at Cato’s inaugural conference on “The Future of the First Amendment,” that’s aside from my religious liberty panel [register or watch online]
- “Build the Wall” flyers in Washington, D.C. draw reaction: “Council member Brandon Todd has told residents to call 911 if they are handed one of the flyers.” [Liberty Unyielding]
- Is legal fate of Gawker chilling journalism about the rich and famous? [Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, on coverage of R. Kelly story] Did ABC News really pay $177 million even after insurance reimbursement to settle pink slime case? [Jacob Gershman on Twitter citing SEC filing]
- Symposium with Richard Epstein, Heather Mac Donald, KC Johnson, John McWhorter, Jonathan Rauch, Adam White and many others: “Is Free Speech Under Threat in the United States?” [Commentary]
- Calls for a crackdown on bad guys’ political expression in 1950s and today, compared [Eugene Volokh]
- Welcome news: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta urges states to fix occupational licensing [Eric Boehm, Reason] Fresh thinking on the antitrust angle in a bill from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) [Ilya Shapiro, Cato] “Occupational licensing should not be used to keep honest Americans out of work” [Clark Neily, The Hill] Video of Heritage panel on the subject with Maureen Ohlhausen of the FTC, Alex Tabarrok, Paul Larkin, and Dexter Price [Marginal Revolution]
- “The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has allowed an employee to pursue a disability discrimination claim based on the use of medical marijuana.” [Jon Hyman]
- That’s how we’ll solve difficult issues of statutory interpretation. We’ll call names [Richard Thompson Ford, Take Care, on expansion of Title VII interpretation to sexual orientation, earlier here, here, etc.] More: Scott Greenfield;
- If not for wise lawmakers like those in California, who would look out for our privacy? [Steven Greenhut on proposal to give unions private workers’ phone numbers and addresses]
- D.C. politicians are one big reason residents east of Anacostia River have poor grocery options [Diana Furchtgott-Roth; minimum wage]
- Uniform, predictable test needed for who is an “employee” and “employer” [Glenn Lammi, WLF, first and second posts]
Progressive clergy in Washington, D.C. sue Coca-Cola over community obesity [Caitlin Dewey/Washington Post, in a lengthy, uncritical piece that never addresses the issue of standing]
While expanding year by year, the complex of federal and state False Claims Act/whistleblowing laws often has exempted tax filings from the broad incentive provided to denounce others for “false claims” made to the government, often in a contract or program administration context. But new bills sponsored in the District of Columbia by Councilwoman Mary Cheh and in Michigan by Senator Steven Bieda would apply the bounty system to the tax area, starting, at least, with larger taxpayers. [Stephen P. Kranz, Diann Smith, and Eric Carstens, McDermott, Will, & Emery] We’ve covered some of the problems with laws rewarding tax tipsters in states like New York and Illinois here and here. On the latter story, note an update: a court has denied fees to attorney Stephen Diamond in a case in which he was both the relator and relator’s attorney. “Diamond has served as relator in about 1,000 qui tam actions over the last 15 years. A recent investigation by Bloomberg BNA revealed Diamond has collected almost $12 million through this pattern of litigation.” [Michael Bologna, BNA Daily Tax Report]
Report from the Washington, D.C. courts: “A woman who sued the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections for sexual discrimination is still awaiting the final resolution of her lawsuit 27 years after it was filed….The case has been before nine judges; a 10th will consider her dispute over interest this week.” [ABA Journal]