Australian carbon tax, Christmas tree fee delayed, D.C. Circuit decision on health care law, and more.
- Australian lawmakers approved a “pay-to-pollute” tax on the country’s largest carbon emitters.
- The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on federal preemption of state law in cases involving meat inspection and rail safety regulation. See related The Regulatory Review news and analysis essays.
- President Obama issued an executive order asking federal agencies to spend less by cutting spending on unnecessary travel, underused cellphones, and promotional items such clothing and plaques.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he will not pull out of the presidential race after a gaffe at a Republican debate in which he could not remember the name of one of the three federal agencies he would like to eliminate.
- The D.C. Circuit ruled that the required minimum coverage portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. This was the second time an appellate court upheld the law’s constitutionality out of four times that appellate courts have addressed the law. See related The Regulatory Review essay.
- A federal trial judge, citing free speech concerns, granted a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of an FDA rule issued earlier this year that would require the use of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. See related The Regulatory Review essay.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture reportedly has determined to delay imposing a fifteen-cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees under a recently finalized rule.
- Officials at the Grand Canyon National Park abandoned plans to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, apparently after conversations with Coca-Cola officials.
- A federal judge overseeing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) $285 million fraud case settlement with Citigroup raised questions about whether the agency might be too soft on enforcement targets.