Week in Review

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President Obama authorizes FAA funding but may veto the DOD’s spending bill, the EPA updates its worker protection standard, and more…

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  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the launch of the Strong Cities Network, a platform aimed at empowering communities to combat violent extremism by facilitating collaboration among cities through workshops, trainings, and other inter-city programs.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule aimed at reducing hazardous air pollutants by requiring that oil refineries employ monitoring systems that continuously track toxic air pollutant levels, among other requirements.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Roca Labs, a company that sells dietary supplements and food products, for its allegedly deceptive advertising tactics and for including gag clauses in their contracts in order to sue customers who posted negative comments online about the products.


  • A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examined the regulation of federal research funding in the sciences. The report argued that the growing number of federal regulations is forcing investigators to invest onerous amounts of time and resources into complying with redundant and cumbersome administrative requirements, effectively undercutting the nation’s research investment.
  • In a forthcoming publication for the U.C. Davis Law Review, Professors Benjamin Means and Joseph Seiner explore the classification of “on-demand” workers as independent contractors, particularly in recent litigation involving Uber and Lyft drivers. Means and Seiner argue that the misclassification of these “on-demand” employees has an effect on the workers’ employment benefits, and propose a way to ensure that workers receive proper employment protections.
  • Amelia Frenkel, in a forthcoming article for the Harvard Environmental Law Review, considers the complexities of interstate water rights through a survey of relevant jurisprudence, including the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kansas v. Nebraska. Frenkel offers a structural solution for litigating water rights, emphasizing the need for efficiency.