The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s final text is released, the SEC issues a rule on securities-based crowdfunding, and more…
IN THE NEWS
- The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade deal between the United States and eleven other countries intended to “improve regulatory cooperation” through the enforcement of anti-corruption laws and increased public participation in the regulatory process, among other objectives.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its final rule on crowdfunding—a largely online-based process of funding projects through numerous donors—that authorizes companies to use crowdfunding to issue securities, and broadens the group of eligible investors for these types of transactions.
- Philadelphia City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith announced that Philadelphia would be filing a motion to intervene as a defendant against twenty-four states that are challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, a recently-issued final rule that imposes emission-reduction requirements for power plants.
- Houston voters repealed a controversial ordinance that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other protected characteristics—a move that the repeal’s supporters argued would “end this constant political-correctness attack on what we know in our heart and our gut as Americans is not right,” while critics such as Houston’s first openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, warned would “stain[ ] Houston’s reputation as a tolerant, welcoming global city.”
- The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee held a hearing on gag clauses in consumer contracts after a host of businesses recently sued consumers who wrote negative online reviews about them, in alleged violation of the business’ gag clauses.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Public and Indian Housing issued guidance informing public housing agencies and subsidized housing owners that they cannot use individuals’ arrest records as grounds for.evicting them or for refusing to provide them with housing.
- While the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that individuals can grow marijuana for personal consumption—a decision that some commentators said “opened the door to legalizing marijuana”—Ohio voters rejected the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment that would have legalized the limited use and sale of marijuana.
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- Reuters reporter Scot Paltrow investigated the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ (OIRA) ability to “delay, rewrite or kill rules mandated by Congress,” and honed in on OIRA’s delayed approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) rule mandating the installation of rearview cameras in vehicles—a delay which has led to backovers causing hundreds of children’s deaths over the past fifteen years, according to Paltrow.
- In a forthcoming article, Professor Teri Dobbins Baxter at the University of Tennessee College of Law explored state regulation of same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. She argued that state regulation will provide couples with increased autonomy and information when selecting the terms of their marriage contracts among state-supplied options.
- In a new study for the Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of researchers, including Elizabeth Kantor of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, found an increase in prescription drug use within most drug classes, including antidepressants. The authors suggested that higher use of antidepressants may mirror changing societal perspectives on depression.