U.S. House Representatives introduce a bill requiring women to register for the draft, a U.S. House committee holds a hearing on Flint, Michigan’s water contamination, and more…
IN THE NEWS
- In the wake of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) recent decision to remove all gender-based limitations on military service—thus allowing women to serve on the front lines, in direct ground combat positions—U.S. House Representatives Duncan Hunter and Ryan Zinke reportedly introduced a bill that would require women to register for the draft, explaining that “[i]t’s wrong and irresponsible to make wholesale changes to the way America fights its wars without the American people having a say on whether their daughters and sisters will be on the front lines of combat.”
- While the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly announced that it has opened an investigation with several other federal agencies “to determine if there have been any federal violations” that resulted in Flint, Michigan’s water becoming contaminated with lead, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard testimony from an administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in a hearing where the Committee concluded that “[t]he Flint water crisis is a failure at every level of government.”
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) finalized new standards aimed at curbing Salmonella and Campylobacter—one of the main causes of bacterial foodborne illness—in certain poultry products, a move that it predicts will prevent 50,000 illnesses per year.
- In response to the White House’s announcement last week that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be issuing a proposed rule requiring certain companies to report pay data according to ethnicity, gender, and race, a host of business groups reportedly fired back, arguing that the rule will impose unnecessary burdens on businesses, and that requiring businesses to report such information “not only raise[s] privacy issues, but reporting raw data does not depict the true reflection of a workplace, resulting in misleading information and confusion.”
- In response to a report that “examin[ed] 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015,” Senator Elizabeth Warren argued in an Op-Ed that presidents’ decisions during the nomination process about which individuals should lead federal agencies can impact each agency’s level of enforcement—a conclusion that Senator Warren encouraged voters to take into consideration when choosing which candidate to vote for in this year’s presidential election.
- In an effort to reduce sales that occur without licenses or background checks, Facebook reportedly introduced a policy that states users cannot sell guns to other Facebook or Instagram users unless through a dealer or gun club with a license.
- The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the United Kingdom regulator with authority over fertility clinics and human embryo research, decided that a group of scientists could modify genes in research using human embryos, which is a process that has reportedly never been approved before.
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- In an article for the forthcoming book The Timing of Legal Intervention, Professor Adam M. Samaha of New York University Law School considered “Self-Executing Statutes in the Administrative State.” Professor Samaha identifies and defines self-executing statutes within the broader framework of agency delegation, and discusses the role such statutes play in the legal system.
- IP lawyer and former Congressional staffer, Derek Khanna, and former White House policy advisor Cesar Conda, argued in a Politico article that Uber and other emerging “gig economy” platforms offer an opportunity to update our social safety net programs. They argued that lawmakers should take into account the variety of flexible jobs offered by the “gig economy” and re-consider work requirements for social safety net programs.
- In a recent report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) evaluated the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) system for warding off cyberattacks on agencies’ computer networks. The report concluded that the DHS system falls short in discovering and blocking suspect network activity—and recommended functionality that could spot changes in normal network baseline activity.
- In a working paper from the market-oriented think-tank the Mercatus Center, Patrick McLaughlin and Laura Stanley examined the impact on entry regulations on income inequality. The report found that there is a correlation between the number of steps needed to legally open a business and the degree of income inequality within a nation.