The Regulatory Week in Review: March 4, 2016

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The Republican nominee candidates square off on regulatory issues, the Supreme Court rejects 20 states’ request for a stay of a pollution-curbing rule, and more…

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IN THE NEWS

  • After much of the tech industry’s initial reticence about backing Apple in the high-stakes and emotionally-fraught case concerning the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) demand that Apple help create a “backdoor” into the one of the alleged San Bernardino assailant’s locked phones, a slew of tech and telecom companies—including AT&T, Twitter, Airbnb, and Intel, among others—demonstrated a strong showing of public support, filing numerous amicus curiae briefs on Apple’s behalf.
  • The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to approve proposed legislation reportedly aimed at preventing “midnight regulations”—proposed or final rules that agencies create in the time between presidential election day and inauguration day—by allowing agencies to only promulgate certain rules in that time, such as rules with a yearly economic impact below $100,000,000 and rules that do not cause “[a] major increase in costs or prices for consumers.”
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder outlining the agency’s plans to assist states with initiatives addressing drinking water safety, and requesting that Governor Snyder assist in ensuring that Michigan’s efforts to fulfill the Lead and Copper Rule—a rule that provides requirements for lead and copper quantities in water—are transparent.

WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK

  • According to an article by Dr. Corinna Coors, a law professor at the University of West London, “practical problems and legal loopholes” continue to inhibit the effectiveness of regulatory reforms designed to ensure the credibility of credit rating agencies in the United States and throughout Europe. Dr. Coors argued that credit rating agencies are important for “investor confidence,” and therefore, government action must be balanced with the market.