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…
IN THE NEWS
- As the remaining Republican nominee candidates squared off during a Fox News debate, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz spoke about what they asserted is the importance of reining in federal regulations, while Donald Trump—in response to Rubio’s discussion about his regulatory reform plan—rejoined, “this little guy has lied so much.”
- Declining to refer the issue to the full Court, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly denied an application filed by 20 states seeking that the Court stay or enjoin the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule—aimed at curbing air pollution from oil-powered and coal power plants—a decision considered to be a “significant victory” for the EPA as well as environmental and public health groups, especially on the heels of what they felt was the Court’s disappointing recent decision to grant a coalition of states’ petition for a stay of the Clean Power Plan.
- 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.
- The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry approved proposed legislation that would allow the Secretary of Agriculture to create standards preempting state regulations of genetically engineered food labels that would outline when a food label stating the food is bioengineered can be used, as well as prevent companies from advertising about their food’s safety or quality in connection with whether bioengineered.
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- In “The Supreme Court’s Clean-Power Power Grab,” a forthcoming article for the Georgetown Environmental Law Review, Professor Lisa Heinzerling wrote about the Court’s recent decision staying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Professor Heinzerling analyzed the Court’s decision-making process, concluding that it took “unprecedented and precipitous action.”
- A new report from Fredric Blavin, Michael Karpman, and Stephen Zuckerman of the Urban Institute found adults who bought health insurance through marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act were “more aware of the availability of Marketplace subsidies than adults who remained uninsured.” The authors argued these findings show that in spite of the Act’s publicity, public awareness of subsidies is low.
- 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.