Week in Review

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Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline win legal victory, the Ninth Circuit upholds an injunction against President Trump’s travel ban, and more…

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  • The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that companies with products that are highly similar to other products already on the market will not have to wait an additional six months after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before launching their new products. The biomedicine company Sandoz had petitioned the Court arguing that a wait following FDA approval created six months of additional exclusivity for the original product already on the market. Carol Lynch, Global Head of biopharmaceuticals for Sandoz, reportedly said in a statement that the Court’s ruling will “help expedite patient access to life-enhancing treatments.”
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delayed implementation an Obama-era chemical safety regulation until at least February of 2019. The rule, which was finalized in December, heightens safety requirements at chemical production plants. EPA postponed implementation of the rule to “fully evaluate the public comments” on and “consider other issues” with the rule.
  • In what U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called “a regulatory reset,” the U.S. Department of Education said it will postpone financial aid regulations published during the Obama Administration. The now-postponed regulations would have introduced ways “to protect student loan borrowers from misleading, deceitful, and predatory practices.” The Education Department argued that “justice requires” delaying the regulations because the regulations are currently being fought in federal court. The Department also argued that failing to postpone the regulations could result in “substantial costs” for institutions affected by the regulations and that the postponement will give the Department time “to review and revise” the regulations.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury requested public comment on existing “regulations that can be eliminated, modified, or streamlined in order to reduce burdens.” The request promotes President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13,771, which calls for agencies to remove two regulations for every new one released. Pursuant to Executive Order 13,777, which aims to help accomplish the goals of Executive Order 13,771, the Treasury is creating a task force which will “evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations” for “possible repeal, replacement, or modification.”


  • In an article, Nellie Liang, the Miriam K. Carliner Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, assessed a U.S. Department of the Treasury report that offers suggestions for how Congress and regulators can reduce financial regulations to benefit banks and borrowers. Liang said that the proposal to loosen regulations on smaller banks is welcome because “community banks can and do fail without risking the stability of the broader financial system.” She disagreed, however, with proposals to relax capital requirements for larger financial institutions because that “would make the system more prone to another financial crisis.”
  • In a recent article in the North Carolina Law Review, William S. Dodge, professor at University of California, Davis, School of Law, examined a presumption that federal laws apply outside of a specified geographic area and under which step of the Chevron framework, which requires Courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretation of statutes, this presumption should be analyzed. Dodge argued that courts should defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of the geographic scope of a statute because agencies, rather than courts, are likely to have the better understanding of the purpose of a statute, regulatory options, and any conflicts with foreign interests.