Week in Review

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The U.S. Supreme Court allows a state to temporarily ban gender-affirming care, the EEOC requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for abortions, and more…

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  • The U.S. Supreme Court granted a request from Idaho seeking to temporarily reinstate a state law banning gender-affirming care for minors. The Court’s decision allows the state to enforce the law while the lower court deliberates on its constitutionality and overall merits. The Court did not issue a formal opinion, but some justices explained that the decision was intended to urge lower courts to limit the scope of their rulings when issuing temporary injunctions that prevent a state from enforcing a law.
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released an unpublished final rule that implements the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, which requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for abortions and other pregnancy-related conditions. The EEOC noted that they received approximately 54,000 comments asking them to remove abortion from the covered conditions. Despite these “sincere, deeply held convictions,” the EEOC stated that including accommodations for abortions is  “consistent with the Commission’s and courts’ longstanding interpretation” of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court also unanimously ruled that workers bringing employment discrimination suits over job transfers must show some harm, but need not show “significant” or “material” harm. Writing for a six-member majority, Justice Elena Kagan commented that “had Congress wanted to limit the liability for job transfers to those causing a significant disadvantage, it could have done so.” Justices Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh concurred in the decision but not the reasoning.
  • Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed a bill into law that restricted the powers of local governments from implementing employment laws that differ from state or federal law. For example, the law banned the use of local governments establishing a minimum wage that was higher than the state or federal minimum wage. The law also explicitly prohibited local governments from implementing heat safety measures—preventing actions like the proposed legislation in Miami-Dade County requiring breaks in the shade for construction and farm workers.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that West Virginia’s transgender sports ban violated the rights of a teen athlete under Title IX. Writing for a divided panel, Judge Toby Heytens wrote that allowing the athlete to either participate only on boys’ teams or not participate in sports at all offered her “no real choice at all.” Similar bans are in effect in 24 states.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration released an unpublished final rule that reduces coal and other miners’ exposure to silica dust, airborne particles generated during mining activities, such as cutting, drilling, and grinding. Silica dust is linked to a number of serious respiratory illnesses that can lead to death, including lung cancer, black lung disease, and emphysema. The rule lowers the permissible exposure limits for silica dust and requires mining companies to monitor the air quality and report instances of overexposure.
  • The Internal Revenue Service proposed regulations that would provide guidance for the application of the new excise tax on repurchases of corporate stock, which is equal to 1% of the fair market value of any stock that the issuing corporation repurchases. Areas covered by the proposed rulemaking include the effective start date of the tax, valuation principles, and the tax’s application to distributions and corporate liquidations.
  • A committee in Clark County, Nevada, passed new ordinances that allow street vendors to legally operate in certain parts of the county. The rule, however, imposes limits on vendors, restricting their hours of operation and requiring them to obtain licenses and permits and pay annual fees. If vendors violate these regulations, they could be fined up to $500 for each violation or even be jailed. Street vendors in Clark County have expressed their disappointment in the ordinance and urged the commissioners to rethink these rules.


  • In an article published by the Yale Journal on Regulation, Julie Andersen Hill, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, discussed the Federal Reserve System’s process for granting new accounts to banks. Hill explained that the Federal Reserve provides financial institutions with a “safe place to keep money and ways to facilitate payments.” Under federal law, all depository institutions are entitled to Federal Reserve accounts. This process, however, is not covered by regulations, and statutory authority is broad. As a result, Hill argued that there are unnecessary delays, a general lack of transparency, and inconsistency across member banks, leading to potential forum shopping. Hill suggested that Congress should pass legislation to provide detailed and uniform procedures.
  • In a recent Brookings Institution article, Tara Watson, an economics professor at Williams College, argued that immigration reform could alleviate two significant issues created by the aging population in the United States: the solvency of Social Security and Medicaid funds and the inadequate supply of direct care workers, such as home health aides. Watson recommended that the Department of Labor streamline employment-based visas for direct care workers and increase permanent immigration caps. She explained that migrants with permanent status would be subject to payroll taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicaid. In addition, Watson claimed that immigrants make up a large percentage of direct care workers, which could address the shortage of workers in this field.
  • In a forthcoming article in the Texas A&M Law Review, Maureen A. Weston, a law professor at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, explained the National Collegiate Athletic Association rule change, which permits student athletes to engage in name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals for profit. Weston highlighted some of the effects of this change, including states proposing to legalize NIL deals for high school athletes. She explained, however, that there are impacts that have yet to be seen, such as the effect on athlete well-being as they face pressure to secure these lucrative NIL deals. Weston concluded the discussion by proposing potential legal remedies to reduce unintended consequences.


  • In an essay in The Regulatory Review, Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, argued that current immigration regulations block the United States from the many contributions migrants can offer. For instance, Somin explained that migrants are more productive and entrepreneurial and are disproportionately represented among doctors and scientists. He argued that eliminating legal barriers to migration in the United States would lead to economic growth and innovation. Somin claimed that the supposed harms that immigration creates, such as an increase in crime and welfare burdens, are inaccurate and “overblown.” Regardless, Somin contended that these effects could be minimized by targeted solutions rather than blanket bans on migrant entry.