Public Policy

  • July 09, 2020

    Justices Block Dems' Trump Financial Doc Requests For Now

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday vacated lower-court decisions upholding subpoenas issued by three House committees for President Donald Trump's financial information, saying the courts did not adequately consider separation of powers issues.

  • July 09, 2020

    Justices Back Toss Of State Convictions On Okla. Reservation

    A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a Muscogee (Creek) Nation member's Oklahoma state court convictions, ruling that the tribe's treaty lands are still a reservation for the application of federal criminal law and the crimes the Creek member was accused of therefore took place on the reservation.

  • July 09, 2020

    Justices Uphold NY Subpoena For Trump's Tax Records

    The U.S. Supreme Court will allow almost 10 years of President Donald Trump's tax records to be subpoenaed from Trump's accounting firm by a New York state grand jury, ruling Thursday that obtaining the records doesn't violate the Constitution.

  • July 08, 2020

    Texas AG Says Bar Dues Violate 1st Amendment

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday in support of a complaint by a group of attorneys against the State Bar of Texas over required dues, arguing that the payments are a clear violation of lawyers' First Amendment rights.

  • July 08, 2020

    SEC Official Says Policy And Personal ESG Views Don't Mix

    A Republican member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said he has "serious reservations" about calls for the agency to establish prescriptive disclosure rules for public companies' environmental, social and governance, or ESG, policies.

  • July 08, 2020

    PayPal's Prepaid Rule Protest 'Distorts' Purpose, CFPB Says

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that PayPal Inc. has distorted the reasons the agency adopted its prepaid card rule and its scope, as it seeks to end the online payments company's attempt to invalidate the rule.

  • July 08, 2020

    Pot Co. Financier Says Wash. Residency Rule Unconstitutional

    An Idaho businessman has accused Washington state's cannabis regulator of enforcing an unconstitutional residency requirement that prevents him from holding equity in a marijuana venture that he helped bring into business.

  • July 08, 2020

    9th Circ. Says Yellowstone Grizzlies Can't Be Isolated, Delisted

    The Ninth Circuit upheld endangered species protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears on Wednesday, ruling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly attempted to isolate and delist the population.

  • July 08, 2020

    DA Slams Judge's 'Childish' Street Fight But Forgoes Charges

    Prosecutors declined to bring charges on claims that a New York state judge and his wife attacked their Buffalo neighbors in late June, with the Erie County district attorney saying "all parties were equally childish."

  • July 08, 2020

    NYC Halts Interest On Late Tax Payments For Some Homes

    New York City's mayor has signed into law measures temporarily eliminating late tax payment interest on homes assessed at less than $250,000, and cutting interest rates for certain rental and commercial property owners from 18% to 7.5%.

  • July 08, 2020

    RI Tourism Orgs, Localities Oppose Hotel Tax Hike Amid Virus

    A proposal by Rhode Island's governor to increase the state hotel tax from 5% to 6% would further harm the hospitality industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Rhode Island tourism groups and localities told a state Senate panel.

  • July 08, 2020

    Mich. Gov. Vetoes Bills To Extend Tax Payments Amid Virus

    Michigan's governor vetoed a package of bills Wednesday that sought to defer payment deadlines for sales, use and income withholding taxes and property taxes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the measures would create cash-flow issues for local governments.

  • July 08, 2020

    Facebook Bans Accounts Linked To Stone For Manipulation

    Facebook said Wednesday it has taken down a U.S.-based network of more than 100 pages and accounts affiliated with longtime Donald Trump ally and GOP operative Roger Stone, because they were being used to run "coordinated manipulation campaigns" to influence public debate.

  • July 08, 2020

    Cannabis Corner: Nevada's New Pot Regulator Talks Reform

    Spurred by concerns about corruption and mismanagement, Nevada is in the midst of overhauling the way it regulates cannabis, a shift that will see increased enforcement activity and scrutiny of those interested in entering the industry, the state's new cannabis czar told Law360 in an exclusive interview.

  • July 08, 2020

    'What About Federalism?' Judge Asks In 11th Circ. Dental Suit

    The chief of the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division urged the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday not to reverse a ruling denying members of Alabama's dental examiners regulator with immunity from a SmileDirectClub antitrust suit, but faced questioning over states' rights.

  • July 08, 2020

    Tribes Nab Hold On COVID-19 Funding For Alaska Native Cos.

    A D.C. federal judge has blocked the Treasury Department from sending Alaska Native corporations a share of $8 billion in COVID-19 relief for tribal governments, saying the D.C. Circuit should first be given the chance to weigh his recent decision to let the companies have the funds.

  • July 08, 2020

    ND Won't Limit Oil Production Amid Industry Slump

    North Dakota oil and gas regulators on Tuesday refused to curtail oil production in the state, joining fellow oil-producing states Texas and Oklahoma in electing to keep the wells pumping despite a coronavirus-fueled crash in global energy demand.

  • July 08, 2020

    9th Circ. Says Ore. Property Tax Discriminates Against BNSF

    Oregon's property tax regime unfairly discriminated against BNSF Railway by subjecting the rail carrier to tax on its intangible property but not intangible property of other commercial and industrial companies, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

  • July 08, 2020

    DC Circ. Orders Release Of Secret Surveillance Records

    A D.C. Circuit panel has ordered a district judge to unseal electronic surveillance records and related materials in closed federal criminal investigations, undoing a lower court's order that blocks a reporter and a media advocacy group from accessing the long-sought information.

  • July 08, 2020

    Advocates Get Class Cert. In Philadelphia ADA Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge granted class certification to a group of advocates with disabilities seeking to make the City of Philadelphia upgrade sidewalks and intersections to be handicap accessible during repaving projects, but also trimmed parts of their complaint that might have made the city increase its upgrades of existing sidewalks.

  • July 08, 2020

    Reps. Advance Dem Budget Bills For DOJ, Judiciary

    House panels on Wednesday advanced Democratic budget bills that would boost funding for civil rights investigations and federal public defenders, aid immigrants, and push state and local governments to change policing practices in a way that Republicans charged would effectively defund the police.

  • July 08, 2020

    IRS Calculated 98% Of Virus Payments Correctly, TIGTA Says

    The Internal Revenue Service correctly computed about 98% of economic impact payment amounts, but some dead people and prisoners got money, some people got two payments, and others who should've gotten payments didn't, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday.

  • July 08, 2020

    Trump Admin. Looks To Deny Asylum Over Health Fears

    The Trump administration proposed a policy on Wednesday that would allow officials to quickly turn away asylum-seekers deemed a health risk, the latest effort to further tighten U.S. borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • July 08, 2020

    FCC Approves Final Tranche Of Telehealth Expansion Funds

    The Federal Communications Commission signed off on 25 funding applications for federal telehealth funding on Wednesday, allocating the remaining dollars of a $200 million set-aside from Congress to fund the expansion of remote medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • July 08, 2020

    US, Kenya Kick Off First Round Of Trade Deal Talks

    The U.S. and Kenya began negotiations on Wednesday toward securing the first full trade accord initiated by the Trump administration, according to a statement by the U.S. trade representative.

Expert Analysis

  • Altera Could Bolster State Transfer Pricing Scrutiny

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    The reasoning of the Ninth Circuit's Altera v. Commissioner decision — which the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review — could provide state tax authorities with an argument for additional discretion when challenging transfer pricing arrangements between affiliated entities, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • High Court Clarifies CFPB's Future, Complicates CFPB's Past

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    While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Seila Law this week leaves the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau standing, the CFPB's director now lacks protection from presidential termination, which brings uncertainty regarding the status of past actions taken by bureau directors who were "unconstitutionally insulated" from termination, says Eric Mogilnicki at Covington.

  • Key Points For Airports Considering Rent Relief For Tenants

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    Airport sponsors are highly motivated to offer rent abatements and other support to hard-hit commercial aeronautical tenants during the COVID-19 downturn — but airports must also keep in mind their obligations to stay economically self-sustaining and to treat similarly situated tenants equally, says Paul Fraidenburgh at Buchalter.

  • Are False Accusations Of Racism A Form Of Defamation?

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    Racism is so repugnant that it is tempting to suggest that falsely labeling someone as racist should be legally considered defamation — but courts and litigants have struggled with such cases given the strict requirements of defamation law, says Phillip Zisook at Schoenberg Finkel.

  • Okla. High Court Marijuana Ruling Provides Preemption Guide

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    The reasoning in the Oklahoma Supreme Court's recent decision finding no conflict between federal law prohibiting the sale and use of marijuana and a potential state law allowing these actions may serve as a road map for other state courts faced with similar issues, say Justin Stern and Joseph Pangaro at Duane Morris.

  • 'Settle And Sue' Malpractice Cases Have New Clarity In Calif.

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    A California state appellate court's recent decision in Masellis v. Law Office of Leslie F. Jensen provides a road map for proving causation and damages in settle-and-sue legal malpractice cases — an important issue of long-standing confusion, says Steven Berenson at Klinedinst.

  • SEC Staff Statement Clears Way For Closed-End Funds

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    While not binding on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or any court, the SEC staff's recent reversal on control share statutes returns essential tools to closed-end fund boards in certain states and may be instrumental in revitalizing the closed-end fund industry for long-term investors and fund sponsors alike, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • The Litigation Risks In Main Street Lending Program

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    Lenders and borrowers in the COVID-19 Main Street Lending Program can steer clear of litigation roadblocks with proactive compliance measures, but the U.S. Department of Justice should also facilitate the program's objectives by issuing a policy statement limiting False Claims Act actions, say Robert Huffman and Caroline Wolverton at Akin Gump.

  • A Midyear Look At Key US Sanctions Developments

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    During an active first half of 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets Control strengthened its sanctions programs, issued new guidance documents and announced several enforcement actions, underscoring that even during a pandemic, sanctions compliance is indispensable, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • Reinsurance Implications Of COVID-19 Biz Interruption Laws

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    In light of legislative and public pressure in the U.S. and U.K. on insurers to cover business interruption losses related to COVID-19, reinsurers will face new questions regarding their obligation to cover claim payments, say Robin Dusek at Saul Ewing and Susie Wakefield at Shoosmiths.

  • Opinion

    'Friends And Family' Insider Trading Theory Is Debatable

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    While it is widely accepted that securities trading by friends and loved ones of corporate insiders amounts to securities fraud, the theory is based on a generous deference to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under two controversial U.S. Supreme Court precedents, and now may be a uniquely opportune time to challenge them, says Russell Ryan at King & Spalding.

  • How Calif. Privacy Rights Act Could Shape Privacy Landscape

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    If California voters support the California Privacy Rights Act in November, it will become a permanent baseline for California privacy law, increase the already demanding requirements of the California Consumer Privacy Act, and potentially redefine informational privacy for the entire U.S., say Lauren Kitces and Lydia de la Torre at Squire Patton.

  • What You Say In Online Mediation May Be Discoverable

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    Mediation conducted online with participants in different states makes it harder to determine where communications were made, increasing the risk that courts will apply laws of a state that does not protect mediation confidentiality, say mediators Jeff Kichaven and Teresa Frisbie and law student Tyler Codina.

  • Why FDA's Proposed Food Standard Principles Are Important

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    Food manufacturers should carefully consider the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposed general principles for creating, modifying and eliminating food standards, because they may complicate branding and advertising efforts for facsimiles of well-known foods, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini.

  • Opinion

    Nonimmigrant Worker Ban Exceeds Presidential Authority

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    President Donald Trump's recent proclamation banning nonimmigrant workers from entering the U.S. overreaches by failing to include an exception for nonworking family members who pose no threat to U.S. jobs, says Jeffrey Gorsky at Berry Appleman.

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