Prosecutors and “Brady” access to police personnel evidence

Jonathan Abel, guest posting at Volokh Conspiracy, has a series on the numerous tensions affecting prosecutors’ Brady v. Maryland obligation to disclose impeachment evidence that may be available in police personnel files, that is to say, evidence unfavorable to the credibility of planned police testimony: intro, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth posts.

International free speech roundup

  • As government’s grip tightens in Turkey, Erdogan begins rounding up journalists [New York Times, Jonathan Turley on aftermath of coup attempt]
  • German court fines man $2,480 for comparing state politician’s IQ to that of “a piece of toast” [Deutsche Welle]
  • University of Cape Town disinvites free speech hero and Cato fellow Flemming Rose, of Danish cartoons fame, prompting letters of protest from Nadine Strossen, Floyd Abrams, Kenan Malik [John Samples]
  • “If it’s perceived by the victim, then it is” — adviser to London police on online insults as hate crime [Express] “Nottinghamshire police to count wolf-whistling in street as a hate crime” [Guardian, quoting three backers and no critics of idea]
  • Maybe our state AGs could offer tips on punishing wrongful advocacy: campaigners in UK want to prosecute public figures for fraud in promoting Leave side in Brexit referendum [Business Insider on “Brexit Justice” effort]
  • Meanwhile, here: prominent Harvard Law professor says “rule of law” and “First Amendment” are “almost entirely without content” [David Bernstein on views of Mark Tushnet]

“Viking Ship Sailing the Great Lakes Is Getting Conquered by U.S. Regulations”

“After making stops at Canadian ports, the Draken’s crew was told by Coast Guard officials last week that if [the meticulously restored Norwegian Viking craft] wanted to sail through the Great Lakes, it had to hire a certified pilot, paid at an hourly rate that would amount to about $400,000 by the trip’s end. If unable to pay, the vessel would be forced to turn back.” The Coast Guard mandates what must be paid to pilots on the Great Lakes and recently raised its target compensation “to about $326,000 a year…unlike in Canada, the American regulations offer no exemption based on tonnage or size.” [Mike McPhate, New York Times]

Non-Spanish-speaking teacher sues after being denied job teaching Spanish

A third-grade teacher “says the Miami-Dade County School Board discriminated against her by not hiring her for a job. One requirement of the position? Teaching an hour of Spanish per day….Her complaint says the school could have given her the job and then just had someone else teach the foreign language component for one hour per day.” [Miami New Times, Miami Herald]

July 27 roundup

  • It’s against the law to run a puppet show in a window, and other NYC laws that may have outlived their purpose [Dean Balsamini, New York Post]
  • L’Etat, c’est Maura Healey: Massachusetts Attorney General unilaterally rewrites state’s laws to ban more guns [Charles Cooke, National Review]
  • Appeal to Sen. Grassley: please don’t give up on Flake-Gardner-Lee venue proposal to curtail patent forum shopping [Electronic Frontier Foundation, Elliot Harmon]
  • Oil spill claims fraud trial: administrator Ken Feinberg raised eyebrows at news that Mikal Watts “was handling claims from 41,000 fishermen.” [Associated Press, earlier]
  • By 70-30 margin, voters in Arizona override court ruling that state constitution forbids reduction in not-yet-earned public-employee pension benefits [Sasha Volokh]
  • Google, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood appear to have settled their bitter conflict [ArsTechnica, earlier]

Gotta regulate ’em all, cont’d: more on the law of Pokémon Go

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has “fired off a letter along with two Democratic colleagues demanding Pokémon Go explain what it does about how much data its users use playing the game.” [Ed Krayewski, Reason] “The Tax Aspects Of Pokémon Go” [Adam Thimmesch via Caron/TaxProf]. “How Pokémon GO Players Could Run Into Real-Life Legal Problems” [Brian Wassom, Hollywood Reporter] The U.S. Border Patrol briefly detained two teenagers from Alberta, Canada, who inadvertently crossed over into Montana in search of the imaginary creatures [AP/CTV]. Earlier on the Pokémon Go craze here; way back when we covered controversies involving Pokemon trading cards (class action lawyers sue claiming the cards constitute “gambling”; language minister of Quebec threatens maker for allowing cards to be sold in the province without French-language packaging and instructions).

An agency authorized to propose rescinding other agencies’ regulations?

Missed this post by Mike Rappaport back in December based on an idea he describes in Cato’s Regulation:

The idea is to establish an administrative agency with the power to deregulate – to identify undesirable regulations passed by other agencies and to repeal those regulations. … For example, this deregulatory agency could identify an environmental regulation that is particularly problematic and attempt to repeal it. Ultimately, the EPA might object to this action and the President would have to decide the matter. If Presidents, including pro-regulation Presidents like Obama, get to decide the issue, would the deregulatory agency have any effect?

The likely answer to the final question is “yes, at least at the margins” because every administration, from the most to the least regulatory in its instincts, is the scene of internal debates, and such an agency would probably work to strengthen the hand of regulatory skeptics even if it did not win all of its inter-administration battles.

Medical roundup

  • “Here’s how lawmakers want to fix our kidney shortage” [Robert Gebelhoff, ideas of Sally Satel and others; Alex Tabarrok on Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)’s proposed Organ Donor Clarification Act]
  • AMA: Lawyer ads stirring up pharmaceutical litigation are scaring viewers into going off needed medications [Jessica Karmasek, Forbes]
  • How does Cuba score such good infant health data? Fudging statistics, jailing truth-tellers helps [video, Free To Choose TV, “Dead Wrong” with Johan Norberg]
  • Per Swedish study, lottery winners do not get healthier after their windfalls. Some implications about health care and inequality? [Alex Tabarrok]
  • Really, AMA: declaring shootings a public health crisis at best a political stunt [Trevor Burrus]
  • Is ten years too long, Your Honor? “New York Lawmakers Push to Extend Deadline for Med-Mal Suits” [Insurance Journal]