Overlawyered http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:29:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Can the forfeiture train be slowed? http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/forfeiture-train-speeds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=forfeiture-train-speeds http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/forfeiture-train-speeds/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:14:34 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47225 In Philadelphia, the city has seized a widow’s home and car for forfeiture after her son was nabbed on charges of selling pot [Inquirer] “Minneapolis police plan to keep $200,000 seized in a raid of a tobacco shop, even though they didn’t find any evidence to merit criminal charges. Meanwhile, a former Michigan town police […]

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In Philadelphia, the city has seized a widow’s home and car for forfeiture after her son was nabbed on charges of selling pot [Inquirer] “Minneapolis police plan to keep $200,000 seized in a raid of a tobacco shop, even though they didn’t find any evidence to merit criminal charges. Meanwhile, a former Michigan town police chief awaits trial on embezzlement and racketeering charges for allegedly using drug forfeiture money to buy pot, prostitutes and a tanning bed for his wife.” [Radley Balko] Nebraska cops seize nearly $50,000 from a Wisconsin man driving from Colorado, “a known source state for marijuana,” but a court orders it returned [same]. Connecticut police use forfeiture proceeds “to buy new police dogs, undercover vehicles, technology, fitness equipment — and to pay for travel to events around the country.” [New Haven Register]

More: Half-forgotten history of how the feds pushed the states to embrace forfeiture [Eapen Thampy, Forfeiture Reform] And for once good news: “Rand Paul introduces bill to reform civil asset forfeiture” [Balko again] And: Rep. Tim Walberg introduces a bill on the House side.

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ObamaCare and Congressional (non)-intent http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/halbig-ii/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=halbig-ii http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/halbig-ii/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:15:31 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47303 Last week, when two federal circuit courts of appeals came out on the same day with conflicting opinions on whether to enforce the literal language of the Affordable Care Act bestowing tax credits only on users of state-established exchanges, some journalists (at, e.g., Vox) took the line that the omission in the statutory language had […]

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Last week, when two federal circuit courts of appeals came out on the same day with conflicting opinions on whether to enforce the literal language of the Affordable Care Act bestowing tax credits only on users of state-established exchanges, some journalists (at, e.g., Vox) took the line that the omission in the statutory language had been a mere drafting error not reflecting anyone’s intent. In subsequent days it was revealed that ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber had delivered remarks on multiple 2012 occasions suggesting that the lack of subsidies for federally sponsored exchanges served the function (as critics had contended it did) of politically punishing states that refuse to set up exchanges. Complicating further the question of intent, however, Daniel Fisher at Forbes writes of a Republican Senate staffer who did expect federal exchange enrollees to get tax credits.

Even if we accept the “drafting error” rather than the “pressure the states” explanation of the ACA’s language, it’s worth noting that after major legislation Congress ordinarily comes back to pass a fix-it bill to clean up drafting errors. [More: Tyler Cowen] That’s a lot less likely to happen when the landmark bill is forced through in half-finished form against a unanimous opposition party because going to conference committee would have required negotiating.

I well remember the pride displayed in some quarters about having forced a health care bill through against Republicans’ resistance, even though it was common knowledge that the bill’s details were not in anything like a finished state. I suppose the plan was to rely on a combination of creative executive interpretation and, where needed, judicial mulligans of the sort the Fourth Circuit just agreed to provide.

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July 29 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/july-29-roundup-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=july-29-roundup-2 http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/july-29-roundup-2/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:05:30 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46886 Say nay, laddie: Unsettling new Scotland law will assign each child state interest guardian (“named person”) [BBC, Scottish government, Josie Appleton/Spiked Online, opposition group and another] Why Judge Alex Kozinski doesn’t like jury nullification [Reason interview last year] “Asbestos Ruling Boosts Transparency —- and Threatens Plaintiffs’ Attorneys” [Paul Barrett, Business Week, on Garlock ruling] Winona, […]

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  • Say nay, laddie: Unsettling new Scotland law will assign each child state interest guardian (“named person”) [BBC, Scottish government, Josie Appleton/Spiked Online, opposition group and another]
  • Why Judge Alex Kozinski doesn’t like jury nullification [Reason interview last year]
  • “Asbestos Ruling Boosts Transparency —- and Threatens Plaintiffs’ Attorneys” [Paul Barrett, Business Week, on Garlock ruling]
  • Winona, Minn. town cap on rental conversions violates property owners’ rights [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
  • Challenger claims Ohio attorney general’s hiring of debt collection firms amounts to pay to play [Columbus Dispatch]
  • Mixed verdict in Philadelphia traffic court prosecutions [Inquirer, ABA Journal, earlier]
  • Save the date! Cato’s annual Constitution Day returns Wed., Sept. 17, with panelists and speakers like P.J. O’Rourke, Nadine Strossen, Tom Goldstein, Judge Diane Sykes, Roger Pilon, and a host of others [details]
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    As an urban mobility revolution draws near… http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/urban-mobility-revolution-draws-near/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=urban-mobility-revolution-draws-near http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/urban-mobility-revolution-draws-near/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:46:07 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47306 Government is busy chasing century-old transit formats [Randal O'Toole, Cato; more] And Marc Scribner cautions libertarians against buying too heavily into a “regulated ridesharing” legal framework that could impede the emergence of something much better in ten or twenty years when self-driving vehicles are common [Skeptical Libertarian] Tweet Tags: autos, taxis and ridesharing, transit

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    Government is busy chasing century-old transit formats [Randal O'Toole, Cato; more] And Marc Scribner cautions libertarians against buying too heavily into a “regulated ridesharing” legal framework that could impede the emergence of something much better in ten or twenty years when self-driving vehicles are common [Skeptical Libertarian]

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    “U.S. Senate panel advances global disabilities treaty” http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/crpd-senate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=crpd-senate http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/crpd-senate/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:20:25 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47215 “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 in favor of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” I’ve outlined the insuperable problems with the CRPD on many occasions, e.g. here (see also here, here, etc.). It’s not clear why Sens. Robert Dole and John McCain would think the best way to honor […]

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    “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 in favor of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” I’ve outlined the insuperable problems with the CRPD on many occasions, e.g. here (see also here, here, etc.). It’s not clear why Sens. Robert Dole and John McCain would think the best way to honor American military veterans is to yield up U.S. sovereignty over large swaths of domestic governance. [Reuters]

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    Labor and employment roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-employment-roundup-29/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-employment-roundup-29 http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-employment-roundup-29/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:05:58 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47107 “Telling Employee He Is ‘Eligible’ For Bonus Not Enough to Create Contractual Obligation” [Chris Parkin/Daniel Schwartz; Connecticut appeals court] Richard Epstein on Obama’s anti-LGBT-discrimination edict for federal contractors [Hoover "Defining Ideas"] D.C. Circuit panel, Janice Rogers Brown writing, strikes down DC tour guide licensing scheme [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, WaPo, Orin Kerr] “Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Public […]

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  • “Telling Employee He Is ‘Eligible’ For Bonus Not Enough to Create Contractual Obligation” [Chris Parkin/Daniel Schwartz; Connecticut appeals court]
  • Richard Epstein on Obama’s anti-LGBT-discrimination edict for federal contractors [Hoover "Defining Ideas"]
  • D.C. Circuit panel, Janice Rogers Brown writing, strikes down DC tour guide licensing scheme [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, WaPo, Orin Kerr]
  • “Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Public Workers Unions” [Dmitri Mehlhorn/Daily Beast]
  • “James Sherk of Heritage on Members-Only Bargaining” [On Labor]
  • As discrimination law gradually swallows all else: “Rep. Keith Ellison wants to make union organizing a civil right” [MSNBC]
  • NY Senate committee gives approval to “workplace bullying” law. On thin constitutional ice? [Hans Bader/CEI, earlier]
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    Corinthian Colleges meets its downfall http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/corinthian-colleges-meets-downfall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=corinthian-colleges-meets-downfall http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/corinthian-colleges-meets-downfall/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:29:50 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47286 Through the actions of multiple federal agencies — the Department of Education, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the Obama Administration has succeeded in wiping out a major for-profit education provider with thousands of employees and 72,000 students, all without bringing a legal charge. Imagine what they could have done if […]

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    Through the actions of multiple federal agencies — the Department of Education, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the Obama Administration has succeeded in wiping out a major for-profit education provider with thousands of employees and 72,000 students, all without bringing a legal charge. Imagine what they could have done if they’d filed charges [WSJ editorial]

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    “SawStop suit stopped” http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/sawstop-suit-stopped/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sawstop-suit-stopped http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/sawstop-suit-stopped/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:18:04 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47257 Last month federal district judge Claude Hilton dismissed an antitrust suit filed against rival makers of table saws by SawStop, a company that has patented a table saw with innovative safety features. “Hilton’s ruling, while a blow to SawStop, has no legal bearing on the company’s efforts to get the Consumer Product Safety Commission to […]

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    Last month federal district judge Claude Hilton dismissed an antitrust suit filed against rival makers of table saws by SawStop, a company that has patented a table saw with innovative safety features. “Hilton’s ruling, while a blow to SawStop, has no legal bearing on the company’s efforts to get the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require the use of their technology on most table saws sold in the U.S.” Trial lawyers at Boies Schiller and elsewhere have also filed numerous product liability suits against makers of conventional saws; many saw users prefer to go on buying conventional saws, which are much less expensive, in preference to using the SawStop system [David Frane, Tools of the Trade, background; earlier]

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    Leash laws for dogs — and sometimes humans too http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/leash-laws-dogs-sometimes-humans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leash-laws-dogs-sometimes-humans http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/leash-laws-dogs-sometimes-humans/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:05:04 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47273 “Busted for Off-Leash Dog, Man Ordered Not to Leave Southern California,” reads the headline. John Gladwin lives right next to a national park in the mountains outside Los Angeles, and has had a series of run-ins with park police after letting his Australian cattle dog, Molly, roam on both sides of the boundary. Now Gladwin […]

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    “Busted for Off-Leash Dog, Man Ordered Not to Leave Southern California,” reads the headline. John Gladwin lives right next to a national park in the mountains outside Los Angeles, and has had a series of run-ins with park police after letting his Australian cattle dog, Molly, roam on both sides of the boundary. Now Gladwin “cannot leave a seven-county area, for any reason, without permission from his probation officer.” [L.A. Weekly]

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    “Friends May Be Liable for Man’s Drunken Cliff Fall” http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/friends-may-liable-mans-drunken-cliff-fall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=friends-may-liable-mans-drunken-cliff-fall http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/friends-may-liable-mans-drunken-cliff-fall/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:26:12 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47268 “A man who fell off a cliff while intoxicated can sue the people who brought him there and waited hours to get him help, a California appeals court ruled.” [Jeff Gorman, Courthouse News] Tweet Tags: personal responsibility

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    “A man who fell off a cliff while intoxicated can sue the people who brought him there and waited hours to get him help, a California appeals court ruled.” [Jeff Gorman, Courthouse News]

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