Overlawyered » CPSIA http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Recalling Sen. Mark Pryor’s role in CPSIA http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/mark-pryor-cpsia-arkansas/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/mark-pryor-cpsia-arkansas/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:23:19 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47833 Readers who followed Overlawyered in 2009-10 will recall that the closest this site has ever come to a crusade was in covering the truly horrible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, enacted after a media-fed tainted-toy panic, a law that needlessly drove out of business many small retailers and manufacturers of children’s goods posing […]

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Readers who followed Overlawyered in 2009-10 will recall that the closest this site has ever come to a crusade was in covering the truly horrible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, enacted after a media-fed tainted-toy panic, a law that needlessly drove out of business many small retailers and manufacturers of children’s goods posing no hazard whatsoever to consumers. Some will further recall that the chief Senate handler of the legislation was Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), who cut a poor figure throughout as both ill-informed and dismissive about the side effects his own legislation was having.

Now Sen. Pryor is locked in a tight race for re-election with challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, and a group called the Arkansas Project has been reminding readers of Pryor’s record on CPSIA, digging up many new details in an August series written by Washington, D.C.-area policy analyst Marc Kilmer (who generously credits Overlawyered coverage as a source throughout). Most of the series can be found at this tag or via search. Here is a guide to individual installments in the series, supplemented by links to further coverage from our archives:

Arkansas voters — and everyone who wants to learn how a Congress can fail spectacularly at its legislative responsibilities — should read this series in full.

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FDA backs down on wood aging of cheese http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/fda-backs-wood-aging-cheese/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/fda-backs-wood-aging-cheese/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:52:43 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46416 Yes! Following an enormous outcry from cheese makers, commentators, and the general public, the agency beats a hasty retreat. Commentator/ Pepperdine lawprof Greg McNeil has the details at Forbes (and his earlier commentary on the legalities of the agency’s action is also informative). Earlier here. In a classic bureaucratic move, the agency denied it had […]

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Yes! Following an enormous outcry from cheese makers, commentators, and the general public, the agency beats a hasty retreat. Commentator/ Pepperdine lawprof Greg McNeil has the details at Forbes (and his earlier commentary on the legalities of the agency’s action is also informative). Earlier here.

In a classic bureaucratic move, the agency denied it had actually issued a new policy (technically true, if you accept the premise that a policy letter from its chief person in charge of cheese regulation is not the same as a formally adopted new policy) and left itself the discretion to adopt such a policy in future if it wishes (merely declaring itself open to persuasion that wood shelving might prove compatible with the FSMA).

McNeal:

This is also a lesson for people in other regulated industries. When government officials make pronouncements that don’t seem grounded in law or policy, and threaten your livelihood with an enforcement action, you must organize and fight back. While specialized industries may think that nobody cares, the fight over aged cheese proves that people’s voices can be heard…

There is a less optimistic version, however. It happens that a large number of editors, commentators, and others among the chattering classes are both personally interested in the availability of fine cheese and familiar enough with the process by which it is made to be un-cowed by claims of superior agency expertise. That might also be true of a few other issues here and there — cottage food sold at farmer’s markets, artisanal brewing practices — but it’s inevitably not going to be true of hundreds of other issues that arise under the new Food Safety Modernization Act. In a similar way, the outcry against CPSIA, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, rose to a politically effective level only on a selected few issues (publishers and libraries got a fix so that older children’s books would not have to be trashed; youth motorsports eventually obtained an exemption, and so forth) but large numbers of smaller children’s products and specialties whose makers had less of a political voice simply disappeared.

More: Andrew Coulson, Cato, and on the trade aspects, K. William Watson; Chuck Ross, Daily Caller (quoting me at length for which thanks). On the FDA’s new statement: “Typical bureaucratic doublespeak that seems meant to maximize uncertainty for the regulated community” [Eric Bott of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce] “This was the worst possible outcome. It reinforces elites’ view that regulators are reasonable and wise and will fix mistakes.” [@random_eddie] “Pay no attention to the Leviathan behind the cheesecloth” [Scott Lincicome, in an exchange after a writer at Slate observed that "Libertarians aren't the only ones" who might want to keep board-aged cheese legal] (Vox, Reason, Carly Ledbetter/HuffPo; & welcome Instapundit, Alexander Cohen/Atlas Society, Q and O readers)

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“Quit Bubble-Wrapping Our Kids!” http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/quit-bubble-wrapping-kids/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/quit-bubble-wrapping-kids/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 04:15:52 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=43623 Will you be in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, February 5? I’m delighted to announce that Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids fame, whose work I regularly link in this space, will be speaking at the Cato Institute at lunchtime. I’ll be offering comments as well as moderating, and it’s free and open to the public. Register here. […]

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Will you be in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, February 5? I’m delighted to announce that Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids fame, whose work I regularly link in this space, will be speaking at the Cato Institute at lunchtime. I’ll be offering comments as well as moderating, and it’s free and open to the public. Register here. The event description:

Our children are in constant danger from — to quote Lenore Skenazy’s list — “kidnapping, germs, grades, flashers, frustration, failure, baby snatchers, bugs, bullies, men, sleepovers and/or the perils of a non-organic grape.” Or so a small army of experts and government policymakers keep insisting. School authorities punish kids for hugging a friend, pointing a finger as a pretend gun, or starting a game of tag on the playground. Congress bans starter bikes on the chance that some 12-year-old might chew on a brass valve. Police arrest parents for leaving a sleepy kid alone in the back seat of a car for a few minutes. Yet overprotectiveness creates perils of its own. It robs kids not only of fun and sociability but of the joy of learning independence and adult skills, whether it be walking a city street by themselves or using a knife to cut their own sandwich. No one has written more provocatively about these issues than Lenore Skenazy, a journalist with the former New York Sun who now contributes frequently to the Wall Street Journal and runs the popular Free-Range Kids website where she promotes ideas like “Take Your Kids to the Park and Leave Them There Day.” Her hilarious and entertaining talks have charmed audiences from Microsoft headquarters to the Sydney Opera House. Please join her and Cato’s Walter Olson for a discussion of helicopter parenting and its unfortunate policy cousin, helicopter governance.

And don’t forget that next Wednesday I’ll be moderating a luncheon talk at Cato by another favorite author, Virginia Postrel, with powerhouse commenters Tyler Cowen and Sam Tanenhaus. Register here.

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January 22 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/january-22-roundup-4/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/january-22-roundup-4/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 04:05:48 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=43562 Reminder: federal panel finally mulling reform of ultra-costly pretrial discovery, now’s the time to send comments [Kyl/WSJ, earlier] Michigan woman convicted of false rape claim had sent man to prison for 10 years in earlier case [ABA Journal] Strickland, key figure in disastrous CPSIA law and then chief at NHTSA, lands at BigLaw’s Venable [AutoNews, […]

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  • Reminder: federal panel finally mulling reform of ultra-costly pretrial discovery, now’s the time to send comments [Kyl/WSJ, earlier]
  • Michigan woman convicted of false rape claim had sent man to prison for 10 years in earlier case [ABA Journal]
  • Strickland, key figure in disastrous CPSIA law and then chief at NHTSA, lands at BigLaw’s Venable [AutoNews, Detroit News]
  • A religious accommodation too far? Devout student at secular university asks not to work with female classmates [York U., Ontario; CBC via @amyalkon, also related on Nova Scotia aikido class] Inviting shop clerks to set up “no booze/pork” check lines is a sensitivity too far [Andrew Stuttaford, Secular Right]
  • “Top 2013 Jury Awards: Price-Fixing, Nursing Home Liability, Defamation” [Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg] Top legal ethics stories of 2013 [Legal Ethics Forum and followup on R v Farooqi & Ors]
  • Liberate history-talk: “Another Battle Against Silly Tour-Guide Regulations” [Ilya Shapiro] Handing out $1,000 fines in Charleston, S.C. [Brian Doherty]
  • “The line between Salon and Granma is getting awfully blurry” [@dandrezner; more about DoNotLink.com]
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    December 3 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2013/12/december-3-roundup-2/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/12/december-3-roundup-2/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 04:05:01 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=42551 The law blog that almost brought down ObamaCare [Trevor Burrus, Cato] “In Government, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure,” public policies being hard to adjust when they go astray [Peter Schuck, HuffPo] Sexual harassment claim: “Attorneys awarded more than 600 times damages in Calif. case” [Legal NewsLine] KlearGear, of non-disparagement fame, reaps the online whirlwind [Popehat, Public […]

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  • The law blog that almost brought down ObamaCare [Trevor Burrus, Cato] “In Government, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure,” public policies being hard to adjust when they go astray [Peter Schuck, HuffPo]
  • Sexual harassment claim: “Attorneys awarded more than 600 times damages in Calif. case” [Legal NewsLine]
  • KlearGear, of non-disparagement fame, reaps the online whirlwind [Popehat, Public Citizen, Volokh, earlier]
  • “What if American Exceptionalism, properly understood, really boils down to associational liberty?” [Richard Reinsch, Liberty Law] Do religious-liberty carve-outs in same-sex marriage laws go too far, not far enough, or neither? [Dale Carpenter et al. vs. Richard Garnett et al.]
  • What jury didn’t hear in qui tam award against pipemaker JM Eagle [Daniel Fisher, more]
  • Majority of appointed commissioners on Consumer Product Safety Commission is is no hurry to reduce inordinate CPSIA testing burdens, per retiring commissioner Nancy Nord (more);
  • Woman who claims to own sun says she prevailed in lawsuit brought by man who claims to own universe [Lowering the Bar]
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    Environmental roundup http://overlawyered.com/2013/10/environmental-roundup-5/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/10/environmental-roundup-5/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 04:05:25 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=41181 California: “Governor [Brown] signs Prop. 65 toxic chemical warning reform” [Sacramento Business Journal] What finally passed was a minuscule tweak mostly aimed at the law’s application to food and alcohol [Bruce Nye, Cal Biz Lit] Court helps in baby food case [JD Supra] “Taxpayer-Funded Journal Walks Back BPA Cancer Claim After Statistical Meltdown” [Trevor Butterworth] […]

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  • California: “Governor [Brown] signs Prop. 65 toxic chemical warning reform” [Sacramento Business Journal] What finally passed was a minuscule tweak mostly aimed at the law’s application to food and alcohol [Bruce Nye, Cal Biz Lit] Court helps in baby food case [JD Supra]
  • “Taxpayer-Funded Journal Walks Back BPA Cancer Claim After Statistical Meltdown” [Trevor Butterworth]
  • Recalling when the federal government (along with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations] funded an attack on the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause [Gideon Kanner, more]
  • CEQA reform [Calif. enviro review] in baby steps at most for now [SF Chronicle, Mercury News, L.A. StreetsBlog, Daily News, PublicCEO, Planetizen]
  • Under decisions by the CPSC interpreting CPSIA, you’re probably not going to be able to make your product for kids out of recycled materials [Nancy Nord]
  • “EPA Fares Well in D.C. Circuit” [Adler]
  • Mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods are a bad idea [not just me saying that, but Scientific American editors; earlier]
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    March 7 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2013/03/march-7-roundup-2/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/03/march-7-roundup-2/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 04:17:15 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=35910 Thank you, Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee, for getting Obama’s claim of warrantless domestic killing authority onto the media front burner — finally — through Sen. Paul’s filibuster last night. (More: Nick Gillespie, Conor Friedersdorf and background, Andrew Sullivan, Josh Blackman; Mediaite (Eric Holder sends letter, Rand Paul declares victory). Pending SCOTUS […]

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  • Thank you, Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee, for getting Obama’s claim of warrantless domestic killing authority onto the media front burner — finally — through Sen. Paul’s filibuster last night. (More: Nick Gillespie, Conor Friedersdorf and background, Andrew Sullivan, Josh Blackman; Mediaite (Eric Holder sends letter, Rand Paul declares victory).
  • Pending SCOTUS case of “Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl” is not the first Indian Child Welfare Act fiasco [Ann Althouse] More on ICWA [NYT Room for Debate]
  • Has ABA now enlisted in the crusade against Stand Your Ground self-defense laws? [ABA Journal] Reminder #371 that the Martin-Zimmerman case is not likely to hinge on Florida’s SYG law [Jacob Sullum; Jeralyn Merritt with more detail on latest developments]
  • “Transparency in Government: Finding Out How Much the Government’s Mistakes Are Costing Us” [Hans von Spakovsky, Heritage]
  • “New York, to Stem Civil-Rights Suits, Is Now Reluctant to Settle” [NY Times]
  • CPSC adopts sweeping CPSIA testing and certification rule [Nancy Nord] Should the CPSC be structured as a multi-member commission? [Commissioner Nord at Cato's Regulation magazine, PDF, and "Conversations with Consumers"]
  • Illinois: “Small Town to Lose Its Only Sledding Hill” [Free-Range Kids]
  • “Word of the day: Mendicant” [New York Times education blog; I'm quoted in]
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    December 26 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2012/12/december-26-roundup/ http://overlawyered.com/2012/12/december-26-roundup/#comments Wed, 26 Dec 2012 16:01:35 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=34227 L.A. County assessor, though in jail, will keep drawing $197K salary plus raise [LAT] IRS lowers the regulatory boom on tax preparers [Institute for Justice video, auto-plays] On Wal-Mart Mexico bribery, NYT has a bit of a blind eye of its own [Stoll; earlier here, here, etc.] Another painful CPSIA regulation: CPSC on testing “representative […]

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  • L.A. County assessor, though in jail, will keep drawing $197K salary plus raise [LAT]
  • IRS lowers the regulatory boom on tax preparers [Institute for Justice video, auto-plays]
  • On Wal-Mart Mexico bribery, NYT has a bit of a blind eye of its own [Stoll; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Another painful CPSIA regulation: CPSC on testing “representative samples” [Nancy Nord]
  • “Popcorn lung” couple “won a $20 million judgment. Now, they’re broke.” [ABC]
  • From Todd Zywicki: Libertarianism, Law and Economics, and the Common Law [SSRN via Bainbridge]
  • If the courts disapprove of throttling internet speeds, what do they think of throttling class action claims redemption rates? [Ted Frank]
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    Child welfare/protection roundup http://overlawyered.com/2011/10/child-welfareprotection-roundup/ http://overlawyered.com/2011/10/child-welfareprotection-roundup/#comments Wed, 05 Oct 2011 05:10:14 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=24879 Oh, American Academy of Pediatrics, why are you so consistently wrong? On videogames, on food-ad bans, on guns, CPSIA… New book by Annette Fuentes, Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse [John Harris, Guardian] There are genuine problems with some countries’ international adoption practices, but should UNICEF really be pushing toward a “leave the […]

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  • Oh, American Academy of Pediatrics, why are you so consistently wrong? On videogames, on food-ad bans, on guns, CPSIA
  • New book by Annette Fuentes, Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse [John Harris, Guardian]
  • There are genuine problems with some countries’ international adoption practices, but should UNICEF really be pushing toward a “leave the kids in orphanages” alternative? [Nick Gillespie on Reason documentary to be released tomorrow]
  • At expense of both federalism and religious accommodation, bill entitled “Every Child Deserves a Family Act” (ECDFA) would impose anti-bias rules on state adoption and foster care programs [Washington Blade]
  • Cash-for-kids Pennsylvania judge: “Former Luzerne judge Conahan sentenced to 17.5 years” [Times-Tribune, our earlier coverage]
  • “Met a guy who works at my old summer camp. Bunks still do raids on other bunks, but their counselors have to file raid forms first. How sad.” [@adamlisberg]
  • Sex offender registry horror story #14,283 [Skenazy]
  • “Safety rules rob pupils of hands-on science, say MPs” [Independent, U.K.]
  • Gee, who could’ve predicted that? NJ’s aggressive “anti-bullying” law leads to new problems [NYT, Greenfield, PoL, NJLRA] Rapid growth in bullying law assisted by push from Obama administration [WSJ Law Blog, Kenneth Marcus/Federalist Society, Bader]
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    September 12 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2011/09/september-12-roundup/ http://overlawyered.com/2011/09/september-12-roundup/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:37:28 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=24482 Ninth Circuit: Holland America cruise line not responsible for customer’s swimming mishap at Mexican beach [Metropolitan News-Enterprise] “President Perry would mean high noon for trial lawyers” [Kurt Schlichter, Washington Examiner; Politico; Prof. Bainbridge ("If the trial lawyers hate Rick Perry, maybe I should reconsider him")] Christie praises Perry’s “laudable” record on liability reform [PolitickerNJ] “Perry’s […]

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  • Ninth Circuit: Holland America cruise line not responsible for customer’s swimming mishap at Mexican beach [Metropolitan News-Enterprise]
  • “President Perry would mean high noon for trial lawyers” [Kurt Schlichter, Washington Examiner; Politico; Prof. Bainbridge ("If the trial lawyers hate Rick Perry, maybe I should reconsider him")] Christie praises Perry’s “laudable” record on liability reform [PolitickerNJ] “Perry’s ‘loser pays’ is an economic winner” [Patrick Gleason and Jason Russell, Washington Times; Mass Tort Prof; background] Missing the point on the Texas med-mal experience [Coyote, earlier here, here, etc.] A bad sign: Gov. Perry reaches out to Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio [NRO, background] Another: courting social conservative vote, he pledges interference in state marriage law [Houston Chronicle]
  • Alan Lange and Tom Dawson discuss their Dickie Scruggs book [Above the Law, background]
  • Hospital pays $25M to settle lawsuit charging lack of Katrina preparedness [White Coat]
  • Democratic majority on CPSC plans to ram through burdensome CPSIA testing and certification rule next month [Commissioner Nancy Nord, more]
  • For matching willing buyers with sellers through Canadian pharmacy ads, Google agrees to pay fine of $500 million, a forfeiture geared to the revenue the pharmacies (not it) took in from the ads [Atlantic Wire, Chris Fountain]
  • “Woman Won’t Have to Pay for Her Own Cavity Search” [Lowering the Bar]
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