Lawprof’s classic argument: you thought I was capable of going on a workplace rampage with a gun, and though that isn’t true, it means you perceived me as mentally disabled so when you fired me you broke the ADA [Above the Law, ABA Journal, NLJ]
“Fragrance-induced disabilities”: “The most frequent MCS [Multiple Chemical Sensitivity] accommodation involves implementing a fragrance-free workplace [or workzone] policy” [Katie Carder McCoy, Washington Workplace Law, earlier here, etc.]
EEOC presses harder on ADA coverage for obesity [PoL, earlier here, here, here, etc.]
Disability groups seek class action: “ADA Suit Claims Wal-Mart Checkout Terminals Are Too High for Wheelchair Users” [ABA Journal, Recorder]
Crunch postponed until after election: “Despite delays, chair lifts coming to public pools” [NPR Morning Edition, earlier here, here, here, etc.] Punished for advocacy: disabled groups organize boycotts of “hotels whose leaders, they say, have participated in efforts to delay regulations.” [USA Today]
Disabled student sues St. Louis U. med school over failure to provide more time on tests [St. L. P-D]
How food safety regulation can kill [Baylen Linneken, Reason] We’ve got a nice little town here, don’t try to grow food in it [same] And the prolific Linnekin is guest-blogging at Radley Balko’s along with Ken and Patrick from Popehat, Maggie McNeill, and Chattanooga libertarian editorialist Drew Johnson.
“Left Wing Sovereigntism! Public Citizen Assaults Investor-State Tribunals” [Julian Ku/OJ; my 1996 piece on the Loewen case, which led to an international tribunal complaint by the victimized defendant]
Caleb Brown interviews me in this new Cato Institute podcast, in which we discuss the futility of Mayor Bloomberg’s effort to turn NYC soda fans into two-fisted drinkers (that is, they’ll need to carry one in each hand); the role of federal grants from the Obama administration; and more broadly, the creepily intrusive ambitions of the New York City Health Department. If the embedded version doesn’t work, you can find it here.
Related: “The issue is freedom, not soft drinks.” [Jonathan Tobin, Commentary]. “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign,” wrote John Stuart Mill [Patrick Basham, U.S. News] A new study finds restricting people’s junk food choices doesn’t help them lose weight [Reuters] James Lileks offers a helpful picture gallery distinguishing “Poison” from “Not Poison,” and classes a-burger-and-a-Coke in the latter category. Contrariwise, a ban backer at the Daily Beast is happy to contemplate future rules limiting hamburger sizes: “why not? Eight- and ten-ounce burgers are sick things.” And from earldean71: “If history is any guide at least one Atlanta suburb will pass an ordinance requiring giant soda drinks if NYC has a ban.” Earlier here, here, here, here, etc.
Another government report is out pushing the case for more regulation of the food market to deal with expanding waistlines, but a new Mercatus Center study by Michael L. Marlow and Sherzod Abdukadirov argues that, to quote its summary,
* Consumers already have ample access to information on healthy dietary choices.
* Markets already are responding with products and services to address the problem.
* Individual decision-making—not market responsiveness—is the main factor.
Related: Jacob Sullum (does obesity impose externalities on others, and is that relevant to policy?)
Arbitrator: felonious Montgomery County, Maryland cops should keep disability pay [Examiner] “Cop who took naked photos of rape victim can keep pension” [NY Post] Cop who pepper-sprayed UC Davis protesters is still on job, and maybe that’s how they’d have it [Radley Balko]
“Billions in retroactive liability” in pharma detailer wage/hour action before SCOTUS [Marcia Coyle, NLJ] And USA Today chose a faulty “worker discontent” theme on wage/hour case, since as class actions these suits are lawyer-driven;
Australia: “Worker injured during sex gets compensation payout” [News.com.au]
“Courts are finally starting to apply ADAAA—and it ain’t pretty” [Jon Hyman] ADA: “Judge Rules In Favor of Fired Employee With Bipolar Disorder” [ABC]
No, this isn’t the first time the fashionable, First-Lady-approved theory has been debunked — see posts here, here, and here — but it’s gratifying to see the NYT’s formidable Gina Kolata get front-page space for a thorough treatment. One study found poor neighborhoods “had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile” as wealthier ones; another “found no relationship between what type of food students said they ate, what they weighed, and the type of food within a mile and a half of their homes.” [Tyler Cowen, Jacob Sullum] And Katherine Mangu-Ward notes the juxtaposition of Kolata’s piece with an opinion piece in the paper the very same day: “Food Deserts Are Not Real. Also, We Can Fix Them.”
In San Francisco, Judge Richard Kramer has dismissed the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s lawsuit on behalf of parent Monet Parham seeking to declare unlawful McDonald’s practice of including a toy in its Happy Meal. I wrote about the case last year. [SF Weekly, earlier here, here]
“[Glenn] Richter has been collecting food from places like the Ohav Zedek synagogue and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently his donation, including a ‘cholent‘ or carrot stew, was turned away because the Bloomberg administration wants to monitor the salt, fat and fiber eaten by the homeless. … Richter said that over the years he’s delivered more than two tons of food to the homeless.” The NYC mayor says he’s not planning to reconsider the recently adopted policy. [CBS-NY] Earlier here (Connecticut), here (N.J.: “retail food establishment”), here, etc.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offers no apologies for what might seem a disturbing breach of the principle that taxpayer funds should not go to lobbying [Caroline May, Daily Caller] Earlier on the oughta-be-controversial federal food-policy grant program here, here, etc. More: Abby Schachter on CDC’s Thomas Frieden [NY Post].
Changes in court rules could curb Philadelphia’s allure for mass tort forum-shoppers [Alison Frankel, Reuters] “Further Empirical Evidence on Forum Shopping in Philadelphia Civil Courts” [Josh Wright, earlier]
In the face of substantial Congressional opposition (although an earlier Congress had helped push for the idea in the first place) the Federal Trade Commission may be easing off its zeal for tougher federal oversight of cereal ads and the like. [Glenn Lammi, Washington Legal Foundation]
Assemblyman William Monning (D-Carmel) wants to ban food trucks from parking anywhere near where schoolkids might be; under legislation he has proposed, they would need to keep even farther away from schools than medical marijuana dispensaries. Since schools dot the urban scene, a side effect would be to seriously curtail adult access to the trucks, which serve a large population of working adults and have lately found new popularity among foodies. [L.A. Times via Heather Mac Donald, Secular Right, earlier]
At the New York Times, Mark Bittman has proved a durable source of entertainment twice over, first as a purveyor of recipes with a high hit rate of being worth trying, and more recently with a laughably paternalistic opinion column. [David Boaz/Cato, Damon Root/Reason, earlier]
“It may be better to live under robber barons,” wrote the British author, “than under omnipotent moral busybodies.” [Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch] The federal government is preparing new rules restricting snack foods available through local schools, “which could include banning the candy sold for school fund-raisers,” notwithstanding a recent study finding no link between vending machine availability and child obesity [New York Times] And a blog supporter of bans on birthday cupcakes and soda machines in schools responds to her critics [Bettina Elias Siegel, "The Lunch Tray" and more]
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