A bankruptcy judge has dismissed a purported human-rights theory outré enough to have drawn interest from both the United Nations and American legal academia, saying the law guarantees no right to draw water from the Detroit municipal system for free or at rates dependent on ability to pay [Detroit News; Aaron Renn/City Journal and more]
- Coming to other towns soon: new stormwater regs ban car wash fundraisers at schools in Arlington, Va. [ArlNow]
- Krugman hides the ball on coal-fired utility regs [David Henderson]
- Coming in September: book on Chevron/Ecuador case by Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Paul M. Barrett [Business Roundtable]
- Simplified narrative of “business versus environmental regulation” obscures so much [Tim Carney, Washington Examiner]
- Environmental disclosure panel from Vermont Law School “Disclosure Debates” [video, summary by Caitlin Stanton for VLR’s Environmental Health, links to all videos, background]
- California: “Attorney General Posts 2013 Proposition 65 Settlement Numbers” [Cal Biz Lit]
- “Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson” [Cato panel with Andrew Morriss, Richard Tren]
Half a century ago, selling the Tennessee Valley Authority was regarded as a free-marketeers’ politically impossible dream. Now guess who’s for it — and who’s against. (Hint on the latter: R-Tenn.) [Knoxville News via Future of Capitalism]
P.S. More on this welcome Obama initiative from Chris Edwards: “former Cato chairman Bill Niskanen was barred by Congress for even looking into TVA reform when he was on President Reagan’s CEA.” So progress marches on. And: Fortune 1933 article on TVA.
- More reactions, besides mine, to Senate’s non-ratification of U.N. disabled-rights treaty [Hans Bader, NYT Room for Debate including notably David Kopel’s, Julian Ku (“Support Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Because It Doesn’t Do Anything!”), Tyler Cowen (keep powder dry for bigger ratification battles), Peter Spiro (proposes end run around Senate)] More, Sept. 2013: Eric Voeten, Monkey Cage and more (dismissing as insignificant U.N. committee reports criticizing countries for alleged violations because “these reports can be and often are ignored,” and accusing treaty critics of being mere “conservative fantasists” because they take at their word their counterpart “liberal fantasists” who expect and welcome erosion of U.S. autonomy in domestic policy.)
- As Department of Justice rolls out Olmstead settlements to more states, battles continue between disabled rights advocates seeking closure of large congregate facilities and family members who fear mentally disabled loved ones will fare worse in “community” settings [Philadelphia City Paper via Bagenstos, NYT on Georgia, earlier, more background] More, Sept. 2013: And here’s someone claiming that I’ve got it all wrong, Olmstead has already pre-settled whatever claims to a right-to-care might reasonably be asserted under CRPD. I don’t think so.
- “Utilityman can’t climb utility poles, but has ADA claim against utility company” [Eric Meyer]
- Kozinski: Disney “obviously mistaken” in arguing against use of Segway by disabled visitors [Sam Bagenstos; related, Walt Disney World, Eleventh Circuit]
- Wendy’s franchisee agrees to pay $41,500 in EEOC settlement after turning away hearing-impaired cook applicant [EEOC]
- California enacts compromise bill aimed at curtailing ADA filing mills [Sacramento Bee, LNL]
- “Train your managers and supervisors never to discuss employees’ medical issues.” [Jon Hyman]
To get your power turned back on in the Rockaways, according to a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority, you’re going to need a pre-inspection for your house not just from a licensed electrician, but from one licensed in NYC — nearby Nassau County, or upstate, won’t do. If occupational licensure makes any sense at all — and Milton Friedman had a thing or two to say about that — it certainly needs to be reconsidered under conditions of public emergency and disaster recovery, or so I argue in my new post at Cato at Liberty.
For more background on the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) as a political football, by the way, check out Nicole Gelinas in the New York Post. Also on disaster recovery, why this might be a good time to rethink municipal ordinances barring property owners from removing old trees [Chris Fountain]. And: “Can customers sue power companies for outages? Yes, but it’s hard to win” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
Will the Obama administration’s much-publicized restrictions on new coal burning electric plants really crimp the economy of the Midwest? Or, given that the market for new plants appears to have tipped decisively toward natural gas for the foreseeable future, do they amount to a “regulatory nothing-burger?” [Jerry Rogers and Peter Van Doren (Cato), Forbes, via David Henderson]
If you don’t pay your traffic-cam tickets, the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico says it will cut off your water and sewer service. [The Newspaper]