Public Policy

  • April 16, 2024

    Justices Asked To Review Texas' Online Porn Age Check Law

    Texas' law requiring all visitors to adult-oriented websites to prove their age before accessing the content is unconstitutional under the First Amendment, a trade group for the pornography industry told the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to overturn a split Fifth Circuit decision that allowed the age-verification requirement to go into effect.

  • April 16, 2024

    BofA Draws Scorn From Republican AGs Over 'De-Banking'

    Republican state attorneys general are calling out Bank of America over what they claim has been its discriminatory account closures of Christian religious groups and hostile treatment of conservative customers, allegations the banking giant strongly denies.

  • April 16, 2024

    NC Treasurer Backs FTC On Hospital Merger Challenge

    North Carolina's treasurer agreed Monday that Novant Health's $320 million plan to pick up a pair of hospitals is a bad idea, throwing its weight behind the Federal Trade Commission's challenge to the deal in federal court.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tribal Groups Want Full 9th Circ. To Rehear Oak Flat Appeal

    An Apache nonprofit is asking the Ninth Circuit's entire 29-judge panel to review its lawsuit that seeks to block a copper mining company from destroying a sacred Indigenous religious site, arguing that an en banc hearing is warranted given the appellate court's latest split decision on the land transfer.

  • April 16, 2024

    DC Circ. Grills EPA On Nixing Refiners' Biofuel Exemptions

    A D.C. Circuit panel seemed open Tuesday to petroleum refiners' challenge to federal regulators' denial of their exemptions to federal renewable fuel requirements, as the judges grilled attorneys for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on how federal regulators gauge refineries' compliance costs.

  • April 16, 2024

    Mich. Justice Questions Abuse Law's Missing Language

    A Michigan Supreme Court justice on Tuesday challenged an attorney for a victim of a 1990s sexual assault on why the state Legislature didn't explicitly include retroactive language for a 2018 change that allowed survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse scandal more time to bring civil suits, noting that the law was specific in other areas.

  • April 16, 2024

    Wis. Bank Must Face Bias Claims In Tribal Peyote Case

    A Wisconsin federal judge ruled Tuesday that a local bank cannot avoid discrimination claims in a suit that accuses it of denying service to Indigenous company Medicine Fireplace, whose members use the psychoactive peyote plant in their religious ceremonies.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ohio Bans On Transgender Care, Youth Sports Halted By Judge

    An Ohio state court on Tuesday blocked a law that bans gender-affirming healthcare for children and prohibits transgender girls from competing in girls' school sports, issuing a temporary restraining order more than a week before the statute was to go into effect.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tai Sidesteps As GOP Reps Try To Pin Down Trade Timeline

    Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee castigated U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday for the administration's vague agenda regarding future trade deals and a long-awaited tariff review that she described as "optimistic" and "coming soon."

  • April 16, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Urges 1st Circ. To Uphold Project Approval

    Developers of an offshore wind energy project near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Tuesday urged the First Circuit not to revive a fishing group's legal challenge to the endeavor, arguing the environmental review process was solid.

  • April 16, 2024

    Trump, Insurer Defend $175M Bond In NY AG Case

    Donald Trump and the Delaware insurer that agreed to post the former president's $175 million bond in his civil business fraud case told a Manhattan judge that they have the money in cash, after New York Attorney General Letitia James questioned the sufficiency of the bond.

  • April 16, 2024

    White House Opposes Bill To Close Data 'Loophole'

    The White House on Tuesday came out against a bipartisan bill that would prevent law enforcement and intelligence agencies from buying Americans' personal information, an issue critics say is a "loophole" to get around the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • April 16, 2024

    DOE Aims To Wrap LNG Review By Year-End, Granholm Says

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday said her agency hoped to complete the review of its liquefied natural gas export policy by year's end and pushed back on accusations that the current pause of export reviews is permanent.

  • April 16, 2024

    SEC Hit With Class Action Over Database Privacy Concerns

    A conservative think tank filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court Tuesday hoping to put an end to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission market surveillance tool known as the consolidated audit trail, arguing in the proposed class action that the database threatens to subject the personal information of tens of millions of American citizens to a possible data breach.

  • April 16, 2024

    Broadband Subsidy Backers Seek To Force House Vote

    Nearly 300 groups urged Congress to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program, but as a bill to do so picked up support from more than half of U.S. House lawmakers, a vote on replenishing the fund remains up in the air.

  • April 16, 2024

    7th Circ. Open To Religious Workers' Visa Rule Challenge

    Religious institutions trying to revive their challenge to a visa regulation they contend unfairly strips work authorization from foreign ministers seemed to strike a chord with a Seventh Circuit panel on Tuesday, which suggested the rule might disadvantage religious workers.

  • April 16, 2024

    Judges Doubt Denver Transit Co.'s $112M Loss Is Protected

    A pair of Colorado appellate judges on Tuesday grilled an attorney representing a company claiming its contract with a regional transit authority protected it from $112 million in losses after state regulators changed the rules, asking how the problems that caused the losses weren't the company's own fault.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ex-Fla. Lawmaker Didn't Break Election Laws, 11th Circ. Told

    A former U.S. congressman from Florida urged the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday to reverse a $456,000 fine imposed by a lower court over the Federal Election Commission's allegations that he violated campaign finance laws, saying the agency didn't follow pre-suit notice procedures while insisting he didn't break the law.

  • April 16, 2024

    Virginia Judge Tosses State Broadband Law Challenge

    The Association of American Railroads has lost its challenge to a Virginia federal law that gives broadband providers easier access to railroad property and that the group says constitutes illegal taking, after a judge knocked out all the suit's claims for various reasons.

  • April 16, 2024

    NJ Judge Won't Nix 'County Line' Ballot For GOP Candidates

    A New Jersey state judge has ruled that county clerks can use the state's controversial "county line" ballot design for the Republican primary election, striking a blow to four GOP candidates who sought the same relief as Democratic congressional hopefuls but who drew different results. 

  • April 16, 2024

    CFPB Moves To 'Streamline' How It Tags Nonbanks For Exams

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday unveiled procedural adjustments to its process for singling out fintech firms and other nonbanks for examination, changes the agency attributed in part to plans for an internal reorganization of its supervision and enforcement unit.

  • April 16, 2024

    EPA Urges 5th Circ. To Back Win In Texas Air Quality Suit

    U.S. regulators and the Sierra Club urged the Fifth Circuit not to upset a panel's ruling finding the government legally accepted pollution data from the conservation group to apply a poor air quality designation in two Texas counties surrounding a coal-fired power plant.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tribes, Lawmakers Call On Biden To Protect Historic Sites

    A coalition of Native American tribal communities and federal lawmakers on Tuesday delivered a petition containing more than 800,000 signatures calling on the Biden administration to protect, expand and designate a slew of national monuments and sacred lands under the Antiquities Act.

  • April 16, 2024

    Colo. Shooting Case Could Return To State Court, Judge Hints

    A federal judge in Connecticut hinted Tuesday that he might send cases by Colorado mass shooting victims against gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co. back to state court, noting that only rarely may district court judges hear core state law claims when federal law provides an ingredient in the analysis.

  • April 16, 2024

    NC Justices Hint Contractor Qualifies For Tax Break

    The North Carolina Supreme Court appeared ready to rule in favor of a contractor seeking a tax exemption reserved for manufacturers, with the justices concerned that hinging qualification on a sales percentage flouts the language of the applicable law.

Expert Analysis

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • How FinCEN Proposal Expands RE Transaction Obligations

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    Against a regulatory backdrop foreshadowing anti-money laundering efforts in the real estate sector, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's proposed rule significantly expands reporting requirements for certain nonfinanced residential real estate transfers and necessitates careful review, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

  • How The FAA Is Embracing Simplified Flight Controls

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    The Federal Aviation Administration's openness to approving simplified flight controls as part of its forthcoming refresh of regulations governing light-sport aircraft and sport pilot certificates is valuable and welcome — and the same approach can be brought to general aviation aircraft, says Paul Alp at Adams and Reese.

  • Banks Should Continue To Prep For CFPB Data Rule Rollout

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    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-supervised banks should not expect industry pressure to delay the rollout of proposed Section 1033 open banking rules, which regulate how consumer financial information flows between financial institutions, and prepare their required data access portals and compliance procedures now, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • FERC's Updated Settlement Policy Comes With Risks For Cos.

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's newly streamlined enforcement settlement policy may increase investigation subjects' regulatory risk, so they should consider measures to protect themselves, such as periodically assessing compliance programs and mitigating any weaknesses, say attorneys at Willkie.

  • Tips For CCOs Submitting Annual Compliance Reports

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    Recent settlement actions by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, coupled with statements made by both CFTC and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission leadership, demonstrate why this year's chief compliance officer annual report filing is no ordinary exercise, and highlight the increasing importance of the report and its usage, say attorneys at Steptoe.

  • Legal Considerations For Circular Economy Strategies

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    As circular economy goals — generating revenue at multiple points in a product's life cycle — become nearly ubiquitous in corporate sustainability practices, companies should reassess existing strategies by focusing on government incentives, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, say Rachel Saltzman and Erin Grisby at Hunton.

  • Decline In Same-Industry M&A Tells A Nuanced Policy Story

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    In light of newly available Hart-Scott-Rodino Act data suggesting that intraindustry mergers are down overall and pharmaceutical and hospital intraindustry transactions tend to face greater antitrust scrutiny than in the past, attorneys at Morgan Lewis explore whether Biden administration enforcement policies may be curbing pro-competitive strategic M&A.

  • SEC's Final Climate Disclosure Rules: What Cos. Must Know

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    While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's scaled-back final rules requiring public companies to disclose certain climate-related information still face challenges in court, companies should begin preparing now to comply with the rules, say Celia Soehner and Erin Martin at Morgan Lewis.

  • Golf Course Copyright Bill Implications Go Beyond The Green

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    A new federal bill, the BIRDIE Act, introduced in February would extend intellectual property protections to golf course designers but could undercut existing IP case law and raise broader questions about the scope of copyright protection for works that involve living elements or nonhuman authorship, say attorneys at Bradley Arant.

  • Preempting Bottled Water Microplastics Fraud Claims

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    Food products like bottled water are increasingly likely to be targets of consumer fraud complaints due to alleged microplastics contamination — but depending on the labeling or advertising at issue, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act can provide a powerful preemption defense, say Tariq Naeem and Brenda Sweet at Tucker Ellis.

  • Insurance Implications Of Trump's NY Civil Fraud Verdict

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    A New York state trial court’s $450 million judgment against former President Donald Trump and affiliated entities for valuation fraud offers several important lessons for companies seeking to obtain directors and officers insurance, including the consequences of fraudulent misrepresentations and critical areas of underwriting risk, says Kevin LaCroix at RT ProExec.

  • Opinion

    NY Gubernatorial Absence Provision Is Obsolete And Harmful

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    An outdated provision in the New York Constitution means that the governor loses power whenever they leave the state, creating legal uncertainty and undermining confidence in the rule of law — but fortunately, the solution is straightforward, say Liam Turner and John Rogan at Fordham Law School.

  • Opinion

    European Union Criticisms Of The FCPA Are Misguided

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    Some in the European Union have criticized U.S. enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for what they perceive as jurisdictional overreach, but this appears to overlook the crucial fact that jurisdiction is voluntary, and critics should focus instead on the lack of equivalent laws in their own region, say John Joy and YuTong Wang at FTI Law.

  • What Fed's Credit-Linked Note FAQ Means For Capital Relief

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    U.S. banks that seek to mitigate their loss of liquidity under the Basel III capital requirements by issuing direct credit-linked notes should turn to recent Federal Reserve FAQs for insight into how this new use of synthetic securitizations may reshape risk and regulation in the U.S. market, says Cris Cicala at Stinson.

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