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  • Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2014 by Alden Abbott Constitutional Constraints on Federal Antitrust Law

    A‌merica’s antitrust laws have long held a special status in the ‌federal statutory hierarchy. The Supreme Court of the United States, for example, has famously stated that the “[a]ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.”[1] Thus, a decision not to apply the antitrust laws to a particular type of conduct…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 8, 2014 by Paul Larkin, Jordan Richardson True Threats and the Limits of First Amendment Protection

    The First Amendment guarantees every person the right of free speech, but that right is not absolute. Some words “by their very utterance” cause injury or incite an immediate breach of peace, and they do not receive constitutional protection.[2] Among the category of unprotected speech are “true threats,” statements in which a speaker expresses a “serious” intent “to…

  • Commentary posted December 5, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obama's Ferguson Misstep

    Perhaps the biggest problem with the reaction of President Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, to the grand jury verdict in Ferguson is their non-support for the difficult work of the grand jury. That and their support for the mistaken proposition that the administration of justice is unfair, biased, and prejudiced towards “communities of color” undermine our…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2014 by Jason Snead, Andrew Kloster Washington, D.C., Civil Forfeiture Reform: A Model for the States

    On November 18, the District of Columbia City Council passed Bill 20-48, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Amendment Act of 2014.[1] Two years in the making, Bill 20-48 touches on virtually every area of forfeiture law in the nation’s capital city. It affords new and strengthened due process protections to property owners and aims to rein in some of the more questionable…

  • Commentary posted December 3, 2014 by Andrew Kloster Can Gays Force Michigan to Marry Them?

    Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States surprised the national news media by refusing to hear any of the seven same-sex marriage cases that had been pending. Following that denial of review, the status of same-sex marriage appears to be based on an odd sort of federalism. If you live in a region of the country governed by a federal appeals court that has…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by Alden Abbott Transatlantic Trade Negotiations: Keeping Regulation in Check

    Last week, the George Washington University Center for Regulatory Studies convened a Conference (GW Conference) on the Status of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.), which were launched in 2013 and will continue for an indefinite period of time. In launching TTIP, the Obama…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2014 by John Malcolm, Hans A. von Spakovsky President Barack Obama's Unilateral, and Unconstitutional, Move

    According to The Associated Press, as well as some Democratic representatives, President Barack Obama's plan to provide executive amnesty to about 5 million illegal immigrants is no different than unilateral actions by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Georgia H.W. Bush. However, this claim plays fast and loose with history. It also fails to explain the significant difference…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky How Closely Do Loretta Lynch’s Views Line Up with Holder’s?

    In nominating Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama bypassed a very controversial possible replacement Washington was talking about: Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez. But the president’s hopes for a smoother confirmation may be premature. Perez has indeed been criticized by…

  • Issue Brief posted November 17, 2014 by Jordan Richardson Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Goes Mainstream

    Civil asset forfeiture enables law enforcement agencies to seize money and property that they suspect is being used to commit a crime or represents profits from criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies do not need to convict or even charge the property owner to make these seizures. Civil asset forfeiture was intended to be used as a tool to combat organized crime, but…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Dangers of Lame Duck Sessions in Congress—Unfair and Undemocratic

    An awful lot of people are confused as to just what is meant by a lame duck Congress. It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let’em out, but after you fired ‘em, you let ‘em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.[1] —Will Rogers When Congress comes back into session after the November election and before a new…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2014 by Alden Abbott Abuse of Dominance by Patentees: A Pro-Innovation Perspective

    Antitrust issues (referred to interchangeably here as competition issues) are an increasingly important consideration for intellectual property (IP) owners. Such issues can arise in numerous transactions involving IP rights, including from refusals to license, exclusive licenses, royalty provisions, field of use restrictions, territorial and customer limitations,…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Four Lessons from the 2014 Election

    Many pundits and campaign consultants are no doubt analyzing the election results across the country to try to decipher what lessons the Republican wave holds for candidates planning to run in 2016. But there are four easily seen lessons that both of the major political parties should take to heart: First, the manipulation of election rules and political trickery didn’t…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky An Honor Flight Welcome

    This morning offered one of those spontaneous events that renews your faith in the patriotism and good will of the American people. It also illustrated their appreciation for the servicemen and women who have risked their lives for our nation. It was in the C Terminal of Reagan National, one of three airports serving Washington, D.C. I had just passed through security…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Here Comes the 2014 Voter Fraud

    In the past few months, a former police chief in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to voter fraud in a town-council election. That fraud had flipped the outcome of a primary election. Former Connecticut legislator Christina Ayala has been indicted on 19 charges of voter fraud, including voting in districts where she didn’t reside. (She hasn’t entered a plea.) A Mississippi…

  • Legal Memorandum posted October 29, 2014 by Alden Abbott Time to Reform FTC Advertising Regulation

    A‌dvertising is a boon to the American economy.[1] By informing ‌large numbers of consumers about the attributes of goods and services, it helps to create broad markets for those products, generating economies of scale that lower cost and prices. Information embedded in advertising allows consumers to make better choices in the marketplace, benefiting ultimate purchasers…