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Blog

FCC transparency bills gain positive progress during subcommittee vote

The name of the game was transparency during Wednesday’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing, where several proposed draft bills were voted to move forward to the full committee. The proposed bills were introduced in light of the FCC’s recent Open Internet Order, a massive new regulatory regime that prompted many complaints about the process under which it was released. Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden opened the hearing with remarks on the overwhelming need for the FCC to change its decision making process in such a way as to increase transparency and consumer access. Chairman Walden stated, “[t]he FCC’s work doesn't only impact the industries that it regulates, but as daily consumers of communications services, our own lives as well.”

05/21/2015
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Necessary and Proper Clause: A Declaratory Truth

The Necessary and Proper Clause is often called the “Elastic Clause” because it is believed to give Congress “implied powers” that government is assumed to possess without being mentioned in the Constitution. There is a problem with this view: a government that is able to expand its power through an “Elastic Clause” is more likely to abuse its power.

05/13/2015
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State Regulatory Boards: Consumer Protection or Market Protectionism?

Today you need hours of training and a license to do a countless number of jobs throughout the United States. These requirements cover jobs that are not only highly-skilled, potentially dangerous professions like medical surgeons, but also pet groomers, interior designers, florists and hair braiding.

04/30/2015
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No-Knock Raids Create Dangers for the Families and Law Enforcement

Cory Maye, a loving father of an 18 month old daughter at the time, was sleeping in his living room the day after Christmas at 12:30 a.m. when he heard banging at the door. He had no prior record, but lived in a rough neighborhood, where break-ins had taken place before, so he grabbed his pistol and ran to the back bedroom to defend his daughter.

04/29/2015
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Can the Government “Take Its Cut” of Anything Produced?

Is the government able to require that you hand over a portion of your production to be able to enter a regulated marketplace? That is the main question in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, a case that was argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

04/24/2015
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EPA Taken to Court Over Its Clean Power Plan

A group of states and energy companies have joined to sue the EPA over the agency’s Clean Power Plan. The two cases, State of West Virginia v. EPA and In re Murray Energy Company, were combined and oral arguments were heard before the DC Circuit this Thursday.

04/17/2015
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Blog

Commerce Clause: Not a Grant of Unlimited Congressional Power

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.”

04/03/2015
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FCC’s Net Neutrality: Fixing a Nonexistent Problem

Last Thursday the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to regulate broadband internet as a public utility. This decision to regulate the internet was made mostly through secret meetings without public comment and less than a decade after the FCC declined to regulate the internet because there was no necessity. Even worse, because the 300-plus page new rule has not been made public yet, we still do not know exactly what is in the rule. Since the Federal Trade Commission already has the authority to protect consumers from anticompetitive business practices, the FCC’s new rules are another example of government trying to fix a problem that is nonexistent. The new rules may in fact harm consumers both by limiting competition, and by preventing the FTC from filing charges against internet providers once they are determined to be common carriers.

03/03/2015
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First Amendment Rights: License Required

Should one need to obtain a license to speak on public sidewalks about the history and architecture of an area? Or does the First Amendment protect our free speech rights from prior restraints, such as licensing requirements? According to a short opinion in Kagan v. City of New Orleans, which lacked any in depth legal reasoning, the Fifth Circuit ruled a license can be required to give guided tours of New Orleans for pay.

02/20/2015
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Authorized to Steal

If you own a house or car, they are your property. If you produce cabinetry or quilts, they are your property. If you produce raisins, they are your property and cannot be taken by the government without just compensation, right? Not according to a decision by the Ninth Circuit.

02/11/2015

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