It Can Be Done Live: The Future of Our Seas

September 30, 2020

The creators of the award-winning documentary, They Say It Can’t Be Done, in partnership with the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project, present It Can Be Done Live – a conversation between entrepreneurs, regulatory experts, and noted academics around creative and bipartisan solutions to global challenges to our shared future. The first of four panel events, It Can Be Done Live: The Future of Our Seas took place on September 10th, 2020.

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How Does the FDA Regulate Hand Sanitizer?

September 23, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has been in high demand. The FDA has stringent regulations about the ingredients for hand sanitizer. This guidance was relaxed somewhat to allow more production from a variety of alcohol industries, such as fuel alcohol manufacturers. After these industries invested time and money preparing to produce hand sanitizer, the FDA revoked the initial guidance and dictated that all hand sanitizer must comply with the usual standards. Are the actions of the FDA justified out of a concern for safety, or should some regulations be re-evaluated in times of emergency?

T. Elliot Gaiser is an Associate at Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC.

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A Conversation with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: New Rules on Guidance Procedures and More

September 21, 2020

In May, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposed rule to “establish the procedures and requirements for how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will manage the issuance of guidance documents subject to the requirements of the Executive Order entitled ‘Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents.’” The EPA indicated that they “intended to increase the transparency of EPA’s guidance practices and improve the process used to manage EPA guidance documents.” The comment period for the proposed rule closed in late June.

On September 14, 2020, the Regulatory Transparency Project hosted an informative conversation with Administrator Wheeler and Jeffrey Holmstead.

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The Price of Privacy: A Debate over Corporate Surveillance

September 16, 2020

Data is being collected on each of us every day by the apps that we use, the websites that we visit, and the services we subscribe to. How is this data used by companies and organizations? What is the difference between data security and data privacy? Where should the balance be struck between privacy and the benefits of increased data collection? This video will discuss these questions and more.

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When Do Low Prices Hurt Competition?

August 17, 2020

Lower prices are generally assumed to benefit consumers. However, predatory pricing – which artificially lowers prices and eliminates competition – is a bad thing for the consumer in the long run. In Brooke Group, the Supreme Court established guidelines for courts to determine when lower pricing is actually predatory pricing. In this video, Charlie Beller discusses the Brooke Group case and its impact on our digitized economy, which is increasingly dominated by free or zero-priced services.

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Should Congress Close the “Streaming Loophole”?

August 4, 2020

Copyright infringement laws dictate serious penalties for digital works that have been reproduced and downloaded. However, streaming has become the new method of choice for illegal piracy. “Display and public performances” laws – which cover streaming – only carry trivial penalties. This is called the “streaming loophole.” Copyright advocates say that new laws must be passed to close the loophole, while internet freedom advocates insist that new laws could harm consumers.

Kevin Madigan is VP, Legal Policy and Copyright Counsel at the Copyright Alliance.

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Washington or the States: Who Has the Authority to Regulate Commercial Drone Flights?

July 15, 2020

Commercial drone services are evolving rapidly but who regulates how and where they operate? The Federal Aviation Administration is authorized to oversee “navigable airspace.” On the other hand, drones fly low to the ground which would implicate property rights, which are governed by state laws. How might these regulatory issues be assessed and resolved, and how could they affect the future of drone technology and usage?

Brent Skorup is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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FTC Rulemaking: Underutilized Tool or National Nanny Renewed?

July 13, 2020

This expert panel examined recent calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to engage in substantive rulemaking under the competition and consumer-protection prongs of Section 5 of the FTC Act. How far does FTC statutory authority under 6(g) extend? Is rulemaking appropriate as a matter of policy? How has FTC rulemaking fared in the past and what guideposts should apply?

FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips gave honorary introductory remarks.

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California’s AB-5 Law: Who can be considered an “independent contractor”?

June 30, 2020

In 2019, California passed AB-5, a law that mandates that most workers should be considered “employees” rather than “independent contractors.” Advocates claim that this law will offer more protection for all workers. Opponents state that this law will stifle innovation and deprive workers of the independence to structure their own relationships.

Alida Kass of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute explores how the California law compares to other states and the issues that it may raise for workers.

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Do Certificate of Need Laws Help Control Healthcare Costs?

June 4, 2020

Certificate of need laws are state regulations designed to control medical costs. New medical facilities must be assessed and approved by a state board which determines whether such a facility is needed by the community.

Christina Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute explores whether such laws have successfully controlled costs or if they have hindered the competition required to balance healthcare prices.

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