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Daily Archives: October 25, 2020

Reading the ACA’s Findings: Textualism, Severability and the ACA’s Return to the Court

Gluck, Abbe R – Reading the ACA’s Findings: Textualism, Severability and the ACA’s Return to the Court, 130 Yale L.J. F. 132 (2020). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is back in the Court, but challengers’ “textualist” arguments are not textualist at all. They argue a findings section in the ACA is an “inseverability clause,” meaning that if the insurance mandate is eliminated, the whole ACA goes down with it. They argue this despite the fact that those findings are specific to one subsection, of one part, of one subtitle, of the ten-title law, and despite the fact that the language they seize on is boilerplate language that Congress often uses not for severability, but to justify its commerce power. Congress expressly tells us that too in the ACA’s text. Challengers argue that Congress has explicitly spoken to the issue, but Congress’s established drafting practices, and examples throughout the U.S. Code, make clear that when Congress actually writes an inseverability clause, it is unmistakably explicit about it and uses specific language absent from the ACA. Inseverability is a nuclear bomb. Congress doesn’t hide it in mouseholes. There is a burgeoning movement to better understand how Congress drafts laws, one as relevant for textualists as anyone else. [h/t Mary Whisner]

How bookstores are weathering the pandemic

Vox – Independent bookstores are doing everything they can to stay in business. “..Powell’s and other independent bookstores across the country face an uncertain and undoubtedly difficult future: Government assistance has dried up, foot traffic is still low, and the virus is again threatening to bring everything to a screeching halt. Independent bookstore owners dug… Continue Reading

Policy making in a digital world – How data and new technologies can help government make better policy

Institute for Government – UK: Policy making in a digital world – How data and new technologies can help government make better policy 23 October 2020. “Policy makers across government lack the necessary skills and understanding to take advantage of digital technologies when tackling problems such as coronavirus and climate change. This report says already… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 25, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 25, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

How to safely and graciously host friends and family as the weather gets colder

Washington Post – “…For inspiration, we might look to Nordic countries, where the combination of cold temperatures and shorter days is part of the circle of life. In Stockholm, friends still meet often to take brisk walks in the woods in January, when the sun sets before 3 p.m. “Meeting outdoors, even when it’s cold,… Continue Reading

United States Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Resources

LC Blog – In Custodia Legis – This is a guest post by Louis Myers, the Law Library’s Librarian-in-Residence. “Recent economic and geopolitical events have caused an increase in searches and requests for information about cryptocurrency regulation and legislation. The Law Library of Congress has compiled and maintained reports with information and resources on cryptocurrency and… Continue Reading

Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

The New York Times – In a landmark antitrust complaint, the Justice Department is targeting a secretive partnership that is worth billions of dollars to both companies. “…Last Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a landmark lawsuit against Google — the U.S. government’s biggest antitrust case in two decades — and homed in on the alliance… Continue Reading

Police are using facial recognition for minor crimes because they can

CNet – Law enforcement is tapping the tech for low-level crimes like shoplifting, because there are no limits. But the tool often makes errors. “…The US has no federal regulations on facial recognition, leaving thousands of police departments to determine their own limits. Advocates say that’s a concern for civil liberties. While some members of… Continue Reading

Visualizing Jobs Growth by Industry in the United States

Center for Data Innovation – “Bloomberg has created a series of interactive visualizations that show the number of jobs in different industries from 2006 to present-day. One visualization compares industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth in the past month. For example in the past month, the motion picture and sound recording… Continue Reading

Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States

Reiner, R.C., Barber, R.M., Collins, J.K. et al. Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States. Nat Med (2020) [full-text] “We use COVID-19 case and mortality data from 1 February 2020 to 21 September 2020 and a deterministic SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infectious and recovered) compartmental framework to model possible trajectories of severe acute respiratory syndrome… Continue Reading

Paper – Educating for Misunderstanding

Sam Wineburg, Joel Breakstone, Nadav Ziv, and Mark Smith, “Educating for Misunderstanding: How Approaches to Teaching Digital Literacy Make Students Susceptible to Scammers, Rogues, Bad Actors, and Hate Mongers” (Working Paper A-21322, Stanford History Education Group, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2020). Graduate School of Education Open Archive. “Russian troll farms sow disinformation. Fake news… Continue Reading

Unemployment Rates and Household Debt During the COVID-19 Pandemic

CRS report via LC – Unemployment Rates During the COVID-19 Pandemic: In Brief, October 23, 2020: “The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant effect on unemployment in every state, industry, and major demographic group in the United States. This report provides information on which groups have experienced the largest increases in unemployment… Continue Reading