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Category Archives: Legislation

Paper – Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments

Squillace, Mark Stephen and Biber, Eric and Bryner, Nicholas S. and Hecht, Sean B., Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments (May 13, 2017). 103 Va. L. Rev. Online (2017); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-16; UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2967807

“By any measure, the Antiquities Act of 1906 has a remarkable legacy. Under the Act, 16 presidents have proclaimed 157 national monuments, protecting a diverse range of historic, archaeological, cultural, and geologic resources. Many of these monuments, including such iconic places as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Olympic, and Acadia, have been expanded and redesignated by Congress as national parks. While the designation of national monuments is often celebrated, it has on occasion sparked local opposition, and led to calls for a President to abolish or shrink a national monument that was proclaimed by a predecessor. This article examines the Antiquities Act and other statutes, concluding that the President lacks the legal authority to abolish or diminish national monuments. Instead, these powers are reserved to Congress.”

House Votes to Give Some Powers of Librarian of Congress to Donald Trump

BOOKRIOT: “Dr. Carla Hayden, the current and 14th Librarian of Congress, is many things: a brilliant scholar, a forty year veteran of libraries, a defender of equal access, a former president of the American Library Association (ALA), and a rescuer of baby ducks. She is also the first African American and the first woman to hold… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals opinion – Google is not a generic name

Elliott v. Google, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 15-15809 D.C. No. 2:12-cv-01072-SMM – OPINION, May 16, 2017. “The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of Google, Inc., in an action under the Lanham Act, seeking cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark on the ground that it is generic.… Continue Reading

Gaps in Coverage Among People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which has passed the House of Representatives, contains a controversial provision that would allow states to waive community rating in the individual insurance market. In this brief we estimate the number of people with pre-existing conditions who might be affected by such a policy.” Continue Reading

Threats on Tap: Widespread Violations Highlight Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure and Protections

NRDC: “America has a drinking water crisis. An NRDC study has found that contaminants that may harm human health are found in tap water in every state in the nation. Established in 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act is one of our bedrock environmental laws, consisting of rules that regulate about 100 contaminants found in… Continue Reading

Trends in Prevailing Wage Laws, 2017

Council of State Governments: “Prevailing wage laws are laws created by state governments or local municipalities to set a rate of pay that is thought to be standard for a labor group contracted to do public-sector projects in that area. The standard rate of pay is oftentimes determined by analyzing local wage data and identifying… Continue Reading

Treasury launches upgraded federal spending website

“Beta.USAspending.gov is the new official source of accessible, searchable and reliable spending data for the U.S. Government. Treasury released this new version of the USAspending.gov site in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) requirements. The “Beta” site will run concurrently with the previous version of the USAspending.gov website over the summer… Continue Reading

CRS – Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects

Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects. May 5, 2017. [via FAS] “Then federal agencies and programs lack funding after the expiration of full-year or interim appropriations, the agencies and programs experience a funding gap. If funding does not resume in time to continue government operations, then, under the Antideficiency Act, an agency… Continue Reading

Creating more accessibility to legislative data focus of think tank Congressional testimony

“The Center for Data Innovation has submitted written testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch regarding ways to improve the accessibility of legislative data. The Center recommends that Congress begin publishing legislative data via application programming interface (API) in addition to publishing this data in bulk format. As the Library of Congress… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports – How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy

How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy Expanded health insurance helped cut the number of filings by half by Allen St. John May 02, 2017: “As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this [past] week, they might want to keep in mind a… Continue Reading

Bill in NY legislature seeks release of Trump tax returns

CNN Money: “Some Democratic state senators in New York are trying an end run to get Donald Trump’s taxes into the public view by introducing legislation that would reveal his state tax returns for the last five years. The legislation — dubbed the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act (or TRUMP Act) — would require… Continue Reading

Report – High Finance, Political Money, and the U.S. Congress Report

The Roosevelt Institute: “Social scientists have traditionally struggled to identify clear links between political spending and congressional voting, and many journalists have embraced their skepticism. A giant stumbling block has been the challenge of measuring the labyrinthine ways money flows from investors, firms, and industries to particular candidates. Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen directly tackle that… Continue Reading