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Category Archives: Legislation

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]

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 18, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 18, 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

The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation

The New York Times – The First Amendment in the age of disinformation. “…The United States is in the middle of a catastrophic public-health crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus. But it is also in the midst of an information crisis caused by the spread of viral disinformation, defined as falsehoods aimed at… Continue Reading

Monthly poverty rates in the United States during COVID-19

Center on Poverty & Social Policy – “This report presents monthly poverty rates in the U.S. before and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In contrast to measures of poverty based on a family’s annual resources, we project poverty rates based on a family’s monthly resources. We find that the monthly poverty rate increased from 15% to… Continue Reading

KFF Issue Brief – Comparing Trump and Biden on COVID-19

KFF – “The first cases of a novel coronavirus were reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in early January. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the worst health crisis facing the global community in more than a century. It has also taken a particular toll on the United States. Although the U.S. only… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 26, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 26, 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

5 Calls – easiest and most effective way for citizens to make an impact in national and local politics

How do I use 5 Calls? Type in your ZIP code (or let your browser or the app find your location for you). Choose an issue that’s important to you. Make calls! You have three members of Congress – two senators and a House rep. Some issues need calls to all three (we’ll tell you… Continue Reading

Your state’s Covid-19 epidemic explained in 5 maps

Vox – These maps show how your state is doing. “America’s national Covid-19 epidemic continues, with the country’s daily new cases still higher than most developed nations and the nation recently surpassing 200,000 deaths due to the disease. At the state level, things can look even worse than the national picture. Public health experts look… Continue Reading

The Election That Could Break America

The Atlantic -“…The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous… Continue Reading

Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Act of 2020

News release: “Yesterday, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Thomas Massie (KY-04) introduced H.R.8336, the Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Prevention Act, which would prevent the President from using emergency powers to cut off America’s access to the internet and undermine Americans’ Constitutional protections. The bipartisan, bicameral bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Rand… Continue Reading

CRS – The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview, September 21, 2020 [108 pages/PDF]: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964, comprised of eleven titles and numerous sections, has been called the “most comprehensive undertaking” to prevent and address discrimination in a wide range of contexts. From discriminatory voter registration practices to racial segregation in business establishments… Continue Reading

Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues

CRS report via LC – Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues, September 16, 2020: “…Congress has extensive power to regulate federal law enforcement. However, federalism principles embodied in the Constitution place limits on Congress’s power to regulate state and local police—an issue that the Constitution generally entrusts to the states. Congress, however,… Continue Reading