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April 14, 2020

Supreme Court nominations and the issues before the Court have played an important role in most recent presidential elections. This was especially true in 2016, when Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees, paired with a vacancy on the Court, is widely credited with being a decisive factor in Trump's victory. In this virtual panel, experts on judicial nominations and the federal courts will share their views on the role the Court will play in this year's presidential election. Among the many questions they'll tackle are whether the Supreme Court issue will work in President Trump's favor again and whether Joe Biden is likely to release a list of potential nominees, as well as some novel questions brought...

April 6, 2020

Last year, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Mozilla v. Federal Communications Commission in which the court largely upheld the Commission’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order that reversed the Obama Administration’s 2015 decision to apply common carrier regulation to the Internet.  While the court upheld the bulk of the agency’s actions as reasonable under the Supreme Court’s rulings in Chevron and Brand X, the court also found that the agency lacked plenary preemption authority over state efforts to regulate the Internet under the FCC’s theory of the case. In this virtual panel, legal and policy experts share their views of the court’s opinion, agency deference, and what is next in the net neutrality debate.

March 17, 2020

The reauthorization comes at a time of heightened scrutiny, given the recent Department of Justice Inspector General report addressing the FBI’s use of FISA while investigating the 2016 presidential election and a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review order expressing “serious concerns about the accuracy and completeness” of the FBI’s FISA applications in that case.

March 16, 2020

On March 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc, which is expected to set the standard for how thoroughly computer code is protected by copyright. If Google's copying of more than 11,300 lines of Oracle's Java code in building the Android operating system is allowed to stand, that protection will be weakened and the incentives for innovation in the software industry will be diminished. A victory for Oracle is important for promoting both the rule of law, including a textualist reading of the Constitution and statutes, and the protection of property rights.

March 14, 2020

On March 15, 2020, certain authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will expire absent renewal by Congress. The authorities set to expire fall into three categories: 1) the business records provision (often referred to as Section 215) that allows for collection of call detail records, among other things; 2) roving wiretaps; and 3) the lone wolf provision. On March 11, the House passed a compromise bill that the Senate will soon consider. However, several Republican Senators have already urged President Trump to veto the reauthorization bill, should it pass both chambers.

March 5, 2020

Senator Schumer reached a new low today when he stood on the Supreme Court steps and threatened Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. His political posturing outside the Court was a flagrant attempt to influence the two newest Justices in the building.

March 3, 2020

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a case that will determine the constitutionality of the agency’s leadership structure. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was notably active from the bench, and had some interesting very interesting questions for the litigants. Before diving into an analysis of oral arguments--and because it is particularly hard to read any tea leaves since the Supreme Court is unlikely to invalidate the entire agency in this case--it makes sense to first explore some of the context. In doing this, Justice Kavanaugh’s record is a logical guide, as a look back at his two D.C. Circuit opinions explains some of the more relevant cases and legislative history that led us to t...

February 18, 2020

Copyright cases do not call for a free-ranging search for the best copyright policy, but rather depends solely on statutory interpretation. After all, the proper course is not to bend and twist the Act’s terms in an effort to produce a just outcome, but to apply the law as it stands and leave to Congress the task of deciding whether the Copyright Act needs an upgrade. The audience for Google’s concerns, therefore, is across the street.

February 5, 2020

The Committee for Justice filed comments to the SEC regarding the Proposed Amendments to Exemptions from the Proxy Rules for Proxy Voting Advice. We believe that Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule change regarding proxy advisory firms is a positive step towards implementing much-needed reforms. The rules governing the proxy system need to be clarified and modernized for the benefit of investors, public companies, and the U.S. financial services industry as a whole. Therefore, the SEC should implement the proposed rule.

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