RegBlog

RegBlog

Regulatory News: Year in Review

| Dec 27, 2011 | News

2011 news.jpgAs 2011 draws to a close, RegBlog reflects back on a year of major regulatory developments around the world.  For our daily post today, as well as our posts for the next two days, we will feature the top 50 RegBlog posts of the past twelve months, based on the number of page views.  Today we feature, in chronological order, the top news stories from among our top overall posts, while tomorrow and the following day we will feature the top analysis and opinion posts, respectively.

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Federal Courts Split on Constitutionality of Individual Mandate in Health Care Law,” by Penn Program on Regulation (February 15)

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The 2010 Patient Protection Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of insurance exchanges within each state, bans discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions, and requires all Americans to purchase some form of health insurance. This last strategy, the individual mandate, has prompted a series of lawsuits by opponents who claim the law exceeds Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government authority over economic activity. They argue that individual decisions not to buy health insurance are forms of inactivity.

Ongoing Litigation in Human Embyonic Stem Cell Researchby Joel Outten (March 8)

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The Obama Administration faces ongoing lawsuits challenging financial support of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the highly publicized federal agency established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is beginning to take form online and in Washington, D.C.

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In an effort to protect consumers in the mortgage market from unfair practices involving the compensation of loan originators, the Federal Reserve has issued a new rule amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act. The new rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2011, prohibits lenders from compensating mortgage brokers or other loan originators based on a mortgage transaction’s terms and conditions, such as its interest rate, annual-percentage rate and loan-to-value ratio.

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RegBlog proudly announces that on April 5th we will be posting to a new, enhanced website that better reflects our extensive reporting and analysis of cutting-edge policy issues.

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Some members of Congress are attempting to moderate the pace of implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act by seeking to limit appropriations for implementing agencies and by introducing legislation to amend or repeal parts of the Act.

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On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative and Commercial Law conducted a hearing on the future of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA governs how agencies propose and establish regulations.  Tuesday’s hearing explored ways to make agency rulemaking more effective.
 

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The State of Texas is now pursuing its legal battle against the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations in the D.C. Circuit. In February, the Fifth Circuit granted the EPA’s motion to transfer the pending litigation to the D.C. Circuit.

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On his first day as President, Barack Obama announced his administration’s “commitment to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” Since then, the Obama Administration has implemented a major Open Government Initiative to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration across the federal government.

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Judge Denny Chinthen on the District Court for the Southern District of New York, recently rejected a proposed settlement agreement between Google and a class representing book authors and publishers. The rejection followed objections from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and may presage other antitrust scrutiny of Google.

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The House of Representatives passed  Joint Resolution 37 on April 15, 2011, expressing disapproval of the net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted last December. The resolution – along with a similar one pending in the Senate – marks the latest chapter in an ongoing Congressional debate over government regulation of consumer internet access.
FDA Approves New Hepatitis C Drugsby Angela Herrington (June 9)

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month approved Merck’s hepatitis C drug, Victrelis. Ten days later, the agency approved a competing hepatitis C drug, Incivek, by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson.

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In a series of cases decided this past term, the Supreme Court clarified provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires federal agencies to disclose information to the public upon request. The Act mandates broad disclosure but also contains nine important exemptions to its disclosure requirements.

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How much is too much to pay a financial regulator? A number of critics have posed this question to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the country’s largest independent securities regulator which oversees over 4,500 financial brokerage and securities firms.

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Last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appeals court to rule that the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated the U.S. Constitution.  Attorneys general and governors of 26 states, small business owners, and two individuals brought the challenge that resulted in the court’s 2-1 decision.
Obama Asks EPA to Delay Ozone Standards,” by Sebastian Rowland (September 5)

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Citing undue regulatory burden and uncertainty, President Obama asked the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) on Friday to delay updating ozone standards until 2013. In response, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, while touting the “important” and “significant” steps her agency has taken to address environmental concerns, simply stated that the EPA “will revisit the ozone standard, in compliance with the Clean Air Act.”
DEA Plans Ban on ‘Bath Salts’ and ‘Plant Food’by Annie Chou (September 28) 

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In response to an alarming report on the rising use of synthetic stimulants, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a notice earlier this month announcing its intent to prohibit the possession and sale of three substances that allegedly cause psychological effects similar to methamphetamine, cocaine, and LSD.

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With the support of nearly every Republican member of the House of Representative, along with about forty Democrats, the House passed a new bill last week that would create new guidelines for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in setting air pollution standards for industrial boilers, process heaters, and incinerators.

 


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