158 episodes

The Regulatory Transparency Project promotes a national conversation about the benefits and costs of federal, state, and local regulatory policies and explores areas for possible improvement.

On RTP’s Fourth Branch Podcast, leading experts discuss the pros and cons of government regulations and explain how they affect everyday life for Americans.

RTP's Fourth Branch Podcast The Federalist Society

    • Politics

The Regulatory Transparency Project promotes a national conversation about the benefits and costs of federal, state, and local regulatory policies and explores areas for possible improvement.

On RTP’s Fourth Branch Podcast, leading experts discuss the pros and cons of government regulations and explain how they affect everyday life for Americans.

    Deep Dive 132 – A Conversation with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: New Rule on Guidance Procedures and More

    Deep Dive 132 – A Conversation with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: New Rule on Guidance Procedures and More

    In May, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposed rule to "establish the procedures and requirements for how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will manage the issuance of guidance documents subject to the requirements of the Executive order entitled 'Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents'." The EPA indicated that they "intended to increase the transparency of EPA's guidance practices and improve the process used to manage EPA guidance documents."

    The comment period for the proposed rule closed in late June. This live podcast features an update and an informative conversation with Administrator Wheeler and Jeffrey Holmstead.

    Featuring:
    - Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
    - [Moderator] Jeffrey Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell LLP

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 58 min
    Tech Roundup 11 – TikTok's Running Clock

    Tech Roundup 11 – TikTok's Running Clock

    Citing national security concerns, the Trump administration has ordered TikTok's Chinese parent company, Bytedance Ltd., to sell U.S. operations of the popular video-sharing app to an American company by November 12. As the deadline inches closer, three major American companies have come to the fore as prospective purchasers but no sale has been completed, due in part to complications imposed by the Chinese government.

    How might this standoff play out? Does TikTok pose a significant enough national security threat to warrant the forced sale? And how does this situation fit into the broader picture of U.S.-China relations?

    Experts discuss.

    Featuring:

    - Matthew Feeney, Director, Project on Emerging Technologies, The Cato Institute
    - Jamil Jaffer, Founder & Executive Director, National Security Institute
    - [Moderator] Ashkhen Kazaryan, Director of Civil Liberties, TechFreedom

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 37 min
    Deep Dive 131 – Free Speech in the Digital Era: Section 230 and the FCC

    Deep Dive 131 – Free Speech in the Digital Era: Section 230 and the FCC

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides liability protection to platforms, internet service providers, and other online intermediaries for third-party content they host or republish. It also provides liability protections for actions taken "in good faith" by such entities to moderate content. Section 230 has recently come under scrutiny from President Trump, members of Congress, and others who have raised questions about the appropriateness of these protections and their continued viability "in the Age of Twitter."

    In May, President Trump issued an Executive Order that directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposing regulations to clarify the scope of Section 230. The FCC is currently soliciting public comment on the NTIA petition, which was filed on July 27.

    In this live podcast, panelists discuss the background of Section 230 and reflect on whether it continues to encourage innovation and free speech online, or if changes are needed. What should the FCC do to address the pending NTIA petition? And, in light of the upcoming elections, what are the political dynamics at play-at the FCC, in Congress, and in the White House?

    Featuring:

    - Jon Adame, General Counsel, Office of Sen. Marsha Blackburn
    - Hon. Adam Candeub, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
    - Prof. Eric Goldman, Professor of Law and Co-Director, High Tech Law Institute, Santa Clara University School of Law
    - Ashkhen Kazaryan, Director of Civil Liberties, TechFreedom
    - [Moderator] Jamie Susskind, Vice President of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Consumer Technology Association

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 58 min
    Deep Dive 130 – FTC v. Qualcomm: The Ninth Circuit on Tech Antitrust

    Deep Dive 130 – FTC v. Qualcomm: The Ninth Circuit on Tech Antitrust

    This live podcast discusses the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in FTC v. Qualcomm, in which the court reversed the Federal Trade Commission's 2019 trial court win. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Qualcomm did not violate antitrust law through its licensing practices for standard-essential patents.

    John Shu, a professor, attorney, and legal commentator, discusses the ruling and examines the history, arguments, and ramifications of the case.

    Featuring:

    John Shu, Attorney and Legal Commentator

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 48 min
    Deep Dive 129 – Environmental Citizen Suits and SEPs: Do Constitutional and Nondelegation Concerns Outweigh Environmental Benefits?

    Deep Dive 129 – Environmental Citizen Suits and SEPs: Do Constitutional and Nondelegation Concerns Outweigh Environmental Benefits?

    Environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act allow private plaintiffs and environmental advocacy groups to file citizen suits alongside the government's environmental enforcement actions against polluters. The Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice is now pushing to end the practice in a federal case involving DTE Energy, Michigan's largest electrical utility and a major operator of natural gas pipelines. The Sierra Club intervened on the government's side and is seeking court approval of a side agreement in which DTE would close three coal plants, in addition to the penalties and mitigation secured by the Justice Department.

    Such Supplemental Environmental Projects (or SEPs) are supposed to supplement the government's enforcement actions. But critics - and now DOJ - argue that SEPs often supplant the penalty that the government has sought in its enforcement action. Such provisions, critics say, amount to a delegation of a core executive function that the Constitution vests in the president. It allows private advocacy groups to override the government's enforcement priorities with their own, and then profit from coercive use of penalties that arise under environmental protection laws, the faithful execution of which is entrusted to the president and to the officials under his control. Critics say that any citizen suit claims arising under federal environmental laws that also give rise to enforcement actions should be extinguished when the enforcement action is resolved.

    To the extent advocacy groups induce private companies to agree to such SEPs by promising to give up on claims arising under federal environmental laws subject to federal enforcement, should the practice of SEPs be viewed as an unconstitutional infringement on a core executive function? Should the government's ability to extinguish such private claims be viewed as a taking?

    Featuring:

    - Richard Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law and Director, Classical Liberal Institute, New York University School of Law
    - Eric Groten, Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP
    - Joel Mintz, Professor Emeritus of Law and C. William Trout Senior Fellow in Public Interest Law, Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University
    - [Moderator] Mario Loyola, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Deep Dive 128 – Can States Trump Interstate Commerce?

    Deep Dive 128 – Can States Trump Interstate Commerce?

    Asserting their sovereign interests or "states' rights," many states are increasingly attempting to inject state officials' policy preferences on national and global issues through state legislation or regulation on myriad subjects from energy, environmental, immigration, drugs, labor, climate, health, food, to transportation and more. In what ways does the Interstate Commerce Clause, or the so-called Dormant Commerce Clause, limit the scope of the constitutionally legitimate spheres of these kinds of state legislation or regulation? In other words, what is the meaning of federalism in a constitutional system designed to facilitate interstate commerce? And, what is the proper judicial role, if any, in policing state laws that seek to interfere or have the effect of interfering with the free flow of commerce among the several states?

    These questions are subject to considerable debate, with significant disagreement even within normally like-minded camps. Some conservatives and liberals alike think there is no such thing as an enforceable Dormant Commerce Clause. Others with various ideological priors view the Dormant Commerce Clause as invalidating only state laws that discriminate in favor of in-state activity over activities in other states. Another view posits that the Dormant Commerce Clause is broader than a non-discrimination principle and should be used to invalidate state laws that unduly burden or interfere with the flow of interstate commerce. And still others take views in between or beyond these positions.

    Responding to Professor Donald Kochan's recent essay in the Notre Dame Law Review Reflection, "The Meaning of Federalism in a System of Interstate Commerce: Free Trade Among the Several States,"—an essay that emphasizes that commerce facilitation was a primary driver of the move from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution—the panelists explore examples of current state laws and regulations that expand a state's reach into national and international affairs, and they analyze and debate the different interpretations of the Constitution regarding the proper role of the judiciary in evaluating these laws.

    Featuring:

    - Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    - James Coleman, Associate Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
    - Donald Kochan, Professor of Law and Deputy Executive Director, Law and Economics Center, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

    Visit our website - www.RegProject.org - to learn more, view all of our content, and connect with us on social media.

    • 1 hr 7 min

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