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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Update - August 2014 - Podcast

Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Podcast
Wayne A. Abernathy, Julius L. Loeser August 15, 2014

Members of the Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Executive Committee provided an update on recent important activity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on this Teleforum conference call. Recent developments included the CFPB’s proposal to make public the details of anonymous consumer complaints, the CFPB’s 573-page proposal to require residential mortgage lenders to report publicly 37 new details on each home mortgage application that they receive, a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate to increase the threshold size of banks subject to CFPB examination from $10 billion to $50 billion, an enforcement action that the CFPB commenced against a law firm for its debt collection practices, and a warning that the CFPB issued to consumers about virtual currencies like Bitcoin.

  • Hon. Wayne A. Abernathy, Executive VP for Financial Institutions Policy and Regulatory Affairs, American Bankers Association
  • Julius L. Loeser, Of Counsel, Winston & Strawn LLP

Cooperation or Coercion on Climate: Is the EPA Trying to Deputize the States? - Podcast

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
Michael S. Greve, Mario Loyola, Bryan W. Shaw August 04, 2014

It has been argued that EPA's recently announced carbon emissions rule is just the latest attempt to draw states into the implementation of its regulations. The Supreme Court has long been permissive of such "cooperative federalism" programs in both the regulatory and spending contexts, insisting in New York v. United States (1992) and Printz v. United States (1997) that such programs constitute mere "encouragement" not rising to the level of coercion or commandeering. But Texas's fight to resist being drawn into implementing EPA's greenhouse gas regulations suggests that federal "encouragement" can be deeply coercive, employing penalties against the state's economy that courts have no doctrine to account for.

  • Prof. Michael S. Greve, George Mason University School of Law
  • Mario Loyola, Senior Fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Dr. Bryan W. Shaw, Chairman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Update - July 2014 - Podcast

Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Podcast
Wayne A. Abernathy, Todd J. Zywicki July 21, 2014

Members of the Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Executive Committee provided an update on recent important activity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on this Teleforum conference call. Recent developments included CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s congressional testimony on auto lending discrimination, as well as the congressional testimony of CFPB whistleblower Ali Naraghi on alleged “results-oriented” examinations of regulated entities, bureaucratic inefficiency, and workplace discrimination at the CFPB, and Operation Chokepoint.

  • Hon. Wayne A. Abernathy, Executive VP for Financial Institutions Policy and Regulatory Affairs, American Bankers Association
  • Prof. Todd J. Zywicki, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Lane v. Franks - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-17-14 featuring Josh Blackman
Josh Blackman July 17, 2014

On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lane v. Franks. The question in this case is twofold: First, whether the government is categorically free under the First Amendment to retaliate against a public employee for truthful sworn testimony that was compelled by subpoena and was not a part of the employee’s ordinary job responsibilities; and second, whether qualified immunity precludes a claim for damages in such an action. 

Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, which held that Lane's truthful sworn testimony at a state representative's criminal trials was speech as a citizen on a matter of public concern, and therefore protected.  Even though the testimony was protected, however, Lane's claim against his superior Franks in Franks' individual capacity must be dismissed on grounds of qualified immunity.  The claims against Franks in his official capacity were remanded for further proceedings. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Scalia and Alito. The opinion of the Eleventh Circuit was affirmed in part and reversed in part.

To discuss the case, we have Josh Blackman, who is an Assistant Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law.

Supreme Court Rules on Greenhouse Gases - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Robert R. Gasaway June 26, 2014

Supreme CourtOn Monday, June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court decided Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was the EPA’s conclusion that its regulation of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles triggered mandatory regulation of GHGs from large stationary sources, as well as EPA’s subsequent decision to rewrite the statutory emission thresholds in order to facilitate GHG regulation. The Court held that the EPA is not obligated to regulate GHGs under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V programs, and that the EPA is not permitted to rewrite the applicable statutory emission thresholds – an important reaffirmation that agencies are not allowed to rewrite the statutes that they administer. However, the Court also concluded that it was reasonable for the EPA to interpret the Clean Air Act to allow for the regulation of GHG emissions from sources already subject to regulation under the PSD and Title V program. Our expert discussed the opinion and its impact and future regulation of greenhouse gases.

  • Robert R. Gasaway, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP