- Professor Gus Hurwitz, Nebraska Law
- Professor David Thaw, Pittsburgh Law
The Federalist Society will host a lunch and discussion on the role of Economic Liberty in the United States on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Today, many job-seeking Americans and companies face significant government barriers that restrict their full participation in the economy. These barriers, often in the form of restrictive regulatory regimes, prevent consumers from using their skills, entering new professions, and starting new businesses. They also prevent low and middle class Americans from moving up the ladder. Competition and free-markets have the power to spur innovation, create new business models, and drive economic opportunity and growth. Policymakers, like Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission Maureen Ohlhausen, have begun to take actions to address these barriers. For example, Ms. Ohlhausen recently announced the creation of an Economic Liberty Task Force to advance economic liberty issues, with a particular focus on occupational licensing regulations. These topics and others will be addressed.
Confirmed Speakers Include:
On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Microsoft v. Baker. The case involves a class action lawsuit against the Microsoft Company by plaintiffs who alleged that during games on their Xbox video game console, the game disc would come loose and scratch the internal components of the device, permanently damaging the Xbox. Since only .4% of Xbox consoles experienced this issue, the district court determined that "a class action suit could not be certified and individuals in the suit would have to come forward on their own." The named plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice. The case was then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where the court overturned the lower court's decision and held that the district court misapplied the law and abused its discretion in removing the class action allegations.
As Microsoft v. Baker comes before the Supreme Court, the major question is whether or not appellate courts have the jurisdiction to review a class action suit after the plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice.