Members of the Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Executive Committee provided an update on important activity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Developments included the CFPB's adoption of a final policy on publishing consumer complaint narratives, a moratorium on credit card issuers submitting their credit card agreements to the CFPB, the Office of Management and Budget's threat of recommending the veto of a bill that would reduce the CFPB's budget by 0.1% over then next ten years, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold the dismissal on procedural grounds in Morgan Drexen, Inc. v. CFPB, a suit challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB.
Hon. Wayne A. Abernathy, Executive VP for Financial Institutions Policy and Regulatory Affairs, American Bankers Association
Julius L. Loeser, Of Counsel, Winston & Strawn LLP
The First Amendment reads, in part, "Congress shall make no law . . .abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." Are there, and should there be, different levels of freedom of speech for media and non-media speakers? If so, how should "media" and "non-media" be defined, and who should decide? Our experts debated a recent Texas Court of Appeals decision that surprised some observers.
Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Prof. Sonja R. West, University of Georgia School of Law
There has been a recent surge in consumer class action lawsuits challenging "all natural" labels found in food products. In particular, many lawsuits have targeted "all natural" food products that have ingredients made from so-called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Plaintiffs have argued that these food products cannot be labeled as "all natural" because GMOs are not natural. This Teleforum provided a background on "all natural" labeling and GMOs and offered a discussion on recent case law and trends in this still-developing area of law.
With the Federal Communications Commission's recent net neutrality regulations, the FCC has potentially entered into the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory arena in the area of antitrust regulation and consumer protection. Are the FCC's net neutrality rules an impermissible intrusion on the FTC's portfolio, or is the regulatory tension between the FTC and FCC merely an accident of overlapping jurisdiction provided by Congress in the respective statutes creating each agency?
Hon. Joshua D. Wright, Commissioner, United States Federal Trade Commission
The America Invents Act, the first substantial legislative changes to patent law, took effect two years ago. Late last year, attempts to reform patent law stalled when late opposition to the proposed act was voiced. This year, a number of legislative proposals are under consideration in both houses of Congress. Some proponents of patent reform cite increasing patent litigation as a key indicator that reform is necessary, while opponents argue that the empirical evidence used to support those claims is faulty. Our experts debated new and old empirical evidence, and the underlying need for further patent reform. Professor Kesan referred to a PowerPoint prseentation available for download on this page.
Eli Dourado, Director of Technology Policy Program, Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University School of Law
Prof. Jay Kesan, H. Ross & Helen Workman Research Scholar, Director, Program in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, University of Illinois College of Law