In July 2011, President Barack Obama actually issued an executive order that, at least on paper, makes good sense. It’s Executive Order 13579, ‘Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,’ urging independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission to establish plans for periodic retrospective reviews aimed at eliminating outmoded regulations.
E.O. 13579 followed on the heels of an earlier Obama executive order requiring executive branch agencies to engage in retrospective reviews to eliminate outdated, no longer necessary regulations. In the case of so-called independent agencies, President Obama (supposedly) could not “order” that the agencies undertake retrospective reviews, so E.O. 13579 simply “urges” them to do so. [Read More]
Federalist Society contributor Donald Kochan writes for the Hill:
The lure of legacy is pulling President Obama to designate national monuments at an unprecedented rate and with even greater vigor in the midnight hour of his last term. President Obama has already designated more than two dozen national monuments, the most ever of any President. Teddy Roosevelt designated 18 monuments; Bill Clinton 19; and George W. Bush just 6.
President Obama’s monuments encompass 548 million acres of federal land and water, double the amount of any preceding President. This includes the recent quadrupling of the size of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off northwestern Hawaii to 582,578 square miles, making it what some have called the largest protected place on Earth. He’s not done yet. Several possible designations loom, including the approximately 1.9 million-acre proposed Bears Ears national monument in Utah.
Fans of Law & Order or CSI Miami have been duped! Rarely does scientific evidence prove to an absolute certainty that the defendant committed the crime, and sometimes, such evidence is flat out scientifically unsound and unreliable. So sayeth the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”). The group’s 174 page report, released last week, analyzes impropriety and irregularities in the use of forensic evidence, and lays out recommendations to improve the use of science in the legal system. [Read More]
On July 7, 2016, in a speech on police shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, President Obama discussed the contribution of racial disparities in the criminal justice system to African American mistrust of law enforcement. Statistics the President cited included that African Americans are 30 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites and African Americans and Hispanics who are pulled over are three times as likely to be searched as whites; last year African Americans were twice as likely to be shot by police or arrested as whites; African Americans who are arrested are 75 percent more likely than whites to be charged with sentences carrying mandatory minimums; while African Americans and Hispanics make up 30 percent of the general population, they make up over half of the incarcerated population. [Read More]
Since NTIA announced its acceptance of ICANN's transition plan (see the FedSoc teleforum on the issue) there has been an increase in the predictable volume from those who breathlessly characterize the conclusion of this transition as "the US giving up control of the Internet," or on the other hand, a "bold decision by the Obama administration to preserve Internet freedoms and openness." [Read More]