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Author: Oliver Dunford

June 07, 2021

The Hill: Can Kentucky’s governor ignore the law?

On June 10, the Kentucky Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a pair of cases addressing whether Gov. Andy Beshear can ignore the laws of the commonwealth. These cases will be watched by other states considering reforms to emergency powers. In litigation last year, Gov. Beshear correctly argued that Kentucky's emergency-powers laws "defined the ...

March 03, 2021

Jurist: Accountability in the administrative state: the role of SCOTUS

The modern Administrative State "wields vast power and touches almost every aspect of daily life." Ensuring accountability for the officials who exercise this vast power is no simple task. But the Supreme Court has the opportunity to improve what Madison called the "chain of dependence"—so that "those who are employed in the execution of the ...

February 10, 2021

San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco cannot foist pandemic’s economic burden onto landlords

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the country have tried to limit the economic damage caused by the unprecedented lockdowns. That is certainly a worthy goal. But far too often, rather than providing assistance across the board — which might require unpopular tax hikes on everyone — governments stick only some people with ...

February 08, 2021

The Hill: FDA’s distillery fiasco illustrates why arbitrary regulation is a problem

"No good deed goes unpunished," as the old saying goes. Distillery owners, who acted quickly last year to relieve the national shortage of hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, learned that lesson the hard way. As COVID-19 lockdowns accelerated and supplies of paper towels, sanitizer and other key products dwindled, some American ent ...

September 10, 2020

Hey L.A. Mayor Garcetti, you can’t turn off people’s utilities as a punishment

In 2017, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a "Bill of Rights" for customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Back then, he professed that "reliable, affordable, and accountable service from LADWP is not a privilege—it is a right to every Angeleno who relies on our utility." That was then, this ...

September 03, 2020

Governors should stop dictating school openings and closures for entire states

Every fall marks the beginning of school. This school year, of course, looks markedly different from any in memory. Because of COVID-19, states and localities across the country remain in various stages of lockdown, while schools and families have scrambled to restart some kind of instruction. Some states have left the details up to local ...

August 31, 2020

The Orange County Register: The end of the California Judicial Council’s unlawful eviction ban provides key civics lesson

Peggy Christensen is an independent rental property owner in California who relies on her rental income in retirement. She owns a small, eight-unit apartment building. One of Peggy's tenants has damaged the property, disturbed other tenants, and refused to pay rent for months, even though the tenant hasn't indicated any change in her ability to ...

June 09, 2020

The Hill: Trump’s ‘Regulatory Bill of Rights’ hasn’t gotten much attention — but it should

A recent executive order meant to free up the economy following the COVID-19-related lockdowns contains a little-noticed, but potentially powerful, long-term reform that should help rein in regulatory abuse that's commonplace throughout administrative agencies. Contrary to those who claim that these regulators merely enforce commonsense rules for t ...

May 22, 2020

Issues & Insights: The regulatory state is preventing the right people from getting needed COVID-19 supplies

As we consider how to reopen society safely, one problem remains — shortages of accurate COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment like masks and latex gloves. Many demand that the federal government solve the problem. To be sure, there are things that the federal government can and should do in the face of an international ...

February 27, 2020

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Seila Law v. CFPB. At its core, the case deals with the structure of an administrative government agency. But the Court's decision in Seila Law either will prevent unaccountable government agencies from controlling major aspects of our economy, or will open the door for more bureaucratic ...