Media Type: Op-Ed

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By Deborah J. La Fetra

Janus op-ed in the Daily Journal

Today’s Daily Journal celebrates the first day of the new Supreme Court Term by publishing an array of op-eds on pending cases, including my own take on Janus v AFCSME That case will decide whether to overrule Abood v Detroit Board of Education, a 40-year old decision that grants to public employee unions an extraordinary benefit available to no other association in the country: the right to steal money from non-members to lobby for their political goals Janus has the potential to restore First Amendment rights to all workers who choose not to support public employee unions A taste:

Abood went wrong when it failed to recognize the inherently political

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Op-Ed

Yes, Trump can revoke national monuments

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has finally completed a months-long review of dozens of controversial national monuments, recommending major changes to 10 monuments, including shrinking six and relaxing regulation of the other four

Before the specific recommendations became public, the president’s opponents were already threatening lawsuits, claiming the president has no authority to change existing monuments With the recommendations now public, it is only a matter of time before the litigation floodgates open

Everyone should take a deep breath There are many reasons to criticize the president, but embracing tenuous legal theories for the sake of political expediency is a mistake

The conflict over the Antiquities Act — the 1906 law governing

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Op-Ed

Kill Regulations to Save the Sage Grouse

Conventional wisdom holds that state and federal environmental regulation is better than either alone But even with the best of intentions, federal, one-size-fits-all regulation that interferes with more-effective state and private wildlife conservation efforts can cause real harm That’s true for the greater sage grouse, a chicken-size bird that is found on 172 million acres in eleven western states Federal sage-grouse plans issued in 2015 both hurt the sage grouse and threaten thousands of productive jobs tied to almost 73 million acres of federal land in the West Killing those federal rules will help the grouse

For an on-the-ground view of these issues, consider the case of Jack Farris,

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Op-Ed

Celebrating Constitution Day with Alexander Hamilton

It’s not every year that Broadway’s Best Musical Tony Award goes to a show about a rapping Founding Father, but that’s just what happened with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” Not surprisingly, Alexander Hamilton—an original signer of the Constitution—recognized how important the Constitution would become for our success as a Republic Today we celebrate the 230th anniversary of its signing It remains as vital as ever

Hamilton knew that would be the case When faced with the question, “What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? Hamilton answered, “An inviolable respect for the Constitution and laws—the first growing out of the last A sacred respect

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Op-Ed

Congress Takes Aim At Cronyism-By-Licensing

America was once called the land of opportunity — promising upward mobility and freedom for entrepreneurs to compete in the market Does that remain true in an era when — according to a report issued last year by the Obama administration — more than 1 out of 4 workers in America are required to have a government-issued occupational license before plying their trade?

Too often, occupational licensing laws are mere cronyism: They arise when professional groups lobby states to impose daunting, often irrelevant training, education or apprenticeship requirements for new workers and would-be entrepreneurs Individuals who can’t afford the time or money to pursue the license are shut out of

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Op-Ed

In sports-betting case, the Supreme Court should bet on federalism

Can Congress dictate to states what their own laws must be? The Supreme Court agreed to decide that question in Christie v National Collegiate Athletic Association, the latest iteration of New Jersey’s years-long effort to legalize sports betting and have the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act declared unconstitutional The Supreme Court’s decision will have wide-ranging implications for federalism, particularly cooperative federalism, and political accountability

The present conflict began in 2011 when New Jersey voters approved a referendum, by a whopping 2-1 margin, favoring the legalization of sports betting Thanks in part to PASPA, which forbids states from “authoriz[ing]” this type of

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Op-Ed

It’s magical legal thinking to say Trump can’t reverse Obama’s national monuments

Suppose President Trump declared much of California, Nevada and Oregon — states that just happened to vote against him — off-limits to economic development and recreational use Suppose he barred all mining, grazing, agriculture and even camping from these states’ federal lands (roughly 46% of California, 85% of Nevada and 53% of Oregon) under a law to preserve national monuments of scientific and historical interest

According to some environmentalists and legal scholars, we would have to live with this result They believe a president can permanently designate federal land as a monument and restrict its uses — even if we’re talking about millions of acres (138 million acres

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Op-Ed

Finally, a right to move—and to compete—in West Virginia

I’ve been a household goods mover for more than 24 years and, since 2005, owner of Lloyd’s Transfer & Storage, a small moving company in Berryville, Virginia, just 10 miles from the West Virginia border And for the past year or so, I’ve been the plaintiff in a federal constitutional lawsuit against West Virginia, challenging a law that denied me the right to offer moving services within the state without the consent of its established moving companies

Thankfully, earlier this year, West Virginia’s governor signed a bill into law that effectively repealed the law that barred me and companies like mine from competing, bringing an end to this cronyism As

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Op-Ed

Things better than they appear this July 4

If you ask just about anybody — or scroll through Facebook or Twitter — it seems like our society is on the verge of collapse We’re hopelessly divided and face one scandal after another

But the Fourth of July is a good time to remember that things aren’t so bad In fact, they’re wonderful

Consider how far we’ve come since our nation was born 241 years ago Fighting the Revolutionary War, our Founding Fathers had problems far greater than King George’s tweets They had no phones, no electricity, no cars, let alone the bare essentials Washington’s soldiers marched across frigid terrain without shoes! They couldn’t argue about vaccines; there were

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