CEI Daily - The Supreme Court, State Resolutions, and Obscure Laws


Supreme Court


The New York Times has made several errors in its editorial commentary on the Supreme Court.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader explains what the Times got wrong about the Citizens United ruling.


"What makes a government work is people’s faith that it will work. If people believe their government to be untrustworthy they will seek extralegal remedies and self-help. Faith in government keeps the system ticking even when the government misbehaves. [...] Politics is a country club. The purpose of an energetic public — and particularly of a strong fourth estate — is to keep the country club as small and as responsive as possible.



State Resolutions


In the fight against Obamacare, the first steps taken were state resolutions against the federal healthcare takeover.


Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau talks about recent state resolutions against another federal law.


"The state of Michigan is poised to pass the first resolution against another command-and-control scheme, and there is bipartisan support for such a resolution. The target is the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul that Congress passed last year.

That measure sets price controls for the interchange fees that retailers pay issuing banks and credit unions to process debit card transactions. The Federal Reserve’s proposed rule implementing the provision explicitly sets prices at well below cost, excluding items such as fixed costs of infrastructure."



Obscure Laws


At local, state, and federal levels, obscure laws which are never or rarely enforced are nevertheless still on the books.


Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young gives some examples of absurd laws which are only now being repealed.


"It is against the law to sing in public in Anderson, South Carolina. But the ban could be lifted as soon as today. The city council will vote on the right to sing as part of an effort to clean out the books of obsolete, redundant, and just plain weird laws. Other obsolete rules set for repeal would cover 'bomb shelters, parking meters (which no longer exist in the city) and house numbering rules that predate the current 911 system.' Still other ordinances are already covered by state law."