Conflict of Laws Elections & Politics

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Vermont Doubles Down: Representative Testifies Before Congress Against Federal GMO Labeling Bill

As we’ve explored in past posts, Congress is currently considering a bill that aims to harmonize the patchwork of state efforts at regulating GMO labeling by placing such regulation firmly within FDA’s jurisdiction. Dubbed...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...more

“Frac Free Denton” Faces Legal Fight

On November 4, 2014, Denton, Texas, became the first Texas city to vote to ban fracking within city limits, as covered by Reuters, the Star-Telegram, and The Wall Street Journal. The ballot initiative, which passed with just...more

What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of...more

November Elections Impact the Food & Beverage Industry (Part 1)

Bids to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) were voted down in Colorado and Oregon on Tuesday. Colorado voters rejected Proposition 105, with nearly 70% of voters saying no;...more

Alaska Passes Initiative to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

Alaska voted on Nov. 4, 2014, to decriminalize possession, use, display, purchase, and transport of marijuana. Alaska has now joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana use....more

Proponents of Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment Have High Hopes But Will Its Passing Affect Your Workplace Policies?

If voters approve the ballot initiative "Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions" ("Amendment 2") this November, Florida will become the 24th state plus Washington D.C. to legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 2 would...more

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

Missouri Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto Of Installment Lending Bill

On September 10, the Missouri General Assembly voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 866, which defines traditional installment loans as “fixed rate, fully amortized, closed-end extensions of direct consumer...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...more

Sunshine Ordinance Preempted by City Charter Provision Creating Attorney-Client Privilege

The First District Court of Appeal determined that City of San Francisco (“City”) resident Allen Grossman (“Grossman”) was not entitled to documents related to the development of certain San Francisco Ethics Commission...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Be PREPAred: PREPA Bondholders Greet Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Legislation With Federal Lawsuit

On Saturday, June 28, Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla signed into effect Puerto Rico’s new bankruptcy law for certain revenue bond issuers. Within 24 hours of the statute’s enactment, two mutual fund complexes owning...more

NY Bill Seeks to Strip Insurers of Discretion When Substance Abuse Services Should Be ERISA Preempted

The New York State Senate is considering passing Bill No. 4326 which seeks to address an epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by requiring insurers to provide in-patient treatment to addicts. Publicity over the...more

Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...more

Law Prof: The Clean Air Act Needs a Reboot  [Video]

Feb. 24, 2014 -- Professor David Schoenbrod talks about some of the inadequacies of The Clean Air Act along with potential solutions to the problem....more

Ninth Circuit: City Requirement That Cell-Tower Company Obtain Voter Approval Upheld

When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more

Seventh Circuit Holds TCPA Does Not Preempt State Law Banning Robocalls

On November 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not preempt an Indiana statute that bans most robocalls without exempting calls that are...more

Not So Fast, My Friend! Eleventh Circuit Weighs In On NLRB Recess Appointment Issue

As we previously reported, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Noel Canning v. NLRB, 705 F.3d 490 (D.C. Cir. 2013) struck down President Barack Obama’s “recess appointments” of three members of the...more

A Summary of the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728)

On November 20, 2013, the House passed Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. The key provisions of the bill...more

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