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Legal Affairs Archive

Turning Up the Volume on Music Issues | Commentary

When you think of the great music cities of America, what comes to mind? Los Angeles? Nashville? New York City? Brookside, Rhode Island?

Clinton Library Papers Show Kagan Dropping an F-Bomb

Papers from the Clinton White House released Friday detail much of the behind-the-scenes legal work of the White House as President Bill Clinton dealt with multiple scandals and controversies in his second term.

What the McDonnell Verdict May Mean Going Forward | Commentary

The successful prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell last month was a huge win for the Department of Justice in general, and the Public Integrity Section in particular.

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Republicans Mum After Court Declines Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Just over a year ago, Rep. Tim Huelskamp reacted strongly when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Balancing Scales of Justice for Whistleblowers | Commentary

Pressure to go along to get along starts early in life. A student who tells the teacher about playground misbehaviors may face taunts as a tattletale. Teens feel social pressure not to report mischief by their peers. Later in life, employees fear reprisals or retaliation for raising questions about workplace wrongdoing. Unfortunately, there’s a pervasive institutional mindset to muzzle whistleblowers from reporting what they know.

With Friends Like the NRA, Who Needs Enemies? | Commentary

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., recently found out how fickle his former allies in the gun lobby can be.

It's Time for an Asian-Pacific American Attorney General | Commentary

With the resignation of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the president must nominate a highly qualified successor who will inspire confidence, and lead with grace and thoughtful decisiveness. That nominee must also be one likely to be confirmed by a Senate that may shift to Republican leadership in November.

Behind the Red Carpet | Commentary

I’m in Washington this week to attend Behind the Red Carpet, an event hosted by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., co-chairwoman of the Creative Rights Caucus. The event aims to bring the story — and the people — behind our film and television productions to lawmakers on the Hill. As we tell our personal stories in Washington, D.C., we also hope to share some of the greatest concerns facing our industry today.

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Stalled Georgia Judicial Nominee Presents a Dilemma for Senate Democrats

The troubled judicial nomination of Michael P. Boggs is stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee as the days grow short for congressional action this year, and the panel is moving other nominations ahead of his.

Stopgap Could Mean More Juggling for Border Agencies

Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.

President Obama's "Flexible" View of the Law: The DREAM Act as Case Study | Commentary

Since 2001, immigration advocates have pushed Congress to enact the DREAM Act. The bill would give lawful permanent residence status and work authorization to anyone who arrived in this country illegally as a minor, has been in the country for at least five years, was in school or has graduated from high school or served in the military, and was not yet 35 years old. Some version of the bill has been introduced in each Congress, but has usually kicked up such a firestorm of opposition that even its high-level bipartisan support has proved insufficient to get the bill adopted.

How Unnecessary Data Reporting Requirements Turned a $44 Theft into a $10,000 Federal Headache | Commentary

In June 2008, a thief entered a custodial room at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and took a bag of Ruffles chips, some Little Debbie Nutty Bars, and a set of two-way radios — a combined value of $44.88. Six years later, the same incident is costing the university $10,000, all because of a dispute with the U.S. Department of Education over whether the space where the theft took place was a closet or an office.

An Important Step Forward in Protecting the Innocent | Commentary

With all the focus on gridlock in Washington, there are certain areas where Congress ought to be able to find common ground. One such area is the Justice for All Reauthorization Act, which I am proud to co-sponsor.

All Americans Benefit From Senate Rules Reform | Commentary

What do Richard Boulware, a federal judge in Nevada; Nina Pillard, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, have in common?

The World Has Changed, It's Time Our Music Licensing System Did Too | Commentary

Digital media industry lobbyist Daniel Horowitz’s recent opinion piece, “Congress Should Consider Reality Over Rhetoric in Copyright Reform,” (Roll Call, July 2) dismisses the arguments made by “star-studded messengers.” So perhaps he’ll permit someone who toils behind the scenes of the music industry to weigh in? You see, most people won’t recognize my name. But they are familiar with my music, which includes scores for television shows such as Glee and American Horror Story.

Supreme Court Takes Power from Working Women and Families & Hands It to Corporations | Commentary

It appears the buffer zone in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is so large that the justices have lost touch with the real world. The five conservative justices have told us loud and clear that the hard work of Americans — especially American women — is not valued. It’s a very good time to be a corporation and a dangerous time to be a working woman.

FDA Weighs Role Overseeing the Marijuana Trade

Colorado’s and Washington’s decision to legalize marijuana for adults has left federal regulators in an awkward position, with the drug still illegal under federal law. But while the Food and Drug Administration has been largely absent from the new retail scene, the agency appears to be leaving the door open to taking action on food products that contain marijuana if public health is threatened.

Despite Setback in Senate, There's No Reason to Give Up on Patent Reform | Commentary

The last few weeks have brought both good and bad news to supporters of patent reform looking to reduce system abuse.

White House Ducks Questions on Deporting Child Migrants

The Obama administration stressed Monday that child migrants entering the country illegally must go through deportation proceedings, but continued to avoid answering questions about how many of them actually show up and end up getting deported.

Startups Need Patent Reform Now | Commentary

There’s quite a distance between having a great idea and developing it into an actual business. As the CEO and founder of two startups, I know firsthand the amount of work it takes to bridge the gap. I’ve been fortunate to work with very talented people to create new and innovative products. I’ve had my share of challenges from raising money, hiring employees, generating revenue and navigating the dynamic markets. But a problem I never anticipated were patent trolls.

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