Leading experts discuss the pros and cons of government regulations and explain how they affect everyday life for Americans.

FDA Regulation of Diagnostic Testing and COVID-19

May 11, 2020

Did Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations hamper the fight against COVID-19 at a critical juncture? In this short video narrated by Roger Klein, we explore the relationship between the FDA and the CDC in regulating and conducting diagnostic tests.

In 2016, in response to the Zika virus, the FDA designated the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the country’s only diagnostic test manufacturer. In early February 2020, the CDC was ordered to distribute tests for COVID-19 which were faulty and had to have results verified by the CDC laboratory. Only in mid-March 2020, did the CDC loosen regulations which then allowed private hospitals and labs to develop and conduct their own tests.

Could more have been known about the disease at an earlier date if private testing and treatment had been allowed and encouraged? Should the COVID-19 emergency force us to reevaluate the purpose and use of public health regulations and policies?

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Regulating Big Tech: Should Social Media Platforms Be Viewpoint Neutral? Should the Government Care?

April 9, 2020

On March 4, 2020, the Regulatory Transparency Project sponsored a symposium with the University of Pennsylvania Federalist Society student chapter. The second panel of the symposium was titled “Should Social Media Platforms Be Viewpoint Neutral? Should the Government Care?”

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Big Cities and Zoning: The Search for Affordable Housing

March 31, 2020

Across the country, housing in larger cities is becoming more expensive. Lower and middle-class families are being priced out of many of them. This video tells the story of Seattle residents Kip and Michelle Klemz and discusses the role that zoning regulations, specifically those that limit housing density, play in this trend.

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Does Federal Permitting Under the National Environmental Policy Act Need Reform?

March 5, 2020

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was designed to regulate federal infrastructure projects to minimize harmful environmental impact. Over time, the review process has become lengthy and costly. This process has delayed or condemned needed construction of roads, pipelines, and power lines.

In this video, Professor James Coleman discusses possible benefits of NEPA reform, while explaining why the issue is hotly debated. He proposes a new way of formulating the question that could be discussed without resorting to partisanship.

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Government Surveillance: Security v. Liberty?

February 5, 2020

In this Fourth Branch video, Matthew Heiman and Julian Sanchez debate the pros and cons of government surveillance and Faisal Gill, a former Department of Homeland Security official who was surveilled by the federal government beginning in 2006, tells his story.

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What’s Next for Fannie, Freddie, and Housing Finance Reform?

December 20, 2019

On December 10, 2019, the Regulatory Transparency Project hosted an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The title of the event was “What’s Next for Fannie, Freddie, and Housing Finance Reform?”

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees the administration of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. What’s next for the agency? What are the priorities that the agency should be pursuing?

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Executive Agencies’ Effects on Innovation and Consumers under President Trump

December 20, 2019

On December 4, 2019, the Federalist Society’s Triangle Lawyers Chapter, Fox Rothschild LLP, and the Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored an event at the Sheraton Hotel in Durham, North Carolina. The event discussed “Executive Agencies’ Effects on Innovation and Consumers under President Trump”.

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Public Piracy of Private Property? Allen v. Cooper

November 4, 2019

The wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a ship captained by Blackbeard that sank in the early 18th century, sits underwater just off the coast of North Carolina.

Frederick Allen is the exclusive photographer and videographer of the wreck. In 2013, he found that North Carolina was using his footage on state websites without paying royalties – even though he had federal copyright protection for the material. After a settlement, the state continued to use the footage, and in a dispute now before the Court, Allen claims that the state agency officials are using video/photography materials disregarding due process and copyright law.

North Carolina argues that it is covered by sovereign immunity, and thus shielded from a suit over copyright violations.

Are members of a state agency exempt from copyright lawsuits in the name of state sovereign immunity?

The case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on November 5.

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Regulatory Sandboxes & Consumer Protection

September 26, 2019

What are regulatory sandboxes? How might they promote and stimulate innovation? What risks might they pose to consumers? Regulatory experts explore and debate the implications of these unique regulatory environments.

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Accounting for Race 101: Virginia Universities and Racial Preferences

September 24, 2019

On September 10, 2019, The Federalist Society hosted a luncheon co-sponsored with the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO). CEO released and presented a new study and report entitled “Race and Ethnicity in Undergraduate Admissions at Five Virginia Universities,” which examined how admissions programs at five Virginia public universities (University of Virginia, College of William & Mary, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and George Mason University) preference certain applicants based on race. The results of the study and its implications for the broader academic discussion of racial preferences in college admissions were discussed by the panelists.

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