Journal of Regulatory Compliance
Daniel Bourgault Associate Editor Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, JD 2022 As a compliance deadline set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for the fracking industry approaches on June 23, 2021, both the industry and the workers employed by it are seeing benefits. Created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, …
As of April 22, 2021, 218,947,643 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Before or during the appointment, your provider directs you to a fact sheet for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. On the fact sheet, there were a couple of sentences that caught my eye “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine and may prevent you from getting COVID-19. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.” When I read this, I wanted more information about the difference is between being authorized or approved. Like many people, one can become hesitant when a product is not adequately tested; in fact, a Kaiser research project shows about 30% of people probably or definitely not get the vaccine.
Cryptocurrencies have often been associated with illegal activities due to the fact that they allow users to remain relatively anonymous. This anonymity is possible because, when transacting with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. However, there are signs that the use of crypto for unlawful purposes may be falling with illicit activity accounting for just 0.34% of all crypto transactions last year – down from roughly 2% a year earlier. Despite this improvement, cryptocurrency regulation appears to remain a top priority for federal lawmakers. One such example of this is the proposal of an anti-money laundering rule which would require people who hold their cryptocurrency in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. But Congress does not appear to be stopping there. As cryptocurrencies surged in value in recent days, lawmakers jumped to introduce two new bills aimed at advancing regulation of these precarious digital assets.
Antitrust laws regulate the concentration of economic power, the core of which was passed under the Sherman Act in 1890 and remain central to antitrust today. However, the laws are not applied today the way they were in their heyday of antitrust regulation – in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago School of Economics took hold over the courts’ antitrust jurisprudence, and since then the courts have been far more amiable to market concentration. The Chicago School’s economic analysis of law argued that big firms were not a threat to growth and prosperity and have successfully argued for a hands-off approach to monopolies and mergers outside of a narrow focus on consumer welfare.
There’s no doubt that remote work, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, will accelerate the digital revolution already underway. Consumers’ growing appetite to conduct their business online, rather than in-person, has fueled the proliferation of digitally accessible products and services. For instance, movie theaters have closed their doors while content streaming services have experienced exponential growth. And while the restaurant industry, as a whole, has suffered, ‘virtual’ kitchens and grocery delivery apps have picked up steam. A critical question that arises from these trends is “what can be done to eliminate biases in the algorithms that drive these digital transactions?”
Starting May 1, 2021, Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADUs”) will be legalized in five pilot areas around the city of Chicago. Chicago faces a declining population, a slow homebuilding pace, and an affordable housing gap of approximately 116,000 units. These ADUs are intended to increase access to affordable housing, but the ordinance isn’t expected to make a large impact on Chicago’s affordable housing gap.
In 1993, and on the heels of the landmark Article III standing case of Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote a law review article entitled: “Article III Limits on Statutory Standing.” Twenty-eight years later and now the Chief Justice, Roberts again found himself wrestling over the bounds of the Article III Standing requirement as he presided over this issue in the class action context. Years after the Court decided Spokeo v. Robins in 2016 and Clapper v. Amnesty International in 2013, the Court revisited the matter and listened to oral arguments on March 30, 2021, in TransUnion v. Ramirez. The decision may have enormous consequences. While Acting U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed a “friend of the court” brief agreeing that standing exists, other briefs supporting TransUnion suggest that meritless class action lawsuits against corporate defendants from class members that aren’t injured will exponentially increase.
Everyone seems to be talking about the controversial “Satan shoes” released by famous rapper Lil Nas X (“Nas”) in collaboration with MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. (“MSCHF”). The shoes are controversial for many reasons, including their Satanic imagery, allegedly containing a drop of human blood in the sole, their perceived endorsement by Nike, and the music video and hit rap song that Nas released in tandem. Though the song, video, and shoes have sparked a moral and ethical debate worldwide, attorneys are intrigued by the legal debate that arises regarding the various trademark claims that Nike brought against MSCHF in a lawsuit filed on March 29, 2021.
On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed HB 3360, which would have allowed plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest, at a rate of nine percent, on all damages related to personal injuries or wrongful death. The governor believed this bill was too burdensome on hospitals and healthcare providers since most Illinois hospitals are self-insured, making them directly responsible for paying the costs of this legislation. However, the governor’s veto letter expressed a willingness to pass prejudgment interest legislation if problems with the current bill, including more robust protections for health care providers, were addressed. That same day, the Illinois House and Senate passed SB 72, which addressed some of the governor’s concerns.
Last week, the finance industry watched one of the biggest implosions of an investment firm since the 2008 financial crisis. Archegos Capital Management rocked the industry when it was forced to liquidate huge positions in blue-chip companies after some risky investment strategies went south. The financial instruments used in this risky investment strategy are called total return swaps. The Archegos meltdown has lead lawmakers and regulators to call for increased scrutiny of the swaps.