The EPA bypassed public comment on its new FOIA regulations, which raises some important legal questions

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has long struggled with the politicization and abuse of its Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) processes.  Indeed, as Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) has repeatedly argued, the agency has a “terrible track record for anti-transparency behavior”—from the weaponization of fee waivers and the use of undisclosed “alias” e-mail accounts, to the failure to preserve text messages and the creation of special “awareness review” procedures for politically sensitive FOIA requests.  Yet the EPA’s rather poor reputation plunged even further in late June 2019, when the agency published an unexpected direct final rule implementing various changes to its FOIA regulations. Learn More

The D-Link Systems’ Consent Order Explained

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered a consent order between the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and D-Link Systems, Inc., a U.S. company that is a global leader in connectivity for home, small business, mid- to large-sized enterprise environments, and service providers, resolving an FTC lawsuit alleging that D-Link Systems’ security practices violated Section 5 of the FTC Act.  The D-Link Systems order marks the close of the first ever litigated FTC action over the application of Section 5 to the security practices used for Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices.  This result is good for D-Link Systems, and good for the FTC.

Learn More

EXIM Supporter Investigated for Potentially Defrauding the Bank

Cause of Action Institute recently received documents indicating that a repeat customer and vocal supporter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”) allegedly defrauded the bank. EXIM, which is tasked with assisting the financing of U.S. exports, has gained a reputation for favoring certain companies over others, which is exemplified by its nickname “the Bank of Boeing” for its preferential treatment of the airline. Recent reports from the Government Accountability Office and the EXIM Inspector General (”IG”) have also shown a disconcerting susceptibility to fraud.

Learn More

Supreme Court Adopts the Position Urged by Cause of Action for When Fabrication-of-Evidence Lawsuits Must Be Filed

The window of time to file any lawsuit is limited. The period usually begins to run when the plaintiff first knows that something went wrong. In special circumstances, however, fair policy requires that the window to sue opens, or as lawyers say, the claim “accrues,” at a different time. Today, in McDonough v. Smith, a case in which Cause of Action Institute filed two briefs, the Supreme Court identified one of those special situations.

Learn More

Supreme Court Signals Nondelegation Doctrine Has Life

This week, the Supreme Court indicated that it may be on the verge of, for the first time in eight decades, applying the nondelegation doctrine and requiring Congress, not government bureaucrats, to make law.  This critical development could result in significant advancement of economic freedom, political accountability, and the liberty of individual citizens.

Learn More

USTR Records Show Ambassador Lighthizer Used Personal Email for Government Business

Records obtained by Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) reveal that Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”), and Stephen Vaughn, General Counsel to the USTR and former Acting Trade Representative, used their personal email addresses to conduct official government business in 2017 and 2018. Considering the Administration’s aggressive trade policy that is increasing costs on American consumers and businesses, transparency is of paramount importance.

Learn More

The Brief – June 3, 2019

Cause of Action Institute published its May newsletter today. You can read the newsletter here and subscribe to our monthly newsletter here

                                         Message from John

Our team is fortunate enough to spend every day working to tear down barriers and protect individual and economic liberty, and we are exceptionally grateful for the days where we get to see those barriers removed. In early May, Cause of Action celebrated a decision from a U.S. District Court denying all damages against our clients, Robert and Angelo Cupo, and their small business. This decision was not only a victory for this family, but for all small business owners and entrepreneurs who fear the administrative state.

Learn More