Public Health

Conservative Judicial Activism Strikes Again

A wild-eyed misinterpretation of the commerce clause

A federal district judge ruled today that the federal government’s moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional. The judge’s theory is that evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent isn’t an “economic” activity. Therefore, it’s beyond Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. I know that sounds nuts, but that actually it is what the judge said. The judge’s theory …

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Expertise versus Politics Under Biden

Experts will no longer be pariahs under Biden. But will their voices be heard?

One of the abiding issues in governance is the balance between democratic leadership and experts.  We don’t want government solely by technocrats.  Nor do we want government steered solely by ideology and politics, as under Trump.  Biden will be a vast improvement, but there’s still some question about whether he’ll get the balance right. I …

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New Report: Accelerating Building Decarbonization

Solutions to drive the electrification transition / Expert webinar February 23

Today, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at Berkeley Law and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law are releasing a new report, Building toward Decarbonization, which highlights the key barriers and policy solutions to accelerate building electrification retrofits in California’s high-priority communities. California’s ambitious commitment to …

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Advancing Park Equity in Los Angeles

Investing in urban green space can improve public health and environmental conditions in Los Angeles’ underserved communities, while strengthening the environmental movement by inspiring people to become environmental stewards.

UCLA Law launched its first-ever Public Service Challenge this week, and the Emmett Institute is sponsoring two of the Challenge’s projects: a local garden cleanup with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and phone banking with the Environmental Voter Project. Both projects provide the UCLA Law Community with the opportunity to support organizations that are …

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Toxic Releases? Botched Drug Trials? — Not a Problem, in this Administration

The Trump Administration has essentially dropped enforcement of environmental laws and clinical trial requirements.

The easiest way to gut regulations is simply to stop enforcing them. That tried and true technique has been enthusiastically embraced by the Trump Administration.  That’s been long suspected in terms of environmental law. Shockingly, the Administration has also mostly given up on enforcing the standards for conducting clinical drug trials. The breakdown in FDA …

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Herd Immunity

What Could Possibly Go Wrong with Trump’s Latest Coronavirus Idea?

“Herd immunity” seems to be gaining ground in the White House as a coronavirus strategy. The idea is to protect the vulnerable population, while letting the virus run its course among the rest.  The disease then dies out because so many people are immune.  What could possibly go wrong? In theory, this idea would work, …

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Managing a Pandemic, Enron-Style

The Administration’s management harkens back to a spectacular business collapse at the turn of the century.

Think of this as a parable. I’ll draw out some parallels at the end with the Trump Administration’s handling of the coronavirus, as detailed in a story in Sunday’s Washington Post. But first I’ll let you make some of the connections yourself. The Trump team’s triumph in 2016 was one of the great upsets in …

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The Mystery of McConnell’s Litigation Shield

Why is he investing so much in something so draconian and so unnecessary?

As part of their proposed stimulus package, Senators John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell introduced a bill that gives almost complete immunity protection to businesses that fail to take precautions against the coronavirus. It’s called the “Safe to Work Act,” but really should be called the “Work at Your Own Risk Act.” McConnell says he won’t …

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How NOT to Manage a Crisis

There were basic errors in organizing the White House pandemic response. It’s a teachable moment in crisis management.

The rap has been that the White House just ignored medical experts and left everything to the politicos. A  NY Times story over the weekend reveals that the story was more complicated. It discloses basic failures in management and crisis response since early in the coronavirus outbreak. Those failures should be heeded by future leaders. …

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The Kudlow Inversion

Trump’s key advisor on the economy, the coronavirus, and regulation, with a gift for getting everything wrong.

“Only the best people,” Trump said. Let’s talk about his chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow. Kudlow seems to live in an inverted, upside-down world. He somehow manages to be wrong about everything — wrong about the economy, wrong about deregulation, wrong about climate change, wrong about the coronavirus. A full sweep, in other words. It’s …

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