Comments to ATF Opposing Bump Stock Restrictions (Round 2)

admin Administrative Law, Firearms Law

Today we submitted another set of comments to ATF opposing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would reverse long-standing ATF policy to determine, in violation of federal law, that a “bump fire” stock constitutes a “machinegun.”  Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation.  Earlier, on January 18, 2018, we filed comments for GOF on the ATF’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Link to comments

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security v. Regents of U. California

admin Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed another brief relating to President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA policy — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This brief supported the Trump Administration’s to obtain U.S. Supreme Court before judgment review of a nationwide injunction issued by District Judge William H. Alsup.

Link to brief

Third Set of Comments filed with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives opposing Multiple Rifle Sale Reporting

Jeremiah Morgan Administrative Law, Firearms Law

Today, our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation, expressing opposition to the ATF’s continuing effort to require federally licensed firearms dealers (FFL’s) to report to ATF information regarding the sale of multiple rifles.

Purportedly concerned about firearms being trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, about six years ago ATF created a new requirement that all FFLs located in the four southwest border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) must report to the ATF any sale to a single person of two or more rifles within a five day period. Read More

Comments filed with the FDA regarding its restrictions on use of the word “healthy”

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today, our firm filed comments with the FDA in response to the agency’s request for input regarding its regulation of the term “healthy” in the labeling of food.  In recent years, FDA’s current regulatory scheme has led to absurd results, such as where avocados and almonds were not considered healthy, while Poptarts and Frosted Flakes were.  Now FDA purports to replace its bad regulations with more regulations. Read More

Gloucester County v GG — Update — SCOTUS asks parties how to proceed after Trump withdraws transgender guidance

Michael Harless Administrative Law

Today,the U.S. Supreme Court Clerk has asked the parties to file by March 1 for letters explaining their views on how the Gloucester County v. GG case should proceed in view of the Trump Administration change of policy.

We filed two briefs in the Gloucester v. GG case:
1. Amicus Brief In the Fourth Circuit — May 10, 2016
2. Amicus Brief In the Supreme Court on the Merits — on January 10, 2017 Read More

Valpak Comments on the U.S. Postal Service FY 2016 Annual Compliance Report

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

Today we filed comments on behalf of Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc. and Valpak Franchise Association with the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”).  These comments related to the Postal Service’s Annual Compliance Report, filed each year.  After considering those comments, the PRC issues its Annual Compliance Determination, which is expected by the end of March 2017.

These comments focus on the deliberate underpricing of certain Market Dominant Products — particularly Standard Mail Flats — whereby all Standard Mailers are required to subsidize mailers who send catalogs in the approximate amount of 10 cents for each catalog sent.  In FY 2016, the Postal Service deliberately lost $602 million from this one product.  Such “underwater” pricing of products by the Postal Service is illegal under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, but the PRC has yet to do its duty to order the Postal Service to raise prices sufficiently so that prices for catalogs above the level of marginal cost, so that Standard Flats are no longer a drain on the Postal Service and all users of Standard Mail. Read More

Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.

Michael Harless Administrative Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a school board whose policy is that students should use the bathroom associated with their fixed biological sex, rather than the one that corresponds to their subjective “gender identity.”

The Obama Administration’s Department of Education had joined the lawsuit in support of a troubled young woman who thinks that she “is” a man, and who demanded to use the boy’s bathroom at her school. Read More

Comments filed with FDA regarding new “Draft Guidance” about Dietary Supplements

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today, our firm filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), criticizing various parts of the FDA’s new “Draft Guidance” with respect to dietary supplements.

First, we noted that while federal law requires that manufacturers dietary supplements give “notice” to the FDA before they introduce a “new dietary ingredient” into the marketplace. The FDA, however, has adopted an approach which requires manufacturers to submit separate notices every time they introduce a “new dietary supplement” which uses the “new dietary ingredient” in a different way.  This compounds the notice requirement for the supplements industry far beyond what Congress permitted. Read More

Comments filed with U.S. Citizenship & immigration Services Opposing New Refugee Application

Michael Harless Administrative Law

Today, our firm filed comments with the division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responsible for Refugee matters, opposing changes in the form used to seek refugee status. If changed as proposed, the form will fail to obtain from applicants the information needed for the government to make a proper determination as to whether a person claiming refugee status actually qualifies as a refugee under federal law. Read More

Comments to FDA on Regulatory Status of Vinpocetine

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today our firm filed comments with the FDA in response to a request for comment on its “tentative conclusion” that the ingredient vinpocetine does not meet the definition of a “dietary supplement.” Our comments explained that vinpocetine fits within the definition of “dietary supplement” as a “constituent of a botanical.” Then we analyzed the four statutory requirements for removal of a dietary supplement from the market, and in this case, at least two of these requirements have not been met. Finally, we addressed the ways in which vinpocetine has been beneficial to Americans with a wide variety of health problems, including symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Read More

Comments filed with FDA to Defend Compounding Pharmacists

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

An FDA Advisory Committee is considering imposing new and unnecessary limitations on what Compounding Pharmacists may use to create products that are needed by many people, especially seniors.  Remarkably, the FDA Advisory Committee is reported to have only one member who has experience with Compounding.  We filed comments for The Senior Citizens League and the Center for Medical Freedom with the FDA opposing these arbitrary limitations. Read More

FSC/FSDEF Comments Urging IRS to Protect Nonprofit Donor Lists

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Nonprofit Law

On behalf of the Free Speech Coalition and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, we submitted comments to the IRS asking it to protect the confidentiality the donor lists of nonprofit organizations.  The IRS had invited comments on its Publication 1075 relating to security guidelines for government agencies in possession of confidential tax
information.

Our comments explained how the California and New York attorneys general are demanding the names of its larger donors as a condition of nonprofit organizations fundraising in those states. We explain how such efforts violate both federal law and the U.S. Constitution.  The comments urged the IRS to address this problem in its revisions to Publication 1075. Read More

USJF Comments opposing Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting

Michael Harless Administrative Law

There is an effort underway by elements in the federal and state judiciary and leftist lawyers and lawyer groups to increase political controls over lawyers — on whom the American people rely on to protect their interests.  Some states are trying to force lawyers to devote free legal services to favored classes of persons.   Historically, this proposal has been a cover for the misuse of law reform, class actions, emboldening the courts to legislate social policy.  And even when it extends legal services to the poor, it frequently does so at the expense of the middle class. Read More

Book: ‘Defining Drugs: How Government Became the Arbiter of Pharmaceutical Fact”

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law, Publications

Bill Olson was honored to write the Foreword for the re-issuance of what may prove to be the most important book ever written questioning the authority of the federal government over the sale and use of pharmaceuticals.  Professor of Pharmacy Richard Henry Parrish II originally wrote his book, “Defining Drugs:  How Government Became the Arbiter of Pharmaceutical Fact” in 2003. Now issued in paperback with a new Introduction and new Foreword, Professor Parrish has charted the growing evidence of corruption in the FDA and FTC, and those agencies’ lawless assertion of power over all aspects of all substances and devices in any way related to healthcare.  This book is even more important now than when first written. Read More

GOA/GOF Comments to ATF on Proposed Changes to Form 4473

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Firearms Law

Today our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation opposing the proposed changes to the Form 4473, a form ATF claims continues to be necessary, though it is not required by any federal law.

Our comments explain how the proposed additions to the Form 4473 are unnecessarily confusing and often unauthorized.  The form is already complex, presenting a legal hurdle for law-abiding Americans wishing to exercise their Second Amendment right.  If ATF does not eliminate the Form 4473, it should, at a minimum, seek to simplify rather than further complicate the form. Read More

GOA/GOF Comments to ATF on Secure Gun Storage

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Firearms Law

Today our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation opposing proposed regulations issued by ATF to require not only firearms dealers, but also manufacturers and importers, to certify that secure gun storage or safety devices are maintained anywhere firearms are sold.

Our comments explain how ATF’s proposed regulations would purportedly “implement” provisions of federal law; however, the regulations would actually rewrite federal law to further the goals of ATF. Read More

Comments: Gun Owners of America & Gun Owners Foundation File Comments Opposing Social Security Administration Efforts to Disarm the Disabled

Michael Harless Administrative Law

Today our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation opposing proposed regulations issued by the Obama Social Security Administration to add more names to the NICS system which would prevent many persons with disabilities from buying firearms.

Our comments explain how the Social Security Administration proposal goes well beyond the limitation that firearm ownership is barred to anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective.”  Here, there is no adjudication — but merely a box being checked by a bureaucrat or government contractor.  And, there is no determination in no way relates to  being a “mental defective.”  Lastly, the SSA regulations are at odds with the views of federal courts which have considered the question. Read More

Independence Institute v. FEC — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Election Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Today we filed an amicus brief in support of the Independence Institute in their challenge to the Federal Election Commission’s regulations requiring the names and addresses of donors to nonprofits doing issue ads, which technically meet the criteria of Independent Expenditures, to be disclosed. Our brief explains the motivation of Congress for wanting this information.

Link to brief

Jeremiah Morgan Testifies Before the Federal Election Commission

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Appearances, Election Law

Today, on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc., the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., and U.S. Justice Foundation Jeremiah Morgan of our firm testified before the Federal Election Commission at its Hearings on the McCutcheon v. FEC Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (His testimony appears at 5:19:51 of the video.)

Link to video