Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc. Fourth Comments on Postal Rulemaking

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

On behalf of the Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc., our firm filed Comments on Regulations Establishing a System of Ratemaking (PRC Docket No. RM2007-1) in response to Postal Regulatory Commission Order No. 26.  This is the fourth filing of comments by APMU in this most important docket.  We are attempting to fend off efforts to impose too high an overhead burden on competitive products, including Priority Mail. Read More

Free Speech Coalition, Inc. and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Comments on the FEC’s Proposed Regulations on Electioneering Communications (72 Fr 50261)

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Election Law

Today, we filed comments with the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) on behalf of Free Speech Coalition and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund (“FSC/FSDEF”) regarding the FEC’s proposed rulemaking in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 25, 2007 decision in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL II).  That decision upheld WRTL’s unrestricted right to publish issue ads during pre‑election periods, so long as it did not engage in “express advocacy or its functional equivalent.” Read More

TSCL Comments on FDA Draft Guidance for Industry on Evidence-Based Review System for the Scientific Evaluation of Health Claims

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

On behalf of TREA Senior Citizens League (“TSCL”), we filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in opposition to the FDA’s  “Draft Guidance for Industry on Evidence-Based Review System for the Scientific Evaluation of Health Claims”.

The FDA Draft Guidance asserts that the FDA is authorized by the NLEA to treat health claims for both conventional food and health claims for dietary supplements in virtually the same manner.  In 1990, Congress adopted a “significant scientific agreement” standard applicable to “conventional food health claims” and the FDA subsequently purported, by regulation, to extend that same standard to “dietary supplements health claims,” even though the statute provided that this standard did not apply to dietary supplements. Read More

BATF Firearm Civil Forfeiture Procedures and Policies: An Attorney’s Guide

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Firearms Law, Publications

On behalf of Gun Owners Foundation, our firm authored “BATF Firearm Civil Forfeiture Procedures and Policies: An Attorney’s Guide.” The guide is intended to provide a procedural overview for attorneys unfamiliar with civil forfeiture law as it applies to firearms, including what to expect from the BATF, and how to go about recovering seized assets.
This manual has been revised as of January 30, 2009. Read More

Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc. Reply Comments on Postal Rulemaking

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

On behalf of the Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc., our firm filed reply comments in Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Docket No. RM2007-1 in response to PRC Order No. 15. The APMU comments respond to the UPS comments filed on June 18, 2007, in which UPS suggested that the PRC require that competitive products recover an additional amount above attributable and above institutional costs to account for the Postal Service’s “advantages.” APMU is opposed to any surcharge on competitive products. Read More

Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc. Comments on Second Round of Postal Rulemaking

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

On behalf of the Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc., our firm filed comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission in Docket No. RM2007-1 opposing either the attribution or assignment of assumed federal income taxes to specific competitive products and urging that they be treated as institutional costs of the Postal Service.  The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (“PAEA”), P.L. 109-435 requires that assumed federal taxes on “competitive products” be calculated and paid annually into a fund to benefit “market dominant products.” Read More

FDA Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today, on behalf of TREA Senior Citizens League (“TSCL”), we filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in opposition to the FDA’s  “Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation”.  According to the Draft Guidance,  the FDA asserted that it had authority to regulate products utilized by practitioners of  Complementary and Alternative Medicine (“CAM”), with special emphasis upon its power to regulate vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements as drugs, if those products were “intended” to be used by a CAM practitioners as part of a disease treatment program.  Additionally, the FDA stated in its Draft Guidance that it had the right to regulate products used in chiropractic and massage as medical devices.  If the Draft Guidance is adopted by the FDA, it could mean that ordinary foods — such as raw vegetable juice — would be subject to FDA “premarket review” just as is the case now for prescription drugs used in conventional allopathic medicine.  Further, if the Guidance were adopted, the FDA presumably would make substantial intrusions into the regulation of alternative medicinal practices traditionally left to the states. Read More

FDA Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today, on behalf of TREA Senior Citizens League, we filed with the FDA for both Clarification of, and Extension of, the deadline for comments in response to the FDA’s rulemaking in Docket No. R2006D-0480, entitled “Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by Food and Drug Administration.”

Link to request

Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc. Comments on Postal Rulemaking

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

On behalf of the Association of Priority Mail Users, Inc., our firm filed comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission addressing some of the problems associated with implementing the new Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (“PAEA”), P.L. 109-435, which changes the manner in which rates are set for Priority Mail and other types of mail now classified by Congress as “competitive  products.” Read More

United Seniors Association v. Social Security Administration Amicus Brief Filed to Attack Federal Statute Censoring 15 Political Words

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law, U. S. Supreme Court

We filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Citizens United Foundation, and Downsize DC Foundation in support of United Seniors Association’s (USA) petition for a writ of certiorari.

The amicus brief takes issue with the casual way that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressed the significant free speech claims of the United Seniors Association in a case seeking judicial review of a $545,000 “civil penalty” imposed by the SSA. Read More

FSDEF Amicus Brief in United Seniors Association v. Social Security Administration

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

We filed an Amicus Brief for the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund in support of United Seniors Association’s petition for rehearing of the decision to fine them over $500,000 for using the words “Social Security” on carrier envelopes. The FSDEF brief submits that the panel misapplied the deferential agency review standard of Chevron and failed to apply the relevant Due Process standards governing statutory vagueness. Read More

Postal Service Proposed Regulations on First Class Rates

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Nonprofit Law

On behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, we filed comments with the U.S. Postal Service expressing the concern that the proposed regulations, which clarify the type of mail that must be entered at First-Class rates and that which is eligible for Standard mail rates, would inappropriately shift much educational mail from Nonprofit Standard to First-Class rates.

Link to comments

Coalition for Postal Worksharing Comments to the U.S. Postal Service

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

Our firm submitted comments to the U.S. Postal Service regarding its five-year strategic plan, on behalf of the Coalition for Postal Worksharing, suggesting that, as part of the Postal Service’s long-term strategic planning, it should set a course aimed toward eliminating the current overcharging of workshared mail to the benefit of nonworkshared mail.

Link to comments

Coalition for Postal Worksharing Final Comments to the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

Our firm submitted final comments to the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, on behalf of the Coalition for Postal Worksharing, urging the Commission to endorse worksharing and private sector competition by: (i) requiring the Postal Service to charge separate rates for workshared services that are sufficient to cover the cost of providing those services; and (ii) subjecting the Postal Service to the laws that govern competition in the private sector. Read More

Free Speech Coalition Comments to the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

Our firm submitted comments to the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc., addressing (i) the Postal Service’s belief that it is the final authority with respect to most of its administrative decisions, refusing to have those decisions reviewed by anyone, even by a federal court, and (ii) the danger of granting governmental powers to an agency that is not under the authority of the President of the United States. Read More