Although the subject of the case – the government ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — is far removed from Silicon Valley, it is likely to have far-reaching implications for key agencies overseeing the tech sector, experts say.
The judgment on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agencyexpected as soon as Wednesday, will address the extent to which federal agencies can make decisions about how to implement laws for issues of major national importanceincluding rules on vaccination mandates, eviction moratoria, and technology regulations, like data privacy and net neutrality.
The court would have to restrict those powers under what’s called the “major issues doctrine,” meaning agencies would have to rely on more explicit authorization from Congress to enact rules.
Randolph Maychairman of the Free State Foundation, a free market-focused think tank, said he expects the court to say that “Congress is obligated to provide more specific guidance” to federal agencies on how to enforce laws, which could complicate key Democratic priorities.
It would only mark the last decision to limit the ability of federal agencies to regulate, with the Supreme Court recently grappling with issues such as the ability to enforce vaccination mandates for large corporations.
It could create an opening to challenge the widely expected efforts by Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission to reinstate Obama-era net neutrality regulations.
“The effect will be that the court is less likely to defer again to the agency’s own interpretation of its power to regulate internet access services,” May said.
Blair Levina member of the Brookings Institution think tank who served as the former FCC chairman’s chief of staff Reed Hundtsaid such a decision “transfers the powers of the agencies to the courts”.
While this could scuttle the regulatory plans of various agencies, seemingly giving big business a reprieve, Levin said it could also create new uncertainty for companies that will rely on a patchwork of decisions from different courts rather than single agency decisions.
“It’s going to cause chaos and confusion for a very long time as to the rules,” he said.
The decision could be particularly restrictive for efforts to craft new regulations around emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and social media, that are only gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.
“It’s hard for Congress to do anything [and] they are trying to get Congress to write very specific rules on these matters,” said justin brookmandirector of privacy and technology policy at Consumer Reports, a progressive nonprofit.
Given these complex challenges, it can be extremely difficult for lawmakers to give federal agencies detailed and explicit authority to regulate, Levin said. “I think you would need a microscope to be able to see how lucky it is,” he said.
It’s a concern that’s already factored into technology discussions on Capitol Hill, including around data privacy. As we reported, lawmakers are concerned about advancing legislation that includes sweeping mandates requiring companies to treat consumer data reasonably and not use it to cause harm for fear of harm. be struck down by courts skeptical of the agencies making these calls.
The dynamics could make it even more difficult for the United States to take the lead in setting standards for the internet, Levin said.
“We’re in a global information age economy, and we’re basically walking off the field and saying, ‘Everyone, go ahead,'” he said. “Here you are saying that leadership in the United States is essentially hampered.”
Pro-Trump web rushes to challenge explosive January 6 testimony
Supporters of former President Donald Trump took to the web on Tuesday to undermine the damaging testimony of a former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinsonwho said that Trump rushed behind the wheel of his car and fought with security when they refused to take him to the Capitol on January 6, my colleague Drew Harwell reports.
“Trump supporters were quick to recall online that they had found a clear sign that she was lying: The presidential limo, known as ‘the Beast,’ is so heavily fortified that they argued it would be “physically impossible” for Trump to walk through the rear cabin to the driver’s seat,” Drew writes. “But Trump wasn’t riding in the limo that day; videos show he actually rode in a Secret Service SUV, where the seats are closer together.
Trump echoed the argument in posts on Truth Social, the platform he launched after Twitter permanently banned him from his posts on Jan. 6. been possible to do such a ridiculous thing.
Facebook and Instagram remove posts offering abortion pills
Social media platforms “remove user posts that offer help in accessing abortion pills, claiming they violate a pharmaceutical policy,” The Verge said. Mia Sato reports.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal abortion right on Friday, some have taken to social media to offer “abortion pills in the mail to people whose access to abortion has been removed or soon will be,” according to the report. New reports found that some users were quickly restricted.
Andy Pierre, spokesperson for parent company Meta, tweeted in response that “content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, give, request, or give pharmaceuticals is not permitted. Content that discusses the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs is permitted.
He added: “We have discovered cases of incorrect application and we are correcting them.”
Taiwanese official pushes for passage of U.S. chip subsidies
“Taiwan’s largest semiconductor maker has started building a computer chip factory in Arizona and is hiring American engineers and sending them to Taiwan for training, but the pace of construction will depend on government approval. the Federal Grants Congress,” a Taiwanese minister told my colleague. Jeanne Whalen tuesday.
“[Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company] has already started their construction in Arizona, basically because of the trust. They believe the Chips Act will pass Congress,” Ming Hsin Kungminister of Taiwan’s National Development Council and board member of TSMC, said in an interview with DC
The remarks follow similar calls from major U.S. chipmakers, including Intel and GlobalFoundries, urging Congress to act on a massive bipartisan plan to pour billions into federal grants to try to tackle the semiconductor shortage. .
“A global shortage of semiconductors has prompted many countries, including the United States, to rush to build more chipmaking facilities,” Jeanne writes. “In May 2020, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest chipmaker, agreed to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona.”
Big Tech silent on data collection as workers call for post-Roe action (Gerrit De Vynck, Caroline O’Donovan, Nitasha Tiku and Elizabeth Dwoskin)
Chinese impersonate Texans on social media to attack rare earth rivals (Joseph Menn)
Tucker Carlson inadvertently helped raise $14,000 for abortion rights (Steven Zeitchik)
- FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington discusses net neutrality at an R Street Institute an event Thursday at 3 p.m.