U.S. PIRG Latest Blog Posts

On Monday the Supreme Court overturned a California law that required the euthanization of downed livestock at federally inspected slaughterhouses to keep this meat out of the nation’s food system.

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Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The newly Presidentially-confirmed director of the CFPB, the nation's first financial regulator with just one job -- protecting consumers -- goes before a House Oversight and Government Affairs subcommittee today at 1:30 pm (live video).

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today's unanimous Supreme Court decision in United States v. Jones (docket 10-1259), read most narrowly, merely says: "We hold that the Government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a “search.” That means the government should be careful to obtain valid warrants and comply with the Constitution's 4th Amendment limits on "unreasonable searches and seizures. But the Court offered tantalizing clues to its thinking that, in the modern electronic age, reasonable expectations of privacy warrant a review of Government -- and even third party -- collection of information.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Yesterday, U.S. PIRG Education Fund released a report identifying a "Dirty Thirty" of Fortune 500 companies that paid more to lobby Congress than they did in Federal Income Taxes. Here is the release.

Two years ago the Supreme Court's misguided Citizens United decision struck down long-standing Congressional limits on the political power of large corporations by vastly expanding the legal metaphor that "corporations are people." Now there is fresh evidence that corporate influence over Congress makes it easy for those same corporations to avoid their civic duty of paying taxes.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and powerful music, film and publishing titans have gone too far in demanding that the Internet as we know it -- an engine of innovation, freedom, democracy, commerce, idea-sharing and entrepreneurship -- be throttled down so that their legitimate problems with offshore pirates can supposedly be solved. They think every problem is a nail but their only tool is a hammer, a sledgehammer. Their bills won't hammer the nail, but they will hammer you, me and the Internet.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In addition to a story on the Zappos' hack, the New York Times also has an editorial "Convenient, but How Secure?" on the growth of online banking and new regulations being implemented that should lessen fraud loss risk.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced (news release) that CVS Caremark Corporation (pdf of the complaint) will "pay $5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented the prices of certain Medicare Part D prescription drugs – including drugs used to treat breast cancer symptoms and epilepsy – at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies."

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today's Wall Street Journal offers the story "Bank of America Ponders Retreat." It discusses a BofA emergency plan for retrenchment that would include further branch shrinkage than currently-expected reductions.