Today’s News & Commentary — November 23, 2016
Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction against the Department of Labor’s overtime rule that increases the salary threshold of those eligible for overtime to $47,500. The judge, an Obama appointee, held that “the Department [of Labor] exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the [executive function] test.” The rule was set to go into effect on December 1 of this year. The Department of Labor could appeal to the Fifth Circuit, a court notoriously hostile to President Obama’s initiatives, but the Department would likely drop the suit under President Trump. Even without this lawsuit, Congress may have nixed the rule under the Congressional Review Act. For more thoughts on the overtime rule, read Andrew Strom’s assessment of whether earlier implementation of the overtime rule would have changed the election outcome.
Governor Pat McCrory has filed for a recount in North Carolina’s gubernatorial race. McCrory is currently losing to NC Attorney General Roy Cooper by fewer than 10,000 votes, the threshold under which a recount is automatic in the state. The governor’s race is considered to largely be a referendum on McCrory’s support of HB2, also known as the transgender bathroom bill. HB2 has cost the state millions of dollars in lost business opportunities, including 400 jobs at Paypal’s global operations center and 730 jobs at CoStar Group Inc.’s research operations center, both planned and revoked for Charlotte, NC after HB2’s passage.
In international news, Turkey has fired an additional 15,000 public workers in the wake of the July 15 failed coup. To many, it signals that President Erdogan is pessimistic about Turkey’s chances of being accepted into the European Union. Turkey has also drawn sharp criticism from human rights groups recently for the Justice Department’s proposed measure giving amnesty to 3,000 – 4,000 men convicted of child abuse and rape.