22 States and DC File Amicus Brief Asking U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Montana’s Election Law
- 22 States and the DC have filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Montana’s election law, which bans corporate independent political expenditures in Montana state elections.
- The States’ brief asks the Court to oppose the petition for certiorari and urges it not to grant summary reversal based on its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010) (where the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from imposing limitations on independent political expenditure of corporations or unions), arguing that the Montana case addresses state regulation of corporate spending in state and local elections, whereas Citizens United dealt with a federal statute governing federal elections.
- The States ask the Court in the alternative to grant certiorari and order full briefing and oral argument for reconsideration of the issues in Citizens United.
Rejecting Backpage’s Demand, 48 AGs Call on Backpage to Remove Adult Services Section
- The working group of 48 State AGs investigating Backpage.com’s adult services advertisements recently rejected Backpage’s demand that the AGs stop asking that the adult services sections be taken down.
- Backpage’s general counsel had informed the AGs that the company would not engage in any further discussions unless they agreed not to ask for the elimination of adult ads on the site.
- After the general counsel recently claimed publicly that Backpage was an ally in the fight against human trafficking, the AGs decided to make the company’s demand public.
- One of the co-chairs of the working group, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, stated that the AGs “are open to any workable solution, but if the only way to do that is to remove all adult services advertisements, then the attorneys general must insist the option remain on the table.”
AG Olens Successfully Urges Payday Lenders to Cease Loans to Georgia Customers
- At the urging of Georgia AG Samuel Olens, online payday lenders Payday Financial, LLC, Green Billow, LLC, and Western Sky Financial, LLC recently agreed to stop making payday loans in Georgia.
- Payday Financial and Green Billow claimed to be Native American owned and operated, and sold loans to Georgia residents through their websites.
- Georgia law prohibits anyone from making payday loans to its residents, including making loans to Georgia residents through the Internet.
New York Customers Receive $2 Million in Refunds from the New York AG’s Settlement with Utility Companies
- New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced that approximately 2,700 New York customers of Columbia Utilities LLC and Columbia Utilities Power LLC will receive checks totaling $2 million as a result of a consumer protection settlement with the companies.
- The settlement is based on allegations that the utilities lured customers with false representations regarding lower rates and then charged consumers with higher rates.
17 States and the Federal Government Sue Healthpoint Over Xenaderm
- 17 States joined the federal government in filing a Medicaid fraud lawsuit against Healthpoint, Ltd. in Massachusetts federal court for allegedly marketing Xenaderm without approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Claims were made under the False Claims Act as well as under state law.
- Plaintiffs allege that despite the fact that the primary active ingredient of Xenaderm, Trypsin, was deemed “less than effective” by the FDA in 1970, Healthpoint nevertheless marketed the drug and allegedly falsely represented that it was eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.