The Basics

Last week, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that, effective January 1, 2025, Virginia will exit a California-led electric vehicle (EV) mandate and will instead comply with less stringent federal guidelines. The announcement followed Attorney General (AG) Jason Miyares’ issuance of an official advisory opinion concluding, as a matter of law, that Virginia is not beholden to broad, recently passed mandates adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which were also set to take effect at the start of the new year.Continue Reading Virginia Governor and AG Announce Withdrawal From California-Based EV Mandate

The rapid evolution of intoxicating cannabinoids has brough forth significant changes and challenges to both the agricultural and commercial cannabis sectors across the U.S. These new cannabinoids have exposed gaps in state and federal regulatory frameworks, allowing intoxicating substances to be marketed without the stringent level of oversight applied to state-legal cannabis products. These hemp-derived cannabinoids are often sold in gas stations and convenience stores, posing significant risks to consumers, especially minors. The lack of clear federal guidelines has left state attorneys general (AG) grappling with this gray market, leading to calls for legislative action to address the issue comprehensively.Continue Reading The Miller Amendment: Redefining Hemp to Protect Public Safety and Fair Competition in the Cannabis Industry

California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta has issued two petitions to enforce an investigative subpoena against the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC). PLASTICS lobbies on behalf of entities involved in the plastics supply chain. ACC is a trade association that represents chemical companies who create plastic products. The AG’s petition accuses PLASTICS and ACC of failing to comply with the AG’s prior subpoenas by providing insufficient responses and failing to provide requested documents. In response, PLASTICS and ACC filed lawsuits against the AG in Washington, D.C.Continue Reading California AG Enforces Subpoena; Plastic Lobbying Groups Respond With Lawsuit

On June 3, the U.S. Treasury Department filed a reply in its 11th Circuit litigation[1] against the National Small Business Association regarding the constitutionality of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Of late, the Treasury Department has faced additional pressure and scrutiny, with 22 states filing a joint amicus brief last month, asserting that the CTA displaces state authority and would economically harm residents.Continue Reading Treasury Department Pushes Back Against State Efforts to Dissolve CTA

Tennessee and Mississippi attorney generals (AG), joined by 13 other states, filed a multistate lawsuit in the Southern District of Mississippi. The lawsuit challenges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) attempt to expand the breadth of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) antidiscrimination provision, known as Section 1557. This section prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. HHS’ new rule, which is scheduled to take effect on July 5, extends the definition of sex to encompass gender identity. The AGs argue that HHS’ expansion of the ACA provision will have undesirable effects on the medical industry. They claim that the promulgation of this new rule is also unconstitutional and interferes with states’ reserved powers.Continue Reading Tennessee and Mississippi AGs Sue the HHS Over New Antidiscrimination Rule

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General (AG) Ken Paxton announced the creation of a team dedicated solely to the prosecution and enforcement of Texas’ privacy laws. The team will focus on handling cases under at least seven different laws, including the state’s relatively new comprehensive consumer privacy law, and will be part of the office’s Consumer Protection Division. In his announcement, the AG touts the team as the largest such unit in the U.S., and one that will aggressively enforce the state’s privacy laws.Continue Reading Texas AG Launches Data Privacy Team

California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta is leading a coalition of 22 Democratic states and the District of Columbia to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule that sets stringent greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles. The coalition filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the EPA’s rule is facing a legal challenge from Republican AGs.Continue Reading California Spearheads Multistate Effort to Defend EPA’s Stringent Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Continued focus on antitrust enforcement has led the New Jersey and California attorneys general (AG) offices to go on a hiring spree. New Jersey AG Matthew Platkin recently announced the establishment of a permanent, stand-alone Antitrust Litigation and Competition Enforcement Section to enforce the New Jersey Antitrust Act. Meanwhile, the California AG’s office intends to hire eight new antitrust attorneys in June 2024, with more expected throughout the year. The announcement out of the California AG’s office aligns with the state’s aggressive antitrust enforcement practices, and comes just two months after the California Department of Justice announced its plan to invigorate criminal antitrust prosecutions.Continue Reading New Jersey and California AGs Add to Their Antitrust Ranks

Abbey Thornhill, an associate based in Troutman Pepper’s Richmond office, joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in May 2024 as a general attorney in the Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement. In her new position, she will monitor compliance with administrative and federal court orders in FTC consumer protection cases across a wide range of consumer protection issues, including advertising, financial practices, data security, high-tech fraud, and telemarketing. Thornhill will be responsible for conducting investigations of possible order violations, filing contempt actions in federal court to enforce injunctions, initiating court actions to obtain civil penalties for administrative order violations, and enforcing a variety of FTC rules.Continue Reading Troutman Pepper’s Abbey Thornhill Joins FTC’s Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement