Homicides Rising in DC, but Police Solving Far Fewer Cases | Which Cyber Regulations Fit Which Sectors? | Power Plant Problems ‘Still Likely’ in Extreme Weather, and more

This Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that poses the most direct challenge yet to the legitimacy of the modern federal government. The right-wing legal movement’s target is the “administrative state”—the agencies and institutions that set standards for safety in the workplace, limit environmental hazards and damage, and impose rules on financial markets to ensure their stability and basic fairness, among many other important things. The case, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, threatens all of that. Terrifyingly, this gambit might succeed.
Jarkesy’s most far-reaching constitutional argument is built on the “nondelegation doctrine,” which holds that there may be some limits on the kinds of powers that Congress can give to agencies. Jarkesy argues that, when Congress gave the SEC the power to decide whether to bring enforcement actions in court or in front of an independent agency adjudicator, it gave away a core legislative function. It thus violated the doctrine and engaged in an unconstitutional delegation.
This is wild stuff. Not long ago, a lawyer would have been laughed out of court for making such nondelegation claims. Today, they’d have a good chance of destroying the federal government’s administrative capacity—taking down its ability to protect Americans’ health and safety while unleashing fraud in the financial markets.

Which Cyber Regulations Fit Which Sectors?  (Jason Healey, Lawfare)
The National Cybersecurity Strategy calls for new and harmonized cyber regulations. To succeed, there is a lot of homework left to do, starting with a better understanding of performance-based and other kinds of regulation.

Right-Wing Figures Slammed for Rushing to Brand Niagara Blast a Terrorist Attack  (Martha McHardy, Independent)
Right-wing figures have been slammed for rushing to brand a deadly Niagra Falls car explosion that killed two people a terrorist attack.
New York couple, who have not been identified, were killed on Wednesday night when their car crashed at a border crossing between the US and Canada, leading to an explosion.
The couple, who lived in western New York, were reportedly on their way to a Kiss concert in Toronto but the gig was cancelled.
Their car was travelling at speed when it hit a curb on the US side of the border and became airborne before exploding, according to the FBI field office in Buffalo, New York.
The blast initially sparked fears of a terrorist attack and prompted Canadian and New York officials to briefly shutter four border bridges between the two nations and ground planes at nearby Buffalo Airport.
A Fox News report cited “high-level police sources” who linked terrorism to the crash and believed the two people travelling in the car packed it “full of explosives,” a claim the network later retracted.
The FBI’s Buffalo division also released a statement saying that no explosives had been found at the scene and that “no terrorism nexus was identified”.

A Year After Devastating Winter Storm, Power Plant Problems ‘Still Likely’ in Extreme Weather  (Robert Zullo, Stateline)
Nearly a year ago, a Christmas weekend storm blasted across the country, forcing utilities to cut electricity to hundreds of thousands of people in parts of the Southeastern U.S. after temperatures plunged, demand spiked, large numbers of power plants failed and natural gas supply was strained.
As the anniversary of Winter Storm Elliott approaches, two recent reports reveal how much worse the situation almost became and the continued vulnerability of the U.S. energy grid to frigid weather.
A joint inquiry into Elliott by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, also illustrated that, despite the blackouts, a larger catastrophe for the New York City area was barely averted and the grid serving the entire eastern half of the U.S., called the Eastern Interconnection, was also at risk. Among many other recommendations, it calls for congressional and state legislative action to create reliability rules for natural gas infrastructure to ensure it functions in cold weather.

Senators’ Top Target in Border Talks: Tighter Asylum Rules for Migrants  (Michelle Hackman and Lindsay Wise, Wall Street Journal)
Tightening the initial standard immigrants must meet when applying for asylum could form the basis of a bipartisan border agreement in the Senate, where a group of lawmakers is racing to strike a deal before the end of this year that could unlock billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine.
Senate Republicans have demanded a crackdown on asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as a condition for backing President Biden’s request for emergency funding for Ukraine, part of a $106 billion proposal that also includes aid for Israel and Taiwan as well as money to bolster the immigration system. Senate Democrats have acknowledged that changes to border policy will likely be part of any deal.