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Government, California Supreme Court

Nov. 3, 2017

Honestly Overbroad?

As tech titans reckon with disruptive foreign interference, Congress debates the Honest Ads Act, aimed at exposing invidious overseas actors. Eric Wang (Institute for Free Speech) argues the legislation would mostly target Americans exercising constitutionally-protected political speech. Also, Dave Frankenberger (Ericksen Arbuthnot) previews next week's California Supreme Court arguments in 'McMillan Albany v. Superior Court,' a matter of first impression defining the reach of the Right to Repair Act


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This week Congress questioned representatives from our country's tech titans, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, about the targeted and divisive misinformation spread on their platforms by foreign actors during the last presidential election. Senators from both political parties exhorted the companies to do more to prevent such deliberate manipulation, orchestrated from overseas. As Congress grapples with just what sorts of regulations it ought to issue to protect against divisive and manipulative misinformation, attorneys like Eric Wang, a senior fellow with the Institute for Free Speech, and a political law attorney with the firm Wiley Rein in Washington, DC, worry Congress may wield the proverbial sledgehammer to address problems best fixed with a scalpel. Specifically as to the just-introduced Honest Ads Act, a bipartisan senate bill, Wang worries the legislation would end up targeting Americans exercising the core constitutional right of political speech more than it would impact overseas bad actors. He joins our show to speak more about his concerns with the legislation.

Before that we'll also hear from Dave Frankenberger, an attorney with Eriksen Arbuthnot in Fresno, about the case of McMillan Albany v. Superior Court, an issue of first impression to be argued before the California Supreme Court Tuesday. The question at issue is just what the reach is of the 2003 Right to Repair Act. The law purports to require homeowners to allow builders an opportunity to remedy defects before any litigation is brought seeking damages over the construction imperfections. An appellate ruling from a few years ago, though, seemed to vitiate the statute, holding that the statutory pre-litigation requirements didn't apply to common law claims, like negligence, arising out of construction defects. In McMillan Albany, the Fifth District held just the opposite, setting up a split of authority and prompting high court review.

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Brian Cardile

Daily Journal Staff Writer
brian_cardile@dailyjournal.com

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