Politics, Moderate



The Supreme Court Reaffirms That COVID-19 Regulations Must Comply With the First Amendment

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When Christians met in each other's homes for prayer or Bible study, they had to be careful. Such gatherings were illegal, and the organizers never knew who might inform the authorities.

Although that sounds like a scene from the Soviet Union, it actually describes the situation in California under COVID-19 regulations that the Supreme Court ...Read more

Six Marijuana Legalization Lessons

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Legislators in New York and New Mexico voted last week to legalize recreational marijuana, as their counterparts in New Jersey had done the previous month. The three plans, which bring the number of states that have approved legalization to 17, reflect some of the lessons that policymakers have learned -- and in some cases ignored -- since ...Read more

A Federal Appeals Court Rejects a Highly Implausible Redefinition of Machine Guns

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Two years ago, peaceful, law-abiding gun owners across the country became felons overnight, thanks to the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks. But as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recognized last week, Congress alone has the authority to define new federal crimes, while the president and his underlings are charged with ...Read more

Biden Ordered the Education Department to Consider Rescinding Due Process Reforms

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

In 2016, Purdue University imposed a one-year suspension on a student accused of sexual assault, forcing him to resign from ROTC and ending his plans for a Navy career. The process that led to those results, Amy Coney Barrett concluded in a 2019 opinion for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, "fell short of what...Read more

Congress Uses COVID-19 As a Cover for an Epidemic of Fiscal Recklessness

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The "recovery rebates" that Americans began receiving this week supposedly have something to do with the economic damage caused by COVID-19 and the control measures it inspired. But like most of the so-called American Rescue Plan Act, these payments, which account for more than a fifth of the bill's $1.9 trillion price tag, are only tenuously ...Read more

These Nonprofit 'Disclosure' Requirements Are an Assault on the First Amendment

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says he wants to prevent charitable fraud, while the House Democrats who approved the "For the People Act" last week say they want to fortify democracy, fight corruption and block foreign interference in U.S. elections. But the methods they have chosen pose a serious threat to freedom of speech and ...Read more

COVID-19 Edicts Highlight the Importance of Structural Limits on Government Power

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

By the time he took office, President Joe Biden had abandoned his campaign promise to require that all Americans cover their faces in public, admitting that such an order was beyond his authority. But that concession did not stop the Biden administration from imposing a nationwide eviction moratorium with an equally dubious legal basis.

Last ...Read more

States Can Provide Their Own Civil Remedies for Police Abuse

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to be tried next month on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the May 25 arrest of George Floyd, who died while Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes. Yet whether or not Chauvin is convicted, it is not at all clear that he can be held accountable for his actions ...Read more

Biden's 'Commonsense' Gun Controls Make Little Sense

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

This week, President Joe Biden marked the third anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, by urging Congress to "enact commonsense gun law reforms." The implication was that the gun controls Biden favors would prevent crimes like the Parkland massacre.

There is little reason to think that's ...Read more

Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Pretends Prisoners Are Patients

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"It was my understanding that I was to do the treatment, then be released," says Mike Whipple, who recently participated in a 14-day hunger strike at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program's facility in Moose Lake. "Twelve years later, I'm still here, doing the same thing, over and over and over."

So far the civil commitment program has ...Read more

The Constitutionality of Trump's impeachment trial is not 'crystal clear'

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Just before 45 Republican senators voted against considering Donald Trump's impeachment on the grounds that the Constitution does not allow the Senate to try a former president, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed their argument as transparently bogus. "The language is crystal clear, with no ambiguity," the New York Democrat insisted.

If ...Read more

Controversy over Trump's pardons highlights longstanding problems with clemency

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When Donald Trump pardoned Steve Bannon last week, the outgoing president blocked the former White House strategist's prosecution for bilking donors to an organization that claimed to be raising money for a wall along the border with Mexico. When Trump granted a commutation to Craig Cesal, by contrast, he freed a man who had already served 17 ...Read more

Biden's mask mandate retreat is a hopeful sign

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"If I'm your president," Joe Biden promised at the Democratic National Convention last summer, "on day one we'll have a national mask mandate." Now that Biden is the president, his policy has changed from a general requirement to an executive order that applies only on federal property and interstate transportation.

While supporters of a ...Read more



Adam Zyglis A.F. Branco David Fitzsimmons Kevin Siers John Deering Darrin Bell