Politics, Moderate



Can senseless gun regulations be constitutional?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

New York's uniquely onerous restrictions on transporting guns were so hard to justify that the city stopped trying. Instead, it rewrote the rules after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a constitutional challenge to them, and now it argues that the case is moot.

Despite the obvious vulnerability of New York's regulations, the city ...Read more

A bogus tip, a deadly raid, and a fraudulent search warrant highlights loose police practices in Houston

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Are you confident that police will not break down your door tonight? If so, it's probably because you assume the warrant required for such an armed invasion of your home has to be based on reliable evidence of criminal activity.

But that is not true in Houston, as a federal indictment unsealed last week shows. According to the indictment, a ...Read more

There's yet another looming threat to e-cigarettes

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

President Donald Trump reportedly has reconsidered a plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a reversal that was widely portrayed as a triumph of politics over public health. Yet that criticism more aptly describes the proposed ban, which would have sacrificed the interests -- and potentially the lives -- of current and former smokers in the name of ...Read more

Puppies and kittens trump the Constitution

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

I guess I should say at the outset that I do not favor torturing puppies and kittens. But there is a difference between opposing cruelty to animals, which is already illegal in all 50 states, and supporting a law that makes such conduct a federal felony.

That distinction seems to have eluded every member of Congress, which unanimously approved ...Read more

Trump's desperate attempt to stop a grand jury from seeing his tax returns invokes kingly powers

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Donald Trump's desperate attempt to block a New York grand jury subpoena seeking his tax returns, which he once promised to publicly release, makes you wonder anew why he is so keen to prevent anyone from looking at those records, even in secret. But the case also raises the more momentous question of whether presidents have an unqualified right...Read more

Cops don't need another excuse to hassle innocent drivers

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

At any given time, millions of Americans are forbidden to drive because their licenses have been suspended, often for reasons that have nothing to do with traffic safety. But their cars can still be legally driven by relatives, friends and neighbors.

Given that reality, should police be allowed to pull over a car simply because it is registered...Read more

O'Rourke's scheme would be an ineffectual attempt to enforce arbitrary distinctions

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Beto O'Rourke is taking flak from other Democratic presidential contenders for supporting mass confiscation of military-style rifles, a proposal several of them view as an impractical campaign gimmick. Although they are right about that, all the Democratic candidates are guilty of magical thinking on this issue; they support an "assault weapon" ...Read more

The attorney general is determined to undermine your privacy

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The Justice Department claims to support "strong encryption, which is used by billions of people every day for services such as banking, commerce, and communications." Yet the department is actively working to weaken encryption, lest fully secure communications frustrate law enforcement agencies seeking access to possibly incriminating messages ...Read more

Muddled Message About Vaping Causes Costly Confusion: Vague Lung Disease Warnings Tar Harm-Reducing E-Cigarettes While Obscuring the Role of Black-Market Cannabis Products

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When there's an outbreak of food poisoning, the federal government does not issue general advisories about the hazards of eating. It tells people which products have been implicated so they can adjust their behavior to reduce the risks they face.

Yet for months now, even as evidence mounted that vaping-related lung diseases overwhelmingly ...Read more

Both the president and his critics casually cry 'treason' to discredit their opponents

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who is notionally challenging Donald Trump for the Republican Party's 2020 presidential nomination, last week claimed Trump is guilty of "treason, pure and simple." He added that "the penalty for treason under the U.S. Code is death."

Weld thus joined a long list of commentators and politicians in both ...Read more

A License for Outrageous Police Conduct: Qualified Immunity Protects Cops From Liability for Actions That Would Land Ordinary People in Jail

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When a police officer illegally arrests a photographer for taking pictures, can the officer be sued for violating the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures"? Yes, a federal appeals court ruled last week.

When police officers steal cash and property worth more than $225,000 while executing a search warrant, can they be ...Read more

The Alarming Epidemic of Misguided Meddling With E-Cigarettes: Banning the Flavors Former Smokers Overwhelmingly Prefer Is a Strange Way to Protect Public Health

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Banning flavored e-cigarettes is all the rage among politicians these days. It's an alarming trend that poses a clear and present danger to public health.

The epidemic of misguided meddling began earlier this month, when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that she planned to unilaterally criminalize the sale of e-cigarettes in flavors ...Read more


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