Politics, Moderate



Prosecuting Trump for incitement would set a dangerous precedent

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When Simon & Schuster canceled publication of Josh Hawley's book "The Tyranny of Big Tech," the Missouri senator called the decision "a direct assault on the First Amendment." For reasons the Yale-trained lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk should understand, that description was wildly wrong.

By contrast, another reaction to last week's ...Read more

The case against Julian Assange is also a case against the press

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The British judge who blocked Julian Assange's extradition to the United States on Monday was persuaded by psychiatric testimony indicating a "substantial risk" that the WikiLeaks founder would kill himself in response to the harsh conditions he is apt to face in U.S. custody. Although she was much less impressed by the argument that Assange's ...Read more

Trump blames everyone but himself for his defeat

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Donald Trump's presidency provided a rich trove of examples for my annual review of the year's highlights in blame-shifting. The 2020 edition focuses on the question Trump has been trying to answer for nearly two months: Why did he lose the presidential election?

By Trump's account, it was not because voters preferred Joe Biden. Rather...Read more

Politicians still have not digested the dangers of careless public health measures

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"I'm not sure we know what we're doing," San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow recently confessed, referring to the myriad puzzling restrictions state and local governments have imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19. Morrow's doubts are striking, because last spring he joined other San Francisco Bay Area officials in imposing the ...Read more

Trump's election conspiracy theory requires followers to join him in an alternate universe

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

No matter how many times Bullwinkle J. Moose fails to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he remains optimistic. "This time for sure!" he exclaims, disregarding his sidekick's exasperated complaint that the trick "never works."

If Donald Trump has any skeptical friends like Rocky the Flying Squirrel, he plainly does not listen to them. Otherwise, he ...Read more

Press coverage of the pandemic tends to exaggerate risk and ignore encouraging information

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Last month, researchers in Texas estimated that nearly 5 million of the state's residents had been infected by the COVID-19 virus -- more than four times as many as the official tally of confirmed cases suggested. Although the gap implied that the virus was much less deadly than people initially feared, the Houston Chronicle framed the ...Read more

Disarmed but not dangerous

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

For lying on her federal income tax returns, Lisa Folajtar got three years of probation and a lifetime of constitutional disability. Because her crime carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison, she was permanently stripped of her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

In a case that could give the Supreme Court an opportunity to...Read more

How to beat legalized larceny

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Six months after the Drug Enforcement Administration stole $43,000 from Stacy Jones at a North Carolina airport, her lawyer, Dan Alban, received a letter from the aptly named Douglas Kash, a senior attorney in the DEA's Asset Forfeiture Section. "I am writing to inform you of the decision to return the above-referenced property," Kash said.

...Read more

Cuomo's COVID-19 rules discriminate against religion

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"This is a fear-driven response," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during an Oct. 6 phone conversation about his pandemic-inspired restrictions on religious services. "This is not a policy being written by a scalpel. This is a policy being cut by a hatchet."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an ...Read more

Biden's drug policies are still oppressive

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Joe Biden has come a long way since his days as a vociferous drug warrior. But judging from last week's election results, Americans have come further.

The president-elect now opposes the mandatory minimum sentences and death penalties he once championed, and he portrays himself as a reformer determined to ameliorate the mass incarceration he ...Read more

Federal government urges SCOTUS to rule that the victim has no recourse

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

On a sunny Friday afternoon in July 2014, James King, a 21-year-old college student, was walking to a summer job in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he was accosted by two unshaven men wearing jeans and baseball caps who asked his name and grabbed his wallet. When King tried to flee, the men tackled him, choked him unconscious, and punched him in ...Read more

States should stop treating sober cannabis consumers as public menaces

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Four years ago, Pennsylvania allowed patients suffering from any of 17 serious medical conditions to relieve their symptoms with marijuana. But there was a catch: If they used cannabis as a medicine, they could no longer legally drive.

Last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill that would eliminate that legal ...Read more

Both parties agree on courts checking 'majority rule', but disagree what it means in practice

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Making its case against the reelection of Donald Trump this week, The New York Times complains that the president has been "filling the benches of the federal judiciary with young, conservative lawyers as a firewall against majority rule." While it is hardly surprising that the Times would be dismayed by the appointment of conservative judges ...Read more



Nick Anderson David M. Hitch Ed Wexler Mike Luckovich Clay Bennett Taylor Jones