Ron DeSantis Dangerously Blurs the Line Between State and Private Action: Whether the Putative Target Is the 'Biomedical Security State,' Wokeness, 'Big Tech Censors' or Chinese Communists, the Presidential Candidate's Grandstanding Poses a Clear Threat to Individual Rights
Ron DeSantis, who officially launched his presidential campaign last week, presents himself as a champion of individual freedom against overweening government. But as governor of Florida, DeSantis has repeatedly contradicted that stance by blurring the line between state and private action, a distinction that is crucial to protecting civil ...Read more
The Perils of 'Rule by Indefinite Emergency Edict': Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Highlights a Vital Lesson From the COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 15, 2020, two days after then-President Donald Trump declared a national COVID-19 emergency, Cornell law professor Michael Dorf urged Congress to impose a nationwide lockdown and suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Congress never took either of those constitutionally dubious steps, which Dorf said were necessary to "save the nation."
Trump's Disregard for the Rule of Law Is at Least as Bad as Biden's: The Former President Reminds Us That Claiming Unbridled Executive Power Is a Bipartisan Tendency
Sometime this month or next, the Supreme Court is expected to tell President Joe Biden that he can't forgive $400 billion in student loan debt without congressional authorization. That plan is one of several ways in which Biden has embraced an expansive view of executive power that elevates his own preferences above the law.
Unfortunately, ...Read more
The Allen Massacre Underlines the False Promise of 'Universal Background Checks': Mass Shooters Typically Do Not Have Disqualifying Records, and Restrictions on Private Gun Sales Are Widely Flouted
After the mass shooting that killed eight people at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, last Saturday, President Joe Biden said that horrifying crime reinforced the case for "enacting universal background checks." Yet the perpetrator, who was killed by a police officer at the scene, had been licensed as an armed security guard, which means he ...Read more
'Assault Weapon' Bans Look More Legally Vulnerable Than Ever: A Preliminary Injunction in Illinois May Signal the Demise of a Long-Running Public Policy Fraud
Three days after Washington became the 10th state to enact an "assault weapon" ban, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a similar law in Illinois. That decision, which was published last Friday, may signal the demise of a long-running public policy fraud that falsely depicts an arbitrarily defined category of semi-automatic ...Read more
Cornell's President Defends Free Speech Against Illiberal Impulses: Martha Pollack Rejects the Pernicious Premise That Universities Should Protect Students From Offensive Ideas
The last time I spoke at Cornell University, the turnout was tiny but attentive. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who graduated from Cornell a few years before I did, attracted a much larger crowd when she visited the campus in November, but her talk was repeatedly interrupted by loud and angry protesters, and she left in frustration ...Read more
It's Hard to See Who Was Victimized by Trump's 34 Alleged Felonies: The New York Case Against the Former President Is Morally Dubious as Well as Legally Shaky
Since the New York indictment of Donald Trump was unsealed last week, critics across the political spectrum have noted the legal problems with transforming one hush payment into 34 felonies. But in assessing the seriousness of this case, it is also relevant to ask who was injured by the former president's actions, a question that poses more of...Read more
Restraining Orders Do Not Prove That People Are 'Dangerous': The Biden Administration Is Defending a Federal Law That Disarms Americans Based on 'Boilerplate Language' in Orders That Judges Routinely Grant
Three decades ago, Congress enacted a law that seemed commonsensical: It prohibits gun possession by people who are subject to restraining orders aimed at preventing domestic violence. But as the legal battle over that rule shows, its intuitive appeal is complicated by the reality that judges often issue such orders without any credible ...Read more
The Israeli Fight Over Judicial Review Highlights the Dangers of Unconstrained Democracy: Opponents of the Proposed Reforms Are Right That Unlimited Majority Rule Is a Recipe for Tyranny
This week, in response to mass demonstrations and a nascent general strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed legislative consideration of his right-wing coalition's judicial reform agenda. Both sides in the acrimonious battle over that plan say they are defending democracy, which is a misleading way to frame an issue that should...Read more
The Crusade Against 'Malinformation' Explicitly Targets Inconvenient Truths: The Legal Challenge to Censorship by Proxy Highlights Covert Government Manipulation of Online Speech
Last month, I noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had repeatedly exaggerated the scientific evidence supporting face mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook attached a warning to that column, which it said was "missing context" and "could mislead people."
According to an alliance of social media platforms, ...Read more
Louisville Police Abuses Show Civil Liberties Are Meaningless Without Accountability: Supervisors and Judges Tolerated Outrageous Constitutional Violations, Including Illegal Searches and Brutal Assaults
The form that Louisville, Kentucky, police officers use when they seek search warrants includes a list of possible justifications, such as the expectation that stolen property, tools of crime, or other evidence of illegal activity will be discovered. In one case recently highlighted by the U.S. Department of Justice, an officer checked "other" ...Read more
Biden's Attack on 'Ghost Guns' Fits a Pattern of Lawless Firearm Regulation! The President and His Predecessor Both Tried to Impose Gun Control by Executive Fiat!
During his 2022 State of the Union address, President Joe Biden promised he would "keep doing everything in my power" to eliminate "ghost guns you can buy online and assemble at home." But Biden actually tried to do something that was not in his power: He purported to ban that previously legal business by administrative decree, ...Read more