Politics, Moderate



Laws Requiring Permission to Obtain Guns Look Vulnerable: The 4th Circuit's Rejection of Maryland's Handgun Licensing System Suggests Similar Schemes in Other States Are Unconstitutional

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

According to a landmark 2022 Supreme Court decision, the Second Amendment constrains the requirements that states may impose on residents who want to carry guns in public for self-defense. It stands to reason that the same is true of the steps that people must take to acquire guns in the first place.

That is essentially what the U.S. Court of...Read more

Trump Gag Order Raises Unsettled Constitutional Questions: A D.C. Circuit Judge Says the Government's Defense of the Order Gives Short Shrift to 'the First Amendment's Vigorous Protection of Political Speech'

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"I'll be the only politician in history" who "won't be allowed to criticize people," former President Donald Trump complained last month. He was referring to the gag order issued by the judge who is overseeing the federal case that charges him with illegally conspiring to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

While Trump's ...Read more

The Supreme Court Should Not Let Bureaucrats Invent Crimes by Rewriting the Law: The Trump Administration's Unilateral Ban on Bump Stocks Turned Owners of Those Rifle Accessories Into Felons

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

On Dec. 26, 2018, every American who owned a bump stock, a rifle accessory that facilitates rapid firing, was suddenly guilty of a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That did not happen because a new law took effect; it happened because federal regulators reinterpreted an existing law to mean something they had long said it...Read more

Remember the Teen Vaping 'Epidemic'? Policies Inspired by That Exaggerated Threat Continue to Undermine the Harm-Reducing Potential of E-Cigarettes

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Remember the "epidemic" of underage nicotine vaping? For years, activists, politicians and public health officials have been warning that a surge in e-cigarette use by teenagers would hook a generation of young people on nicotine and encourage them to smoke.

That never happened, as new federal survey data confirm. But policies adopted in ...Read more

Don't Blame the Maine Shootings on 'Woefully Weak' Gun Laws: Criticism of the State's 'Yellow Flag' Statute Is Doubly Misguided

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Five months before an Army Reserve sergeant killed 18 people at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, his relatives told police he was increasingly paranoid, erroneously complaining that people were describing him as a pedophile. Two months later, he underwent a psychiatric evaluation after service members who were training with him at...Read more

The Bipartisan Urge to Control Online Speech: Democrats and Republicans Are United in Thinking Their Political Agendas Trump the First Amendment

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

According to the Biden administration, federal officials who urged social media companies to suppress "misinformation" about COVID-19 and other subjects were merely asking platforms like Facebook and Twitter to enforce their own rules. But according to the social media users whose speech was stifled as a result of that campaign, it crossed the...Read more

Jews, Like Palestinians, Are 'Indigenous' to the Middle East: The Hamas-Embraced Idea That Jews Have No Place in Israel Fosters Extremism on Both Sides

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Leftists who openly celebrated the horrifying Hamas attacks in southern Israel argued that the end -- liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea" -- justified the means, including the indiscriminate slaughter of young rave revelers, elderly Holocaust survivors, children and babies. Although that is a minority position even among harsh ...Read more

Holding Protest Leaders Liable for Others' Violence Threatens First Amendment Rights: A Lawsuit Against a Black Lives Matter Activist Could Have a Chilling Impact on Constitutionally Protected Activity

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

During a 2016 Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, someone picked up a rock or a piece of concrete and hurled it at police, striking an officer in the head. Although the assailant was never identified, we know it was not BLM leader DeRay Mckesson, who nevertheless faces a lawsuit that blames him for creating the ...Read more

Defenders of the Florida and Texas Social Media Laws Contradict Themselves: If Facebook et al. Are Pushing a 'Radical Leftist Narrative,' Why Don't They Have a Constitutional Right to Do That?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Social media companies argue that their content moderation decisions are a form of editorial discretion protected by the First Amendment. Conservative critics of those companies reject that argument, even as they complain that the platforms' decisions reflect a progressive agenda.

That contradiction is at the heart of two cases that the ...Read more

Oregon's Drug Problems Were Not Caused by Decriminalization: Prohibition Is at the Root of the Hazards That Have Led to Record Numbers of Opioid-Related Deaths

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Three years ago, 58% of Oregon voters approved Measure 110, a groundbreaking ballot initiative that eliminated criminal penalties for low-level possession of illegal drugs. Last week, a group called the Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110 proposed two versions of an initiative aimed at reversing that reform, and recent polling ...Read more

Trump's Preposterous Defense in the Purloined Documents Case: The Former President Suggests He Was Not Obliged to Obey a Subpoena Seeking Classified Records

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

In May 2022, Donald Trump received a federal subpoena demanding all the documents with classification markings that remained in his possession at Mar-a-Lago. At that point, SiriusXM talk show host Megyn Kelly suggested in an interview with the former president last week, he was legally obligated to surrender those records.

"I know this," ...Read more

A Blatantly Unconstitutional Gun Edict Highlights the Hazards of Emergency Powers: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Thinks Violent Crime Gives Her a License to Rule by Decree

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued "a public health emergency order" that purportedly suspended the right to bear arms in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County last week, her justification was seemingly straightforward. "I have emergency powers," she told The New York Times. "Gun violence is an epidemic. Therefore, it's...Read more

Rescheduling Marijuana Would Leave Federal Prohibition Essentially Untouched: Although the HHS-Recommended Change Would Benefit Researchers and the Cannabis Industry, It Would Not Resolve the Conflict Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

For half a century, reformers have been urging the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana, which since 1970 has been assigned to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the law's most restrictive category. Although the DEA has always rejected that proposal, it could change course in light of a recent recommendation from ...Read more



A.F. Branco Mike Luckovich John Branch Adam Zyglis Bill Bramhall Joel Pett