Last Thursday the president of the United States threw a temper tantrum disguised as an executive order, threatening to punish Twitter for daring to annotate two of his comments about voting by mail. Twitter retaliated the next day, slapping a warning label on a presidential tweet about the protests triggered by George Floyd's death at the ...Read more
Despite what many people hoped, COVID-19 is clearly worse than the seasonal flu. But despite what other people feared, it does not seem to be nearly as lethal as the "Spanish flu" of 1918, which killed about 0.7% of the total U.S. population -- equivalent to more than 2 million people today.
As we move from lockdowns to something more closely ...Read more
The recent court decisions overturning COVID-19 lockdowns in Wisconsin and Oregon focused on abstruse issues of statutory interpretation. But both cases also addressed a more fundamental question: Is the rule of law suspended during a public health emergency?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials have imposed unprecedented ...Read more
Based on an erroneous report of a "domestic assault," police officers came to rescue Melanie Kelsay from the man who supposedly was attacking her at a community swimming pool in Wymore, Nebraska. Then one of them actually assaulted her, lifting the 130-pound woman off the ground in a bear hug and throwing her to the ground, breaking her ...Read more
When he rejected a legal challenge to Michigan's COVID-19 lockdown last week, Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray quoted at length from Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld mandatory smallpox vaccination. But he left out the part where the justices said state public health powers, while broad, ...Read more
The case that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday morning, a trademark dispute involving the travel service Booking.com, is probably of little interest to the general public. But the manner in which the justices will hear oral arguments -- via a teleconference with a live audio feed for anyone who wants to listen -- is unprecedented...Read more
When she announced the startling results of a new COVID-19 study on Monday, Los Angeles County's top public health official emphasized that the number of infections far exceeds the official count of confirmed cases. She underplayed another important implication of the study: COVID-19 seems to be far less deadly than many people feared.
The way ...Read more
The celebration of Easter this week was conspicuously constrained by government policies aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, which affected travel, family gatherings and church services throughout the country. But in an encouraging sign that the Constitution still means something in these extraordinary times, one of those policies was ...Read more
Public officials across the United States are flying blind against the COVID-19 epidemic. Because of a government-engineered testing fiasco, they do not know how fast the virus is spreading, how many people have been infected by it, how many will die as a result or how many have developed immunity to it.
The failure to implement early and wide ...Read more
The great American jurist St. George Tucker, writing at the beginning of the 19th century, called the right to armed self-defense "the true palladium of liberty" and "the first law of nature." But California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that right, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, is optional.
After Newsom ordered "nonessential" businesses to ...Read more
President Donald Trump is rightly worried that the "cure" for COVID-19 -- sweeping restrictions on travel, local movement, business activity and work -- could prove to be "worse" than the disease. That may already be true; politicians have been acting as if only one side of this ledger matters.
Economists are predicting that the official ...Read more
The United States would be better prepared for the COVID-19 epidemic, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suggested during Sunday night's presidential debate, if it had a single-payer health care system similar to his "Medicare for All" proposal. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading contender for the Democratic nomination, was appropriately ...Read more
Two and a half weeks after Bernie Sanders slammed Michael Bloomberg for trying to "buy this election," the former New York City mayor dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, having spent $570 million of his own money to win 61 delegates. Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race, did even worse, abandoning his ...Read more