Politics, Moderate



COVID 19 control measures should be based on emerging evidence

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

A pandemic does not suspend the rule of law

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Will SCOTUS revoke its license for police abuse?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Courts yet to weigh in on COVID-19 on whether measures are 'arbitrary' and 'unreasonable'

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

A virus makes the Supreme Court more transparent

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Shouldn't COVID-19's lethality inform the response to It?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Even in a pandemic, 'constitutional rights still exist'

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

How the CDC and the FDA wrecked the economy

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Will COVID-19 kill the Constitution?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

So far politicians have been acting as if only one side of the ledger matters

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Politicians of both parties use COVID-19 to advance their preexisting policy agendas

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Money can't buy victory for candidates who fail to persuade voters

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

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

Defensive official reactions to corruption encourage the attitude that troubles the AG

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The day before Attorney General William Barr complained about disrespect for the police, Harris County, Texas, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that her office had identified 69 more convicted drug offenders who may have been framed by a veteran Houston narcotics officer. The skepticism that Barr decries cannot be understood without taking ...Read more


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