Politics, Moderate



Trump's Defense Suggests His Treatment of Classified Material Was Remarkably Cavalier: Whatever Threat It May Have Posed, the Trove of Government Documents Seized by the FBI Does Not Reflect Well on the Former President's Judgment

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The main justification for the FBI's Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump's home at his Palm Beach, Florida, resort -- securing state secrets -- requires us to accept the government's characterization of purloined documents that we are not allowed to see. Trump, meanwhile, insists he had no classified documents, which is even harder to...Read more

Judicial Rubber-Stamping of Warrants Can Be Deadly: Lethal Drug Raids in Louisville and Houston Were Based on Fishy Police Affidavits That Turned Out to Be Fraudulent

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

According to a federal indictment unsealed last week, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse who was killed during a 2020 drug raid in Louisville, Kentucky, died because a cop lied. According to a 2019 federal indictment, the same is true of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, a middle-aged couple killed during a drug raid in ...Read more

Democrats Don't Care Whether Banning 'Assault Weapons' Is Constitutional: Even While Conceding That the Rifles They Want to Ban Are Commonly Used for Lawful Purposes, They Refuse to Grapple With the Implications

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

A week before the House of Representatives approved a ban on "assault weapons," a federal judge in Denver explained why such laws are unlikely to pass constitutional muster. House Democrats either were not paying attention or did not care because they view the Second Amendment as an outmoded provision that imposes no meaningful limits on gun ...Read more

Chuck Schumer Learned Nothing From the Failure of Pot Legalization in California

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

During the next year, California officials said last week, the state expects to seize "more than $1 billion worth of illegal cannabis products." That announcement came a few weeks after the U.S. Justice Department bragged about guilty pleas by 11 unlicensed California marijuana merchants who had been nabbed with help from state and local law ...Read more

Gun Law Reflects the Worst Instincts of Both Parties

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Until last month, someone with a felony record who obtained a gun was committing a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Now he or she is committing two federal crimes, each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Contrary to what you may have read or heard, the story of how that happened is not an inspiring example of ...Read more

Politicians Are Defying the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Right To Bear Arms!

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

After the Supreme Court upheld the right to bear arms last month, some states promptly complied with the ruling by eliminating subjective requirements for carrying a gun in public. But other states are either dragging their feet or refusing to acknowledge the decision's implications.

The Court said New York had violated the Second Amendment by ...Read more

The FDA Perversely Seeks to Make Both Cigarettes and Harm-Reducing Alternatives Less Appealing

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The Food and Drug Administration wants to prevent smoking-related deaths by making cigarettes less appealing. Toward that end, the FDA plans to ban menthol cigarettes and limit nicotine content to "reduce the addictiveness of cigarettes."

Meanwhile, the FDA seems determined to make vaping products, the most promising harm-reducing alternative ...Read more

Maximalists Threaten a Federalist Compromise on Abortion

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, it ostensibly freed states to regulate abortion as they see fit. But that won't be possible if Congress manages to impose one abortion policy on the entire country or if states succeed in applying their own laws beyond their territory.

Both power moves are constitutionally dubious. They ...Read more

SCOTUS Again Upholds Double Prosecution and Punishment for the Same Crime

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The federal government prosecuted Merle Denezpi twice for the same crime. It also punished him twice: the first time with 140 days in a federal detention center, the second time with a prison sentence more than 70 times as long.

Although that may seem like an obvious violation of the Fifth Amendment's ban on double jeopardy, the Supreme Court ...Read more

'Red Flag' Laws Require a Tricky Balance

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

It is easy to understand the bipartisan appeal of a policy that promises to reduce gun violence by targeting dangerous individuals instead of imposing broad limits that affect millions of law-abiding Americans. So it's not surprising that the Senate gun control deal announced on Sunday includes federal grants aimed at encouraging states to pass ...Read more

President's Policy Prescriptions Are Unlikely to Have a Meaningful Impact

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The New York Times reckons that four gun control measures Congress is considering "might have changed the course of at least 35 mass shootings" since 1999 -- one-third of attacks in which a gunman killed at least four people. While that conclusion is excessively optimistic, the newspaper is at least asking the right question: Are new ...Read more

Policies Made Impulsively Do More Harm Than Good

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

After a gunman murdered 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week, politicians responded as they always do to such shocking crimes. Democrats pushed gun control policies ranging from the symbolic to the flagrantly irrelevant, while Republicans emphasized improvements to school security.

On its face, "...Read more

Commonly Touted Policies Are Ill-suited To Stopping Mass Shooters

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

"In New York," former Gov. Andrew Cuomo bragged on Sunday, "we passed the best (gun control) laws in the nation." Although those laws manifestly did not prevent the mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, Cuomo thinks the answer is more legislation of the same sort.

Cuomo mentioned a federal "assault weapon" ban,...Read more



A.F. Branco John Branch Adam Zyglis Drew Sheneman Jeff Danziger Bill Day