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As I have previously reported, last May US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) proposed subjecting people who make politically incorrect statements about climate change to criminal investigation, and in September a group of respected academics went on the record endorsing that outrageous idea...
In the last two years, academics and scholars of public policy have identified North Carolina as a state with an overly complex criminal code that can ensnare small businesses, farmers, and individuals who unknowingly fail to comply with regulatory rules. In 2014, Professor Jeff Welty of the...
In October the NC State Bar and LegalZoom, Inc. announced a settlement in their long-running dispute over the latter's online, self-help, legal document service. As Ben Barton describes it at Bloomberg's Big Law Business blog, the terms of that settlement constitute a win for LegalZoom and its...
Back in June I discussed Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's disturbing suggestion that energy companies that raise doubts about the Administration's response to climate change should be prosecuted under federal racketeering law. At the time it seemed like a farfetched proposal and a clear violation of the...
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has attracted a lot of media attention, and not just because, as the President says, "She...happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country." When she was still District Attorney in San Francisco, Harris made headlines by...
In June, the US Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. The Court held that, under the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures, "The provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code that requires hotel operators to make their registries...
In his response to the recent shootings at Umpqua Community College, President Obama made an impassioned plea for more gun control...
One of the many things I like about North Carolina is a provision in the NC General Statutes that forbids collective bargaining by public employees. Thanks to that law, North Carolina public employee unions are, politically, relatively weak. In states without such laws, on the other hand, public...
Last week the New York Times ran a disgraceful hit piece under the headline: "Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice of Few Words, Some Not His Own." The headline and the article itself are clearly designed to create the impression that Thomas is not only lazy but possibly a plagiarist as well...
Back in June I discussed Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's disturbing suggestion that energy companies that raise doubts about the Administration's response to climate change should be prosecuted under federal racketeering law. At the time it seemed like a farfetched proposal and a clear violation of the...
Two weeks ago, I listed some actions by California State Attorney General Kamala Harris that had brought her notoriety, but I ran out of space before I could list them all. One of the actions I omitted pertains to the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. As I explained last week...
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 was introduced this month by a bi-partisan group of US Senators that includes Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy...
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife Candy have just published a new book called A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties. To illustrate the purpose and importance of the 2nd Amendment, they use a historical example...
On Tuesday the N.C. Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that strikes at the heart of a controversial piece of legislation known as the Map Act. Here at the John Locke Foundation, we have been urging the General Assembly to repeal or reform the Map Act for some time. Now, however, thanks to...
On Tuesday the N.C. House of Representatives approved a proposal to amend the state constitution by adding the following language: Private property shall not be taken by eminent domain except for a public use. Just compensation shall be paid and shall be determined by a jury at the request of...
For years a diligent group of North Carolina state representatives has been trying to add an eminent domain clause to the North Carolina Constitution. Their latest attempt, HB 3, was filed on January 14th. Thanks to their perseverance - and thanks also to recent changes in the makeup of the...
In my previous newsletter, I called Eric Holder's January 16th order modifying the DOJ's civil asset forfeiture policy "a significant step in the right direction," and I encouraged my readers to join me in hoping, not only that more reform would follow but also that Holder's order might mark...
US Attorney General Eric Holder has been subjected to a good deal of criticism during his time in office, but even many of his fiercest critics have joined the chorus of praise for an order he signed last week entitled "Prohibition on Certain Federal Adoptions of Seizures by State and Local Law...
Last week the NC House voted unanimously to approve a bill (HB 183) that would repeal in its entirety a contentious piece of legislation known as the Map Act. As I explained in a previous newsletter, when the General Assembly passed the Map Act in 1987 its declared purpose was...
And to kick off the celebrations, over at the Liberty and Law blog Justin Lyons has posted an interesting discussion of Winston Churchill's views on the Great Charter and its role in British and American history. Lyons illustrates his discussion with many stirring quotations from Churchill's...
As I have previously explained, civil asset forfeiture is an obnoxious legal process that empowers law enforcement agencies to confiscate property they suspect has been used in, or derived from, criminal activity. Part of what makes this process so abhorrent is the fact that, because it is a...
Despite being upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2005 as a legitimate exercise of eminent domain, the decision by the City of New London, CT, to take some of its citizens' homes and give the land on which they stood to a private developer was a source of widespread outrage at the time...
Earlier this month the Department of Justice finally released a report summarizing its investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department. Some have denounced the report as little more than irresponsible race baiting. Others have praised it as a much needed expose of a rogue agency...
A couple of weeks ago I discussed an excellent NC Court of Appeals decision in which the Court held that development moratoria imposed under the Map Act constitute takings for which just compensation must be paid. Today I'm happy to report that the General Assembly is already responding to that hold
During the progressive era, federal antitrust enforcement agencies were known as "trustbusters." They were usually depicted as righteous warriors courageously fighting to rescue helpless ordinary citizens from the machinations of rich and powerful monopolists. In reality, federal trust busting...
My colleague Jon Sanders has already commented on last week's Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. As Jon suggests, this is a good result in many ways -- the bad guys lost, and the good guys will eventually benefit. It is...
I noted in last week's newsletter that the American left has abandoned its traditional support for free expression and now seems intent on criminalizing politically incorrect speech. One notable manifestation of this change is a growing consensus that "hate speech" ought to be subject to criminal...
At cato.org, Walter Olson has posted an interesting discussion of how politicians are increasingly inclined to criminalize politically incorrect speech...
Legal scholar John McGinnis has written an interesting review of a play that explores the psychological roots of Antonin Scalia's approach to Constitutional interpretation. McGinnis begins by acknowledging that...
If sportswriter Sally Jenkins has her facts right, the NFL's handling of the allegations about underinflated AFC Championship game balls seems to have fallen short of even the most rudimentary standards of justice...
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