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  • Commentary posted April 22, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Prosecuting Climate Change ‘Deniers’ is an Abuse of Power

    They call themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” A more accurate name would be “AGs United to Silence Dissent.” I’m referring to a coalition of 17 attorneys general representing 15 states as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. They announced at a press conference on March 29 that they will be targeting any companies that challenge the “accepted”…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 15, 2016 by Paul Larkin A New Approach to the Texas v. United States Immigration Case: Discretion, Dispensation, Suspension, and Pardon—The Four Horsemen of Article II

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a well-known image. The Book of Revelation identifies them as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction, and Death.[1] Used in Revelation as a harbinger of the end of days, the imagery has been reused in other contexts as a metaphor to herald the end of a political state, such as the Roman Empire. The same metaphor can be used to signify the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 6, 2016 by Andrew Kloster Down to Business: Supreme Court Appears Ready to Address Important Business Community Issues

    The docket of the Supreme Court of the United States for its October 2014 term contained few cases with major implications for business litigation and regulation, but several did signal that at least some members of the Court are concerned about excesses of the regulatory state and are looking for opportunities to provide greater guidance in the area of administrative…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 4, 2016 by Paul Larkin, Charles "Cully" Stimson The 2015 Report of the Military Justice Review Group: Reasonable Next Steps in the Ongoing Professionalization of the Military Justice System

    In the federal and state criminal justice systems, “the central purpose of a criminal trial is to decide the factual question of the defendant’s guilt or innocence.”[1] Through the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Congress has indicated that the military shares that goal. To achieve it, Congress has concluded that the military justice system, to…

  • Backgrounder posted April 4, 2016 by Brett D. Schaefer, Paul Rosenzweig ICANN Transition Proposal: The U.S. Should Proceed with Caution

    A critical change in Internet governance is imminent. It has been two years since the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced that it intended to end its current contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and “transition key Internet domain name functions to…

  • Issue Brief posted March 31, 2016 by Jason Snead, John-Michael Seibler The Dangers of Drones Were Regulated Before the FAA Noticed Them

    In December, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new rule criminalizing the flight of recreational drones and model aircraft unless the owner first registers with the federal government.[1] As of February 19, 2016, any unregistered drone owner operating a craft that weighs more than 0.55 pounds is committing a federal felony punishable by up to three…

  • Testimony posted March 18, 2016 by Elizabeth Slattery Executive Overreach in Domestic Affairs Part I—Health Care and Immigration

    Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary Task Force on Executive Overreach U.S. House of Representatives March 15, 2016 Elizabeth H. Slattery Legal Fellow Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies The Heritage Foundation Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Committee: My name is Elizabeth Slattery, and I am a Legal Fellow in The Heritage…

  • Issue Brief posted March 18, 2016 by David Inserra, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., David Shedd, Paul Rosenzweig Encryption Commission: Making Sense of Critical Policy Options

    In the current legal battle between Apple and the FBI over a San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone, critical security, technology, privacy, legal, and counterterrorism issues have all come to a head. As different judges have come to different conclusions on this issue and with Apple and the Department of Justice appealing these cases, Congress has also entered the debate.…

  • News Releases posted March 16, 2016 by John Malcolm Heritage Statement on SCOTUS Nomination

    "The Constitution does not say they are obligated or not obligated to consider a nominee to the Supreme Court.  It is silent.  All the Constitution says is that the president does not get to appoint justices to the Supreme Court without the 'advice and consent' of the Senate.  The Senate can give that or not -- it's up to the Senate."…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 16, 2016 by Andrew Kloster Appeals Court Ruling Could Threaten the Second Amendment Rights of American Citizens

    On August 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in United States v. Mariano A. Meza-Rodriguez.[1] This case addresses two interesting questions: Do non-citizens have Second Amendment rights? Even if they do have such rights, can the government criminalize the possession of guns by illegal aliens? The Seventh…

  • Commentary posted March 9, 2016 by Paul Larkin Spring Cleaning for Needless Criminal Laws

    Millions of people throw out old, useless items every spring. But the 535 members of Congress are not among those people. The last 40 years have witnessed a prodigious growth in the number of federal criminal statutes, and our federal criminal code now contains more than 4,000 criminal laws. Some of them are as useless as the old English statute that bans the wearing of…

  • Issue Brief posted March 8, 2016 by Jason Snead, John-Michael Seibler The FAA Drone Registry: A Two-Month Crash Course in How to Overcriminalize Innovation

    Two months: That is all the time an executive branch agency needs to create a crime. With passage of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, Congress explicitly told the Federal Aviation Administration to leave recreational drones alone, but the FAA has charged ahead anyway. In just two months, with no input from Congress or the public, unelected and unaccountable…

  • Commentary posted March 7, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Does the Justice Department Want to Enable Noncitizen Voting?

    We continue to get rapid developments in the noncitizen voter-registration lawsuit involving the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the U.S. Department of Justice. DOJ has been siding with the League and the NAACP instead of defending the EAC. The latest actions of the Justice Department (DOJ), which include filing a…

  • Testimony posted March 3, 2016 by Paul Larkin Geolocation Technology and Privacy

    Hearing Before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform United States House of Representatives March 2, 2016 Paul J. Larkin, Jr. Senior Legal Research Fellow Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Committee: My name is Paul J. Larkin, Jr. I currently am a Senior Legal Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Most of my career has involved…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2016 by Jason Snead Stopping America’s Runaway Civil Forfeitures

    One night last August, 71-year-old Judith Wiese’s Jeep was seized during a traffic stop because the driver’s license was suspended. But the Illinois grandmother was not the one behind the wheel; in fact, she was not even in the car. Her grandson was driving that night, and he had lied about the status of his license so Wiese would hand over the keys. Under Illinois’s…