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  • Testimony posted February 27, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration and Their Impact on Federal and State Elections

    Testimony before theHouse of Representatives, Committee on Oversightand Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and theSubcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules February 12, 2015 Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow The Heritage Foundation My Background and Experience My name is Hans A. von Spakovsky.[1] I am a Senior Legal…

  • Testimony posted February 26, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Aggregate Biennial Contribution Limits

    Testimony before the Federal Election Commission February 11, 2015 Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow The Heritage Foundation Introduction My name is Hans A. von Spakovsky.[1] I am a Senior Legal Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be…

  • Testimony posted February 26, 2015 by Paul Larkin Consumers Shortchanged? Oversight of the Justice Department’s Mortgage Lending Settlements

    Testimony Before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law February 12, 2015 Paul J. Larkin, PhD Senior Legal Research Fellow The Heritage Foundation Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Paul J. Larkin, Jr. I currently am a Senior Legal Research Fellow at The Heritage…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 12, 2015 by Michael B. Mukasey, Paul Larkin The Perils of Overcriminalization

    What has happened to federal criminal law in recent decades? Several former senior Department of Justice officials have expressed their concern with the path we have taken,[1] along with the American Bar Association,[2] numerous members of the academy,[3] journalists,[4] and other organizations like The Heritage Foundation.[5] We agree with their considered opinion that…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 11, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Roger Clegg Felon Voting and Unconstitutional Congressional Overreach

    Whether—or when—felons should have their voting rights restored is a public policy issue that is open to debate, but there is no question that the authority to decide this issue lies with the states, not with Congress. A federal bill such as S. 2550, sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R–KY)—which would restore the right to vote to nonviolent felons after they have served…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obama's false claims of voting rights denied

    If President Obama really believes his State of the Union claim that the right to vote is still “being denied to too many,” he should give Attorney General Eric Holder a serious dressing-down. According to its own records, the Department of Justice (DOJ) didn’t initiate a single case in 2014 claiming that anyone had denied someone the right to vote. Section 2 of the…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder's State of Historic Denial

    Departing attorney general Eric Holder’s claim this week in a press conference that there has “been no politicization” of the Justice Department under him makes it appear as if he is living in a Potemkin-like state of denial in the main Justice building. Holder went so far as to claim that he had been forced to clean up the department he took over from the Bush…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Hitting the Ground Running

    Just weeks into his tenure as Nevada’s new Republican attorney general, Adam Laxalt has boldly joined 25 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit claiming that President Obama’s immigration plan is both unconstitutional and a violation of federal law. Laxalt’s decision to join the lawsuit flies in the face of opposition from the state’s popular Republican governor,…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer ICANN Reform: the Timings Off

    The dates don't work. The U.S.'s control over ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit that manages Internet domain names -- will expire before the government can make an informed judgment about how ICANN should function in the future. Last March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Questions Loretta Lynch Needs to Answer

    When attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a two-day confirmation hearing this Wednesday and Thursday, there are many questions she must answer in detail — not just about her conduct as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but also about her views of the law and specific, deeply troublesome actions (and…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky When will Obama stop making false claims about Citizens United?

    At almost the same time that protesters mad about the Citizens United decision were disrupting the start of the Supreme Court’s session on Wednesday, the White House issued a “Statement from the President” condemning the decision on its fifth anniversary. And once again, President Obama repeated the same false claim about “foreign corporations” that he made in his State…

  • Issue Brief posted January 26, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Reforming DHS: Missed Opportunity Calls for Congress to Intervene

    Late last year, President Barack Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would provide work authorization and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million unlawful immigrants. One of the side effects of that announcement is the distraction syndrome. In government, senior leadership focus on, at most, two or three issues at a time. When…

  • Commentary posted January 14, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery The End of ‘Disparate Impact’?

    On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case involving the Obama administration’s favorite dubious legal theory, “disparate impact.” Then again, maybe it won’t — because the administration or some of its more radical allies in the civil-rights movement might snatch the case out of the court’s hands by engineering an eleventh-hour settlement.…

  • Commentary posted December 22, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky War over Obama’s Amnesty Moves to the Courts

    The U.S. Justice Department and the Obama administration have lost their first battle in the war over the president’s plan to provide “deferred action,” or amnesty, to almost 5 million illegal aliens. When the judge for a Pennsylvania federal district court held on December 16 that President Obama’s “Executive Action is unconstitutional because it violates the separation…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2014 by Alden Abbott Constitutional Constraints on Federal Antitrust Law

    A‌merica’s antitrust laws have long held a special status in the ‌federal statutory hierarchy. The Supreme Court of the United States, for example, has famously stated that the “[a]ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.”[1] Thus, a decision not to apply the antitrust laws to a particular type of conduct…