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  • Legal Memorandum posted September 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 6, 2014. The 2013 term featured a number of hot-button issues: campaign finance restrictions, racial preferences, pro-life speech outside abortion clinics, unions, legislative prayer, and a challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Nearly two-thirds of the decisions were…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Todd F. Gaziano A Handy Guide to the Constitution is Reissued for Its Birthday

    On September 17, Americans will celebrate the 227th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Convention President, George Washington, declared that it was “little short of a miracle” that deliberations were successfully concluded. Only three delegates who stayed to the end refused to sign the document…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Minutiae of Election Rules in the Kansas U.S. Senate Race

    The Kansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning in the dispute over whether the state’s ballot will bear the name of the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. The nominee, Shawnee County district attorney Chad Taylor, tried to withdraw from the ballot on September 3. With less than an hour to go before the deadline for withdrawal, he hand-delivered his…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Injustice of Eric Holder

    Even we were shocked when we researched our new book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” at the extent to which Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has politicized the Justice Department and put the interests of left-wing ideology and his political party ahead of the fair and impartial administration of justice. However, there is no doubt that the American…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso Should Governments Control the Internet?

    The Internet is now critical to the U.S. economy. A recent Hudson Institute analysis estimated that the information, communications, and technology sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total growth of the U.S. economy from 2002 to 2007 – in other words, the sector was responsible for more than $340 billion of the $4.6 trillion increase in real gross output of the…

  • Commentary posted September 17, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Voter ID Wins Big in Wisconsin

    Voter-ID opponents have suffered another stunning blow. On Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the injunction that had been issued against Wisconsin’s voter-ID law by a federal district court in April. The court told Wisconsin that it “may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this…

  • Commentary posted September 16, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky When Politics Drives Law Enforcement

    One of the biggest threats to a civilized, free society occurs when prosecutors abuse their power and allow politics to drive their administration of the criminal-justice system. Two recent examples show how liberal, partisan prosecutors misused their authority and politicized justice. In Fall River, Mass., the New York Times reports, a local county prosecutor, Sam…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky John Chisholm, other prosecutors put free speech at risk in John Doe case

    Oral arguments were heard Tuesday before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in O'Keefe vs. Chisholm, the so-called John Doe investigation in which local prosecutors in Wisconsin tried to criminalize political speech and activity on public issues. The 7th Circuit should uphold the lower court decision halting this Star Chamber investigation that violated basic First…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 10, 2014 by Alden Abbott The Federal Trade Commission’s Role in Online Security: Data Protector or Dictator?

    Background: The Online Data Security Problem While the phrase “identity theft” typically brings to mind stolen credit cards and false identity badges, another key area where privacy violations can occur is less visible but equally insidious: corporate data breaches. Companies’ online data protection practices have a major impact on consumer privacy. Target’s 2013…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Wisconsin Prosecutors’ Attack on the First Amendment Gets to the Seventh Circuit

    Those following the so-called John Doe investigation in Wisconsin know that a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction shutting down the secret investigation that local prosecutors were conducting into almost all of the conservative advocacy organizations in Wisconsin. Their crime? Supposedly coordinating their efforts on public-policy issues with elected officials…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Will the War Powers Resolution prevent a swift response to ISIS?

    The beheading of another American journalist this week sparked many members of Congress to urge President Obama to amp up U.S. military action against ISIS. But before he does so, many of those same lawmakers are demanding that the president first seek congressional authorization, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to continue the use of military force in Iraq and…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Andrew Kloster, James Sherk Why Your City or Town Could Be the Next Step for Right-to-Work

    Should workers have to pay union dues to keep their job? Unions think so — their contracts require companies to fire workers who do not pay up. Fortunately, many states have passed “right-to-work” (RTW) laws that prohibit this coercion. Unions, however, have blocked right-to-work in 26 states, but this doesn’t mean that unionized workers in these states must pay up. In…

  • Commentary posted September 3, 2014 by Paul Larkin Co-opting the criminal justice system for anti-competitive purposes

    Most people assume that legislatures pass criminal laws to benefit the public, and most of the time, they are right. Statutes outlawing murder, rape, robbery, and the like protect all of us against a small number of ruffians who would do us harm. But not every statute has that goal. Some protect favored sons and daughters at the expense of the public. When that happens,…

  • Backgrounder posted August 26, 2014 by James Sherk, Andrew Kloster Local Governments Can Increase Job Growth and Choices by Passing Right-to-Work Laws

    Union contracts often compel employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs. This forces workers to support the union financially even if the union contract has negative consequences for them or they oppose the union’s agenda. Twenty-four states have passed “right-to-work” (RTW) laws which prevent companies from firing workers who do not pay union dues. RTW laws expand…

  • Legal Memorandum posted August 21, 2014 by Paul Larkin Co-opting the Criminal Justice System to Prevent Competition or Serve Noncompetitive Interests

    Harmfulness of Agreements Between the Government and Private Parties to Prevent Competition by Fixing Prices or Output In a recent paper, Mario Loyola argues persuasively that for 80 years, Congress and the Executive have conspired with the sugar producer lobby to artificially reduce the quantity of sugar available in the market and to raise its price to consumers.[1]…