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  • Commentary posted January 13, 2017 by Elizabeth Slattery Bill of Rights at 225: As Government Grows, so Does Need for Fifth Amendment

    We're all familiar with "pleading the Fifth" - the privilege against self-incrimination. But there's a lot more to the Fifth Amendment than that. Along with the Sixth Amendment, it lays the foundation for how government must treat suspects - providing all of us with several protections from arbitrary and abusive government actions. Under its grand jury requirement…

  • Commentary posted January 13, 2017 by Paul Larkin Bill of Rights at 225: Fundamental Elements of a Fair Trial

    If you ever suffer the misfortune of being charged with a serious crime, you will be glad that the Sixth Amendment exists. It contains the minimal requirements necessary to prevent the federal and state governments from convicting and punishing an innocent person or from railroading a defendant, whether guilty or innocent, by using a Soviet-era "show trial" as the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted January 13, 2017 by Jason Snead, John-Michael Seibler Redefining “Aircraft,” Defining “Drone”: A Job for the 115th Congress

    The scope of the aviation revolution that began in 1903 when the Wright brothers shocked the world with their first flight cannot be overstated: Since then, a host of engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators have advanced the techniques of manned aviation, allowing pilots, passengers, and freight to move faster and more efficiently than ever before. Today, a century…

  • Commentary posted December 20, 2016 by Alden Abbott Supreme Court’s Samsung v. Apple Decision and the Status of Design Patents

    On December 6 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Samsung Electronic Co. v. Apple Inc.  The opinion deferred for another day clarification of key policy questions raised by the design patent system. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor reversed and remanded a Federal Circuit decision upholding a $399 million damages award…

  • Commentary posted December 20, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Behold the Left's Manufactured Hysteria About GOP Obstruction of Judicial Nominees

    Liberal hysteria is nothing new. But over the last six months, the Left’s manufactured outrage over the Senate’s refusal to confirm Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court has hit new heights. Now they’re making the false claim that Republicans have deliberately obstructed all Obama-nominated judges, even down to the federal district court level. Marge Baker, executive vice…

  • Commentary posted December 20, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Bill of Rights at 225: The Very Successful Third Amendment

    Throughout our nation's history, vigorous debates and court battles have raged over the meaning and extent of the protections provided by different parts of the Bill of Rights. Many of these arguments have centered on the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. But there have been virtually no fights at all over the Third Amendment. Some might claim this is a sign…

  • Commentary posted December 20, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Fourth Circuit Upholds Virginia’s Voter-ID Law

    In a loss for Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, the court dismissed the idea that the law is discriminatory or unconstitutional. In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld Virginia’s voter-ID law. The lawsuit, bankrolled largely by George Soros and filed by the Democratic Party of Virginia, had contended that Virginia’s…

  • Commentary posted December 19, 2016 by Alden Abbott December 6 Heritage Foundation Program on IP Rights, Competition, and Due Process Overseas

    In recent years, aggressive antitrust enforcement overseas has increasingly targeted some of America’s most successful and innovative companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.  Inadequate foreign due process and insufficient protection for American intellectual property rights are a feature of many foreign antitrust actions, which threaten to undermine…

  • Commentary posted December 16, 2016 by Paul Larkin The Demise of Capital Clemency

    Over the last four decades, numerous commentators have criticized the institution of executive clemency. Opponents of capital punishment have been particularly vocal. Their principal complaint has been that, with a few isolated exceptions, far too many chief executives have granted condemned prisoners clemency far too infrequently. This is an unfortunate…

  • Commentary posted December 16, 2016 by Alden Abbott A Strong Competition Policy Prescription for a New U.S. Administration

    1. The new Donald Trump Administration (DTA) will have the opportunity to apply American antitrust and competition policy in a manner that promotes economic efficiency, consumer welfare, and economic growth. 2. Ideally, the DTA should adopt a broad-based competition policy that includes, but goes beyond, vigorous antitrust enforcement. In particular, the DTA should work…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Threatening Electors Violates Federal Law. So Why Isn't Loretta Lynch Doing Anything About It?

    Before Donald Trump’s stunning victory on November 8, liberals called for acceptance of election results. But since the election didn’t go as they’d planned, some have taken to harassing and intimidating electors in an attempt to change the election results. Some of these threats may violate federal law, yet the Justice Department acts strangely uninterested in…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, John Fund Do Illegal Votes Decide Elections?

    Donald Trump’s claim that illegal voting may have cost him a popular-vote majority has touched off outrage. Widespread voter fraud, the media consensus suggests, isn’t possible. But there is a real chance that significant numbers of noncitizens and others are indeed voting illegally, perhaps enough to make up the margin in some elections. There’s no way of knowing for…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2016 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Yes: Havens for Alien Criminals Should Lose Federal Funding

    President-elect Donald Trump has promised to do what no prior administration has done: end sanctuary cities. Thank goodness. The federal government should crack down on cities that violate federal immigration law. In the process of flouting the law, these cities wind up creating havens for criminal predators who murder, rape, molest, rob and otherwise victimize…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2016 by Jason Snead Election Integrity: Ferreting out Fraud

    Just six weeks ago, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., penned an op-ed for The Washington Post dismissing any concerns about voter fraud and election insecurity as the whining of a soon-to-be-defeated Donald Trump. What a difference a month makes. Now, liberal groups, having forced a recount in Wisconsin, are rallying behind defeated Green Party presidential candidate Jill…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2016 by Alden Abbott Reconfirming Jessica Rosenworcel as an FCC Commissioner Would Undermine Internet Freedom

    The Senate should not reconfirm Jessica Rosenworcel to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in order to allow the Trump Administration to usher in needed reforms in the critical area of communications policy. As documented by the Free State Foundation (FSF) and other supporters of free markets, the Obama Administration’s FCC has done a dismal job in overseeing…