• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Legal Memorandum posted April 21, 2015 by Paul Larkin The Constitutional Problems Raised by Domestic Convictions for Foreign Crimes

    Most federal criminal legislation is designed to regulate domestic affairs.[1] Over the past few decades, however, Congress has increasingly adopted several laws that apply beyond our shores. One example is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it a crime to bribe a foreign official, a crime that can occur overseas. In those cases, Congress has clearly defined…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 20, 2015 by John Malcolm Civil Asset Forfeiture: Good Intentions Gone Awry and the Need for Reform

    The chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees have stated that reforming federal civil asset forfeiture laws is a top priority for them.[1] The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (DOJ IG) has issued several critical reports on how some federal agencies and state and local authorities administer their forfeiture programs.[2] And Attorney…

  • Commentary posted April 20, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Amnesty Battle Continues in the Big Easy

    Today, April 17, the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against the administration goes to the next level. The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments on the government’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction issued on February 16 by Judge Andrew Hanen pending appeal. This is the just the preliminary round, since the Fifth Circuit will hear separate…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Don't hijack the voters' right to choose judges

    “Merit selection” of state judges sounds virtuous. But it would disenfranchise the public, stripping citizens of their right to vote for, and select, those who control the third branch of state government: the judiciary. Critics of elected judges complain about political spending in state judicial races. Yet the complaint rings hollow; these same critics have poured…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obama’s DOJ Loses Another Round in Immigration Battle in Texas

    Federal district court judge Andrew Hanen slammed the Obama administration with a solid one-two punch late last night. In one order, he refused to lift the preliminary injunction barring implementation of the president’s immigration amnesty plan. In a second order, Hanen said that the “attorneys for the Government misrepresented the facts” about the implementation to the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Revisiting the Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Kansas: 2014

    The voter turnout data in Kansas in the 2014 congressional midterm and 2012 presidential elections once again show that the claims by opponents of voter identification are wrong. There is no evidence that the turnout of Kansas voters was suppressed or affected in a negative way by the state’s voter ID requirement.[1] In fact, it may have had a very slight positive effect.…

  • Commentary posted April 6, 2015 by Edwin Meese III, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Religious-liberty protections promote tolerance

    A national firestorm has erupted over an Indiana law that, in all essentials, mirrors the legal standard protecting religious liberty in all federal courts and 31 state courts. Why? The answer, unfortunately, is “the culture war” — and, contrary to media portrayals, conservatives aren’t the aggressors here. Who favors coercion in this debate? Who opposes tolerance and…

  • Commentary posted April 1, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Immigration Battle Heads to the Big Easy

    Call it the Battle of New Orleans. On April 17, the litigation war over the president’s amnesty plan for 5 million illegal aliens will shift from Brownsville, Texas, to the Big Easy. In February, the administration suffered a major setback when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction against the plan. Now the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear…

  • Commentary posted April 1, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Compulsory Voting is Unconstitutional

    President Obama recently praised the idea of “mandatory voting,” saying it would be “transformative” and “completely change the political map in this country,” showing again how unbound he feels by the limits imposed on the power of government by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The president apparently does not believe that the right to speak, which is protected…

  • Commentary posted April 1, 2015 by Jason Snead Both parties in New Mexico and elsewhere see bad problems in good-intentioned civil forfeiture laws

    On the last day of its session, the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a landmark bill to limit civil forfeiture. Now, the bipartisan House Bill 560 is on the desk of Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, and state residents are waiting to see whether she will sign it. Civil forfeiture has a noble goal: relieving criminals of their ill-gotten gains and the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 30, 2015 by Alden Abbott, Paul Larkin North Carolina Dental Board and the Reform of State-Sponsored Protectionism

    On February 25, 2015, in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC (North Carolina Dental Board),[1] the Supreme Court of the United States struck a blow for consumers and economic freedom. The case involved a North Carolina statute prohibiting non-dentists, including dental assistants, from whitening patients’ teeth and granting a board that included…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Will the Obama Administration Be Sanctioned for Misleading Judge Hanen?

    As expected, the Justice Department had a very tough time in federal court yesterday. Appearing before Judge Andrew Hanen down in Brownsville, Texas, DOJ attorneys strove mightily to explain away how the Department misled the court in the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama’s amnesty plan. Both the AP and a private source who was in the…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Please Explain 100,000 Deferrals for Illegal Aliens

    There has been a flurry of procedural developments in the lawsuit filed by 26 states in a Texas federal court against President Obama’s amnesty plan for 5 million illegal aliens. On March 19, Justice Department lawyers — and officials of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — will be in the hot seat at a hearing scheduled by Judge Andrew Hanen. Sitting in the dock,…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky What the Ferguson Report Really Exposed

    We’ve all seen them—the unsolicited, chain emails that occasionally dump tasteless or racist jokes in our inboxes.  I delete them immediately.  End of story. Yet, somehow, the media has obsessed over the (admittedly noxious) emails found in the files of a few individuals in the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. The emails were noted in a March 4 report issued by the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 13, 2015 by Andrew Kloster, Alden Abbott King v. Burwell and the Mandates: What Happens If the Supreme Court Rules Against the Administration?

    On March 4, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in King v. Burwell.[1] This case is a challenge by individuals (petitioners) who do not wish to comply with the so-called minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).[2] If the plaintiffs are successful, an Obama Administration rule granting certain…