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  • Commentary posted May 28, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Loretta Lynch Should Stand Up for the Voting Rights of Every Citizen, Regardless of Race

    A  May 8 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has given new attorney general Loretta Lynch her first public test: Will she break from Eric Holder’s policies by enforcing voting-rights law on a race-neutral basis, as Congress intended, or will she continue Holder’s non-neutral enforcement policy? For those who don’t remember, in 2011 the Center for Individual…

  • Commentary posted May 28, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Very Big News Out of New Orleans on Immigration

    As Patrick Brennan notes, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just handed the Obama administration a huge defeat. It denied the government’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of President Obama’s immigration amnesty program. This is not a decision on the merits of the lawsuit filed against the…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The FEC’s Latest Great Idea: Dismantle Capitalism to Get More Women in Office

    Earlier this month, I predicted that a scheduled hearing at the Federal Election Commission was shaping up to be nothing more than a presentation of “the goofy gender ideology and politics of the progressive Left and academia.” And, oh, how right I was. The May 12 forum on “Women in Politics” was organized by FEC chairwoman Ann Ravel without the approval of any of her…

  • Backgrounder posted May 21, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., John Malcolm, Paul Rosenzweig Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

    The Real and Growing Threat of Terrorism Any debate about America’s counterterrorism capabilities must be conducted in the context of the actual terrorist threat the U.S. faces. Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation has tracked Islamist terrorist plots and attacks, which now, after the recent shooting in Garland, Texas, total 68.[1] This figure, however, does not consider…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 20, 2015 by Alden Abbott You Don’t Need the FCC: How the FTC Can Successfully Police Broadband-Related Internet Abuses

    On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose 1930s-era “common carrier” regulations on Internet providers by enacting an “Open Internet Order.” As a Heritage Foundation analysis points out,[1] this decision threatens to generate hundreds of new rules that will raise the costs of Internet firms, deter innovation, and reduce competition among…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 7, 2015 by Elizabeth Slattery Who Will Regulate the Regulators? Administrative Agencies, the Separation of Powers, and Chevron Deference

    The Schoolhouse Rock classic “Three Ring Government” teaches children about the separation of powers embodied in the Constitution by comparing the three branches of government to a three-ring circus. The song explains that “no one part [of government] can be more powerful than any other.” The President is the “ringmaster of the government,” Congress is tasked with…

  • Commentary posted May 1, 2015 by Edwin Meese III Why the Supreme Court should strike down Obamacare subsidies

    Two questions will dictate not only the future of healthcare, but also the balance of power between Washington, D.C., and the states, and the separation of powers between the federal branches. One concerns state sovereignty, the other the heckler's veto. When justices heard arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) in King v. Burwell on March 4,…

  • Commentary posted April 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder’s legacy

    As Attorney General Eric Holder finally departs, he leaves behind a demoralized Justice Department that has been politicized to an unprecedented degree. Attorneys general are obligated to enforce the law in an objective, unbiased and nonpolitical manner. They must demonstrate the highest regard for the best interests of the public and their sworn duty to uphold the…

  • 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…