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  • White Paper posted April 15, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig The Proposed Transfer of the IANA Function to ICANN

    This paper is substantially similar to, though somewhat modified from, testimony I presented to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, during a hearing on April 10, 2014. Introduction In March 2014, the Department of Commerce announced its intention to transfer the Internet Assigned Name Authority (IANA)…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2014 by Andrew Kloster Heart of Atlanta Motel: Public Accommodation Law at 50

    Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964.[1] This landmark piece of legislation outlawed certain forms of discrimination across the nation, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. One of the types of discriminatory conduct prohibited by the CRA was discrimination in public accommodation.[2] This…

  • Commentary posted April 10, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Partisan Political Chanting at the IRS

    The latest news from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) about illegal political activities at the IRS will certainly not help the administration’s (and Representative Elijah Cummings’) current narrative that there is not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS. OSC is an independent agency that investigates violations of the civil service rules that govern federal…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Mozilla’s Statement on the Brendan Eich Controversy, Explained

    Here is the statement that Mozilla’s executive chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, posted last week about the “resignation” (firing?) of CEO Brendan Eich over his personal $1,000 donation in 2008 in support of California’s Proposition 8. I’ve added my own text in italics to better explain what Baker was really saying: ‘Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO’ Mozilla prides…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 7, 2014 by Roger Clegg, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery What Congress Can Do to Stop Racial Discrimination

    “In the eyes of the government, we are just one race here. It is American.” —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia[1] Discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity is unconstitutional, unlawful, and morally repugnant. The government should not be in the business of sorting people by such innate characteristics. Yet race and ethnicity often factor into government…

  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2014 by David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig Cybersecurity Information Sharing: One Step Toward U.S. Security, Prosperity, and Freedom in Cyberspace

    The Internet is a powerful engine for growth and freedom, of which the United States has taken and continues to take full advantage. As everything from military systems to smartphones has become linked to the Internet, however, the number of bad actors seeking to attack or steal from those targets has increased dramatically. Hackers compromise, steal, or destroy hundreds…

  • Testimony posted March 31, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky IRS Targeting: Is the Obama Administration Conducting a Serious Investigation

    Testimony before the House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs 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…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Lois Lerner’s New Lawyer

    The latest action of Representative Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democratic member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, makes one wonder whether he has received a retainer from Lois Lerner. Lerner, of course, is the former IRS official at the heart of the scandal over the targeting of conservative organizations. Cummings appears to be acting as…

  • Issue Brief posted March 26, 2014 by Evan Bernick Law Enforcement’s Dependence on Civil Asset Forfeiture in Georgia and Texas

    Law enforcement agencies across the nation use revenue derived from civil asset forfeiture to fund their operations. There is a certain appeal to the idea: The bad guys are deprived of ill-gotten or ill-used assets, and the good guys get to use those assets to pursue other bad guys. But there is reason to be concerned about law enforcement agencies becoming dependent on…

  • Issue Brief posted March 25, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Tennessee

    The latest data from Tennessee about the state’s experience with its new photographic voter identification law show that this requirement has done nothing to suppress voter turnout throughout the state. In fact, overall turnout in Tennessee was slightly higher, and black voters turned out at higher rates than white voters in the first election held after the law became…

  • Commentary posted March 24, 2014 by Paul Larkin Reviewing the Rationale for Stop-and-Frisk

    Any angler will tell you: “If you want to catch fish, you have to go where the fish are.” The same is true when fishing for street crime. In the case of crack cocaine, you need to focus on urban, poor, African-American neighborhoods, because trafficking is primarily the work of dealers in those communities. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, Harvard Law School Professor…

  • Commentary posted March 24, 2014 by Paul Larkin Program offers HOPE for repeat drug offenders

    American prisons hold more than 1.5 million convicts. Ninety-five percent of them will return to the community at some point, and few will be better off than when they have left it. One of the holy grails of correctional policy has been to find an alternative to imprisonment that has teeth but doesn’t bite off a leg. Probation has been the traditional alternative, but…

  • Commentary posted March 24, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky No, New York Times, Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Vote Isn’t ‘Voter Suppression’

    Last Thursday, the New York Times published a harsh editorial that unfairly condemned a Kansas federal judge for upholding the right of states to require proof of citizenship for individuals registering to vote. As I explained last week, Judge Eric Melgren ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to change its state-specific instructions for the federal voter…

  • Commentary posted March 22, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky ‘Disparate Impact’ Isn’t Enough

    As Eric Holder’s Justice Department attacks voter-ID laws in Texas and North Carolina, the Heritage Foundation has warned courts that they should be wary of construing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to find liability when only a “disparate impact” on the basis of race has been shown. “Disparate impact” is the favored but dubious legal theory of the Obama…

  • Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Important Work to Be Done Before the U.S. Relinquishes Stewardship of ICANN

    The Department of Commerce announced on March 14 that it will give up its last bit of control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2015. As is often the case with government decisions announced late on a Friday, this decision is controversial. The U.S. has exercised light oversight of ICANN since it established the organization and…