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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Jacob Sullum
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Justice Dept Threat To Bust ‘Safe Injection’ Sites Is Unscientific And Inhumane

Last week, the California legislature approved a bill that would authorize “overdose prevention programs” in San Francisco where people can inject their own drugs in a safe, sanitary and supervised environment.

September 5, 2018

Why The First Amendment Trumps This President

Americans owe their freedom of expression to the quasi-magical powers of words written more than two centuries ago.

August 24, 2018
Sessions, Department Of Justice

Trump Can Advance Justice — And Annoy Jeff Sessions, Too

In Sessions’ view, letting a small-time crack dealer go free after 10 years rather than 20 “sends the message that the United States government is not serious about combating drug crimes.”

June 16, 2018

An Overdose Is Not A Murder

A couple of years ago at a motel in Columbus, a young woman shared a bag of heroin with her father. Both of them nodded off. Because she woke up and he did not, she was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

June 4, 2018
Pills

The Lethal Success Of Pain Pill Restrictions

In a speech on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is striving to “bring down” both “opioid prescriptions” and “overdose deaths.”

May 13, 2018
Russian

GOP Congress Surrenders War Powers To Trump

The day before Donald Trump ordered a missile attack on three sites tied to chemical weapons production in Syria, House Speaker Paul Ryan made clear that the president needn’t worry about getting permission from Congress. “He has the authority under the existing AUMF,” Ryan said, referring to the authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11.

April 23, 2018

Shoot First And Think Later

In a case that illustrates how hard it is to hold police officers responsible for using excessive force, the Court on Monday ruled that Kisela is protected by “qualified immunity” from civil liability for the injuries he inflicted on Hughes in May 2010. The decision, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor observed in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “tells officers that they can shoot first and think later.”

April 7, 2018
mercer

Trump, Slayer Of Pushers

“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty — the ultimate penalty — and by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” Donald Trump said during a White House summit on opioid abuse last Thursday. The remark was consistent with reports of private conversations in which Trump has said drug dealers deserve the death penalty.

March 9, 2018
Survivors walk under the sign saying "Work makes you free" after paying tribute to fallen comrades at the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2015

Poland’s Holocaust Bill Is a Hate Speech Ban

In Poland, as in several other European countries, it is a crime to deny the Holocaust. Soon, thanks to a bill that was approved by the lower house of the Polish parliament on Friday, it may also be a crime to discuss the Holocaust too frankly. The pending ban on references to Polish complicity in […]

February 4, 2018

Trump’s Phony Postcard Tax Return

That’s not really true, because the bill that emerged from Congress this week does little to simplify the tax code and in some ways makes it even more complicated. The tax return on a postcard, originally a symbol of radical reform, has become a gimmick aimed at distracting the public from a revenue collection system that is just as confusing, frustrating, intrusive and manipulative as ever.

December 26, 2017

Why Scared Cops Are So Frightening

The jurors who acquitted Philip Brailsford of second-degree murder last week were told to judge him based on “how a reasonable officer would act, versus a regular person with no police training,” as The Arizona Republic put it.

December 15, 2017
iphone-smartphone-apps-apple-inc-40011

Your Secrets Are Not Safe With Anyone

Timothy Carpenter specialized in stealing cellphones, the same devices that betrayed him. Based on four months of cellphone location data from the companies that provided Carpenter’s mobile phone service, the FBI placed him near four stores while they were being robbed.

November 30, 2017

Trump’s ‘Great Relationship’ With A Homicidal Drug Warrior

So it goes in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which has claimed somewhere between 7,000 and 13,000 lives since he took office in June 2016. Although Duterte’s bloody crusade has drawn international criticism, Donald Trump evidently did not think the subject…

November 19, 2017
Congressional

Congress Does Not Want Its War Power

he amendment, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R, Ky., would have repealed the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and the 2002 resolution approving the war in Iraq. The repeal would have taken effect in six months, giving Congress time to consider the justification for continued U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and the various other countries supposedly covered by those resolutions.

September 24, 2017

Trump, Sheriff Joe And The Thrill Of Arbitrary Power

Beginning in 2007, specially trained Maricopa County deputies had authority under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to detain people they believed to be in the country illegally. But after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revoked that authority in 2009, Arpaio’s deputies could legally detain people only if they reasonably suspected they were involved in criminal activity, as opposed to a civil violation of federal immigration law.

September 2, 2017
Trump economy fix

Trump’s Travel Ban Is Legal But Dumb

This week the Supreme Court unblocked most aspects of President Trump’s executive order limiting entry into the United States, signaling that the restrictions are likely to be upheld. That makes sense because the reasons that two federal appeals court offered for upholding injunctions against Trump’s order are unpersuasive. But the fact that Trump’s policy is legal does not make it smart.

June 28, 2017
NRA

The NRA Shuns A Second Amendment Martyr

Last Friday, a Minnesota jury acquitted the cop who killed Castile of second-degree manslaughter, demonstrating once again how hard it is to hold police accountable when they use unnecessary force. The verdict also sends a chilling message to gun owners, since Castile is dead because he exercised his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

June 22, 2017

A Presidency Consumed By Pettiness

Trump’s comical obsession with his own electoral accomplishment is at the root of his current political troubles, including investigations that will hobble him for months, even if they ultimately find no criminal wrongdoing. By constantly revisiting his unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton and insisting that everyone acknowledge how amazing it was, he may ensure that nothing he does in the White House will be nearly as impressive.

June 19, 2017
Travel Ban

Trump’s Travel Ban Is Security Theater

It was Trump, not the Justice Department, who decided to issue that revised order, based on the reasonable expectation that it would be easier to defend in court. And contrary to Trump’s claim that his “smart, vigilant and tough” policy provides “an extra level of safety,” there is little reason to think either version of the travel ban would reduce the average American’s already tiny risk of being killed by a terrorist.

June 12, 2017