About Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason, a monthly magazine that covers politics and culture from a libertarian perspective. During two decades in journalism he has relentlessly skewered authoritarians of the left and the right, making the case for shrinking the realm of politics and expanding the realm of individual choice.

In addition to Reason, Sullum's work has appeared in National Review, Cigar Aficionado, Seed, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, Paula Zahn Now, The Charlie Rose Show, and NPR.

Sullum is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press).
Saying Yes has been praised in both National Review, which called it “a highly effective debunking,” and Mother Jones, which described it as “a healthy dose of sober talk in a debate dominated by yelping dopes.” For Your Own Good, Amazon’s No. 1 public policy best-seller in 1998, also was widely praised by reviewers, who called it “compelling” (The Wall Street Journal), “meticulously logical” (The New York Times), and a “cogent and thorough ... must-read” (The Washington Post).

Sullum, a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, has received the Keystone Press Award for investigative reporting and First Prize in the Felix Morley Memorial Journalism Competition. In 1998, his article on pain treatment for Reason was a National Magazine Award finalist in the Public Interest category. In 2004, he received the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, and in 2005, he received the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism.

Sullum first joined Reason in 1989, as an assistant editor, later serving as associate editor and managing editor. He also has worked as the articles editor of National Review and as a reporter for the News and Courier/Evening Post in Charleston, S.C., and The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he was an editor and columnist at The Cornell Daily Sun and majored in economics and psychology. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Texas with his wife, two daughters, three cats, and one dog.

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Biden's Sudden Reticence on Court Packing Is Alarming: Although Democrats Think the Composition of the Supreme Court Is a Big Election Issue, Their Nominee Won't Say What He Plans to Do About It Oct 14, 2020

Judging from their grandstanding during Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing, Democrats think the composition of the Supreme Court is a big issue in next month's presidential election. Yet, evidently, it is not big enough for their candidate to t... Read More

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An Overdue Rebuke to Politicians Who Think Anything Goes in a Pandemic: Two Courts Say COVID-19 Lockdowns in Michigan and Pennsylvania Were Unconstitutional Oct 07, 2020

As recently as early March, I was saying it "seems unlikely" that the United States would respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with lockdowns similar to Italy's. While we all know what has happened since then, two recent court decisions underline the unp... Read More

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Judge's Track Record Suggests She Would Frequently Be a Friend of Civil Liberties Sep 30, 2020

Democrats worry that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, an originalist and textualist who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia in the late 1990s, will emulate him if she is confirmed by the Senate. We could do a lot worse. Although progressives o... Read More

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Partisan Poppycock Does Not Trump the Constitution on SCOTUS Picks: The Restrictions Imagined by Republicans in 2016 or By Democrats Now Are Nothing but Self-Serving Nonsense Sep 23, 2020

The process for filling a Supreme Court vacancy is straightforward: The president chooses a new justice "with the advice and consent of the Senate." Any other conditions, including those imagined by Republicans in 2016 or by Democrats now, are nothin... Read More