Jacob Sullum from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 14 Apr 2021 07:20:21 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Jacob Sullum from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/jacob-sullum-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum 9bf77ec9ad73c106175f7cbbdb22b3f2 Prohibited Prayer and the Limits of Public Health Authority: The Supreme Court Reaffirms That COVID-19 Regulations Must Comply With the First Amendment for 04/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/04/21/prohibited-prayer-and-the-limits-of-public-health-authority-the-supreme-court-reaffirms-that-covid-19-regulations-must-comply-with-the-first-amendment Wed, 14 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When Christians met in each other's homes for prayer or Bible study, they had to be careful. Such gatherings were illegal, and the organizers never knew who might inform the authorities.</p> <p>Although that sounds like a scene from the Soviet Union, it actually describes the situation in California under COVID-19 regulations that the Supreme Court blocked last Friday. By issuing an injunction against Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions, the Court reaffirmed that politicians must comply with the Constitution when they decide how to deal with an epidemic.</p> <p>The main rule at issue in this case limited at-home religious gatherings, whether inside or outside, to people from no more than three households. If two people from different households joined a host for a prayer meeting or Bible study session, for example, no one else was allowed to come.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 14, 2021</p> 3c68aec2c4f4ae4f0bd8dc6d6dd1bbde Six Marijuana Legalization Lessons: Three Recently Approved Plans Show What Politicians Have Learned (or Failed to Learn) Since Colorado Became the First State to Allow Recreational Use for 04/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/04/21/six-marijuana-legalization-lessons-three-recently-approved-plans-show-what-politicians-have-learned-or-failed-to-learn-since-colorado-became-the-first-state-to-allow-recreational-use Wed, 07 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Legislators in New York and New Mexico voted last week to legalize recreational marijuana, as their counterparts in New Jersey had done the previous month. The three plans, which bring the number of states that have approved legalization to 17, reflect some of the lessons that policymakers have learned &#8212; and in some cases ignored &#8212; since Colorado became the first state to take that step in 2012.</p> <p>1. Expungement. Unlike the first few states to legalize marijuana, New Jersey, New York and New Mexico are simultaneously trying to alleviate the damage done by prohibition. All three states are creating expungement programs to remove the taint of criminality from people who were convicted of marijuana-related conduct that is no longer illegal.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 07, 2021</p> 0f22e64f152a7ed6017d40e8422705b7 The Bump Stock Ban Highlights the Danger of Letting Bureaucrats Invent Crimes: A Federal Appeals Court Rejects a Highly Implausible Redefinition of Machine Guns for 03/31/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/03/21/the-bump-stock-ban-highlights-the-danger-of-letting-bureaucrats-invent-crimes-a-federal-appeals-court-rejects-a-highly-implausible-redefinition-of-machine-guns Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Two years ago, peaceful, law-abiding gun owners across the country became felons overnight, thanks to the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks. But as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recognized last week, Congress alone has the authority to define new federal crimes, while the president and his underlings are charged with enforcing those laws. </p> <p>Combining both powers in a single branch is a license for tyranny &#8212; a danger the framers tried to avoid by carefully separating the legislative and executive functions. Regardless of their views on gun control, Americans who care about the rule of law should be troubled by the implications of letting unelected bureaucrats unilaterally and arbitrarily criminalize previously legal conduct.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 31, 2021</p> fff25562a454024a8531ab7f3e06d2ca Biden Threatens to Revive Kangaroo Courts in College Sexual Assault Cases: The President Has Ordered the Education Department to Consider Rescinding Due Process Reforms for 03/24/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/03/21/biden-threatens-to-revive-kangaroo-courts-in-college-sexual-assault-cases-the-president-has-ordered-the-education-department-to-consider-rescinding-due-process-reforms Wed, 24 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 2016, Purdue University imposed a one-year suspension on a student accused of sexual assault, forcing him to resign from ROTC and ending his plans for a Navy career. The process that led to those results, Amy Coney Barrett concluded in a 2019 opinion for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, "fell short of what even a high school must provide to a student facing a days-long suspension."</p> <p>The adjudication procedures that Barrett, now a Supreme Court justice, described as "fundamentally unfair" grew out of Obama administration guidelines that the Trump administration rescinded and replaced with regulations aimed at restoring some semblance of due process. President Joe Biden is now threatening to revive the earlier policy, which encouraged universities to presume the guilt of students charged with sexual misconduct.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 24, 2021</p> 26e6324be19992e1acf5c6b855643b03 Congress Uses COVID-19 As a Cover for an Epidemic of Fiscal Recklessness: Legislators View the Disease As a License to Spend Like There's No Tomorrow for 03/17/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/03/21/congress-uses-covid-19-as-a-cover-for-an-epidemic-of-fiscal-recklessness-legislators-view-the-disease-as-a-license-to-spend-like-theres-no-tomorrow Wed, 17 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The "recovery rebates" that Americans began receiving this week supposedly have something to do with the economic damage caused by COVID-19 and the control measures it inspired. But like most of the so-called American Rescue Plan Act, these payments, which account for more than a fifth of the bill's $1.9 trillion price tag, are only tenuously related to the pandemic.</p> <p>The Democrats who championed the law hope those bribes will buy them votes in the midterm elections. But you really should be thanking your children and grandchildren, because they will ultimately pick up the tab for this package and the rest of the $5 trillion spending binge that Congress claimed was justified by a public health emergency.</p> <p>Individuals with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000 will get $1,400, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will get $2,800, plus $1,400 for each dependent. That amounts to $5,600 for a four-person family, on top of the $5,800 that such households received under the coronavirus relief packages that Congress approved in March and December.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 17, 2021</p> d66dd28911482b64a9e30ff41503acc8 These Nonprofit 'Disclosure' Requirements Are an Assault on the First Amendment: A California Rule and a Bill Approved by the House Seem Designed to Chill Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association for 03/10/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/03/21/these-nonprofit-disclosure-requirements-are-an-assault-on-the-first-amendment-a-california-rule-and-a-bill-approved-by-the-house-seem-designed-to-chill-freedom-of-speech-and-freedom-of-association Wed, 10 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says he wants to prevent charitable fraud, while the House Democrats who approved the "For the People Act" last week say they want to fortify democracy, fight corruption and block foreign interference in U.S. elections. But the methods they have chosen pose a serious threat to freedom of speech and freedom of association.</p> <p>Under a policy at the center of a First Amendment case the Supreme Court will hear this term, Becerra requires that all 115,000 nonprofit organizations operating in California report information about their major donors. That information is supposed to be confidential, but in practice it is not, because California has a history of accidentally posting it online and making it easily available to anyone with rudimentary hacking skills.</p> <p>In a 1958 case involving Alabama's demand that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People disclose its membership lists, the Supreme Court recognized that such requirements can have a chilling effect on freedom of association, because they expose supporters of controversial groups to harassment and threats of violence. When the government compels disclosure of organizational information that may result in "reprisals against and hostility to the members," the Court has said, it must show that the policy is "substantially related" to a "compelling" government interest and "narrowly tailored" for that purpose.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 10, 2021</p> 0b4f89be3c46318b7dfc187e7594b381 COVID-19 Edicts Highlight the Importance of Structural Limits on Government Power: The National Eviction Moratorium and Arizona's Business Restrictions Were Based on Dubious Assertions of Authority for 03/03/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/03/21/covid-19-edicts-highlight-the-importance-of-structural-limits-on-government-power-the-national-eviction-moratorium-and-arizonas-business-restrictions-were-based-on-dubious-assertions-of-authority Wed, 03 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>By the time he took office, President Joe Biden had abandoned his campaign promise to require that all Americans cover their faces in public, admitting that such an order was beyond his authority. But that concession did not stop the Biden administration from imposing a nationwide eviction moratorium with an equally dubious legal basis.</p> <p>Last week a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to decree that landlords across the country must house tenants who do not pay their rent. That case, along with a challenge to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's pandemic powers that the state Supreme Court will hear next Tuesday, is part of an overdue reexamination of the assumption that politicians can do whatever they deem necessary to fight COVID-19.</p> <p>The eviction moratorium, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally issued in September, was renewed by Congress in December, and then extended again by the Biden administration. It is based on a breathtakingly broad reading of the CDC director's authority to "take such measures" he "deems reasonably necessary" to stop the interstate spread of communicable diseases.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 03, 2021</p> f496d149fb52508ace4e26f58b925219 States Can Provide Their Own Civil Remedies for Police Abuse: They Need Not Wait for the Supreme Court or Congress to Restrict or Abolish Qualified Immunity for 02/24/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/02/21/states-can-provide-their-own-civil-remedies-for-police-abuse-they-need-not-wait-for-the-supreme-court-or-congress-to-restrict-or-abolish-qualified-immunity Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to be tried next month on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the May 25 arrest of George Floyd, who died while Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes. Yet whether or not Chauvin is convicted, it is not at all clear that he can be held accountable for his actions that day under a federal statute that authorizes lawsuits against government officials who violate people's constitutional rights.</p> <p>Despite the details of Floyd's death, which shocked Americans of all political persuasions and provoked a series of protests across the country, the federal civil rights lawsuit that his family filed last July must overcome "qualified immunity." That widely criticized doctrine, which the Supreme Court invented in 1982, bars such claims unless the misconduct they allege violated "clearly established" rights, which has proven to be a formidable obstacle for victims of outrageous police abuse.</p> <p>Given the way that federal judges have applied qualified immunity, Floyd's relatives may not get their day in court unless the precedents they cite involve conduct very similar to Chauvin's. As UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz, a leading critic of the doctrine, puts it, they "would have to find cases in which earlier defendants were found to have violated the law in precisely the same way."<p>Updated: Wed Feb 24, 2021</p> 8a094f8aa09f60948d3cfd6a09c235f7 Biden's 'Commonsense' Gun Controls Make Little Sense: The Policies He Favors Would Arbitrarily Limit Second Amendment Rights and Threaten the Industry That Makes It Possible to Exercise Them for 02/17/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/02/21/bidens-commonsense-gun-controls-make-little-sense-the-policies-he-favors-would-arbitrarily-limit-second-amendment-rights-and-threaten-the-industry-that-makes-it-possible-to-exercise-them Wed, 17 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>This week, President Joe Biden marked the third anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, by urging Congress to "enact commonsense gun law reforms." The implication was that the gun controls Biden favors would prevent crimes like the Parkland massacre.</p> <p>There is little reason to think that's true. The bills Biden is eager to sign would instead arbitrarily limit Second Amendment rights and threaten the viability of the industry that makes it possible to exercise them.</p> <p>Biden wants to prohibit the production and sale of "assault weapons" and require that current owners either surrender their firearms to the government or follow the same tax and registration requirements that apply to machine guns. Yet, he concedes that the 1994 federal "assault weapon" ban, which expired in 2004, had no impact on the lethality of legal firearms.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 17, 2021</p> c2551025099352dfeab347c6b4044936 Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Pretends Prisoners Are Patients: The Practice Evades Constitutional Constraints by Casting Punishment and Preventive Detention As Treatment for 02/10/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/02/21/civil-commitment-of-sex-offenders-pretends-prisoners-are-patients-the-practice-evades-constitutional-constraints-by-casting-punishment-and-preventive-detention-as-treatment Wed, 10 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"It was my understanding that I was to do the treatment, then be released," says Mike Whipple, who recently participated in a 14-day hunger strike at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program's facility in Moose Lake. "Twelve years later, I'm still here, doing the same thing, over and over and over."</p> <p>So far the civil commitment program has incarcerated Whipple three times longer than the prison sentence he served. The hunger strike, which involved a dozen of the program's 737 "clients," ended last week after state officials promised meetings where protesters could air their complaint that there is no "clear pathway" to release from their indefinite confinement. But those meetings surely will not resolve the fundamental problem with programs like this, which evade constitutional constraints by pretending that prisoners are patients.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 10, 2021</p> 3045627fad0e69a5eee0527cacda8a90 The Constitutionality of Trump's Impeachment Trial Is Not 'Crystal Clear': There Are Plausible Arguments on Both Sides of the Debate for 02/03/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/02/21/the-constitutionality-of-trumps-impeachment-trial-is-not-crystal-clear-there-are-plausible-arguments-on-both-sides-of-the-debate Wed, 03 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Just before 45 Republican senators voted against considering Donald Trump's impeachment on the grounds that the Constitution does not allow the Senate to try a former president, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed their argument as transparently bogus. "The language is crystal clear, with no ambiguity," the New York Democrat insisted.</p> <p>If that were true, legal scholars would not still be debating this issue 233 years after the Constitution was ratified. As the Senate prepares to try Trump on the charge that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot with false claims of a stolen election, one thing is "crystal clear": There are plausible arguments on both sides of the debate about whether that proceeding is constitutional.</p> <p>The clearest historical precedent for Trump's trial is the case of William Belknap, who resigned as secretary of war in 1876 just before he was impeached by the House on corruption charges. While most senators thought Belknap's resignation did not put a stop to the case against him, the minority who disagreed was large enough to ensure his acquittal &#8212; the same outcome we are likely to see in Trump's case.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 03, 2021</p> 8a048617dd61ea9c90862c4fd303630f Presidential Mercy Is a Woefully Inadequate Remedy for Injustice: The Controversy Over Trump's Pardons and Commutations Highlights Longstanding Problems With Clemency for 01/27/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/01/21/presidential-mercy-is-a-woefully-inadequate-remedy-for-injustice-the-controversy-over-trumps-pardons-and-commutations-highlights-longstanding-problems-with-clemency Wed, 27 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When Donald Trump pardoned Steve Bannon last week, the outgoing president blocked the former White House strategist's prosecution for bilking donors to an organization that claimed to be raising money for a wall along the border with Mexico. When Trump granted a commutation to Craig Cesal, by contrast, he freed a man who had already served 17 years of what was originally a life sentence for repairing trucks that were used to transport marijuana.</p> <p>As those examples reflect, Trump's acts of clemency mixed favors to cronies with relief for genuinely deserving federal prisoners hit with grossly disproportionate penalties. The controversy over his choices highlights longstanding problems with a clemency system that is a woefully inadequate remedy for the injustices routinely inflicted by rigid and draconian federal sentences.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 27, 2021</p> 59570da234a8851965310e62d8eb1424 Biden's Mask Mandate Retreat Is a Hopeful Sign: The President Acknowledges That There Are Limits to Executive Power, Even During a Public Health Emergency for 01/20/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/01/21/bidens-mask-mandate-retreat-is-a-hopeful-sign-the-president-acknowledges-that-there-are-limits-to-executive-power-even-during-a-public-health-emergency Wed, 20 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"If I'm your president," Joe Biden promised at the Democratic National Convention last summer, "on day one we'll have a national mask mandate." Now that Biden is the president, his policy has changed from a general requirement to an executive order that applies only on federal property and interstate transportation.</p> <p>While supporters of a nationwide face mask mandate to combat COVID-19 may be disappointed, constitutionalists should be pleased. The switch is a hopeful sign that Biden acknowledges limits to presidential power, even during a public health emergency.</p> <p>Until he backtracked in September, Biden had been promising that he would "do everything possible" from "an executive standpoint" to "make it required that people had to wear masks in public." Donald Trump criticized that plan, saying Biden "wants the president of the United States, with the mere stroke of a pen, to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask."<p>Updated: Wed Jan 20, 2021</p> 1563087dbeb5580f0c22f8d8babd1d19 Prosecuting Trump for Incitement Would Set a Dangerous Precedent: Unlike the Cancellation of Josh Hawley's Book, Such Criminal Charges Pose a Real Threat to Freedom of Speech for 01/13/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/01/21/prosecuting-trump-for-incitement-would-set-a-dangerous-precedent-unlike-the-cancellation-of-josh-hawleys-book-such-criminal-charges-pose-a-real-threat-to-freedom-of-speech Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When Simon & Schuster canceled publication of Josh Hawley's book "The Tyranny of Big Tech," the Missouri senator called the decision "a direct assault on the First Amendment." For reasons the Yale-trained lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk should understand, that description was wildly wrong.</p> <p>By contrast, another reaction to last week's deadly assault on the Capitol &#8212; the suggestion that President Donald Trump should be not only impeached but criminally prosecuted for inciting a riot &#8212; poses a real threat to freedom of speech. Trump's opponents may regret establishing a precedent that speakers who neither practice nor preach violence can be held criminally responsible for the conduct of listeners inspired by their words.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 13, 2021</p> 27471d8d28d6b0b596f36527b305f34b The Case Against Julian Assange Is Also a Case Against the Press: Contrary to What the Judge Who Blocked His Extradition Implied, the Espionage Act Does Not Include an Exception for 'Responsible' Journalism for 01/06/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/01/21/the-case-against-julian-assange-is-also-a-case-against-the-press-contrary-to-what-the-judge-who-blocked-his-extradition-implied-the-espionage-act-does-not-include-an-exception-for-responsible-journalism Wed, 06 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The British judge who blocked Julian Assange's extradition to the United States on Monday was persuaded by psychiatric testimony indicating a "substantial risk" that the WikiLeaks founder would kill himself in response to the harsh conditions he is apt to face in U.S. custody. Although she was much less impressed by the argument that Assange's prosecution for violating the Espionage Act threatens freedom of the press, that danger is just as real.</p> <p>Westminster Magistrates' Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser accepted the Justice Department's assurance that imprisoning someone for publishing information the government does not want the public to see is consistent with freedom of expression. She emphasized that Assange is accused of posting unexpurgated documents without regard to the danger that could pose to U.S. informants in Afghanistan.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 06, 2021</p> 1df96adcfad47f6e8024a2a1133b3475 Trump Blames Everyone but Himself for His Defeat: Maybe Voters Were Repelled by the Very Traits He Has Been Vividly Displaying Since the Election for 12/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/12/20/trump-blames-everyone-but-himself-for-his-defeat-maybe-voters-were-repelled-by-the-very-traits-he-has-been-vividly-displaying-since-the-election Wed, 30 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Donald Trump's presidency provided a rich trove of examples for my annual review of the year's highlights in blame-shifting. The 2020 edition focuses on the question Trump has been trying to answer for nearly two months: Why did he lose the presidential election?</p> <p>By Trump's account, it was <i> not </i> because voters preferred Joe Biden. Rather, Trump was denied a second term by a long list of malefactors who delivered a phony victory to Biden or ratified that outcome. These criminal conspirators and after-the-fact accessories included:<p>Updated: Wed Dec 30, 2020</p> a7452f082386ba09be7f46d912666f61 Americans Are Sick of Arbitrary COVID-19 Restrictions: A Year Into the Pandemic, Politicians Still Have Not Digested the Dangers of Careless Public Health Measures for 12/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/12/20/americans-are-sick-of-arbitrary-covid-19-restrictions-a-year-into-the-pandemic-politicians-still-have-not-digested-the-dangers-of-careless-public-health-measures Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"I'm not sure we know what we're doing," San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow recently confessed, referring to the myriad puzzling restrictions state and local governments have imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19. Morrow's doubts are striking, because last spring he joined other San Francisco Bay Area officials in imposing the nation's first lockdowns, which he still thinks were justified.</p> <p>Morrow's remarkable statement, which he posted on his department's website earlier this month, shows that<span class="column--highlighted-text"> politicians and bureaucrats are still struggling to justify edicts that are often arbitrary and scientifically dubious.</span> A year into the COVID-19 epidemic, many of them have yet to digest the dangers of carelessly exercising their public health powers.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 23, 2020</p> 2e1217e39434f2dc04b6fff41df72b98 Trump's Election Conspiracy Theory Requires Followers to Join Him in an Alternate Universe: Given the Conspicuous Lack of Credible Evidence, the President's Charges Can Only Be Accepted As a Matter of Faith for 12/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/12/20/trumps-election-conspiracy-theory-requires-followers-to-join-him-in-an-alternate-universe-given-the-conspicuous-lack-of-credible-evidence-the-presidents-charges-can-only-be-accepted-as-a-matter-of-faith Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>No matter how many times Bullwinkle J. Moose fails to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he remains optimistic. "This time for sure!" he exclaims, disregarding his sidekick's exasperated complaint that the trick "never works."</p> <p>If Donald Trump has any skeptical friends like Rocky the Flying Squirrel, he plainly does not listen to them. Otherwise, he would not be demanding that all true patriots join him in an alternate universe where he won reelection.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 16, 2020</p> 94140db545afe6ac90b4cd587635ecc9 Are Americans Insufficiently Alarmed by COVID-19? Press Coverage of the Pandemic Tends to Exaggerate Risk and Ignore Encouraging Information for 12/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/12/20/are-americans-insufficiently-alarmed-by-covid-19-press-coverage-of-the-pandemic-tends-to-exaggerate-risk-and-ignore-encouraging-information Wed, 09 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last month, researchers in Texas estimated that nearly 5 million of the state's residents had been infected by the COVID-19 virus &#8212; more than four times as many as the official tally of confirmed cases suggested. Although the gap implied that the virus was much less deadly than people initially feared, the Houston Chronicle framed the prevalence estimate as bad news.</p> <p>That choice reflects a broader pattern in American press coverage of the pandemic, which tends to accentuate the negative, exaggerate risk and ignore encouraging information. The result is not just depressing but misleading and potentially counterproductive as Americans are told to keep up their guard against the virus during the winter they will have to get through before vaccines are widely available.</p> <p>Based on an analysis of news stories about COVID-19 that appeared from Jan. 1 through July 31, Dartmouth economist Bruce Sacerdote and two other researchers found that 91% of the coverage by major U.S. media outlets was "negative in tone." The rate was substantially lower in leading scientific journals (65%) and foreign news sources (54%).<p>Updated: Wed Dec 09, 2020</p> 408ee78438434d4f8767ed34e9af7fa5 Disarmed but Not Dangerous: A Challenge to the Federal Ban on Gun Possession by People Convicted of Felonies Gives SCOTUS a Chance to Rectify Its Neglect of the Second Amendment for 12/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/12/20/disarmed-but-not-dangerous-a-challenge-to-the-federal-ban-on-gun-possession-by-people-convicted-of-felonies-gives-scotus-a-chance-to-rectify-its-neglect-of-the-second-amendment Wed, 02 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For lying on her federal income tax returns, Lisa Folajtar got three years of probation and a lifetime of constitutional disability. Because her crime carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison, she was permanently stripped of her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>In a case that could give the Supreme Court an opportunity to elucidate the Second Amendment's restrictions on firearm laws for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit recently rejected Folajtar's challenge to the federal ban on gun possession by people with felony records. The dissent echoed the position staked out by the Court's newest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, as a 7th Circuit judge, saying that disqualification is not just unfair but unconstitutional.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 02, 2020</p>