Tag: Criminal Justice

Drone Strikes on Americans »

If you have a few minutes, take a look at a government white paper obtained by NBC news on the lawfulness of lethal attacks on U.S. citizens with attachments to terrorists. NBC has this summary of the test for ordering a killing: the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted...
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Troubling Public Opinion Trends for Gun Rights and Civil Liberties »

On how to respond to mass shootings and violent crime, the public opinion trends frighten me, especially when broken down by political identification. Predictably, Democrats are in favor of gun control by wider margins than Republicans. But still, 92% of Republicans favor universal background checks, which I consider as bad a proposal as any...
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What If She Had Been Unarmed? »

Melinda Herman was a victim of a home invasion. With two children under her care, and a husband many miles away, she fortunately had a weapon. Although under the castle doctrine, she had no duty to retreat from the invader, she ran with her children to the attic and tried to hide. Her back to...
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Can the State Take Your Blood Without a Warrant? »

Today, the Supreme Court hears argument in Missouri v. McNeely. The issue presented is whether a police officer may obtain a nonconsensual and warrantless blood sample from a driver the officer believes is drunk. The petition for certiorari can be found here. Essentially, the cops stopped McNeely late at night and McNeely did poorly on...
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Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years »

Most voters prioritize the economy and far behind that comes foreign policy, where both major presidential candidates offer more of the same. One can make arguments that on these important issues, one side is worse than the other. But another important set of issues, those of civil liberties, has gotten much less attention than...
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The Racist Brutality of Stop-and-Frisk »

Every day, New York city police commit 1,800 stop-and-frisk searches. Substantially less than one percent turn up guns—the supposed justification for the searches, and the carrying of which is protected by the Bill of Rights. In my piece for the Huffington Post, I noted the racial disparities and threats to civil liberties posed. New...
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The Regulatory State’s Collateral Damage »

Senator Rand Paul appeared on the Daily Show the other night to discuss his new book, Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds. I have not read the book. Here is the introduction online. The theme of the book, as far as I can ascertain, is one...
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Thoughts for Constitution Day »

By my reading, almost nothing the federal government does is Constitutional. The entire national security state and empire are dubious at best. The welfare state is unauthorized. Nothing in Article I, Section 8, the clause empowering Congress to legislate, gives that body the general authority over education, health care, the environment, most businesses, and...
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Social Liberalism and the Drug War »

In the 1990s, I read an interview with a rock star optimistic about the country’s direction. He thought President Clinton’s admission to having tried marijuana was a good sign. America was becoming more socially liberal. The new generation was in charge. And as one consequence, maybe the disastrous war on drugs would end. Not...
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Lessons from Ruby Ridge »

Twenty years ago today, an FBI sniper shot Vicki Weaver in the head as she held her ten-month-old baby at her home in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The sniper also shot her husband Randy Weaver in the back, trying to kill him. Their son was shot in the back and killed the day before by U.S....
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