November 28 roundup

  • Georgia woman jailed for three months after field drug test misidentifies contents of plastic bag in her car, which she had told disbelieving officers contained blue cotton candy [WMAZ] Related: Georgia “Drug Recognition Expert” officers sometimes arrest drivers who are sober [Brendan Keefe and Michael King, WMAZ in January]
  • “What I call the four forces of the regulatory state — regulation by administration, prosecution, and litigation; and progressive anti-federalism—operate mostly independently of Congress, notwithstanding the legislative branch’s constitutional power to ‘regulate Commerce … among the several States.'” [Jim Copland, City Journal]
  • Rights of associational privacy: Bradley Smith of the Institute for Free Speech comments on the ongoing relevance on the 60th anniversary of NAACP v. Alabama [Cato Daily Podcast with Brad Smith and Caleb Brown]
  • “If you’ve flown on a major airline within the past 7 years, you might be cashing in” although the settlement website admits it’s “possible that ticket buyers will never get any money from the lawsuit” owing to fees and expenses [KMBC]
  • To argue for freedom, sometimes it makes sense to argue for things other than freedom [Jonathan Rauch on same-sex marriage and medical marijuana controversies, quotes me; David Henderson/EconLib]
  • “The Eleventh Circuit takes a tour through the history of copyright and the nature of authorship in exploring whether the state of Georgia can assert copyright in its annotated state laws and thereby prevent a nonprofit from making them available for free online. (It can’t.)” [John Kenneth Ross, IJ “Short Circuit,” on Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org]


  • RE: Georgia woman. Here is the thing that would infuriate me if I were the federal judge:

    “But in March 2017, GBI lab tests came back to say that the substance in the bag was not an illegal drug.

    The charges against Fincher were dropped four weeks later, in April 2107 [sic].”

    So basically, she spent extra time after an illegal stop AND the lab tests were negative? How is this remotely ok in a free society. I get it that people are busy, yada yada yada, but prosecutors offices should have systems set up whereby negative tests translate into instant action. The prosecutor’s office had knowledge that the factual basis for the continued incarceration was non-existent, yet nothing happened for weeks. There is simply no excuse. Perhaps if prosecutors themselves faced jail time for nonsense like this, it wouldn’t happen.

    The only answer a prosecutor would have in this situation if the judge asked: “Well, what about the continued incarceration after your office knew?” would be: “Well, it didn’t violate her constitutional rights.”


    • Perhaps, “we were determining whether there was evidence sufficient to charge her with possession of a counterfeit controlled substance, and moved for her release once it was determined there was not.”

      • Wow!! Good one.

    • Unless there is some punitive action against those responsible for the extended incarceration, what is the incentive for the DA to immediately release the wrongly incarcerated? I suggest that an equally long incarceration for the DA might do the trick, or at least the next time there’ll be a sense of urgency.

  • Doesn’t “among the several states” modify “regulate commerce”? I.e. there is no constitutional authority to regulate any commerce within a states borders. I posit that depositing money in a bank, regardless of source, is not in fact “commerce” and even if it were, the source of those funds is outside the scope of the constitutional authority of the federal government unless they are being deposited or withdrawn as part of an interstate transaction under the full control of thee depositing or withdrawing party. I.e. if the bank deposit it to the U.S. Treasury, that transaction is not stimulated by the depositor, but by the Fed thru regulation.

    And if you are still with me dear reader, the point… Drug funds from such states as Ca, CO, etc should have no trouble being deposited in financial instutions within those states as proceeds of intrastate commerce.
    Just saying

  • Regarding the “drug whisperers,” particularly snort-worthy (or toke-worthy) is the idea that the cops are better than the tests.