Gorsuch: “almost anyone can be arrested for something”

Dissenting in the recent case of Nieves v. Bartlett, on the First Amendment handling of arrests motivated in part by retaliation for protected speech, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that criminal law in U.S. has expanded to a point where “almost anyone can be arrested for something.” And the implications? [Ilya Somin] Earlier on Nieves and the retaliatory-arrest case that preceded it last year, Lozman v. Riviera Beach, and more on the Nieves outcome from Tim Cushing at TechDirt.


  • Ayn Rand has her critics, but I think her Dr. Ferris character got this exactly right (Atlas Shrugged)

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”

    • I was thinking of this same passage the other night while listening to people debating the fairness of transgender biological men competing against biological women in athletics.

      What do people do when the ‘law’ says one thing but reality based common sense says another? They stay silent. At least that seems to be what’s happening in my neck of the woods– more and more people simply refuse to talk about some issues for fear of saying the ‘wrong’ thing, or something that could be ‘interpreted’ as expressing a legally (politically) incorrect attitude (especially in work/business environments).

  • John, or as a Latin American dictator said, “For my friends, everything. For my enemies, the law.”