Posts Tagged ‘hate crimes’

Sentencing to serve symbolism: the Protect and Serve Act

Moving rapidly through Congress with bipartisan backing: “a new bill modeled after a federal hate crime statute would make it a crime to intentionally target a law enforcement officer based on his ‘actual or perceived status’ as one.” [Emanuella Grinberg, CNN]

I argued in 2015 that this idea is a very bad one, as well as unneeded, even at the state and local level. Beyond that, doing it as a federal enactment is of dubious constitutionality [Ilya Somin] More: office of Sen. Orrin Hatch (quoting Fraternal Order of Police chief Chuck Canterbury on bill’s being “modeled after the federal hate crime statute”). Killings of police in the line of duty declined last year and are at far lower levels than in the 1970s and 1980s, setting 50-year lows by some standards.

Medical roundup

  • Bill advancing in California legislature would authorize jail for nursing home staff who “willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns” [Eugene Volokh, SB 219]
  • “The FDA cannot get out of its own way on the issue of off-label communications.” [Stephen McConnell, Drug and Device Law Blog first and second posts]
  • Public health covets territory of other studies and disciplines, part CLXXII [British Medical Journal on American College of Physicians’ resolution declaring “hate crimes” and “legislation with discriminatory intent” to be public health issues]
  • Podcast on battle between Vascular Solutions and the FDA [Federalist Society with Howard Root and Devon Westhill]
  • Policy U-turns needed: “Deregulation and Market Forces Can Lower Pharmaceutical Prices” [Marc Joffe, Reason]
  • Florida Supreme Court ignored market history in striking down noneconomic damages limits in medical malpractice awards [Robert E. White, Jr., Insurance Journal and Andrew S. Bolin, WLF on North Broward Hospital District, et al v. Kalitan]

Crime and punishment roundup

  • Citation nation: abuse of fees and fines erodes legitimacy and accountability in local government [C. Jarrett Dieterle, City Journal]
  • If concept of obstruction of justice is not to do injustice itself, it must be confined to a limited number of well-defined offenses [Tim Lynch, Cato]
  • “Drug recognition experts” deployed at traffic stops have a reliability problem, and that can put innocent people behind bars [11Alive Atlanta, Ed Krayewski] Zero-tolerance THC: Unimpaired driver gets six months for fatal crash she did not cause [Jacob Sullum]
  • New York Senate approves bill to make police protected group for purposes of hate crime law; similar proposals have become law in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi [Tim Cushing/TechDirt, earlier here and here]
  • Now renamed “trafficking”: “Why Governments Always Exaggerate the Prostitution Threat” [Camilo Gómez, FEE, related Libertarianism.org podcast with Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
  • Some problems with requiring “racial impact statements” for new bills on criminal justice [Roger Clegg and Hans von Spakovsky, NRO, James Scanlan, Federalist Society blog]

Kentucky joins Louisiana in adding police to hate-crime protected group list

A police union’s national campaign continues to bear fruit as Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill making Kentucky the second state, after Louisiana, to include police as a protected group in hate crime law. For principled conservative opponents of hate crime laws as a category, now would be a good time to speak up, wouldn’t it? [Beth Reinhard, WSJ] Such “Blue Lives Matter” bills continue to be introduced elsewhere around the country at both state and municipal levels [Julia Craven/Huffington Post, Tim Cushing/TechDirt]

Constitutional law roundup

  • Congress’s enumerated powers don’t extend to making this local bar fight a federal hate crime [Ilya Shapiro on Cato brief in United States v. Metcalf, Eighth Circuit]
  • On this point, at least, history’s verdict went with President Andrew Johnson: Congress can’t entrench Cabinet officers if the President no longer wants them to serve [Mental Floss]
  • “Video: Ilya Shapiro on judicial abdication and the growth of government” [Acton Institute]
  • “Our decision is about the First Amendment, not the Second.” Eleventh Circuit en banc strikes down Florida law restricting doctors’ speech with patients about guns [Eugene Volokh; quote is from Pryor concurrence in Wollschlaeger v. Governor]
  • In the mail: paperback reissue of Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen, The Constitution: An Introduction [Basic]
  • “Federal Appeals Court Nixes Blanket Drug Screening of State College Students” [Jacob Sullum]

More federalization of crime? No thanks

On “Blue Lives Matter” sentence enhancement, floated as a national idea in one of President Donald Trump’s three executive orders last week on crime, the feds really have no business meddling when local legal systems are appropriately vigorous in prosecuting and punishing a category of offense, as is ordinarily true of injuries to police [Jonathan Blanks, Cato] More views on the executive orders: Tim Lynch/Cato, Harvey Silverglate via Anthony Fisher.

P.S. Some reasons conservatives who favor enhanced penalties for attacks on first responders should oppose using “hate crime” dodge to do so [John Bicknell/Washington Examiner, thanks for quote]

February 2 roundup

  • “Louisiana Police Chief: Resisting Arrest is Now a Hate Crime Under State Law” [C.J. Ciamarella, earlier on so-called Blue Lives Matter laws here, here, etc.]
  • Agency interpretive letters are the wrong way to enact new federal law [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald on Cato amicus in school bathroom case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.]
  • “Thousands of business threatened by ADA lawsuits” [Justin Boggs, Scripps/NBC26]
  • “Reforming The Administrative State — And Reining It In” Hoover Institution panel with Adam White, Oren Cass, and Kevin Kosar, moderated by Yuval Levin [video, related Adam White paper, “Reforming Administrative Law to Reflect Administrative Reality”].
  • New Hampshire: “Wal-Mart told to pay pharmacist $16 million for gender bias” [Reuters]
  • Congress seldom has acted as if it believed strongly in D.C. home rule and it’s unlikely to start now [Ryan McDermott, Washington Times, thanks for quotes]

January 18 roundup

  • Another day, another lawsuit charging a social media company with material support for terrorism. This time it’s Twitter and IS attacks in Paris, Brussels [Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare; Tim Cushing, Techdirt] More: And yet another (Dallas police officer versus Twitter, Facebook, and Google; listed as one of the filing attorneys is 1-800-LAW-FIRM, no kidding, complaint h/t Eric Goldman);
  • “Woman Sues Chipotle for $2 Billion for Using a Photo of Her Without Consent” [Petapixel]
  • “Hot-Yoga Guy and His Cars Are Missing” [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
  • From Backpage.com to unpopular climate advocacy, state attorneys general use subpoena power to punish and chill [Ilya Shapiro]
  • Dept. of awful ideas: California assemblyman proposes registry of hate crime offenders [Scott Shackford]
  • But oh, so worth it otherwise: “Not one Kansas state senator is a lawyer, making compliance with obscure statute impossible” [ABA Journal]

Police and prosecution roundup

  • Mississippi AG Jim Hood, a longtime Overlawyered fave, finds way to snipe at opposing death penalty counsel [Radley Balko]
  • Police use forced catheterization to obtain urine samples from unwilling suspects. A constitutional issue? [Argus-Leader, South Dakota]
  • “Why Gary Johnson Opposes Hate-Crime Laws (and You Should Too)” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
  • Yes, the Baltimore aerial surveillance program should raise concerns [Matthew Feeney, Cato]
  • “The Citizen as ATM: A small Missouri city has become a legal testing ground for ticketing practices and court reform” [Carla Main, City Journal]
  • New Mexico, a leader on asset forfeiture reform, should now tackle mens rea reform [Paul Gessing]

After Louisiana made cops a protected group in hate-crime law

That was fast: it looks as if the first charge under Louisiana’s new “Blue Lives Matter” law was made to hang a felony rap on a man who shouted slurs at police as they escorted him to the station. Hours later, a spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department acknowledged that a sergeant at the scene had applied the hate crime law incorrectly and that the charge would be reviewed before proceeding with prosecution. [New Orleans Times-Picayune, and followup; Scott Shackford, Reason (“The release bond for Delatoba’s ‘hate crime’ charge of yelling bad words ($10,000) is actually higher than the amount for the vandalism ($5,000) that drew the police in the first place”); earlier and more]