If county and city law enforcers have discretion not to charge low-level drug offenses, do they also have discretion not to charge low-level gun offenses? Cam Edwards on the Virginia battle over “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions [National Review].
- Supreme Court reconvenes for new term and tomorrow will hear cases over whether Title VII ban on sex discrimination extends to sexual orientation and gender identity [SCOTUSBlog symposium with contributors including Richard Epstein, William Eskridge; Will Baude, Volokh Conspiracy; George Will; earlier here, here, here, etc.]
- New York City Commission on Human Rights declares it a violation of anti-discrimination law to use the term “illegal alien” in workplace, rental, or public accommodation contexts “with the intent to demean, humiliate, or offend a person or persons.” Does it complicate matters that both federal law and the U.S. Supreme Court use “illegal alien” as a neutral descriptive? [Hans Bader]
- Minneapolis passes law restricting landlords’ taking into account of tenants’ past criminal histories, evictions, credit scores [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
- Obama-era Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mandated burdensome pay data reporting by employers. Will courts allow a course correction? [Federalist Society teleforum with G. Roger King and James A. Paretti Jr., earlier here and here]
- Professor who directs social justice center at Washington, D.C.’s American University proposes new federal Department of Anti-Racism that would wield ample power to order everyone around along with preclearance authority over all “local, state and federal public policies”; also “no political appointees” [Politico via Amy Alkon; Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker with more on work of Prof. Ibram X. Kendi]
- Late in its tenure, Obama administration began warning Fannie Mae that discouraging some of the riskiest mortgages (>43% debt-to-income) “could be seen as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.” Fannie and Freddie “quickly complied” and brought the punch bowl back out [Damian Paletta, Washington Post/MSN]
- “Your license is gone, your livelihood is gone, the care of your patients is gone. How fair is that?” Opposition grows to policy of yanking occupational licenses over unpaid student loans [Marc Hyden and Shoshana Weissman, Governing; Nick Sibilla, Forbes]
- Los Angeles ballot measure was billed as advancing affordable housing, but prevailing-wage provisions helped ensure that it didn’t [Steven Sharp, Urbanize Los Angeles]
- Not mad at Jon Hyman for advising client employers to avoid legal risk by not employing released sex offenders, just mad at the policymakers who play to the cheap seats by perpetuating the casual cruelties of the offender registry laws;
- “International programs demonstrate that paid leave benefits grow substantially over time, similar to other government entitlement programs.” [Vanessa Brown Calder, Cato; more Calder on paid leave mandates here, here, and (roundtable conversation) here (from last fall) and here; Emily Ekins, Cato and more (depth of public support depends on assumptions about impact on pay and women’s career prospects); Veronique de Rugy (why are conservatives supporting?)]
- Frankfurter and Greene’s 1930 book The Labor Injunction, one of the most influential books ever about American labor law, prepared the ground for the New Deal’s Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act. How accurately did it portray the labor injunctions of its day? [Mark Pulliam, Law and Liberty]
- “What Will the E-Verify Program Be Used to Surveil Next?” [David Bier, Cato via David Henderson]
This map, made using records obtained through FOIA, shows Hudson Yards qualifies as a distressed urban area under the EB-5 program by connecting the luxury development to public housing in Harlem. https://t.co/WuqtrUKSGH (?: @markbyrnes525) pic.twitter.com/s4uSrSkt0t
— CityLab (@CityLab) April 12, 2019
What an amazing story: “Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project [Hudson Yards] was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.” The far West Side of lower Manhattan, not far from Tribeca, the Village, and Chelsea, is hardly known for its poverty, but creative subsidy seekers carved out an “area” that connected the Hudson Yards site, gerrymander style, through midtown and Central Park to public housing projects in Harlem. And presto: access to benefits meant to revive high-unemployment urban areas. [Kriston Capps, CityLab]
Reader David Link writes:
It’s only bad if you think the point of the Poverty/Industrial Complex is designed to alleviate poverty, rather than just being a set of white collar jobs programs. This gerrymander is a visual example of the usual, multiple links between poverty/social justice/community improvement rhetoric and the people who ultimately benefit. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like a good step for New York, and the only excess cost is to those who aren’t skeptical enough to accept the rhetoric.
- Kansas Supreme Court rules 4-3 that cops can conduct warrantless search of private homes if they say they smell marijuana. Practical difference between this and “…whenever they please” is not clear [Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal] More: Jacob Sullum;
- At Timbs v. Indiana oral argument, Court seems sympathetic to idea of applying Excessive Fines clause to the states [Robby Soave, Jacob Sullum, Ilya Somin, earlier here, here, and here] Notwithstanding Justice Gorsuch and Kavanaugh’s interjections, there is and has been no uniform incorporation of the entire Bill of Rights against the states [Rory Little]
- Arizona Supreme Court should recognize that First Amendment protects right of calligraphic art studio not to be forced to draw invitations and vows for wedding ceremony of which owner/artists disapprove on religious grounds [Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran on Cato Institute amicus brief in Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix]
- Claim: notwithstanding SCOTUS precedent to the contrary, U.S. Constitution contains no general federal power to restrict immigration [Ilya Somin and others, Cato Unbound symposium, more]
- “The Supreme Court Really Needs to Start Defining the Scope of the Second Amendment” [Ilya Shapiro and Matthew Larosiere on Cato amicus brief in Mance v. Whitaker, interstate sales by gun dealers] “Bump Stock Rule Bumps Up Against the Constitution” [Shapiro and Larosiere] “The Most Common Firearm in America is Not a ‘Weapon of War’” [same on Cato amicus brief in Worman v. Healey, Massachusetts ban on “assault weapons”] Federal court strikes down as unconstitutional New York’s ban on nunchaku [AP, Lowering the Bar with previous coverage of lawyer’s quest]
- “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.” That’s a recently adopted provision of the New Hampshire constitution. Now what does it mean? [David Post]
The Supreme Court yesterday in a 5-4 decision upheld the Trump administration’s travel ban, citing the relevant statute’s extreme deference toward executive branch national security determinations on the entry of persons, as well as the Court’s own historic deference toward executive branch discretion in this area.
The four liberal justices dissented, but did not agree on reasoning. Breyer and Kagan went for a low-key, minimalist fix — keep the injunction in place while ordering additional factfinding about implementation — that might have begun as an effort to craft a narrow decision conservatives would join. Only two Justices, Sotomayor and Ginsburg, went along with the arguments that persuaded the Ninth Circuit judges below.
Both dissents, however, stressed the significance of improper animus / discrimination against religious belief, the same issue championed by the Court’s conservatives in Masterpiece Cakeshop earlier this month.
Legal buffs may be interested in Thomas’s concurrence in which he pronounces universal injunctions “legally and historically dubious.”
Finally, and of interest to all Americans, the Court through its majority opinion officially repudiated Korematsu v. U.S. (1944), the decision in which it once upheld forced wartime internment of Japanese-Americans. Korematsu had never been officially repudiated until today.
- “Leave your 13-year-old home alone? Police can take her into custody under Illinois law” [Jeffrey Schwab, Illinois Policy]
- So many stars to sue: Huang v. leading Hollywood names [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]
- Morgan Spurlock’s claim in 2004’s Super Size Me of eating only McDonald’s food for a month and coming out as a physical wreck with liver damage was one that later researchers failed to replicate; now confessional memoir sheds further doubt on baseline assertions essential to the famous documentary [Phelim McAleer, WSJ]
- If you’ve seen those “1500 missing immigrant kids” stories — and especially if you’ve helped spread them — you might want to check out some of these threads and links [Josie Duffy Rice, Dara Lind, Rich Lowry]
- “Antitrust Enforcement by State Attorney Generals,” Federalist Society podcast with Adam Biegel, Vic Domen, Jennifer Thomson, Jeffrey Oliver, and Ian Conner]
- “The lopsided House vote for treating assaults on cops as federal crimes is a bipartisan portrait in cowardice.” [Jacob Sullum, more, Scott Greenfield, earlier on hate crimes model for “Protect and Serve Act”]
“For over 60 years, the executive branch has, through regulatory fiat, imposed a ‘border zone’ that extends as much as 100 miles into the United States.” Within this zone, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service can set up fixed or mobile checkpoints that require travelers, whether foreign- or native-born, to stop and submit to questioning and possible search “to get to work, go to the store, or make it to a vacation destination in the American Southwest.” Were the government to try using these same techniques at frankly internal checkpoints — in Omaha, say, or Indianapolis or Cheyenne — a range of constitutional protections would come into play to limit police discretion and protect citizens’ rights to go about their business freely. But the border, or areas within 100 miles of it, are different. One problem: since the coasts count as borders too, an estimated two-thirds of the American public lives in areas that are just one executive decision away from having a checkpoint system.
The Cato Institute is launching a new online initiative, “Checkpoint America: Monitoring the Constitution-Free Zone.” Patrick G. Eddington explains in the Cato Daily Podcast above, and in this blog post.
In the case of a federal law providing for the mandatory deportation of lawful permanent residents convicted of a hazily defined “crime of violence,” Justice Neil Gorsuch steps comfortably into Nino Scalia’s shoes as the Court’s champion of void-for-vagueness invalidation of criminal laws whose contours were left overly unclear. “It doesn’t make him a squish. It makes him an originalist,” [Ilya Shapiro, Washington Examiner; opinion in Sessions v. Dimaya] More: Jay Schweikert, Cato.
“The federal government’s boldest land grab in a generation produced the first border wall — and a trail of abuse, mistakes and unfairness.” It happened back in 2007. [T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Kiah Collier and Julián Aguilar, Texas Tribune; related, Ilya Somin]