- Notwithstanding one-person-one-vote, some House districts do have unusually high or low populations. Main reasons: 1) Small states get rounded up or down; 2) demographics change in existing districts over 10-year Census cycle especially where new housing is being built [Hristina Byrnes, 24/7 Wall Street, I’m quoted]
- “‘Outrageously excessive’ requests for attorney fees can be altogether denied, 3rd Circuit says” [ABA Journal]
- Prenda copyright troll Paul Hansmeier, who also did mass ADA filings, pleads guilty to fraud and money laundering charges [Dan Browning, Minneapolis Star-Tribune via Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
- Thread: calm, factual discussion of Department of Justice brief on Title VII and gender identity [Popehat on Twitter]
- We’ve often discussed the high cost of the maritime-protectionist Jones Act, and now Cato has launched a Project on Jones Act Reform;
- “Landlord, a Fairfax, Va. mobile home park, imposes requirement that all adult tenants show proof of legal residence in the country; four Latino families (four men with legal status, four women who are illegal immigrants, and 10 U.S. citizen children) face fines, eviction. A violation of the Fair Housing Act? Could be, says the Fourth Circuit (over a dissent).” [IJ Short Circuit]
Not using someone’s preferred pronoun — “whether it’s he, she, ‘ze’ or something else” — could become a disciplinary offense, escalating up to firing and expulsion, at the University of Minnesota under a proposed policy [Maura Lerner, Minneapolis Star-Tribune] I’m quoted as saying that although protecting transgender members of its community from purposeful insult or breach of privacy is a legitimate purpose, the university is likely to fare poorly in court if it presumes to punish community members for not using new-coined gender pronouns on demand [Sarah George, The College Fix]:
“As a public institution with an educational mission to uphold, Minnesota can appropriately make some demands of its members, such as respecting norms of collegiality, refraining from insult, observing consistent standards in filling out paperwork, and so forth,” Olson told The Fix via email.
“But this does not constitute a blank check to police and punish language use generally, especially not in politically charged areas of speech, and most especially when the policy departs from viewpoint neutrality to side with some controversial views over others.”…
“Before presuming to force university members to mouth or endorse politically controversial language as a condition of keeping their jobs or remaining enrolled, the university must show that such coerced expression is essential to its functioning as an educational institution. It has not, and I suspect cannot, made such a showing,” he said.
- Even as Washington, D.C. saddles child-care providers with new degree requirement, it leaves unenforced some of its certification rules for public school teachers [David Boaz, earlier here, etc.]
- Mayor de Blasio plans to overhaul admission to NYC’s elite high schools. Watch out [Lisa Schiffren, New York Post]
- On the Banks of Plumb Crazy: American Library Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from children’s-book award [AP/The Guardian]
- Max Eden investigation of death at a NYC school [The 74 Million] Eden and Seth Barron podcast on school shootings and discipline policy [City Journal]
- “The Transgender Bathroom Wars Continue in State Court” [Gail Heriot]
- Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona and on: are teacher uprisings justified? [Neal McCluskey and Caleb Brown]
I’m a bit late getting to this major survey from my colleague Emily Ekins and associates. Some highlights good and bad:
* By 71% to 28%, Americans lean toward the view that political correctness silences discussions society ought to have, rather than the view that it is a constructive way to reduce the giving of offense;
* Liberals are much more likely than conservatives to say that they feel comfortable saying things they believe without fear that others will take offense.
* By a 4-to-1 margin Americans consider hate speech morally unacceptable, while by (only) a 3-to-2 margin they do not want the government to ban it.
* “47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques,” notwithstanding the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion.
* “51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns,” also notwithstanding the First Amendment.
* Upwards of 80% of liberals deem it “hateful or offensive” to state that illegal immigrants should be deported or that women should not serve in military combat, with 36% and 47% of conservatives agreeing respectively. “39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist, only 17% of liberals agree.”
And much more: on college speaker invitations, microaggressions, whether executives should be fired over controversial views, media bias, forced cake-baking, and the ease of being friends across partisan lines, among many other topics.
- Union contracts can result in truant-teacher syndrome [Larry Sand, City Journal]
- “A Review of Department of Education Programs: Transgender Issues, Racial Quotas in School Discipline, and Campus Sexual Assault Mandates” [Linda Chavez et al., Regulatory Transparency Project]
- Why is the FBI getting involved in college sports recruiting scandals? [Cato podcast with Ilya Shapiro]
- School lobby in Pennsylvania, unable to defeat taxpayer advocates at ballot box, hopes to win in court instead [Matt Miller, PennLive on school finance suit]
- “End Federal Pressure for Racial Quotas in Special Education” [Hans Bader, CEI]
- Irvington, N.J.: “Student to get $6M after tripping, breaking arm in gym class” [AP/TribLive]
“Few Canadians realize how seriously these statutes infringe upon freedom of speech. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated, in the context of equivalent provisions in the Ontario Human Rights Code, that ‘refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education.'” [Bruce Pardy, National Post] We noted the New York City Human Rights Commission’s similar guidance last year.
- Georgia sheriff mass-frisks 900 students at a high school. Is that legal? [Scott Greenfield, Lowering the Bar]
- Federal judge dismisses “clock boy” discrimination suit against Dallas-area school district [CBS News]
- Ilya Shapiro on Gloucester County v. G.G., the transgender school bathroom Title IX case [Federalist Society]
- Social worker on public reaction against Named Person program in Scotland: families “had wanted a single point of contact for parents,” but Scottish government instead created “point of contact about parents” [No2NP campaign, earlier]
- “In places like New York City, schools have made it more difficult for principals to suspend disruptive or threatening students. The results? Increased violence, drug use, and gang activity, according to the Manhattan Institute’s Max Eden.” [Hans Bader/CEI, Eden paper, related on national policy]
- Rethink your assumptions about Betsy DeVos’s appointees [Erica L. Green, New York Times] More on appointee Candice Jackson [George Leef, Martin Center, earlier]
- Go figure: Trump executive order says “Hire American” even as federal law bans job discrimination in favor of American citizens [Jon Hyman]
- Though ADA excludes “gender identity” claims, judge green-lights suit over gender dysphoria [P.J. D’Annunzio, Law.com]
- “UC Berkeley Drops Free Online Videos In Response To Government Threat” [Jane Shaw/Heartland, and thanks for quote]
- “Hostile work environment can be created with one racial slur, 2nd Circuit rules” [ABA Journal]
- Connecticut’s CHRO attracts much higher per capita filings of workplace discrimination than comparable agency in Massachusetts, with complaints from incumbent employees a key growth area [Marc E. Fitch, Yankee Institute; Daniel Schwartz with somewhat different view]
- Missed, from December: Philadelphia could close businesses deemed to discriminate [Tricia Nadolny, Philadelphia Daily News, related earlier]
I’ve got two new pieces up at Cato at Liberty:
1) Following an outcry, Nevada lawmakers have dropped a plan to hobble ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber by requiring that their drivers wait at least 15 minutes before picking up a fare. The bill had been backed by a taxi union that donates heavily to lawmakers: all must be brought down to the level of the slowest in the name of a level playing field!
2) No one’s willing to come out and say that the North Carolina bathroom compromise signed yesterday by Gov. Roy Cooper is actually pretty good. But it is.
- “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]