First Amendment

Standoff at Bundy Ranch Ends, With Photo of the Year So Far

Featured image Before I had quite figured out what to make of the Bundy Ranch standoff, it appears to have been resolved. The Bureau of Land Management has announced that in view of the risk of violence, it is withdrawing its forces, which include snipers, from the area. (How many federal agencies employ snipers, anyway? Too many, it is safe to say.) The county sheriff negotiated the terms of the federal government’s »

Speech, corruption, and the Republican form of government

Featured image Thomas Jefferson recorded a dinner conversation in which John Adams argued that if the British government could be purged of “corruption,” it would become the most perfect government ever devised. Alexander Hamilton shocked Jefferson and Adams when he replied that if purged of corruption, the British system would fall. By corruption, Hamilton apparently had in mind the Crown’s ability to influence the House of Commons. He also had in mind »

The Hayward poll

Featured image The Denver Post is taking a poll on the irreverent comments that Steve Hayward noted had made him a figure of controversy at the University of Colorado. Unlike Brendan Eich, Steve is not taking the path of least resistance and throwing himself out the window. He’s going to make them do it. Why else have a designated professor of conservative studies if you’re going to make life easy for university »

Best. Supreme Court. Brief. Ever.

Featured image Make sure you’ve swallowed any and all liquids, especially hot ones like coffee, before you read further. P.J. O’Rourke has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, related to the upcoming case Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus.  The only possible thing that could top this would be an amicus brief from Dave Barry. Steven Driehaus is the sore-loser Democrat who is suing Susan B. Anthony List for independent »

Election law experts join in the denuniciation of IRS’s attempt to curb free speech

Featured image Scott and I have been writing about the IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives, this time through potentially crippling regulations on political advocacy groups (known as 501(c)(4) organizations). The period for commenting on the IRS’s proposed rules, which we discussed with some specificity here, is now closed. I understand that more than 120,000 comments have been filed. The proposed rules don’t just adversely affect conservative groups. Many liberal groups would »

Minnesota Man Who Filmed Sheriff’s Deputies Acquitted By Jury

Featured image I have long been a big supporter of the police, but it is undeniable that in recent years, too many instances of abusive behavior by law enforcement have come to light. To a great extent, this is due to the ubiquity of video cameras, in cell phones and elsewhere, that allow public actions of law enforcement to be recorded. Understandably, some police officers don’t like this fact, and Glenn Reynolds »

9th Circuit Holds that School Can Ban Display of American Flag

Featured image You may have heard about Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, in which a unanimous panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was permissible for a public high school to demand that students remove clothing that displayed an American flag. Many conservatives are understandably upset with the decision. The context was this: the high school, in northern California, had a history of conflict between Caucasian »

What Was the FCC Newsroom “Survey” Really About?

Featured image That is the question that Byron York poses at the Examiner. His explanation: [T]he FCC’s action may have, in fact, been something different: an attempt — still grossly unconstitutional in its method — to lay a foundation for a new government push to increase minority ownership of the nation’s media outlets. Byron bases that conclusion on the fact that the driving force behind the FCC’s now-withdrawn newsroom initiative was Mignon »

The IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives

Featured image Last week, Scott and I attended the Heritage Foundation’s program on the Obama administration IRS’s assault on the First Amendment. Scott’s daughter, rising superstar Eliana Johnson, was one of the speakers. The others were Cleta Mitchell (whom Scott interviewed following the program), Bradley Smith, and Kim Strassel. Hans von Spakovsky was the moderator. The program looked both backwards, to the IRS targeting scandal, and forwards, to the IRS’s proposed regulation »

FCC Backs Off on Scheme to Regulate the Press

Featured image For the last several days, I have been accumulating information about the extraordinary plan, launched by the Democratic majority of the Federal Communications Commission, apparently without input or even knowledge on the part of the Commission’s Republicans, to survey radio and television stations, as well as newspapers (over which the FCC has no jurisdiction) with respect to their editorial news judgments. Many observers saw the FCC’s project as the prelude »

We Are Living In a World Gone Mad [Updated]

Featured image The biggest news story of the last week was about Phil Robertson, a TV reality star who gave an interview to GQ. The interviewer eagerly solicited Robertson’s views on homosexuality, which turned out to be middle of the road. Robertson said that 1) the Bible disapproves of homosexual conduct, along with lots of other sins, and 2) he personally thinks women have a lot more to offer than gay men. »

Bombs and the First Amendment: The Anarchist Cookbook

Featured image Karl Pierson, the Colorado high school senior who tried to murder his debate coach and instead gravely wounded a random student, Claire Davis, was a self-described communist. He was distraught, apparently, over being dropped from his high school’s debate team, or otherwise disciplined in some way. The facts are still murky. But this interesting point has emerged: The student who opened fire last week at a Colorado high school, leaving »

Journalism or espionage?

Featured image Back in the dark days of the Bush administration I wrote about the New York Times’s damaging violations of the Espionage Act on Power Line and in the Weekly Standard column “Exposure.” I was appalled by the Times’s revelation of secret eavesdropping and monitoring techniques adopted by the administration to detect and undermine al Qaeda. I wasn’t alone in my concerns. Writing from the front lines of the battle against »

Ed Corsi’s life of political crime

Featured image The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to publish their political views against infringement by Congress. On this point the constitutional language is about as clear as language can be made. Yet the Supreme has hemmed and hawed and created purported exceptions that threaten to swallow the rule. Brad Smith brings us the latest case study in the tyranny licensed by the Supreme Court. Consider the case of Ed »

Dick Durbin: Worse than stupid, part 10

Featured image We commenced this series and pursued its theme to draw attention to Senator Dick Durbin’s letter to 300 supporters of the American Legislative Exchange Council. A copy of one such letter (to our friends at the Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis) is posted online here. The letter is a none too subtle instrument of intimidation in the Democrats’ misuse of the Zimmerman case for ulterior political purposes. The »

Dick Durbin: Worse than stupid, part 9

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore took up Dick Durbin’s campaign against ALEC last week in “ALEC strikes back.” Moore reported from ALEC’s convention in Chicago last week that Durbin’s letter to ALEC’s supporters “was all anyone was talking about.” Moore provides an optimistic take on the upshot: “I really think the letter backfired,” says Jonathan Williams, an ALEC task force director. “It fired up a lot of our members.” »

Dick Durbin: Worse than stupid, part 7

Featured image Bradley A. Smith holds the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law position at Capital University Law School and Visiting Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. Chair of Law at West Virginia University College of Law. A 2010 recipient of the Bradley Prize, he is one of the nation’s leading authorities on election law and campaign finance. In 2000, he was nominated by President Clinton to fill a »