Law

IRS sued over treatment of Americans who bank abroad

Featured image The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires, in essence, that U.S. citizens who reside outside the U.S. disclose to the IRS all of their foreign banking assets including retirement plans, savings accounts, etc. It also requires foreign banks to assist the IRS in applying the disclosure rules or else face enormous penalties. As its not-so-subtle acronym suggests, the Act purports to be an anti-fat-cat measure through which to crack »

141 counties have more registered voters than eligible live citizens

Featured image The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), of which our friend Christian Adams is president, has put 141 counties on notice that they have more registered voters than people alive. These counties encompass 21 states. Michigan leads the way with 24 counties, followed by Kentucky (18) and Illinois (17). Here is the list of such counties. The notification letters sent by PILF are a prerequisite to bringing a lawsuit against the »

Obama’s end-run around the nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Featured image In an article for Forbes, Harold Furchtgott-Roth argues that President Obama’s executive agreement with Iran violates and/or modifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1969. Thus, it cannot lawfully take effect without true congressional approval (as opposed to the process established by the Corker-Cardin legislation). Furchtgott-Roth’s article appeared about a month ago, but has only recently come to my attention. It is axiomatic, I should think, that an executive agreement cannot »

More twists and turns in Hillary’s email saga

Featured image On Friday, things began heating up again in the legal proceedings regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails. Readers will recall the Judge Emmet Sullivan, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., had ordered the State Department to ask Clinton, her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and her former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to personally vouch that they’d turned over all records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act »

Report: Investigation of Hillary is a “criminal probe”

Featured image The New York Post reports that the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured e-mail account is a criminal probe. The Post’s source said, “It’s definitely a criminal probe; I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.” Me neither, but I can guess. The source explained that the Justice Department and the FBI can conduct civil investigations in limited circumstances, but that’s not »

The Judiciary Below the Water Line

Featured image Decisions of the Supreme Court understandably get a lot of attention, but what about the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals, not to mention District Court and state appellate courts? Their decisions are often very important to the evolution of case law, but receive much less attention and often don’t get appealed successfully to the Supreme Court (except, it would seem, for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals because »

Kerry refuses to commit to follow U.S. law on sanctions

Featured image John Kerry testified today before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the Iran deal. I watched only a small portion of it. The debate, though very important, is becoming stale. For me, the most interesting moment occurred when Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, asked Kerry whether, if Congress disapproves of the agreement and overrides President Obama’s veto of its disapproval, the administration would follow the law regarding what »

With Justice Alito

Featured image In his new Conversation, Bill Kristol sits down with Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito (video below). We proudly published Justice Alito’s review of Michael Paulsen’s new book on the Constitution here this past April. It is good to have the opportunity to hear him speak off the bench at length on matters of interest and importance. The video is posted in full and broken into chapters here; the transcript »

Good news from Wisconsin

Featured image The Wisconsin Supreme Court has put an end to the John Doe investigation tormenting conservative activists in the state. This particular show featured the true face of contemporary liberalism. Litigation stalled the show. Despite exposure preeminently by the Wall Street Journal — but also by National Review and others — as a tyrannical monstrosity, the show persisted. Bill Jacobson has excerpted and posted the Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion here. The »

Judge Kozinski is not amused

Featured image In its Notable and Quotable space on the editorial page this morning, the Wall Street Journal excerpts Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski’s preface to the Georgetown Law Journal’s “Annual Review of Criminal Procedure” (2015). The Journal notes that Judge Kozinski “writes in the preface about the 2008 federal case against Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who died in 2010.” Judge Kozinski looks back in anger: Senator Stevens was charged with corruption »

Judge Hanen is not amused

Featured image Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen has entered a preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of President Obama’s post-election amnesty order. Since entry of the injunction, Judge Hanen has been apprised of certain misrepresentations regarding the status of Obama’s order. The parties are in the process of working out an agreement to resolve discovery issues and report to the court regarding those misrepresentations. In an order entered yesterday (posted online here), Judge »

Philip Hamburger: Chevron’s last days?

Featured image Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Editor’s note: Answer: Yes.) It is easily one of the most important books published in 2014 and certainly one of the most important I have ever read. Professor Hamburger has graciously taken time out from his vacation to comment at our request on the Supreme »

From Justice Scalia’s dissent

Featured image Justice Scalia’s dissent in today’s gay marriage diktat is all must reading. Short of posting the whole thing, let me offer these pointed excerpts (to which I have added some paragraphing in the interest of readability): The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, »

Triumph of the leftist will

Featured image The Supreme Court issued its decision in King v Burwell yesterday. The Supreme Court has posted its opinions in the case here. At issue in King was the legality of the IRS’s provision of tax credits in Obamacare exchanges established by the federal government. As Professor Jonathan Adler wrote in USA Today, the case “presents a straightforward case of statutory interpretation.” As such, it wasn’t a hard case; it was »

The wrong side of Z Street

Featured image The pro-Israel group Z Street had its application for tax-exempt status held up at the IRS. When founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus asked why, she was told that IRS auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention and that Z Street’s application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review. Not to put too fine a point on the legal issues, this isn’t kosher. It’s illegal. »

Deep secrets of racial profiling (finale)

Featured image A brief look back at where we have been in this series. If you missed any of its ten parts, I hope you will take a quick look. I would like to point out in particular the post on Michelle Alexander (part 4), which I believe makes a contribution to the subject with a lot of help from the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald. Part 1: “Here I set forth »

Deep secrets of racial profiling (7)

Featured image I have sought in this series to provide a background of relevant facts within which to understand the welter of stories featuring race and law enforcement over the past nine months. This past week the Star Tribune’s Eric Roper delivered another such story, this one with a local angle, in “Push is on for more policing reforms in Minneapolis.” For relevant background to Roper’s story, please see John Hinderaker’s post »