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Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Q&A transcript

Advice columnist Carolyn Hax took your questions live.

Weekly schedule, past shows

Volokh Conspiracy: February, 2014

Posted at 07:32 PM ET, 02/28/2014

Intelligence Squared debate: Affirmative action on campus does more harm than good

Intelligence Squared presented a provocative debate at Harvard Law School about affirmative action on campus.

By Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz  |  07:32 PM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 02/28/2014

Would prison performance measures lead to undesirable strategic behavior?

Yes, they could. Here’s how to design performance measures to alleviate some of these problems.

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:12 PM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 02/28/2014

Google/YouTube files motion to stay enforcement of Ninth Circuit’s “Innocence of Muslims” copyright decision

The stay seems to be addressed to the court’s order that Google “take all reasonable steps to prevent further uploads of ‘Innocence of Muslims,’“

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:25 PM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 02/28/2014

Interesting constitutional standing case

When may a plaintiff sue over an alleged federal statutory violation, without showing that he actually lost money or suffered physical or emotional injury from the violation?

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:15 PM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 02/28/2014

Upcoming speaking engagements (Ilya Somin)

By  |  10:46 AM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:32 AM ET, 02/28/2014

Jeremy Waldron, on the purpose of constitutional law

“[If constitutions] endure, they will create conditions of political stability that we seem to be able to take for granted: we can take risks with our Constitution now, because it has already successfully conditioned the reflexes with which we will confront such risks.“

By Will Baude  |  09:32 AM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:17 AM ET, 02/28/2014

California appellate court allows looking at your smartphone while driving

Last April, a California trial court ruled that it was illegal for drivers to look at their smartphones while driving. In a decision handed down Thursday, the state Court of Appeals unanimously reversed.

By Orin Kerr  |  01:17 AM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:29 PM ET, 02/27/2014

Debating the original meaning of “public use”

My response to Prof. Michael Ramsey’s thoughtful commentary on my work on the original meaning of “public use” under the Fifth Amendment. I contend that the original meaning only permits the government to take property for use by the government or a private owner legally required to serve the general public. This would invalidate takings that transfer property to private owners in the hope that doing so might benefit the public in some way, as permitted by the Supreme Court in its controversial ruling in Kelo v. City of New London.

By Ilya Somin  |  08:29 PM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:24 PM ET, 02/27/2014

Immigration costs and benefits — in liberty and otherwise

It depends on how willing the government is to protect existing citizens against the possible costs of immigration -- including liberty costs.

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:24 PM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Immigration

Posted at 02:37 PM ET, 02/27/2014

Not safe to display American flag in American high school

The 9th Circuit says it’s okay for school to order students not to wear American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, when there’s a risk that other students will beat them up for it.

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:37 PM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  First Amendment

Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 02/27/2014

Survey finds Dodd-Frank is good for lawyers, not so much for consumers, small banks

Financial reform laws proves to be boon for lawyers, but is costing small banks, consumers, survey finds.

By Todd Zywicki  |  01:01 PM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Dodd-Frank, Financial reform

Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 02/27/2014

Implications of alternative rationales for striking down laws banning same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court is likely to rule that laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. But there are at least four different rationales for such a result, and it matters which one the Court chooses.

By Ilya Somin  |  11:16 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 02/27/2014

(Temporarily) secret order for removal of “Innocence of Muslims” videos

There’s an odd twist in the case involving the Ninth Circuit’s copyright law decision.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:03 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2014

Guest post from Prof. Doug Laycock: What Arizona SB1062 actually said

The religious freedom bill vetoed by Arizona governor Jan Brewer has been egregiously misrepresented by activists and the media as Professor Doug Laycock of University of Virginia explains in this guest post.

By David Bernstein  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 02/27/2014

Federal judge strikes down Texas law banning same-sex marriage

A recent federal district court decision striking down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage creates additional momentum for gay marriage supporters. The issue may return to the Supreme Court sooner rather than later.

By  |  10:47 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 02/27/2014

How do we choose proper performance measures for prisons?

And what disadvantages might performance measures have?

By Sasha Volokh  |  10:22 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:41 AM ET, 02/27/2014

The Lockean right of self-defense—and stand-your-ground laws

There is a dispute going on in the blogs over John Locke and self-defense.

By Jim Lindgren  |  08:41 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:33 AM ET, 02/27/2014

Originalism and ‘accounting for change’

When somebody tells you that originalists must think that the air force is unconstitutional, look for your wallet, because your pocket is being picked.

By Will Baude  |  08:33 AM ET, 02/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:59 PM ET, 02/26/2014

My analysis of Walden v. Fiore

What happens in Las Vegas may stay in Las Vegas, but the inverse is also true.

By Will Baude  |  11:59 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:09 PM ET, 02/26/2014

By Orin Kerr  |  11:09 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:53 PM ET, 02/26/2014

Five thoughts about Fernandez v. California

The Supreme Court handed down a new Fourth Amendment case yesterday. In this post, I offer a few thoughts on the new decision.

By Orin Kerr  |  10:53 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:22 PM ET, 02/26/2014

The best schools for getting a job in a large law firm

By Jim Lindgren  |  06:22 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:44 PM ET, 02/26/2014

Copyright meets “Innocence of Muslims”: Ninth Circuit orders removal of movie from YouTube, on copyright grounds

Ninth Circuit says YouTube must take down the video -- not because it’s blasphemous, but because it infringes on an actress’s copyright. But could the “fair use” doctrine help bring the video back?

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:44 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 02/26/2014

The advantages of performance measures for prisons

What are performance measures good for? To promote accountability, neutrality, and goal setting, and to facilitate performance-based contracting.

By Sasha Volokh  |  12:55 PM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:32 AM ET, 02/26/2014

Why a prominent academic was rejected from the National Council on the Humanities

“There is just no point trying to be a public intellectual if you can’t speak your mind.“

By  |  08:32 AM ET, 02/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:15 PM ET, 02/25/2014

Observing Clarence Thomas at oral argument

My observations of Justice Thomas at oral argument suggest that he is far more engaged than Jeffrey Toobin claims.

By Ilya Somin  |  08:15 PM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 02/25/2014

The FTC’s unfairness Consent Decree with Apple

By Todd Zywicki  |  03:04 PM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:31 PM ET, 02/25/2014

Science study: Republicans struggle with evolution, Democrats struggle with the Earth going around the Sun

These are just some of the findings that emerge from a closer analysis of the underlying data in the new National Science Foundation Study.

By Jim Lindgren  |  01:31 PM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 02/25/2014

Does ‘religious affiliation’ include nonreligiousness?

“I don’t want them taught stuff that’s in the Bible. I want them to grow up and make their own decisions.... It’s their decision when they get older whether they want to believe in God or not.“

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:40 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 02/25/2014

Are private prisons better or worse than public prisons?

Turns out we don’t know. We don’t know whether they cost less (they probably do, but how much less?). We don’t know whether they produce better results. Why don’t we know?

By Sasha Volokh  |  11:19 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 02/25/2014

Boys-only short hair rule (for high school basketball players) = sex discrimination?

So holds a 7th Circuit panel, by a 2-1 vote.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:15 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:23 AM ET, 02/25/2014

Now there’s a Supreme Court lineup for you

And in a constitutional criminal procedure case -- Kagan, Ginsburg, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito (against the criminal defendant’s claim) vs. Breyer, Sotomayor, and Roberts (in favor of the criminal defendant’s claim).

By Eugene Volokh  |  10:23 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:26 AM ET, 02/25/2014

FDA considers controversial fertility procedure. What’s at stake?

Despite the hype, the Food and Drug Administration is not about to approve “three-parent babies.” An in-depth analysis of what’s at stake.

By Nita Farahany  |  09:26 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:12 AM ET, 02/25/2014

A cert denial is not a ruling on the merits

Reporters and editors need to stop making this basic mistake when covering the Supreme Court

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  09:12 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:41 AM ET, 02/25/2014

Is there really an alternative to originalism?

Mike Ramsey argues that the only alternative to originalism is “policy-driven judicial review.“

By Will Baude  |  08:41 AM ET, 02/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:20 PM ET, 02/24/2014

You just can’t win with some people

“Perhaps one day you will be able to see that and atone for your sin.” Or perhaps not.

By Eugene Volokh  |  08:20 PM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 02/24/2014

Originalism and interracial marriage: The surprising result

David Upham makes a surprisingly persuasive case that interracial marriage laws were thought to be overturned by the Fourteenth Amendment.

By Will Baude  |  04:32 PM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:22 PM ET, 02/24/2014

“It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock”

“It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.“

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:22 PM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 02/24/2014

Why not measure prison performance?

Amazingly, evaluating prisons based on their performance isn’t widely done. It’s why prisons have limited incentives to improve, why prisons have limited flexibility anyway, and why we don’t really know whether private prisons are better or worse than public ones.

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:51 PM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 02/24/2014

Business operators’ right to choose

More on cab drivers who refuse to carry alcohol -- and, more broadly, on the right to choose what to allow on one’s property and whom one deals with.

By Eugene Volokh  |  10:49 AM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 02/24/2014

Climate change goes back to the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court confronts climate change for the third time in a a case that’s both more and less significant than it might seem.

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  08:30 AM ET, 02/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:59 PM ET, 02/23/2014

‘A weekend is not a surface’

At 4 pm in the afternoon on Sunday in February -- but why?

By Eugene Volokh  |  06:59 PM ET, 02/23/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:11 PM ET, 02/23/2014

Off to a bad start: Originalism and the Good Constitution

Distorting the rival positions one is criticizing is a bad method of argumentation.

By Randy Barnett  |  06:11 PM ET, 02/23/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:18 PM ET, 02/22/2014

What? Miss out on the munchies market?

Good business thinking, Danielle Lei!

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:18 PM ET, 02/22/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:08 PM ET, 02/22/2014

Suggestions for special Twitter and Facebook feeds that we could create?

More topical feeds like @VolokhGuns? Blogger-by-blogger feeds? Something else? Please give me your advice.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:08 PM ET, 02/22/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:25 PM ET, 02/21/2014

San Diego Sheriff will not seek 9th Circuit en banc in Peruta right to carry case

San Diego foregoes en banc petition in Peruta right to carry case. Right to carry coming to California, Hawaii, and Pacific Territories.

By David Kopel  |  08:25 PM ET, 02/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 02/21/2014

Public-employee pensions and the “California rule”: blog post and op-ed

My blog post on Reason.org and op-ed in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.

By Sasha Volokh  |  02:07 PM ET, 02/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 02/21/2014

The ‘Islam is different’ argument

“Islam is not a religion,” televangelist Pat Robertson has argued. “It is a political system bent on world domination.“

By Eugene Volokh  |  10:34 AM ET, 02/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 02/21/2014

What should civil-rights litigation against federal officials look like?

My not-so-unified theory of Bivens suits.

By Sasha Volokh  |  10:01 AM ET, 02/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:59 AM ET, 02/21/2014

Laws that track Islamic law rules

What if cities with a Muslim majority, or a substantial Muslim minority, enact laws that implement some sharia principles?

By Eugene Volokh  |  06:59 AM ET, 02/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:58 PM ET, 02/20/2014

What courses do big law firms want you to take in law school?

Accounting. Federal courts. Islamic law (sorta).

By Will Baude  |  05:58 PM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 02/20/2014

Assessing the potential impact of Fisher v. University of Texas on affirmative action programs

By Ilya Somin  |  02:00 PM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 02/20/2014

Cultural exemptions for Muslims — even from laws that don’t burden religious practice

Now that’s not right -- and fortunately our legal system almost never does this.

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:58 PM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:07 AM ET, 02/20/2014

Providing accommodations that benefit Muslim customers, employees, students, or clients

Here too there is a tradition of similar accommodations for members of other religions.

By Eugene Volokh  |  10:07 AM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:07 AM ET, 02/20/2014

The 6 political groups least likely to believe that astrology is scientific

Conservative Republicans are more likely than liberal Democrats to reject belief in influence of the stars and Fates.

By Jim Lindgren  |  10:07 AM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:46 AM ET, 02/20/2014

Short interview with me about my recent Windsor article

“Sometimes you come to the conclusion that the law doesn’t do things that you wish it did.“

By Will Baude  |  09:46 AM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 02/20/2014

Suing public and private prisons: the role of the Prison Litigation Reform Act

Do federal and state Prison Litigation Reform Acts change the result discussed in my previous posts? Probably not much.

By Sasha Volokh  |  09:29 AM ET, 02/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:10 PM ET, 02/19/2014

The choice isn’t necessarily originalism versus non-originalism

By David Bernstein  |  10:10 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:08 PM ET, 02/19/2014

Trevor Paglen photographs U.S. intelligence agencies

Superb visual artist Trevor Paglen has taken unusual aerial photographs of the NSA, NRO, and NGA.

By Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz  |  09:08 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:20 PM ET, 02/19/2014

Boycotting Israel and the South Africa/apartheid analogy

Even if you accept the false analogy between South African apartheid and Israel’s occupation of the territories, imagining an alternative history of South Africa ruins the case for boycotting Israel.

By David Bernstein  |  08:20 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:15 PM ET, 02/19/2014

“Entrenched anti-Semitic views” very rare among whites and Asian Americans, common among blacks and Latinos

By David Bernstein  |  07:15 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:58 PM ET, 02/19/2014

Originalism and its Critics: The Critics’ Turn

This week’s topic were some of the alternatives to originalism and none of them seem to have knocked originalism out of the ring.

By Will Baude  |  06:58 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 02/19/2014

Beware: Ragnarök on Saturday

Twilight of the Norse gods, coming soon.

By Sasha Volokh  |  03:04 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 02/19/2014

On net neutrality, the FCC says it has heard enough from the courts, for now

The Chair of the FCC has responded to the D.C. Circuit’s invalidation of net neutrality rules, and has decided not to disturb the court’s ruling. Here’s why that’s not a surprise.

By Stuart Benjamin  |  01:30 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/19/2014

May Congress delegate to the Executive the power to define minor crimes by regulation?

A question raised, but not answered -- since the defendant didn’t argue it -- in Judge Neil Gorsuch’s characteristically scholarly opinion in United States v. Baldwin.

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:00 PM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 02/19/2014

NSA concedes: Parody T-shirts that use NSA’s name and logo aren’t illegal

Federal law bans use of the agency’s logo to suggest that the NSA is endorsing the merchandise -- it doesn’t ban obvious parodies.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:47 AM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:44 AM ET, 02/19/2014

Irina Manta on the constitutional flaws of intellectual property prosecutions

A new article argues that the current standards used to prosecute intellectual property crimes are constitutionally insufficient.

By Will Baude  |  09:44 AM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 02/19/2014

The surprising truth about suing private prisons

It turns out that, if you’re a prisoner suing your prison on a tort theory, you’re on better legal ground if you’re in a private prison than if you’re in a public prison.

By Sasha Volokh  |  09:29 AM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:14 AM ET, 02/19/2014

American courts using foreign law that incorporates religious law

Sometimes U.S. law calls on American courts to apply foreign law, and for some foreign countries -- and not just the usual suspects -- that includes sharia.

By Eugene Volokh  |  07:14 AM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:31 PM ET, 02/18/2014

Did people confuse ‘astronomy’ with ‘astrology’ in the NSF study?

Old Dominion Prof. Richard Landers thinks so.

By Jim Lindgren  |  09:31 PM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:46 PM ET, 02/18/2014

Is another illegal Obamacare fix in the works?

A new report suggests the Obama Administration is considering yet another rewrite of law through administrative fiat.

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  03:46 PM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 02/18/2014

What’s the matter with Oregon?

Why do residents of the Beaver State avoid vaccinations?

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  03:23 PM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:18 PM ET, 02/18/2014

Massachusetts court rules that state constitution requires warrant for access to two-week collection of historical cell-site records

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has a new decision interpreting the state constitution’s version of the Fourth Amendment, and applying that provision to collection of cell phone records.

By Orin Kerr  |  02:18 PM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 02/18/2014

Enforcing contracts or wills that call for courts to interpret Islamic law

Under the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause precedents, secular judges are not allowed to interpret an religion’s law.

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:16 PM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 02/18/2014

Prisoner litigation against public prisons: how many ways can you lose?

Whether you’re a federal prisoner or a state prisoner, suing your prison on a tort theory -- if you’re a prisoner at a public prison -- is extremely difficult.

By Sasha Volokh  |  11:55 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 02/18/2014

Increased immigration is unlikely to increase the size of the welfare state

Conservative critics of increased immigration claim that it will lead to higher welfare spending. The evidence suggests otherwise.

By Ilya Somin  |  11:08 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:46 AM ET, 02/18/2014

John Stinneford’s insightful analysis of Miranda v. Arizona

Miranda is used as the paradigmatic example of a court creating a “prophylactic” rule. But maybe it isn’t.

By Will Baude  |  09:46 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:33 AM ET, 02/18/2014

Enforcing contracts and wills that are motivated by Islamic law

“Creeping Sharia” -- or just the application of normal American law?

By Eugene Volokh  |  09:33 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:21 AM ET, 02/18/2014

What is the most populous state capital in the U.S.?

The answer surprised me.

By Eugene Volokh  |  09:21 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:16 AM ET, 02/18/2014

Sharia week on the Volokh Conspiracy

When should the American legal system facilitate people’s compliance with religious law -- most controversially, Islamic law (sharia) -- or even consider religious law in its decisions?

By Eugene Volokh  |  06:16 AM ET, 02/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:15 PM ET, 02/17/2014

Growth chart of right to carry

Chart shows how licensed carrying of handguns has become the national norm

By David Kopel  |  08:15 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:17 PM ET, 02/17/2014

Searching a cell phone incident to arrest: Possible Fourth Amendment rules that the Supreme Court might consider in Riley and Wurie

The Supreme Court recently agreed to review two cases on how the Fourth Amendment applies to searching a cell phone incident to arrest. This post, first in a series, lays out some of the possible rules that the Justices might consider in determining when a cell phone search on arrest is constitutionally “reasonable.“

By Orin Kerr  |  07:17 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:41 PM ET, 02/17/2014

Does Michael Mukasey read the Yale Law Journal?

A recent op-ed about felon disenfranchisement in the Wall Street Journal bears a striking similarity to a Yale Law Journal article.

By Will Baude  |  04:41 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:56 PM ET, 02/17/2014

Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the Dunn verdict in Florida

Claims by some media that Stand Your Ground affected the Michael Dunn verdict are plainly incorrect.

By David Kopel  |  03:56 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 02/17/2014

Jurisdiction: toward the definitive Anna Nicole Smith biopic

Better than the Lifetime TV movie: this one is entirely focused on Anna Nicole Smith’s contributions to federal jurisdiction involving probate courts and bankruptcy tribunals.

By Sasha Volokh  |  03:14 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:31 PM ET, 02/17/2014

The aesthetic lives of mathematicians

Using MRI technology to see mathematicians’ mental responses to famous formulae -- and it’s similar to people’s mental responses to beautiful art.

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:31 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 02/17/2014

The Supreme Court has restricted federal civil-rights litigation at private prisons: should we care?

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that federal private prison inmates generally can’t file the civil rights suits known as “Bivens actions“. It turns out that this will probably be less harmful than one might fear.

By Sasha Volokh  |  02:14 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:12 PM ET, 02/17/2014

The Supreme Court has restricted civil rights litigation by federal private prison inmates: should we care?

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that federal private prison inmates generally can’t file the civil rights suits known as “Bivens actions“. It turns out that this will probably be less harmful than one might fear.

By Sasha Volokh  |  02:12 PM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 02/17/2014

Further thoughts on the (statutory) right to argue pro se at the Supreme Court

I discuss other possible justifications for the Supreme Court’s ban on pro se oral arguments. One of them seems plausible, if ultimately questionable.

By Will Baude  |  10:47 AM ET, 02/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:42 PM ET, 02/16/2014

The 7 political groups most likely to believe in astrology

Which groups are more likely to believe that astrology is “very scientific” or “sort of scientific,” as opposed to those who believe that it is “not scientific at all“?

By Jim Lindgren  |  06:42 PM ET, 02/16/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:42 PM ET, 02/16/2014

Cyber attacks on the ‘Lawfare’ national security law website

What does a website do if it doesn’t have deep pockets for cyber defense engineering? And bonus ... xkcd re Tumblr

By Kenneth Anderson  |  03:42 PM ET, 02/16/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:12 AM ET, 02/16/2014

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and others on Cass Sunstein

Cass Sunstein has amusing taste in back-cover blurbs for his new book, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas.

By Will Baude  |  09:12 AM ET, 02/16/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:40 AM ET, 02/16/2014

Sundays with Stendhal (4): Love in the United States

In which snow and love combine for a Valentine’s weekend special edition that brings together Stendhal, Arthur Rex, and Alison Krauss

By Kenneth Anderson  |  06:40 AM ET, 02/16/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:01 AM ET, 02/16/2014

Did the NSA really help spy on U.S. lawyers?

At first blush, the latest story on NSA surveillance sounds like a big deal -- especially for lawyers. But a closer look finds that the story delivers much less than it promises.

By Orin Kerr  |  03:01 AM ET, 02/16/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:12 AM ET, 02/15/2014

A naive thought about the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage

Everybody assumes that the Supreme Court will soon take up the issue of same-sex marriage, and it probably will. But is that necessary?

By Will Baude  |  09:12 AM ET, 02/15/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:46 PM ET, 02/14/2014

“Cameron Diaz Encourages Women to Keep Their Pubic Hair in Her New Book”

Poor modifier placement from the E! headline writers.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:46 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 02/14/2014

Child euthanasia, child soldiers, and child capital punishment

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  02:35 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:47 PM ET, 02/14/2014

“High-maintenance” and “highly vocal” judges = racist?

As an example of the Fifth Circuit’s supposedly Posner- and Kozinski-like “high-maintenance” and “highly vocal” judges, an author mentions a district judge who refused to interpret a reference to “fried chicken” as a racial slur. How exactly is this like Posner or Kozinski?

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:47 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:09 PM ET, 02/14/2014

Is there any way forward for faith-based prisons?

What the current research tells us about faith-based prisons, private schools, empirical strategies, and whether faith-based prisons can continue consistent with the Constitution.

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:09 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 02/14/2014

If there’s ever a new debt ceiling crisis, could the President securitize future tax revenues to avoid default?

Duke University’s Steven Schwarcz says there is a way; maybe least bad alternative in a debt default emergency, but as a measure of our governance, we should be very, very afraid.

By Kenneth Anderson  |  01:03 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 02/14/2014

Originalism in our legal culture: The case of the Ground Zero mosque

Eric and I try to imagine the appropriate ways to empirically test popular faith in originalism. He says birth control, I say religious liberty.

By Will Baude  |  12:45 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 02/14/2014

Public school can’t require students to display a motto on their uniforms

The Ninth Circuit decides Frudden v. Pilling, a case that I argued and blogged about in October.

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:14 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/14/2014

Federal judge strikes down Virginia law banning same-sex marriage

Today’s federal district court decision striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is part of a growing trend. It follows on the heels of similar rulings in New Mexico and Utah.

By Ilya Somin  |  12:00 PM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 02/14/2014

A fun paragraph from Judge Posner

From Judge Posner’s opinion in United States v. Boyce.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:20 AM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:59 AM ET, 02/14/2014

Thoughts on oral argument in Notre Dame v. Sebelius

There were a lot of testy exchanges in the latest oral arguments about the contraceptive mandate. But Judge Hamilton also raised an interesting question to which I try to provide a partial answer.

By Will Baude  |  09:59 AM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 02/14/2014

Dionne v. Hayek

An answer to E.J. Dionne’s column on the Austrian school of economics.

By Todd Zywicki  |  09:36 AM ET, 02/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:28 PM ET, 02/13/2014

‘Turning San Francisco into San Antonio’

Will concealed carry rights turn California into Texas?

By Eugene Volokh  |  07:28 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:08 PM ET, 02/13/2014

What Belgium’s child euthanasia law means for America and the Constitution

European countries told America that the juvenile death penalty is unjust because minors are not sufficiently responsible. Now some progressive European countries say kids really are mature enough to make reasoned decisions about killing - themselves.

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  06:08 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:32 PM ET, 02/13/2014

Intelligence Squared Debate: Snowden Was Justified

Intelligence Squared presented a lively debate last night -- “Resolved: Snowden Was Justified.“

By Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz  |  03:32 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 02/13/2014

What next for the Second Amendment and the right to carry guns?

Will the Ninth Circuit rehear the case en banc? Will the Supreme Court step in?

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:47 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 02/13/2014

More on the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit’s right-to-carry-a-gun opinion

The right to keep and bear arms, the court concludes, includes the right to carry them (though the legislature may dictate whether they are carried openly or concealed).

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:38 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 02/13/2014

Kiobel redux: Universal jurisdiction gets ever less universal

The Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel last year was part of a global turn against the doctrine of universal jurisdiction for international crimes. Now Spain, the standard bearer of the movement, is following suit. The only question is now that Spanish judges can’t busy themselves with other people’s war crimes, will they start pursuing their own?

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  02:15 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:28 PM ET, 02/13/2014

Ninth Circuit holds Second Amendment secures a right to carry a gun

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:28 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 02/13/2014

Ninth Circuit strikes California’s restrictive rule against licensed carry of handguns

9th Circuit rules that citizens have 2d Amendment right to bear arms outside the home.

By David Kopel  |  01:18 PM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 02/13/2014

Video of panel on “Individual Rights” at NYU conference on Richard Epstein’s The Classical Liberal Constitution

Video of the “Individual Rights” panel at the NYU conference Richard Epstein’s important new book, The Classical Liberal Constitution. Panelists include Daryl Levinson (NYU),Deborah Malamud (NYU), Steven Menashi (NYU fellow), Tom Merrill (Columbia), and myself.

By Ilya Somin  |  11:22 AM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:59 AM ET, 02/13/2014

Faith-based prisons: the valid studies

Finally, we get to the most valid studies of the effectiveness of faith-based prisons. What do they show? Not much.

By Sasha Volokh  |  07:59 AM ET, 02/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:40 PM ET, 02/12/2014

Speaking truth to power, or slandering one’s own congregants?

Two left-wing New York rabbis slander their own congregants. Peter Beinart tries to distract us from the falsehoods.

By David Bernstein  |  07:40 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 02/12/2014

“Whom,” chick magnet

So says A Study -- and you wouldn’t want to argue with science, would you?

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:00 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 02/12/2014

Your mother, officer, was a hamster, and your bicycle smells of elderberries

An Arizona bill would make it a crime to “taunt” police officers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and skateboarders.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:32 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 02/12/2014

“Community gun”

It takes a village to own a gun?

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:30 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 02/12/2014

Reasons for being an originalist

Finally we learn the many reasons to be an originalist: It’s a mistake to assume that originalism has to be justified on normative grounds. There are also conceptual and legal grounds for originalism.

By Will Baude  |  12:12 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:03 PM ET, 02/12/2014

Publisher forced into modern book-burning

Penguin Books affiliate coerced -- apparently by threat of legal action -- into withdrawing and destroying copies of an allegedly blasphemous book.

By Eugene Volokh  |  12:03 PM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 02/12/2014

Remnants of empire

Test your memory of history and geography.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:47 AM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 02/12/2014

Faith-based prisons: ideas for more valid evaluations

Can propensity score matching give us good estimates of the effectiveness of faith-based prisons (or private schools)? Education researchers have used instrumental variables and exogenous policy shocks: why haven’t faith-based prison researchers?

By Sasha Volokh  |  10:40 AM ET, 02/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:57 PM ET, 02/11/2014

Political ignorance and early voting

Conservative critics of early voting are wrong to claim that it exacerbates the problem of political ignorance. But some liberal defenders err in suggesting that political ignorance is not a serious concern. Even if you assume that voting is just a matter of ensuring equal representation of everyone’s interests, political ignorance can undermine that objective. In addition, ethical voters have an obligation to consider the impact of their political choices on society as a whole, not just themselves. Doing so responsibly requires additional knowledge.

By Ilya Somin  |  07:57 PM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:43 PM ET, 02/11/2014

Is it time to take DNA samples from felony arrestees in Utah?

Utah’s legislature is considering a bill to allow DNA sampling from all those arrested for felony offenses. The bill would add an important tool to law enforcement in Utah and should be enacted.

By Paul Cassell  |  06:43 PM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:35 PM ET, 02/11/2014

The dark side of privacy

A child molester’s conviction is reversed, because his brother-in-law secretly recorded the molester’s confession.

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:35 PM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:39 PM ET, 02/11/2014

Another day, another illegal Obamacare delay

The Administration lacks legal authority to delay the employer mandate. This is another instance of rewriting the law while implementing it.

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  01:39 PM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 02/11/2014

The “tipsy coachman” doctrine

What does this legal term mean?

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:49 AM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 02/11/2014

What if faith-based prison programs just attract better prisoners?

Self-selection bias makes it hard to evaluate faith-based prisons: what if prisoners who attend these programs are systematically different from prisoners who don’t? The same problem has plagued evaluations of private or Catholic schools. I discuss how self-selection plays out in a number of faith-based prison and private-school evaluation studies.

By Sasha Volokh  |  11:43 AM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 02/11/2014

Court strikes down IRS regulation of tax return preparers

The IRS lacks the statutory authority to impose such regulations.

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:33 AM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 02/11/2014

Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison

Can parties consent to having their claims adjudicated by a Bankruptcy Judge?

By Todd Zywicki  |  09:36 AM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:23 AM ET, 02/11/2014

Adoption of same-sex partner’s children allowed in Idaho

The Idaho Supreme Court concludes that such a second-parent adoption doesn’t require that the parties be married to each other, so adoption of an opposite-sex partner’s (or even friend’s) children would be allowed as well.

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:23 AM ET, 02/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:49 PM ET, 02/10/2014

Open thread: science fiction / fantasy recommendations

What science fiction or fantasy books that aren’t widely known among science fiction and fantasy readers do you love -- not just like -- and would strongly recommend?

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:49 PM ET, 02/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 02/10/2014

Do faith-based prisons work?

No, not really. At least, there’s no good evidence to think they do.

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:18 PM ET, 02/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 02/10/2014

Supreme Court Rule 28.8 may be invalid

New rule codifies a practice that forbids parties from arguing their cases pro se. But it seems to be in conflict with a federal statute.

By Will Baude  |  01:03 PM ET, 02/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 02/10/2014

“Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit”

A new movie traces the dual collapse of the American automotive industry and the city of Detroit.

By Todd Zywicki  |  08:48 AM ET, 02/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:58 PM ET, 02/09/2014

An ahistorical critique of “judicial activism”

Sandhya Bathija of the Center for American Progress engages in a vigorous critique of former VC guest blogger Tim Sandefur’s opposition to “judicial restraint.” Unfortunately, this critique relies in part on a grossly ahistorical understanding of the Supreme Court’s protection of the right to contract during the “Lochner era.“

By David Bernstein  |  11:58 PM ET, 02/09/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:24 PM ET, 02/09/2014

Sundays with Stendhal (3)

By 1830, would England be willing to pay for a war against another Napoleon?

By Kenneth Anderson  |  06:24 PM ET, 02/09/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 02/09/2014

Prospects for marijuana legalization in 2014

Many states are seriously considering liberalizing their marijuana laws this year. If enough of these measures pass, it could be a major boost to the cause of legalization and a blow to the War on Drugs.

By Ilya Somin  |  02:15 PM ET, 02/09/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:42 PM ET, 02/08/2014

Justice Scalia on Kelo and Korematsu

In a recent speech, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia predicted that the Court will overrule Kelo v. City of New London. He also predicted that the Court might someday repeat its error in upholding the World War II internment of some 100,000 Japanese-Americans, in the notorious Korematsu decision.

By Ilya Somin  |  06:42 PM ET, 02/08/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:54 AM ET, 02/08/2014

French agency gives Americans a human rights lesson. But maybe not the one it intended

By Stewart Baker  |  09:54 AM ET, 02/08/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:51 AM ET, 02/08/2014

Employee rights to store guns in cars parked in private employer parking lots

The Kentucky Supreme Court interprets a Kentucky statute that secures such rights.

By Eugene Volokh  |  02:51 AM ET, 02/08/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:15 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Are public-sector employees “overpaid”?

It’s a harder question than you think! I think comparable work is compensated more highly in the public sector than in the private sector once you take non-wage benefits, job security, and extra leisure into account, but these comparisons are necessarily tricky and there aren’t easy answers.

By Sasha Volokh  |  10:15 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:12 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Meet the Barack Obama of the Volokh Conspiracy

Study shows President Obama and VC writer David Kopel to have very similar personalities.

By David Kopel  |  08:12 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:50 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Second Amendment applies to carrying guns in cars

So hold two of the three judges on an Ohio Court of Appeals panel.

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:50 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:24 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Orlando condemns private property in order to build a Major League Soccer stadium

Orlando’s use of eminent domain to take private property to build a Major League Soccer Stadium is probably illegal. Government subsidies for sports stadiums are also terrible policy.

By Ilya Somin  |  05:24 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:06 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Jonathan Rauch gets down and dirty for the First Amendment

Watch me get called a smug law professor. Hey, I’m not a law professor!

By Jonathan Rauch (Brookings)  |  05:06 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:29 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Bill to block federal funding to universities that boycott Israel

It may well be constitutional, because of a recent Supreme Court decision widely viewed as “liberal.”

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:29 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 02/07/2014

Originalism, false dichotomies, and the question of who decides

Eric Posner presents originalism with a false dichotomy, when it can really chart a middle course. But it also becomes clearer where our real disagreement lies.

By Will Baude  |  01:08 PM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:08 AM ET, 02/07/2014

Maine’s unwise and unconstitutional ban on disclosing the alcohol content of beers

Product information, including the alcohol content of beer, is protected commercial speech and there’s little reason to prohibit simple disclosure of alcohol content.

By Jonathan H. Adler  |  08:08 AM ET, 02/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:55 PM ET, 02/06/2014

EU discovers that privacy laws can be abused. By someone other than the EU.

By Stewart Baker  |  08:55 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:09 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Disgruntled ex-tenant ordered by court not to ‘interfer[e] … via any blogs … with [ex-landlords'] … business relationships’

A clear First Amendment violation, fortunately reversed by the Florida Court of Appeal. Fun fact: One of the landlords is Ranaan Katz, minority owner of the Miami Heat.

By Eugene Volokh  |  06:09 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:54 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Korea v. Japan, in Virginia

Sea of Japan? East Sea? Or both?

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:54 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Give me everything you’ve posted about your family on Facebook

There are limits to what people whom you’re suing can demand to discover from your Facebook account.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:33 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:17 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Can we fix the “California rule” for public-employee pensions?

Possible ways around the California rule, from constitutional amendments to flexible pension rules to privatization; with a discussion of the Pension Reform Act of 2014.

By Sasha Volokh  |  04:17 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 02/06/2014

News flash: Secular businesses don’t much care about religious businesspeople’s religious rights claims!

An odd argument in Slate about the Hobby Lobby decision.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:15 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:31 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Is religious ignorance rational?

Widespread public ignorance about religion is in some ways similar to political ignorance. But there are important differences between the two. Religious ignorance is less clearly rational.

By Ilya Somin  |  02:31 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Crime to post YouTube video containing ‘lewd or profane language’ ‘with intent … to abuse another’

Think of how much First-Amendment-protected speech that prohibition can cover.

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:18 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:05 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Warnings that stop a crime vs. warnings that postpone it by a few seconds

There is a difference -- and there’s also a difference between warnings intended to prevent apprehension, and warnings intended to stop the crime.

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:05 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 02/06/2014

Horatio Hornblower, with dragons

A charming historical fiction / fantasy series, written for adults but also good for kids 10 and older.

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:02 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 02/06/2014

The coming of the “cat cafe”

Regulators may soon belatedly allow the opening of “cat cafes” in the United States. They should abolish other similar regulations as well.

By Ilya Somin  |  01:02 PM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 02/06/2014

Recess appointments and the size of government

Eric Posner says that invalidating the recent recess appointments would be “a shame.” I am not so sure.

By Will Baude  |  11:13 AM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 02/06/2014

Cass Sunstein on “paranoid libertarianism”

Cass Sunstein’s critique of “paranoid libertarianism” applies just as readily to crude versions of almost any ideology. In addition, each of the five fallacies he attributes to paranoid libertarianism are readily defensible in more moderate form.

By Ilya Somin  |  11:07 AM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:28 AM ET, 02/06/2014

No Fourth Amendment right in metadata embedded in posted photo, court holds

Last week, a judge denied a suppression motion in a child pornography case. I take a look at the new decision.

By Orin Kerr  |  08:28 AM ET, 02/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:58 PM ET, 02/05/2014

Warning lawbreaking friends and family that the police are watching might indeed be illegal

“A police officer comes to a mother’s home to arrest her son. He isn’t there. She later notifies the son that police want to arrest him. Should she be guilty of anything other than possibly loving a son who may not deserve it?“

By Eugene Volokh  |  07:58 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:18 PM ET, 02/05/2014

The Occupation Olympics — conquest is the exhibition sport

Russia is using to Olympics to cement its occupation of neighboring Georgia, and the world does not seem to care. Far from suffering any embarrassment on this point at the Olympics, Russia is still on the team of the Middle East Peace Quartet, and its territorial grab will not be mentioned by visiting dignitaries.

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  06:18 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 02/05/2014

The loss of freedom in enforcing new rules for food stamps

The new farm bill would require new rules to exclude the dead, lottery winners, and others. But as Jacob Levy argues, those rules undervalue the freedom of the poor.

By Will Baude  |  05:01 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:51 PM ET, 02/05/2014

Chris Christie apparently forgot that he signed a bill authorizing a state university to condemn private property by using eminent domain

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has apparently forgotten that he recently signed a bill authorizing a state university to use eminent domain to take private property. Such university takings are probably constitutional, but a bad idea nonetheless. Christie also recently signed a dubious eminent domain “reform” law that actually increases the risk of abusive takings.

By Ilya Somin  |  04:51 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 02/05/2014

Should there be enhanced penalties for illegal drug dealing resulting in death?

The Supreme Court recently decided that federal prosecutors must prove that illegal drug dealing was the “but for” cause of a death to obtain a sentencing enhancement. Congress should change the law.

By Paul Cassell  |  01:25 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 02/05/2014

Richard Epstein: The Classical Liberal Constitution

NYU Symposium about Richard Epstein’s new book, The Classical Liberal Constitution.

By Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz  |  01:08 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:07 PM ET, 02/05/2014

English court summons head of Mormon church to answer charges that Mormon religious claims are fraud

The case may be dropped, but it’s still interesting.

By Eugene Volokh  |  01:07 PM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 02/05/2014

Kelo condemnation site taken for “economic development” still lies empty

By Ilya Somin  |  11:12 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 02/05/2014

The unknown Supreme Court decision that changed everything for gays

Pity you’ve never heard of the seminal case that pitted a gay magazine against the censorious U.S. Post Office. Needed: a stamp to commemorate it.

By Jonathan Rauch (Brookings)  |  10:13 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 02/05/2014

Are public employees well served by the “California rule” for pensions?

The “California rule” for public-employee pensions may be legal, but it’s a bad idea.

By Sasha Volokh  |  09:35 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:27 AM ET, 02/05/2014

Flashing headlights to warn drivers of a speed trap = constitutionally protected speech

So says a federal district court. But is that right?

By Eugene Volokh  |  09:27 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:24 AM ET, 02/05/2014

Thoughts on Cass Sunstein’s criticisms of libertarianism and originalism

Cass Sunstein’s recent columns about originalism and libertarianism both target extreme and unrealistic versions of those philosophies.

By Will Baude  |  08:24 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:21 AM ET, 02/05/2014

In an unusual passage, Judge King celebrates the scope of federal conspiracy law

Some legal experts say that federal conspiracy law is too broad. The Fourth Circuit offers a different view in a new decision.

By Orin Kerr  |  08:21 AM ET, 02/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:21 PM ET, 02/04/2014

Show me a high five

“The ‘high five’ is selected for and shall be known as the official state greeting in the state of Missouri,” says a newly introduced bill.

By Eugene Volokh  |  10:21 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:51 PM ET, 02/04/2014

“If they can do it, I’ll challenge ‘em. I’ll pay them a million dollars if they can do it.”

That’s what a lawyer said in a TV interview, and a viewer took him up on the challenge. But no $1 million payment is required, says the court. Why?

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:51 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 02/04/2014

In wake of Rowling revelation, readers weigh in on Harry Potter romance

A Post editor thought it would be fun to have a post collecting some comments she selected from the popular Hermione/Ron thread. It seemed to be an implicit compliment to our commenters, and I thought some of our readers would have fun with it.

By Julia Carpenter (Washington Post)  |  05:47 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 02/04/2014

Tenth Anniversary of Mirror of Justice, probably the leading Catholic legal theory blog

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:25 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:48 PM ET, 02/04/2014

Upcoming February Speaking Engagements (Ilya Somin)

My upcoming speaking engagements on federalism, property rights, political ignorance, and other issues.

By Ilya Somin  |  01:48 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 02/04/2014

Get Konnected with the Kronies Action Figures!

How to teach children about how American government works these days.

By Todd Zywicki  |  12:39 PM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 02/04/2014

The “California rule” for public-employee pensions: is it good constitutional law?

Here’s what California courts say about the constitutional protection of public-employee pensions. Is it right?

By Sasha Volokh  |  10:38 AM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 02/04/2014

February speaking engagements (Kontorovich)

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  09:29 AM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:35 AM ET, 02/04/2014

A new argument for hate-speech laws? Um … no

It’s 2014, and proponents of restrictions on hurtful speech still haven’t answered the questions first asked years ago.

By Jonathan Rauch (Brookings)  |  08:35 AM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:29 PM ET, 02/03/2014

My Wisconsin Public Radio interview on compensation for people who have served prison time for crimes they did not commit

Link to the audio of my recent hour long Wisconsin Public Radio interview about the need to compensate innocent people who have served prison sentences for crimes they did not commit.

By Ilya Somin  |  10:29 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:58 PM ET, 02/03/2014

Legal and ethical challenges of “counterterrorism-on-offense”

Drone warfare and targeted killing as part of larger, integrated “counterterrorism-on-offense,” and a conversation on drones at the Carnegie Council.

By Kenneth Anderson  |  06:58 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 02/03/2014

‘This Court respectfully requests that the instant appeal be denied’

An odd way to frame an opinion, but common among Pennsylvania trial courts.

By Eugene Volokh  |  06:15 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:58 PM ET, 02/03/2014

Volokh Conspiracy Facebook page now working again

Items posted on Facebook will be outside of The Post’s paywall.

By Eugene Volokh  |  05:58 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:04 PM ET, 02/03/2014

From a computer error message to the name of a social action group

“Children-404” (“Дети-404“), a Russian online support group for gay and lesbian children.

By Eugene Volokh  |  04:04 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 02/03/2014

Three international courts and their constitutional problems

Does the Constitution permit joining the International Criminal Court? The question has come up with international courts before, as explored in my forthcoming paper “Three International Courts and Their Constitutional Problems.“

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  03:52 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 02/03/2014

Russian Web page creator faces fine for online speech supporting homosexuality

Publisher faces fine for online speech supporting homosexuality.

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:35 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:32 PM ET, 02/03/2014

‘The U.S. hypocrisy over Russia’s anti-gay laws’

The Post op-ed by Profs. Ian Ayres and William Eskridge misses a hugely important distinction.

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:32 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 02/03/2014

How California courts overprotect public-employee pensions

How constitutions generally protect public-employee pensions, and how the “California rule” goes too far.

By Sasha Volokh  |  03:09 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 02/03/2014

My University of Pennsylvania RegBlog article on “The Problem of Political Ignorance”

My recent RegBlog article on political ignorance explains why political ignorance is so widespread, and what we can do to mitigate its harmful effects.

By Ilya Somin  |  01:01 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 02/03/2014

From early voting to pre-voting: a response to critics

My essay cautioning against the current enthusiasm for early voting has drawn the ire of election law experts who say my arguments are out of date. Of course, early voting is all about the right date, and here I respond to these criticisms, and consider how far “pre-voting” can go.

By Eugene Kontorovich  |  12:50 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 02/03/2014

“Is There a Cyber War on Women?”

Cathy Young, writing at Reason, discusses online attacks on women (and on men).

By Eugene Volokh  |  11:06 AM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 02/03/2014

Should courts defer to the government in time of war?

It is often claimed that courts should defer to the government in wartime. But history shows that the executive often exaggerates the extent to which infringements on constitutional rights and separation of powers really are needed to protect national security. Judicial deference to such deceptions is both dangerous and unnecessary.

By Ilya Somin  |  11:06 AM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 02/03/2014

The painful case of Pastor Scott Lively, homophobe to the world

Christians, not courts, should be dealing with a U.S. minister who urges Ugandans (among others) to persecute gays.

By Jonathan Rauch and guest-blogging  |  09:40 AM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:57 PM ET, 02/02/2014

An interesting admission of error by J. K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling admits that she made a mistake in pairing Hermione Granger with Ron Weasley, instead of Harry.

By Ilya Somin  |  10:57 PM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 02/02/2014

Old-timey English and Uncleftish Beholding

Learn atomic theory without mucking it up with non-English words!

By Sasha Volokh  |  01:55 PM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 02/02/2014

Politics and the life of the imagination

Sundays with Stendhal (2); weekly sharing a quotation from the master with the happy few.

By Kenneth Anderson  |  01:55 PM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 02/02/2014

The Wyden-Clapper affair — a parable

By Stewart Baker  |  12:51 PM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 02/02/2014

Originalists need not be naive perfectionists

I was preparing a long post about how originalists can accept the reality that even originalist judges are likely to be subtly biased in favor of modern values. But then I saw that Justice Scalia beat me to it 25 years ago.

By Will Baude  |  10:40 AM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:09 AM ET, 02/02/2014

Reforming the legal definition of “covert action”

My Hoover Institution essay on reforming the legal definition of “covert action” in USC Title 50.

By Kenneth Anderson  |  12:09 AM ET, 02/02/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:08 PM ET, 02/01/2014

Waiting for the dogs during police traffic stops

Recent lower-court decisions answer a difficult Fourth Amendment question with unusual mathematical precision.

By Orin Kerr  |  08:08 PM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:05 PM ET, 02/01/2014

Louisiana restriction on handgun possession by under-17-year-olds passes “strict scrutiny”

Tradition plus minors’ “lack of maturity” justifies the restriction, says the Louisiana Supreme Court.

By Eugene Volokh  |  07:05 PM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:17 PM ET, 02/01/2014

‘Spectacular subtitle blunder’

“Perhaps because I was preoccupied with other things, I hadn’t yet thought of anything suitable for the Year of the Horse. Fortunately, at the last minute, BBC came to the rescue ....“

By Eugene Volokh  |  03:17 PM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 02/01/2014

You can’t get a degree there, but you can attend Epstein University online

“Epstein University is a complete education in classical liberal theory by its greatest expositor, Richard Epstein. ... Epstein speaks quickly, so pay close attention and rewind frequently.“

By Will Baude  |  10:38 AM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:51 AM ET, 02/01/2014

The Fourth Circuit holds oral argument in the Lavabit case

A much-anticipated appeal about the government’s power to compel encryption keys appears to have taken a different direction.

By Orin Kerr  |  02:51 AM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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