New York City,

Resist De Blasio's Vaccine Passport

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement that he intends, by mayoral ukase, to make it illegal for someone without a city-approved proof of vaccination to work at or be customers of the city's gyms, entertainment venues, and indoor restaurants is a grotesquely unconstitutional tyranny, annihilating human liberty of movement, commerce, and association with a dangerously tenuous justification.
Picture for Resist De Blasio's Vaccine Passport
JobsPosted by

Police Recruiting Ad Lists "Qualified Immunity" as "Unique [Job] Benefit"

You can see their retraction and apology here, together with public comments:. Qualified immunity is of course the (controversial) legal rule that government officials, such as police officers, generally aren't liable even for unconstitutional conduct unless "existing precedent" had made clear "beyond debate" that the conduct was unconstitutional.
Public HealthPosted by

COVID Variants Upend Our Reopening

Are the bad old days of the pandemic returning? There have been at least two coronavirus pandemic movies made, both thrillers, each based on the premise that COVID-19 mutations have ushered in successive waves of extended—and increasingly drastic and authoritarian—protective measures. Alas, this frightful scenario is starting to go from a convenient plot device to a too-close-for-comfort possibility.
Law EnforcementPosted by

Top Cops Pick the Midst of an International Spying Scandal To Demand Encryption Curbs

You would think that the midst of yet another international scandal over governments spying on people who annoy them would be an inopportune time to call for curbs on tools that protect privacy, but that underestimates the compulsion that drives authoritarians. The world keeps offering evidence that encrypting communications is important, especially as a shield against the powers that be, but petty officials can't help but find such barriers frustrating to their eavesdropping impulses, even when they already have plenty of tools at their disposal for investigations legitimate and otherwise.
Public SafetyPosted by

Brickbat: Keeping a Close Eye on Canadians

The Canadian government has proposed creating a "digital safety commissioner" who would enforce new laws aimed at keeping child pornography, revenge porn, hate speech, incitements to violence, and terrorist content off the web. Social media and streaming sites that don't remove material flagged by users as violating these rules within 24 hours could face fines of up to $10 million ($8 million U.S.) or 3 percent of a platform's gross global revenue, whichever is higher. Further refusal to comply with the law could result in a fine of up to $25 million ($20 million U.S.) or 5 percent of gross global revenue. And in extreme cases, the government could block access to the site in Canada.
SocietyPosted by

Should Trans Women Compete Against Biological Women in Sports?

"Why do I have to compete against a male body?" complains mountain bike racer Leia Schneeberger in my new video. She and others are upset because today, some transgender women, people born male but who identify as female, are winning sports competitions. Schneeberger regularly won bicycle races, until a former...
U.S. PoliticsPosted by

The Biden Administration's Mixed COVID-19 Messages Discourage Vaccination

If you want more Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19, emphasizing that they could still catch the disease and transmit it to others even after they get their shots may not be the best strategy. Yet that is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did last week, generating "alarmist" and "hyperbolic" press coverage that dismayed Biden administration officials, who rightly worried that it would deter vaccination.
LawPosted by

A Takings Clause Lawsuit Against the CDC Eviction Moratorium

The Centers for Disease Control's enactment of a new, modified version of its eviction moratorium is not the only significant new legal development on this front. Last week, a group of plaintiffs led by the National Apartment Association (a trade association of owners and managers of rental housing) filed a takings lawsuit against the original version of the CDC moratorium. They argue that the moratorium qualifies as a taking requiring "just compensation" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The cover sheet indicates they are seeking an estimated $26 billion in compensation payments.
U.S. PoliticsPosted by

What Happened to the Legality of the CDC Eviction Moratorium Between Saturday and Tuesday?

On Saturday, the CDC allowed the eviction moratorium to lapse. According to several reports, the Biden Administration tried, and failed to find a legal way to extend the policy. Recall that five Justices found the moratorium was illegal, but only four were willing to do anything about it. I speculated that the Biden Administration was unwilling to call Justice Kavanaugh's bluff.
PoliticsPosted by

A Massachusetts Commission Recommends Long-Overdue Reforms to the 'Worst Civil Forfeiture Laws in the Country'

Massachusetts has a progressive reputation and a legislature that has long been controlled by Democrats, many of whom have supported police and criminal justice reform, especially after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last year. Yet the Bay State also has what the Institute for Justice describes as "the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country," which earned it an F in the most recent edition of the organization's Policing for Profit report. Although reform efforts have been almost uniformly unsuccessful so far, a new report from a special commission established by the legislature in 2019 may finally prompt reconsideration of laws that allow police to take allegedly crime-tainted property based on minimal evidence without proving that the owner did anything illegal.
Public SafetyPosted by

Cuomo Sexually Harassed 11 Women, Retaliated Against 1 Female Employee, According to A.G. Report

A 165-page report released today by New York State Attorney General Letitia James has found Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, guilty of sexually harassing female employees via unwanted groping, kissing, comments, and questions. The report also indicates that he created a hostile work environment, going so far as to retaliate against one of the women who spurned his advances and went public with her accusation.
New York City, NYPosted by

New York City Adopts Vaccine Passports

America is getting its first real vaccine passports. On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that, soon, proof of vaccination will be required to enjoy the city's bars, restaurants, gyms, and concert venues. "We know that strong, clear mandates help," said de Blasio during a press conference...
California StatePosted by

Something Important Is Missing From Elizabeth Warren's Anti-Recall Ad in California

Californians viewing the Olympics may have seen a new ad starring Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) opposing the recall of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. There's nothing new or unexpected about the content of the advertisement. She accuses Republicans of "abusing" the recall process (they did not—they collected more than the required number of citizen signatures to force the vote under state law) and complains about the cost of the recall vote for Californian taxpayers (who, again, signed the petition).
ImmigrationPosted by

Photo: Honduran Sisters

Honduran sisters Chanel, 7, and Adriana, 10, await transportation to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande. The Department of Homeland Security reports that a record 15,918 unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala were encountered in March 2021 along the U.S.-Mexico border. The previous monthly high for such children arriving to the U.S. from the Northern Triangle region was 10,090 in May 2019.
AustraliaPosted by

Brickbat: Military Authority

The Australian government is sending hundreds of soldiers to Sydney to help enforce a COVID-19 lock down. Unarmed patrols will join police to keep people from leaving their home except for shopping, caregiving, exercise and other "essential" reasons.