• PerspectiveJewish Student Accuses College of Ignoring Wild Anti-Semitism

    A former Pennsylvania college student says in a lawsuit that she dropped out before the start of her junior year because of a string of hateful and threatening anti-Semitic incidents that the school failed to appropriately address.

  • PerspectiveThe Monsey Attack: What’s the Basis for the Federal Charges against Grafton Thomas?

    Grafton Thomas is accused of committing the horrific, anti-Semitic attacks in Monsey, New York last Saturday.  Marty Lederman writes that “One might have expected (I did) that the United States would have charged Thomas with violations of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. 249(a),” but that for some reason, “the government has instead elected to charge Thomas pursuant to a different criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. 247(a)(2).” “It’s… likely the government will be able to satisfy the commerce element of Section 247(a)(2),” he writes,” “but it would’ve been much easier for the government to satisfy the different commerce element prescribed by Section 249(a)(2).”

  • Perspective: Cyber operationsMilitary Cyber Operations: The New NDAA Tailors the 48-Hour Notification Requirement

    Congress will soon enact the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA fiscal 2020), which includes a provision that will fine-tune the range of military cyberoperations subject to the 48-hour notification requirement associated with “sensitive military cyber operations.”

  • Argument: DOJ IG reportThe Crossfire Hurricane Report’s Inconvenient Findings

    The DOJ IG report, Michael Sanchez, writers, confounds the hopes of Donald Trump’s more ardent admirers by failing to turn up anything resembling a Deep State cabal within the FBI plotting against the president, or deliberate abuse of surveillance authorities for political ends – but it also paints a disturbing picture of the FBI’s vaunted vetting process for FISA warrant applications.

  • Argument: DOJ IG reportJustice Department Inspector General’s Report Raises Troubling Questions About FBI’s Role in FISA

    The Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI’s initiation of the Russia probe met legal standards, but the report issued last Monday by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) strongly criticized the FBI’s handling of one aspect of the probe: the request for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap of ex-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page and subsequent renewals of the FISA. Peter Margulies writes that along with the record of Russian election interference compiled in the Russia probe, institutional reforms to the FISA process will be a valuable legacy of the investigation.

  • GunsGermany Tightens Gun Control Laws

    The Bundestag has on Friday approved new firearm regulations, requiring gun owners to undergo a security check-up every five years, and justify their need to own a firearm. Hunters, collectors, and sportsmen will be exempted. Critics from the left said the law does not go far enough to deal with homemade weapons, while the far-right Alternative for Germany said the law would deprive thousands of Germans of their rights.

  • Printed gunsDespite His Criminal Record, Cody Wilson Is Back in the 3D-Printed Gun Business

    By Alain Stephens and Andrew Weber

    After an international manhunt, Wilson pleaded guilty to a felony in Texas court. But the particulars of his deal left him in a legal gray area that allows him to own and work with firearms.

  • Argument: Stop-and-frisk‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Can Work, under Careful Supervision

    In mid-November, speaking in a black church in Brooklyn, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is now running for the Democratic nomination for president, apologized publicly for supporting stop-and-frisk, a police practice intended to reduce violent crime, which had been criticized as racially biased (the NYPD called the policy “Stop, Question, and Frisk”). Henry Fradella and Michael White write His apology was confusing because that phrase “stop and frisk” is used to describe two different things.

  • Perspective: Ghost gunsOfficials Confirm Santa Clarita Shooter Used a Ghost Gun

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department last week confirmed that the weapon used in the Santa Clarita, California, school shooting was a homemade, unserialized pistol, otherwise known as a ghost gun. more and more homemade, unserialized weapons are popping up at crime scenes across California. Ghost guns provide a host of challenges for law enforcement. Chief among them is that they enable minors or those with criminal records to acquire firearms without having to go through a background check or create a trail of paperwork surrounding a gun purchase.

  • CybersecurityWho's Responsible When Your Car Gets Hacked?

    By Doug Irving

    In the future, when cars can drive themselves, grand theft auto might involve a few keystrokes and a well-placed patch of bad computer code. At that point, who will be liable for the damages caused by a hacker with remote control of a 3,000-pound vehicle?

  • ArgumentsVictory: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Police Can’t Force You to Tell Them Your Password

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a forceful opinion on Wednesday holding that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being forced to disclose the passcode to their devices to the police. The court found that disclosing a password is “testimony” protected by the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination.

  • RefugeesLinking Formation of International Laws to Refugee Crisis

    Geographers are linking the political and human rights issues at borders today to the legacies of foreign and domestic policy across the globe since the First World War. A new study examines more than 100 years of international laws that have led, perhaps unintentionally, to the existing hostile climate for refugees.

  • Perspective: DisinformationOnline Disinformation and Political Discourse: Applying a Human Rights Framework

    The framers of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) saw human rights as a fundamental safeguard for all individuals against the power of authority. Although some digital platforms now have an impact on more people’s lives than does any one state authority, the international community has been slow to measure and hold to account these platforms’ activities by reference to human rights law. Kate Jones writes that “Although international human rights law does not impose binding obligations on digital platforms, it offers a normative structure of appropriate standards by which digital platforms should be held to account. Because of the impact that social media can have, a failure to hold digital platforms to human rights standards is a failure to provide individuals with the safeguards against the power of authority that human rights law was created to provide.”

  • ArgumentsAre Facebook and Google State Actors?

    In 1924, concerned about monopolization in the radio industry, the secretary of commerce said something prescient: “It cannot be thought that any single person or group shall ever have the right to determine what communication may be made to the American people. … We cannot allow any single person or group to place themselves in a position where they can censor the material which shall be broadcasted to the public.” Jed Rubenfeld writes that what Secretary Herbert Hoover warned against has now come to pass:

  • PerspectiveWhy the Guillotine May Be Less Cruel than Execution by Slow Poisoning

    Concerns about the drugs used for executions are being raised again after the federal government announced it will once again execute inmates convicted of capital crimes almost 16 years after the last execution was carried out. while the death penalty is the ultimate punishment meted out by the state, it is not meant to be torture. The guillotine remains a quick method of execution – it takes about half a second for the blade to drop and sever a prisoner’s head from his body. Although the guillotine may be the bloodiest of deaths, it does not cause the prolonged physical torment increasingly delivered by lethal injections. Should the U.S. consider using the guillotine to administer capital punishment?