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No, Segregationists Weren't the Driving Force Behind School Choice

No, Segregationists Weren't the Driving Force Behind School Choice

, by Steve Suitts, New South Books, 136 pages, $25.95Public support for school vouchers is on the rise, with 58 percent of respondents in a 2019 Education Next survey favoring the policy. Within the Democratic Party, opinions tend to split along racial lines: Most African-American and Hispanic Democrats support vouchers and charter schools, while most white Democrats oppose them. Indeed, the beneficiaries of currently existing voucher programs draw disproportionately from historically disadvantaged communities. Programs such as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship draw some 70 percent of...

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Phillip W. Magness
2d ago
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Sen. Ron Wyden Wants to Stop the Government From Spying on Your Internet Searches

Sen. Ron Wyden Wants to Stop the Government From Spying on Your Internet Searches

"We've reached kind of an inflection point in the privacy debate," says Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). With Americans spending more time online than ever before during the COVID-19 pandemic, he worries that government surveillance of the internet matters more than over before.Before the Senate's May 14th vote to reauthorize the USA Freedom Act, formerly known as the Patriot Act, Wyden fought a losing battle to rein in the broad authority that it gives U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on the web activities of American citizens."Americans The Democrat Wyden, along with his Republican colleague...

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Zach Weissmueller
1d ago
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The CDC's New 'Best Estimate' Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%

The CDC's New 'Best Estimate' Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current "" for the fatality rate among Americans with COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. The CDC also estimates that 35 percent of people infected by the COVID-19 virus never develop symptoms. Those numbers imply that the virus kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected by it—far lower than the infection fatality rates (IFRs) assumed by the that drove the initial government response to the epidemic, including broad business closure and stay-at-home orders.The CDC offers the new estimates in its "" which are meant to...

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Jacob Sullum
2d ago
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Jo Jorgensen Wins Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination

Jo Jorgensen Wins Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination

In a day-long , after four ballots, the 1,035 delegates assembled for the Libertarian Party's online convention selected Jo Jorgensen as their presidential candidate.She won with slightly over 51 percent of the vote (not every delegate voted in every round) on that fourth ballot, with 524 votes. Jacob Hornberger came in second, with nearly 28 percent of the vote. Vermin Supreme came in third, with 20 percent of the final vote.Reason ran an , a lecturer in psychology at Clemson who was the party's vice presidential candidate on a ticket with Harry Browne in 1996, on Thursday.The party's...

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Brian Doherty
3d ago
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Requiring Creation of Computer Code Doesn't Violate the First Amendment

Requiring Creation of Computer Code Doesn't Violate the First Amendment

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent From Judge G. Murray Snow's decision Wednesday in :Plaintiffs CDK Global LLC and Reynolds and Reynolds Company … develop, own, and operate proprietary computer systems known as dealer management systems ("DMSs") that process vast amounts of data sourced from various parties. Automotive dealerships hold licenses to DMSs to help manage their business operations, including handling confidential consumer and proprietary data, processing transactions, and managing data communications between dealers, customers,...

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Eugene Volokh
4d ago
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The CDC Is Still Botching the Coronavirus Testing Process

The CDC Is Still Botching the Coronavirus Testing Process

The ruling says the state's top health official exceeded her statutory authority by ordering "nonessential" businesses to close. CNN should put an end to this bad family comedy routine—and start asking the governor real questions. Plus: Virginia decriminalizes marijuana, it's not Trump's call whether we close the country again, and more… When mask-wearing and social distancing rules are legally enforceable, the potential for violence cannot be avoided. The disease control agency is a poster child for bureaucratic incompetence.

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Peter Suderman
4d ago
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The Trump Administration Wants To Subsidize Domestic Drug Manufacturing. The First Contract Looks Like a $350 Million Grift.

The Trump Administration Wants To Subsidize Domestic Drug Manufacturing. The First Contract Looks Like a $350 Million Grift.

The Trump administration just handed a $350 million contract to a relatively unknown Virginia-based pharmaceutical company that doesn't have any history of mass producing pharmaceutical drugs and appears to have been founded this year for the purpose of cashing in on protectionist politics.The contract is one of the largest ever given by the federal government to a single pharmaceutical company, to BioPharma Dive, a trade publication. "While that's noteworthy in itself," it noted, "it's made more so by the fact that Phlow is a relatively unknown entity in the drug manufacturing...

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Eric Boehm
4d ago
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We Watched the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Debate So You Didn't Have To

We Watched the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Debate So You Didn't Have To

Three leading contenders for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) vice presidential nomination , moderated by old party hand Jim Turney.Larry Sharpe was a for the V.P. nod in 2016, getting nearly 47 percent on the second ballot against winner William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts. Though the party's delegates choose president and vice president via separate votes, Sharpe has been linking himself with Judge James Gray, one of the presidential candidates. Sharpe stressed their ticket's focus on helping party growth and down-ticket candidates in his opening statements.Spike...

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Brian Doherty
3d ago
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Libertarian Party Presidential Debate Offers Choice Between All Liberty Now or Moving the Ball of Liberty Down the Field

Libertarian Party Presidential Debate Offers Choice Between All Liberty Now or Moving the Ball of Liberty Down the Field

Five leading candidates for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination , in an event moderated by John Stossel. The voting will begin tomorrow via an online meeting of party delegates.Two candidates, and , have been the party's vice presidential nominees in the past (Gray in 2012, Jorgensen in 1996). One, John Monds, earned more than 31 percent of the vote in a for the Public Service Commission in Georgia. Another, Jacob Hornberger, has run a libertarian educational institition called the since 1989. And the fifth, , is a political parodist, famous for wearing a boot on his head, who...

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Brian Doherty
4d ago
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Why Did Arizona Democrats Kill a Bill Protecting Citizens From Police Overreach?

Why Did Arizona Democrats Kill a Bill Protecting Citizens From Police Overreach?

An Arizona bill requiring police and prosecutors to get a criminal conviction before they could attempt to force defendants to forfeit their assets at the hands of a bloc of mostly Democratic lawmakers.Civil asset forfeiture is a mechanism that lets law enforcement seize and keep the assets of people believed to have committed crimes. Many states do not require defendants to actually be convicted—or sometimes even charged—with a crime before police take their property. People are thus put in the position of having to prove their innocence in order to get the money back, subverting due...

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Scott Shackford
4d ago
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Chris Cuomo's COVID-19 Interviews With Andrew Cuomo Are Disgraceful

Chris Cuomo's COVID-19 Interviews With Andrew Cuomo Are Disgraceful

On Wednesday, CNN primetime anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for the 10th time since the coronavirus pandemic began. The TV host's hardest-hitting question for his older brother was whether the COVID-19 testing swabs are too small for his gigantic nose."[The nurse told me] that I have a little button nose," the governor countered.It was a moment that should have embarrassed CNN, whose journalists frequently——criticize other networks for lobbing softball questions at President Donald Trump. And yet Chris Cuomo's employers have decided to let his bad family comedy...

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Robby Soave
5d ago
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A Pandemic Does Not Suspend the Rule of Law

A Pandemic Does Not Suspend the Rule of Law

The recent court decisions overturning COVID-19 lockdowns in and focused on abstruse issues of statutory interpretation. But both cases also addressed a more fundamental question: Is the rule of law suspended during a public health emergency?In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials have imposed unprecedented restrictions on our liberties and livelihoods, acting on the assumption that they can do whatever they think is necessary to protect the public from a potentially deadly disease. The courts, which were initially to second-guess state responses to COVID-19, are beginning to...

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Jacob Sullum
7d ago
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Josh Hawley Wants To Wreck America's Economy To Own the Libs

Josh Hawley Wants To Wreck America's Economy To Own the Libs

It was touted as a speech outlining how America should reform the global economy and stand up to China, but Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-Mo.) on the Senate floor Wednesday were directed at a decidedly domestic audience.Hawley is a rising star among Republicans jockeying to be the heir apparent to President Donald Trump as the party's nationalist standard-bearer. The 40-year-old senator has seized on the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to advance the anti-China hawkishness that helped Trump win the White House in 2016. On Wednesday he outlined a Trump-like platform based on acting tough, blowing up...

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Eric Boehm
6d ago
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Ohio Judge Deems the State's COVID-19 Lockdown 'Arbitrary, Unreasonable, and Oppressive'

Ohio Judge Deems the State's COVID-19 Lockdown 'Arbitrary, Unreasonable, and Oppressive'

Ohio's COVID-19 lockdown is illegal, a state judge today, because it exceeds the powers granted by the statute under which it was imposed. Responding to a May 8 filed by the on behalf of 35 gyms, Lake County Court of Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton from penalizing the plaintiffs or similar businesses for violating the lockdown, provided "they operate in compliance with all applicable safety regulations."In issuing her business closure and stay-at-home orders, Acton relied on a that gives her department "ultimate authority in matters of quarantine...

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Jacob Sullum
6d ago
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Feminists Who Now Claim They Never Meant 'Believe All Women' Are Gaslighting Us

Feminists Who Now Claim They Never Meant 'Believe All Women' Are Gaslighting Us

The emergence of Tara Reade's accusation of sexual assault against presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has prompted the swift and sudden collapse of the #MeToo movement's central tenet—that all women who come forward with such allegations deserve to be believed.In fact, some who speak for the movement aren't merely retreating on this point: They are pretending that feminists who wielded the #MeToo hashtag never claimed that all women should be believed. This is a transparent attempt to rewrite history and should be treated as such.For a perfect example, see the...

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Robby Soave
May 19
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The Michael Flynn Unmasking Fight Is Another Chance for More Transparency About Secret Government Surveillance

The Michael Flynn Unmasking Fight Is Another Chance for More Transparency About Secret Government Surveillance

When Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.) that the FBI's warrant applications to wiretap former Trump aide Carter Page had serious problems, he faced a lot of mockery and . Defenders of the investigation insisted that the FBI has so many regulations and so much oversight that every T must have been crossed and every box checked before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court would ever approve such warrants.But an independent review by the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General ultimately found that proper procedures had not been followed. There was a that should have been...

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Scott Shackford
May 15
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Let People Drink Outside

Let People Drink Outside

As the COVID-19 shutdowns extend into the warm summer months and people become increasingly restless under social distancing guidelines, bars and restaurants remain one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy. At the same time, cities are exploring ways to encourage the use of public outdoor spaces, which emerging evidence suggests can be enjoyed with minimal risks of transmitting the virus.One simple policy could address both issues: Let people drink outside.The United States has a notoriously conflicted relationship with alcohol, with our enthusiasm for drinking in tension with...

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Jacob Grier
May 15
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What's the Herd Immunity Threshold for the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

What's the Herd Immunity Threshold for the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

"About 30 percent of people in have reached a level of immunity," Sweden's ambassador to the U.S. NPR on April 26. "We could reach herd immunity [to the coronavirus] in the capital as early as next month."The comment turns out to have been a bit hasty: The report on the city's infection rate that the ambassador seems to have been referencing had already been without explanation four days earlier. But the larger issue of herd immunity remains important.Herd immunity is the resistance to the spread of a contagious disease that results if a sufficiently high proportion of a population is...

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Ronald Bailey
May 15
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The Libertarian Party Critique of Justin Amash

The Libertarian Party Critique of Justin Amash

With less than two weeks left before 1,000 or so Libertarian Party delegates select their 2020 presidential and vice presidential nominees in an , you could probably forgive Jacob Hornberger for being a little irritable., the 70-year-old founder of , has, after all, won a of the party's presidential , nonbinding though they may be. He has been and and Libertarian politics for more than two decades now. And yet ever since Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) threw his hat into the ring on , Hornberger has been by the mainstream media, while Amash galivants on and HBO's .So it came as little surprise...

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Matt Welch
May 12
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Libertarian Party To Choose Its Presidential Ticket in Virtual Vote Over Memorial Day Weekend

Libertarian Party To Choose Its Presidential Ticket in Virtual Vote Over Memorial Day Weekend

The Libertarian Party's National Committee (LNC) decided by a 13–4 vote today, after a tortuous 8-hour Zoom meeting, to divide the party's convention business into two parts.The first will be an online meeting over the same Memorial Day weekend during which the scotched in-person convention was supposed to occur in Austin, Texas. At this online meeting, "nomination and balloting for party candidates for President and Vice-President" will occur.Then a follow-up physical convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, from July 8–12. While the LNC did not formally commit yet to a contracted...

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Brian Doherty
May 10
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The Limiting Principle for Congress' Power to Subpoena Presidential Records Isn't Hard to Find

The Limiting Principle for Congress' Power to Subpoena Presidential Records Isn't Hard to Find

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent       In today's Supreme Court oral argument in , one of two cases concerning the scope of Congress' power to subpoena President Trump's financial documents,  House of Representatives lawyer Douglas Letter repeatedly failed to identify any limiting principle constraining Congress' powers to subpoena the president's records. Cornell Law Professor and co-blogger argue that this was a serious error, making it likely that the five conservative justices will rule against the House. They compare it to Clinton...

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Ilya Somin
May 13
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FISA Surveillance and Possible Reforms Are Back on the Senate's Agenda

FISA Surveillance and Possible Reforms Are Back on the Senate's Agenda

Next week the Senate is to resurrect some federal surveillance powers that expired in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. A handful of senators are hoping to force through reforms to better protect Americans' privacy.In March the USA Freedom Act , somewhat unceremoniously, as lawmakers were on a renewal as the pandemic began to pick up steam and overtake all public policy priorities.The USA Freedom Act authorized (but restricted) the collection of Americans' phone and internet record metadata that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been gathering without citizen knowledge before...

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Scott Shackford
May 7
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Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent Please enjoy the latest edition of , a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.New on the : Special guest Joseph Mead of ACLU Ohio and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law joins the panel to talk the right to a basic minimum education and the release of medically vulnerable inmates from a COVID-infested federal prison.  for Apple Podcasts.Marc N'Da, a naturalized citizen who came to the United States with $60 in his pocket, runs a home health agency that cares for 100 elderly and disabled clients in...

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John Ross
May 8
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