Generalizing the Lesson

I mean, maybe it should be okay for people to arrange and sell flowers to willing buyers without anyone being branded a criminal in the process, but how far can we take that lesson?  Anytime you take an option away, for some people, it will have been the best option they had available to them. Take that choice away, and they don’t substitute it with whatever you thought was better for them. It just leaves them with nothing. 

N.Y. Law Banning Gun Carrying in Churches (Including When Authorized by Church) Unconstitutionally Discriminates against Religious Institutions

“Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claims under the Free Exercise Clause….” That seems correct to me, given the facially discriminatory treatment of religious institutions. The court also concluded that the prohibition likely independently violated the Second Amendment, for reasons similar to those given in Judge Sinatra’s earlier decision in Hardaway v. Nigrelli; and the court also concluded that the law violates the Establishment Clause…

Doing Pickering Balancing Right

It is not a workplace “disruption” that co-workers objected to a MAGA hat

The court here correctly, I believe, worked from the assumption that a government school was constitutionally required to be institutionally neutral about political values. The school as such could not prefer Black Lives Matter posters to MAGA hats, and could not base employment decisions on such preferences. It is evident that many university professors, administrators and leaders, at both public and private institutions, would not work from that same assumption.

Plagiarism and ChatGPT

Plagiarism is a serious issue in the academic world, and it is important to be mindful of the potential for ChatGPT (and other AI language models) to be used in a manner that violates these standards. However, it is ultimately up to individuals to use these tools responsibly, and to ensure that they are not contributing to the problem of plagiarism.

New York’s Ultra-Broad Definition of “Blight” Continues to Enable Eminent Domain Abuse

In this case, it enables the state to declare the area around Penn Station in New York City “blighted” and thereby authorize the use of eminent domain to take property for transfer to private interests.

In addition to harming local property owners, such condemnations often actually destroy more economic value than they create. Among other things, rendering property rights insecure undermines incentives to invest, and thereby impedes longterm economic development.

Charity and Capitalism Are Better Than Government

When I was young, I assumed government would lift people out of poverty. But those policies often do more harm than good.

Businesses do better things because competition forces them to spend money well. If they don’t spend well, they disappear. Government never disappears. When politicians fail, they force us to give them more of our money so they can do it again.

5 Infuriating Ways People Got the First Amendment Wrong in 2022

As free speech becomes an increasingly important part of the culture war, people won’t stop misinterpreting—and outright violating—the First Amendment.

Many elected leaders bungled the First Amendment this year, but the dubious honor of the person who most consistently attempted to attack free speech rights in 2022 goes to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

New York City’s Foie Gras Ban Once Again Deemed Illegal by New York State

The city has not yet announced whether it will fight the order in court.

The order blasts “the City’s effort to use its police powers and business regulatory authority to bar the sale of a lawfully produced farm product—not for reasons of the health, safety, or welfare of its citizens—but to change animal husbandry practices occurring on farms outside its jurisdiction to which it objects.”