Legal researcher Guy Hamilton-Smith was among the thousands of people in Kentucky whose voting rights were restored last month. We discuss his story and the continuing controversy over pardons issued by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
Zoning has long been used for less than public spirited purposes. Constitutional litigator Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center details a useful case of pointless local zoning in Ohio.
When state governments run surpluses, the temptation to spend is almost irresistible. Rea Hederman of the Buckeye Institute describes what should happen to those excess tax dollars.
Under what legal authority did the President order the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani? Apparently the public isn't entitled to know. Gene Healy comments.
How does labor law restrict communications between workers and employers? Ken Girardin of the Empire Center in New York discusses some of the "Dos and Don'ts" in public sector labor law.
Courts routinely have trouble keeping up with technology, so how long before the Third Party Doctrine is radically altered or eliminated? Billy Easley analyzes tech policy at Americans for Prosperity.
Cato's Patrick Eddington wants Congress to make clear if domestic policy groups are among those currently targeted for federal surveillance.
What are the costs and risks associated with banking consolidation? Should it be concerning that the biggest banks decades ago are still the biggest? Diego Zuluaga comments.
What ought to follow hostilities between Iran and the United States after Iran's military response to the death of a high ranking general? Chris Preble and John Glaser comment.
By killing Iranian leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Trump Administration has undertaken a major escalation of hostilities in the region. Cato's Emma Ashford and John Glaser comment.
Some proposed reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act come directly from research conducted by Cato's Diego Zuluaga. He describes why, short of getting rid of the law, reform is so essential.
What is the proper balance to protecting natural resources while respecting the value of those lands for alternative uses? Jonathan Wood with the Pacific Legal Foundation comments.
In the first episode of Sphere we ask the simple question: Should drug prohibition be ended nationwide? Our commenters are Trevor Burrus of Cato, Paul Larkin of the Heritage Foundation, and Jonathan Rauch of Brookings.
What is bail for? What is pretrial detention for? How do we fix bail for the benefit of society and defendants? Josh Crawford with the Pegasus Institute comments.
Sex work is only legal in parts of Nevada, and there it is highly restricted. What are some of the other models for legal sex work, and which models best respect the individuals involved? Kaytlin Bailey is with Decriminalize Sex Work.
What do local governments owe the people in terms of transparency? Patrick Ishmael directs government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.
The staggering sums that states and localities spend on economic development subsidies rarely deliver the benefits promised. John Mozena directs the Center for Economic Accountability.
No one suffers more from civil forfeiture than people too poor to fight it. Alan Clemmons is a Republican lawmaker in South Carolina working to impose the most basic level of oversight on the process.
The confusion between policies designed for poverty eradication versus reducing income inequality is widespread and mistaken. Orphe Divounguy of the Illinois Policy Institute comments.
For those concerned about the size of the administrative state, there are reasons to be cheerful about the regulatory record of the Trump Administration. Will Yeatman comments.
The USMCA trade agreement among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is moving forward, but forward into what? Simon Lester and Dan Ikenson discuss the deal's terms.
There are good reasons to be concerned about monetary stability in our current economic good times. Economist Eric Sims makes the case.
Julian Sanchez details some of the structural problems in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after a rare rebuke of the FBI's mishandling of warrant applications.
The House has impeached President Trump, but there are still sticking points about the terms of a Senate trial. What new information might be produced in the trial? Gene Healy looks ahead at the likely outcomes.
A case argued recently before the U.S. Supreme Court takes aim at a state that allows a private company to hold and enforce the copyright on the state's "annotated code." Trevor Burrus describes what's at issue.
A day ahead of an impeachment vote in the U.S. House, why these particular articles of impeachment? Gene Healy comments.
First California did it, and now Florida is looking at ways to give student athletes a way to profit from their own likenesses and names, rejecting NCAA rules. Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute details the idea.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to break up big tech firms and impose new regulation on firms with high revenues. Walter Olson discusses what that might look like in practice.
State constitutions continue to serve as powerful and underappreciated protectors against overweening government. Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty comments.
The shipping regulation known as the Jones Act turns 100 next year. It's long past time for it to go according to Keli'i Akina of Hawaii's Grasroot Institute.
Bernie Sanders has a series of labor market interventions he'd like to see, including ending at-will employment. Ryan Bourne says it's a terrible idea.
Newly revealed interviews show the misrepresentations and frustrations over a U.S.-led war in Afghanistan that went badly awry. John Glaser argues that one clear lesson is to stay skeptical of government justifications for war.
The Federal Reserve is nominally independent, but the enormous pressure often aimed at Fed chairs past indicates that it's not that simple. Sir Paul Tucker is author of Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State.
Forest restoration bonds issued by some self-interested private firms are delivering benefits for forests, communities, and investors. Holly Fretwell comments.
What does the Constitution say about money? And how should that inform the work of the Federal Reserve? Economist Judy Shelton comments.
What are some best practices as states begin to more broadly adopt legal sports betting? Doug Kellogg is with Americans for Tax Reform.
How do markets evaluate the interplay between Congress and the Federal Reserve? Mark Spindel is coauthor of The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve.
When the government takes your home to pay a fine, they should at least give you back the rest of the value of your home. In many states, that's not how it works. Christina Martin with the Pacific Legal Foundation comments.
It's not clear that the Federal Reserve's dual mandate (concern for both inflation and unemployment) helps workers. It definitely helps Congress, though. So says economist Peter Ireland.
How can natural language processing keep the Fed from using obfuscating language? Charles Calomiris comments
How can families engage with basic economic concepts in ways that give young people a solid footing in how markets work? Connor Boyack, author of the Tuttle Twins books, has a few ideas.
What's the audience for libertarian ideas? Do libertarians know how to communicate them? Jennifer Thompson directs the Center for the Study of Liberty in Indianapolis.
A new data-driven project aims to help researchers find out how easy it is to do business in American cities, and why some cities outperform others. Stephen Slivinski directs the Doing Business North America project.
James Grant is author of Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian. Cato Book Forum: Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian
Is the partisan divide between cities and everywhere else simply intractable? Patrick Tuohey directs policy at the Better Cities Project.
Since the Janus ruling freed millions of state and local government workers from the fees associated with public sector unions, are those workers aware of their rights? Joe Lehman of the Mackinac Center comments.
What have we learned after presidential impeachment testimony of Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union? Do any of the claims rise to the level of maladministration or violation of public trust? How have the President's Republican defenders performed? Gene Healy comments.
"Hate speech" is not a legal category, and banning it wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. Lou Perez is the producer of a new short film, Five Reasons We Need Hate Speech.
Even as some presidential candidates are talking about occupational licensing, state governments must take the lead in driving reform. Erica Jedynak of Stand Together provides reasons to be optimistic about reform in 2020.
How does the public school establishment view the innovative choice options for parents in North Carolina? Bob Luebke of the Civitas Institute comments.
Few people pay much attention to local regulation, but it's where some of the most substantial infringements on liberty occur. Christina Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute comments.
Julian Sanchez addresses some common objections raised during the first week of presidential impeachment proceedings.
Is a ban on hate speech a solution to any actual problem? Matthew Feeney comments.
What works and what doesn't in trying to show young people the superiority of Leonard Read's "Freedom Philosophy" for organizing society? Zilvinas Silenas, the new president of the Foundation for Economic Education, explains.
There's no reason states have to abide all of the federal restrictions on immigration. In fact, there are many policies states and localities can adopt to make immigrants welcome. Josh Smith with the Center for Growth and Opportunity comments.
The Jones Act prevents U.S. territories from buying U.S. products, and does almost nothing to protect the industries that advocates claim the law supports. Colin Grabow explains the implications in his new paper, "Rust Buckets."
What evidence is there that disparities between rich and poor harm the poor, the economy, and our political system? Chris Edwards and Ryan Bourne are authors of the new paper, "Exploring Wealth Inequality."
Kentucky wants a would-be entrepreneur to get permission from his would-be competitors to operate in the commonwealth. Larry Salzman of the Pacific Legal Foundation details the case of Phillip Truesdell and Legacy Medical Transport.
Ron Calzone wins a round in court. A federal appeals court says the independent Missouri activist doesn't have to register as a lobbyist to talk to lawmakers. Zac Morgan of the Institute for Free Speech details the case.
The innovations that markets deliver also create efficiencies that clean the environment. Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center comments.
What are some steps to save taxpayers money and achieve better outcomes for people on parole and probation? Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation comments.
The new Nobel laureates in economics deserve the prize, but it's important to understand the limits of some findings. So says Swami Aiyar.
What's a "road diet"? Randal O'Toole comments.
How to be a Dictator tells the stories of unique individuals who gained power and held it with typically disastrous results. Frank Dikötter is the book's author.
When Puerto Rico wants to buy liquified natural gas, it's pointless to buy from America. Thank the Jones Act. Colin Grabow comments.
What are the alternatives to foreign aid? Matt Warner is editor of Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development. Warner is president of the Atlas Network.
New legislation aimed at curbing foreign influence in U.S. elections also appears to be aimed at curbing Americans' influence in U.S. elections. Scott Blackburn of the Institute for Free Speech comments.
If not for doctors or patients, for whom do the complicated electronic health records exist? Twila Brase explains in her book, Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth about Electronic Health Records.
Economist Emily Oster’s new book, Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool, cuts through the alarmist rhetoric and fearmongering that surrounds modern-day parenting with a cool-headed look at the data. She spoke at the Cato Institute in September.
Ike Brannon details why a small change from the Office of Management and Budget holds big implications for federal regulation.
Cato's Patrick Eddington details the adventure he and his wife Robin undertook that ended with startling revelations about what came to be known as Gulf War Syndrome.
While it's generally agreed that vaping is far safer than cigarette smoking, it's been swept up in a new prohibitionist frenzy where e-cigarettes are viewed as similar enough to cigarettes to warrant identical treatment. Is there a path back to tolerance for smokers and vapers? Jacob Grier is author of The Rediscovery of Tobacco: Smoking, Vaping, and the Creative Destruction of the Cigarette.
John Glaser and Trevor Thrall detail the new Cato book, Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover).
If not a direct military role, what role can the U.S. play in reducing violence among Turks and Kurds? Mustafa Akyol notes that the two groups were not always enemies.