Back in 1986, Congress passed the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act, a law aimed at "designer drugs" that were similar to illegal compounds but different enough to escape prohibition. Nearly three decades later, the government is still scrambling to keep up with the output of creative underground chemists, banning one psychoactive substance after another, only to find substitutes already on the market.
Although the First Amendment right to record the police as they perform their duties in public is well established, cops often violate that right by ordering people to turn off their cameras, confiscating their cellphones or arresting them on trumped-up charges.
Rand Paul, who launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday, calls himself "a different kind of Republican," which at this point remains an accurate description.
When President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993, the law had broad support in both major political parties and was widely perceived as an expression of a pluralistic society's tolerance. When Gov. Mike Pence signed Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, the law became a bitterly partisan issue, denounced by Democrats across the country as an instrument of bigotry.
If you have not done your taxes yet, do not count on getting help from the Internal Revenue Service in answering any last-minute questions that may arise.
It's too bad that Graham and other Republicans are not kidding when they say our national security is threatened by inadequate military spending, because that is also a joke. A little perspective shows why.
A Justice Department report released last week makes a strong case that Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, last August. The report suggests that Robert McCulloch, the much-maligned St. Louis County prosecutor, made the right call when he decided not to pursue criminal charges against Wilson.
There are two ways to view the video of Richard Rynearson's March 2010 encounter with U.S. Border Patrol agents at an immigration checkpoint in Uvalde County, Texas. Authoritarians will say Rynearson should have been more cooperative, while libertarians will say the agents should have been less vindictive.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, people do not have a fundamental right to kill themselves. The Supreme Court of Canada used to agree, but last week it changed its mind.
During her confirmation hearings last week, Loretta Lynch, President Obama's choice to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, called civil forfeiture, a form of legalized theft in which the government takes people's property without accusing them of a crime, "a wonderful tool."
The last time the Georgia legislature considered a bill aimed at restricting no-knock search warrants, it was prompted by a 2006 drug raid in which Atlanta police killed Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman who grabbed a revolver to defend herself against the armed men crashing into her home.
Money-hungry cops are angry about the forfeiture reform that Attorney General Eric Holder announced last Friday, which suggests it's a move in the right direction. But contrary to initial press reports, the new policy represents a modest change to the rules governing civil forfeiture, which allows the government to take people's assets without accusing them of a crime.
On Sunday, as more than a million people marched through the streets of Paris in support of the right to draw cartoons without being murdered, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication declared that "artistic freedom and freedom of expression stand firm and unflinching at the heart of our common European values."
Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, says a rider in the omnibus spending bill that Congress enacted last month stops the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana.
Here are some memorable examples from the past year.
After President Barack Obama decided to normalize relations with Cuba, The New York Times reported last week, he "instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to begin the process of removing Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism."
Cheney replied that the end -- to "get the guys who did 9/11" and "avoid another attack against the United States" -- justified the means. "I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective," he said.
Last week, in response to the shooting of Michael Brown and other controversial uses of deadly force by police, President Obama proposed federal funding for body cameras to record interactions between cops and members of the public.
The new federal regulations requiring conspicuous calorie counts for "restaurant-type food" not only force eateries, bars, bakeries, grocery stores and movie theaters across the country to present consumers with information.
If Darren Wilson had been indicted, he almost certainly would have been acquitted, precisely because important details of his deadly encounter with Brown are hard to pin down.