Jacob Sullum

Posted November 25, 2015

The recent attacks in Paris have inspired various half-baked proposals to prevent terrorism in the United States. Here are four of the dumbest.

Posted November 18, 2015

During a talk radio debate last week, Tulsa's district attorney, Steve Kunzweiler, warned that civil forfeiture reform would invite "some of the most violent people in the history of this planet" to set up shop in Oklahoma, making decapitated bodies "hung from bridges" a familiar sight in the Sooner State.

Posted November 11, 2015

After public school officials in Canon City, Colorado, discovered at least 100 students had been using their cellphones to swap nude photos of themselves, the Associated Press reported that "it could take a month to sort the offenders from the victims."

Posted November 11, 2015

After public school officials in Canon City, Colorado, discovered at least 100 students had been using their cellphones to swap nude photos of themselves, the Associated Press reported that "it could take a month to sort the offenders from the victims." Part of the challenge is that Colorado, like many states, makes no such distinction: If you are under 18 and take a sexually suggestive picture of yourself, you are both victim and offender.

Posted October 28, 2015

Testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi last Thursday, Hillary Clinton bristled when Peter Roskam, a Republican congressman from Illinois, described the consequences of overthrowing Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. "After your plan, things in Libya today are a disaster," Roskam said.

Posted October 21, 2015

When it comes to gun control, Hillary Clinton said last Friday, "Australia is a good example" for the United States to follow. That comment suggested the leading Democratic presidential candidate's plans in this area are much more ambitious than she usually lets on -- so ambitious that implementing them would require ignoring or repealing the Second Amendment.

Posted October 14, 2015

Donald Trump, who in the 1990s tried to force an elderly widow out of her Atlantic City home as part of a plan to expand his casino, now says he is glad she resisted, because it helped him avoid a bad investment. By successfully fighting condemnation of her home, Trump told Breitbart News last week, Vera Coking "saved me a fortune."

Posted October 07, 2015

The problem is that we generally do not know a gun buyer "wants to inflict harm on other people" until he does it. That reality shows the folly of relying on background checks or psychiatric intervention to prevent mass shootings.

Posted September 30, 2015

In a "Meet the Press" interview on Sunday, Hillary Clinton said she has tried to "be as transparent as possible" in response to questions about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. A timeline of her efforts so far suggests she needs to try a little harder.

Posted September 23, 2015

Paul is not your man if you want a president who doubles down on reckless wars, trying to correct the problems created by earlier interventions. "If you want boots on the ground, and you want them to be our sons and daughters, you've got 14 other choices," he said. "There will always be a Bush or Clinton for you, if you want to go back to war in Iraq."

Posted September 16, 2015

In a CNN essay published last October, Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with terminal brain cancer, explained why she and her husband moved from California to Oregon: so she could legally obtain the barbiturates she would use to kill herself on November 1.

Posted September 09, 2015

When the ACLU of Colorado likened a baker who won't supply cakes for gay weddings to a police officer who refuses to protect a church or synagogue, it blurred the distinction between private action and state action, which is vital to a free society. Conservatives who defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who last week went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, are making the same mistake.

Posted September 02, 2015

This Saturday is Jury Rights Day, which commemorates the 1670 acquittal of Quaker leader William Penn by English jurors who refused to convict him even though he had clearly violated a ban on dissenting religious assemblies. Denver is celebrating the occasion by harassing activists who seek to inform the public about the principle embodied in Penn's acquittal: the right of jurors to reject the enforcement of unjust laws, a.k.a. jury nullification.

Posted August 26, 2015

Fogle's behavior -- especially his failure to report Taylor's voyeuristic activity, which allowed it to continue -- was surely reprehensible. But the penalties he faces are similar to Indiana's penalties for sexually assaulting a child, something neither he nor Taylor is accused of doing. Looking at pictures is not a violent crime, and it should not be treated like one.

Posted August 19, 2015

Because Colorado would not grant them a license, David Mullins and Charlie Craig got married in Provincetown, Mass., 2,000 miles away. Because Jack Phillips would not bake them a wedding cake for their hometown reception, they bought one from another bakery in the Denver area.

Posted August 12, 2015

Christie thinks the government needs everyone's records, just in case. Or as other defenders of the NSA's warrantless snooping have put it, you need the whole haystack to find the needle.

Posted August 06, 2015

Which Candidate Has a More Embarrassing Record of Gaffes and Misstatements?

Posted July 29, 2015

Dylann Roof, the man charged with murdering nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, faces execution or life imprisonment if he is convicted in state court. A federal indictment announced last week threatens him with the same penalties, although you can't kill a man more than once or lock him up for more than a lifetime.

Posted July 22, 2015

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court shut down a secret criminal investigation that featured early-morning raids on the homes of innocent people and indiscriminate seizures of email, documents and personal property.

Posted July 14, 2015

As the National Security Agency's illegal mass collection of our telephone records illustrates, it is not just foreign governments we need to worry about. Nor are programs aimed at catching terrorists the only threat.