From Reason.com

  • Public Utility's Recording of Home Energy Consumption Every 15 Minutes Is A "Search," Seventh Circuit Rules

    In a fascinating new decision, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, the Seventh Circuit has held that a public utility commits a "search" of a home when it records every 15 minutes how much electricity the utility is providing the home, at least until the smart readers that enable this data collection come into general public use. At the same time, the court says, the utility's search of the home is reasonable and therefore permitted without any cause or suspicion. The Seventh...


  • Brickbat: Blowed Up Good

    When the Alameda County, California, sheriff's office bomb squad saw the package that had fallen from the sky into a local neighborhood, they decided they had no choice but to blow it up. The device hummed, had wires sticking out of it, and had the word "dangerous" on it. It turned out to be equipment launched by balloon to measure ozone in the upper atmosphere, and the note originally read "not dangerous," but part of it ripped off.


  • Public Sector Unions Win Big at the California Supreme Court in Getting San Diego Pension Reforms Overturned

    A recent California Supreme Court decision, striking down a San Diego initiative that rolled back pension benefits for new public employees, has rightly been portrayed as a win for public-sector unions—and something that could cost San Diego taxpayers more money as a lower court hashes out a remedy. But the decision is more consequential than the news coverage would suggest.

    Quite simply, it was an assault on the constitutional right to qualify initiatives for the state or local ballot. Union...


  • Movie Review: Crazy Rich Asians

    We are all brothers and sisters beneath the skin, my people, united in our need to laugh, to cry, and to take in an occasional rom-com. Not a crap rom-com—not a Gigli, or a Glitter, or a Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (that final embarrassment before Matthew McConaughey changed agents or whatever). No, rom-com fans wait and pray for another Moonstruck or Princess Bride, or maybe a fourth Bridget Jones movie. Now, very happily, those prayers have once again been answered, this time by Crazy Rich...


  • Decades after Brown v. Board of Education, Choice Finally Integrated Schools in Alabama's Poorest County

    Earlier this week, something momentous, something historic happened in Sumter County, the poorest county in Alabama and a place with a long history of segregation: A publicly funded school opened in which the student body was actually racially integrated.

    Welcome to the University Charter School in Livingston, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Situated on the campus of the University of West Alabama, the school had to fight court battles against the local board of...


  • Afghan Teen Wasn’t Gay Enough to Get Asylum in Austria: Report

    An 18-year-old Afghan native seeking asylum in Austria may have had his application denied because he didn't act gay enough.

    The unnamed teenager, who's been living in Austria since 2016, first applied for asylum on the basis of his Hazara heritage, according to Deutsche Welle (DW). The Hazara minority is persecuted in Afghanistan.

    Later, he said he couldn't go back to his home country because he's gay. Homosexuality is against the law in Afghanistan and many other Muslim-majority countries.

    "Of...


  • Federal Court Rejects EPA Attempt to "Suspend" WOTUS Rule

    A federal district court in South Carolina has issued an injunction against the Trump EPA's attempt to "suspend" the Obama Administration's WOTUS ("waters of the United States") rule pending the agency's completion of an attempted regulatory re-write. As a consequence of this ruling, the Obama EPA WOTUS rule will be in effect in 26 states. A separate injunction issued by a separate federal court in separate litigation has enjoined enforcement of the Obama WOTUS rule in the remaining 24...


  • Pennsylvania Lawmakers Want to Lift the Statute of Limitations Amid the Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Report

    After a report found that 301 Catholic priests, clergy, and lay teachers in Pennsylvania sexually abused over 1,000 children, several in the state government hope to both lift and expand the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.

    The disturbing report, which is 884 pages long, found that systemic sexual abuse occurred over in six Pennsylvania dioceses over the span of at least 70 years. The report also established a pattern that revealed Bishops and others in church leadership were aware...


  • Trump's Ridiculous Military Parade Is Already Three Times Over Budget

    The absurd military parade that literally only one person wants to see happen this November will cost an estimated $92 million—more than three times what the White House initially said would be highest possible price tag for the event.

    When President Donald Trump first pitched the idea of having the American military flex its way down Pennsylvania Avenue—after he returned from watching a Bastille Day celebration in Paris last year—his budget-makers said the whole thing could be done for no more...


  • George Gilder Is Excited about Life After Google and You Should Be Too: Podcast

    Google's dominance in so many aspects of our digital lives is "creating a walled garden that's basically controlled by two nerds in Silicon Valley," says George Gilder, the author who more than anyone else predicted today's imperfect online utopia in books such as Life After Television: The Coming Transformation of Media and American Life and Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World.

    Of course it's not just Google (which owns YouTube), Gilder says in a Reason Podcast...


  • Judge Threatens Censorship After Newspaper Reveals Bureaucratic Errors in Parkland Lead-Up

    The South Florida Sun Sentinel's reporting on sensitive information about Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was "shameful," a circuit court judge said yesterday.

    Earlier this month, the Sun Sentinel obtained a confidential Broward County School Board report on Cruz, who murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which he used to attend, on February 14. As Reason's Robby Soave noted, the report showed that Cruz was entitled to special needs assistance while attending Stoneman...


  • Malaysia Ditches Terrible Fake News Law

    Less than five months after passing legislation that made creating and disseminating fake news punishable by jail time, Malaysia's parliament has repealed the law.

    The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 was approved in early April by the government of then-Prime Minister Najib Razak. But as the Associated Press reports, human rights advocates worried the law would be used to stamp out opposition ahead of Malaysia's general election in May.

    "This is a law that was clearly designed to silence criticism of...