• Thoughts on Today's Federal Court Decision Against Obamacare

    Earlier today, Federal District Court Judge Reed O'Connor issued an important ruling in a case brought by twenty GOP-controlled state governments, arguing that the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate is now unconstitutional, because the tax reform bill Congress passed in December 2017 eliminates the monetary penalty for violation. Much more importantly, the states also claim that the rest of the Affordable Care Act must fall with the mandate because it cannot be "severed" from it....

  • BREAKING: District Court Judge in Texas Holds ACA Is Unlawful

    This evening, as the Affordable Care Act's enrollment period ended, Judge Reed O'Connor of the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas issued his much-awaited opinion in Texas v. United States, concluding that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, as a consequence, the entire Affordable Care Act is invalid. This is a surprising result, and one that is hard to justify.

    I provided background on the implausible claims behind this suit here and here. Among other things,...

  • A Texas Judge Just Ruled Obamacare Unconstitutional

    A judge in Texas just ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. If the ruling stands, the entire law will be struck down.

    Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018

    It's difficult to imagine that will happen, however, as the ruling is nearly certain to be appealed, and this particular case against the law has real weaknesses.

    The lawsuit, which was filed by a...

  • One Year Ago Today, the FCC Killed the Internet

    One year ago today, the Federal Communications Commission killed the internet.

    Except the internet didn't really die—quite the opposite, in fact—when the FCC voted down party lines to end the series of regulations known as "net neutrality."

    Despite the overwrought warnings and fearful pleas of advocates for greater government regulation of the world wide web, the past 12 months have not seen a rise in evil cable companies slowing consumers' internet connections or the creation of an online...

  • Trump’s Border Wall Is a Bad Idea. So Is a Government Shutdown.

    With each passing day, it looks more and more likely that a partial government shutdown could happen in the next month unless Congress agrees to allocate $5 billion for President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. If Congress won't fund his wall, Trump says he's willing to take responsibility for a shutdown.

    There are a few ways this could play out, but unless Trump folds, it's a no-win situation. That's because building a border wall is a bad idea, and so is shutting down...

  • Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

    Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.

    This week, IJ filed a merits brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, which will soon consider whether a Tennessee law that requires people to live in the state for two years before they can receive a liquor license—and to live in the state for 10 years before they can renew it—unconstitutionally discriminates against new residents. Learn more here.

    Israeli-Belgian national is advised by Canadian border...

  • Feds Fine Business $60,000 for Selling Non-Prescription Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

    A California-based online retailer has been ordered to pay a penalty of $60,000 for selling non-corrective, purely cosmetic contact lenses without first obtaining prescriptions for the non-prescription products.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says Lawrence Duskin repeatedly violated the agency's Contact Lens Rule, which stipulates that retailers can sell contact lenses only after obtaining a copy of a valid prescription or otherwise verifying the consumer's prescription with the physician...

  • Sabrina Serves Up a Cup of Holiday Fear: New at Reason

    You doubt there's a war on Christmas? Then why has it been so long since we've had a decent slice-and-dice Santa movie? Television critic Glenn Garvin is not saying that Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale is going to make anybody forget about Silent Night, Deadly Night or Black Christmas. But it does have a cannibal witch who likes to wash down her baby-meat sandwiches with gin. So don't be a Grinch about it.

    A Midwinter's Tale is actually a (more or less) stand-alone...

  • L.A. City Councilman Wants to Force Movie Theaters to Sell Tofu Dogs

    Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz's wife and daughter are vegans, so now he's proposing an ordinance to require concessions at major venues to sell vegan food.

    He's not just talking about city-owned venues such as airport terminals, but also privately owned and operated movie theaters and stadiums. And he's not just talking about just anything vegan; he wants to force these venues to offer vegan protein options.

    If you need an example of how little the average government official grasps...

  • Did Trump Violate Campaign Finance Laws?

    In today's Washington Post, three prominent DC attorneys representing a range of political viewpoints -- George Conway, Neal Katyal, and Trevor Potter -- argue that President Trump likely violated federal campaign finance laws when he encouraged hush money payments to prevent potentially embarrassing stories about his extra-marital affairs in the final weeks before the 2016 election. Their article begins:

    Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a...

  • First Amendment Lawsuit Challenges U.T.-Austin's Prohibition of Speech That Is 'Offensive,' 'Biased,' 'Uncivil,' or 'Rude'

    "Student A," a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, is a self-described "Tea Party conservative" who "strongly supports Israel, believes in a race-blind society, supports President Trump, is pro-life, and supports the border wall."

    "Student B," a U.T.-Austin sophomore who "considers himself a libertarian," "strongly supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, believes in a race-blind society, and has serious concerns that the 'Me Too' movement will erode due...

  • An Immigrant Girl's Death in CBP Custody Draws Criticism

    A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border died shortly after entering the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

    The Washington Post reports that in early December, the girl, her father, and about 160 other migrants turned themselves in to CBP agents near Lordsburg, New Mexico. About eight hours after she was taken in custody, the girl began to have seizures. Emergency responders found that she had been deprived of food and water for several days. She went into...