March 27, 2013 11:55:29 AM by
As many of you likely have heard, The Boston Phoenix (last year re-named simply The Phoenix) has ceased publication, a victim of the harsh economic times for print journalism. The remaining skeleton staff presiding over the sad burial rites has edited and published the final issue of the paper, available only in an on-line version that can be read at http://thephoenix.com.
I have written my final column that will be of particular interest to those of you who have been reading this rather remarkable “alternative weekly” for years. But it should also be of interest to those who have not had the pleasure of such a long-term reading experience. Here is my piece:
March 18, 2013 9:34:59 AM by
The states are often described, in the memorable words of Justice Louis Brandeis, as the “laboratories of democracy,” places in which new laws and practices can be tested and perfected on the local level before spreading to the rest of the nation. Unfortunately, this process can occasionally go awry, as it did with Massachusetts’ recent anti-corruption law. Modeled after the vague and excessively broad federal “honest services fraud” statute, the Massachusetts law ended up criminalizing vast swaths of ordinary political activity.
The first test case pursued by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was a prosecution of former state Treasurer Timothy Cahill. In light of the jury’s acquittal of the co-defendant and its hung verdict in Cahill’s case, my latest column, which ran in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, takes a look at the anti-corruption law and the alleged “criminal” activity that Cahill engaged in while making a third-party bid for governor in 2010.
You can find my column on the Wall Street Journal’s website, or, for those without a subscription to the Journal, you can find the full column after the jump.
March 01, 2013 10:29:09 AM by
In a bizarre mid-February opinion in the case of Florida v. Clayton Harris, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a drug-sniffing dog’s credentials—rather than his field accuracy—are what matter in determining whether the dog’s tail-wagging “alert” creates sufficient probable cause for police to conduct a search without a warrant. This elevation of credentials over demonstrated skill should come as no surprise: Of the nine Supreme Court justices, five were full-time academics at some point before joining the Court, three were adjunct professors and only one earned his stripes exclusively in the real world. In my most recent piece for Forbes.com, I explain how the Florida v. Clayton Harris ruling is an invasion of citizens’ privacy rights that nevertheless united a divided Court based on the justices’ shared reverence for impressive curriculum vitae.
The column after the jump...
February 04, 2013 12:03:45 PM by
My book review of Jess Bravin’s new book, TERROR COURTS: ROUGH JUSTICE AT GUANTANAMO BAY (Yale University Press) is now available on Reason.com. The book is a very interesting read by a very sophisticated reporter of law and justice issues. The review after the jump...