The importance of Gundy v. U.S.

By Peter J. Wallison . . . Gundy v. United States is not listed in most media accounts of important matters now before the Supreme Court, yet this case could profoundly change how courts intervene to preserve the constitutional separation of powers in the future. Involving just one individual petitioner, Herman Avery Gundy, and only one issue — how to interpret…

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Passport requirement casts wide net, imposes badge of shame

By Jacob Sullum . . . The notice, which will appear on the second-to-last page of U.S. passports, is officially known as an “endorsement,” but it is more like a badge of shame. “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor,” it says, “and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).”…

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The power of labels, letters, and marks

On October 5, 1938, the Third Reich directs its Ministry of Interior to invalidate all passports held by Jews until the letter “J” was affixed to them.   Less than 80 years later, and on February 8, 2016, the American Congress directs the Department of State to invalidate all passports held by sexual offenders until a “unique identifier” is affixed to…

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First lawsuit challenging Int’l Megan’s Law filed in CA federal court

San Francisco . . . A lawsuit was filed February 9 in U.S. District Court, Northern District, San Francisco Division, challenging International Megan’s Law, which requires the Secretary of State to add “unique identifiers” to the passports of American citizens. The law requires federal agencies to notify foreign countries that American citizens will be traveling to their country. “For the first…

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Los Angeles Times to Pres. Obama: VETO International Megan’s Law

By the LA Times Editorial Board . . . After rousing themselves from the 30-plus-year bad trip that was the war on drugs — or rather, the war on drug users — many Americans in and out of elected office looked around for someone else to persecute. Someone, somewhere, must be so depraved and hateful that liberals and conservatives, Democrats…

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USA TODAY rejects prisoner’s letter because he’s a sex offender

By Phil Wentzel . . . As a former law enforcement professional and now one of the millions of incarcerated adults in the U.S., I can relate very personally to two items I read in the October 22, 2015 USA TODAY. It is encouraging to see that a group of respected law enforcement leaders and prosecutors have formed a coalition…

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SO passports to be tagged like Jewish IDs under Hitler

By David Post . . . When I was growing up, in a Jewish family in Brooklyn in the 1950s, Hitler and the Holocaust were common subjects of conversation in my household. Though at the time it all seemed like ancient history — along with the Civil War, the Black Death, the fall of Rome, and everything else that had…

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Pope Francis to Congress: Preserve dignity of citizens; Give hope to convicted criminals

By Robin Vanderwall . . . If you’ve ever had a chance to view the Washington Monument on an overcast day, you may have noticed something peculiar. It’s not all the same shade of white. Part of the reason is by design. In building what would briefly become the world’s tallest man-made edifice (and remains to this day the world’s…

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