Should the Justice Department Monitor School Board Meetings?

In a word, no.

In ten words, ominous FBI surveillance like this would make Richard Nixon blush.

Clark Neily of the libertarian Cato Institute and I often disagree  —  about drug legalization, police behavior and prosecutorial power.  But we found it easy to collaborate on an op-ed about Merrick Garland’s memo enlisting the power of the federal government to intimidate parents who voice emphatic dissent at local school board meetings.

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Politicians in VA Want to Restore Parole, Murderers Included

Virginia Senator Joe Morrissey (D. Richmond) plans to introduce a bill in 2022 that will restore parole to make violent criminals, including murderers, eligible for release from prison after serving 15 years of less.   Attorney Hans Bader writes in Liberty Unyielding that the Democrat majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates and in the Senate almost assures passage. Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has indicated that he would support efforts to restore parole if elected next month.

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The Push to End Qualified Immunity Gets a Cold Shoulder

There has been a loud campaign for years now, led by a number of libertarians and some liberals, to end qualified immunity for the police.  The gist of their argument is that police who behave properly don’t need it, and the others shouldn’t have it.  Their legal hook is that QI is a “judge-created doctrine” with no anchor in the text of the Constitution (that the Left gets that one out without choking has to be a source of no little wonderment).

Kent has briefly and persuasively dispatched this argument before, and the Supreme Court was having none of it today, reversing two lower court cases that had refused to grant QI to police.  When, as in these cases, the anti-police side can’t even get Justice Sotomayor, you know it’s time for them to move on (which they’re not about to anyway).

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Soros-Funded DAs Presiding Over a Bloodbath

In 2003, progressive hedge fund billionaire George Soros emerged as a major player in national politics when he gave $23 million in a failed attempt to defeat George W. Bush.  In the years that followed he continued to pour millions into liberal causes and national campaigns and in 2020 was the largest single contributor to liberal candidates and causes in the entire country, giving a reported $50 million to PACs funding campaigns ranging from Joe Biden for President to progressive candidates for local district attorney races.  Since 2015, Soros’ New York based Open Society Foundations (there are three) have funneled millions through a network of non-profit “527″ groups spread across the country, to encourage the adoption of laws reducing sentences for habitual criminals and to elect district attorneys who refuse to seek the death penalty for murderers, refuse to prosecute drug dealers, thieves and wife beaters, and seek the shortest sentences possible for violent offenders.

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SCOTUS Appears Poised to Re-Instate Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber

The Supreme Court today heard argument in one of the most prominent death penalty cases of the last few decades, that of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber.  News reports from the Washington Post and CNN  —  neither outlet being friendly to capital punishment  —  suggest that the Court will reverse the First Circuit and re-instate Tsarnaev’s thoroughly earned death sentence.

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Newsom Signs Bills Reducing Sentences

Doubling down on his commitment to empty out California’s prisons, Governor Gavin Newsom signed several bills last Friday to block sentence increases for habitual felons and drug dealers.  Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times reports that Newsom signed SB 81, introduced by Alameda County Democrat Nancy Skinner, to require that judges dismiss sentence increases (called enhancements) for using a gun in a crime or due to prior convictions.   According to Skinner eliminating these enhancements would reduce the “discriminatory racial impact” on minority criminals.  The fact that blacks commit 7 times as many felonies as whites and 93% of their victims are other blacks is not of importance.

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Time’s Up in Times Square

One of the great accomplishments of New York’s former law-and-order Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg was to rescue Times Square from the disgrace it had become and make it once again a vibrant place that people wanted to visit.

To the surprise of no one with sense, in two terms of crime-and-disorder Mayor Bill de Blasio, Times Square has descended back into the sewer. Nicole Gelinas has this article in the City Journal with the above title. Continue reading . . .

CA Law Banning Private Prisons Overturned

In a 2-1 decision last week a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a California law phasing out private detention facilities.  Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that the divided panel held that AB 32, signed into law by Gavin Newsom in 2019, unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government’s exclusive authority to enforce immigration law.  California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who authored AB 32 while serving in the state Assembly, vowed to continue the fight to uphold the law, presumably with an appeal of the panel’s decision to the full Ninth Circuit.

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Study: Cops are Abandoning Big City Police Departments

A study by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) reports that police officers in ten large urban police departments are retiring or resigning at unprecedented levels.   A story by Fox News reporter Peter Aitken quotes LELDF President Jason Johnson, “In the wake of the anti-police movement and Floyd protests, cops —unwanted and unappreciated by their political leaders —are running for the exits. Resignations and retirements at the largest police agencies in the United States are skyrocketing while recruitment is tanking.”  The study compiled data from police agencies in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Austin, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles County, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Miami-Dade from June 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

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Missouri Executes Triple Murderer

Despite appeals from the Pope and racial activists including Congressman Cori Bush,  triple murderer Earnest Johnson was executed by lethal injection Tuesday evening.   Jim Salter of the Associated Press reports that Johnson  was sentenced to death for the February 1994 murders of three at Casey’s General Store in Columbia.  Johnson, who intended to rob the store for money to buy drugs, waited until closing time before pulling a gun on the manager, 46-year-old Mary Bratcher, and demanding that she open the safe.  After Bratcher tried to flush the safe key down a toilet, Johnson shot her and employees Mable Scruggs, 57 and Fred Jones, 58.  When all three survived the gunshots, Johnson attacked them with a claw hammer and a screwdriver.  A mountain of evidence left the jury with no question regarding Johnson’s guilt.

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