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The Over-criminalization Epidemic: The Need for a Guilty Mind Requirement in Federal Criminal Law

Justice reform is a topic that has received a lot of attention from members of Congress. Front-end sentencing and back-end reentry reforms have dominated the discussion on Capitol Hill, as well as out outside of Washington. Over-criminalization of federal criminal law, however, has not received nearly enough attention.

09/01/2015
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Preserving the Fifth Amendment is the key to civil asset forfeiture reform in Oklahoma

On Tuesday, Oklahoma state Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) hosted a panel of national experts to discuss the Sooner State's civil asset forfeiture laws. State Sen. Loveless invited me to speak via Skype, and my prepared remarks can be read below. Other panelists included John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation and Adam Bates of the Cato Institute.

09/01/2015
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Donald Trump once proposed the largest tax hike in American history

In his FY 2016 budget, President Barack Obama proposed $1.44 trillion in new taxes over the next ten years. Though his tax proposal is not likely to be passed by Congress, it comes on top of hikes he already managed to enact, such as the fiscal cliff deal that increased taxes by $620 billion and the $1 trillion of taxes in ObamaCare. Conservative activists, rightly, slammed the tax hikes, which have contributed to a slow economic recovery in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

08/31/2015
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Juveniles should not be subject to solitary confinement

Perhaps one of the most outrageous practices in the justice system is the use of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders, most of whom are nonviolent. The practice has many long-term mental effects that lead offenders into a cycle of poverty and crime from which they are often unable to escape. Of course, that assumes they ever make it out of a juvenile facility, considering a shocking statistic from a 2009 study from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The study found that over 50 percent of juveniles who committed suicide in detention facilities were in solitary confinement.

08/26/2015
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Report: Solyndra gave "false and misleading" information to secure loan from the government

A new report from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Energy comes down hard on Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar energy firm that, in September 2009, received a $535 million government-backed loan. The loan was funded by President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus package, which wasted some $50 billion on green programs.

08/26/2015
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Donald Trump versus the Founding Fathers: Private property rights are the cornerstone of liberty

Private property has always had a unique place in American society. The Founding Fathers recognized that government exists to protect private property. They were influenced by Enlightenment-era philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith, who believed the right to property was a fundamental, natural right. Donald Trump, however, appears to believe that private property can be taken on a whim by the influential and politically-connected.

08/25/2015
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ObamaCare enrollees in several states plagued by narrow doctor networks

Enrollees in several states face a severe lack of options in physician networks for plans offered on the ObamaCare exchanges, according to a brief released on Monday by the Leonard David Institute of Health Economics and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Limited physician networks is a part of the health insurance industry's effort to mitigate mandates in the so-called Affordable Care Act that have increased costs.

08/25/2015
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Obama administration pressuring states not to raise health insurance premiums

Health insurance companies are seeking large premium increases for many health plans available on the ObamaCare exchanges. The proposed increases vary by state, but the average ranges from 23 percent in Illinois to 36 percent in Tennessee to 54 percent in Minnesota.

08/24/2015
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Federalism in Action: How Conservative States Got Smart on Crime

Justice reform has become a hot topic on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress from both parties are pushing for substantive reforms that would bring rehabilitative programs to the federal corrections system, modify out-of-date sentencing laws, make communities safer, and reduce burdens on taxpayers. But reform would not be possible if conservative states had not previously paved the road.

08/24/2015
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Michigan Senate committee moves protections for innocent property owners a step closer to passage

The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved seven of eight civil asset forfeiture reform bills on Wednesday. The bills, which have been endorsed by a 10,000-member law enforcement organization, will provide meaningful property rights protections for law-abiding citizens, as well as bring uniformity and transparency in state forfeiture law.

08/20/2015

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