Reason April 2020

Reason is the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets." It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.

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Reason Magazine
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11 Números

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7 min.
the national interest, c’est moi

“I WANT TO be elected. I think I am a great president. I think I am the greatest president there ever was, and if I am not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly.” These are the words of a hypothetical president, as imagined by Alan Dershowitz in his role as one of Donald Trump’s lawyers during the final days of the Senate impeachment trial. That hypothetical president, said Dershowitz, would not have committed an impeachable offense if he offered an otherwise-legal quid pro quo partially motivated by a desire to improve his own electoral chances. After all, “every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest.” Despite Dershowitz’s Harvard credentials and long standing as a liberal stalwart, this thought experiment was greeted with a storm…

5 min.
ice scam leads to student deportations

MORE THAN 250 foreign students have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a sting operation against “pay-to-stay visa mills”—fake universities that handle transcripts and paperwork so that foreign students can maintain their visa status without actually attending college. But sources connected to the students say the operation, which involved ICE setting up its own fake university, lured in a number of students who had done nothing wrong. Some of those students were even tricked into quitting legitimate schools in favor of the feds’ fake university. Meanwhile, real visa mills—the operation’s supposed target—remain unaffected. The latest chapter in the story began in 2015, when ICE decided to crack down on visa mills. The agency created the University of Northern New Jersey, a fake college that held no classes and offered…

3 min.
judges fight over jury nullification

MOST JUDGES BALK at the prospect of jury nullification—the right and power of juries to bring “not guilty” verdicts when defendants violate laws that jurors consider unjust or wrongly applied. Some of them get extremely mad when a fellow judge endorses the practice in his own courtroom. That’s exactly what happened in December 2019, when a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rebuked U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill for telling prosecutors and defense attorneys that before them was a “shocking case” that “calls for jury nullification.” The prosecution that shocked Under hill was a dubious federal “child pornography” charge growing out of a state statutory rape case. A U.S. Attorney’s Office press release alleged that defendant Yehudi Manzano, 31, “sexually assaulted a 15-year-old female victim in Connecticut,…

2 min.
is the fbi snooping on political groups and ideological publications?

THE CATO INSTITUTE is calling on Congress to investigate whether the FBI is spying on it and other domestic political groups, after public records requests raised the possibility that the Bureau has files on Cato and others. Patrick Eddington, a research fellow at Cato, has submitted more than 200 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for FBI files on political advocacy groups, civil liberties organizations, think tanks, and publications across the political spectrum. For about two dozen of those requests so far, the FBI said it could neither confirm nor deny whether it had collected national security or foreign intelligence records. Those organizations include the Campaign for Liberty started by former Rep. Ron Paul (R–Texas); a grassroots privacy-rights group called Restore the Fourth; the Cato Institute; and Reason Foundation, the nonprofit…

2 min.
congress quietly repeals more of obamacare

AT THE END of 2019, Congress repealed three significant tax components of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Each of them had been included in the initial legislation to raise the revenue required to pay for the new spending the law called for. The biggest of the three was the so-called Cadillac tax, which was expected to raise about $197 billion over the next decade. Congress also nixed the law’s health insurance tax, projected to raise $150 billion over 10 years, and the medical device tax, projected to raise $25.5 billion. All three taxes were eliminated as part of a $1.4 trillion year-end budget bill that President Donald Trump signed at the last possible minute in order to keep the government open. The repeal of these taxes was predictable. Implementation of the…

2 min.
legal cannabis might mean less drinking

ONE OF THE most important issues for people worried about the consequences of marijuana legalization is the extent to which cannabis serves as a substitute for alcohol, which is more dangerous in several significant ways. Recent evidence from Canada and the United States rein forces the hypothesis that people tend to drink less when marijuana is legally available, although the issue is far from settled. During 2019, the first full year of legalization in Canada, the volume of beer sold there fell by 3 percent, the Financial Post reports. That drop was large compared to the annual declines seen in the previous five years, which averaged 0.3 percent. Vivien Azer, an industry analyst quoted by the Post, said the accelerated slide was probably related to marijuana legalization, and she predicted that…