Hans Bader is a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

My Articles

October 5, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT
As Howard Portnoy noted earlier, some countries that ban or heavily restrict guns have higher rates of mass shootings than the U.S. does. Yet, in discussing the recent college murders in Roseburg, Oregon, President Obama falsely claimed we need more gun regulations because “states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.”
September 28, 2015, 5:03 PM EDT
The College Fix published an interesting story titled “Department of Education shredded for lawless overreach in Senate hearing.” It was about Congress getting annoyed with the Education Department for imposing mandates on colleges and schools out of thin air, without even going through rulemaking or the notice and comment required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Examples include school bullying rules and counterproductive mandates for handling sexual harassment and assault claims.
September 16, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT
When due process is eroded for a disfavored class of people, many innocent people are harmed, and the exception to due process tends to expand over time, causing ever more damage to the rule of law. But left-wing legislators seem blind to that danger, especially when the people being railroaded are falsely accused of civil-rights violations or discrimination.
September 3, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT
If two couples make almost the same amount of money, should one of them be charged $2,000 more in Medicare Part B premiums? Logically, no, but to the federal government, the answer is sometimes “yes.” This problem will get worse in 2016, and much worse by 2018.
August 28, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT
“Murders are up 43 percent this year” in Washington, D.C., yet when the City’s African-American mayor, Muriel Bowser, proposed an “increased police presence in neighborhoods” most affected by this, “Black Lives Matter protesters tried to shout her down,” notes Powerline.  This happened “yesterday, when Bowser came to a crime-ridden D.C. neighborhood where the murder has nearly doubled this year.”  She was there “to counter the spike in the loss of (almost exclusively black) life due to killings,” which have risen largely due to black-on-black violence. “Bowser spoke for about half an hour, despite being shouted at and heckled throughout.”
August 21, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT
Federal affordable housing mandates do little to increase homeownership rates, but they did help cause a devastating financial crisis in 2008 by encouraging risky lending.
August 19, 2015, 10:36 AM EDT
In a January 17, 2008, interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, then-Senator Obama said that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” under his plan to fight global warming. He also said that under his plan, “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them.” 
August 18, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT
The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was enacted partly to end the problem of “too-big-to-fail” banks, but it has done quite the opposite. It has curbed competition with big banks by eliminating competing small banks whose failure would not endanger the financial system. It used to be that 100 new banks were created every year; now, not one is created in a typical year.
July 24, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
When Congress declines to pass a law that would expand an agency’s powers, the agency will sometimes respond by making up the law on its own. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently did this, by adding a new protected class to federal employment laws, at the expense of America’s employers. This flouted Article I of the Constitution, which vests all legislative power in Congress, not federal agencies.
July 22, 2015, 11:28 AM EDT
Failure to meet a racial quota is not the same thing as segregation. That basic fact has eluded the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which recently adopted a rule called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” that seeks to alter the racial makeup of America’s cities and towns even when there is no justifiable reason to do so.
July 9, 2015, 3:42 PM EDT
The federal government is now admitting that its own financial aid is partly to blame for rising tuition, reports Blake Neff in The Daily Caller:
July 6, 2015, 3:08 PM EDT
The Supreme Court’s June 25 decision in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. creates confusion and uncertainty in multiple respects. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act bans landlord rental practices and local housing regulations that are racially neutral and nondiscriminatory on their face, if they have a “disparate impact” on a minority group, by excluding minorities at a higher rate than whites, and thus causing a racial imbalance deemed statistically significant.
June 19, 2015, 9:19 AM EDT
Under the Obama administration, the Education Department has pressured schools and colleges to restrict speech, including off campus speech, even when it is protected by the First Amendment, and is not severe and pervasive. It claims this is required by federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title IX and Title VI. It also expects colleges to investigate off-campus sexual misconduct by students, even though most federal appellate court rulings say schools have no such duty under Title IX. 
May 27, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT
The Federal Aviation Administration is endangering public safety by getting rid of key merit-based hiring criteria for air traffic controllers (such as rewarding high scores on the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT), and graduation from FAA-accredited CTI Schools).
May 19, 2015, 5:14 PM EDT
Welfare is often unpopular with voters, who fund it with their taxes. So California politicians and academics who support it are now redefining welfare recipients as “workers” even if they do almost no work, and as members of “working families” if they live in the same household as someone who does a tiny bit of work. By doing this, they hope to brand critics of welfare as “anti-worker.”
April 29, 2015, 12:10 PM EDT
Discrimination may be bad for business, but that doesn’t mean laws banning discrimination are good for business. Often, these laws are like the proverbial Trojan Horse, applied by the courts in unexpected ways that are harmful to businesses, including employers who harbor no prejudice of any kind. For example, the Supreme Court interpreted a federal race and sex discrimination law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) as banning unintentional “disparate impact” (which is when a neutrally applied selection criterion weeds out more black than white applicants) even though that statute explicitly limited relief to cases where there was a showing that the employer had “intentionally engaged in or is intentionally engaging in an unlawful employment practice.” [See Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971); 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(g).] The result of that case was to outlaw a wide array of useful, colorblind standardized tests.
April 14, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
Equal Pay Day is coming up on April 14. That means it's time for false statistics and legal claims from groups pushing for more rules and red tape governing employee pay, such as the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act.
April 10, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT
If you hug your boyfriend and as a result your clothed body (including your breasts) touches him, you could be accused of “sexual assault” through “sexual contact” under the University of Virginia’s broad new “sexual assault” policy adopted to appease the Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work (assuming you do it without explicitly agreeing on the details of the hug).
April 2, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT
Myths have permeated the media’s coverage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enacted in Indiana. (I have no position on such legislation, which I previously discussed at length at this link.)
March 25, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
Recently, members of the Oklahoma chapter of the SAE fraternity were caught on video chanting a mind-bogglingly racist song that included “a line that suggests lynching blacks is preferable to admitting them in the fraternity.” Quite reasonably, the national fraternity “shut down the chapter.” More controversially, the University of Oklahoma (which, unlike the fraternity, is part of the government and thus constrained by the First Amendment) expelled two of the fraternity members.