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 24, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
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.
March 23, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT
On March 4, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division issued a report criticizing the Ferguson police department and courts. In response, President Obama stated that “he doesn’t believe Ferguson is typical of most police departments,” and that the city’s practices were “not the norm.”
March 20, 2015, 9:59 AM EDT
Recently, I participated in a March 13 panel discussion at the National Press Club titled “Bringing an End to Second-Class Justice,” discussing how federal micromanagement of college discipline by the Education Department ignores federal court rulings, increases college costs, and stacks the deck against some accused students. Here is the text of my remarks at the event, which was put together by the group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments:
March 13, 2015, 3:32 PM EDT
On February 26, two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow, wrote to the chairmen of the congressional appropriations committees, to warn “against” a “provision of the proposed Obama budget that would increase funding for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (‘OCR’) by 31%.”
March 2, 2015, 3:42 PM EST
Recently, I wrote about a report to the Senate by a task force of college presidents, on how the Education Department is illegally dumping an avalanche of new rules and regulations on America’s schools, without even complying with the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment requirements.
February 26, 2015, 11:46 AM EST
Recently, a task force of college presidents chronicled massive regulatory overreaching by the U.S. Department of Education, which, on a daily basis, floods America’s schools with new rules and obligations that Congress never intended. Most of these rules are not even listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, and have never gone through the formal rulemaking process, much less been adequately vetted. “The Report of the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education: Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities” correctly notes that:
February 11, 2015, 2:34 PM EST
NPR receives taxpayer subsidies based on its false pretense of objectivity and accuracy. Its departing ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, recently declared that “as a public media that receives some 11 percent of its funding indirectly from the government, it cannot be partisan or have a declared bias.”
February 5, 2015, 2:56 PM EST
Ed Pinto had a depressing and revealing op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Friday about how the Obama administration is artificially creating markets for risky mortgages, using the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the government-controlled mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Not only will this put taxpayers at risk, but it will burden prudent homebuyers through “cross-subsidies” for risky borrowers “subsidized by less-risky loans.”
February 5, 2015, 10:28 AM EST
The Obama administration perversely rewards agencies that overstep their authority by giving them budget increases to handle the increased workload that results.