Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law.

My Articles

January 3, 2019, 4:20 PM EST
I like subways, and spent most of my adult life taking them to work. Unfortunately, most people prefer to drive.  It can take an hour and a half to take buses and trains to work for a commute that would take only half an hour by car. Mass transit is largely a failure, and continues to decline despite growing subsidies to many mass transit systems. Light rail systems are white elephants. The money spent on light rail would be better spent on bus lines. The underground corridors used for some subways might better be devoted to self-driving cars.
November 1, 2018, 2:53 PM EDT
The Washington Post reports that American workers are now seeing the fastest wage growth in a decade, outpacing inflation. It must have pained The Post to report that, because it is a staunchly liberal newspaper that has not endorsed a Republican for president since 1952.
October 31, 2018, 3:19 PM EDT
CNN anchor Don Lemon thinks he knows the cause of terrorism: white people. He told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo — the brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) — that “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”
October 26, 2018, 4:23 PM EDT
The U.S. economy grew by a healthy 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. As Ed Morrissey notes, “For the first time in more than three years, the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 3% in GDP in two successive quarters. The third quarter expansion measured 3.5% following Q2’s 4.2%.” As the Associated Press observes, “The result was slightly higher than many economists had been projecting. It was certain to be cited by President Donald Trump as evidence his economic policies are working.” As CNBC notes, inflation also remains low:
October 4, 2018, 4:23 PM EDT
Starting late in the Obama administration, Americans’ life spans began dropping (coincidentally or not, this happened after Obamacare went fully into effect in 2014; the opioid crisis has been cited as a possible cause of the drop in life spans).
October 1, 2018, 3:05 PM EDT
Most pediatricians are not nutritionists. Some know little about the actual nutrition of common foods, and give bad advice as a result. For example, some view orange juice, which has more than a full day’s supply of vitamin C in every glass, as just a sugary beverage whose consumption by kids should be sharply restricted. Some wrongly view prepackaged apple slices, which have essentially no vitamin C unless it is artificially added, as highly nutritious. Thus, they celebrated McDonald’s replacement of french fries, which do contain some vitamin C, with apple slices that contain essentially no natural vitamin C (they do contain artificially-added vitamin C).
September 18, 2018, 4:27 PM EDT
A large minimum wage increase in Venezuela has dealt a “fatal blow to 40 percent of Venezuelan stores,” reports the Miami Herald. That has closed many stores, and left employees jobless. Venezuela’s government ignored the most basic law of economics in raising the minimum wage — the law of supply and demand. But laws don’t go away just because you ignore them.
September 4, 2018, 3:36 PM EDT
California’s legislature has passed a law requiring gender quotas for corporate boards in that state.
August 31, 2018, 2:56 PM EDT
Reading views that are consistent with your own mildly reinforces them. But what really reinforces your views is being exposed to diametrically-opposing views on social media, or slanted articles with an opposing viewpoint. Such exposure is so annoying that it actually hardens your views. You may not be able to see how cartoonish your own views are, anymore than a fish notices water. But you can easily see how cartoonish someone else’s extreme-opposite views are. That’s the logical inference of a recently published study by Christopher A. Bail and others called “Exposure to Opposing Views on Social Media Can Increase Political Polarization.” The study might be an additional reason not to regulate broadcasting or social media to mandate exposure to competing views, and not to reinstate speech restrictions such as the “Fairness Doctrine.” Such regulations may achieve nothing other than violating the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
August 2, 2018, 10:27 AM EDT
Judges aren’t supposed to issue futile and pointless injunctions. Especially not when they lack jurisdiction to issue them in the first place, and might be violating the Constitution in the process. That is just grandstanding.
July 30, 2018, 4:12 PM EDT
Radical court rulings threaten to strip people of the right to govern themselves. The people’s elected representatives in state legislatures often pass laws that prevent cities from adopting burdensome rules, such as ordinances whose costs fall not just on city residents, but on people who live outside their borders. States’ right to preempt burdensome local rules was undermined by a recent federal appeals court ruling. It allowed Alabama to be sued for its law overriding the Birmingham City Council’s attempt to increase the minimum wage. That minimum wage increase would have led to both job losses and increased consumer prices for non-residents who work in the city.
July 24, 2018, 10:41 AM EDT
Progressive journalists have a message for you: Free expression is for them, not for you  — and not for conservative bloggers and academics.
July 23, 2018, 2:47 PM EDT
When the White House orders federal agencies to comply with a Supreme Court decision, that’s not a sign of dictatorship looming, but rather, a vindication of the rule of law. But left-leaning lawyers, bloggers, and officials are claiming otherwise. They are sounding the alarm over the Trump administration’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission.
October 3, 2017, 10:40 AM EDT
No child should be barred based on her race from a public education program needed to address her learning disabilities or educational deficits. But the Obama administration ignored this basic principle in its December 2016 regulation interpreting the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. That regulation penalizes educational entities that don’t achieve racial quotas in special education, by defining failure to meet such quotas as “disproportionality.”
September 27, 2017, 9:28 AM EDT
The Education Department last week rightly withdrew two famous examples of regulatory “dark matter” issued during the Obama administration: its April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter” about “sexual violence” and its April 29, 2014 “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.” These bureaucratic decrees heavily intruded into how schools handle complaints of sexual harassment and assault, banning the clear-and-convincing evidence standard, restricting cross-examination rights, and restricting the appeal rights of accused people.
September 25, 2017, 12:14 PM EDT
Los Angeles lawyer Ken White notes that a professor is being “investigated for writing about being investigated for writing about being investigated.” This Title IX investigation has apparently been going on since last May, making it longer than some other investigations that courts have ruled unconstitutional due to their speech-chilling nature.
September 19, 2017, 9:56 AM EDT
On September 12, the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project released a paper about illegal overreaching by the Obama-era Education and Justice Departments, which resulted in policies that still persist today. The paper, written mostly by people with a civil rights background, examines three areas in which the federal government attempted to micromanage educational institutions by imposing new rules that never went through the legally-prescribed rulemaking process and purported to do so based on antidiscrimination statutes passed many years ago. These rules dealt with three areas: (1) transgender bathroom, locker, and dormitory room access under Title IX, a statute which bans discrimination based on “sex,” not “gender identity”; (2) investigations by colleges and schools of sexual assault and harassment claims, also under Title IX; and (3) school districts that suspend more students of one race than another, or whose discipline policies have an unintentional “disparate impact,” under Title VI, a statute which bans intentional racial discrimination.
September 15, 2017, 3:45 PM EDT
Lawyers and allied interest groups have long enriched themselves at taxpayers’ expense. But usually, it has been by bringing lawsuits, not defending them.
September 8, 2017, 10:52 AM EDT
In a major speech today, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos indicated that the Education Department may withdraw some of the regulatory “dark matter” discussed by CEI’s Wayne Crews, such as its April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter micromanaging college discipline.
September 7, 2017, 10:08 AM EDT
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the second quarter. That was significantly higher than the 2.7 percent expected. The New York Times noted that this is the economy’s best quarterly showing in two years. Growth was a mere 1.6 percent per year under Obama, and 2.1 percent under Bush. America gained 36,000 manufacturing jobs in August, finally returning employment in the manufacturing sector to where it was before Obama became President.