Learn Liberty

Category Archive: Law

  1. Ep. 4 – All The Cool Cops Are Doing It | Drug War Stories with Alex Kreit

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    21 Jump Street is real. Right now, young looking police officers are infiltrating high schools across the country looking to break up major crime rings. Problem is they are usually doing more harm than good.  So the next time you see Channing Tatum, or Jonny Depp wandering your high school, before you ask for their autograph, make sure you know the real ways cops are taking advantage of teenagers.

  2. Can Cops Search Your Cell Phone?

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    You’re at a party and someone from the police asks to see your cell phone. What do you do? If you don’t know your rights, you could putting yourself and your future at risk. Professor Josh Blackman details in this video the ways in which recent court rulings are defining and limiting the boundaries in which police can search through your phone’s contents.

  3. Football Law: Changing the Rules of the Game

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    What happens when the rules of a game change?

    One of the most important parts of playing a game like football is that the rules remain predictable and consistent for all players. However, this doesn’t just apply to touchdowns and tackles – the rule of law is key to a well-functioning free market. The question at hand is whether or not this really exists in the US–or do the rich and powerful benefit from hiring lobbyists to get what they want and to protect themselves? Watch and learn from Professor Steve Horowitz what happens when the Rule of Law changes and its impact on our society, the economy, and YOUR life.

  4. How Dirty Laws Trash The Environment

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    Dirty Laws? That’s the confusing part of EPA regulations. While intended to do good, they end up doing quite the opposite. When a corporation dumps its toxic waste a few miles upstream from your tomato farm – sure, you can go to the EPA, but odds are the offending party has filed all the right permits that allow them to do their dirtiest and you’re screwed. Join Law and Economics Prof. Roger Meiners in this Learn Liberty video as he shows how an age-old, British, free-market concept called “Common Law” may be the best remedy – without bureaucratic trash to stink things up.

  5. Don’t Be A Victim | The Drug War and You

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    Did you know having “too much” cash on you can be used to prove possession of drugs? Or that being present at a drug deal can lead to life in prison under mandatory minimum sentencing laws? Hey, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the harsh policies that can put you at risk, even if you don’t think you’re doing anything wrong.

    Join Prof. Alex Kreit from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego for this amazing one-week program with exclusive videos, a private discussion group and a rapid-fire Q&A session live to learn how you can protect yourself and stay safe.

  6. 4 Reasons to be Optimistic About Mandatory Minimums

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    Mandatory minimum sentencing laws have sentenced people to jail for decades, sometimes for doing something as simple as selling pot a few times. Is there any reason to be hopeful that things could change? Alex Kreit, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, tells of four recent contributions to the reform of mandatory-minimum drug sentencing laws.

    Attorney General Eric Holder issued new guidelines on how federal prosecutors enforce drug laws. President Obama himself granted clemency for several drug offenders sentenced under mandatory minimum laws.

    Meanwhile, Senators Cory Booker and Rand Paul joined forces to advocate reform. Bipartisan action is rare, which makes this all the more impressive.

    There are several organizations joining the fight against these laws as well. A group called Families Against Mandatory Minimums is leading the battle against unjust sentencing under these laws.

    Are there reasons for optimism? Professor Kreit believes so, and you should too.

  7. 3 Things You NEED To Know About Mandatory Prison Sentencing

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    Our three most recent presidents have admitted to committing drug offenses in their youth, though they didn’t pay for their indiscretions with jail time. But most people caught up in our criminal justice system aren’t so lucky. Perhaps the worst aspect of the flawed system is mandatory minimum sentences. Consider Weldon Angelos, one victim — a former record producer who won’t get out of jail until he’s eighty and has served a sentence of more than twice what the hijacker of a plane would face. His crime? Selling marijuana twice.
    Alex Kreit, criminal law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, explains three reasons why mandatory minimums are really, really, really bad. For one thing, the sentences can be longer than those for more serious crimes. Second, they get the wrong people, despite the intentions of lawmakers. Third, if the goal is to reduce drug use, they fail on their own terms. Among their targets in practice are people who have been convicted of such minor offenses as possession for personal use. Drugs are as plentiful as ever.

  8. You Won’t Believe Why These 3 People Were Sentenced to Life | Learn Liberty

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    A single mother addicted to drugs. A man so desperate to pay for medical treatment that he tried unsuccessfully to sell methamphetamines. A guy busted for selling LSD and another who got in trouble for selling marijuana.  One thing all four of these victims of the drug war have in common is that they’ve been sentenced to spend many years in jail, regardless of whether the judges of their cases even wanted that outcome. Listen to Alex Kreit, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, explain why people like these can face jail time more than twice as long as if they’d hijacked an airplane, detonated a bomb in public, or even committed second-degree murder.

  9. How They Beat the Oregon Trail IRL

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    How did more than 300,000 people avoid bloodshed and chaos when they crossed the American plains between 1840 and 1860? Trappers used to say there was no law west of Leavenworth, Kansas.

    No one established a government to rule the wagon trains — it’s true. But they governed themselves instead. They signed contracts that worked like voluntary constitutions. The contracts anticipated disputes among the various groups of travelers and laid out how to resolve them.

    Imagine the red tape if the government had gone with the settlers. Marvel at the ability of people to innovate rules and order in a most unlikely setting. That’s what Hill advises. Tune in to hear more.

  10. From Rags to Riches: The Cayman Islands Revolution

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    The rule of law, Hayek wrote, is “a rule concerning what the law ought to be”: It ought to be general and abstract; equally applied, with legal privileges for none; certain, not subject to arbitrary changes; and just. In this Learn Liberty Academy, Andrew Morriss sets sail to show how the law of the Cayman Islands conforms with Hayek’s ideals, how it got that way through astute political entrepreneurship, and how the world at large benefits from its legal wisdom. The benefits of Caymanian rule of law are so diffuse and far-reaching that we can even attribute the American poor’s high consumption of healthcare to it.  Embark on Morriss’s expedition — read, watch lectures, and discuss!

    Song credit: “Coconut Water” – Dan O’Connor

    Archival images courtesy of the Cayman Islands National Archive

  11. What’s Next in the Battle over NSA Surveillance?

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    Edward Snowden’s leaks of National Security Agency (NSA) methods has sparked a national debate about the legality of such surveillance. This program, led by a constitutional law professor, joined by national security experts from across the political spectrum, will focus on the legality of surveillance. The program will explore the meaning of individual privacy, its relationship to individual freedom, and the constitutional and statutory limits on surveillance undertaken for national security purposes. It will also explore possible means of changing the current regime, including modifications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its special court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

    Learn Liberty Academy provides free, online educational programs so that anyone, anywhere can learn about the ideas that drive social change.