Today’s Links: January 5, 2012


MATTHEW YGLESIAS: “People Want Transit Accessible Housing, But Will They Be Able to Afford It?
” The gigantic premiums in the inner ring of suburbs strongly suggest that the areas around their Metro stations are under-built, and probably saddled with excess parking requirements, height restrictions, and other rules that restrict access to transit-oriented housing. The 28 percent premium in the District is bad enough, but 40 percent is absurd. The lesson for cities around the country who are making new investments in transit infrastructure is that this stuff is both expensive and valuable. But to maximize the value you get for your expense, you really need to unlock the potential for densty created by the high demand for these locations.”

VINCENT CERF: “Internet Access Is Not a Human Right
“While the United States has never decreed that everyone has a ‘right’ to a telephone, we have come close to this with the notion of ‘universal service’ — the idea that telephone service (and electricity, and now broadband Internet) must be available even in the most remote regions of the country. When we accept this idea, we are edging into the idea of Internet access as a civil right, because ensuring access is a policy made by the government.”

ORIN KERR: “Originalism and Civil Damages for Fourth Amendment Violations
“Originalists are often opposed to the exclusionary rule, the rule that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment cannot be used in court. The exclusionary rule was made up by 19th and 20th century judges, the argument runs. At common law, the remedies for violations of search and seizure law were civil damages against the officers, not exclusion of evidence.”


RIGHT TO DIE – Allow Assisted Suicide for Those With Less Than a Year to Live (United Kingdom)
“The independent Commission on Assisted Dying, whose members include several prominent peers and medics, wants GPs to be able to prescribe lethal doses of medication for dying people to take themselves. The report, published today, calls for the ‘inadequate and incoherent’ law against assisted suicide to be scrapped following a series of high profile cases where patients have used the Dignitas suicide clinic to take their own lives.”

INTERNET – Belarus Makes Certain Web Behaviors Illegal
“A new law in Belarus will restrict access to foreign websites, and will require Internet cafes and clubs to report users who visit forbidden pages.The Eastern European country’s law (Improvements to the Usage of the National Segment of the Internet, law number 317-3), goes into effect Friday — censorship making it illegal to conduct ecommerce with Belarusian citizens through sites outside the country’s .by domain name.”

DRUG PROHIBITION – Governor Jan Brewer’s Lawsuit Against Medical Marijuana Law Dismissed by Federal Judge
“U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton dismissed the case without prejudice and invited the state to file an amended complaint to correct the flaws in their argument. However, Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne have made it clear they’re loathe to do what Bolton asks: Pick a side for or against the law.”