Today’s Links: March 15, 2012


WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIAL: “Institute For Justice Lawsuit Challenges IRS Power Grab
“Last year, the federal tax agency issued a new rule usurping the power to grant or withhold licenses to prepare federal tax returns. [Sabina] Loving and [Elmer] Kilian are two of an estimated 350,000 individuals across America who offer their services to their neighbors during the annual tax season, preparing their federal returns for a small fee. They are independent, self-employed and need to satisfy their customers to earn a living. When it became clear that the IRS rule favored corporate preparers like H&R Block and other special interests like lawyers and accountants, Loving and Kilian turned to the Institute for Justice for help.”

STEPHANOS BIBAS: “The Machinery of Criminal Justice
“In yesterday’s guest-blog post on my new book, I discussed some of the ways in which criminal justice developed from a common-sense morality play into a professionalized machine during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Now I want to describe what the gulf between criminal justice insiders and outsiders looks like today; offer a few examples of the tug of war that erupts between the two sides; and explain some of the hidden costs of this gulf.”

EMILY BAZELON: “Are Innocent Parents Being Prosecuted For Killing Their Babies?
“In 1971, pediatric neurosurgeon Norman Guthkelch helped come up with the medical diagnosis of shaken-baby syndrome. […] Now Guthkelch is worried that medical examiners and prosecutors have been too quick to turn to the shaken-baby diagnosis—and that innocent people may be in prison as a result.”


SURVEILLANCE – Cameras at U.K. Stations Will Block Uninsured Drivers From Refueling
“A new plan from the British government will use closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at gas stations that will automatically prevent uninsured drivers from filling up their gas tanksthat is, until their vehicle information has been logged in the system.”

HEALTH – [Arizona] Senate Judiciary Committee Endorses Controversial Contraceptive Bill
“Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.”

PHILADELPHIA – City to Ban Street-Corner Feedings of Homeless
“Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.”