Our friends at the Federalist Society have an interesting new video out on legal businesses being targeted for government harassment because their products have become politically unpopular. These tactics were notoriously employed by the Obama-era “Operation Choke Point,” but could be deployed in the future against any industry that attracts the ire of federal bureaucrats.
According to Competitive Enterprise Institute Vice President Iain Murray, these tactics—targeting the bank accounts of payday lenders and firearm dealers, for example—are worrying. “Many companies and individuals that have done nothing wrong have been frozen out of banking services.Without the links to banks, their financial lifeblood is choked off indeed,” Murray wrote in his study “Operation Choke Point: What It Is and Why It Matters.”
While the video in general takes a much less critical view of Operation Choke Point than CEI, it does point out that protecting consumers from harm should be done through a transparent legislative and legal process, rather than the off-the-books intimidation directed at financial institutions.