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Three unrelated issues

By Scott Tibbs, May 26, 2015

♣ Here is an editorial by George Will on "free range parenting," and the legal trouble parents of "free range kids" can find themselves in. Those of us in Generation X and older would definitely have seen our parents in jail for letting us have the freedom we had, and the ironic thing is that statistically children are much safer than our cultural expectations would have you believe.

There is a role for the state in ensuring children are not neglected, but where that line should be drawn is not always clear. That said, the state should not be micromanaging parental choices in how much independence they give their children. In the vast majority of cases, the civil magistrate should defer to parental authority.

♣ The horror of prison rape continues, and the New York Times' account of Joshua Zollicoffer's treatment in prison is just awful. Government at all levels needs to do more to protect the inmates in their care. While the federal government's efforts to bring states into compliance with the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act does raise overreach concerns, the feds do have an interest in making sure prisoners even in state prisons get equal protection under the law as required by the Fourteenth Amendment.

♣ The idea of a bad cop registry is a good one, but it is unusual for a libertarian to be advocating that the federal government create and/or maintain the database. The federal government does not have the authority under the Constitution to create such a program. States, however, can cooperate to improve the hiring practices in police departments and keep bad apples from getting hired in the first place.