Legal standards invoke the ‘reasonable person’. Who is it?

The 'reasonable person' represents someone who is both common and good.

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Countless legal standards ask what the 'reasonable person' would do. But who is this person?
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Is it time to decriminalize prostitution? Two New York bills answer yes in unique ways

One bill hopes to repeal the crime of selling sex and expand social services; the other would legalize the entire sex trade.

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  • Today in the majority of the United States, it is a crime to sell sex, buy it, or promote its sale.
  • The Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act would decriminalize prostitution in New York state while maintaining punitive measures against buyers and pimps.
  • Opponents suggest this law would only push the illegal sex trade further underground and seek full decriminalization for everyone involved.
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    What are the limits of free speech?

    7 scholars and legal experts dissect what you can and can't say in America.

    • The free speech debate typically happens at either end of a spectrum — people believe they should be able to say whatever they want, or they believe that certain things (e.g. hate speech) should be censored. Who is right, and who gets to decide?
    • While they acknowledge that speech is a powerful weapon that can cause infinite good and infinite harm, former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, sociologist Nicholas Christakis, author and skeptic Michael Shermer, and others agree that the principle should be defended for everyone, not just for those who share our views. "I'm not defending the Nazis," says Strossen, "I'm defending a principle that is especially important for those of us who want to have the freedom to raise our voices, to protest the Nazis and everything they stand for."
    • However, as Strossen and attorney Floyd Abrams point out, there have always been boundaries when it comes to free speech and the First Amendment. There are rules, established by the Supreme Court, meant to ensure that speech is not used to inflict "imminent, specific harm" on others.
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    Oregon decriminalizes drugs: Here are 3 metrics other states will track

    It's "the biggest blow to the war on drugs to date," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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    • Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
    • The state also legalized the therapeutic use and sale of psilocybin mushrooms.
    • As the laws go into effect, other U.S. states will be watching to see how the experiment plays out, influencing future votes across the country.
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    Why the US must break the grip of huge monopolies

    Monopolies wield an immense amount of economic and political power and influence. So what can we do to make the economy more equitable?

    • According to Vanderbilt law professor and author Ganesh Sitaraman, America has a monopoly problem—a problem that is almost universally acknowledged as such, yet little is done about it.
    • Sitaraman explains how monopolies of today share DNA with trusts of the 19th century, and how the increased concentration and consolidation of these corporations translates to increased power both economically and politically.
    • "We need to think about reinvigorating our anti-trust laws and the principles of anti-monopoly that gave spirit to those laws and to lots of other regulations," he argues. Restoring faith in government and the economy starts with dismantling the things that make people question its allegiances and priorities.
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