Jack Denton is a contributing writer at Pacific Standard. He was previously a producer for The Brian Lehrer Show, a news-and-politics talk show on New York Public Radio, and a reporter for Solitary Watch. His work has also been featured on Gothamist and Impose Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
Will the Supreme Court Use Bridgegate to Further Kneecap Anti-Corruption Laws?
Since the '80s, the court has shown a willingness to decriminalize dirty politics. Will Bridget Anne Kelly be the next to get off?
Freedom Fries, Miracle Molecules, and the Politics of American Language
The Department of Energy recently tried to rebrand natural gas as "molecules of U.S. freedom," continuing a long tradition of industry-inspired government propaganda.
Is Landmarking a Tool of Gentrification or a Bulwark Against It?
From YIMBYs to NIMBYs, the Strand's recent historic preservation is a Rorschach test for activists of many stripes. Who's right?
A Generation of Hip-Hop Was Given Away for Free. Can It Be Archived?
They won't be lost to fire, like much of the Universal Music catalog, but who will save the mixtapes?
Are Racist Yearbook Photos Protected Student Speech?
Decisions in Illinois and North Carolina to reprint yearbooks with white nationalist photos have prompted a First Amendment debate.
New Tech Is Fundamentally Changing the Power Balance Between Police and the Public
The NYC subway saboteur gazed into the surveillance state. What looked back?
Archiving Grief Five Years After the Isla Vista Attacks
A misogyny-fueled killing spree spurred reams of news coverage. Now an online archive aims to allow a community to tell its own story of grief.
Sex Strikes Have a Long and Controversial History as a Tool of Women's Protest
Alyssa Milano's proposal was unpopular, but the practice of sex strikes goes back to the dawn of humanity.
Who's Legally Responsible for Prison and Jail Suicides?
Lawsuits used to be a path to prison reform, but they're now an uphill battle for prisoners and their families.
What Does Chalking Tires Have to Do With the Fourth Amendment?
A court ruled meter maids are conducting searches without warrants, reflecting a shift from a privacy-based conception of rights to a property-based one.
Talking Barr's Redactions of the Mueller Report With the 'Yoda of Official Secrecy'
The attorney general will add four categories of redactions to the special counsel's report on Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Can each be challenged?
Barry Bonds, Martha Stewart, and Donald Trump: Obstructing What?
There's historical precedent for prosecuting obstruction of justice without proving an underlying crime.
Millions of Mosque Shooting Videos Were Uploaded to Facebook. Who's to Blame?
Facebook and YouTube rushed to remove violent videos. An expert discusses why we need a "reckoning" for online content moderation.
Growing Up on Social Media, We Learned About Ourselves. Facebook Learned More.
A Facebook event planned seven years in advance became observational comedy about the weird geography of a world built by Palo Alto coders.
Your Boss Can't Ask How Many Testicles You Have. Why Can NFL Coaches?
A cornerback prospect was reportedly asked about his private parts at the NFL combine. Does anti-discrimination law cover the NFL?
Does the First Amendment Protect Vanity License Plates and Bumper Stickers?
Dave Assman's attempt to get his last name on a Canadian plate has thrust the question back into the United States spotlight.
Russia Is Planning to Unplug From the Internet. Here's Why.
Welcome to the return of Internet nationalism.
When Schools Increase Police Presence, Minority Students Are Harmed Disproportionately
Research indicates that new security measures implemented after Parkland are not making students safer.
Why Does the Bubonic Plague Still Exist Today? The Answer Could Be in the Soil.
Last month, a third cat in Wyoming was diagnosed with the plague, two years after a massive outbreak in Madagascar. Are amoebas or rodents to blame?
Was Apple's Failure to Promptly Alert Its Customers About the FaceTime Bug Illegal?
A law professor explains New York's probe into Apple's response to the bug and the difference between privacy and security issues under consumer-protection regulations.
Insurers Could End Football. It Won't Be the First Industry They've Transformed.
With CTE lawsuits mounting, the NFL can’t find a general-liability insurer to cover head injuries. Fraternities and police departments have faced similar problems.
Icebergs of Fat, Oil, and Grease Are Growing in the Sewers Beneath Our Feet. Here's Why.
Thanks to wasteful sanitation habits, so-called "fatbergs" have increased in recent years—costing taxpayers in cities around the world a small fortune.
Want to Be Buried At Sea? Get a Good Lawyer First.
A botched ocean funeral caused chaos in the Netherlands last week, but across the globe, sea burials are on the rise.
The Weird History of Unorthodox Sentencing in the U.S.
A man convicted in an illegal, multi-year deer poaching scheme, was sentenced to watch Bambi once a month. While the punishment is certainly unique, the methodology isn't.
Inside an Idaho Homeowners Association's Frosty War Over One Resident's Lurid Christmas Pageant
A federal jury awarded $75,000 to a couple after their homeowners association tried to prevent them from putting on a week-long Christmas extravaganza. It's a rare loss for homeowners associations, which usually have a broad authority for Grinchiness.
How the Wisconsin Legislature's Power Grab Could Affect Pardons
If the package is signed into law, Scott Walker's unforgiving clemency legacy could continue.
Is the Trolley Problem Derailing the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars?
Pacific Standard spoke with a philosopher who's trying to code ethical algorithms into autonomous vehicles.
Does Vezt Provide Songwriters With Their Business Model of the Future?
Vezt trumpets itself as the savior of the struggling performer. But can the fledgeling start-up help artists get by? And can the company itself survive long enough to find out?
The Eruption of Illegal Weed Dispensaries in L.A. Is a Problem of the City's Own Making
Unlicensed dispensaries have been popping up throughout Los Angeles at a rapid clip, and now dwarf their licensed counterparts in number.
An Information Scientist Talks Media Literacy, Political Memes, and the Value of Librarians
Alison Head, a co-author of a new report on the media habits of almost 6,000 college students, explains why news consumption has become an arduous task for younger generations.
Party Lines: Tracking Gerrymandering Cases State by State
Recent court challenges to politically motivated redistricting have yielded several decisions not to decide.
Music Copyright Law Is Finally Out of the Analog Age
The Musical Works Modernization Act, which brings changes to digital music royalties and copyright privileges, was signed into law last week.
Meet the Grassroots Organizers Trying to Keep the Olympics Out of Los Angeles
NOlympics LA, an effort led by members of the Democratic Socialists of America, says the city's bid to host the Olympics in 2028 will ultimately damage and displace its most vulnerable populations.
'What Was Originally a Temporary Plan Got Kind of Comfortable': One Man's Experience Being Homeless in California
Pacific Standard writer Jack Denton speaks with a childhood friend about the daily realities of living without a home.
For Los Angeles' Homeless, Fears Persist of a 'Cruel and Pistol-Happy' Police Force
Despite a federal court ruling that reinforces the rights of the homeless, Skid Row residents live in fear of losing what little they have.
The Communications Director of the California Democratic Party Explains the In-N-Out Boycott Controversy
We spoke with John Vigna about the boycott that wasn't, social media headaches, and the post-2016 politicization of everything.
What Is the Satanic Temple, and How Did a Goat-Headed Statue End Up at the Arkansas State Capitol?
The non-theistic religious organization has challenged Christian dominance in governmental action across the nation for years.
A Shooting at a Newspaper in Maryland Leaves at Least Five Dead
A lone gunman burst into the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday, shooting and killing five newspaper employees and "gravely injuring" several more.
Breaking Down the Supreme Court's Inaction on Gerrymandering
Stanford political scientist Bruce Cain offers his thoughts on redistricting commissions and Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.
Objects That Matter: Taxidermy
Arsenic was long a preservative in the taxidermic process, despite criticism of the method as unnecessarily dangerous. But at least one contemporary scholar has suggested that metabolized arsenic extended the lives of late 19th-century taxidermists by decades.
A 'White Civil Rights Rally' Will Be Held in Washington, D.C.
The National Park Service has approved plans for a "white civil rights rally" to be held across from the White House on the anniversary of the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally.
The Trump Administration Will Build a 'Tent City' to House Migrant Children
This temporary housing in a rural patch of West Texas will hold the seized immigrant children that cannot fit in existing shelters.