Erika Eichelberger

Erika Eichelberger

Reporter

Erika Eichelberger is a reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. She has also written for The NationThe Brooklyn Rail, and TomDispatch. Email her at eeichelberger [at] motherjones [dot] com. 

Get my RSS |

4 House Members Slam College's Anti-Israel Event

| Sat Feb. 2, 2013 2:29 PM EST

A scholar and a political commentator are about to let fly to some very, very dangerous speech at a New York college next week. It's so dangerous, in fact, that four Democratic members of Congress are getting involved.

Next Thursday, Brooklyn College's political science department and the student group Students for Justice in Palestine are scheduled to hold a panel discussion with philosopher Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian political analyst, on something called "BDS." BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, the controversial international movement that pushes to get Israel to withdraw its settlements from the Palestinian territories by boycotting Israeli products, divesting from Israeli industries, and imposing sanctions.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Good News for People Who Like Guns and Vacation Homes

| Thu Jan. 31, 2013 11:19 AM EST

Second Amendment alert: New York is preventing Americans with second, third, and fourth homes in the state from obtaining pistol and revolver licenses—and a federal appeals court opinion issued Tuesday suggested this might violate the Constitution.

The case involves a man named Alfred G. Osterweil who owns a vacation home in Summit, NY, and who was denied a handgun permit in the state because his formal residence is in Louisiana. A local judge said this was okay because New York law only allows licenses for full-time residents, and argued that this did not violate the Second Amendment because it's more like a regulation than an outright ban. (An outright ban would be unconstitutional.) He held that it is in the state's interest to "monitor… its hand gun licensees to ensure their continuing fitness for the use of deadly weapons," the opinion said. If Osterweil is out of state for much of the year, the argument goes, New York can't keep tabs on whether he is a law-abiding citizen or a mass murderer.

Is Obama's Wall Street Cop Pick as Tough as She Seems?

| Fri Jan. 25, 2013 2:36 PM EST

Mary Jo White, Obama's new nominee to head a key financial regulatory agency, has quite a reputation: Sen. Chuck Schumer has called her "tough as nails," and when the president announced the pick yesterday, he warned, "You don't want to mess with Mary Jo." But when it comes to policing the big banks, is she really such a hard nose?

Many financial reformers are psyched the president chose White, the first female US attorney in Manhattan, to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the federal agencies that oversees financial markets. They say that choosing someone with fierce prosecutorial experience and success in cracking down on white-collar crime signals Obama's intention to follow through on the liberal agenda he laid out in his inauguration speech Monday, and keep banks on a tight leash. At the same time, though, White has also defended Wall Street execs in private practice, and has the backing of big shots on the Street.

It's Not Illegal To Buy a Gun for a Criminal

| Thu Jan. 24, 2013 11:48 AM EST

Want to buy an AR-15 for a friend who happens to be in a Mexican drug cartel? The way gun laws stand right now, you can: It's not illegal to purchase guns for a criminal. And federal laws surrounding gun trafficking across the border are notoriously weak. Legislation that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) unveiled Wednesday would help fix that.

The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), strengthens laws governing the "straw purchase" of firearms, or the buying of guns or ammunition for someone who is prohibited from owning one. Under current law, it is only a crime to transfer a firearm to someone else with the knowledge that the person will use it in a crime. So prosecutors usually cobble together "paperwork" violations such as lying on federal forms in order to bring charges against a straw purchaser. Leahy's bill prohibits weapons transfers in which the transferor has "reasonable cause to believe" that the firearm will be used in criminal activity, and sets up heavy penalties for doing so.

Thu Jul. 31, 2014 8:06 PM EDT
Fri Jul. 18, 2014 12:32 PM EDT
Thu Jul. 3, 2014 11:18 AM EDT
Thu May. 15, 2014 10:58 AM EDT
Fri May. 9, 2014 12:59 PM EDT
Fri Apr. 4, 2014 12:04 PM EDT
Fri Feb. 7, 2014 1:05 PM EST
Thu Feb. 6, 2014 7:00 AM EST
Thu Jan. 9, 2014 9:05 AM EST
Thu Dec. 19, 2013 10:31 AM EST