Austin Berg

Austin Berg

Austin Berg | Illinois' fireworks ban is still law of the land

"[T]hey can't have a first-rate Fourth without a little noise and nonsense."

That's what long-gone Chicago newspaper The Inter Ocean editorialized on July 4, 1877, writing about its paperboys and the city's ban on fireworks.

"They envy the country boys who have no ... city ordinance to prohibit them from having a jolly time."

Austin Berg | How an Illinois mom set stage for Janus ruling

Despite how monumental they often are, the Supreme Court releases its decisions with little fanfare.

They are announced in the mornings, with more frequency in June and mostly on Mondays. Typically, a few boxes of copies are released for reporters to grab, including bloggers from SCOTUSblog, who then scramble to post updates.

That's how the rest of the world finds out.

Austin Berg | Vague eavesdropping law leaves too much room for abuse

Paul Boron is 13 years old. He's facing a felony eavesdropping charge that could change the course of the rest of his life.

Boron's story stands as another chapter of controversy surrounding an eavesdropping law ripe for abuse, and state lawmakers should take action to fix it.

Austin Berg | State-government watchdogs are still far too tame

The #MeToo movement is bringing about needed scrutiny of state government's self-policing in Illinois. A couple changes have even been signed into law. But there is much more to be done.

In fact, recent reforms highlight remaining absurdities under the dome.