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May 232014

Keen, have you ever heard of a situation where a parent, no matter how good a job he’s done of raising his kid, finds himself in a situation where the kid’s done something really bad and it’s become necessary to put your hand on the kid’s shoulder to make the point just how bad this is? That little pressure of your palm next to his neck is in both your minds an extreme physical measure, compared with the talkings-to you’ve administered in the past and you both know it. It’s as close as you’ll ever come to hitting the kid but, again, in your minds, things have come to the pretty pass that made it exigent you make your point.

Now, what about the kids of people who aren’t nearly the good parent you are? We’re surrounded by them, other people’s kids, and can you deny that it seems like many don’t listen to anything but a good smack in the kisser because that’s either the way they were raised or that’s just the way some people seem to be.

Okay, so much, for now, for not hitting people; what about whose stuff is whose?

You were born, probably, in the ’50s; you don’t say and it’s not really important exactly when. Presumably, you were born in this country or raised here; you don’t say and, again, it’s not important. It’s likely, though, that some time after you started to walk, your parents told you not to play in the street. (Maybe they even smacked you one time when you didn’t listen.) It wasn’t until years later, maybe, that you wondered how that street got there?

It’s not a natural outcropping, Keen.

Somebody put it there and that somebody was us, way back when. An integral part of our parents’ parents agreeing to get together and live was fixing up the place so it was livable. Streets and roads were early on the list as were places to do the public business. Places, you know, like courts? Like the Supreme Court, where you beat Waubaunsee County when they messed with you? Streets and roads and public buildings and lots of other things situated on land that, in a large number of cases, was somebody else’s stuff. It doesn’t take a lawyer or nuclear physicist to figure out that somebody had to give (or get smacked) and the world’s full of stories of givers who didn’t take kindly to the notion. Guys just like you.

Now, instead of typing forever on what could turn into a long, philosophical rambling about all of this stuff, I’m going to stop and ask you: unless each and every person in the state thinks and acts just like you and is as smart as you are (at least), what makes you think that you’ll ever get things working the way you want–short of having yourself appointed dictator?

Your libertarianism, how is getting that to work going to be any less insurmountable a problem than the one the Communists faced in Russia almost 100 years ago and how’s it going to turn out any better, in practice, when you have to concede that mere changes in government form or economic form, imposed on a populace that hasn’t changed an iota, are doomed?

I can guarantee you that when you come to take my stuff, I resist and you smack me, I’m not going to like it.

Read more:
Letter: Give Libertarians a look



Supreme Court refuses to hear case against NSA
http://www.youtube.com/user/espanolnoticiass The National Security Agency is defending itself in court this week. A US District Court judge in Washington, DC…

By: 2014 Cartoon Channel

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Supreme Court refuses to hear case against NSA – Video



Free speech case starts in Ohio, heads to Supreme Court
CINCINNATI (WKRC) — The Supreme Court expresses doubts about the constitutionality of an Ohio law that bars people from making false statements about candidates during a political campaign….

By: LOCAL 12

See the rest here:
Free speech case starts in Ohio, heads to Supreme Court – Video

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the Supreme Court like nearly every other major institution of American governance is in serious trouble.

After a string of high-profile decisions that split cleanly along partisan lines, the courts reputation for honesty, integrity and a high-minded remove from the ugly world of partisan politics is eroding, with consequences that could extend far beyond its hallowed walls. Politically, ours isan increasingly polarizedera,and as the court has shown itself to be far from immune to the ideological pressures that have brought so much of the federal government to a grinding halt, some worry that Americans belief in and respect for the rule of law could be the ultimate victim.

Its because of this context that a recent study from political science and law professor Lee Epstein (along with two colleagues) that examined Supreme Court justices rulings on free speech cases has earned so much attention. Epstein and her fellow researchers examined more than 50 years worth of Supreme Court rulings on free speech and reached a conclusion that is at once unsurprising anddeeply troubling: Justices tend to be far more sympathetic to free speech when the speech in question aligns with their ideological beliefs.

Hoping to better understand the study as well as learn the identities of the worst free speech hypocrites on the current court Salon spoke this week with Epstein. The interview can be found below, and has been slightly edited for clarity and length.

How did you conduct this study, and what are its chief findings?

We looked at all First Amendment cases involving expression And what we did was we coded the outcome of the case, whether the courts then favored the First Amendment or not, and then we looked at the speaker the nature of the speech and looked at whether it was a liberal speaker or conservative speaker. Then we controlled for a whole bunch of other variables that could detect outcomes in First Amendment cases, but we were really interested in the ideology of the speaker.

The essential finding is that liberal justices tend to vote in favor of expression when its a liberal speaker and conservative justices tend to vote in favor of expression when its a conservative speaker.

Was the effect of the ideological preference equal on both sides or was one side more susceptible that than the other?

It was actually pretty equivalent Liberals, on the whole, are more supportive of expression. Thats true. But in terms of the bias, its significant for both the liberals and the conservatives. Now, if you look at the current court its clear that the conservatives are more extreme [in their bias] than the liberals.

Was there any member of the current court whose bias was more pronounced than was the case for the other eight?

More here:
Scalias free speech hypocrisy: What a new study proves about his bias

Lois Lerner, former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division at the Internal Revenue Service, exercises her Fifth Amendment Right against self incrimination during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill on March 5. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner can breathe a small sigh of relief: as of now, the House has no plans to arrest her in an effort to compel her to testify about the agency’s undue scrutiny of certain tax-exempt groups.

The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress last week for her repeated refusal to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The charge against her stems from an opening statement she made in a hearing last year declaring her innocence before invoking her Fifth Amendment right. Republicans say that by delivering her opening statement, she waived her rights against self-incrimination.

Despite the contempt charge, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says it’s up to Attorney General Eric Holder – not the House – to take the next steps.

“The contempt charge has gone to the attorney general and its up to the attorney general, Eric Holder, to prosecute this and to assign someone to prosecute the case. Now will he do it? We don’t know. But the ball is in his court,” Boehner said over the weekend in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Boehner said a provision allowing the House to make its own arrest has “never been used and I’m not sure it’s an appropriate way to go about this. It’s up to Eric holder to do his job.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel clarified that the speaker was referring to the modern era, because the House did at one time enforce its own contempt findings.

The Supreme Court has twice upheld the House’s authority to arrest and even imprison people through a process called “inherent contempt.” A 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) found several instances in which Congress would dispatch the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the person being held in contempt. They would stand trial before the House, be given counsel, found guilty, and then penalized with arrest or a fine.

“Inherent contempt has the distinction of not requiring the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judicial branches. The House or Senate can, on its own, conduct summary proceedings and cite the offender for contempt,” the report found.

But the practice hasn’t been used since 1935, in part because imprisonment for refusing to comply with a subpoena cannot extend past the current session of Congress, and also because the process has been described as “unseemly,” cumbersome, time-consuming and ineffective in the modern era.

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No plans to arrest Lois Lerner, John Boehner says

The Supreme Court unwisely declined to review Drake v. Jerejian, last week, a case that challenged New Jerseys discretionary system of concealed-carry permitting.

By denying review, the Court failed to resolve a nationwide split about the meaning of the Second Amendment.

Eventually, the Court will have to face the issue and decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individuals right to keep and bear arms.

Both Heller and McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings.

In 2008, in the landmark case of D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Eventually, the Court will have decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individuals right to keep and bear arms.

Later, in 2010s McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects citizens from not just federal prohibitions, as Heller said, but also from state and municipal prohibitions.

Since that time, the Court has not heard another Second Amendment case. Both Hellerand McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings. The Supreme Court needs to clear up the uncertainty.

Gun controllers in cities and states across the country are taking advantage of that uncertainty to test the limits of gun control. After McDonald struck down Chicagos de factogun ban, the city created a restrictive permit system requiring one hour of range training. But the city also banned gun ranges. The Seventh Circuit struck down the ban on ranges.

More recently, a judge struck down Chicagos ban on virtually all sales and transfers within the city because the Second Amendment right must also include the right toacquirea firearm.

See the rest here:
Guns and Supreme Court: Is Second Amendment a Privilege, Not a Right?

May 112014

Published: Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9:00p.m. Updated 12 hours ago

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ argument about fixing the Second Amendment ( Fix the 2nd Amendment with 5 words ) rests on false premises.

First is that Newtown and other killing sprees could be curbed by more gun laws. Cities where strict gun laws coincide with high murder rates contradict this.

Second is that state legislatures have a valid power to infringe the people’s right to bear arms. No, because the Second Amendment, as applied to the states by the 14th Amendment, prohibits this.

The right of self-defense is an inherent human right that is not granted by government; it precedes government. The Second Amendment protects a right that exists by natural law.

Finally, the right of the people to arm themselves against tyrants cannot be regulated by the would-be tyrants. Notice that it is usually the party of big government that seeks to disarm the people.

Brad Tupi

Upper St. Clair

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Flawed argument I

PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES LEGAL FORMS ASK A LAWYER

‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’

To pass muster under the Fourth Amendment, detention must be ‘reasonable. ‘ See U.S. v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 542-44 (’85) (analyzing constitutionality of length of traveler’s border detention under Fourth Amendment reasonableness standard); Caban, 728 F.2d at 75 (considering whether duration of border detention without a hearing was reasonable).

In the context of a criminal arrest, a detention of longer than 48 hours without a probable cause determination violates the Fourth Amendment as a matter of law in the absence of a demonstrated emergency or other extraordinary circumstance. See County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 111 S.Ct. 1661, 670 (’91). However, the Supreme Court arrived at this rule by considering the time it takes to complete administrative steps typically incident to arrest. See id.

Unreasonable Searches And Seizures.

Non-consensual extraction of blood implicates Fourth Amendment privacy rights. Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Ass’n, 489 U.S. 602, 16 (’89) (‘this physical intrusion, penetrating beneath the skin, infringes [a reasonable] expectation of privacy’); Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 67 (’66) (compulsory blood test ‘plainly involves the broadly conceived reach of a search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment’).’ ‘[f]or the Fourth Amendment does not proscribe all searches and seizures, but only those that are unreasonable.’ Skinner, 489 U.S. at 619; accord Vernonia School Dist. 47J v. Acton, No. 95-590, 1995 WL 373274, at *3 (June 26,’95) (‘the ultimate measure of the constitutionality of a governmental search is `reasonableness”). A search’s reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment generally depends on whether the search was made pursuant to a warrant issued upon probable cause. U.S. v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 701 (’83).

Even in the law enforcement context, the State may interfere with an individual’s Fourth Amendment interests with less than probable cause and without a warrant if the intrusion is only minimal and is justified by law enforcement purposes. E.g., Michigan State Police Dept v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 450 (’90); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 (’68).

The gathering of fingerprint evidence from ‘free persons’ constitutes a sufficiently significant interference with individual expectations of privacy that law enforcement officials are required to demonstrate that they have probable cause, or at least an articulable suspicion, to believe that the person committed a criminal offense and that the fingerprinting will establish or negate the person’s connection to the offense. See Hayes v. Florida, 470 U.S. 811, 813-18 (’85); Davis v. Mississippi, 394 U.S. 721, 726-28 (’69).

Nevertheless, everyday ‘booking’ procedures routinely require even the merely accused to provide fingerprint identification, regardless of whether investigation of the crime involves fingerprint evidence. See Smith v. U.S., 324 F.2d 879, 882 (D.C. Cir.’63) (Burger, J.) (‘it is elementary that a person in lawful custody may be required to submit to . . . fingerprinting . . . as part of the routine identification processes’); Napolitano v. U.S., 340 F.2d 313, 314 (1st Cir.’65) (‘Taking fingerprints [prior to bail] is universally standard procedure, and no violation of constitutional rights.’). Thus, in the fingerprinting context, there exists a constitutionally significant distinction between the gathering of fingerprints from free persons to determine their guilt of an unsolved criminal offense and the gathering of fingerprints for identification purposes from persons within the lawful custody of the state.

Although the drawing of blood from free persons generally requires a warrant supported by probable cause to believe that a person has committed a criminal offense and that his blood will reveal evidence relevant to that offense, see Schmerber, 384 U.S. at 768-71; U.S. v. Chapel, ___ F.3d ___, slip op. at 5753-54 (9th Cir.’95) (en banc), the absence of such a warrant does not a fortiori establish a violation of the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights.

Read more from the original source:

Fourth Amendment Defined & Explained – Law

Editors note: Bill Wagnon is a Washburn University emeritus professor of history. He argues that the Brown ruling helped American conversations on freedom move forward.

Why Brown?

The U.S. Supreme Court decision of 60 years ago held that legally separating races was inherently unequal. Segregation vitiated the 1776 promise that all men are created equal. As such the Brown v. Board of Education case was a critical benchmark in Americas enduring struggle over freedom. The story of America since its founding has been one of freedoms rebirth, again and again.

One thread of that story was spun from the tri-racial makeup of its people. Euro-Americans, the white majority, held African-American, blacks, to be inferior as a justification for enslaving them, while pushing Native-Americans, reds, onto reservations. Thus race qualified which men enjoyed the freedom of equality.

The aspirations of blacks to be free from slavery gained ground as some whites developed sympathy for their cause with the emergence of the abolition movement in the 1830s. The question of whether slavery would expand or wither became the central issue of the 1850s. Kansass nativity transpired amidst that preoccupation. The triumph of the free-state cause would harken the end to American slavery with the onslaught of civil war.

Despite the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent constitutional amendments to prohibit slavery, guarantee equal protection under the law, and the vote for black males, the power of racial distinction continued to qualify equal. It became enshrined in law when the US Supreme Court issued its 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision allowing racial separation. Now segregation or Americas brand of apartheid would permit treating blacks as a distinct class from whites in the guarantees of equality.

Despite its free-state heritage, Kansas permitted segregating races in major cities at the common school level. Its practice in Topeka generated discontent among its black residents that led to the Brown case. Similar discontent had been stirred across the South in the wake of Nazi racial practices and the Soviet Unions communist critique of American racial segregation. In consolidating these numbers of cases challenging school segregation, the US Supreme Court reconsidered its Plessy precedent. In 1954 it would find that separation was inherently unequal, removing a critical qualifier to the meaning of equality. American freedom would once again experience a new birth, a process realized by the civil rights movement.

The Brown decision envisioned a fulfillment of the American promise of 1776. It moved the conversation about freedom beyond race. The thread of race would weaken as the nation recognized that limits also proscribed the freedom of women, Native Americans and other ethnics, and took measures to remove them. Discrimination would no longer be permitted in law or popular culture. Even the most superficial comparison of the popular culture of the first half of the 20th Century with that of today would recognize a sea change in the thread of race. With Brown the power of race declined, enabling the United States to adjust to the forces of globalization more easily. Whereas the origins of America unfolded amidst the interaction of three races, multiculturalism of the global society has rendered race less compelling. However the struggle over freedom continues, now social and economic class is the principle challenge to the meaning of equality and limitations on freedom.

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Legacy of Brown: Ruling in court case reshaped freedom



Campaign Money “Free Speech” Ripped By Retired Justice
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens criticized the recent Supreme Court ruling on unlimited campaign contributions in a rare public appearance on…

By: TheLipTV

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Campaign Money "Free Speech" Ripped By Retired Justice – Video

Originally published May 7, 2014 at 7:05 PM | Page modified May 8, 2014 at 12:02 AM

History, politics and law are all tangled up in contemporary court interpretations and public understanding of the Second Amendment, and politics is the greater part of the mix these days.

Last week, I wrote that weve so misread the amendment that maybe we ought to get rid of it. Thats certainly not on the horizon, but the idea drew a strong response and suggested to me that a review of the amendments history might be helpful. (Some of the responses also reinforced my belief there are many people who should not be allowed anywhere near a gun. What does racist name calling have to do with gun rights anyway?)

One theme that ran through comments supportive of unrestricted gun-ownership rights was that it is necessary for individuals to own guns to protect themselves against both crime and the U.S. government, and that the framers of the Constitution intended for the amendment to protect that individual right.

Thats a new way of reading the amendment.

I heard from Michael Schein, an attorney who handles appeals and who taught American legal history for 15 years at the University of Puget Sound and Seattle University.

Dont blame the framers, he wrote. For 217 years, the law under the 2nd Amendment was that it only protected possession or use of a firearm by well-regulated militia forces. … It contained no right of personal self-defense until 2008, when the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote brought that interpretation to its ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which limited the Districts gun-regulation law.

Wednesday I called Schein, and we talked about the amendments history and current interpretation. Its heavily politicized and wrapped up in peoples emotions, so its difficult to get to the facts underlying it in any objective way, he said.

The Constitution was written to create a more effective federal government, but some people worried the government would trample on the rights of states and individuals. The Bill of Rights was intended to mollify them and make ratification of the Constitution possible. Some were particularly concerned that the federal government would form a standing army, and they wanted assurances that state militias would be in a position to fight against such an army if it came to that.

James Madison was tasked with drafting the amendments. Some of the states had asked for a personal right in one amendment, but he didnt include that. Instead he used a version of Virginia law that dealt with militias.

See original here:
Second Amendment in real time boils down to politics



Screw the First Amendment | We cant let people pray?
Screw the First Amendment | We cant let people pray? Recently the Supreme Court ruled that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer. Some want to claim…

By: TheShowThatSUX

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Screw the First Amendment | We cant let people pray? – Video

Though it might insult police officers and make them want to pull him over, a New Hampshire man’s car could soon be sporting a license plate reading COPSLIE.

David Montenegro, whose legal name is “human,” sued the states Division of Motor Vehicles after officials rejected his vanity license plate application on the grounds that it accused police officers of “moral turpitude.” Citing DMV rules, the officials said COPSLIE was offensive to the good taste of a reasonable person.

On Wednesday, New Hampshires top court struck down the DMV’s good taste standard as vague and in violation of the state constitution’s free speech clause because itallows for arbitrary and discriminatory decisions.

Because the offensive to good taste standard is not susceptible of objective definition, the restriction grants DMV officials the power to deny a proposed vanity registration plate because it offends particular officials subjective idea of what is good taste, the New Hampshire Supreme Court wrote in a 5-0 decision.

The ruling included definitions from Websters Third New International Dictionary and said that the definitions opened the doors to several interpretations of the regulation.

One such interpretation could be that no vanity registration plates are allowed that are insulting to the standard of morality or virtue of individual preference,’ the court wrote. This reading alone demonstrates the arbitrariness of determining whether a vanity registration plate is offensive to good taste.

Montenegro, the name used in court documents, challenged the DMV after they rejected COPSLIE but issued him one of his backup choices, “GR8GOVT.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, which supported Montenegro, said the case was an important victory for free speech rights.

It reaffirmed that the basic principle that a law that delegates to government officials the power to accept or deny speech based on their own views is unconstitutional, Gilles Bissonnette, a staff attorney, told the Los Angeles Times.

I dont think most people fight for their free speech rights, so ‘human’ should be commended for bringing this to the Supreme Court, Bissonnette said.

Continued here:
'COPSLIE' license plate is protected by free speech, court rules



Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Major Second Amendment Case
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Major Second Amendment Case.

By: Narayan Solanki

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Major Second Amendment Case – Video



NaMo on Financial Freedom for Women || Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar
New Delhi: In a move that offers a new advantage to the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, a young woman has told the Supreme Court that she is “thankful” that the Gujarat…

By: JudgementDay16May2014

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NaMo on Financial Freedom for Women || Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar – Video

The US Supreme Court refused to take up a case over whether Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms in public. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, but states have enacted various laws governing gun ownership. John Drake, who operates an ATM business, was challenging a strict New Jersey state law that requires people wanting to carry a …

See original here:
US Supreme Court refuses to consider gun-rights case

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case that many analysts believed might have delivered another landmark Second Amendment decision expanding gun rights in the United States. It affirms lower court decisions upholding a New Jersey gun permit statute that critics say is too restrictive. The question in the case was whether the New Jersey gun regulation violated a fundamental …

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Strict N.J. rule on gun permits stands, as Supreme Court refuses case

While the media attention will focus on the Supreme Courts ruling inTown of Greece v. Galloway the legislative-prayer case the more interesting (and consequential) decision issued today was the Courts denial of review inDrake v. Jerejian, the Second Amendment case I previously discussed here. InDrake, the lower federal courts upheld an outrageous New Jersey law that denies the right to bear arms outside the home for self-defense just like the D.C. law at issue inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller denied the right to keep arms inside the home and today the Supreme Court let them get away with it.

Drake is but the latest in a series of cases that challenge the most restrictive state laws regarding the right to armed self-defense. Although the Supreme Court in Hellerdeclared that the Second Amendment protects an individual constitutional right, lower federal courts with jurisdiction over states like Maryland and New York have been willfully confused about the scope of that right, declining to protect it outsideHellers particular facts (a complete ban on functional firearms in the home).Its as if the Supreme Court announced that the First Amendment protects an individual right to blog about politics from your home computer, but then some lower courts allowed states to ban political blogging from your local Starbucks.

Yet each time, the Supreme Court has denied review.

New Jerseys is perhaps the most egregious restriction. In the Garden State, local law enforcement officials have full discretion to grant or deny a license to carry a firearm, which they may issue only if the applicant can prove a justifiable need (which in practice means aspecific, immediate threat to ones safety that cant be avoided in any way other than through possession of a handgun). Then, even if a local police chiefapproves a carry permit, the application goes to a judge for a hearing, during which the local prosecutor can oppose the permit. And even if the would-be gun-owner can successfully run that gauntlet, she gets a permit for two years, at which point she must repeat the entire process.

The dual review by two different branches of government is unusually burdensome, to say the least, and distinguishes New Jerseys approach in addition to the extreme definition of justifiable need from every other permitting regime in the country.Can you imagine the exercise of any other constitutional right being handled this way?

The effect of this regulatory scheme is that virtually nobody in New Jersey can use a handgun to defend themselves outside their home. The state law inverts how fundamental rights are supposed to work that the government must justify restrictions, not the right-holder the exercise and apparently the Supreme Court has no problem with that.

The lower court in Drakeapplied a deferential review far from the heightened scrutiny normally due an individual right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It also assumed the legislatures good faith without requiring the state to show any evidence that a prohibitive-carry regime lowers the rate of gun crime, and excused what constitutional infringements the law causes because legislators acted beforeHellerclarified that the Second Amendment protected an individual right. To continue my previous analogy, its like a state law banning political blogging survived judicial review because the definitive Supreme Court ruling finding an individual right to political blogging didnt come down till after the state law was enacted.

What kind of a bizarro world are we living in where this is ok?

In Catos amicus brief inDrake, we posed an alternate question presented (legalese for the issue that a brief asks a court to resolve):

Was this Court serious in District of Columbia v. Heller when it ruled that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms?

Read the rest here:
Supreme Court Wasnt Serious about the Second Amendment

The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a New Jersey law that requires a justifiable need to carry a handgun in public, sidestepping a dispute over the scope of the Constitutions gun-rights protections.

The justices today turned away an appeal by four New Jersey residents and two organizations, which said the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a weapon for self-defense. A federal appeals court upheld the New Jersey measure.

The high court hasnt taken up a gun-rights case since 2010, repeatedly rejecting appeals centering on the Second Amendments reach outside the home.

The Supreme Court has shown no interest in returning to the Second Amendment over the past few years, said Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law and the author of a book on the history of the gun-rights battle. The justices may be indicating a reluctance to expand Second Amendment rights in the wake of recent mass shootings, he said.

New Jersey is one of seven states that require an applicant to show a special need to get a permit to carry a handgun. That group includes California, whose rules are now before a federal appeals court, and New York, whose law the justices left intact a year ago.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry weapons for the purpose of self-defense — not just for self-defense within the home but for self-defense, period, the National Rifle Association argued in a brief backing the appeal.

Many states have relaxed their public-possession restrictions in recent years. In 1981, just three — Maine, Washington and Vermont — let ordinary residents carry firearms in public without giving a reason.

In upholding the New Jersey law on a 2-1 vote, the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the measure was valid even if the Second Amendment applies outside the home. The appeals court pointed to a passage in a 2008 Supreme Court decision that said some longstanding gun restrictions were presumptively lawful.

The panel said New Jersey has had the justifiable need standard in some form since 1924.

New Jerseys legislature, long ago, made the predictive judgment that widespread carrying of handguns in public would not be consistent with public safety because of the inherent danger it poses, New Jersey officials, led by Acting Attorney General John Hoffman, argued in court papers that urged the court to reject the appeal.

Originally posted here:
New Jersey Gun-Carrying Limit Left Intact by High Court

May 052014

Two cheers for the New York state unions which are standing up for political free speech even if they may be doing so for less than noble reasons.

In a recent interview with Crains New York, Gov. Cuomo blamed the collapse of his plans for a statewide system of public financing for campaigns on the unions. He said Senate Republicans came to him and said theyd sign on, provided big Democrat donors and unions agreed not to support independent campaign committees i.e., the Super PACs.

So Cuomo went to organized labor with this offer: You want to pass public finance, just agree that you wont do independent-expenditure committees.

The union response? No way.

And why should they? Until the Supreme Court started loosening the caps on individuals, the unions enjoyed a huge advantage in funding these independent expenditure committees. And they believe the limits Gov. Cuomo proposed would hurt their ability to get their message out.

We share that concern. Our problem with all these proposed limits is that they infringe on our First Amendment speech rights. Why shouldnt the unions be allowed every opportunity to get their message out? And why shouldnt everyone else individuals, businesses and organizations of every view have the same opportunity?

Thats what the Supreme Court has been saying in multiple decisions on federal campaign giving. Thats what The Post wants, too: more speech instead of more regulation of speech.

For unions too.

Read this article:
Unions for free speech



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