Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

obamacare and the Courts…

December 14, 2010

Basic instinct as well as simple logic reveal that the mandated purchase of a product, any product, exceeds the power and authority of government. Yet, as expected, courts are issuing different rulings concerning this abominous assault on the personal liberty and freedom of all Americans.

I can already hear it though; you are just too stupid to be able to understand things like this. It’s just too complicated for you. To that I reply that when laws are beyond the ken of the common man then they are unenforceable, and violate the principles of natural and common law.

Within a fortnight of each other, two federal judges in Virginia, relying on identical precedents and hearing carbon-copy arguments, issued diametrically opposed decisions on the constitutionality of the federal health-care overhaul.

Read side by side, the two rulings reveal strikingly divergent views of what the case is about—and suggest that the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will rest on which depiction best satisfies the Supreme Court.

Full Story HERE

So what next..? A Supreme Court ruling that will treat all of us as wayward children that are incapable of making our own decisions about life and death matters? If so, then what of Juries, and our entire system of laws?

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The Stolen Valor Act

October 11, 2010

The Stolen Valor Act was written with, and for the express purpose of punishing those people that make false claims about their military service, particularly such claims that claim combat decoration.

The law has been challenged, supposedly based upon free speech rights. I think that the real reason is that the damned posers that were convicted are not man enough to do the time for their crime.

Poser’s, don’t do anyone any good. I don’t care if you are an academic poser, such as those that use mail order degrees in order to gain an edge in employment. A Public Service poser, such as the idiots that claim to have been a Paramedic but in fact, barely passed Advanced First Aid… Then, we have those that embellish their actual service. Sometimes even when they did have a very good past in the military, but sullied it by making false claims. A Navel Veteran, that actually was a “River Rat” made claims that he had been a SEAL. Then, there are the real con artists. People that were never even near a military base but make all sorts of claims…

I think that all of the above, are dishonorable, and despicable, and, if used for social or monetary gain criminal.

Well, the Stolen Valor Act is going before the SCOTUS.

Read about that HERE.

These statements are just the tip of the iceberg…

August 22, 2010

Right before I left the biggest issue on the block was Elena Kagan. While the outcome was pretty much written in stone well before the confirmation vote took place it was an eye opener when it comes to just who really supports liberty and freedom in the Senate.

Dare we call it treason?

Elena Kagan: As more becomes known

May 12, 2010

Long before Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’s April 9 announcement that he will retire this June, legal observers had already picked a front-runner for the seat Stevens has occupied for 34 years: former Harvard Law School dean and current US Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

Kagan is seen as the politically wise choice for Democrats. Some legal and political observers say the moderate credentials that earned her quick congressional approval in 2009 for solicitor general — the government’s head lawyer and spokesperson before the Supreme Court — would translate into a relatively smooth Supreme Court confirmation. Having already approved her as SG, it would be difficult for congressional Republicans to oppose Kagan’s nomination and paint her as “outside the mainstream.”

But this focus on short-term political calculation obscures the most significant consideration. On matters of executive authority — where the judicial branch has been a vital bulwark against post-9/11 “war on terror” civil-liberties violations — Kagan’s record indicates an ideological departure from Justice Stevens, who authored watershed detainee-rights opinions and organized the five-justice majorities that struck down other Bush administration power grabs.

To be sure, attempting to assess a judicial philosophy, much less a justice’s evolution once on the bench, is difficult (see David Souter). And Kagan’s tight-lipped nature regarding her personal legal philosophy, coupled with a scant paper trail, doesn’t help. But if her record — the few clues she provided as an academic, and in her tenure thus far as SG — is any indication, she’s more likely to side with the conservative bloc on matters of executive power and war-time presidential authority.

Anti-hunting extremist organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) take it on the chin…again! :)

April 20, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision to Protect Hunting Media
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fairfax, Va. – Today the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal animal cruelty law so broadly written that it would criminalize the distribution of hunting videos and magazines under many circumstances. The 8-1 ruling in U.S. v Stevens is a big win for the National Rifle Association and hunters across America. A brief submitted by the NRA was cited in the majority’s opinion.

“The NRA condemns animal cruelty. However, hunting and depictions of hunting are not animal cruelty. This excessive law would have imposed felony penalties for creating, possessing or selling mainstream hunting images. Therefore, we are pleased that the Supreme Court ruled against this overbroad law,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Indeed, NRA publications like American Hunter, the largest-circulation all-hunting magazine in the world, could have been in jeopardy if this law was upheld.”

Anti-hunting extremist organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) were the primary advocates for the deliberately overreaching language in Congress and its defenders in Court. HSUS’s intentions should have been apparent from the beginning. Before becoming president of the organization, Wayne Pacelle said, “The definition of obscenity on the newsstands should be extended to many hunting magazines.” And, this is precisely what the law did.

“American hunters and sportsmen are our country’s true conservationists. It is offensive that those who work hardest for the preservation efforts of wildlife in this country are grouped with those who commit actual animal cruelty,” concluded Cox. “Fortunately, the Supreme Court chose the First Amendment over Pacelle’s radical agenda, and the overruling of this law prevents the unwarranted punishment of ethical hunters and outdoor media in the United States.”

SOURCE

And a special message for Wayne Pacelle and ; Although I no longer live in Colorado, the offer made to you there still stands. Please come to Wyoming and wear your deer suit during hunting season! It will be a blast!

Chi Town and Thuggery verses The People of America!

February 26, 2010

Back when the Heller vs D.C. ruling came down the masses were thrilled. I warned back then that this battle was far from over, as did Gun Owners of America, The N.R.A. and every other reputable group that supports the Bill of Rights.

The anti Liberty and Freedom crowd find themselves in a precarious position as I see it. They are claiming that local rule should prevail. That sounds a lot like a Tenth Amendment argument to me. In other words, they are talking out of both sides of their faces. Incorporation either works for everything or the entire theory falls apart at the seams.

The same people are also using the old, tired, and utterly stupid argument that firearms kill people. They don’t, people kill people.

Should Otis McDonald prevail I submit that while it would be a major step forward in the cause of Liberty and Freedom the battle will still be far from over. The Supreme Court has, after all affirmed that ex post facto law is not un-Constitutional which is beyond comprehension. If, in fact there is a “win.” You can bet that there will be wiggle room left for the purveyors of despotism to impose their agenda upon the unwashed that are the people that they Laird it over.

Full Story

GOA and GOF File Brief in Chicago Handgun Ban Case

December 18, 2009
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On Monday, November 23, 2009, Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of four Chicago residents seeking to invalidate a city ordinance prohibiting them from owning or possessing a handgun in their own home.

Just one year and ninth months previously, GOA and GOF filed a similar brief in support of a Washington, D.C. resident who was seeking relief from an almost identical city ordinance.

On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the D.C. ordinance was unconstitutional because an absolute ban on handgun ownership and possession “infringed” on the D.C. citizen’s right to keep and bear arms as secured by the Second Amendment.

“The question now before the Court is whether an American citizen who resides in Chicago, Illinois has the same right to keep or bear arms as the American citizen who resides in the District of Columbia,” said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt.

“Since both residents are American citizens, it seems logical that both ought to have the same rights,” Pratt said.

According to Heller, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms belongs to “all Americans.”  The current GOA brief, which is supported by seven other like-minded organizations, contends that this right extends to every American citizen without regard to state of residence.

That argument is based on the Fourteenth Amendment’s straightforward prohibition against any state that makes or enforces any law that “abridge[s] the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

By relying expressly on this “privileges and immunities” clause, the GOA brief urges the Court not to use a gun rights case to extend the power of the federal judiciary to impose its predilections upon the states in unrelated areas, such as business regulation and moral license.

Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation usually take the side that is against the federal government because it has become too big for its britches.  And the Chicago case is no exception from that policy and principle.

Thus, it bears repeating that the Supreme Court found in Heller that the very purpose of the unalienable right to keep and bear arms is to prevent “tyrants” from “taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents.”  To the Court’s credit, it saw that the D.C. ban on handguns was just the kind of regulation prohibited by the Second Amendment.  Thus, the Court ruled that the keeping of handguns for self-defense was a “central component of the right itself.”

Another successful outcome of GOA’s Heller brief was in countering the Bush Administration, which had asked the Court to use the D.C. case as a justification for all sorts of gun control.  GOA was pleased that the Justices heeded our admonition to limit the Court’s holding to the case before it, thus shooting down both the D.C. government and the Bush Administration in their quest to validate other firearms restrictions.

A brief like the one we are filing regarding the Chicago case is very expensive.  We constantly hear from gun owners that we need to be challenging gun bans in court, to counter the efforts of the Brady Bunch, the ACLU and other leftist organizations.

So won’t you please join us in this monumental battle with a special year-end contribution to help pay our expenses for this important effort?

You can donate to this worthy cause at http://www.gunowners.com/mcdonald.htm

Second Amendment: NJ Court Says No Right to Buy Handgun

October 31, 2009

So much for Heller vs D.C. When so many in the Freedom community crows about winning that case many, including myself cautioned that there were devils in the details. Indeed it would appear that the demons that lurked are more then raising their heads.

Courts across the nation, as well as SCOTUS, are a power unto themselves, and they are hell bent to destroy your rights across the board. Think about it. This, despite what is on the face of it, is not really about gun control. It is about controlling you. From the pre- Constitutional right to defend yourself and yours, to property rights, to unreasonable search and seizure, and beyond. This is all about power. The power of government.

Second Amendment: NJ Court Says No Right to Buy Handgun

“A New Jersey appeals court has concluded that Americans have no Second Amendment right to buy a handgun,” CBS News reports. “[T]he superior court upheld a state law saying that nobody may possess ‘any handgun’ without obtaining law enforcement approval and permission in advance.” Given that the Supreme Court ruled last year in DC v. Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” this ruling is a bit surprising. New Jersey Appellate Division Judge Stephen Skillman, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, said that Heller “has no impact upon the constitutionality of” the state law.

It’s true that the Supreme Court avoided some larger questions in Heller, even specifically saying that the ruling does “not address the licensing requirement.” However, the Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Based on our reading of that plain language, there’s nothing in there about permission from a court or law enforcement for particular arms. We hope the Supreme Court addresses this question when it hears McDonald v. Chicago, challenging Chicago’s handgun ban, later this year.

SOURCE

Butter or Guns?

October 7, 2009

Butter or guns? That question is a classic when you study economics. It involves just about everything, not just guns and butter though. It is about choices, called Opportunity Cost that you and I make everyday, and all of the time. However, when it strays into the realm of Political Economics? Strange things happen.

All too often we allow others to make personal judgments on our behalf when we should be doing the hard lifting ourselves.

Read on…

In the 1856 case Dred Scott v. Sandford, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the idea that Africans and their descendants in the United States could be “entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens.” To emphasize how absurd that notion was, Chief Justice Roger Taney noted that, among other things, those “privileges and immunities” would allow members of “the unhappy black race” to “keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

The 14th Amendment, approved in the wake of the Civil War, repudiated Taney’s view of  the Constitution, declaring that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens,” who include “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” Just four years after the amendment was ratified, however, the Supreme Court interpreted the Privileges or Immunities Clause so narrowly that a dissenting justice said it had been transformed into a “vain and idle enactment.” The Court now has a chance to rectify that mistake—fittingly enough, in a case involving the right to arms.

Last week the Court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban. Since that law is very similar to the Washington, D.C., ordinance that the Court declared unconstitutional last year, it is bound to be overturned, assuming the Court concludes that the Second Amendment applies not just to the federal government (which oversees the District of Columbia) but also to states and their subsidiaries.

That seems like a pretty safe assumption, since over the years the Court has said the 14th Amendment’s “incorporates” nearly all of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights. But the Court’s reasoning in applying the Second Amendment to the states could have implications far beyond the right to arms. If it cites the Privileges or Immunities Clause instead of (or in addition to) the usual rationale for incorporation, the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, it can prepare the ground for a renaissance of economic liberty.

Full Story

Directly related to the above…

The website for all the Chicago case filings is here. For 19th century history, Stephen Halbrook is by far the most important scholar. His articles include: The Freedmen’s Bureau Act and the Conundrum Over Whether the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporates the Second Amendment, Northern Kentucky Law Review (2002); Personal Security, Personal Liberty, and The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms: Visions of the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, Seton Hall Constitutional Journal (1995); The Right of Workers to Assemble and to Bear Arms: Presser v. Illinois, One of the Last Holdouts Against Application of the Bill of Rights to the States, University of Detroit Mercy Law Review (1999); and (co-authored with Cynthia Leonardatos and me), Miller versus Texas: Plice Violence, Race Relations, Capital Punishment, and Gun-Toting in Texas in the Nineteenth Century–and Today, Journal of Law and Policy (2001).The lead attorney in the Supreme Court case of McDonald v. Chicago is Alan Gura. He did an excellent job in District of Columbia v. Heller, so the new case is in very good hands.

SOURCE

Justice Stevens and the NRA

September 14, 2009

When is half a glass is better than no glass? McCain Feingold was, and remains, a constitutional nightmare irrespective of how this case turns out. Read on…

During Wednesday’s extraordinary Supreme Court oral argument in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, some of the more remarkable moments came when Justice John Paul Stevens repeatedly referred, with approval, to a brief filed in the case by the National Rifle Association. Not a pairing you might expect, but Stevens saw in the brief a possible way to rule on the case narrowly, without totally upending major Court precedents on corporate and union spending in election campaigns.

The NRA brief, authored by Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk in D.C., joined the opponents of spending restrictions by agreeing with Citizens United that the precedents, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and a section of McConnell v. FEC, should be overturned. But Cooper also suggested a more limited alternative that caught Stevens’ eye: reversing those precedents only to the extent that they permit the government to restrict campaign spending by non-profit advocacy groups — like the NRA, he said — that use individual donations to fund political speech. That would have the effect of striking down the so-called Wellstone Amendment in the McCain-Feingold law, which included such non-profit groups in the ban on campaign spending. Cooper says the amendment was specifically aimed at keeping the NRA from using its treasury funds in campaigns, and sticks out like an “unconstitutional sore thumb.” By excising the Wellstone Amendment from the law, Cooper said, the Court would strike a blow for the First Amendment and allow “non-profit groups like the NRA, the Sierra Club, and the ACLU, to speak to their hearts’ content” during campaigns.

“I’m delighted that the points we made got Justice Stevens’ attention, or any other members of the Court,” said Cooper. Asked in jest if the NRA would welcome the liberal Stevens as a member, Cooper laughed and said, “With open arms, I am sure.”

Stevens first cited the NRA solution just as Citizens United’s lawyer Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was ending his time at the podium. “No one has commented” on the NRA brief, Stevens said, but he was bringing it up in response to Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s suggestion earlier that “there are narrow ways of resolving the problem before us.” Stevens asked Olson if he would comment on the brief during his rebuttal, and after some back and forth, Olson said he would do so.

Next, Stevens raised the NRA brief in a question to Olson’s adversary Solicitor General Elena Kagan. In response, she allowed that Citizens United is “an atypical plaintiff” as an ideological non-profit corporation, but the discussion took another turn before she fully answered Stevens’ question. Stevens came back to it again, and ultimately Kagan acknowledged that striking down the Wellstone Amendment would be “certainly a narrower and I think better solution” than invalidating the entire statute that pertains to corporate and union spending.

When Olson rose again for his rebuttal, Stevens soon asked him again about the NRA brief. Earlier in the case Olson had shifted the case into high gear by explicitly asking the Court to overturn the Austin and McConnell precedents. The oral argument to that point had clearly put that goal within reach, so Olson was not, it appeared, settling for a half- or quarter-loaf.

“It would not solve the problem,” said Olson, adding that even without the Wellstone Amendment his client might still be covered by the law. To nail down the point, Stevens persisted: “You do not endorse the NRA’s position?” To which Olson replied, “No we don’t.”

In an interview Cooper stressed that his preference, like Olson’s, would be to overturn Austin and McConnell broadly. “That’s an argument we have made robustly,” Cooper said. But the narrower solution, he said, would serve his client’s interest, as well as that of other non-profit advocacy groups, without disturbing the restrictions on the main target of campaign legislation: business corporations. “With a group like ours, our purpose is advocacy,” said Cooper. “It’s not the cash register, it’s the ballot box.” The First Amendment, he said, should not stifle such speech.

Footnote: Cooper did not attend the argument Wednesday. He was in California at the time, working with his clients, supporters of Proposition 8 which overturned a California Supreme Court ruling that would have allowed same-sex marriage. One of his adversaries in the litigation over the proposition: Ted Olson.

SOURCE


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