For Breitbart-Texas, Bob Price reports: After Breitbart Texas reported on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) intent to seize 90,000 acres belonging to Texas landholders along the Texas/Oklahoma line, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott questioned the BLM’s authority to take such action.
“I am about ready,” General Abbott told Breitbart Texas, “to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas.”
Gen. Abbott sent a strongly-worded letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze, asking for answers to a series of questions related to the potential land grab.
“This is Texas land. It belongs to Texas and the private property owners here. If we have to, we will assert quick and effective legal action to put a stop to it.”
– Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
“I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations,” General Abbott wrote. “The BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.”
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, General Abbott said, “This is the latest line of attack by the Obama Administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this country …And now they’ve crossed the line quite literally by coming into the State of Texas and trying to claim Texas land as federal land. And, as the Attorney General of Texas I am not going to allow this.” Read the rest of this entry »
Prosecutors too often abuse unrestrained powers
For USA Today, Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Here’s how it’s supposed to work: Upon evidence that a crime has been committed — Professor Plum, found dead in the conservatory with a lead pipe on the floor next to him, say — the police commence an investigation. When they have probable cause to believe that someone is guilty, the case is taken to a prosecutor, who (in the federal system, and many states) puts it before a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees that there’s probable cause, it indicts. The case goes to trial, where a jury of 12 ordinary citizens hears the evidence. If they judge the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they convict. If they think the accused not guilty — or even simply believe that a conviction would be unjust — they acquit.
[Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, available at Amazon]
Here’s how things all-too-often work today: Law enforcement decides that a person is suspicious (or, possibly, just a political enemy). Upon investigation into every aspect of his/her life, they find possible violations of the law, often involving obscure, technical statutes that no one really knows. They then file a “kitchen-sink” indictment involving dozens, or even hundreds of charges, which the grand jury rubber stamps. The accused then must choose between a plea bargain, or the risk of a trial in which a jury might convict on one or two felony counts simply on a “where there’s smoke there must be fire” theory even if the evidence seems less than compelling.
This is why, in our current system, the vast majority of cases never go to trial, but end in plea bargains. And if being charged with a crime ultimately leads to a plea bargain, then it follows that the real action in the criminal justice system doesn’t happen at trial, as it does in most legal TV shows, but way before, at the time when prosecutors decide to bring charges. Because usually, once charges are brought, the defendant will wind up doing time for something.
Awr Hawkins reports: On March 15th Idaho state senator Russ Fulcher (R-22nd Dist.) wrote an op-ed on trusting gun owners more than government in the process of restoring and defending 2nd Amendment rights.
“For me, this is not an issue about “special privileges;” it is about reclaiming those Second Amendment rights law-abiding citizens have already lost.”
– Senator Russ Fulcher
In the Idaho Statesman, Fulcher wrote, “I not only believe in the right of all people to defend themselves, but I believe people are inherently responsible in the way they do so.”
For Washington Examiner, the Michael Barone writes: Over the last 25 years, we have had related national debates over proposed federal gun-control laws designed to restrict access to certain firearms. But only one piece of major legislation has passed Congress, in the 1994 crime bill, and the electoral backlash against many of its supporters in the 1994 midterm elections convinced many Democrats inclined to support such restrictions to try to sidestep the issue.
But Congress and the laws it passes are not the only determinants of facts on the ground. Starting with a Florida law in 1987, most states have passed concealed weapons laws, allowing law-abiding citizens who have had relevant training to obtain licenses to carry concealed weapons. Such laws have been supplemented by court decisions covering a few states since the U.S. Supreme Court decision inHeller v. District of Columbia in 2008, which recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The chart below shows how Shall Issue laws for the licensed carrying of firearms for self-defense have become the American norm.
By 2014, the percentage of people living in the Red states, with no possibility of even applying for a permit, has declined to zero. Illinois’ 2013 reforms ended the problem of states not even having a process theoretically available. (The problem persists in DC, but this chart is only for states.)
As of January 2014, about 2/3 of the population lived in a Green state, with a Shall Issue licensing statute.
A team of researchers at the Medical Research Institute of Nevada are presenting the results of a new study at a conference later this year in Washington D.C. that reveals a link between waiting for results of a Bar Exam, and a dramatic increase in inoperable brain tumors.
“It primarily afflicts males between 49 and 58″ said Dr. Walter J. McGuffin, the team’s lead researcher. “Other risk factors include smoking, and prolonged exposure to certain species of birds, and primates, such as lemurs.”
“Much remains unknown, but the more law firms are informed about the risks, the better prepared they’ll be to tell their applicants to get their affairs in order.”
Since Dr. MacGuffin‘s research grant included allowances for luxury travel packages, the staff was able to interrupt their research frequently for rest, adventure, and recreation. “As a result, unfortunately, much of the actual research was left undone by the time the Medical Review Board required us to submit our finished work.”
“…even in healthy, well-adjusted males, the tumor can develop quickly, go undetected, become malignant, and in a matter of weeks, grow to the size of a jumbo can of tuna.”
Speaking by phone from the lobby of the Fasano Hotel e Restaurante Rio, Dr. MacGuffin expressed confidence that their research would eventually lead to improved diagnostics, and eventually, save lives. He emphasized the importance of early detection.
“Much remains unknown, but the more law firms are informed about the risks, the better prepared they’ll be to tell applicants to get their affairs in order.”
Observing that “none of our current diagnostic methods have been able to detect the tumor in time to save the lives of any of the patients we studied,” Dr. MacGuffin added, “the length of time the individual applicant is required to wait for results of the exam, and the amount of stress involved, are also factors. But it appears that even in healthy, well-adjusted males, the tumor can develop quickly, go undetected, become malignant, and in a matter of weeks, grow to the size of a jumbo can of tuna.’
The study, funded by the American Association of Abnormally Tall Trial Lawyers, is the first of its kind. The results are expected to be published in the June edition of the Hong King Kong Medical Review.
Eugene Volokh reports:
So holds today’s Peruta v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2014) (2-1 vote). The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”
Speaking of guns…
When the opponents of “assault weapon” bans argue that it is preposterous for the state to ban firearms based on the way they look, they really mean it. It is. The rifle in the photograph above is no more or less powerful than the one that has been banned; it just looks different. And, because the SAFE Act was, typically, interested only in cosmetic questions, a simple change to its aesthetic rendered the rifle legal once more. As Clash Daily’s Jonathan S. explains:
Prototypes for the newly designed AR-15 are hitting gun shops across New York, as gun shops and machinists have designed a rifle that complies with the anti-gun law. At least one gun shop has received a letter from state police saying that the new AR-15 style rifles should be legal in the state as long as they don’t have some of the features that the law prohibits.
Click the image for the interactive map
I just had this conversation recently, about how few people are alert and informed about what their rights are, and can act accordingly (and respectfully). When confronted by a law enforcement official it’s easy to be intimidated. Easy to be misled. Or simply not confident enough to manage the encounter and be your own best advocate.
I saw a YouTube video recently featuring a young, hyper-informed law student who’d been detained by a cop, simply for legally carrying a pistol (in a state where open carry is a permitted and protected right) because a passerby spotted it, and it made them uncomfortable. Then complained to the police about seeing a man walking down the sidewalk in a public place with a gun on his belt and thought the somebody better look into it.
A policeman (who clearly didn’t understand the law any better than the complaining citizen did) confronted the guy, detained him, had him surrender the weapon. Not realizing it was a law student fully aware of his rights, and with no shortage of confidence. The cop was stubborn, and confused. The law student was agitated, impatient (but not rude or abusive) and had complete verbal control of the situation. Literally citing case law and refusing to cooperate, not even giving his name. (news to me, you’re not required to give your name just because a cop is curious, if you’re not under arrest, and you’re obeying the law. This law student flat-out refused to identify himself to the cop) The whole incident captured on video. It’s brilliant. More on this in a moment… back to Theodore Dalrymple:
Theodore Dalrymple writes: Don’t be intimidated by police at your door. These rules will help protect your rights and improve your odds of avoiding a home search.
No Warrant, No Search!
The Supreme Court has ruled that the home is entitled to maximum search protection. Even if they have probable cause to believe something illegal is going on inside your home, the 4th Amendment requires police to get a signed search warrant from a judge to legally enter and search.
Clip from the DVD, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police
Minimum wage raise!
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