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It’s the Law

obama-signing-law

Like Obamacare, it’s the law.

 

 

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‘LSD may have been a factor’


[VIDEO] Jeffrey Toobin: Obama Clearly Broke the Law with Bergdahl Exchange

“…the president is taking power for himself that the law didn’t give him — he’s explicitly contradicting it.”

– CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

For NROAndrew Johnson: The Obama administration’s failure to notify Congress of the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees ahead of his exchanging them for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl is a direct violation of the law, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

“It matters whether people follow the law or not…I think he clearly broke the law.”

“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said on Monday, adding that the president’s signing statement in which he called the law unconstitutional does not automatically make it so…(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Suspending the Law: Constitutional Scholar Jonathan Turley on Obama Administration’s Selective Enforcement

The president has a constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Previous administrations have been criticized for overreaching — that is, going beyond what the law expressly authorizes. But the Obama administration has pioneered a new way to shirk this duty: suspension of the law. In numerous areas — including Obamacare implementation, immigration law, education funding, and environmental regulation — the administration has carried out its policy objectives not by exceeding the law’s limits but by picking and choosing which provisions to enforce.

Featuring Andrew M. Grossman, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

In some cases it has relaxed legal requirements as an inducement for states to carry out its preferred policies, without any legal basis. In other cases, like immigration, it has established entirely new programs never authorized by Congress. And in every instance this approach has allowed the administration to avoid legal challenge by ensuring that no party suffers an injury sufficient to confer the legal “standing” necessary to bring suit. At least that’s been the working assumption — but it may not hold true in every instance. 


BREAKING: Shots Fired at Apartment Complex in Valley Village California

amb

Authorities were sent to the 12400 block of Weddington St. (map) after the call came in reporting a shooting at about 10:30 a.m., according to Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department.

There was at least one victim in the incident, according to Herrera.

Three officers could be seen carrying what appeared to be a woman’s body out of the complex  and into a carport area just after 11 a.m. The woman was placed on a gurney and into an ambulance.

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Bloomberg Krytonite: Georgia Governor Signs Comprehensive Pro-Gun Bill into Law

Georgia-flag-e1398291026732

Today, Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed into law House Bill 60 , the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation in state history.  HB 60 passed in the Georgia Senate by a 37-18 vote on March 18 and in the state House of Representatives by a 112-58 vote on March 20.  HB 60 will take effect on July 1, 2014.

[Amazon is stocked with shooting supplies]

HB 60 enacts the following pro-gun reforms for all law-abiding gun owners in Georgia:

  • Removes fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
  • Prohibits the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
  • Creates an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
  • Lowers the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
  • Repeals the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
  • Prohibits a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
  • Codifies the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.

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Texas AG Abbott to BLM: Come and Take It

Flag-Come-and-Take-It-old

For Breitbart-Texas 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 »


Glenn Reynolds: Our Criminal Justice System Has Become a Crime

(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP Getty Images)

(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP Getty Images)

Prosecutors too often abuse unrestrained powers

For USA TodayGlenn 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.

[Also, Harvey Silverglate's Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent at Amazon]

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.

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Burch’s First Law

Burch-law


Idaho State Senator: Gun Owners, Not Government, Are Best at Keeping Guns Safe

gun-training-illinois-ap

 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.”

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ARRESTED FOR…WHAT? 25 of the Weirdest Laws in the U.S.

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[Order the book Wacky Laws, Weird Decisions, & Strange Statutes from Amazon]

VA Viper


Concealed-Weapons Laws Have Changed America Regardless of National Debate on Gun Control

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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 Concealed-Carry-Women2only 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 result has been that over the years the entire nation has become carry-concealed-weapons territory, as shown in a neat graphic in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post by Dave Kopel.

The chart below shows how Shall Issue laws for the licensed carrying of firearms for self-defense have become the American norm.

 

image001-carry

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.

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Report: Anticipating Results of Bar Exam Linked to Rare Brain Tumors

The mysterious increase in brain tumors is concentrated primarily in the gulf coast region of the U.S., say researchers

The mysterious increase in brain tumors is concentrated in the gulf coast region of the U.S., say researchers

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.

inoperable-brain-tumor-scans-660x330

 “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.

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The Mirage of Social Justice

Hayek

[Check out The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2) at Amazon]


Bench Update: Ninth Circuit Holds Second Amendment Secures a right to Carry a Gun

Gun rights activist Holly Cusumano, 18, waves a flag during a rally for the 2nd Amendment at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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.”

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Punked Again: Manufacturers Change Look of AR-15; Rifle Is Now Legal in New York State

Speaking of guns…

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  Pass a stupid law, get a stupid result. This, Clash Daily reports, is a remodeled AR-15, and it is legal in New York despite the state’s “assault weapons” ban:

Gun-ban-AR

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.

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Sacré Bleu! French Socialists Retreat on Family-Law Change after 100,000 Protest

People protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France’s Socialist government dropped plans on Monday to update family law this year after huge weekend protests by conservatives against gay-friendly reforms they say harm traditional families.

[NRO's Maggie Gallagher notes: "Apparently, they do not want taxpayer-financed IVF procedures extended to same-sex couples, but it is what the schools may teach that these parents are most concerned about, according to Reuters...]

The government tried on Monday to reassure the protesters, who numbered over 100,000 in Paris and Lyon on Sunday, that the new law would not legalise assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for gay men who wanted children.

But when Socialist lawmakers insisted they would amend the planned bill to include those reforms, the government announced the draft law – which would also define the legal rights of step-parents in second marriages – needed more work.

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House Republicans Unveil Immigration Reform Principles

photo/politico

photo/politico

From The Corner: House GOP leaders on Thursday released the following one-page document outlining their “standards for immigration reform”:

PREAMBLE

Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington’s failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America’s national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort.

Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First

It is the fundamental duty of any government to secure its borders, and the United States is failing in this mission. We must secure our borders now and verify that they are secure. In addition, we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a President cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement.

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The Criminal States of America

crime

Click the image for the interactive map

The Criminal States of America


Police at my Door: What Should I Do?

Great item by Theodore Dalrymple, from wchildblog. First, a personal observation:

copsatdoor

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.

police knock on door

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 permitted) because a passerby spotted it and it made them uncomfortable. Then complained to the police about seeing a man walking down the sidewalk 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, and had him surrender the weapon. Not realizing his detainee was 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. Arguing, citing case law, 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

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