Category Archives: Law

Guns for All!

I’m beginning to think I have been going about this the wrong way. I write about the never-ending string of mass shootings. I tell the history of the Second Amendment. I deplore the right-wing Republican judges who overturn even the most reasonable legislation designed to curtail the endless supply of weapons. But here we are with another mass shooting. And on the same weekend, a single killing which would have been worse had it not been for some heroism by a church congregation.

A majority of the American people favor placing stricter limits on the ownership of guns. But the political leaders do not.

So, I figure, the hell with it. There was a time when the wild west was roamed by armed Americans, defending themselves against each other and any indigenous people who might be upset to see their lands stolen from them. We romanticize those gun toting Americans as pioneers and idolized them in countless movies and television programs. Let us go back to those days of yore when everybody packed a pistol.

The time has come for a new campaign, “Guns for All.” It’s the American way. Even the simplest derringer may be too much for kindergarten. But I’m sure by the first grade any boy or girl can handle one. With so many state legislatures now dictating the school curriculum, they can just add shooting into the mix. Proper handling and safety would be good topics to teach, but they are not necessary. You only need to teach the kids how to lock and load.

So we occasionally have some accidents where a kid blows off a toe or two. They have ten so there are lots of spares. I have read about people of the male persuasion blowing off something else that may be dangling down there. But you know, you roll the dice and take your chances.

We are already well on the way for almost every state in the union to have approved open carry and many allow concealed carry, often without the need for a pesky permit. There are a few stick-in-the-mud states, like New York and California, which still make the registration process difficult. But any dedicated shooter just has to drive over the border to a neighboring state to buy whatever is needed. High-capacity magazines? Check. Silencers? OK. Want devices to make a semi act like an auto? You betcha.

These new rules won’t help you on private property. The second amendment applies only to governments. That means poor, depraved, opps…. deprived Republican member of Congress Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina will still get stopped by the TSA as he tries to carry a gun on an airplane. Cawthorn has done it twice. But it does mean the gun nuts in Congress will have clear sailing carrying their weapons onto the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives. Poor Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will have to take down her metal detectors, which Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Stivers of Ohio, Van Taylor of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, and Larry Bucshon of Indiana, among others, have been ignoring. Gun loving Republican Andy Harris of Maryland got caught carrying a gun onto the floor of the House. More power to him. Nancy can wear a bulletproof vest like everybody else in the country.

I predict a tremendous stimulus for the economy because of our move to a guns-for-all policy. Prime time television can feature the latest in heavy arms. There can be runway shows displaying the latest in holsters and other concealment methods for those who wish to be more discrete. I’m looking at the SIG-Sauer P229 myself.

And over at the Supreme Court, the metal detectors can come down. The U.S. Marshals can be sent home. The Supremes love guns. Or at least six of them do. The minority three is just that, the minority. And the framers of the Constitution never used the word minority in their document so the three will just have to fend for themselves. I bet Sonia Sotomayor will turn out to be a surprisingly good shot.

The Court is genuinely concerned about leaks these days so I’m sure getting information out of the building is even more difficult than it was before. But I do hope some brave soul will give us an update. I want to know how many of the justices are packing heat at their next Friday conference.

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First Amendment Hypocrites

It was the end of the term, 2014, when the headlines blared, “Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic ‘Buffer Zone’ Law. At issue was a Massachusetts law requiring a 35-foot zone around clinics that provided abortion services. Both supporters and opponents of abortion rights were not allowed within that buffer zone, where some were harassing women going in and coming out while others tried to shield and protect them.

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Why the Surprise?

The news broke overnight. The online publication Politico published an exclusive, what it believed to be a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito which, speaking for the majority, overturns the seminal 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade. The text says, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” referring also to a subsequent 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”

In pledging to investigate the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed it is the authentic first draft. It is standard procedure for a vote on a case to be taken after oral argument, and if there is a clear majority, the chief justice assigns the writing of an initial draft opinion if he is voting with the majority, or the assignment is made by the senior associate justice in the majority if the chief is not.

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Republicans Engage in “Legitimate Political Discourse”

There was a time when our two major political parties took policy matters seriously. I remember my first political convention, the Democratic meeting in Miami in 1972 which nominated George McGovern to face, and be pummeled by, the incumbent Richard Nixon. One of the things that impressed a then young reporter was the work of the platform committee.

The committee met and considered the issues of the day. They heard presentations, took testimony, and in the end voted on a position to take. At first, I wondered how valuable the exercise was. While the platform represented a compromise position so the party could say what it stood for, it could not bind all its members. And with opposition when it came time to govern, there is no way to expect the positions of the platform committee to translate directly into policy.

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Want to Steal the 2024 Election?

It may not be likely that Republicans will steal the 2024 Presidential Election, but it is certainly possible. A new paper by a Yale Law School expert in election law, Professor Matthew Seligman, says all it would take is a single corrupt Republican governor and a Republican controlled House of Representatives. Anyone want to bet that won’t happen?

Let’s make something clear here. I am not generating an ambiguous set of facts. I’m dealing with the universe where a fair and legal election, as determined by state election officials and courts, has occurred, been reviewed, certified and the results have been published. None the less, a Republican majority in the House of Representatives votes to challenge the Electoral College votes from a state and that state’s governor, without any legal authority, then sends to Congress an “alternate” set of EC votes, changing the outcome of the election for President of the United States.

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The First Monday in October

The first Monday in October does not get a special note on most calendars, unless you are in the government or parts of the legal profession. This is the day the Supreme Court of the United States usually begins its term. And this term is expected to be more notable than most for the government’s least visible branch.

The expectations are probably the reason several of the usually reticent judges who sit on the court have been unusually public in their comments and complaints in recent weeks following a three month “recess” which was also unusual for the amount of news it made.

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No Bill. Just No.

This tweet was posted by Bill Cosby shortly after he left prison and returned to his home. IMHO, never has a bigger piece of BS been posted on the Internet. For those in the audience who are even older than I am, IMHO means, In My Humble Opinion. These acronyms abound in the world of social media but it is becoming more and more important that I remind readers that this blog represents my opinion. This is because now that Chief Justice John Roberts has achieve his lifelong goal of nullifying the Voting Rights Act and eviscerating the Fifteenth Amendment along with it, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas are taking aim at the First and the Sullivan exemption for critics of public figures may not be long for this world. That’s a subject for another day.

Today we have Bill Cosby. I have managed to avoid writing about Cosby for years. But this tweet, posted just hours after the comedian who was put on trial for sexual assault, convicted by a jury, and sentenced to spend 3-10 years in jail was released from prison, was the last straw.

No, William Henry Cosby, Jr., your release has nothing to do with innocence. It does not make you innocent. And your victory dance is both unseemly and unsightly for a man who remains, in my opinion, both a disgrace and a profound disappointment.

A disappointment, because I still remember my first serious date. The year was 1968. I had my new driver’s license. I had convinced my mother to let me borrow her car. I had convinced a very nice high school classmate to join me on this expedition. And she had convinced her father to trust me with his daughter on a Saturday night trip to downtown Chicago for a grownup dinner and then a show.

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