1A: Justice Department issues statement of concern that UCal Berkeley violates free speech with selective enforcement of hi-profile speaker policy
1A: students are not supposed to be expelled for odious views, even for posting N*word videos
14A: lawsuit filed challenging Dallas cash bail system as unconstitutionally discriminating against poor people.
1A: True the Vote targeting case Consent Decree: viewpoint discrimination by the IRS violates free speech (para. 50)
4A: Supreme Court rules police had probable cause to arrest partygoers because probably lacked permission to be in house.
Supreme Court takes up internet sales tax case which tests whether states can regulate commerce (‘negative Commerce Clause’)
Electoral College is supposed to be undemocratic; coastal states cannot run roughshod over rest of the nation
Electoral College helps prevent voter fraud; hard to predict which states will be decisive
Federal judge: don’t end nationwide injunctions from a single court, but do require 3-judge panels to issue them
Supreme Court takes case on constitutionality of SEC administrative law judges
Separation of Powers: proposal for expert Article III courts to hear administrative cases; answerable to President and Senate, not agency
Discussion of most famous footnote in Supreme Court history – Carolene Products ftn 4 – and differing scrutiny of economic v. non-economic legislation
“[T]he Left rejects the natural rights theory of the American Founding at the core of our tradition.”
D'oh! The Constitution as seen through 28 years of The Simpsons - “It guarantees all of the basic freedoms- speech, religion, the right to a speedy trial," Lisa explains.
It's normal these days to experience doubt or concern while reading about your Constitutional Rights. A large part of the national conversation right now is focused on people who feel they've been denied their right to equal protection under the law, trial by impartial jury, freedom of speech... the list goes on.
A common argument in that conversation is that the Constitution wasn't written to protect all Americans, only a select few.
That was certainly true when it was written. Originally, only white, male land-owners could vote - by far not "all Americans." But with the ratification of the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and nineteenth amendments, all races and sexes were given the right to vote, and equal protection under the law.
That means all Americans, regardless of identity, have the rights enumerated in the Constitution.
Constitutionally, no one can take those rights away from you. If your rights have been denied to you, then the Constitution has been violated, and you have standing to file a grievance and protect your rights. What we are experiencing is a debate about whether or not the execution of the law is Constitutional, not whether the Constitution should apply to all Americans - because it already does.
Bringing the Constitution into the discussion as a foundational document rather than a historical footnote is integral to ensuring equal protection for all American citizens, and regaining any rights that we have lost due to poor execution.
10A: Pot proponents high on federalism and states’ rights; Sessions has federal law on his side. How to resolve?
10A: “New Marijuana Policy Triggers Bipartisan Love for 10th Amendment”
1A: California charges man under contested harassment statute for insulting Islamic center with Facebook posts
1A: Federal appeals court strikes down Baltimore ordinance forcing pregnancy centers to promote abortions
1A: Pro-life centers challenge California law forcing them to post abortion information
1A: Dennis Prager sues Google for restricting his videos on theory it’s a public forum where free speech applies
1A: ACLU calls on New Jersey to lift prison ban on book about discrimination against blacks in criminal justice system
1A: “Family Court Must Not Discriminate Against Religious Schooling” in custody disputes, Nevada Supreme Court rules
4A: Searches at airports of electronic devices of international travelers up 59% in 2017; ‘dragnet surveillance’?
4A: Pulling back tarp on motorcycle on driveway without a warrant tests ‘automobile’ exception and ‘curtilage’ doctrine of Fourth Amendment
14A: Seattle law requiring landlords to take tenants on first-come, first-served basis shows folly of going down “unconscious bias” road
Indefinite Detention: U.S. must release or grant bond hearings to deportable Iraqi immigrants held 6 mo.s
Federal appeals court rules against Trump’s latest travel ban, as exceeding presidential authority and violating immigration laws passed by Congress
Federal district court in NY dismisses Emoluments Clause case; plaintiffs lack standing, ‘competitive injury’ unproven
25A: Questions over Trump’s fitness pale in comparison to Woodrow Wilson’s stroke and subsequent cover-up
People don’t remember this but, in 1857, federal troops marched on Utah because that state wanted to chart its own course with respect to ‘plural marriage’ – otherwise known as polygamy - and preserving theocratic elements in its state government. The War of Utah ended after a few brief skirmishes when Brigham Young submitted to the authority of the federal government.
Today, we have 28 states and the District of Columbia trying to chart their own course on marijuana for medical or recreational use, even though marijuana is a controlled substance and illegal under federal law. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the beginning of the year rescinded the Obama administration’s hands-off marijuana enforcement policy. Under the Trump administration’s new policy, federal prosecutors across the country will decide whether and how to enforce federal laws against pot in states where it is legal.
You’d think the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution would make pot enforcement a slam dunk. Article VI, Clause 2 clearly says federal laws, treaties, and the U.S. Constitution are the supreme law of the land. But the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a Supremacy Clause challenge to Colorado’s marijuana laws in 2016. Ron Paul argues that the U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government the power to criminalize marijuana in the first place and, thus, that power is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment.
The nation has a long history of trotting out states’ rights arguments for all sorts of things, including the justification of slavery. As Tea Partiers know, Jefferson and Madison wrote in favor of allowing nullification of federal law, saying states have a duty to protect citizens from federal usurpations of power. More recently, former Attorney General Eric Holder said nullification has become an interesting question.
And so it has. The Left has used nullification arguments to advance liberal positions on sanctuary cities and states, indefinite military detention under the NDAA, and mass surveillance, as well as to legalize marijuana at the state level.
Small-government types, on the other hand, have used nullification arguments to try to get out from under federal laws regarding gun control, abortion, the environment, Agenda 21, Common Core, and Obamacare insurance mandates.
So nullification is neither good nor bad. Law is a weapon. Nullification and the Tenth Amendment are arrows in the quiver. Pull them out when they can help you get to where you want to go.
As for marijuana, Jeff Sessions won’t be sending federal troops to California any time soon. But we have an untenable situation. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia just say no to federal marijuana laws, but those laws remain on the books. This breeds disrespect for the Rule of Law and needs to be resolved, one way or another.
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