Quarantines are constitutional, but constitutional protections apply: “must use the least restrictive means consistent with medical guidance, and the government must have good reason to believe you’ve been exposed.”
14A privacy rights must yield to school district transgender bathroom/locker room policy (9th Circuit)
Amendments: House votes to remove ratification deadline for ERA
Religious Freedom Restoration Act interpreted to shield activist who leave food and water for illegal immigrants
Free Expression: Mark Zuckerberg again asks for regulations on social media to preserve free speech (‘somewhere between a publisher and a pipeline’) before China’s anti-democratic vision of the Internet holds sway. (Hmm.... should we take this at face value?)
Contracts Clause, etc.: federal judge upholds California’s ‘gig economy’ law making it difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees with benefits
1A: Ohio state senate votes to ban free speech zones that limit speech on campus
Free Expression: Trudeau minister announces all Canadian news websites must now get a government license
2A: Florida officials mistakenly seize veteran’s guns in Red Flag law foul-up
4A: 9th Circuit to hear case of police officer in state that has legalized marijuana justifying car search on fact marijuana still illegal under federal law
Art V: If states can’t rescind ERA ratification, the consequence might be that we will have an Article V convention on the Balanced Budget Amendment
Kudos! - Black activists launch ‘1776 Project’ to counter NYT’s ‘lethal’ ‘1619 Project’ which tells blacks they are victims and still can’t get anywhere because of slavery
Three States Sue for Declaration Equal Rights Amendment Now Ratified
1A Religious Liberty v. Discrimination: Two students sue Christian seminary for expelling them because they are in same-sex marriages
Discrimination: Pregnancy counseling center sues over New York law forcing it to hire employees who support abortion against the center’s beliefs. #AuthoritarianLeft
1A: California State University agrees to pay $240,000 in legal fees and change its policies to settle case against it for discriminating against pro-life student club
1A: Two Christian students in Georgia ask Supreme Court to hear their case against camp speech code and zone
2A: 21 states sue Trump administration over its effort to allow 3-D printed gun files on the Internet
2A: New Jersey seizes nearly 200 guns under red flag law in just 4 months
2A: The Founders were familiar with gun magazines having over 10 rounds
Shame! on the New York Times 1619 Project for making the preposterous claim the Founders fought the War of Independence to preserve slavery
Kudos! to the Virginia high school students who formed a flag caravan when told the U.S. flag is “offensive” and could not be displayed on vehicles on school grounds
Kudos! to the Alabama legislative committee that reported out a bill to require public schools to play the Star-Spangled Banner at least once a week and at school sporting events
Hundreds of jurisdictions declare themselves gun sanctuaries as nationwide movement spreads (Constitution news round-up)
Free speech video series continues with episodes 8 and 9 (government property, privacy)
2A: Hundreds of jurisdictions declare themselves gun sanctuaries as nationwide movement spreads
Virginia becomes 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, but court fights anticipated over 40-year ratification process
Nationwide Injunctions - Supreme Court stays nationwide injunction in ‘public charge’ rule case
14A Equal Protection: Utah judge cites government interest in protecting children against lewdness in ruling against woman who went topless in her own garage; other ‘Free the Nipple’ cases pending
Separation of Powers - Board of Immigration Appeals ignores appellate court order, draws rebuke from 7th Circuit: courts have the Article III judicial power
1A,4A: judge greenlights suit against Fish & Wildlife regulations restricting use of falcons in movies and product endorsements; regs also permit warrantless searches but Fourth Amendment claim dismissed
1A: rare prior restraint upheld against telling anyone a subpoena was received
1A: street musician challenges Houston’s time, place, and manner restraints on street performances
1A Religion: terminating city firefighter after refusal to get vaccinated does not burden free exercise of religion because reasonable accommodations had been offered (5th Circuit)
4A: strip search of prison visitor justified because of the suspicious way she was fiddling with her clothes (4th Circuit)
14A Equal Protection: same-sex marriage produces conundrums for who is listed as the ‘father’ on birth certificates (7th Circuit)
14A: Air Force ban on deploying HIV-positive airmen is out of step with modern science (4th Circuit)
Dormant Commerce Clause: California’s new privacy law might conflict with the need for uniform regulation of the Internet
Shame! New York City councilman says it’s ‘un-American’ not to allow noncitizens to vote. If U.S. citizenship means so little to you, you are free to leave.
Shame! Connecticut Senate President Pro Tem says free speech is “unfortunate” because look at all the haters running around. Sure.
Kudos! to PragerU for video pointing out that the word ‘slave’ in the third stanza of the Star-Spangled Banner could easily have been used metaphorically to describe subservient status, not actual slavery
5A Fundamental Rights: Climate Kids’ case tossed for lack of standing; to seek en banc review in the 9th Circuit
2A: Virginia Supreme Court upholds ban on guns at rally after Governor declares state of emergency; ‘safety and welfare’ trump Second Amendment
Amendments: Virginia legislature passes Equal Rights Amendment, Governor to sign; battle over whether the ERA has been duly ratified is set to begin
1A Religion: Supreme Court to consider whether ban on use of state education tax credits for religious schools keeps government out of religion or discriminates against religion
Electoral College: Supreme Court to take up ‘faithless electors’ issue
1A: Oregon Appeals Court hears arguments in Christian bakers same-sex wedding cake case after ordered by Supreme Court to revisit in light of Masterpiece ruling against hostility to religion
Commerce Clause: mosques are not in ‘interstate commerce’ nor do they affect it; federal arson conviction vacated (6th Circuit)
1A: challenge to Michigan hate speech database initiative survives state’s motion to dismiss
Shame! on the Democratic county board member in North Carolina who threatened to call the police after audience stages impromptu recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
Due Process: Trump administration correctly implementing court’s order to avoid blanket separation of families at the border and allowing separation for cause (unfit parents with criminal history, disease, etc.)
Separation of Powers: 5th Circuit lifts temporary stay against Trump administration’s diversion of $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build the border wall
Article 1, Section 8 War Powers: 2001 Justice Department legal opinion arguably backs constitutional validity of President Trump’s strike on Suleimani
2A: hero who stopped Texas church shooting to be awarded Texas Medal of Courage
14A: five states looking at keeping transgenders out of women’s sports
4A: Pensacola shooting typifies unresolved Issue - should people have unbreakable encryption to keep Big Government out of their business? Or should law enforcement be given a ‘back door’ in terrorism and national security cases?
Dems claim Texas move to require personal (non-digital) signature for voter registration is unconstitutional
5A/14A Due Process + 1A: Massachusetts court declines to legislate from the bench, rules no constitutional right to assisted suicide; appeal planned. Court also said doctors have free speech right to discuss assisted suicide with patients.
1A: Supreme Court turns away texting suicide case and the argument defendant was convicted for words alone in text urging her boyfriend to kill himself
1A: Seattle Public Library decides to give meeting space to trans-skeptical feminist group; “we do not believe that stifling speech for anyone will result in positive outcomes for anyone”
1A: Indiana school district tells parents they can’t criticize it on social media; ACLU says policy is “flagrantly” unconstitutional
2A: Legislation introduced to make South Carolina a Second Amendment sanctuary state
4A: renters do not have to submit to an inspection before they can challenge rental inspection ordinance, Pennsylvania appeals court rules
14A: forthcoming law review article discusses whether a small percentage of African ancestry makes one a ‘disadvantaged minority person’ eligible for government contract set-asides
Equal Rights Amendment might subject women to the military draft, disallow same-sex bathrooms, abolish women-only shelters, and mandate government funding of abortion (not to mention eliminate minority set-asides for government contracts). Is that what you want?
Proposed amendment would give populous states more U.S. Senators (upsetting the deal that drew small states into the union in the first place)
Shame! Texas homeowner’s association orders active military resident to take down American flag. Kudos to his neighbors who raised their own flags in support.
Supreme Court docket full of contentious issues - gun rights, DACA, LGBTQ, abortion, state aid to religious schools, CFPB, Trump financial records
1A Speech: You can burn the U.S. flag but not the gay flag? #PretzelLogic You get 16 years in prison for burning the gay flag - wow! This hate crime stuff has gone way too far.
Amendments: Virginia election prompts 3 states to sue to stop 1970s Equal Rights Amendment on theory deadline for ratification has passed
1A Religion: public health trumps Amish schoolers’ challenge to state vaccine law, NY Supreme Court rules
1A Religion: Michigan county threatens to demolish Amish homes unless they modernize. (And this leaves the Amish in this country, where, exactly?)
1A Speech: Texas woman challenges USPS regulation against customizing personalized postage stamps with religious content (‘it is viewpoint discrimination to allow all views except religious views’)
2A: Gun owner puts quick end to Texas church shooting
2A: “Virginia Congresswoman Proposes Bill Empowering Credit Card Companies to Track, Report Gun Purchases” #AuthoritarianLeft
4A: Maryland groups oppose Baltimore police drones
4A: information gathered on U.S. citizen incidental to surveillance of non-nationals abroad does not require a warrant, 2nd Circuit rules
5A Eminent Domain: Tenth Circuit declines to overturn trial judge’s ruling government need not compensate criminal defendant for home destroyed in police action
10A: panel discusses ‘horizontal federalism’ whereby states seek to impose their policies on other states
14A: documentary tells the story of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever - Korematsu
The General Welfare clause does not mean ‘anything goes’. The clause was intended to limit Congressional actions to those that benefit the whole, not some group.
Mayor Pee-wee Pete just wrong in asserting the Founders didn’t understand slavery was evil; they teed things up to get rid of it.
BREAKING: “Appeals court strikes ObamaCare mandate, sends case back to lower court”
1A Establishment: Freedom from Religion Foundation strikes again, bullies third-graders in Oklahoma until school yanks nativity scene from annual show
5A Eminent Domain: feds knew Houston reservoir likely to flood residences, therefore liable for Hurricane Harvey damage, judge rules
5A Double Jeopardy: Manhattan judge tosses state fraud prosecution against Paul Manafort, clearing the way for a presidential pardon; DA vows to appeal
1A Association: federal judge strikes down L.A. ordinance forcing companies to disclose ties to the NRA to get government contracts
1A: Judge Willett reverses himself, now dissents from 5th Circuit’s approval of suit attempting to impose liability on BLM protest organizer for injury to Louisiana police officer when violence was not incited
14A: Samoans are American citizens, federal judge rules
1A: legal groups sue to stop State Department requirement that all applicants for U.S. visas register their social media handles; argues registration chills free speech
8A Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Supreme Court lets 9th Circuit ruling stand striking down local laws against homeless people sleeping outside
4A: Oregon Supreme Court rules officers can no longer seek consent to search vehicle or ask other non-germane questions during routine traffic stops; ruling seen as curtailment of racial profiling
1A Religion: legal foundation says school district in New York showed impermissible hostility to religion in refusing formation of student Christian club
1A, Commerce Clause: pharma group argues Oregon price transparency laws would force disclosure of trade secrets and are, therefore, unconstitutional
1A Free Press: Maryland law requiring newspapers to publish information about political ads unconstitutionally burdens First Amendment rights without doing much to remedy foreign interference in elections (Fourth Circuit)
1A Establishment: review sought in two cases testing whether religious schools have the right to choose their own religion teachers
5A Self-Incrimination: pharmacist who willingly submits to 4-hour interrogation to build case against other is ruled to have given voluntary statements because he freely chose to submit and could have left at any time; conviction affirmed (Third Circuit)
Discrimination v. Right of Association: this is the U.K., but could happen in the U.S. - pro-life Catholic kicked out of political party sues for religious discrimination
Commerce Clause: Louisiana expected to sue California over new law prohibiting importation and sale of alligator-skin products
Economic Freedom, 1A: Georgia woman sues state nursing board for threatening to fine her $500 for truthfully calling herself a midwife even though she doesn’t have extra nursing credentials
Shame! “USC Students Can't Recite the Pledge of Allegiance” - you have no understanding of what enables you to be living such a great life. You’re taking an awful lot for granted.
Kudos! To comedian Ronny Chieng, Malaysian immigrant making a Netflix show about the joys of living in America and how natives don’t appreciate many of the freedoms and privileges we have here
Too bad we don't have the ‘28th Amendment’ requiring Congress critters to live under the same laws they impose on us. Repeal the Obamacare Congressional exemption now!
Virginia Gun-Quake Continues: Dems abandon plans for assault weapons ban (Constitution news round-up)
2A: Virginia gun-quake leaves Dems quaking in their boots; they abandon plans to introduce assault weapons ban
2A: Virginia sheriff threatens to deputize thousands of citizens to get around any gun-control measures the new Democrat legislature might pass
2A: West Virginia lawmaker introduces bill to hold gun-free zones legally liable for shooting injuries
2A: use of ghost gun in teen shooting in California shows the futility of gun control: #WhackAMole
2A: What restrictions of free speech would you tolerate? - Extreme Risk Protective Order for free speech? One book a month? Banned books for dangerous individuals? Banning "assault magazines" with more than 10 pages? Got the point yet?
Free Expression: Singapore slaps ‘fake news’ label on posts of government critic under rubric of combatting false information online. #CarefulWhatYouWishFor
1A: Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to Delaware law requiring political balance of the major parties on its courts; small parties object
1A: Minnesota woman files suit after being threatened with harassment prosecution for filming zoning violations at her neighborhood mosque
1A: religious freedom group appeals U.S. military’s decision to ban religious dog tags
1A: Christian school in Maryland contests exclusion from state school choice program because of its traditional beliefs on marriage despite no actual discrimination on basis of sexual orientation
1A Religion: judge cites Religious Freedom Restoration Act in acquitting activist who leaves water for illegal migrants in wilderness areas
4A: sister had no authority to consent to a search of her brother’s garbage bags inside her storage unit; evidence (fentanyl) excluded and conviction vacated (1st Circuit)
4A / Due Process: is it reasonable to toss personal items when taking down homeless encampments? 9th Circuit says a class action is not the way to find out.
8A: Supreme Court upholds suspension of federal executions pending litigation in lower courts
Unenumerated Rights - protect through substantive due process or the Privileges or Immunities clause?
note this in 9A doc to read
9A: Go from zero to sixty on the Ninth Amendment and unenumerated rights in one short article
1A/Discrimination: deceptively named Equality / Fairness for All Act “expands government power to dictate how individual Americans should think, speak, and act”; free speech and conscience rights threatened in healthcare, public square, school sports, and elsewhere.
14A: Well, this had to happen eventually - lawsuit claims SAT and ACT college admission tests discriminate on the basis of race and wealth
Commerce Clause: federal judge affirms California’s right to dictate meat-production techniques to the other 49 states (‘comply with our rules or don’t sell here’)
Kudos! to the U.S. Constitution Scholarship Foundation in Florida for holding free after-school classes on the Constitution to remedy the deficiencies in today’s STEM-heavy high school curriculum
Hamilton on impeachment (Federalist Papers #65) - “there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”
Gun-Quake in Virginia! 20+ Locales Declare Second Amendment Sanctuaries (Constitution news round-up)
Gun-Quake in Virginia! - 23 locales declare Second Amendment sanctuaries after blue wave election; more expected
2A: less to gun sanctuaries than meets the eye; symbolic resolutions that don’t have any teeth and won’t stop enforcement of state or federal gun laws
2A: “Olympic Venezuelan Shooter: Banning Guns Is the First Step of Socialism”
Separation of Powers: Financially-interested refugee resettlement agencies sue Trump administration over executive order empowering locales to decline refugees; argue statute only provides for consultation
1A: No, the n-word is not “obscenity”. Federal judge allows lawsuit by student barred from graduation ceremony for prior use of the word.
Free Expression: Merkel’s Muddle - ‘we have to curb free speech or society will no longer be free.’ Huh? Sure, and work is freedom - Sieg Heil!
4A: Fourth Circuit upholds conviction of sex trafficker whose electronic devices were seized and searched on re-entry through JFK airport; evidence fails ‘border search’ exception but come in under ‘good faith’ exception
5A Due Process: authorities did not interfere with terror suspect’s right to travel when they subjected him to advance screening, prolonged questioning, and multiple searches (5th Circuit)
5A Eminent Domain: legal foundation takes up case where police destroyed house in course of an arrest and denied property owner compensation
10A: feds object to restrictions on ICE arrests at state courthouses
14A Equal Protection - second challenge filed to California’s gender quota law forcing companies to put women on their boards of directors
Discrimination: Texas arrangement to allow death row inmates access to state-employed spiritual advisors just prior to execution discriminates against Buddhists because the state doesn’t employ a Buddhist advisor (5th Circuit).
Electoral College: “California Dems Flood Colorado With Cash Ahead of National Popular Vote Referendum”
Antifederalists prescient in foreseeing runaway Supreme Court and unchecked expansion of federal power through innocuous language like the ‘general welfare’ and ‘necessary and proper’ clauses
Panel discusses the 3 co-equal branches and separation of powers - executive privilege v. congressional oversight, and what should courts decide
Shame on Mayor Pete for joining the Reconquista! You’re running for President of these United States and you’re pandering to people who don’t want there to be a United States? Good grief! #NotMyPresident
Kudos to Melania Trump for defending the right of Baltimore teens to boo her
Separation of Powers - federal judge Oregon blocks Trump administration rule requiring immigrants to show proof of health insurance before being allowed to enter the country; Congress did not delegate such power, judge rules
First Amendment issues likely to propel David Daleiden’s Planned Parenthood undercover sting video case to the Supreme Court
1A Conscience: “California Supreme Court: Catholics Must Insure Abortions on Demand Because They Are ‘Medically Necessary’”
Equal Protection, etc. - Utah woman charged with lewdness for going topless in front of her children in her own home; husband “similarly clad” but not charged
1A: law professor’s video series on free speech continues with the rules pertaining to government property
Shame on the grandiose FBI employees who exchanged messages about how they had ‘never liked the Republic’ and had ‘initiated its destruction.’ Shame on you - the Republic gave you your salary - GIVE IT BACK! I’ll take the Republic over you juvenile impudent putzes any day.
Kudos to everyone who made noise - “GVSU student government reinstates Pledge of Allegiance after backlash from students, parents, donors”
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