Commerce Clause: Justice Department won’t appeal lower court decision blocking federal female genital mutilation prosecutions as unconstitutional (States, it’s up to you or we have sharia, it’s that simple.)
1A: Kentucky ultrasound informed-consent abortion law upheld over First Amendment objections by doctors (6th Circuit)
1A: Do we really want to go down the road of compelled speech in this country? We will if the jack-booted thugs have their way on transgenderism (video)
1A: “Fake News and the First Amendment: Free Speech Rules” (Volokh video)
2A: Sandy Hook gun manufacturer takes steps to appeal ruling federal immunity statute unavailable (argument made manufacturer broke state law by glorifying illegal uses for its products)
2A: East St. Louis Housing Authority agrees to allow public housing residents to possess guns
4A: ‘reverse location’ warrants which sweep up data for hundreds or thousands of cell phone users raise constitutional questions
Discrimination: landlords can lawfully decline Section 8 housing vouchers, despite disparate impact theory (disproportionate effect on minorities)
Trademarks based on some racial slurs are OK but others are beyond the pale, and now the Supreme Court is wrestling with whether the same should be true for swear words.
Economic Freedom: challenge mounted to Nashville probation on home-based businesses (piano lessons, recording studios, hair care, etc.)
Electoral College: Delaware and New Mexico join National Popular Vote compact
Shame on CNN! The electoral college did NOT have anything to do with slavery and Madison did NOT call it ‘evil’
Discrimination: female Muslim soldier planning to sue Army after being told to remove hijab to see if hair conformed to regulations
1A: ACLU suing on behalf of former intelligence agency operatives challenging pre-publication review of their books
1A: 9th Circuit denies en banc review of decision requiring charities to turn over lists of their donors to California officials, despite district court finding state can’t keep donor names secure
Creation of ‘hate group’ monitoring units by Michigan and Minnesota AGs raises free expression concerns.
Free Expression: “Germany’s Top Muslim Organization Calls for ‘Islamophobia’ Czar”
1A Free Press: House Dems second-guessing Fox decision not to run a story about a Trump affair, demand reporter’s documents
1A Free Press: Republican bill in Georgia would establish journalism ethics board; critics call it Orwellian
2A: bump stocks are essentially machine guns which are illegal; preliminary injunction while challenge to Trump administration bump stock rule denied (D.C. Circuit)
2A: court blocks sale of 10-round clips as California appeals earlier ruling knocking down magazine ban
5A Self-Incrimination: law review article examines whether suspects can be compelled to enter a password to decrypt a locked phone, computer, or file.
14A Due Process: homeowners win first round in excessive ticketing ‘policing for profit’ case in Georgia
Preamble: Bernie Sanders supporters claim General Welfare clause makes the U.S. a socialist country. Sure, and I’m the tooth fairy.
8A: lethal injection not cruel and unusual punishment despite death row inmate’s medical condition that would generate unusual pain, Supreme Court rules
8A: Supreme Court solicitous of victims’ rights in death penalty case; called on lower courts to recognize delay is harmful to victims' families and to prevent tactical delays
8A: refusal of Texas to pay for inmate’s gender reassignment surgery is not cruel and unusual punishment (5th Circuit)
1A: Supreme Court declines to hear secret taping case involving Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts; lawsuit may proceed
5A: One of the remaining challenges to President Trump’s travel ban was thrown out of court. Any right to “familial association” cannot be used to demand U.S. visas for family members overseas.
So-called ‘Equality Act’ would assault conscience rights, institutionalize transgenderism, harm gender dysphoric children, and reduce adoption and foster care
Federal judge allows challenge to Illinois school district transgender locker room policy to go forward; 1A Free Exercise of Religion claim cognizable, but no 5A right not to be seen unclothed by the opposite sex
!A: federal judge rules Arkansas city’s panhandling ban is unconstitutional; physical interaction is protected by the First Amendment
1A: professor’s profanity and discussion of her and her students’ sex lives are unrelated to course material and do not fall within academic freedom (5th Circuit)
1A Religion: Sufi Muslim inmate files appeal to test whether prison can use promise of attendance at weekly prayer services as a motivator to get inmate to improve behavior
2A: California’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets unconstitutional, federal judge rules
2A: right to have stun guns vindicated in two more decisions
2A: Did the U.S. agree to full implementation of the onerous UN gun control pact? U.S. citizen info to go into global tracking database?
4A: law enforcement is entitled to rely on warrant issued by a court (good faith exception) (6th Circuit)
4A: police cannot lie to get permission to search and avoid securing a warrant. Looking for child porn, policed asked to inspect computers claiming one of them is "sending a signal and/or viruses to computers in Washington." (5th Circuit)
5A Double Jeopardy: disgorgement of profits and imposition of fines for insider trading are civil penalties and do not bar criminal prosecution for same misconduct (11th Circuit)
5A: aggressive City of Baltimore files eminent domain suit to take Pimlico racetrack ... AND THE PREAKNESS HORSE RACE!
6A: speedy trial rights violated when defendants spend 5 years in pretrial detention after evidence goes missing and prosecutors take 3 years to decide on the death penalty (2nd Circuit)
6A: right to counsel violated when appointed attorney insists on insanity defense over defendant’s objections (9th Circuit)
Original meaning of 14A Privileges or Immunities clause protects unenumerated natural rights
Shame! Eric Holder asserts ‘America was never great’ (but was forced to retreat after backlash) #HateAmericaFirstCrowd
1A: President Trump signs executive order promoting free speech on campus
1A: Trump campus free speech order too vague and uncertain to be constitutional, academics argue
1A: Arkansas enacts campus free speech law
1A: conservative student gets ‘F’ for refusing to lobby for liberal legislation for a class, now gets his day in court
1A: “University Of California Free Speech Center Squashes Project By Black Conservative”
1A: high school student does not have First Amendment protection for off-campus threats of school violence (9th Circuit)
1A: federal judge strikes down FEC rules prohibiting political action committees unrelated to a candidate from using the candidate’s name
1A: San Antonio shutting Chick-fil-A out of airport is probably actionable viewpoint discrimination
2A: New Zealand attack shows failure of strict gun control laws; also, lives were saved when shooter fled second mosque after being confronted with a weapon
Free Expression: CAIR goes after free speech in wake of New Zealand killings (why are we not surprised?)
Free Expression: “U.S. Islamic leader publishes list of 'Islamophobic' terms” - ‘jihad’ and ‘radical Islam’ are hate speech. Sure, and I’m the tooth fairy.
1A Religion, etc.: “HR 5 Equality Act - An Extreme Threat to Religious Freedom, Speech, Privacy, and Women’s Rights”; puts LGBT on same legal footing as race; no religious exemption for churches - wow.
1A Religion: Freedom from Religion Foundation loses in court; tax exemption for ministerial housing does not violate the Establishment Clause (7th Circuit)
14A Due Process: “Utah Governor Signs Bill Banning Abortions on Babies After 18 Weeks”, but trouble ahead: “Federal Judge Strikes Down North Carolina Law Banning Abortions of Babies After 20 Weeks”
Commerce Clause: “Congress can no more license the states to discriminate against interstate commerce than it can license them to violate the Contracts Clause.” (state regulation of insurance)
Electoral College: Big Money (and some Republicans) behind National Popular Vote movement
Electoral College: Colorado activists hope to overturn National Popular Vote bill in first referendum in the country
Court-Packing: “GOP Rep. Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Keep SCOTUS at Nine Justices”
“When Can the President Claim Executive Privilege?”
Shame! Washington Governor Jay Inslee wouldn’t mind forming new nation out of the 21 states in the U.S. Climate Alliance. And this guy is running for President of THESE UNITED STATES? Sheesh!
Liberato.US on the radio: Popular Sovereignty Amendment, facial recognition, free speech, pushback on ‘the flag is a rag’ (radio archive - 1st hour)
2A: Connecticut allows lawsuit by Sandy Hook victims against gun manufacturer to proceed
5A Due Process: Supreme Court allows indefinite immigration holds after criminal aliens serve their sentences; dissent argues due process, not statutory interpretation, at issue.
1A,14A: Supreme Court turns away appeal from Hawaii bed and breakfast that refused to serve lesbian couple
1A: Attorney General asserts state secrets privilege in Twitter’s lawsuit asking to publish more details about the National Security Letters and surveillance orders it receives
Emoluments: oral arguments heard in Trump hotel case; judges seem skeptical of foreign influence claims
1A Religion: federal court permits 3 Native Americans to grow long hair in prison (‘hair is an extension of the soul’)
Electoral College: Colorado passage gives National Popular Vote Compact 181 of 270 electoral votes needed to bypass Electoral College; Compact passes Delaware House
Electoral College: challenge to National Popular Vote Compact may have to await a presidential election, observers say
1A: Lafayette city bus system settles abortion ad suit; will allow ads and change policy on political advertising
Free Expression: “UK: Stepdad Called ‘Racist Bigot’ For Opposing Daughter’s Homework Assignment to Write Letter to Her Family About Converting to Islam”
Free Expression: “Putin signs bill banning ‘blatant disrespect’ for Russian state online”
4A: Supreme Court is asked to take case testing whether the Fourth Amendment allows the police to stop a criminal suspect without reasonable suspicion on the ground that the stop is merely "information-seeking"
Double Jeopardy: Manafort’s best shot might be to argue double jeopardy under New York constitution and statute
14A Due Process: the words “acquire”, “receive”, and “transfer” in Indiana statue prohibiting sale of aborted baby parts are ubiquitous in the law and not unconstitutionally vague (7th Circuit)
6A: Supreme Court will hear case testing whether jury verdicts must be unanimous in state criminal cases; Jury Trial Clause is only ‘partially incorporated’ against the states at the moment
“GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9”
“State Constitutions? Why Would Each State Need Its Own Constitution? Part 2”
5A: Ohio can de-fund Planned Parenthood, 6th Circuit rules. There are no due process rights to PERFORM abortions or receive government subsidies for doing so.
5A Due Process: now a split among Circuit courts as to whether asylum seekers have access to the courts to contest their ‘credible fear’ claims (can stave off deportation)
3rd Circuit Court of Appeals flips to Republican majority with Trump appointees
14A Equal Protection: Ban on DACA applicants to Georgia state universities upheld (11th Circuit) (Georgia does allow some limited DACA admissions)
1A: Not quite sure how an executive order on campus free speech would be administered
1A: class action filed against California Teachers Association for noncompliance with Janus decision; still collecting forced dues
2A: federal judge allows federal case against Massachusetts AG assault rifle re-definition to proceed; issues presented separate and above state case
Discrimination: Iowa Supreme Court strikes down state’s ban on Medicaid coverage for transgender surgeries (state statute lists “gender identity” as a protected group)
5A: Alabama court grants legal rights to aborted baby
5A, Separation of Powers: Huawei makes due process, separation of powers claims in lawsuit against U.S. (Congress doing work of courts by stripping commercial opportunities from company)
Problem: the next Democratic President won’t be able to get their agenda past the Supreme Court. Solution: pack the Court, of course! #DejaVuAllOverAgain
1A: “Florida Bill Would Make It a Crime for Minors to Post Pictures of Guns on Social Media
Clearly unconstitutional, of course.”
1A: you have a constitutional right to give police officers the finger and, no, they can’t retaliate (6th Circuit)
1A: Fresno State professor ordered to pay $26,000, attend free speech sensitivity training for rubbing out student pro-life messages on sidewalk
1A: " Arizona HS Students Ask for AG Investigation After Being Kicked Off Campus Over Pro-Trump Attire and Flags"
Free Expression: UN bares its teeth again, wants criticism of migration criminalized
4A: police need a warrant to search a purse no longer on arrested woman’s person (10th Circuit)
6A: two new cases show speedy trial rights can be violated by government neglecting to secure timely psych evaluation and by trial court not explaining reasons for delay
14A: Anti-vaxxers take note - government can impose compulsory vaccination laws to save lives; there is no absolute right to liberty; it must yield to public health powers of the state
14A Equal Protection: “Minnesota Public High School Can't Have Girls-Only Dance Team” (8th Circuit)
Equal Rights Amendment fails in Arkansas
Gouverneur Morris turned the Constitutional Convention’s work product into a coherent draft, influencing the final text in the process
Cory Booker parts company with others on the Left, acknowledges racial difficulties have been overcome since the Constitution was written
Kudos: Optimist Club program to hand out pocket Constitutions and flash cards to students is now in its seventh year
1A Religion: Colorado ends persecution of Masterpiece cake baker Jack Phillips after evidence of hostility to religion surfaces (again)
1A: President Trump to sign executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars
Citizenship: Alabama ISIS bride’s parents were essentially visitors in U.S. at time of her birth and, therefore, not subject to the full and complete jurisdiction of the United States
1A,4A,5A: Planned Parenthood and AMA sue Trump administration over rule preventing the promotion of abortion with taxpayer funds
1A: The liberal ACLU won’t support House Democrat election reform bill (H.R. 1) because it would interfere with free speech rights. Further objections: federalism, separation of powers, etc.
1A Religion: “6 Key Exchanges From the Peace Cross Oral Argument” (Gorsuch raises standing; current Lemon test criticized)
1A, 4A: appellate panel serves up mixed bag of results on unlawful search and religious discrimination claims in case involving undercover surveillance of Muslim community (9th Circuit)
1A: report argues private sector workers have free speech rights and employers can’t prevent them from talking to reporters
1A, 8A: even criminal motorcycle gangs have free speech rights; stripping them of trademarked logo would be excessive punishment
1A Commercial Speech: Missouri ‘meat’ law criticized as cronyism; little chance consumers confused by ‘veggie sausage’ or ‘tofu turkey’
Free Expression: Did you know we are all governed by Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?
1A,14A: Supreme Court turns away case testing New Jersey law prohibiting disbursement of historic preservation funds to religious institutions. (Yo, churches! Get off welfare; you’re making a deal with the devil.)
2A: ‘constitutional carry’ (no-permit needed) gun law enacted in Oklahoma
10A: legislation introduced in South Carolina to establish a committee on federalism to evaluate federal overreach
Article 1, Section 9: habeas corpus is available when people have significant restraints on their liberty (sex offender registry), not just when they’re in custody (Third Circuit)
Electoral College: Colorado set to join blue state move to circumvent the Constitution with National Popular Vote Compact
Appointments Clause: Robert Mueller is an ‘inferior officer’ not requiring Senate confirmation (D.C. Circuit)
George Washington’s active support was key to ratification of the Constitution
Reparations unconstitutional under current Supreme Court jurisprudence prohibiting special treatment for particular racial groups
Preamble to the U.S. Constitution can aid interpretation of substantive clauses and resolve ambiguity
The Flag is a Rag’ - Shame on Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers! (Champions of the Constitution Grassroots Network pushes back)
14A Equal Protection: federal judge in Texas rules all-male military draft unconstitutional (declaratory judgment only; no court order). #WelcomeToEquality
14A Equal Protection: Trump may issue executive order prohibiting government use of flawed and overreaching ‘disparate impact’ theory which dispenses with need to prove discriminatory intent in race cases.
5A Fundamental Rights: Climate Kids submit brief to 9th Circuit in interlocutory appeal of whether ‘riight to a sustainable environment’ case should proceed to trial
5A Fundamental Rights: federal judge in Philadelphia dismisses claim there is a constitutional rights to a “life-sustaining climate system”, expressly disagreeing with Oregon judge who affirmed such a right in Climate Kids case
1A: Supreme Court turns away workplace ‘Fight for 15’ buttons dispute; how broadly to read Janus will have to wait for another day
1A: Supreme Court hears case testing whether public access television is subject to free speech rules
1A: ”Defendant Has No First Amendment Right to Wear "Black Lives Matter" T-Shirt at Trial”
1A: Washington statute that criminalized cyberstalking - "anonymous or repeated" speech intended "to harass, ... torment, or embarrass" is unconstitutional because it outlaws protected speech (federal judge, Washington state)
1A: Mississippi engineer licensing board’s attempt to stop tire shop business from using the name ‘Tire Engineers’ violates commercial free speech rights (5th Circuit)
Free Expression - London police arrest street preacher, take his Bible
1A Free Press: 12-year-old reporter schools Arizona police officer on the First Amendment - yes you can record their faces and put them on the Internet
Gun Rights: “Venezuelans Now Regret Giving Up Their Guns to Socialist Chavez Regime”
6A: California judge rules undercover baby parts videos will be public during the trial
8A: Supreme Court sends death row case back to Alabama; condemned prisoners must understand what they are being executed for; this one had strokes and says he can’t remember his crimes
Commerce Clause: 40 projects on hold awaiting outcome of suit arguing Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls should only be used to maintain the Turnpike, not fund other transportation projects.
Amendments: Equal Rights Amendment goes down to defeat in Virginia
Judicial nomination points up schism on the right - some conservatives questioning appointment of libertarian Neomi Rao who appears to be pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-open borders and a fan of making up new fundamental rights.
Presidential contender Kamala Harris was born in California to two noncitizen parents - natural born citizen?
Webinar: Conscience as the Most Sacred Form of Property. Explore Madison’s thought that natural rights are our property, with Gary Porter the evening of March 11th. $10 - register here -
8A: Supreme Court unanimously rules state and local governments may not impose excessive fines, which will sharply curtail their use of abusive civil asset forfeitures
8A: Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse in Tennessee (new article by Knoxville Tea Party)
8A: Supreme Court finds Texas man intellectually disabled, blocks his execution
14A: city ordinance barring female toplessness discriminates against women, 10th Circuit panel rules. Women’s breasts are not erotic, that’s just a stereotype, opinion says. Glad we got that straightened out.
Separation of Powers: 16 states file suit against the President’s national emergency declaration, arguing Congress did not appropriate for the wall the money Trump is repurposing
Census: Supreme Court to rule quickly on whether citizenship question can be put on census form. (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3)
Appointments Clause: appointments to the Puerto Rico bankruptcy board held unconstitutional; board members deemed ‘officers of the U.S.’ but not confirmed by the Senate
1A: 14 of 15 criminal charges against Center for Medical Progress journalist dismissed in connection with undercover baby parts sting videos involving Planned Parenthood
1A: 7th Circuit panel upholds Chicago ‘bubble zone’ ordinance prohibiting ‘sidewalk counseling’ near abortion clinics, but relies on discredited Supreme Court precedent
2A: study finds that comprehensive background checks for gun sales did not reduce homicide or suicide rates in a 10-year period in California.
2A: New York bill would require examination of years of your Internet activity before you could buy a gun
4A: police officer touching a tire is a search under property rights (trespass) theory of the Fourth Amendment (5th Circuit)
4A: it is NOT reasonable for officers to assume that a woman who answers the door in a bathrobe has authority to consent to a search of a male suspect's residence (7th Circuit)
5A: many eminent domain headaches await Trump’s border wall
13A: New Hampshire bill would impose Medicaid quota on doctors
14A: Supreme Court case to test contours of idea lawyers can’t use peremptory challenges to exclude jurors for racial reasons
14A: Washington State “misleading voter initiative seeks to repeal I-200, which banned state-sponsored discrimination or preferential treatment based on race, sex, etc.”
21A: “residency requirements for retail liquor licenses in Tennessee has raised an array of legal and constitutional questions”
Article V Convention: Arkansas becomes the 13th of 34 states needed to approve constitutional convention
Libel: Justice Thomas wants Court to reexamine New York Times v. Sullivan defamation precedent and possibly make it easier for public figures to sue media outlets for fake news
Judicial supremacy is inconsistent with popular sovereignty, i.e. the rightful authority of a self-governing people
February 15, 1879 - the day women were first permitted to argue before the Supreme Court
Kudos! 6- and 8-year-old boys stop, place their hand over their heart, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as flag raised at their North Carolina town’s firehouse
1A Religion: Christian student group wins in court, can choose own leaders
1A: federal judge upholds Arkansas anti-BDS law forbidding state agencies from dealing with companies that boycott Israel (other courts have gone the other way)
5A Fundamental Rights: failure of South Dakota bill affirming parental rights to resist the transitioning of their gender-confused kids should terrify parents
Amendment to affirm a constitutional right for parents to “direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children” introduced in the House
14A Due Process: Supreme Court declines to stay execution of Muslim inmate in Alabama who had sued to have imam present in death chamber.
1A: forcing students to fill in world history course worksheet with ‘no god but Allah’ does not establish a religion or compel speech (4th Circuit) #CreepingSharia
Free Expression: Islam very successful in suppressing criticism of its treatment of women; feminists overlook “child marriages, forced marriages, female seclusion, honor killings, gang rapes of infidel women, or the enslavement and sale of females for sex slavery.” Not to mention FGM.
Free Expression: English woman arrested for ‘misgendering’ trans activist on Twitter
Free Expression: tech giants that punish social media users for ‘misgendering’ are killing freedom of expression
1A Right of Association: Women suing for sexual harassment at Yale fraternities seek to have them opened to women. #ABridgeTooFar
1A Right of Association: the section of the Delaware Constitution requiring judges to be Republican or Democrat is unconstitutional
1A: gun groups file suit against New Jersey for law criminalizing the sharing of gun blueprints online
2A: map shows many more states now allowing concealed carry than in 1986
2A: Washington State sheriff refuses to enforce state’s restrictions on ‘assault rifles’
5A Due Process: new lawsuit claims holding immigration court by videoconference limits access to justice and is a pretext for speeding deportations https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/nyregion/immigration-court-video-teleconferencing.html
14A Equal Protection: trade association objects to Pennsylvania bill that would tax adult video games an extra 10%
Electoral College: Dems pushing National Popular Vote Compact in their ‘trifecta’ states
State Constitutions: rational basis test for substantive due process and equal protection claims under state constitutions tougher than in Supreme Court ‘anything goes’ jurisprudence
Judicial ‘minimalism’ explained - courts should avoid broad sweeping declarations and decide cases on the narrowest ground possible
Whatever notions you have about traffic camera speed traps being unconstitutional, forget it says Iowa Supreme Court
“George Washington Letter on God and the Constitution Revealed”