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From yesterday's U.S. v. Quiroz, Judge David Counts (W.D. Tex.), discussing 18 U.S.C. § 922(n); part of the argument had to do with the lack of historical precedents for the law, but I thought readers would especially interested in this passage:. This Court is skeptical that the Government here,...
PARSONS, Kan. – The Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases in Parsons next week. Justices will hear the following cases on October 3, 2022, from 6:30 pm to about 8:00 pm at the Parsons High School. Appeal No. 123,077: State of Kansas v. Richard I....
Video of Cato Institute Constitution Day Panel on Recent Supreme Court Cases on "Constitutional Structure"
C-SPAN recently posted a video of the Cato Institute Constitution Day panel on 2021-22 term Supreme Court cases dealing with issues of "constitutional structure." Participants included fellow Volokh Conspiracy blogger Jonathan Adler (speaking on his Cato Supreme Court Review article about West Virginia v. EPA), my George Mason University colleague Jennifer Mascott (speaking on her article about Egbert v. Boule), and myself (speaking about my article about the OSHA and CMS vaccine mandate cases the Supreme decided in January.
This afternoon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit granted the Department of Justice's request for a partial stay of the lower court order that had temporarily blocked the Department from analyzing and investigating documents seized from former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. The 29-page per curiam...
In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court whole-heartedly embraced the major questions doctrine, under which agencies asserting broad regulatory powers implicating matters of exceptional economic or political significance must be able to identify a clear statement from Congress authorizing the exercise of such powers. As a consequence of the...
District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday struck portions of her special master ruling barring the Justice Department from investigating former President Donald Trump just hours after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ripped apart her decision to halt the criminal probe. The three-judge panel — which included two Trump...
Judge Reviewing Mar-a-Lago Documents Complains That Trump Has Offered No Evidence He Declassified Them
When the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's home at his Palm Beach resort last month, it was investigating possible violations of three federal statutes. None of those crimes hinges on the question of whether the documents that the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago, more than 100 of which were marked as classified, still had that status. That issue nevertheless has become a major point of contention between Trump and the Justice Department as they wrangle over what should be done with the 11,000 or so records seized by the FBI.
In the summer of 2021, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi offered the following response when asked about the president's power to unilaterally cancel student loan debt. "The president can't do it—so that's not even a discussion," she said. The president can delay repayment, as happened following the COVID-19 pandemic, she added, but, "it would take an act of Congress, not an executive order, to cancel student loan debt." That would seem to be that.
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9/20/1968: The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission denied a certificate of no exterior effect to the Penn Central Transportation Co. The Supreme Court found that the City of New York did not violate the Takings Clause in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York (1978).
I'm still trying to fully digest the Netchoice v. Paxton opinions (I've been slammed with several things the last few weeks, including an interesting and unexpected development which I hope to blog about in some detail next month). But for now, I thought I'd pass along two commentaries from top scholars on the subject, one entirely critical from Prof. Genevieve Lakier (Chicago) and one that's mostly critical from Prof. Alan Rozenshtein (Minnesota). Here's the opening of Prof. Lakier's (which is a Twitter thread):
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan has returned to Mississippi's capital city to meet with Jackson officials about the city's troubled water system
I missed this post by Eric Boehm when it went up last month, and, embarrassingly, just found it because the L.A. Times wrote about it Friday. Better later than never, though, I suppose; here's an excerpt, though you should read the whole thing:. The FBI told a federal magistrate judge...
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A panel of federal circuit judges has upheld a Texas law that limits the ability of social media companies to moderate their platforms and forces them to carry speech they find objectionable in what certainly appears to be a complete violation and abandonment of First Amendment protections for private companies.
Senate Investigation Finds Justice Department Undercounted Prison and Jail Deaths Last Year by Nearly 1,000
The Justice Department's annual tally of deaths in state prisons and jails was short by nearly 1,000 last year, an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found. States are required under the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA) to submit data on deaths in prisons and jails to...
The big news of the week was a Fifth Circuit decision upholding Texas's law regulating social media speech suppression. The decision was poorly received by the usual supporters of social media censorship but I found it both remarkably well written and surprisingly persuasive. That does not mean it will survive the almost inevitable Supreme Court review but Judge Oldham wrote an opinion that could be a model for a Supreme Court decision upholding the Texas law.
Each new entry on the Supreme Court's emergency docket brings twists and turns. The latest lesson comes in Yeshiva University v. YU Pride Alliance. On June 24, the New York Supreme Court (the trial court) entered a permanent injunction, requiring YU to recognize the LGBT club. On August 23, the New York Appellate Division (the intermediate court) denied a motion to stay the trial court's permanent injunction. On August 25, the New York Appellate Division denied an emergency motion for leave to appeal the denial of the stay. That same day, the New York Court of Appeals (the state court of last resort) denied an emergency motion for leave to appeal the denial of the stay. Four days later, on August 29, YU filed an emergency application for a stay with the Supreme Court. This move, as I noted earlier this month, should have come as no surprise. YU's counsel, the Becket Fund, pursued every possible path in the lower court before going upstairs–or did they? (Disclosure: I've collaborated with Becket on several matters over the years.)
Occupational licensing raises barriers, not quality. In an alarming number of U.S. professions, would-be practitioners have to obtain a government permission slip to work legally. This sort of occupational licensing might make sense for, say, doctors and pharmacists; less so for tree trimmers and tour guides. A lot of it seems to come down to gatekeeping—that is, existing workers and businesses wanting to keep the number of new entrants into the market low.
An interesting observation from Prof. Freedman (Hofstra); I think that, if such a rule were adopted (and I don't advocate it), the result would often likely be Presidents and the Senate reaching a compromise on a truly centrist Justice—but I might be mistaken, and in any even the thought experiment is worth considering:
John Does 1-10 … were minor students of Covington Catholic High School. On January 18, 2019, Does traveled with their classmates to Washington, D.C., to attend the March for Life. Afterward, Does and their classmates met at the Lincoln Memorial to await their bus. Members of the Black Hebrew Israelites were at the Lincoln Memorial and insulted the students. Native American activist leader Nathan Phillips was also at the Lincoln Memorial singing, chanting, and playing his drum. In response, some students engaged in school cheers, and performed a tomahawk chop "cheer." These encounters were filmed and uploaded with commentary to various forms of media. Many people took offense to the students' behavior and called for their punishment, shaming, and doxing.
Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature written by a bunch of people at the Institute for Justice. State constitutions don't have enumerated powers like the U.S. Constitution. On the one hand, that's a dangerous thing. On the other, state constitutions try to compensate by guaranteeing rights even more strongly than the federal version. And a key aspect of that guarantee is judicial engagement. So says IJ's Anthony Sanders in his review, over at Duke Law's Judicature, of the book Who Decides? by Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton.