Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

On May 20th, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a motion by the government defendants to dismiss the lawsuit filed by NRA and the SAF against Washington’s gun control ballot initiative, I-1639.  The lawsuit may now proceed.

NRA and SAF previously filed the lawsuit in November, 2018.  Initiative 1639 classifies ordinary, recreational firearms in common use as “assault” weapons, denies young adults the right to self-protection, and bans the sale of firearms to out-of-state residents.  The provision restricting the Second Amendment rights of young adults went into effect on January 1st, 2019.  The other provisions are set to take effect on July 1st, 2019.

City agrees to stay on three gun-control bills while lawsuits play out in court

Pittsburgh’s three gun-control ordinances will not be enforced until the court deems them legal, according to an order issued by an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge Monday.

All parties agreed to the stay during a Monday morning meeting held in Judge Joseph James’ chambers between city lawyers and legal counsel representing opponents of the laws.

“That’s consistent with the city’s goal all along, which is to put this in front of the court, let the courts decide whether these ordinances are permissible under Pennsylvania law,” said Eric Tirschwell, an attorney with gun-control advocacy organization Everytown Law who is representing the city pro bono. “The city is not looking to prejudice anyone while those decisions are made.”

Everytown Law is the legislative arm of the national Everytown for Gun Safety organization.

This has always been the strategy, said Mayor Bill Peduto’s spokesman Tim McNulty. “The Mayor has said basically the same thing numerous times,” Mr. McNulty said.

The three gun ordinances, signed into law by Mr. Peduto in April, aim to ban the use of certain assault-style weapons and accessories as well as allow the courts to temporarily seize weapons from those threatening to harm themselves or others.

State and local gun-rights groups, as well as four local residents backed by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, have filed three separate lawsuits against the city — including two actions to halt the laws and another petitioning to hold the city in contempt for violating Pennsylvania preemption laws on local regulation of firearms.

“We want to make sure the public is aware of the fact that these ordinances are stayed and that there’s not going to be any enforcement until Judge James has an opportunity to decide the matter,” said attorney Joshua Prince, who is representing state and local gun-rights organizations Firearms Owners Against Crime and Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League, which are plaintiffs in two lawsuits against the city.

Accused of ‘Terrorism’ for Putting Legal Materials Online.

Of all publications; This is in the NY Times.

WASHINGTON — Carl Malamud believes in open access to government records, and he has spent more than a decade putting them online. You might think states would welcome the help.

But when Mr. Malamud’s group posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotatedthe state sued for copyright infringement. Providing public access to the state’s laws and related legal materials, Georgia’s lawyers said, was part of a “strategy of terrorism.”

A federal appeals court ruled against the state, which has asked the Supreme Court to step in. On Friday, in an unusual move, Mr. Malamud’s group, Public.Resource.Orgalso urged the court to hear the dispute, saying that the question of who owns the law is an urgent one, as about 20 other states have claimed that parts of similar annotated codes are copyrighted.

The issue, the group said, is whether citizens can have access to “the raw materials of our democracy.”

Colorado School Shooting Suspects Appear in Court to Face Murder Charges

Two students suspected of shooting nine classmates, one fatally, in their Colorado charter school appeared in court Wednesday to face dozens of criminal charges that include murder, attempted murder, theft and arson.

The parents of the teen who was killed in the attack looked on in court before heading to their son’s memorial service. Senior Kendrick Castillo was just days from graduating when he was slain while trying to stop one of the gunmen during the May 7 attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, which is not far from the scene of the 1999 Columbine massacre.

Investigators say Devon Erickson, 18, and Alec McKinney, 16, used handguns in the assault. Eight students were wounded.

Prosecutors said both would be tried as adults. McKinney’s attorney, Ara Ohanian, said she would seek to move his case back to juvenile court.

Court documents are sealed, but charges are listed in electronic court records. Judge Theresa Slade denied the prosecution’s request to make some of the documents public but said she would address the issue at the next hearing on June 7.

Federal judge orders parts of Mueller report unredacted, made public

Remember that Sullivan is the judge who is presiding over Flynn’s obstruction case and the one who will eventually sentence Flynn, so this is primarily affecting the judicial proceedings, not the congressional caterwauling.

A federal judge has ordered portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be unredacted and made public in the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the limited order Thursday. Portions of the report relating to Flynn are redacted and would be made public under the order.

It is the first time a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to make public portions of the report the agency had kept secret.

Mueller officially concluded his investigation in March. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s report in April.

Flynn is awaiting sentence after admitting to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

 

 

Justice Department urges Supreme Court to overturn NYC gun law

Here’s the brief. It looks like the DOJ is working to help give the court some kind of cover to rule as narrowly as possible against the NYC ordnance and no further. It mentions ‘intermediate scrutiny’ several times and even though using a correct reading of the Heller decision and the 2nd amendment, finally makes it clear that’s what they’re suggesting.

CNN) – The Justice Department on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to overturn a New York City gun law that regulates where licensed handgun owners can take their firearms.

The justices are poised to hear the Second Amendment case next term, and it will be the first substantive gun rights cases the court has heard since Justice Antonin Scalia’s landmark opinion in 2008 holding that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep a gun at home and a follow up case in 2010.

Since those opinions came down, the court has declined to take up several other follow up cases to the frustration of gun-rights supporters.

2A Attorney: 70% of N.J. gun laws could go away if SCOTUS takes up this case on May 23rd.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There’s a major challenge to New Jersey’s gun control regime which could get taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision will be made on May 23rd.

The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Club previously initiated Rogers v. Grewala challenge to New Jersey’s restriction on carry licenses, and the case has worked its way through the federal judiciary. Next week, the Supreme Court will finally hold a conference at which time the Justices will sit around a giant conference table, discuss the points of law implicated by cases awaiting action, and ultimately vote on any pending petitions of certiorari (a request for SCOTUS to review a lower court’s decision).

The stakes are potentially huge.

That’s because the circuits are split. The First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits have issued decision favorable to strong state gun controls concerning carry licenses; the Seventh and Ninth Circuits along with the influential D.C. Circuit went in the other direction. This is an opportunity for the Highest Court in the Land to resolve the dispute… if they take it up and grant cert.

If SCOTUS hears the case, how the High Court rules will likely turn on whether a majority believes “strict scrutiny” is the appropriate standard of judicial review for gun control carry laws.

If DiFi and Camel don’t like it, I do!
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed a controversial nominee to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over the objections of both home-state senators.

Senators voted 52-45 on Kenneth Lee’s nomination to the influential appeals court, giving President Trump his 40th circuit judge since taking office.

Lee’s confirmation came despite neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, nor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential contender, returning a blue slip on his nomination.

The blue-slip rule — a precedent upheld by Senate tradition — has historically allowed a home-state senator to stop a lower-court nominee by refusing to return the blue slip to the Judiciary Committee.

Florida Carry Sues FDLE For Violations Of Gun Background Check Laws

Tallahassee, FL – A class action lawsuit for ongoing violations of Florida’s firearms background check and preemption laws was filed today on behalf of all Floridians whose right to acquire firearms have been illegally interfered with by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Florida Law 790.065 subsection (2) requires that FDLE complete background checks for firearm purchases within 24 working hours. In March of 2018, FDLE began illegally putting background checks into an indefinite “Decision Pending” status. Various plaintiffs have been waiting for as much as a year, in some cases even after providing FDLE with certified proof that they are not prohibited from purchasing firearms.

The law is crystal clear on how FDLE is required to conduct background checks and issue either approval, conditional, or non-approval statuses on background checks.

An indefinite “Decision Pending” is not a legal status under Florida statute. FDLE has knowingly and willfully changed its policies, rules, and regulations to illegally deprive many law-abiding Floridians of their right to keep and bear arms without proper evidence of a disqualifying background or the due process required for the denial of a fundamental right.

Bureaucrats in Florida have no authority to regulate the right to keep and bear arms. Only the legislature may enact Florida firearms and weapons laws or procedures. Under FDLE Commissioner Swearingen’s leadership, Florida’s top law enforcement agency became law breakers by illegally taking it upon themselves to violate the rights of Florida citizens.

Florida Law provides that: “790.065 (10) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer is not required to comply with the requirements of this section in the event of: … (b) Failure of the Department of Law Enforcement to comply with the requirements of subsections (2) and (3).”

FDLE is not complying. The FDLE Commissioner must be beyond reproach in ensuring that the Department of Law Enforcement operate in adherence to Florida law. We call on Governor DeSantis to direct FDLE to immediately comply with Florida firearms laws and exercise his unquestionable authority to take appropriate action in light of Commissioner Swearingen’s malfeasance in office.

Trump continues to flip Manhattan federal courts conservative

President Trump may get the chance to turn the federal courts in Manhattan conservative.

Last week, he added two more judges to the 13-judge US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit — making the balance seven liberals to six conservatives.

Soon, he will get to add two more.

Circuit Judges Christopher Droney and Dennis Jacobs have announced they would be retiring in June, thus allowing Trump — who has vowed to nominate only conservative judges — to add two more of his own picks to the court.

The Manhattan appeals court took the first step toward a conservative takeover this week, when the Senate confirmed Joseph Bianco and Michael Park as new members.

Bianco, a Queens native who was a federal judge in a lower court in Brooklyn, was confirmed 54-42 last week with some Democratic support.

Park — a lawyer who has supported the Trump administration effort to put citizenship questions on the Census — was confirmed last Thursday 52-41.

He got strong opposition from both New York senators, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who called him an “extreme right-wing” pick.

Schumer also called him a “stooge” for the Federalist Society, a conservative legal network.

The federal appeals courts occupy a powerful role in the US judicial system — ranking just below the Supreme Court and reviewing tens of thousands of cases annually.

‘Fast And Furious’ Settlement Entered Into DC Court

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Hours after House Judiciary Committee Democrats voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for withholding parts of the Mueller report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the House Oversight Committee settled the 2012 contempt case against the DOJ.

The case, related to the “Fast and Furious” document subpoena demanded of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder when Republicans held the majority, is now considered settled, since Democrats became the majority in the lower chamber and Elijah Cummings became Oversight Committee Chairman

According to court documents, settlement negotiations first began January 2017 during the 115th Congress. By March 7, 2018, the Justice Department and the Oversight Committee signed a conditional settlement agreement with certain conditions, which included that the court would vacate certain rulings at issue on remand. However, the court ruled last October that it would not vacate the rulings.

Following a subsequent lapse in appropriations for the DOJ and the election of Cummings as Chair, “the parties resumed settlement negotiations in early February 2019. The parties informed this Court on April 4, 2019, that they had ‘made substantial progress towards a negotiated solution.’”

The settlement agreement includes that the Oversight Committee “will take all necessary steps to voluntarily dismiss its appeal with prejudice in Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives v. Barr, No. 16-5078 (D.C. Cir.), marking the termination of all civil litigation between the parties arising out of the complaint filed by the Committee…”


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WILL ASK SUPREME COURT TO END NATIONWIDE INJUNCTIONS

The Trump administration is searching for an appropriate case in which to ask the Supreme Court to end nationwide injunctions, Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday in Washington at a Federalist Society conference.

Nationwide injunctions, in which federal trial judges bar the federal government from enforcing a law or carrying out a policy across the entire country, have beset President Donald Trump since he took office. District courts have blocked administration policy priorities on immigration, national security and health care.

“The Supreme Court of the United States must clarify that district judges can decide no more than the cases before them — and it’s imperative that we restore the historic tradition that district judges do not set policy for the whole nation,” Pence told the conservative lawyers group.

“In the days ahead, our administration will seek opportunities to put this question before the Supreme Court — to ensure that decisions affecting every American are made either by those elected to represent the American people or by the highest court in the land,” Pence added.

Attorney General William Barr is involved in the effort, a source with knowledge of the process told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The solicitor general, who represents the U.S. government before the justices, answers to Barr.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ moment may finally have arrived

From his judicial writings, the justice has been more than a ‘staunch supporter’ of the clear and certain words “shall not be infringed’ . I think if he were the sole SCOTUS justice, the rulings on RKBA would be that any law – federal or state – concerning all arms, except for their use in committing violent crimes, would be found to be unconstitutional.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Clarence Thomas has been a Supreme Court justice for nearly three decades. It may finally be his moment.

Many Americans know Thomas largely from his bruising 1991 confirmation hearing, when he was accused of sexual harassment charges by former employee Anita Hill — charges he denied. People may know he’s a conservative and has gone years without speaking during arguments at the court. But scholars say it would be wise to pay closer attention to Thomas.

Thomas is now the longest-serving member of a court that has recently gotten more conservative, putting him in a unique and potentially powerful position, and he’s said he doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. With President Donald Trump’s nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh now on the court, conservatives are firmly in control as the justices take on divisive issues such as abortion, gun control and LGBT rights.

Thomas, 70, became the high court’s longest-serving justice, the “senior associate justice,” when Justice Anthony Kennedy retired last summer . But unlike Kennedy, who sat at the court’s ideological center and was most often the deciding vote when the court split 5-4, Thomas is consistently on the court’s far right.

ANTI-GUNNERS’ LAWSUIT AGAINST ARMSLIST FAILS IN WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT.

Appears someoneon the Wisconsis Supreme Court decided that Federal Law means what it says. Of course, this is another example of “the process is the punishment” as the legal bills for all this must be astronomical.

We review a decision of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court’s dismissal of Yasmeen Daniel’s complaint against Brian Mancini, Jonathan Gibbon, and Armslist, LLC (collectively “Armslist”).

Daniel’s tort action arose from a mass shooting in a Brookfield, Wisconsin spa that killed four people, including Daniel’s mother
Zina Daniel Haughton.
Daniel alleged that the shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, illegally purchased the firearm after responding to private seller Devin Linn’s post on Armslist’s firearm advertising website, armslist.com.
The court of appeals held that 47 U.S.C. § 230 (2018),3 the federal Communications
Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), did not bar Daniel’s claims against Armslist for facilitating Radcliffe’s illegal purchase.

¶2 We disagree, and conclude that § 230(c)(1) requires us to dismiss Daniel’s complaint against Armslist. Section 230(c)(1) prohibits claims that treat Armslist, an interactive computer service provider,4 as the publisher or speaker of
1 Daniel v. Armslist, LLC, 2018 WI App 32, 382 Wis. 2d 241, 913 N.W.2d 211.
2 The Honorable Glenn H. Yamahiro of Milwaukee County presided.
3 All references to federal statutes are to the 2018 version
unless otherwise noted.
4 An “interactive computer service” is “any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or
enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access
to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2).
(continued) No. 2017AP344 3 information posted by a third party on its website. Because all of Daniel’s claims for relief require Armslist to be treated as the publisher or speaker of information posted by third parties on armslist.com, her claims are barred by § 230(c)(1).

SCOTUS To New York City – Motion Denied

“…note(d) the case was over six years old.”
This is the deplorable state of ‘lawfare’ & jurisprudence in our nation today. A suit that pertains to a restriction of an enumerated right with criminal penalties enacted by a city takes this long to get to a point that it will finally receive what passes for ‘justice’ these days in the U.S.

SCOTUS To New York City – Motion DeniedThe City of New York had filed a motion to hold the briefing schedule in NY State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York in abeyance. Their argument was that since the NYPD were proposing to modify regulations on transport for those with premises permits that the briefing schedule should be suspended. In other words, we say we are going to change the regulations in question which might moot the case so don’t make us go to all the work necessary to respond to the plaintiffs.In the orders issued by the Supreme Court today, their motion was denied.

18-280       NY STATE RIFLE & PISTOL, ET AL. V. NEW YORK, NY, ET AL. 

The motion of respondents to hold the briefing schedule in abeyance is denied.

The motion of respondents to hold the briefing schedule in abeyance is denied.
Paul Clement is the attorney of record for the NY State Rifle & Pistol Association and  opposed this motion to hold briefing in abeyance. He said that “a stay is neither necessary nor appropriate” and then went to note the case was over six years old.

Mass. AG Healey’s 2016 Ban On ‘Copycat’ Assault Weapons Upheld In Federal Appeals Court

Not unexpected from Appeals Courts that have been notorious for their fondness for gun control

A Massachusetts ban on assault-style weapons from 2016 was upheld in a federal appeals court on Friday.

In July 2016, in the wake of mass shootings in Orlando, Florida and San Bernardino, California, state Attorney General Maura Healey issued a notice to gun manufacturers that “copycat” assault weapons — those with only minor design changes — would be prohibited.

The ban was then challenged by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts and received pushback from state lawmakers, as well as Gov. Charlie Baker.

Healey said in a tweet on Friday that the decision from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Worman v. Healey means it agrees the people of Massachusetts have a right to protect themselves from “these deadly weapons.” She said the ruling was “a defeat for the gun lobby and a victory for families everywhere.”

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Democrats, said she was grateful for Healey’s work. She also called the state a leader in gun safety and said the federal government should follow its example.

The appeals court’s decision came the same day President Trump spoke at the NRA’s annual convention in Indianapolis and announced the U.S. would withdraw from the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty.

FISA Court Says FBI Lied to Them, Illegally Spied

On Wednesday night’s Ingraham Angle, there was a magnificent discussion about the sham Trump investigation with Rudy Giuliani, Joe diGenova and former Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray that absolutely must not be missed. And I say that not because I was subbing for Laura Ingraham at the time.

After being on defense — with his hands legally tied — for the first two years of his Presidency, President Trump is finally able to go on offense, as he can no longer be accused of “interfering with the Russia investigation.”

But something else is afoot as well. According to diGenova, and here is the tremendous breaking news: The FISA court has been looking into abuses of the FISA system and has communicated with the Justice Department about its findings. Their chief judge has already determined that for more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation (yes, spying — and, yes, illegal) going on by four FBI contractors to break the law to steal personal electronic information about American citizens and to use it against the Republican Party.

It might be good to go back and read that last sentence again, slowly, and let it sink in.

Bombshell Reports

The people heading up the Justice Department at that time — including Attorney General (AG) Sally Yates and Assistant AG John Carlin — apparently knew about it and lied to the FISA court. It seems that by the time they withheld the political origins of Christopher Steele’s Trump “dossier” to the court, it was already business as usual to deceive those judges, who no doubt have steam coming out of their ears.

A Heavy Artillery Salvo Has Been Fired On The NRA

Much of what has been said by politicians about the NRA and everything negative that has appeared recently in the media of any sort should be considered the equivalent of sniping. It might take out one or two people but not the whole organization. That was then.

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY) has now fired what I would consider the preparatory barrage in the effort to dissolve the NRA. As someone noted to me, James is under pressure to act and she did on Friday.

From NPR reporting on the NRA Annual Meeting:

Even as the NRA struggled to handle its internal divisions, an external threat emerged this weekend in the form of a new investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA),” a spokesperson for the attorney general told NPR. “As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas. We will not have further comment at this time.”

The NRA has received a document preservation notice in connection with the investigation being undertaken by the New York attorney general, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The NRA responded to the announcement of the investigation by pledging its cooperation.

“The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances,” said William A. Brewer III, an outside lawyer for the NRA. “The NRA is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance.”

This is serious.

It is even more serious because as evidenced by the NRA Meeting of the Members today too many people think just ignoring it will make it go away. The matter is NOT going away.

Compounding this is the NRA’s outside counsel who has a checkered past in terms of legal ethics. He was sanctioned in Texas and his appeal of it was upheld by the Texas Appeals Court last year.

If the NRA is going to use an outside counsel, I might suggest getting the very best – and cleanest – New York non-profit law specialist and let him or her handle it. However, given Brewer’s apparent hold on the attention of certain NRA executives, I doubt this will happen.

NRA Sues L.A. for Requiring Contractors to Disclose Support for Group
Ordinance ‘does, in fact, chill the speech of current and prospective City contractors with ties to Plaintiff NRA’

This is so risible, the District Judge should rule it unconstitutional so fast it would look like warp drive has been invented.

The National Rifle Association filed suit against Los Angeles on Wednesday after the city passed an ordinance requiring contractors disclose their support for the gun-rights group in order to work with the city.

The NRA, alongside an unnamed business that supports the organization and holds work contracts with Los Angeles, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They claim the city’s ordinance is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment’s free speech and free association protections as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.

“The Ordinance, on its face and as applied or threatened to be applied, imposes an unconstitutional ideological litmus test for independent contractors, requiring that they disclose information about their political beliefs and associations,” Anna M. Barvir, counsel for the NRA, wrote in a complaint filed by the group. “The Ordinance, on its face and as applied or threatened to be applied, is unconstitutional because it seeks disclosure of Plaintiffs’ political beliefs and associations solely for the purpose of withholding government contracts.”

Los Angeles ordinance 186000 took effect on April 1, 2019. The ordinance requires nearly anyone doing nearly any work for the city to tell the city whether it sponsors the NRA or even if it merely has contracts with the gun rights organization. The ordinance states the disclosure is designed to ensure the city doesn’t do business with contractors that may not support council members’ gun-control positions.

DC Circuit rightly rules prayer in Congress is constitutional

The D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld religious prayer in Congress last week, following a lawsuit that attempted to halt the tradition of opening House meetings with invocations to God. While the lawsuit is unsurprising, it’s still good to see federal judges maintain the authority of the First Amendment, specifically the much-contested establishment clause.

According to the opinion in Barker v. Conroy, “a member of the House asked the Chaplain, Father Patrick J. Conroy, to invite Daniel Barker, a former Christian minister-turned-atheist, to serve as guest chaplain and deliver a secular invocation. Conroy denied the request, and Barker sued, alleging that Conroy unconstitutionally excluded him from the guest chaplain program because he is an atheist.”

Barker also happens to be the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization dedicated to separating church and state. If that little controversy wasn’t contrived, I don’t know what was. But I digress.

In its opinion, the Court said the House doesn’t violate the establishment clause when it limits its opening prayers to religious prayers, as opposed to secular ones, because our country has enjoyed a “longstanding … tradition” of prayer prior to legislative meetings for more than 200 years. Organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation are known for making this kind of pedestrian argument, which is more anti-religion than it is anti-establishment. It usually fails as it did here.

It’s still worth noting the Court’s opinion actually outlines the beauty of how the Founding Fathers drafted the First Amendment and what they meant when they referred to an “establishment.” I spoke with Eric Baxter, of the Becket Fund, on the phone. He filed an amicus brief in support of the chaplain and explained the decision further.

“When we analyze the establishment clause, we have to look and see what the founders meant by it. There’s a continuous history, back to the founding of legislative bodies, of starting meetings with prayer. It’s understood that this is not an establishment of religion. The founders had a very specific idea of what an establishment was: forcing people to worship, establishing a religion or church for the country,” he said.

Massachusetts judge who helped illegal immigrant escape ICE arrest indicted.

A Massachusetts judge and court officer accused of helping an illegal immigrant flee an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent waiting to take him into custody were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice and three other counts, officials said.

Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and the court officer, identified in court documents as Wesley MacGregor, face several charges stemming from an April 2, 2018 incident in which the pair allegedly helped Jose Medina-Perez get out of the courthouse via a back door in order to elude the ICE agent who sought Medina-Perez.

“This case is about the rule of law. The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said Thursday.

Joseph and MacGregor were both charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting; obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice, Lelling said. MacGregor was also charged with perjury before a federal grand jury.

Stand Your Ground Expansion, Gun Regulations Bill Headed To Governor

In some states, even if your use of force is lawful and covered under the criminal laws concerning self defense, you may wind up in civil court, sued by the person, or their surviving family.
You’ve studied and know your state’s laws about this right?

Legislation expanding Indiana’s Stand Your Ground law and changing some gun regulations is headed to the governor’s desk.

One part of the final measure is the Stand Your Ground expansion. Existing law says you can’t be held criminally liable if you use force to defend yourself, another person or your property. The legislation extends that to civil court.

The other, more controversial portion of the bill deals with guns in churches that are on school property. Current law bars weapons from those worship spaces unless the school gives its OK. Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is no fan of that.

“Churches are a soft target and they really do need to be protected,” Lucas says.

The bill now allows the property owner – whether it’s the school or the church – to make the decision on guns in the worship space. Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) is skeptical.

“I can’t believe we’re going to have people sitting in church with firearms expecting to defend the entire church,” Taylor says.

One last provision of the bill eliminates the fee for Indiana’s short, five-year handgun licenses.

NEW YORK CITY CHANGES FIREARMS TRANSPORT POLICY BEFORE SCOTUS REVIEW

This had been anticipated since reports were that several agencies were telling NYC to change the rule because they were going to lose and lose badly.

New York City decided to change a portion of its gun laws related to the transport of firearms just a few months after the Supreme Court decided to review a lawsuit scrutinizing the city’s gun control laws.

Licensed gun owners in New York City will soon be able to legally transport their firearm to a second home, business or any other place gun possession is permitted as a result of a rules change the NYPD announced Friday, The New York Daily News reported.

The changes are expected to go into place following a 30-day public comment period starting next week. Currently, permitted gun owners in New York City can only carry their guns to approved firing ranges or areas where hunting is allowed.  The city’s firearm policy change is expected to affect 16,000 licensed gun owners and only residents who live within the city limits.

The firearm must be unloaded when being transported and the ammunition is required to be carried separately. Those mandates will not change.

The rule change comes amid an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit filed by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. against the City of New York related to the city’s gun transport laws that the Supreme Court decided to review last January.

Despite the planned rule change before the case is argued, the NRA called the city’s effort a desperate attempt to get the case dismissed by the high court.

“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years.
Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect.
This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward.
We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.”