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Currently Browsing: Government

Tie Cases Will Be Reargued

So notes SCOTUSBlog. Typically when the Supreme Court is even numbered, splits uphold whatever the lower court ruling was. This indicates cases that split will be reheard when the next justice is confirmed. We have no Second Amendment cases before the Court currently, but the stakes in this election keep getting higher and higher, and yet the three ring circus carries on.

We’re going to need more than hope to hold the Senate firm on not voting on Obama’s nominee. It’ll take a lot of letters, e-mails and phone calls to keep Senators in line.

This may be all I have for today. The news cycle is not thrilling. Maybe a news post tomorrow.

The Fight Over Scalia’s Seat

Mitch McConnell came out pretty quickly and said that the Senate would not confirm a replacement for Scalia until after the election. The left is, naturally, in full outrage mode. I don’t really care. The Senate has to hold firm, because the very existence of the Second Amendment as any kind of meaningful right is at stake. I really enjoyed this bit of snark from Jim Geraghty this morning:

 

 

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell should just give this speech:

We should not confirm any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not . . .

This is just a prologue considering the constitutional harm and dramatic departures that are in store if those few are joined by one more ideological ally. We have to, in my judgment, stick by the precepts that I’ve elaborated. I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining Sotomayor and Kagan on the court.

That, of course, is a speech from Chuck Schumer from June 2007, with “Bush” replaced with “Obama” and “Roberts and Alito” changed to “Sotomayor and Kagan.” Watch the video; the audience at the American Constitutional Society gave it roaring applause at the end.

Read the whole thing. The Dems would never be so stupid as to confirm a justice that would fundamentally alter the makeup of the Court in the last year of a Republican Administration. Kennedy was confirmed in Reagan’s last year, but the vacancy occurred in 1986. The Senate rejected Robert Bork, then Douglas Ginsburg withdrew after it came out he once smoked a doob. Kennedy was a compromise candidate the Dems were relatively pleased with.

I tend to agree with Charles Cooke that the GOP should probably have remained open to acceptable candidates. If Obama decided to float Prof. Randy Barnett or Prof. Akhil Amar as compromise candidates, I would argue the Senate should take them pretty seriously. Neither Profs. Barnett or Amar fit nicely on the left-right spectrum, but neither are likely to greatly offend either side.

On the other hand, it would seem likely that President Obama has until February 22nd to make a recess appointment, since the Stupid Party decided to afford him that opportunity. Of course, let’s not give him any ideas either.

With Scalia’s Passing, What Now?

Antonin Scalia

I’m not going to sugar coat it, Scalia’s passing likely marks the end of the Second Amendment if the Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t grow a pair. Just because Obama appoints a replacements doesn’t mean the GOP Senate has to confirm him or her. Once a replacement is named, I would make crystal clear to your Senator that you fully expect them to vote against any nominee who does not profess unwavering support for Heller & McDonald and the Second Amendment.

Oppose, Block, Filibuster. Run out the clock. Obama has had two appointments, and that’s enough for any President.

OSHA Targeting Ammo Makers

Joe Huffman has a story, which is a follow up from his previous story about OSHA possibly abusing workplace rules. It is based on someone who works at a major ammo company, talking about how OSHA is demanding warning labels on ammunition:

Then a couple years ago OSHA approached them and said, in essence, “You need to put warning on all your products because indoor range employees are at risk from exposure to lead.”

What?

The lead issue is probably the biggest threat to shooting out there right now. Remember, Obama’s executive orders told every agency to look into ways to screw us. Has OSHA found a way? Or are they merely following the bureaucrat’s creed:

Regulate All The Things

Look Who Had a Fast and Furious Gun

Looks like the Mexican police found a Barrett M99 in .50BMG El Chapo’s hideout, which was linked to the Fast and Furious program where ATF allowed guns to be sold to Mexican drug cartels. That scandal is the gift that just keeps on giving, isn’t it? Except it’s a gift no one wanted. I’ll forgive the nonsense of a bolt-action .50BMG being used for taking down helicopters (I suppose with a lucky shot, you could) since this is from a British paper.

Federal officials said they are investigating how many of the weapons found at El Chapo’s hideout originated in the U.S., and where and how they were purchased.

Any bets on whether they’ll find more F&F guns? It sadly does not surprise me that no one has gone to jail for this.

ATF 41P Published in Federal Register

Caution Bureaucrats at WorkJosh Prince has the story. This starts the clock ticking, causing the regulation to take effect on July 13, 2016. He has created a website called Fight ATF 41P. At this point, it appears that Prince’s initial analysis is still valid, and we didn’t have any surprises sprung on us between the rule published by ATF and in the Federal Register. There was a lot of discussion on this topic when it originally came up the other week, and many were disappointed that Form 1s and Form 4s could no longer be e-filed for trusts and corporations.

The reason we ended up with 41P in the first place is because so many people were using trusts to get around the CLEO signoff requirement that ATF was overwhelmed with processing trusts, since trusts had to be vetted to ensure there were no problems with it, and there often were. ATF had been saying in NRA’s Firearms Law seminar for a while that they were looking carefully at the CLEO requirement, including possibly eliminating it, to cut down on the number of trusts. Unfortunately for ATF, there’s also constructive possession issues with NFA items that is likely to cause trusts to remain popular. For these reasons, it can’t really be argued that use of trusts for NFA items is a form of “malicious compliance,” but it certainly has the same features. One of the key objections to 41P is that it’s not abundantly clear who responsible persons are. It’s probably wise advice to take the broad view there. I don’t see any reason not to replace one headache at ATF with another.

Do You Support a Constitutional Convention?

Early in the 20th Century, the Progressives ran through a slew of Constitutional Amendments, including authorizing an income tax, direct election of Senators, Prohibition, and Women’s Suffrage. Many conservatives are calling for a Constitutional Convention of the States, where Amendments would be directly proposed. We discussed this a few weeks ago in regards to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s proposals. Such a convention could provide an opportunity to clarify the rights protected by the Second Amendment, and make it clear to the courts the right is to be taken seriously. Now Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame has an article in USA Today talking about the idea of a new Constitutional Convention.

As I said, I have my doubts about Abbott’s proposals. I find many of them self-serving from a politician’s point of view. For instance, we shouldn’t make it harder for judges to strike down unconstitutional laws, which Abbott’s proposals would do.

Like Prof. Reynolds, I’m not quite ready to endorse the idea of another convention, but it’s starting to sound like it’s not such a bad idea. When you consider that any proposed amendments would still need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, it doesn’t sound quite as dangerous as it could be if we just had to eat whatever came out of the sausage grinder.

What do you think? Should we emulate the progressives inaugurate our young century with a flurry of constitutional amendments?

Jim Geraghty on Smaller Government

Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” is one of my my many sources of news, but I thought yesterday he made a good point in a rant about why GOP primary voters weren’t looking to give Bobby Jindal much of a chance (personally, I thought Jindal cozied up to the religious right too early and too hard):

See, a lot of us conservatives walk around in a reassuring trance believing that people like and want small government. Most people don’t. At most, they like and want small government for other people. Farmers like farm subsidies, defense-contractor employees like big spending by the Pentagon, most senior citizens explode at the slightest mention of cuts to Social Security or Medicare. Most self-identified conservatives not only don’t fight for smaller government, they fight against it when it personally impacts them. And then they turn around and complain that lawmakers never manage to reduce the size of government.

That’s pretty much spot on, unfortunately.

Cornyn Introducing New Mental Health Bill

We’ll Be Watching for Language, since I have not seen any yet. John Cornyn is introducing the “Mental Health and Safe Communities Act” today, which the NRA is already endorsing. It looks like a mix of straight-up mental health funding, along with some more incentives for reporting mental health firearm disabilities to the FBI. Without language, I don’t have much analysis to offer, except that we’ve seen several of these reporting bills become law, and there are several states that still aren’t reporting. I don’t know how much more incentive can be offered, and the feds can’t force them to report anything.

Usually you see this kind of thing run when there’s lawmakers who for one reason or another, want some cover from the “something must be done!” crowd, so they can argue they did “something.” I do know Bloomberg is trying to run a competing bill that, needless to say, probably goes further than this one will.

I sincerely hope this isn’t a sign that politicians are becoming afraid of Bloomberg’s money. In the past, the gun control movement hasn’t had the money to run “Congressman Spineless voted against keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people, and against commonsense gun reforms that will save the lives of our children. Send Congressman Spinless a message this fall; our children are more important than the evil gun lobby.” Bloomberg’s money changes that.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Well, well, well… I guess you can add terrorists to the list of people Fast and Furious was arming. I wish I could say, “It’s amazing no one has gone to jail over this,” but it’s not surprising. Accountability in government has become a quaint notion. I’m particularly curious about this:

Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.

There’s no provision in the Brady Act for a seven day hold. There can be a 72 hour hold while the case is reviewed. After that the dealer can go ahead under a “default proceed.” In this case, the sale was cleared after 24 hours. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is demanding to know what the reason for the hold was, why the sale was cleared, and why the purchase was allowed to go ahead. The FBI is declining to comment. I would tend to think they’d be eager to comment if this was just an ordinary NICS issue.

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