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Texas Voter ID Misruling

in Law/Politics by

Federal judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos – on a mission to “persist” perhaps – ruled last week that Texas’ voter ID law not only discriminates against minorities and/or the poor and/or the “disenfranchised” – but does so intentionally. That the judge was appointed by former President Barack Obama probably has nothing at all to do with her myopic legal views or her contrived and misguided ruling. It’s unfortunate that ideologically driven judicial rulings attempting to satisfy a political agenda continue to remain obstructions to justice and the expressed will of the people. For the past ten years, voters elected Republicans to both houses of the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress by large margins as the means of achieving a very specific set of policy ideas and agenda items – one of which was implementing voter ID at the ballot box. Those legislators have gone to Austin and Washington, D.C. as representatives of the people who elected them and who hold them to their promises to carry out the badly needed reforms to…

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War Powers Debate: John Yoo Vs. Jonathan Turley

in Law/News by

On March 29, 2017, the George Washington University Law School’s branch of the Federalist Society hosted a debate between Professor John Yoo of Berkeley Law and Professor Jonathan Turley of GW Law. The topic of the debate was the delegation of war powers under the United States Constitution. Yoo is best known for the now infamous memo he wrote as a member of the Justice Department in the early 2000s that argued in favor of the authority of the executive to use “advanced interrogation techniques” on enemy combatants. Turley is best known as a civil libertarian who has represented members of Congress in lawsuits attempting to stymie the power of the executive branch. As some Yoo protestors chanted outside, and others dressed as orange jump-suited and hooded detainees protested inside, the two prominent lawyers began their discussion. While the debate ranged along the lines of history, politics, and the law, there were three primary subject areas along which the participants battled: textual delegation, structural design, and modern functionality. Yoo…

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The Government Wants Your Cake … And Wants You To Continue To Pay Taxes

in Law by

Today, Monday, March 20th, at 10 am, the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments on an important case for Liberty Conservatives. In this case, the state of Wisconsin will argue that they have the right to tell a land owner who owns two contiguous lots that the landowner can no longer sell just one of the lots. In addition to telling you that you cannot sell the lots independently of each other, the county has the right to tax you on the full value of each lot. The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

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Animal Chiropractic: A Case Study On Government Overreach And Over-regulation

in Economics/Law by

You’re probably scratching your head right about now, aren’t you? Well, let me take a few minutes to explain to you the level of importance the following case carries for the larger narrative of governmental overreach and over-regulation. No, it is not a federal agency defying the new administration. Better yet, it takes place at the state level as an evident issue that affects many across the Union.

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Why The Endangered Species Act Needs To Be Reformed

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A little over two weeks ago, our friends in Washington D.C. held a committee meeting to discuss the possibilities of modernizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA is one of the several environmental laws passed in the 1970s that served as provisional attempts to protect species considered a risk of going extinct due to economic growth and the alleged lack of concern for the conservation of our environment.

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If You Don’t Like President Trump’s Power, Why Did You Give It To Him?

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As the Democratic establishment and liberal activists across the country march in the streets and flood airports in protest of President Donald Trump’s immigration and national security policies, many fail to realize their complacency in what has taken place over the course of the last eight years. While in office, President Obama drastically expanded his executive authority in a variety of ways, finalizing over 560 major regulations, or regulations with significant economic or social impacts. He worked to restructure our national healthcare and banking industries, for better or for worse. He continued the tradition of warring with other countries without congressional authorization. He became the most prolific user of drones in American history, killing hundreds of civilians in the process. And through all of this, Democrats enabled him and allowed it to happen.

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The Senate Should Confirm Jeff Sessions

in Law/Politics by

“The ultimate responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice is to execute the laws passed by this Congress and to follow the Constitution in that process.” Those are the words of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 11th. Sessions was nominated by President Trump to become the nation’s next Attorney General. Last week, after numerous stall tactics by Senate Democrats, Sessions’ nomination advanced out of the Judiciary Committee by a party-line vote. His nomination now goes to a vote by the full Senate, which is scheduled for later this week. On paper, Sessions is one of the most qualified of all of Trump’s cabinet selections, but his nomination has been among the most controversial. Criticism of Sessions stems from accusations of racism (the same accusations that tanked his nomination to become a Federal Judge three decades ago) and fear that his law and order attitude and strict conservative worldview would threaten the legal marijuana industry, roll back progress…

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There Is No “Hate Speech” Exception To The First Amendment

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Anyone concerned with the future of free speech in the United States should be appalled by the recent events on the campus of U.C. Berkeley. A seemingly peaceful protest of controversial media personality Milo Yiannopoulos quickly turned violent as protesters broke barriers, threw rocks, and started fires in an attempt to prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking at a previously scheduled event. One 19-year-old protester was quoted as saying: “The whole reason we are here is for free speech. Milo’s hate speech is not allowed here. When it is hate speech, our free speech is to shut him down.” This protester, while passionate and undoubtedly sincere, is woefully wrong in her assessment of how free speech functions in a free society. There is no exception for “hate speech” under the First Amendment.

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What The House’s Rescission Of Obama Gun Rule Means For The Bill Of Rights

in Law/Politics by

As the Republican Party prepared to again reclaim power of Washington D.C., it became increasingly clear that the legacy of former President Barack Obama was in danger. In the final days of the Obama presidency, Obama sought to salvage his legacy by pushing through a series of regulations. The House of Representatives pointed to the Congressional Review Act, which gives them the power to take down regulations before they take effect. The process has already begun, but the gun control battle has been ignited when a background check rule was rescinded. A last minute rule passed in December gave permission to the Social Security Administration to share information with the national background check database regarding those receiving disability payments. The logic behind this move was that by identifying those with mental impairments, the government could potentially prevent gun crime by monitoring potential threats. The problem with this rule is it is more than just about guns. This is about the Bill of Rights as a whole and the foundation of…

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Sally Yates Violated Ethical Standards And Must Be Disbarred

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On Monday, January 30, 2017, Sally Yates ordered the Department of Justice to stand down and not defend President Trump’s executive order to put a temporary stay on immigrants from certain countries until a new vetting system can be put in place. Sally Yates exact words were “as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order …”. With these words, Sally Yates violated her duties to her client, the United States of America. One does not have to look very far to find that it is the duty of the Attorney General and the Justice Department to defend the United States of America. The Justice Department’s website states that one of the principle duties of the Attorney General is to “Perform or supervise the performance of other duties required by statute or Executive Order”. Sally Yates put her politics ahead of her client’s interest. This is an absolute no-no when it comes to lawyer’s ethics. As a…

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The Privilege Of Protest

in History/Law/Politics by

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, and even more so since the inauguration, certain individuals and groups have been in a state of panic. People have taken to the streets in protest.  Judging from the number and frequency of protests since President Trump’s inauguration, it would seem the very future of our republic, society, and most cherished rights are currently under constant threat. Yet, our lives and liberties have actually never been better. Material wealth, social progress, and peaceful conditions are necessary conditions of the privilege of protest. The privilege of protest requires material wealth. If you transported someone from the Middle Ages into the modern United States, they would probably think they had found a way to heaven itself. Gone are the days when a cut on your leg quickly resulted in disease and death. Gone are the days when traveling from one side of the continent to the other meant months or years of turmoil. Gone are the days when it was necessary to…

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The War On Drones

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The proliferation of drone technology has taken the world by storm. Quadcopters that cost many thousands of dollars just years ago are now available to hobbyists, commercial operators, and photographers for just a few hundred dollars. This new technology has also fostered several regulatory challenges. Known as Unmanned Aerial Systems, quadcopters, or simply drones, they are similar to remote control helicopters and planes. However, unlike RC aircraft, many of these drones are able to be flown out of the box without training or practice and are generally equipped with HD video and still photo cameras attached.

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Hands Off My Healthcare: Opposition To Obamacare, Explained.

in Economics/Law/Politics by

Unless you’re Bill Belichick, you may have heard a thing or two about the impending repeal of The Affordable Care Act on Snapface or Instachat. Actually, you’ve probably heard quite a lot. From Esquire stating 30 million people lost their healthcare overnight, to countless pithy tweets and Facebook quotes about the evils of the Republicans for wanting to deny coverage to the American people. The problem is that this isn’t true. The Affordable Care Act has NOT been repealed. Nor have any provisions been dismantled. The infamous late-night vote you surely read about was to authorize congress to modify Obamacare’s funding down the line – setting the path for a repeal. Democrats attempted to attach various amendments, locking the republicans into keeping certain provisions during this process, which were shot down. That does not mean they won’t be kept. It means they didn’t lock themselves in before they had a chance to modify the bill. Not a single thing about Obamacare has been changed. Any source that fails to mention this information is…

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Mickey Mouse Belongs To The People And Not To The Disney Company

in Culture/Law/Politics by

Please explain to me why Walt Disney is able to maintain a copyright on Mickey Mouse for 95 years while the companies discovering the drugs that heal our bodies are only able to maintain their patents for seventeen years? Every day big pharmaceutical companies are chastised for making large profits. There is not the same outrage about Disney charging $90 for a shirt that should cost $20. Why is Disney allowed to make obscene profits at the hands of the American people and not be a villain? The United States Constitution gave Congress the power to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”. In 1790, the first Congress passed the very first Patent Act and the very first Copyright Act. Both of these acts granted to their creator the exclusive right for fourteen years. Sometime during the Trump administration, there will be a move to amend the copyright law. Disney…

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Taxation, Regulation: Not Reasons To Legalize Pot

in Culture/Economics/Law/Politics by

In the marijuana legalization debate, two talking points are often utilized: taxation and regulation. These are good arguments from a liberal perspective, but quite problematic in a conservative or libertarian context. The basis for justifying the legalization of marijuana is simple. Consenting adults should be allowed to choose what to put in their bodies, whether or not it’s harmful, so long as there are no externalities. This is the only legitimate and principled basis for legalization.

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The Solution To Firearmphobia: Education

in Culture/Law/Politics by

On a variety of issues ranging from same-sex marriage to transgenderism to Islam, the Left has called for a more informed and accepting public. On one issue, however, it seems to benefit them to keep the public in the dark: firearms and the second amendment. Passing modern gun-control schemes such as an ‘assault weapons’ ban and a ban on ‘high capacity’ magazines intrinsically requires an ignorant public. The reason why so many folks are anti-gun is simply because a large swath of the general population doesn’t really know all that much about guns. With only about 1/3 of Americans owning a firearm, the rest don’t have much of a reason to learn about guns, much less the laws surrounding them.

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Cold War’s Supreme Court

in History/Law by

Cold War scholar Kai Bird once stated that the ultimate sin of McCarthyism was that it did not take into account context. By this he meant that Joe McCarthy was ignoring the defensible, if wrong-headed reasons people became communists in the Great Depression. After all, capitalism seemed to be failing, the Russian 5 year plan seemed to be an economic success, and fascism, seemingly opposed solely by the Soviet Union, was on the rise. For concerned citizens, it appeared that only the Communists were doing anything to fight Adolf Hitler and the Great Depression. But this plea for context has its limits; particularly when the topic is the domestic Cold War of the early 1950s. For the left today, the second Red Scare was either the result of either or both: America plunging into fascism, or a desire to keep the full employment war economy of World War II going. No matter which argument was adopted — and usually they are conjoined — a conspiracy of right-wing extremists populated…

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If Only The Rights Of Everyday Americans Mattered As Much As Hillary Clinton’s

in Law/Politics by

If there’s one thing that Hillary Clinton allies and supporters established last year, it’s that she was the victim of the year. Nobody in the world has been more targeted and more oppressed than her. Conservative opponents are relentlessly trying to stop a former Secretary of State who before that was a United States Senator and First Lady. To these individuals, her record speaks for itself. She’s established her record. Clinton is above us all. It is for this reason the rules do not apply to her. Chelsea Manning is sitting in prison after releasing classified information to whistleblower website Wikileaks. Before her trial, she was subject to harsh treatment that some have described as torture. The former Army Private First Class did not do this out of reckless negligence or severe incompetence. She did not do it out of spite towards the military or government, nor did she do it to harm the nation.

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Why You Should Support A Ban On Late-Term Abortions

in Law/Philosophy by

The ongoing debate on abortion is one of the most divisive issues in the political sphere, and it has attracted increased attention over this election cycle. It has become a more pressing issue as the public is uncertain about how abortion rights will change when President-elect Trump takes office. His presidency is expected to usher in a more conservative stance on abortion, as shown by Vice President-elect Pence’s pro-life position and Trump’s promise that “the justices that I am going to appoint will be pro-life.” The public is aware of the gravity of this matter, as 45% of Americans stated that it is important to them that future Supreme Court nominees share their views on abortion. The pro-choice vs. pro-life divide continues to deepen as each side resists compromise, fearing that their opposition will take advantage of any settlement. While many people have become absorbed in abortion as a political issue, they forget about the moral underpinnings that make it such a factious topic. This disparity can be seen in…

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Donald Trump Appoints Libertarian To Key White House Position

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Donald Trump has appointed Don McGahn, a former member of the Federal Election Commission and the Trump campaign’s counsel, as the White House Counsel. The White House Counsel advises the President on all legal issues surrounding the administration.

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An Open Letter To Protesters Who Block Traffic

in Law/Politics by

Dear Protesters, I totally get why you are blocking traffic. You want everyone else to be as mad as you are. You accept the risk that you might be run over or physically attacked because you believe in your cause. People might be late for work, but this draws attention to your grievances. Blocking traffic might be illegal, but at least nobody is getting hurt, right? Would you still stand in the way if you saw an ambulance with its lights and siren on? I hope you would at least let traffic through in a life or death situation. But here are a couple of things you need to know about ambulances. When an ambulance is transporting a patient to the ER, most of the time it does so with the siren turned off. The patient still needs to get to the hospital quickly, but high speeds, flashing lights, and loud noises can be traumatizing. Sirens are mostly only used when the ambulance is en route to a scene,…

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No Exceptions: All Illegal Aliens Must Be Physically Removed

in Law/Politics by

After every presidential election, the idea of the president’s “electoral mandate” becomes a hot topic of discussion. The newly elected president, by virtue of his election, is thought to have received a “mandate” from the American people to pursue his policy agenda. On November 8, the American people elected Donald Trump and gave him a clear mandate to address the following issues: trade, Obamacare, and most importantly, immigration.

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Hillary’s “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

in Law/Politics by

Donald Trump openly talked about sending Hillary to prison while on stage with her during a debate. Many of us would like to see Hillary Clinton held accountable for her past actions. And yet a lot of leftists who wanted George W. Bush tried for war crimes have suddenly decided that arresting former government officials isn’t always pragmatic. The former Secretary of State and presidential candidate still has a number of options left to stay out of Club Fed. Obama could pardon her.  A pardon would end all discussion of Mrs. Clinton serving time for Emailgate, and Obama has until January 20th to decide if that’s what he wants to do. Like Richard Nixon, Hillary doesn’t even need to be indicted in order to receive a blanket pardon for anything she did or may have done while serving as Secretary of State. The drawback is that accepting the pardon could be seen as an admission of guilt, and therefore tarnish her legacy. Yet there are many historical figures who have…

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1st Amendment Does Not Give Protestors The Right To Protest

in Law/Politics by

Across this nation, thousands of individuals are gathering together to exercise their “supposed” First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech. These protestors are expressing their outrage that Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States of America. The problem is that these protestors are disrupting the lives of those who live in the area of the protests. While they may have a First Amendment right to speech, that right ends when their speech interferes with the reasonable restrictions established by laws. The Supreme Court does allow cities to restrict Free Speech on the grounds of reasonable Time, Place, and Manner. See Grayned v. The City of Rockford (1972). I guarantee you that none of these protestors have gone to the city and obtained a permit to block traffic in the recent protests. If you wanted to hold a parade tomorrow morning to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory, your permit would most likely be granted as long as all the proper procedures were followed that the city has…

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What Would An Un-elected White House Look Like?

in Law/Politics by

This article is a follow-up to my piece about the possibility of an Electoral College tie, available here. We haven’t had a non-partisan White House since before there was a White House. George Washington didn’t affiliate with any political party, though his policies and appointments leaned somewhat to the Federalist end of the spectrum. By the time John Adams moved into the White House during his only term in office, the country was well established on the two-party path on which it has stayed to this day. This is why it’s so baffling to ask ourselves what it would look like to live in a country with a President elected independently of any party, and either a Republican House and Senate, or a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. Either way, it would raise very serious questions about the institution of the Presidency, the Constitution, and its interaction with the other organs of our government. First off, if we are considering a presidency that begins with a tie in…

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We Can No Longer Write Off An Electoral College Tie

in Law/Politics by

It’s not likely. We’ve been told our whole lives it’s not possible. But here we are, a week from the general election, and we are the closest we have been in our lifetimes to a Twelfth Amendment crisis. The two least popular major party nominees that anyone seems to remember continue their race to the bottom of the country’s expectations. A newly reopened FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails has sent her campaign spiraling from an unpopular but safe victory into last-minute suspense. Donald Trump is surging back to safety in red states where Clinton was threatening decades of Republican control. And by default, he is surging in swing states, too. Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, and North Carolina are within striking distance. Meanwhile, there’s a storm of unexpected proportions sweeping one of this country’s largest, best organized, and best funded religious minorities. Independent candidate Evan McMullin is defying all expectations by blowing decades-old third parties out of the water in his sudden surge to the top of the…

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The Rule Of Law: Force When It Suits Me

in Law/Politics by

First, I had to pick myself up from the floor from laughing. Second, I started seeing the flood of gloating comments and “I told you so’s.” It turns out Hillary Clinton’s emails did have some evidence that would sink her ambitions and, this just in: the only way for the FBI to find it amid all the wiped servers was on the phone they confiscated from Anthony Weiner. Swarms of the same people who said the rule of law is dead when the first FBI investigation didn’t recommend pressing charges are now back to say that justice will be served at last. And maybe it will. Maybe Hillary will go to prison, and Vice President-Elect Tim Kaine will have to step up between then and January 20, as per Amendment XX, Section 3 of the Constitution. But personally, I doubt it. I doubt it for the same reason I doubt Donald Trump will face any serious repercussions for what he may or may not have done to so many…

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Government Won’t Let Disabled Child Bring Service Dog To School

in Law/Politics by

Thank you, government, for giving us all things so good and beautiful. Without you, there would be riots and chaos in the street, or possibly even disabled middle school girls bringing their service dogs to school with them. This just in from Napoleon, Michigan. Brent and Stacy Fry are suing their local school district because their daughter, known as F.E. in litigation documents to protect her identity, just isn’t getting anywhere by asking politely. She was born with cerebral palsy and relies heavily on her service dog, Wonder, to get around her home and school. Unfortunately for the Frys, the local school district doesn’t allow dogs. Not even a loyal service companion like Wonder, on whom F.E. has relied since the age of five for everything from help opening doors to getting around the hallways. After an initial denial of F.E.’s request and a protracted back-and-forth, the school district allowed Wonder to accompany F.E. to school on a “trial basis” with certain restrictions. For example, Wonder could come to…

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Why Short-Sighted Social Conservatism Is Costing Us North Carolina

in Law/Politics by

The electoral map is looking pretty blue this year, but one case study looks even more interesting than the others. Like most southern states, North Carolina has a long history with blue dog Democrats at the state and local level and reliable Republican voting patterns at the federal level. Nothing too radical there, just a case in point of an older, conservative Democratic Party whose fading echoes can still be heard from the other side of the sixties. I’m referring to something far more unique this year. This year, North Carolina may be the only state in which Republicans at the state level fare better than Donald Trump at the national level. As of this writing, Clinton has pulled ahead of Trump in the Tar Heel State but remains within the margin of error at 2.6 percent ahead. Pat McCrory has trailed in the polls throughout the general election cycle, generally behind Donald Trump, though both races are too close to call at the moment. Is there really a…

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Does The Pro-Life Movement Have a Future?

in Law/Politics by

From the moment Roe v. Wade came down from the gavel of the nine gods to the lives of our unworthy peasantry, social conservatives and the religious right have been debating tactics to achieve the impossible: Overturning a 7 to 2 Supreme Court decision. It’s a task not many activist movements have been able to pull off. First, the mantra was appointing new justices to overturn it. Lawyers and strategists tried to find a way for Congress and the President to go around it. Amending the Constitution was placed on the table. How was the pro-life movement going to push back against the progressive achievements of the Warren-Burger Court in a world where federal judges serve for life? The pro-life movement, since 1973, has essentially taken a strategy of a little of everything. Ronald Reagan and both Bushes were propelled to the Republican nomination with the full weight of the evangelical political machine. Evangelist superstars like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell called down fire and brimstone on the left…

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