October 19 roundup

  • “Nobody wanted to vote ‘against’ 9/11 families in an election year.” Which led to a series of absurd consequences when Congress took up Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA [Lowering the Bar, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Cute: animal rights group ambushes Orthodox with legal action on eve of Yom Kippur [Scott Greenfield citing Josh Blackman account]
  • “Can U.S. Presidents Much Affect the U.S. Economy?” If so, it might be through regulatory burdens [David Henderson]
  • Suit had much publicity but nearer to zero merit: Connecticut judge dismisses suit against gun manufacturer over Sandy Hook school shooting, citing PLCAA (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) [Hartford Courant]
  • Did spate of violation-finding against local property owner proceed from retaliatory motives? “Councilman Says California City Used Code Enforcement as Payback” [Lompoc, Calif.; Matt Powers, Institute for Justice]
  • Local man discusses third parties’ role in the national election [Frederick News-Post podcast, 37:09, I’m interviewed by reporters Danielle Gaines and Jeremy Bauer-Wolf; related article]


  • Will the judge impose costs and sanctions on the plaintiffs and their counsel?

  • JASTA is emblematic of how brainless and worthless the Republican Senatorial Caucus has been the last two years. ( One expects Democrats to stick up for trial lawyers, but even they looked slightly better this time around.) (One of my other pet peeves is their total stonewalling of reform to IP abuses, eg software patents.)

    Intelligent conservatives could rebrand JASTA the “Schumer- Cornyn Veterans’ Liability Act”, and run TV dramatizations of veterans being evicted from their homes to pay court judgements or their own legal defense fees. The culprits of course would point out that SCVLA only targets foreigners, but we would be ready to explain such concepts as reciprocity, “status of forces agreements,” equal protection of the law, etc.

  • Either the animal rights counsel should face serious sanctions, or the Federal judge himself should be roasted by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Question: would the Haredis have faced automatic penalties for flouting a blatantly unconstitutional order? Or would such penalties dissolve once the unconstitutional order is properly recognized as such?