- How feckless for an editorial board to undermine institutional legitimacy of a key check on executive power, the Supreme Court, by spreading notion that some of its seats are “stolen” [New York Times]
- Eastern District of Tumbleweeds? High court asked to curtail forum shopping in patent suits [Washington Legal Foundation on TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, more on E.D. Tex.]
- Federal charges result in plea deal. State then charges defendant over same conduct. Ought to call it double jeopardy, even if that means overturning misguided “dual sovereignty” doctrine [Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry on cert petition in Walker v. Texas]
- “Justices Struggle With Cheerleader Uniform Case That Holds Big Implications For Fashion” [Daniel Fisher on Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands]
- More Federalist panels on Justice Scalia’s influence: showcase panel on his constitutional influence; federalism and separation of powers with Roger Pilon et al.; the impact of his writing style; criminal law and the Fourth Amendment; Heller, guns, and the Second Amendment;
- Appointments Clause makes one of few checks on unaccountable-by-design CFPB, Court should enforce it seriously [Ilya Shapiro on cert petition in Gordon v. CFPB]
- Irony alert: Get-money-out-of-politics measure passes 53-47 in Howard County, Md. after backers outspend foes 10-1 [Len Lazarick, Maryland Reporter]
- “Hershey’s Scoffs At Class Action Over Amount Of Kisses In Bags” [Dee Thompson, Legal NewsLine/Forbes]
- Philippines bar responds after president Duterte menaces lawyers of drug suspects [Tetch Torres-Tupas/Inquirer, InterAksyon and letter]
- What should Trump do re: conflicts? Richard Painter and David Rifkin discuss [Federalist Society podcast; earlier]
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, lately seen in this space using subpoena power to go after political adversaries who hadn’t taken a dime from ExxonMobil, also known for curious assault on gunmakers [David Meyer Lindenberg, Fault Lines]
- “N.Y. Top Court Rules Litigation Finance Transaction Violates Champerty Doctrine” [Kevin LaCroix, Alison Frankel on Justinian Capital SPC v. WestLB AG] “An epic legal battle with big implications for litigation funding” [The Economist on Liberian insurance claims against Cigna]
- Today at Cato, Josh Blackman discusses his new book Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power with comments from Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes and Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, Ilya Shapiro moderating [watch live 12 noon Eastern]
- Breed-specific laws fuel mass euthanasia: “Montreal Gearing Up To Sentence Huge Numbers Of Innocent Dogs To Death” [Huffington Post]
- Feds prepare to mandate mechanical speed governors capping road speed of tractor-trailers; truckers warn of crashes and traffic jams [AP/San Luis Obispo Tribune]
- “You have to go back to the Red Scare to find something similar,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) of advocacy-group subpoenas by Hill committee in “Exxon Knew” probe. Or just five months to the CEI subpoena [Washington Post hearing coverage which oddly omits mention of CEI episode]
- “I’m not here to take away your guns.” Why Hillary Clinton’s assurances ring hollow [Jacob Sullum] Trump’s comments defending stop-and-frisk and no-fly no-buy further undercut his never-impressive claims as defender of gun liberty [AllahPundit, Leon Wolf, Ilya Somin]
- Why my Cato colleagues believe the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) is worth supporting as a trade liberalization measure despite some suboptimal aspects [Daniel J. Ikenson, Simon Lester, Scott Lincicome, Daniel R. Pearson, K. William Watson, Cato Trade]
- Ingenious tactic to get bad review off search engines: arrange and win a pretend lawsuit in some other state [Paul Alan Levy, more: followup]
- Law professor proposes to give out tax breaks based on race. Constitutional problems with that? [Caron/TaxProf]
- $2,250 for the legal right to thread existing barrels: presidential order expands definition of “manufacturer” under arms treaty, which leaves some gunsmiths nervous [The Truth About Guns]
- Political corner: Michael Greve reacts to Jonathan Rauch’s Atlantic article, “How Did Our Politics Go Insane?” [Liberty and Law] And for those following my commentary about the Gary Johnson campaign (see earlier), I’ve got a piece at Cato on his rocky relations with conservatives as well as a letter to the editor at the Baltimore Sun;
- On Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians [Carla Main, City Journal; Chris Edwards]
- But which way would the causation run? Econometric analysis finds “EU membership is positively associated with economic freedom.” [EPI Center] Will Brexit promote freer outcomes in areas like agricultural subsidy, or simply a return to national protection? [Simon Lester, Cato]
Once again some advocates are advancing what they see as gun rights at the expense of the general rights of private property and contract. This time it’s a new state law that “allows any Tennessean with a valid gun permit to sue a property owner in the event of injury or death provided the incident occurred while in a gun-free zone.” More specifically, the “legislation places responsibility on the business or property owner of the gun-free area to protect the gun owner from any incidents that occur with any ‘invitees,’ trespassers and employees found on the property, as well as vicious and wild animals and ‘defensible man-made and natural hazards.'” The bill excludes situations where the law itself imposes the status of “gun-free zone,” but includes situations in which a Tennessee business adopts the status in order to follow the policy of its corporate owner or franchisor.
Traditional Anglo-American law grants to a property owner as a matter of course not only the right to exclude guns, but also to ask of customers and other invitees that, as a condition of their visit, they agree to assume the risk of some “defensible hazards” contemplated by the law, such as harm occasioned by roaming wild animals. Is it too much to ask that gun advocates promote the actual rights prescribed by the Second Amendment against government infringement — which certainly could use promotion right now — rather than infringe traditional individual property and contract liberties by inventing spurious new gun “rights”? [Tennessean via Bearing Arms] Earlier on laws restricting property owners’ rights to set rules against guns in parking lots here, here, here, here, related Roger Pilon at Cato, and, also with coverage of “off-duty conduct” as a protected class in discrimination law, here.
- It’s against the law to run a puppet show in a window, and other NYC laws that may have outlived their purpose [Dean Balsamini, New York Post]
- L’Etat, c’est Maura Healey: Massachusetts Attorney General unilaterally rewrites state’s laws to ban more guns [Charles Cooke, National Review]
- Appeal to Sen. Grassley: please don’t give up on Flake-Gardner-Lee venue proposal to curtail patent forum shopping [Electronic Frontier Foundation, Elliot Harmon]
- Oil spill claims fraud trial: administrator Ken Feinberg raised eyebrows at news that Mikal Watts “was handling claims from 41,000 fishermen.” [Associated Press, earlier]
- By 70-30 margin, voters in Arizona override court ruling that state constitution forbids reduction in not-yet-earned public-employee pension benefits [Sasha Volokh]
- Google, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood appear to have settled their bitter conflict [ArsTechnica, earlier]
- “Here’s how lawmakers want to fix our kidney shortage” [Robert Gebelhoff, ideas of Sally Satel and others; Alex Tabarrok on Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)’s proposed Organ Donor Clarification Act]
- AMA: Lawyer ads stirring up pharmaceutical litigation are scaring viewers into going off needed medications [Jessica Karmasek, Forbes]
- How does Cuba score such good infant health data? Fudging statistics, jailing truth-tellers helps [video, Free To Choose TV, “Dead Wrong” with Johan Norberg]
- Per Swedish study, lottery winners do not get healthier after their windfalls. Some implications about health care and inequality? [Alex Tabarrok]
- Really, AMA: declaring shootings a public health crisis at best a political stunt [Trevor Burrus]
- Is ten years too long, Your Honor? “New York Lawmakers Push to Extend Deadline for Med-Mal Suits” [Insurance Journal]
The New York Times has a very good editorial calling for reform of the state’s crazy gravity-knife law, under which the NYPD has arrested thousands of stagehands, carpenters, construction workers and others observed in possession of work knives that are legal almost everywhere else in the country. I wrote about the issue for Cato a year and a half ago; more here.
- No flavored milk for 5-year-olds: feds prescribe what day care centers may serve to 3 million kids [final rule via Elizabeth Harrington, Free Beacon]
- Andrew Jackson and alcohol access: “…whereas Whigs insisted that regulating morality was a proper function of government, Democrats warned that government intrusion into areas of private choice would violate republican liberties.” [John M. Murrin et al, Liberty, Equality, Power on Massachusetts “Fifteen-Gallon Law” of 1838, via historian Richard Samuelson on Twitter, and more]
- Eric Schneiderman takes his toll of fun: “Daily Fantasy Sports Stop Operations in New York” [Scott Shackford]
- Wyoming happy with results of food freedom legislation [Baylen Linnekin]
- Priors didn’t help, but yes, New Jersey’s gun control laws are such that the state will prosecute an actor over a prop gun used in filming a movie [AP/San Jose Mercury News; Carlo Goias]
- Hadn’t remembered the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, one of America’s strangest industrial disasters, had a Prohibition angle [Dylan Thuras, Atlas Obscura]
Under New York City’s stiff gun control laws, it can be famously hard to obtain a carry permit from the NYPD’s license division — at least, famously hard if you’re an ordinary resident without cash or connections to spare. Now, scandal [DNAInfo, New York Daily News]:
A Brooklyn businessman has been charged by the feds with obtaining gun permits for friends and other businessmen by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to NYPD officers in its License Division, authorities said on Monday….
In all, Lichtenstein boasted that he obtained 150 weapons for his friends and associates, charging them about $18,000 each time, and giving $6,000 of the payout to his police connections. If true, that means corrupt officers raked in as much as $900,000.
It’s yet another reminder, Ira Stoll points out, of the general rule that draconian regulation begets corruption — and a caution to those who propose to inflict NYC-style regulation on other parts of the country.