The parents have not been accused of abuse or neglect. “Both have standard high school diplomas.” But the state of Oregon considers their IQs to be too low and has seized their two sons in what has turned into a nearly four-year battle [Samantha Swindler, The Oregonian]
- In name of suicide prevention, Oregon plans to use emergency one-sided hearsay proceedings to take away gun rights [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
- Past Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) readings of Emoluments Clause fall between extreme positions of CREW on the one hand and Trump White House on the other [Jane Chong/Lawfare, earlier]
- “Yes, Justice Thomas, the doctrine of regulatory takings is originalist” [James Burling, PLF] On the Court’s decision in Murr v. Wisconsin (earlier), see also Robert Thomas at his Inverse Condemnation blog here, here, and here;
- Notwithstanding SCOTUS decision in Pavan v. Brown just four days before, Texas Supreme Court intends to take its time spelling out to litigants the implications of Obergefell for municipal employee benefits [Josh Blackman (plus more), Dale Carpenter on Pidgeon v. Turner] Why the Supreme Court is not going to snatch back Obergefell at this point [David Lat]
- Tariff-like barrier: California commercial fishing license fees are stacked against out-of-staters [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald, Cato]
- H.L. Mencken writes a constitution, 1937 [Sam Bray, Volokh]
- ACLU of Oregon has it right: even in near aftermath of violent Portland attack, government cannot revoke rally permits because of disapproval of the message being sent [Ronald K.L. Collins, Scott Shackford/Reason, John Samples/Cato]
- “The ‘eye for an eye’ theory of respecting free speech is particularly pernicious because it represents the worst sort of collectivism, something the principled Right ought reject.” [Ken White, Popehat] Courts have been doing a stellar job of upholding free speech. Other sectors of U.S. society, less so [same]
- tl:dr version: yes, legally it can. “Can Charlotte Pride parade exclude Gays for Trump float?” [Eugene Volokh]
- “California AG agrees: Calif. law does not preclude private citizens from displaying Confederate battle flag at county fairs” [Volokh, earlier]
- “Germany Raids Homes of 36 People Accused of Hateful Postings Over Social Media” [David Shimer, New York Times] Per David Meyer-Lindenberg, German police launched 234,341 investigations over insult or other hurtful speech last year [Scott Greenfield] A vigilant comrade has reported your tweet of Wednesday last to the constabulary as doubleplus ungood [Matt Burgess, Wired, last August on Met Police plans in U.K.]
- On inviting controversial speakers: “A response to Scott Alexander” [Flemming Rose, Cato]
By reader acclaim: “In September 2014, Mats Järlström, an electronics engineer living in Beaverton, Oregon, sent an email to the state’s engineering board. The email claimed that yellow traffic lights don’t last long enough, which ‘puts the public at risk.'” The board fined him $500 for “practicing engineering without a license” and for referring to himself as an engineer in correspondence with the state despite his unregistered status. The Institute for Justice is in court on his behalf. [Jason Koebler, Motherboard]
“Parks where Oregonians pursue adventure sports—like East Portland’s Gateway Green—now have liability for visitors’ injuries. … Last March, the Oregon Supreme Court handed down a ruling that overturned a key premise of a 45-year-old law referred to as the Oregon Public Use of Lands Act.” [Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week]
- Washington Supreme Court: psychiatrist can be sued for failure to act when patient expressed homicidal thoughts, even though signs did not point to particular victim [Seattle Times, opinion in Volk v. DeMeerleer; compare Tarasoff duty-to-warn line of cases]
- University of Oregon, which suspended a law professor over an off-campus Hallowe’en costume, could use a refresher on free speech [Josh Blackman, Jonathan Turley, Hans Bader, Susan Kruth/FIRE, Eugene Volokh]
- Prenda Law saga continues: “Feds charge porn-troll lawyers in major fraud, extortion case” [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Joe Mullin/ArsTechnica, indictment, our past coverage including this on attorney Hansmeier’s branching out into ADA web-accessibility complaints]
- Alas, incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a big defender of civil asset forfeiture [George Will, syndicated/San Angelo (Tex.) Standard-Times]
- Oklahoma law will force restaurants, hotels among others to post signs aimed at discouraging abortion [AP, Eugene Volokh]
- Time to repeal the Community Reinvestment Act [Howard Husock]
- John Cochrane and Stephen Bainbridge on Dodd-Frank reform in a new administration;
- Gift of insider information to friends or family is insider trading, rules SCOTUS in Salman v. U.S. [Thaya Brook Knight, Bainbridge, WLF, Ira Stoll; earlier]
- Five state legislatures (California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut) now push private employers to enlist employees in state retirement plans. Caution needed [Vimbai Chikomo, AMI Newswire, SIFMA, NAIFA, Bloomberg in August on new rules; earlier here and here]
- “The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: Myth and Reality” [new Oonagh McDonald Cato Policy Analysis, Mark Calabria]
- Federalist Society podcast with Jason Johnston and Thaddeus King on class actions in consumer finance agreements;
- More on why de novo bank starts have become so uncommon [Kevin Funnell]
- With U.S. international adoption already down 75 percent, proposed State Department regulations could choke off much of remainder [SaveAdoptions.org, Jayme Metzgar/Federalist, National Council for Adoption]
- Baltimore police surveillance, redistricting, teacher’s union holidays: after a hiatus I’ve resumed Maryland policy roundups at Free State Notes;
- Facebook potluck group was being monitored: “Single Mother Facing Prison for Selling Homemade Mexican Dish to Undercover Cop” [Robby Soave]
- Brad Avakian, tormentor of small businesspeople under Oregon discrimination law, loses Secretary of State bid [Victoria Taft, IJR]
- Shipping & Transit LLC: “America’s Biggest Filer of Patent Suits Wants You to Know It Invented Shipping Notification” [Ruth Simon and Loretta Chao, WSJ] “Stupid Patent of the Month: Changing the Channel” [Daniel Nazer, EFF]
An Oregon jury has reached a verdict acquitting the occupiers of the Malheur wildlife refuge (earlier) of conspiracy charges. In seeking to explain this outcome, it may help to know about a detailed letter from a juror in the case, published in The Oregonian. Obviously, one juror’s view is not definitive in such a case.
I am indebted to reader J.B. for the following rough paraphrase of some themes and highlights of the juror’s letter:
* We didn’t intend to affirm or endorse the defendants’ views.
* We were certainly convinced that the defendants’ actions caused a lot of real-world disruption and damage.
* We don’t want to encourage other people to do stuff like that and regret the possibility that the acquittal might do that.
* The government had a complicated theory that, according to the law as the judge explained it to us, made the defendants’ subjective intentions more significant than the actual effects of their actions.
* We didn’t think the evidence about the defendants’ subjective intentions was strong enough to meet the legal standard for conviction under the government’s complicated theory as the judge explained the law to us.
* We’re frankly kind of puzzled as to why the government didn’t charge less complicated crimes like criminal trespass that might have been easier to get a conviction for.
All of which is not short enough to fit on a bumper sticker. The report by the Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein, again, is here.
That Friday tale from the Washington, D.C. Metro system was just the start. “The North Miami police officer who shot an unarmed, black mental health worker caring for a patient actually took aim at the autistic man next to him, but missed, the head of the police union said Thursday.” [Miami Herald] Meanwhile, in Oregon, a gross-receipts tax proposal backed by public employee unions and schools lobby could spell the end for Powell’s Books of Portland. [Interview with Emily Powell on Measure 97, Business Tribune]