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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Arkansas
Home country: USA
Current location: Arkansas, USA
Member since: Mon May 15, 2017, 08:46 PM
Number of posts: 8,615

About Me

I'm a lawyer primarily representing clients who are being sued. I am a retired Army Judge Advocate. Nothing I post here, including any comments about legal topics, should be construed as legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship.

Journal Archives

NRA Lawsuit against Florida

I have two ideas about the NRA lawsuit against Florida over its gun law signed today. The Complaint can be found at the following link.

Idea One: I think it curious that the NRA brought the lawsuit in its own name. Bringing the lawsuit in the name of the NRA immediately raises a standing issue. The federal courts take standing seriously. There are any number of twenty year old NRA members who would have happily been the name on the lawsuit. Such a person could easily show the necessary "harm" to have standing. I haven't done the research to firmly convince myself that the NRA doesn't have standing but cannot imagine what is gained by sowing that issue in the case.

Idea Two: This idea is more complicated so stay with me before you start flaming. I think the question of whether the State can impose an age limit above majority to purchase a firearm to needs to be resolved by the Supreme Court. I get it, States can and do limit alcohol purchase to twenty-one year old persons but there is no constitutional right to buy alcohol. The Supreme Court has told us in DC v. Heller that the Second Amendment confers a personal right that is subject to reasonable restrictions. What the Heller decision did not do is provide real guidelines to what is a reasonable restriction.

The test for what is a reasonable restriction is whether it is reasonably related to an important State interest. It seems clear to me that protecting society against the dangers presented by immature people buying firearms is an important State interest. The question is going to be whether limiting purchase to adults under twenty-one is reasonably related to that State interest. I think (or maybe just hope) that a Court would find that given the dangerous nature of firearms, that while a twenty-year old is competent to vote, there is a rational relationship in such a State law.

In a challenge to the Florida Statute, one of two things will happen. Either the Court will uphold the statute and we will have some better idea what types of restrictions are permissible after Heller or the Court will strike the statute and we will know that the limits of reasonableness under Heller is very small. I am just not convinced the Supreme Court is going to find this Statute unconstitutional (although I have concerns about how seriously Florida AG Bondi will take the defense of the case) but either way, we need to know the answer to the question. As a result, I am not too upset about the NRA filing the lawsuit.

What I cannot work out is why the NRA would file this lawsuit. Some state is going to pass a far more restrictive statute than the Florida statute. I would expect the NRA to file its first lawsuit against one of these more restrictive statutes in hopes of having a better case before the Supreme Court.

Sam Nunberg's a lawyer?

Lawrence just reported that Sam Nunberg is a lawyer - or at least has a law degree. The Google machine confirms.

This is even crazier than I thought!

On security clearances.

Both a Secret and Top Secret security clearance require a background investigation. The background investigation for a Top Secret clearance is more in-depth than a Secret clearance. My expectation would be that if someone with a Secret clearance failed the more in-depth investigation for a Top Secret clearance, not only would the Top Secret clearance not be granted, the Secret clearance would be revoked.

Jared, being a novice to government service, Jared did not have a Secret clearance when the more in-depth Top Secret clearance was conducted. Because Jared could not pass a background check for a Top Secret clearance, my expectation would be that he also would not get a Secret clearance.

My understanding is that Jared has not received a Secret clearance but is simply being given access to Secret material without the clearance. While I appreciate that the President can give access to any classified material to anyone he wants, what is really being done is that the President is giving a person who could not pass a background check access to Secret material. IMHO, such a blatant disregard for the security of the U.S. to benefit a family member, while not criminal, is an impeachable abuse of power.

Trump Twitter Storms

I was listening the Chris Hayes a few minutes ago talking about Trump's most recent Twitter Storm.

I don't Tweet and was curious about the term "Twitter Storm." The only definition I could find on the Google-machine referenced tweets by numerous posters. Was the term "Twitter Storm" used about one person's Tweets before Trump?

Don't screw with the spooks!

It took awhile, but I've carefully read the indictment.

The extraordinary thing is the level of detail, especially in laying out information that could only have been gotten from the the intelligence folks - NSA, CIA, etc. Moreover, in setting out that level of detail, it tells the Russians - Hey, Ivan, we're reading your mail, even the mail you thought we couldn't read.

Why would the intelligence agencies give up this information? Why would they agree to release this information in the indictment? What could possibly cause them to agree to release this information? The only thing I can think of is that Trump has gone out of his way to attack or discount the intelligence agencies - they don't like that.

You screw with the spooks at your peril.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

There a several posts and responses today either calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment or arguing the "well regulated militia" clause of the Second Amendment limits "the right to bear arms" to members of the militia. As has been proven too many times, something has to be done about guns in this county. It is my fear that insistence by liberals on the repeal of the Second Amendment or otherwise getting to the complete elimination of firearms, will doom the common sense things that need to be done.

SCOTUS made it very clear in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), that the Second Amendment right is a personal right not dependent on the "well regulated militia" clause. IMHO, that opinion was misguided. However, absent a constitutional amendment, the elimination of all firearms cannot be supported. A constitutional amendment is not going to happen anytime soon. Even if it was an attainable goal, do we really want to open the door to repealing parts of the Bill of Rights?

However, Heller does not say the the Second Amendment right is not subject to reasonable regulations. What must be the goal is common sense regulation. These common sense goals would include the restoration of the assault weapons ban, closing the background checks loopholes, banning large clips/magazines, etc. Demanding the repeal of the Second Amendment or some other complete ban of firearms is insisting on the perfect at the cost of obtaining the good.

Please, this is really serious, children are dying. We need to focus on attainable goals.

I'm simply furious.

Rick Scott and the local police chief just finished a presser about today's school shooting in which they keep calling for prayer while assuring us that nothing can be done to prevent such tragedies.

We all know that something can be done. Can we stop all shootings? Of course not. Can we stop some, of course.

I used to think that there would surely come a point where enough people - children - had been killed, that something would be done. It's now clear to me that nothing will be done until We The People demand that something be done.

I am opposed to single issuer voters and political purity - but - enough is enough. If you're the only Democrat in an election, then yeah, I'll vote for you even if you resist gun regulation as the lesser of evils. However, if you want my money - or time - you have to support some kind of common sense gun law.

A small ray of hope?

I have an friend - and cranky, old white guy and big Trump supporter. I think we have enjoyed arguing with each other since Trump got the GOP nomination.

Today he asked - apparently sincerely - cogent, relevant questions about the Carter Page FISA warrant and why it was important. He was fact-checking what they were selling on Faux News.

Is he converted? Does he regret his vote? Is he rooting for Mueller? No, of course not. Is he, for the first time, questioning the nonsense being pushed by Faux News? Yeah, I think so.

Adam Rippon.

Wow - just wow!

The shirtless Tonga guy!

Shirtless again - at the Winter Games - it's 28 degrees!

I hope he has a coat waiting for him in the stands.
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