Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Constitution

Maryland “Assault Weapons” Ban Upheld by Appeals Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017: 

Summer's End. Lexington Green, 11 September 20...

Summer’s End. Lexington Green,

The majority’s reasoning in the February 21 Kolbe v. Hogan decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, was so far wide of the mark of reasonable jurisprudence that four of the 13 judges joined in a masterful dissent that could carry the case to the Supreme Court on appeal.

Judge Robert King, a Clinton appointee, wrote the majority’s opinion that was supported by nine other judges, while a strongly-worded dissent was written by another Clinton appointee, William Traxler, that was supported by the other three others.

Traxler’s dissent should be required reading by any interested in how the Second Amendment should be defended against those willing to stretch existing case law and create new “tests” to support their opinions.

The court heard the case on appeal from a previous decision by three judges of the same court, ruling on Baltimore’s Firearm Safety Act (FSA) that it adopted in 2013. The FSA banned possession of 45 so-called assault rifles and detachable magazines containing more than 10 rounds. The previous decision, made February 4 of 2016, remanded the case back to the Maryland District Court, ordering that they apply “strict scrutiny” to their interpretation of how the FSA relates to the Second Amendment. This new decision vacated the previous decision.

First, King’s breathtaking conclusion:

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New Hampshire the 12th State to Allow Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017:

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws

Residents of New Hampshire are enjoying a long-awaited expansion of their Second Amendment rights with the signing into law on Wednesday of a bill allowing them to carry a firearm without first obtaining government permission. The third time “is a charm,” it is said, and this bill passed on the third attempt. The previous two attempts passed both state houses but were vetoed by previous Democrat governors.

Said Republican Governor Chris Sununu:

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Florida Legislators File Dozens of Gun Bills, Most Expanding Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  

Topographic map of the State of Florida, USA (...

Topographic map of the State of Florida,

With about two dozen gun-related bills being filed ahead of next month’s 60-day legislative session scheduled to begin in Florida, the state continues to earn its nickname “The Gunshine State.” Most people would likely anticipate that those bills contain restrictions on gun ownership in light of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando last June, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Instead, most of them promote increased gun freedom, with many likely to pass the Republican-controlled legislature and then move on to Republican Governor Rick Scott’s desk for signing.

Bills filed by Republicans would

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Marion Hammer has Turned Florida into the “Gunshine” State

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 22, 2017:

English: Current Status of Shall Issue Laws in...

Current Status of Shall Issue Laws in America

Since the late 1970s, Marion Hammer has lobbied for the NRA in Florida, galvanizing gun owners into a fearsome force favoring the Second Amendment. The media claims she engineered the change from “may issue” to “shall issue” for obtaining concealed carry permits to the point where today one in every 14 Floridians has one. It claims she’s also responsible for passage of the “stand your ground” law that has served as a model for the majority of other states that has adopted it.

She has also garnered the opprobrium of anti-gunners like Tom Diaz, who was forced to give her some credit in his book, The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It. Wrote Diaz:

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Heritage Foundation Blames Obama Admin. for America’s Economic Decline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

The Heritage Foundation minced no words in commenting on its latest Index of Economic Freedom: America’s continuing decline is all Obama’s fault:

America’s standing in the index [now in 17th place, the lowest in history] has dwindled steadily during the Obama years. This is largely owed to increased government spending, [increased] regulations, and a failed stimulus program that enriched the well-connected while leaving average Americans behind.

For the ninth time in 10 years, America’s index has lost ground. Coming in above 80 in 2008, the United States’ current index is barely above 75, tying it with

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Trump Has Great Opportunity to Influence U.S. Jurisprudence

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention after becoming the Republican nominee for president, then-candidate Donald Trump reiterated the importance of the replacement of deceased Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, stating, “The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophies. Very important. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election.”

Following Trump’s election victory in November, liberals voiced shock and consternation, especially in light of the Republican Party maintaining its majority in the branch of the legislature tasked with confirming Scalia’s replacement — the Senate. Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio declared that

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Another Travel Ban: This One From IRS, for Back Taxes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 7, 2017:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its final details on just how it can revoke American citizens’ passports for being behind in paying their taxes. Effective Monday, February 6:

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Was the Circuit Court Judge in the Travel Ban Lawsuit “Shopped?”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 6, 2017:

James Robart, Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, may have been pre-selected to rule in lawsuits brought by the state of Washington (later joined by Minnesota) against Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.” Adam Winkler, a Constitutional scholar at UCLA, explained the concept: “The idea is that you pick a judge that’s friendly, go to court, and stop a big government program before there’s been a trial, or before the judge even has an evidentiary record.”

Consider the evidence.

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Trump’s Travel Ban Halted (for Now); Could Go to Supreme Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, February 5, 2017:

English: United States Supreme Court building ...

United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.

The firestorm that erupted following President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees issued on January 27 has resulted in more than 50 lawsuits being filed against it. One of them, filed by the state of Washington and then joined by the state of Minnesota, resulted Friday in a temporary restraining order that halted nationwide Trump’s travel ban preventing nationals of seven foreign countries and refugees from entering the United States. The order, issued Friday by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle, set off a flurry of tweets from the president deriding the ruling and a White House promise that Robart’s order would immediately be appealed.

The Trump administration filed an emergency motion Saturday night asking that Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order be stayed, allowing the administration to enforce the travel ban while the judge’s decision is being appealed. On Sunday morning,  the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not stay Robart’s order immediately, but would consider the administration’s request after receiving more briefs from both parties. The administration was asked to file a second brief by 3:00 p.m. Monday.

Tweets from the president came fast and furious. His first tweet on Saturday, posted at 4:59 a.m., stated: “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security – big trouble!” As the day unfolded, his other tweets included:

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Why are ACLU Mandates on Chicago Police Never Mentioned as Cause of Violence?

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 3, 2017:

When Garry McCarthy (shown) was Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in 2015, he knew that the mandates contained in the deal his department struck with the ACLU wouldn’t work in reducing crime. But, said McCarthy, “I acquiesced to it because, you know, I’m trying to work with them [and] they’re trying to work with us.”

Now that he’s no longer with the CPD, he’s free to speak his mind. In an interview with the New York Daily News in December, McCarthy said Chicago

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Trump Repeats Need for Federal Intervention in Chicago

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 2, 2017:

Map of violent crimes in 2006 in Chicago commu...

Map of violent crimes in 2006 in Chicago community areas per 100,000 residents

For the second time in a week, President Donald Trump expressed his dismay over the continuing and escalating gun violence in Chicago, and offered the same solution: federal assistance. At a White House conference celebrating Black History Month, Darrel Scott, senior pastor of New Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, told the president that some of Chicago’s former gang leaders “reached out to me, because they’re associating me with you. They respect you. They believe in what you’re doing, and they want to have a sit-down about lowering [Chicago’s] body count.”

Trump responded:

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Trump Should Have Fired Sally Yates Sooner

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Bu...

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Department of Justice.

The first sign of trouble at the Department of Justice occurred at about 9 am on Monday when acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered her staff not to defend Trump’s immigration order. In an email to her staff, Yates opined:

At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities of the Department of Justice, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.

She also took exception to the Trump administration’s claim that her own department’s Office of Legal Counsel had adequately cleared the order beforehand, ruling that his order was “lawful on its face”:

[That ruling] does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an executive order is wise or just….

I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.

And then, sealing her fate, Yates concluded:

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Trump to Acting Attorney General Yates: You’re Fired!

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 31, 2017:

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

In a letter hand-delivered to her office Monday evening, President Donald Trump relieved acting Attorney General Sally Yates of her responsibilities. In a statement issued at the same time, the White House said that Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

The statement added:

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NRA Moving from Defense to Offense

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 31, 2017:

For eight long years the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, along with similar groups such as the Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), largely been playing defense. The anti-gun executive orders spewing from the pen of former President Barack Obama, the anti-gun media seizing upon opportunities to promote its agenda thanks to crazed killers committing atrocities, the push to ratify the UN small arms treaty, and more have kept pro-Second Amendment groups such as these back on their heels.

No longer. Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s national spokeswoman, told The Hill on Monday:

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Court Rules That Those Carrying Concealed Are Presumed to Be Dangerous

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2017:

Holster

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia) ruled last week that an individual carrying concealed gives up essential Fourth Amendment rights under the presumption that since he is armed, he is also dangerous.

The ruling issued on Monday, January 23, United States v. Robinson, reversed an earlier decision by the court’s three-judge panel, claiming that the Supreme Court, in two relevant decisions, concluded that “armed and dangerous” meant “armed and therefore dangerous” rather than “armed” as a fact and “dangerous” based on reasonable judgments surrounding the case.

A tip received by Ransom, West Virginia, police on March 24, 2014 that a man was seen

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Miami-Dade County First to End Sanctuary Status

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 27, 2017:

The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida, Carlos Gimenez, ordered his prison director “to honor all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland Security” on Thursday, following President Donald Trump’s executive order. He added: “Miami-Dade County complies with federal law and intends to fully cooperate with the federal government.” (See protesters above)

This was music to Trump’s ears, who immediately tweeted

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Congress Plans to Repeal Obama Rules Through Congressional Review Act

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 26, 2017:

To facilitated mining of a coal seam in Gillet...

To facilitate mining of a coal seam in Gillette, Wyoming, blasting was used to loosen the coal after the overburden was removed. Approximately half a million tons of coal in a seam 80 feet thick was loosened by this single blast.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy explained in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday just how Congress is planning to roll back numerous egregious and harmful rules promulgated by the Obama administration: the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA was included in the “Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996” and allows Congress to review, and to cancel by majority rule, new federal regulations issued by federal agencies. There’s a window of 60 “legislative” days to disapprove, which explains some of the Trump administration’s haste in pushing to repeal them. Once passed by both houses, repeals then become effective with President Donald Trump’s signature.

There are plenty of targets, but McCarthy focused on just three: the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule impacting the coal-mining industry, new methane gas regulations that would cost up to $1 billion and force many small energy developers out of business, and the Social Security Administration’s new rule that states that if a S.S. recipient needs a third party to manage his finances, he will be added to the gun background check list.

The CRA shouldn’t be necessary. If Congress hadn’t unconstitutionally allowed power it alone possesses under the Constitution to make laws to pass over to the executive branch’s various and sundry regulatory agencies, the problems with the Obama administration’s overreach wouldn’t exist in the first place. Those agencies have grown into Leviathan, issuing rules, regulations, and mandates far beyond those imagined by Congress. Now Congress is in the backward position of having to limit the regulations pouring out of that unconstitutional “fourth branch” of government. The child is now threatening its parent.

Parsing the language of the Interior Department’s rules on its expanded regulation of coal miners proves the point:

Under [the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977], the regulatory authority may not approve a permit application [from a coal mining company] unless the application demonstrates, and the regulatory authority finds, that the proposed operation would not result in material damage to the hydrologic balance [i.e., streams and rivers] outside the permit area.

How does a coal mining company, in its application, “prove” a negative? How does it satisfy a bureaucratic unelected unaccountable and invisible agency that it will cause no harm, or at least not enough harm to avoid trespassing on that agency’s environmental sensitivities? What assurance does a coal mining company have that said agency won’t change the rules arbitrarily and capriciously in the future? Would not such future uncertainty tend to dampen said coal company’s interest in developing its reserves?

Similar charges could be levied against the federal agency issuing its rules on methane emissions, but the best example of egregious overreach is the Social Security Administration’s new rule that allows it to “deem” who shall have his or her name entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) based on whether or not they receive third-party assistance in managing their finances. Here’s what the SSA says it will do:

We will identify, on a prospective [in the absence of evidence of any proclivity towards criminal activity] basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits … or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments … who meet certain criteria, including … a finding that the individual’s mental impairment meets or medically equals [various] requirements.

And just how, pray tell, would such “identification” take place? The SSA responds:

If we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability.

And just how is that “issue of capability” to be determined? Again, the SSA provides the guidelines its bureaucrats should follow in making that determination:

Does the individual have difficulty answering questions, getting the evidence or information necessary to pursue the claim, or understanding explanations and reporting instructions?

 

If so, do you think this difficulty indicates [that] the beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of [his or her] funds?

If the answer, by this nameless, faceless unaccountable bureaucrat, is yes, his or her name is entered into the NICS.

The agency then condescends to tell the soul who just had his Second and Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution obliterated that they have just done so, and that if he cares to contest this arbitrary and capricious decision by said unnamed bureaucrat, he is free to hire an attorney and seek redress. Guilty until proven innocent.

Where is due process? Where is the beneficiary allowed to defend himself or explain himself or offer an explanation? What happens to the right to face his accuser in a court of law?

When Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRAILA), learned of McCarthy’s plan of attack to repeal this particular rule, he was delighted:

Congress’ decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in restoring the fundamental Constitutional rights of many law-abiding gun owners.

 

The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed, and we look forward to swift congressional action to overturn it.

Those in the energy industry will likely be equally ebullient once Congress has righted the wrongs imposed by federal agencies on its businesses. Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House Energy Committee, told Reuters that using the CRA will not only wipe out entire regulations but forbid them from writing new versions in their place.

In effect Congress’ use of the CRA will be equivalent to hacking off some of the branches of the Fourth Branch’s tree, but leaves the trunk and the root intact. It’s a start, but only a start.

Venezuela: Some Lessons Must be Learned Over and Over Again

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 23, 2017:

George Santayana most famously said: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But he wasn’t the only one. Aldous Huxley put it this way: “That men do not learn very much the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” Said Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.”

There’s a lesson being taught to the hapless and now helpless citizens (shown above) of Venezuela. It’s a lesson so often taught but not learned that one may, with great confidence, predict the final outcome.

On Friday Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, fired his banker,

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ATF Elimination Act Re-introduced in the House

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 20, 2017:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo...

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In re-introducing the ATF Elimination Act on Thursday, January 12, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) explained one of the primary reasons why: “The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges, and a lack of leadership.”

Not once did he explain the real reason the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF for short) should be eliminated:

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Is Obama Worst U.S. President?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 20, 2017:

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010.

If one asks Joe Hoft, a corporate executive with a Fortune 300 company based in Hong Kong about President Obama’s economic policies during his eight years as president, he will note that Obama “currently ranks as the fourth worst president on record in GDP growth.” At just 1.45 percent average annual GDP growth over those eight years, only Herbert Hoover (minus 5.65 percent), Andrew Johnson (minus .7 percent) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.4 percent) have worse records. However, “Barack Obama will be the only U.S. president in history who did not deliver a single year of 3.0 or better percent growth.”

Hoft will remind us that

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.