Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantánamo detainee and prominent critic of the West’s War on Terror, was arrested Tuesday in an “anti-terror raid” in Birmingham, England. Begg, a native-born British citizen, was detained for three years after September 11, 2001 without being charged of a crime. Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept discuss the “dubious terrorism charges” that are “part of the effort to criminalize Muslim political dissent.”
The Public Campaign Action Fund is spending $1 million to rally New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators to pass a bill that would combat big-money politics and "raise up the voices of everyday people in our political process." Andy Kroll at Mother Jones has the story.
A secretly recorded video of recent Supreme Court oral argument has been released by the advocacy group 99Rise.org. Bill Mears of CNN reports on the rare footage that is raising concerns at the high court.
Dana Milbank of The Washington Post comments on the GOP’s frivolous lawsuits against the Obama administration and their ideological shift on judicial activism.
At ACLU’s Blog of Rights, Dennis Parker compares commentary on Adkins et al. vs. Morgan Stanley with the eloquent imagery of Jamaal May’s “There Are Birds Here.”
In an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish, Daniel Webster—Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research—discusses the grave consequences that followed Missouri’s 2007 repeal of a law requiring background checks for gun buyers.
President Obama continues to face criticism concerning the diversity of his judicial nominees. MSNBC’s Adam Serwer reports on growing liberal concern surrounding the president’s judicial nominees in Georgia.
Ta-NehisiCoates of The Atlantic reflects on the Jordan Davis murder, eloquently identifying racism in America as “not merely a belief system but a heritage.”
A group of legal organizations are using television advertising to push the issue of court transparency at the Supreme Court. Josh Gerstein of Politico has the story.
At CAC’s Text & History Blog, Tom Donnelly shares “six reasons to keep an eye on the Greenhouse Gas Cases.”
Matt Bodie at Prawfs Blawg argues in favor of incentivizing cheaper law school course material.
Nearly two decades ago, Congress responded to this alarming threat by passing a common-sense law aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of the most dangerous batterers — those already convicted of domestic violence crimes.
The law has proven an invaluable tool for protecting vulnerable women and children. Since its passage, gun dealers have stopped about 250,000 gun sales after background checks revealed the would-be buyer had a disqualifying conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor. Only felony convictions have caused more failed background checks.
But a new threat to the law may seriously undermine its effectiveness and allow tens of thousands of currently prohibited domestic abusers to arm themselves — and threaten their families.
On January 15, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in United States v. Castleman, which concerns the federal prohibition on gun possession by persons convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). The Court must decide whether to enforce the statute as written — and as Congress intended — or to seriously undermine the law and leave abused families across the country vulnerable to gun violence.
So the path to new gun control measures must wend through far-right states, such as West Virginia, according to a front-page article in The New York Times. In other words, there’s unlikely to be a ban on military-style weapons coming out of the 113th Congress, thanks largely to the overblown and paranoid concerns of gun enthusiasts in a handful of states that the federal government is bent on trampling Second Amendment rights.
That discouraging news, however, did not stop U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein from introducing sweeping legislation aimed at banning the “sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of 157 military-style assault weapon,” and “high-capacity ammunition magazines.”
As noted here before the Second Amendment, like many constitutional rights, is not absolute. The U.S. Supreme Court in D.C. v. Hellerpointed that out. But the gun lobby and gun enthusiasts are adept at stirring fear – one measure to curb violence will lead to others, and so on.
Feinstein is aware of the difficulty she faces. “Getting this bill signed into law,” she said, “will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that – but it’s worth waging. We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style weapons with the growing threat to lives across America. If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn’t a wakeup call that these weapons of war don’t belong on the streets, I don’t know what is.”
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) were also co-sponsors of the bill, The Hillreports.
The measure, The Hill continued, “would also ban semi-automatic rifles and handguns that have fixed magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds and all semi-automatic shotguns that have folding or detachable stocks, pistol grips, forward grips, or fixed magazines with room for more than five rounds.”
by Peter M. Shane, the Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University. This post first appeared onShane Reactions.
Not being a psychiatrist, I don’t really understand why the President’s fairly modest efforts at gun policy reform seem to have utterly deranged some of his political opponents. But talk of impeachment in connection with his gun-related “executive orders” is, to put it mildly, ridiculous.
To put matters in context, it helps to understand “executive orders.” These are presidential directives – sometimes formally called “executive orders,” sometimes not – that are issued to help manage the federal government. There is no authoritative definition of “executive orders” that distinguishes them from “presidential memorandums,” “presidential proclamations,” or – as in the case of the George W. Bush first directive on military commissions – just “orders.” The Federal Register Act lumps them together with “presidential proclamations” as documents that, with some exceptions, must be made public.
Although some news outlets reported that President Obama signed 23 executive orders relating to gun violence in America, he actually signed only three. Although they were called, “Presidential Memorandums,” two, at least, were indistinguishable from run-of-the-mill executive orders in that they applied to the heads of all executive departments and agencies. The other, addressed to a single agency, takes a form that would typically be called a “memorandum.”
Executive orders, like any other form of presidential initiative, must be rooted in some form of legal authority. Some are issued in the President’s constitutional chief executive capacity, and set forth managerial requirements for specified federal operations. Some are issued pursuant to explicit authority delegated to the President by statute, or are issued as a way of complying with obligations Congress has imposed on the President or the executive branch more generally.