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Month: June 2010

June 30, 2010

Constitutional rights stand in the way of "democracy"

Author: Timothy Sandefur Jacob Sullum puts it well: In their dissenting opinions in McDonald v. Chicago, Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer (joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) worry that overturning gun control laws undermines democracy. If "the people" want to ban handguns, they say, "the people" shou ...

June 30, 2010

Does the Constitution mean only what the judges say it means?

Author: Timothy Sandefur A common saying among lawyers is that the Constitution is whatever five justices say it is. Indeed, according to certain "realists," the Constitution actually has no meaning until it is interpreted by the Supreme Court. There is no "fact of the matter" about the Constitution's meaning, independent of judicial interpretation ...

June 30, 2010

PLF on the road

Author: Timothy Sandefur Last evening I spoke at the annual convention of the American Health Lawyers Association in beautiful Seattle, Washington, on the topic of the constitutionality of the Obama Administration's health care mandate—that is, the law that requires every American, no matter what, to buy health insurance from a private company. E ...

June 30, 2010

PLF: The "ring-the-bells-for-freedom" organization

Author: Joshua Thompson That's how the Orange County Register describes Pacific Legal Fondation in an article describing PLF's role in the lawsuit against the retroactive pension winfdall for Orange County public safety workers.  To wit: So last week it was Attorney General/Candidate for Governor Jerry Brown weighing in on ...

June 30, 2010

Speculating on the public dime: Burien is latest eminent domain loser

Author: Daniel Himebaugh The city of Burien, Washington is in the news this week because its "Town Square" condo project has run into serious financial difficulty.  While the reporting on Town Square's problems has highlighted slow sales, some vital details about the development are not being reported.  The property where ...

June 30, 2010

Elena Kagan and the delta smelt

Author: Brandon Middleton Folks are concerned about Elena Kagan's response (or lack thereof) to Sen. Tom Coburn's questions about Commerce Clause jurisprudence.  And rightly so.  Here it is in case you missed it: The government that is regulating a noncommercial fish is the same government that will dictate your nutrition.  ...

June 29, 2010

PLF targets OC's "retro" pension hikes

Pacific Legal Foundation announced today that it has filed a legal brief arguing that a massive retroactive pension windfall for Orange County public-safety workers was invalid, because the people's constitutional right to vote on the giveaway was ignored. PLF's friend-of-the-court brief was filed in state appellate court, in support of the Orange ...

June 29, 2010

McDonald and incremental changes

Author Timothy Sandefur It’s darkly amusing that, seventy years after the New Deal, it’s the “liberals” who are the conservatives, trying desperately to resist changes in the law that would recognize the rights of individual liberty; making the weakest arguments for retaining old, worn-out legal theories like “rational ...

June 29, 2010

Hearing this week in Connerly v. Schwarzenegger

Author: Joshua Thompson On Friday, July 2, I will be in the Sacramento Superior Court arguing the case of Connerly v. Schwarzenegger.   Pacific Legal Foundation is representing Ward Connerly and the American Civil Rights Foundation in their challenge regarding the constitutionality of various public contracting statutes.  This cas ...

June 29, 2010

The Leus' garden blooms despite legal battle

Author: Brian T. Hodges Shirley and Herbert Leus' garden seems to have been all but lost to the maelstrom that took over their case, Leu v. International Boundary Commission. If you recall, this is the case where the U.S. Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission ordered retired couple Shirley and Herbert Leu to remove a ...