Daily Adams

Law

Odd, Harmless Beliefs Lead to Property Seizure 

Although Ralph Gilbertsen has never been arrested for domestic abuse, is not a felon, and has never been deemed a danger to himself or others, cops in Richfield, Minnesota confiscated his firearms.

The 74-year-old former Marine and security worker has a state-issued carry permit and is now suing in attempt to get police to return the three legally acquired handguns they removed from his home last May.

Gilbertsen believes in Bigfoot, UFOs and receives treatment for a “mild” mental health disorder. Police were alerted to him after people at his apartment complex reported that he frequently brings up government conspiracies and expresses concerns that the CIA is spying on him.

Via Cops Confiscate Man’s Guns For Believing In Bigfoot, UFOs, CIA Conspiracy @ Cop Block.

Suing to Speak 

COLUMBIA, SC A University of South Carolina student who is an activist Libertarian sued the college Tuesday on freedom of speech grounds because it threatened to discipline him for posters used last fall during a free speech event.

Ross Abbott, 21, a USC senior studying business management, filed the federal suit because a university official told Abbott he faced discipline, up to expulsion, over complaints from three students about posters that campus Libertarian organizations displayed at a Nov. 23 “free speech zone” event intended to showcase First Amendment freedoms, according to Catherine Sevcenko, director of litigation for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The posters included images of a swastika displayed at another campus and one that alluded to a suspension last year of a USC student over a photo showing a racial slur written in a campus study room. Shortly after the female student’s suspension, FIRE wrote to USC president Harris Pastides and asserted the suspension was improper and that what she wrote is protected speech.

Via USC sued by student over speech code @ The State.

California’s Intimidation of Donors

Campaign for Liberty has joined with 63 organizations in sending a letter to the California Attorney General’s office opposing a proposed regulation requiring non-profit organizations to disclose the names of their donors to the state.

This regulation is just the latest attempt by statists to use so-called “donor disclosure” laws to intimidate individuals  from becoming involved in the fight for liberty.

Campaign for Liberty will continue to oppose any demand that we hand over our supporters’ confidential information to any government agent.

Please support our efforts to defeat the IRS’s attempts to force us to divulge the names of our supporters.

 Here and below is the text of the letter to the California AG….

Via Campaign for Liberty to CA Attorney General: LEAVE OUR MEMBERS ALONE.

What’s at Stake 

It’s not about 1 person. It’s not about 1 phone. It’s about the government being able to snoop on all people, on all phones, on all devices, on your TV, PC, even your HVAC and car. The government wants a skeleton key to unlock whatever it wants whenever it wants. This is dangerous in the extreme.

Via This Is the Real Reason Apple Is Fighting the FBI @ AgainstCronyCapitalism.org

All Writs Act

While the All Writs Act is not used every day, the act has been successfully invoked by the government to compel telephone companies to install wiretaps, for phone companies to hand over call records, and to obtain CCTV footage, handwriting exemplars, and DNA samples. It has even been cited to force a defendant to cough up his computer password.

What’s more, it has played a part in copyright piracy cases. In a forthcoming law journal article,Annemarie Bridy, a law professor at the University of Idaho, writes that “some courts granting broad preliminary orders against non-parties in ‘pirate site’ cases have cited the All Writs Act as a source of authority.”

The All Writs Act was originally part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the Supreme Court, the lower courts, and spelled out the basic powers of the judicial branch of government. In 1990, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor described the Judiciary Act as “probably the most important and most satisfactory Act ever passed by Congress.”

Via How Apple will fight the DOJ in iPhone backdoor crypto case @ Ars Technica.

Apple Stands with Liberty

“February 16, 2016 A Message to Our Customers The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around…

No Duty 

Article II, Section 2 does not lay out any specific procedure by which the Senate can refuse its consent. It does not indicate whether it must do so by taking a vote, or whether it can simply refuse to consider the president’s nominee at all. However, Article I, Section 5 states that “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That power includes the rules for considering judicial nominations, as well as all other Senate business. Thus, so long as the Senate has established rules that allow it

Via The Constitution does not require the Senate to give judicial nominees an up or down vote @  Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy.

Rahm Emanuel’s sought to control supposedly independent agency’s communications with press

A day after the settlement was approved, Emanuel’s deputy communications director complained to his staff that an IPRA spokesperson did not report to him before speaking to a New York Times reporter.

“I found out a bit ago that IPRA’s PIO talked to Monica [Davey] about the structure of IPRA and how they operate without checking in with me (and despite the fact I had already reached out to coordinate earlier in the day),” Collins wrote on April 15.

The email is important because it shows that Emanuel’s office was not just suppressing information about McDonald’s death, but also controlling how the agency responsible for investigating police killings speaks to the press about its own processes.

Via Exclusive: Lawyers Went to Rahm Emanuel, Then Quashed the Laquan McDonald Video @ The Daily Beast.

Exclusive: Lawyers Went to Rahm Emanuel, Then Quashed the Laquan McDonald Video @ The Daily Beast

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department also said, “since April of last year the administration has said publicly that the city always intended to release the video as soon as the investigation was complete.”

But the settlement agreement never required the McDonald family’s attorneys to hold the video until an investigation was completed. Instead, over the objections of the McDonald estate, Platt and the city pressed for language that would keep the video hidden far beyond the end of investigations and until as long as a criminal trial was concluded.

Not only do the emails show the effort to cover up what really happened to Laquan McDonald went to the top of the Emanuel administration, they also show the mayor’s office was pulling strings at the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which, as its name indicates, should be independent….

Via Exclusive: Lawyers Went to Rahm Emanuel, Then Quashed the Laquan McDonald Video @ The Daily Beast.

Transparency in Accountability

California will no longer use grand juries in cases involving police shootings of civilians after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Tuesday banning the secret deliberations.SB 227, authored by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), makes California the first state to ban the use of grand juries to decide whether law enforcement should face criminal charges in use-of-force cases.

The ban, which will go into effect next year, comes after grand juries failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, last year, heightening scrutiny of the process. Mitchell argues that the grand jury process, during which evidence is presented to a panel of civilians in secret, fosters a lack of trust in the system.

Via California Bans Use Of Grand Juries In Police Shooting Cases @ Huffington Post.

Preventing Inquiry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Mayor Stephanie Miner has blocked the Citizen Review Board’s plans to hire a part-time investigator and forensic pathologist to help it investigate allegations of police misconduct.

Miner’s vetoes of two unanimous resolutions of the Common Council signal renewed friction at city hall over the CRB.

Via Miner blocks added investigators for panel that probes police misconduct @ Syracuse.com.

Qualified Immunity

Recently, police have been killing and otherwise abusing people of color with what seems like increasing frequency. The Black Lives Matter movement is asking them to stop — and pushing for policy changes to help bring about that end. Back in August, the movement launched Campaign Zero, which lays out a thoughtful platform for change at the federal, state, and local levels. One of the legs of this policy platform is “accountability.” This makes sense — real accountability can be a powerful lever to change behavior. But I don’t think the Campaign Zero accountability goes far enough — I think that, in order to bring about real police accountability, we need to reform qualified immunity.

Via Want to Fight Police Misconduct? Reform Qualified Immunity @ Above The Law.

Regulatory Expansion

As Epstein made clear, Hayek was a passionate defender of the rule of law. Hayek understood that for a constitutional system to succeed in protecting those whom it governs, there must be both fair and neutral judges and laws that are coherent and understandable by normal citizens–not just lawyers and accountants. The movement away from these principles is where Hayek’s relevance is most-clearly seen today.

While most people are familiar with the congressional gridlock that has gripped America since the 2010 midterm elections, this gridlock has not extended to executive agencies. The gradual, but accelerating, growth in executive agencies’ powers has led to wide-ranging authority for the so-called “administrative state.”

Via America Should Heed Hayek’s Lessons For Faster Growth @ economics21.org.

No One

No one should go to prison for drug possession. We don’t jail people for drinking alcohol, even if they become alcoholics. Further, no one should bear the lifelong consequences of a felony record for drug possession. Felony records erect unnecessary barriers to housing, education, and employment, which are all essentials for stability, and stability is essential to recovery. Home, school, and work all build community. And connection with community is the antidote to the isolation of addiction.

Via Smart Justice Is Fair Justice @ ACLU.