FROM Eugene Volokh
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retires Justice Anthony Kennedy announced today that he will retire. Even though Kennedy was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, he was seen the court’s swing vote. Kennedy sided with the court’s more liberal justices on some big decision on gay rights.
Portland train attach sparks Free Speech debate A pro-Trump and Free Speech Rally in Portland Oregon yesterday attracted a counter-protest across the street. Police made arrests, but nobody was injured. The events attracted national attention in the aftermath of a double murder on a train 10 days ago—raising questions about the city’s past and whether “hate speech” is protected by the First Amendment.
Restricting Ammunition The attackers in San Bernardino had over 6,000 rounds of ammunition in their house and in their car. In October, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposed ballot initiative to strengthen gun laws in California that includes new restrictions on the sale of ammunition.
Montana, Citizens United and Government Corruption Two years ago, the US Supreme Court took the limits off campaign spending by corporations and wealthy donors in the case Citizens United versus the Federal Elections Commission . That's raised a firestorm over the influence of money in politics. The State of Montana calls that an invitation to government corruption and the Supreme Court of Montana has decided to keep the state's contribution limits in effect. Will the high court take another look? We hear from the Governor of Montana and others.
Free Speech and Government Corruption The US Supreme Court has ordered Montana to abolish historic limits on campaign contributions to comply with its 2010 Citizens United decision . Montana says, "No," insisting that money is already corrupting state politics for the first time in 100 years. Reformers claim Citizens United created this year's Super PAC's and billion-dollar campaigns funded by corporations and wealthy people. Will the Supreme Court take another look, or are "reformers" trying to impose limits on free speech they just don't like?
A Judge and his Risqué Web Site Alex Kozinski is presiding judge of the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals which covers the western states. Last week he was hearing a high-profile obscenity trial in Los Angeles. Just as jury selection ended, the LA Times ran an article about pictures on a website Kozinski maintained. There is still heated dispute about whether the pictures were “obscene,” but Kozinski shut down the website and declared a mistrial. At his request, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has empanelled five other judges to conduct an investigation .
A Pedophile in L.A. – Dangerous or Just Annoying? When he lived in Washington State, Jack McClellan ran a website entitled, “ Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love .” He advised men on how to find places where they could watch children between the ages of 3 and 11, insisting “it is possible to have these attractions and not be out of control.” Sure enough, at age 45, McClellan has never been convicted of any sexual crime. But he’s now in jail in Los Angeles on charges of violating a court order.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?