Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Law

Biden Stonewalls Congress

It’s almost like Biden is the head of a criminal family organization.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee emerged outraged from a two-hour secure briefing with Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, threatening to grind the chamber’s business to a halt if the Biden administration does not provide access to the classified documents seized from the current president and former President Donald Trump.


Senators in both parties have claimed the administration is refusing to let them see the materials, even blocking lawmakers with the highest security clearance, like Senate Intelligence Committee members, while the special counsel probes are ongoing over how Biden and Trump handled the classified records while out of office.


“I’m very disappointed with the lack of detail and a timeline on when we’re going to get a briefing, not on anything dealing with criminality — that’s an appropriate Department of Justice responsibility — but it is our responsibility to make sure that we, in our role as intelligence oversight, know if there’s been any intelligence compromise,” Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va, said in a rare rebuke of the administration.

SCOTUS Fails to Find Leaker

It appears that the flow of information was pretty loose – probably because they all trusted each other to not violate the secrecy of the court. Now that that trust is shattered, I hope they have implemented more stringent safeguards.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that after a lengthy investigation it has been unable to conclusively identify the person who leaked an unpublished draft of an opinion indicating the court was poised to roll back abortion rights.


In an unsigned statement, the court said that all leads had been followed up and forensic analysis performed, but “the team has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”


The attached report suggested the court was not watertight, with some employees admitting they had talked to spouses about the draft opinion and how the justices had voted. The investigation conducted by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley was largely limited to the court building itself and the people who work there, meaning that any actions taken by people at home or elsewhere using personal devices were mostly not within its scope.


The report also indicated that the justices were not scrutinized as part of the probe, with the focus on permanent employees and the law clerks who work for each justice for a year.

Meta Settles

Remember this? Given the Twitter files, it almost seems quaint now.

Facebook owner Meta has agreed to pay $725m (£600m) to settle legal action over a data breach linked to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The long-running dispute accused the social media giant of allowing third parties, including the British firm, to access Facebook users’ personal data.


The proposed sum is the largest in a US data privacy class action, lawyers say.

Meta, which did not admit wrongdoing, said it had “revamped” its approach to privacy over the past three years.

SCOTUS Orders Title 42 to Stay… for now

This really shouldn’t take court action, but Biden and his fellow Democrats REALLY want an open border.

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued an order on Monday temporarily maintaining a Trump-era public health emergency measure that allows the government to expel migrants seeking asylum who cross the southern border unlawfully.


The order was prompted by an emergency application filed on Monday by 19 states led by Republicans. Lawyers for the states asked the justices to issue an emergency stay of a federal judge’s order blocking the program, saying it was needed to prevent a surge of border crossings.

“The failure to grant a stay will cause a crisis of unprecedented proportions at the border,” they wrote, adding that “daily illegal crossings may more than double.”

Judge Dismisses Case Against Saudi Prince at Biden Administration’s Insistence

Hey lefties… is being mad at the Saudis about the Khashoggi murder a thing anymore?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, bowing to the Biden administration’s insistence that the prince was legally immune in the case.


District of Columbia U.S. District Judge John D. Bates heeded the U.S. government’s motion to shield Prince Mohammed from the lawsuit despite what Bates called “credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.”


A team of Saudi officials killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had written critically of the harsh ways of Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

Minds Made Up?


From the beginning of oral arguments on Monday, it appeared the Supreme Court’s conservatives had come to the bench with their minds set.

I know that CNN long ago gave up pretending to be unbiased, but is there anyone on the planet who thinks that the liberals didn’t come into the arguments with their minds made up? Perhaps the only justice who is actually undecided is Roberts.

SCOTUS to Rule on Unconstitutional Student Loan Handouts

Good, but

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday said it will review the legality of President Joe Biden’s federal student loan debt relief plan, putting borrowers on track to get clarity on the fate of the program by next summer.


The program, which would grant up to either $10,000 or $20,000 in federal debt relief to student borrowers who make under a certain income, depending on the kind of loan they used, has been blocked by lower courts since November. The administration initially planned to start rolling out cancellations by the end of this month.


The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in February, allowing the case an expedited schedule, and is expected to make a decision by the end of June, when the term ends. February’s arguments are also likely to give insight into how the justices view the program.

It is nuts, in this day and age, that citizens should have to wait seven months – SEVEN MONTHS – for SCOTUS to act. There should be an expedited process for the court to adjudicate issues of this importance. Really… all interested parties should be able to be reasonably ready to argue their cases by January and the court should have plenty of time to render a ruling within a couple of weeks. It’s ridiculous that the court moves at glacial speed in a modern country. Too often, irreparable damage has been done while everyone sits around and waits on the court.

Second SCOTUS Leak?

Nobody seems to be looking very hard for the first leak.

Following the monumental leak of the draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade in May, a former anti-abortion leader claims he was told the outcome of a 2014 case weeks before it was announced publicly, according to a report published on Saturday in The New York Times.


Rev. Rob Schenck, who led an evangelical nonprofit in Washington, said he was informed ahead of time about the ruling of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a landmark case involving contraception and religious rights, according to a letter he wrote to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts did not respond to the letter.


Schenck used his knowledge of the verdict to prepare public relations materials, the report said, and to inform the president of the Christain evangelical-owned craft store Hobby Lobby, the winning party of the case. Schenck said the ruling was also shared with a handful of advocates, according to the report.

I do think that there is a distinction between the two leaks. Leaking the full draft opinion was an egregious breach. Giving a heads up at a dinner party was not appropriate, but a far cry from the first leak. I expect that the latter has been happening for eons while the former was unheard of in modern times. Also, the latter was allegedly done with the intent to be a private heads up while the former was a public attempt to intimidate justices.

But both leaks are wrong, and they need to stop. Also, the court needs to operate more swiftly so that there isn’t the gigantic lag between when decisions are made and when they are released.

Appeals Court Keeps Rules for Absentee Ballots


A Wisconsin appeals court and a circuit judge this week shot down attempts backed by liberals seeking orders that local election clerks must accept absentee ballots that contain partial addresses of witnesses.


The rulings come within days of Tuesday’s election and as more than 503,000 absentee ballots have already either been returned or cast in person.




Wisconsin elections have been conducted, and absentee ballots counted, the past 56 years without a legally binding definition of what constitutes a witness address on a ballot, Colas wrote in his order.


“Since then, until the present, clerks have been legally free to interpret the term,” he said. They have done that in good faith, Colas said, drawing on non-binding guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, its predecessors, and advice from attorneys.


Current guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission is that an address must include three elements: a street number, street name and municipality. Rise, Inc., a group that works to get young people to vote, argued that election clerks across Wisconsin are not consistently using that definition.

The ruling is correct. The WEC does not make law. They give guidance and it is up to the local clerks to interpret the statutes for themselves.

But the ruling is not a victory for people who support election integrity (conservatives). It means that clerks in liberal bastions like Milwaukee and Madison will waive all sorts of absentee ballots through irrespective of what is on the envelope and clerks in conservative areas will be sticklers.

This is not for the court, however, to fix. Hopefully the legislature will take up the task of ensuring uniform voting laws throughout the state.

“Ghost” Guns are Legal


(Reuters) -A federal judge in West Virginia has ruled that a federal ban on possessing a gun with its serial number removed is unconstitutional, the first such ruling since the U.S. Supreme Court dramatically expanded gun rights in June.


U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston on Wednesday found that the law was not consistent with the United States’ “historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the new standard laid out by the Supreme Court in its landmark ruling.


The decision came in a criminal case charging a man, Randy Price, with illegally possessing a gun with the serial number removed that was found in his car. The judge dismissed that charge, though Price is still charged with illegally possessing the gun after being convicted of previous felonies.

This is a good reminder of how government regulation creeps. At the time of the Constitution, guns didn’t have serial numbers. They may have had a manufacturer’s mark or distinguishing notation, but nothing uniform or specific. It wasn’t until 185 years later that the federal government mandated that manufactured or imported firearms had to have a serial number. The purpose was to make it easier for the government to track the sale and ownership of firearms.

Here we are 54 years later and we have government officials like Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes who want to mandate that everyone must get their background checked and approved to purchase a gun with a serial number. What do we end up with? A government that is keeping a list of who owns what guns. At least, they are keeping a list of people who did it legally. When the government keeps lists of people, it almost never ends well.

So I’m very glad to see that we are returning to something resembling Constitutional originalism – at least in small fits and spurts.

“You can’t make us pay rent because we operate an illegal business there”

Well, that’s a novel argument.

Sued for nearly $1 million in back rent, a national cannabis chain says a federal judge can’t order it to pay up because its business isn’t even allowed to operate under federal law.

The rental contract for a Fulton Market storefront therefore “cannot be enforced in [federal] court,” contends MedMen, a California-based company.


But the landlord, Thor Equities, said Illinois law actually closes that potential loophole and insists the lease is both “valid and enforceable.”


The novel legal battle is shaping up in the Southern District of New York, where Thor Equities filed a lawsuit in July after MedMen allegedly stopped paying rent under a 15-year lease it signed in 2019.

SCOTUS Considers Consequential Docket

Fingers crossed.

It could be another really good session for expanding civil rights and ending institutional racism.


In cases from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the court could end any consideration of race in college admissions. If this seems familiar, it’s because the high court has been asked repeatedly over the past 20 years to end affirmative action in higher education. In previous cases from Michigan and Texas, the court reaffirmed the validity of considering college applicants’ race among many factors. But this court is more conservative than those were.




A new clash involving religion, free speech and the rights of LGBTQ people will also be before the justices. The case involves Colorado graphic and website designer Lorie Smith who wants to expand her business and offer wedding website services. She says her Christian beliefs would lead her to decline any request from a same-sex couple to design a wedding website, however, and that puts her in conflict with a Colorado anti-discrimination law.


The case is a new chance for the justices to confront issues the court skirted five years ago in a case about a baker objected to making cakes for same-sex weddings. The court has grown more conservative since that time.




In November, the court will review a federal law that gives Native Americans preference in adoptions of Native children. The case presents the most significant legal challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act since its 1978 passage.


Teen Killed After Getting into Wrong Car

This is a terribly tragic event, but it is also a really interesting case.

Carson Senfield, from Buffalo, New York, was shot dead at 1am on Saturday when he entered the stranger’s vehicle by mistake – but so far the unidentified shooter has not been arrested.


The sophomore, who was not known to the driver, was shot in the upper body and now the State’s Attorney is to decide whether the motorist was justified in killing the teen under Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground Law’.




The driver inside that car said he was in fear of his life when he shot and killed Seinfeld, according to investigators.


Tampa Police Department said that the driver was not arrested – and it’s now up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide if the shooter was justified in his actions or not.

Horrible, horrible, horrible event. But was it a crime?

It’s 1 am and some strange man gets in your car unannounced. We don’t really know what the behavior was, but the driver thought he was in danger and reacted. Did he think he was being carjacked? Robbed? Kidnapped? It could have been anything.

I’ve ridden Uber and Lyft hundreds of times. I don’t think I’ve ever just gotten into a car. Usually there is an exchange of greetings and I wait for the driver to say my name so that I know that he or she is actually on the other end of the app. I also check the license plate with the app. If I just jumped into a car uninvited, might the driver panic and take action? Maybe. I might if I were the driver.

I think it all comes down to whether or not we believe that it is reasonable for the driver to feel endangered when a man jumps in his car at 1 am.

Still, what a horrible loss for the family and a tragic death.

Judge Rules That People Under Felony Indictment Can Buy Guns

The ruling seems sound.

Banning someone from buying a gun while under felony indictment goes against their Second Amendment right to bear arms, a federal judge in Texas ruled Monday.


“There are no illusions about this case’s real-world consequences—certainly valid public policy and safety concerns exist,” U.S. District Judge David Counts, a Trump appointee, wrote in his decision.


Counts cited a June Supreme Court decision, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen, in which the justices rolled back concealed-carry permit restrictions for gun owners in New York state.


Counts’ opinion relied heavily on the framework set out by the high court in Bruen, saying that it was unclear after that ruling “whether a statute preventing a person under indictment from receiving a firearm aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”




“No longer can courts balance away a constitutional right. After Bruen, the Government must prove that laws regulating conduct covered by the Second Amendment’s plain text align with this Nation’s historical tradition. The Government does not meet that burden,” Counts found.

This complies with due process. If a person is not convicted, they can certainly exercise other rights. It stands to reason that the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t be precluded.

It is unclear to me if a judge could make a prohibition to purchase firearms a condition of parole. It seems that it would be a way for a judge to lay this restriction on defendants who have a history of, and/or are accused of violent crimes, while still providing them due process. The problem with a blanket prohibition is that it is arbitrary and does not distinguish between violent felonies and white-collar felonies.

Jewish University Resists State Coercion

It’s a shame that they are forced into this position.

(Reuters) – Yeshiva University, ordered by a judge to formally recognize an LGBT student group even as the Jewish school in New York City argues that doing so would violate its religious values, on Friday announced that it has halted the activities of all its undergraduate student clubs as it plans its next steps.


Yeshiva’s announcement came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block New York state judge Lynn Kotler’s June ruling that the university is subject to a city anti-discrimination law and must recognize the club called Y.U. Pride Alliance.


Citing upcoming Jewish holidays, Yeshiva said in an email to students that “the university will hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.”

SCOTUS Allows State to Force University to Violate Religious Beliefs

That’s a shame. Another blow against religious liberty.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has cleared the way for an LGBTQ group to gain official recognition from a Jewish university in New York, though that may not last.


By a 5-4 vote Wednesday, the justices lifted a temporary hold on a court order that requires Yeshiva University to recognize the group, the YU Pride Alliance, even as a legal fight continues in New York courts.


Two conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the court’s three liberal justices to form a majority.


The disagreement among the justices appears to be mostly about procedure, with the majority writing in a brief unsigned order that Yeshiva should return to state court to seek quick review and temporary relief while the case continues.


If it gets neither from state courts, the school can return to the Supreme Court, the majority wrote.

Justice Sotomayor Supports Religious Freedom

Huh. Color me pleasantly surprised.

Reuters) -U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday permitted Yeshiva University to refuse to recognize an LGBT student club that the Jewish school in New York City has said violates its religious values, temporarily blocking a judge’s ruling ordering it to allow the group.


Sotomayor put on hold for now the judge’s ruling that a city anti-discrimination law required Yeshiva University to recognize Y.U. Pride Alliance as a student club while the school pursues an appeal in a lower court. The liberal justice handles certain cases for the court from a group of states including New York.


A stay Sotomayor issued of the judge’s injunction will remain in place pending a further order from herself or the entire Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Yeshiva’s student club application process was set to end on Monday, and the school said that absent the court’s intervention it would be forced to recognize Y.U. Pride Alliance in violation of its religious values.


“We are grateful that Justice Sotomayor stepped in to protect Yeshiva’s religious liberty in this case,” Eric Baxter, a lawyer for Yeshiva at the conservative legal group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.

Judge Orders WEC to Follow Law

The only reason this is even in court is because the WEC is a rogue agency that won’t follow the law.

WAUKESHA — A Waukesha County judge on Wednesday ruled that the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s guidance to municipal clerks about filling in missing witness information on absentee ballots runs counter to state law and banned the practice.


Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Aprahamian issued a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, barring it from advising clerks to follow guidelines it issued in 2016 regarding incomplete witness information on absentee ballots. The WEC in 2016 said if information pertaining to witnesses on absentee ballots is missing a component like an address, clerks are to do all the reasonably can to “cure” the ballot and get that missing information, including relying on election records, personal knowledge, or other databases. Voters or witnesses “may” provide the missing information in person, by phone, fax, email or mail, or voters can request a new ballot. Clerks were advised they could return the ballot envelope to voters to get the information.

Crooks Sue Evers Over Delays

Between the crooks, the lawyers, and the governor, I kind of hope everyone loses.

Moore’s aunt said he spent an extra month in jail waiting for a lawyer to even ask for lower bail. He’s being held on a $30,000 bail for charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.


“This ain’t gonna be nothing but a lawsuit, they’re making it hard on themselves, too,” said Moore’s aunt Denise Cunningham about the delay in providing attorneys for the indigent.


The lawyers bringing the lawsuit say Moore is among thousands of indigent defendants forced to wait months or more to get a lawyer. Milwaukee Attorney John Birdsall said the issue has been getting worse for at least 15 years.


“The reason is because the public defender office, which was created to meet our state’s constitutional obligations to provide counsel, has been chronically underfunded, and everybody knows it,” Birdsall said.


The lawyers hope this lawsuit will force the state to increase public defender funding affecting an estimated 35,000 defendants like Moore.


“Apparently, because there’s not enough public defenders to go around with the criminal system,” Norton said. “So he’s just sitting there.”

Leftists Eye Takeover of Court to Transform Wisconsin

Knowing that they stand little chance of getting control of the legislature, Wisconsin’s liberals are looking to use the Supreme Court as an activist branch to enact their agenda. The November election is important. The April election may be more important.

Wisconsin Democrats are already envisioning, if they win the election in April and take a 4-3 majority, a political transformation of the state.


“In terms of the ability to change Wisconsin in two years, this could be an utterly different state,” said Kelda Roys, a Democratic state senator from Madison. “That is our real opportunity to not just stop the bad stuff from happening, but actually restore real democracy and accountability to Wisconsin, things like abortion rights and fair elections where your candidate might actually win.”



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