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      The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.

      Such an order, which officials said was still being drafted and was subject to change, would make it easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter are suppressing free speech when they move to suspend users or delete posts, among other examples. […]

      Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, online companies have broad immunity from liability for content created by their users.

      But the draft of the executive order, which refers to what it calls “selective censoring,” would allow the Commerce Department to try to refocus how broadly Section 230 is applied, and to let the Federal Trade Commission bulk up a tool for reporting online bias.

      It would also provide limitations on how federal dollars can be spent to advertise on social media platforms.

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        The complaint filed May 13:


        Plaintiffs (at least two Baptist churches) appear to be represented by the Christian Law Association:


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          Looks like this is the list of signatories, including doctors, immunologists, virologists, and researchers. Here’s an excerpt showing the Church officials who are the initial signatories:

          Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop, Apostolic Nuncio

          Cdl Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

          Cdl Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Prefect emeritus of Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith

          Cdl Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong

          Cdl Janis Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga

          Mgr Luigi Negri, Archbishop emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio Mgr Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, Texas

          Mgr Thomas Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Astana

          Mgr Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana

          Mgr Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop emeritus of Karaganda

          Mgr Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi

          Mgr Andreas Laun, Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg

          Father Serafino Lanzetta, Theologian

          Father Alfredo Maria Morselli, Theologian

          Father Curzio Nitoglia, Theologian

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            Related, in Hawaii:


            The press release threatens that anyone who arrives without a working cellphone, charged, with service and coverage in the arrival area at the airport, will be arrested:

            An airport representative will collect the two forms and begin verifying their information. First, they will call their mobile phone number to confirm it rings right in front of them. If it does not ring, the person may have listed inaccurate information and is asked to verify the number. If the person refuses to provide a phone number that can be answered on the spot, law enforcement is contacted and they are subject to citation and arrest.

            We have no idea what the purported basis would be for arresting someone who isn’t carrying a cellphone, whose phone doesn’t have service in Hawaii (especially likely if they are arriving from another country), or whose cellphone battery has run down from watching videos or playing games in airplane mode during a trans-oceanic flight.

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                Thanks for posting. I’m still reading the opinion but my quick take is:

                Breyer: Voted to dismiss as moot
                Thomas: Voted NOT to dismiss as moot
                Roberts: Voted to dismiss as moot
                Ginsburg: Voted to dismiss as moot
                Alito: Voted NOT to dismiss as moot
                Gorsuch: Voted NOT to dismiss as moot
                Sotomayor:  Voted to dismiss as moot
                Kagan: Voted to dismiss as moot
                Kavanaugh: Voted to dismiss as moot but added a two-paragraph concurrence saying that "some federal and state courts may not be properly applying Heller and McDonald" and he hopes the court will return to this:

                This is a 6-3 vote to dismiss the case without ruling on the merits. The three dissenters are Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and (except for part IV-B) Thomas, who write in a fairly long dissent:

                This case is not moot. The City violated petitioners’ Second Amendment right, and we should so hold. I would reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case to the District Court to provide appropriate relief. I therefore respectfully dissent.

                Of course if this were a First Amendment free speech case or an abortion rights case, it would be no surprise if the same justices in the majority found a way to render an opinion (a right delayed is a right lost!) rather than dismiss as “moot.” But as we know, the Second Amendment is a disfavored second-class right.

                One interpretation is that the court has only 3 solid pro-2A votes. This is not the best case, though, because of the mootness question and another interpretation could mean the court has 4 pro-2A votes including Justice Kavanaugh. But neither count would the chief justice, who failed to join Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion, be included as a pro-2A vote.

                This is likely to embolden lower courts including the 9th Circuit.

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                  The issue not only mootness. Its mootness + capable of repetition. The NY law is capable of repetition, by the same government. The court could have decided this one. They may have valid reasons for punting, but it isn’t because the issue is not capable of coming up again.

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                  2020-03-24 - Here is what I got when I tried to access the link: “Sorry, an internal error occurred while processing your request. The problem was reported to the site.”

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                    You’re right. It may have been a temporary link. This is a better URL: https://meetings.cob.org/Documents/ViewDocument/City_Council_Regular_Meeting_2215_Agenda_Packet_3_23_2020_7_00_00_PM.pdf?meetingId=2215&documentType=AgendaPacket&itemId=0&publishId=0&isSection=false

                    Take a look at Paragraph 9 of Section 3, which begins on page 20.

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                    Should there be a tag for repartition? That is, redrawing state lines, presumably with the consent of both states and the US Congress? Could also apply to West Virginia’s proposal to Virginia.

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                      Thanks for posting. Two interesting excerpts:

                      We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.

                      My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump.


                      Donald “Deep State” Trump is a legitimately elected president whose ouster is being actively sought by the intelligence community.

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                        …..and the odds that Califailure Gov. Gavin Typical Democrat Newsom will veto any of these are zero. It’s a real wonder the typical Democrats in Califailure haven’t simply gone for the brass ring and fully legislate 2A out of existence in the state.

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                          Yup. The left has tried this, and kind of succeeded. The good guys can file lawsuits in California, but even if they get before a district judge who respects the Constitution, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit will reverse. And even if the three-judge panel somehow finds its way to respecting the Constitution, the full 9th Circuit sitting en banc will reverse. (See Peruta v. San Diego for a good example of this.)

                          It’s time for the Supreme Court to do something about the sad phenomenon of anti-constitutional circuit court judges thumbing their noses at precedent.

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                            See this article from Reason over the summer:

                            Anti-gun politicians have been forthright about this goal. Last fall, then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, now California’s governor, wrote a letter to the 22nd District Agricultural Association asking it to stop allowing the Crossroads of the West show to lease the Del Mar fairgrounds. “Permitting the sale of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property only perpetuates America’s gun culture,” Newsom wrote.

                            Newsom’s predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, last year vetoed a bill that would have prevented gun shows from taking place at the Cow Palace, a state-owned exhibition hall near San Francisco. AB 893, a bill currently making its way through the California state legislature, would explicitly ban gun shows at the Del Mar fairgrounds. Newsom, who is more hostile to the Second Amendment than Brown, is likely to sign it.

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                            AG Barr’s is saying that encrypted communications should always be readable by the police, presumably with a warrant issued by a judge. This would include secret FISA court proceedings. This is a “trust us” argument.

                            Another way to state his “trust us” argument is: Trust the FBI, ATF, and other federal police agencies (yes, the ones that arguably conspired to take down a president) never to misuse this power. Trust federal judges including FISA judges (yes, the ones that signed off on surveillance of President Trump’s campaign) never to misuse this power.

                            Technology aside, years ago Barr would have had a better argument. Now the tentacles of the Deep State have extended too far. We’ve learned too much to rely on “trust us” in the future.

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                              Barr seems to be asking for a new federal law. What would that law actually say?

                              Wording matters. A lot.

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                              The Deep State tag seems accurate. This policy does not vary based on who’s in the White House (what makes you think presidents can influence the permanent bureaucracy?). Here’s an article I wrote published this July:


                              The best way to read this report is that it represents the latest extrusion of the permanent cadre of law enforcement and national security bureaucrats who have never abandoned their efforts, underway for over 20 years, to allow U.S. government agencies to break or bypass encryption embedded in hardware and software products.

                              The last time this extra-constitutional campaign against encryption kicked off was during the George W. Bush administration, in mid-2008, when FBI officials briefed Senate Intelligence committee members on what they called the “Going Dark” problem. This campaign continued without apparent interruption during the Barack Obama administration, when the FBI asked all field offices in 2009 for anecdotal information about cases in which “investigations have been negatively impacted” by encryption. By 2012, as I disclosed in an article at the time, the FBI had drafted a proposed law to force tech companies to build in backdoors and was asking the companies not to oppose it. That legislation was never publicly introduced.

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                                Don Kilmer is a great speaker and defender of the 2nd Amendment.

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                                  Don Kilmer is a great speaker and defender of the 2nd Amendment.

                                  Agreed! I’m planning to be there.

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                                  Don and Ed and I are likely going to be there. If you’re local, you’re welcome to join us.

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                                    Also there’s this tweet a few hours ago from President Trump:

                                    As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!

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                                      This one, from Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters, isn’t helping:


                                      Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement. But for now, impeachment is the imperative.

                                      What, no call for a firing squad? Maxine has gone soft.

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                                      Democrats had two obvious choices:

                                      1. Delay impeachment and move ahead at full speed with their set of proposed federal anti-gun laws (that forcibly disarm law-abiding Americans, to one degree or another, and restrict our inalienable right to self-defense).

                                      2. Move forward with impeachment (over a nothingburger), which jeopardizes own their efforts to forcibly disarm their fellow citizens.

                                      They chose 2. The left has revealed that it’s more interested in pursuing their Orange Man Bad Must Get Rid Of Orange Man Bad fantasies then advancing their stated policy goals. Remember this the next time the left screams: “How many more Americans have to die in mass shootings before we have effective gun control?”

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                                        BTW this development should be seen as good news for gun owners. See this article from this morning about what the president has been saying:

                                        “She’s not interested in guns,” [President Trump] said Wednesday at the United Nations. “Nancy Pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection [or] gun safety.”

                                        On Wednesday afternoon, during a press briefing at the UN, Trump turned to Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, “who I’ve been dealing with on guns.” Murphy’s now “too busy wasting time on the witch hunt” to legislate, Trump said.

                                        On Thursday, Trump shouted on the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base: “We can’t talk about gun regulation, we can’t talk about anything.”

                                        President Trump seems to be aware that without gun owners, he would not have been elected last time, and without gun owners, he has no chance of being re-elected next time.

                                        But he can be wishy-washy on the Second Amendment: look at his bump stock ban by regulatory fiat, and the lack of national reciprocity even when the Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress.

                                        The threat of impeachment tilts him back to the side of the angels.

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                                          I wrote this article last year for Reason:

                                          With the exception of Trump’s judicial appointments—they appear to typically be sound on gun rights—this is, sadly, not a White House that has proven itself to be a reliable champion of American gun owners.

                                          I think I’d be a bit less harsh today. But only a little.

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                                        The Florida ballot measure from BAWN (Ban Assault Weapons NOW) is here: https://bawnfl.org/amendment.html

                                        It looks like existing owners of “assault weapons” must register them with the government or face mandatory third-degree felony charges for mere possession. No “assault weapons” may be sold or transferred after the date on which the prohibition takes effect. “Assault weapons” are defined as:

                                        Definitions - a) Assault Weapons - For purposes of this subsection, any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition feeding device.

                                        This seems fairly broad.

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                                          This seems like the beginning of the end for lawfull owners of Americas favorite sporting rifle. The common AR-15 rifle owned by the average American ,is not an assault weapon . It is not select fire which is what defines assault weapons. 1 pull of the trigger equals 1 bullet fired. SEMI AUTOMATIC, I guess to some uneducated people , the civilian version looks scary. I’m sorry but feelings do not over rule Rights under our constitution.

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                                          Dan, thanks for posting. The article is behind a paywall, so here are some excerpts:

                                          “Passing a ban on assault weapons in Florida will set an example that it is absolutely possible for other states to follow suit, no matter their political affiliation,” said Al Hoffman, a Republican donor and one of the founders of Americans for Gun Safety Now, which has contributed $260,000 to the campaign.

                                          It faces significant obstacles. The signature-gathering process in Florida is onerous, and the ballot language must be approved by a state Supreme Court that leans conservative. Florida also has historically supported few gun restrictions and is home to one of the National Rifle Association’s most powerful lobbyists, Marion Hammer.

                                          The Florida initiative takes a simpler approach, proposing to outlaw all new semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition in either a fixed or detachable magazine. The language is directed at semiautomatic rifles like AK-47s and AR-15s.

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                                            Excerpt from New York state law, Section 400:

                                            Applications shall be made and renewed, in the case of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, to the licensing officer in the city or county, as the case may be, where the applicant resides… Before a license is issued or renewed, there shall be an investigation of all statements required in the application by the duly constituted police authorities of the locality where such application is made, including but not limited to such records as may be accessible to the division of state police or division of criminal justice services pursuant to section 400.02 of this article… Applications for licenses shall be accepted for processing by the licensing officer at the time of presentment. Except upon written notice to the applicant specifically stating the reasons for any delay, in each case the licensing officer shall act upon any application for a license pursuant to this section within six months of the date of presentment of such an application to the appropriate authority…

                                            A license [to own a handgun] may be revoked and cancelled… by any judge or justice of a court of record; a license issued pursuant to section 400.01 of this article may be revoked and cancelled at any time by the licensing officer or any judge or justice of a court of record. The official revoking a license shall give written notice thereof without unnecessary delay to the executive department, division of state police, Albany, and shall also notify immediately the duly constituted police authorities of the locality.