Archive for June, 2010

Federalist 46

Posted by on Jun 30 2010 | Constitutional History, federalism, guns, History, Originalism

(David Kopel)

“The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared,” from the New York Packet, by James Madison. My essay thereon is here, at Constituting America’s series on The Federalist.

Bottom line: even taking into account the many changes over the last two and quarter centuries, Madison was generally right.


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Written testimony on Kagan nomination

Posted by on Jun 30 2010 | guns, PPC

(David Kopel)

Available here. Co-authored with Stephen Halbrook. The oral testimony will be late July 1 or early July 2.


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The Sotomayor switcheroo, and the Kagan nomination

Posted by on Jun 29 2010 | guns, Kagan Nomination, supreme court

(David Kopel)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, by joining the Breyer dissent in McDonald which called for Heller to be over-ruled, contradicted what she had told the Senate last summer. I supply the details in an op-ed for the Washington Times.

On Thursday (or perhaps, early on Friday), I will be testifying on the Kagan nomination. My written testimony will be posted by Wednesday morning, on my website.

Justice Sotomayor’s disappointing performance highlights the importance for Senators who care about Second Amendment rights learning more about Ms. Kagan’s actual views, and not settling for vapid platitudes about “settled law.”


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Podcast on the McDonald decision

Posted by on Jun 28 2010 | guns, supreme court

(David Kopel)

Sixteen minutes, taped this afternoon, for iVoices.org. MP3 here.

I also discussed the decision on Denver’s Caplis & Silverman radio show. Dennis Henigan, from the Brady Center, was the guest after me. The show’s archive link is here. Ignore the archive’s caption, which incorrectly states, “Do you agree with the Court? David Koppel opposes the decision, Dennis Henigan supports.”


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First Heller, now McDonald!

Posted by on Jun 28 2010 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Kagan Nomination, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment, supreme court, U.S. Constitution

Congratulations to our Second Amendment zen master Dave Kopel! The McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision came down this morning, 5-4 on the side of American citizens right to bear arms. We’ve talked a lot about this decision and how important it was for gun owners who don’t happen to reside in the District of Columbia, and trust me, there is a lot more on the way. But for now, I’d like to congratulate Dave on his second huge Supreme Court victory. And just like in Heller, Dave’s amicus brief was cited several times in McDonald. Dave explains on his webpage:

Kopel’s amicus brief for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (as well as the Independence Institute, CORE, and other law enforcement organizations and scholars) was cited three times in the Supreme Court’s opinions in McDonald v. Chicago. The brief is cited once by Justice Alito’s plurality opinion (footnote 2) and twice by Justice Stevens’ dissent.

Stay tuned for Dave’s commentary on this momentous decision. I’ll provide some links to his podcasts and writing on McDonald in the coming days here on the Cauldron.

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Ballot Amendment Clarification via Podcast

Posted by on Jun 25 2010 | Health Care, iVoices.org

We hear the questions everyday from folks who want to help us collect signatures or who support what we’re doing: what exactly will this initiative do? How in the world can we stop the federal government from imposing Obama Care on us? How many signatures do you guys need? How can I help? Those are great questions. So Mike Krause and I made our way into the iVoices.org studio to answer those questions and address some other concerns that you may be having with the whole ballot initiative process. Truth be told, it is a process – a long and particularly strenuous one that we need lots of help to finish successfully. Please take a few minutes to listen to this important podcast, and please, if you have any questions at all concerning any aspect of what we’re trying to do, feel free to give us a ring at 303.279.6536 or email Operations Director Mike Krause at mike@i2i.org. Thanks!

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One on One with U.S. Senate Candidate Ken Buck

Posted by on Jun 25 2010 | Idiot Box (TV Show)

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The dangers of knife bans

Posted by on Jun 24 2010 | Uncategorized

(David Kopel)

Transocean’s ban on employee knife possession nearly killed several BP drilling rig survivors, by preventing them from cutting the rope that attached the life boat to the drilling rig. Details here, from Towmasters. Some additional details here from the 1:30 p.m. report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune: the life boat was supposed to have a knife in it, but it couldn’t be found in the dark during the chaos. Fortunately, a rescue boat drove up the raft and supplied a knife. For men at sea, and for lots of other laborers, a knife is a basic safety tool. The knife ban is one more piece of evidence that Transocean and BP chose not to follow best practices for safety.


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The AG on That Other Lawsuit

Posted by on Jun 24 2010 | education, Government Largess, iVoices.org, PPC, Taxes

Attorney General John Suthers is a very busy man, so we appreciate his taking time out to do a podcast with our Education Policy Center. Ben DeGrow was the lucky one who delivered an informative podcast with the AG about the ongoing Lobato v. State K-12 education funding case.

In this case, the court will determine whether Colorado’s K-12 education funding is spread so thin that schools are not funded adequately – or as the official language goes – education funding is not “thorough and uniform” per the requirement of our state constitution. As Colorado’s attorney, AG Suthers will defend the state in this case against an array of school districts who have signed on as plaintiffs. In the podcast, the AG explains that he has amassed probably the largest amount of school budget data the world has ever known. By looking at how school districts spend money, the state can show that maybe the problem isn’t the funding, but rather, where school districts spend the money they have.

There are a couple of interesting points to make regarding this case. First, a result is not expected for at least a year, maybe two. Secondly, taxpayers are not only funding the defense (as we do anytime the state is sued), but some of us are funding the plaintiffs as well! 18 school districts are suing the state, therefore, 18 school districts’ taxpayers happen to be funding BOTH the prosecution AND the defense! Ouch. And with the case set to go over a year, that’s a whole lot of money going to both sides. It’s almost like we’re suing ourselves! Oh wait, we kind of are. That’s sad…

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Family Research Council update

Posted by on Jun 24 2010 | Gay Marriage, guns

(David Kopel)

Perhaps partly in response to my VC post yesterday, the Family Research Council has corrected its prior claim that the conservative pro-gay group GOProud supported national handgun carry reciprocity as a means of advancing interstate recognition of gay marriages. As the FRC now correctly explains, the marriage argument was offered by Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, in explaining her vote against the handgun reciprocity proposal.

The FRC also states that it supports the Second Amendment, and points out that it joined an amicus brief in McDonald v. Chicago.


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