Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nina Totenberg’s report re McDonald v. Chicago today

I’ll spare readers my usual quibbles with Nina. What I’m particularly pleased about, in this afternoon’s report, is the phone interview with chief conspirator Prof Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law School. He was a nice counterpoint to the fellow from Brady, Paul Helmke.

Note the DC = federal enclave connection. That must have caused some tooth-grinding at the Wilson Building (and with the DC voting rights crowd). DC tried playing on both sides of that fence in 2008, between the proposed voting rights legislation and their claim in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Note also the subtle suggestion that Circuit Court Judge Easterbrook (a Reagan appointee) sided with Chicago; I read his decision in McDonald as being consistent with District of Columbia v. Heller, in that 2A incorporation has not been decided [yet] by the U.S. Supreme Court. We’ll know by June 2010 where this issue stands.

McDonald v. Chicago goes to the Supremes

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the plaintiff’s petition for certiorari today, so the case will be heard in the next term. Alan Gura, the attorney who successfully argued District of Columbia v. Heller, will be making another appearance before the court to argue this case.

More facts on the case here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ACORN et. al v. et. al

The long-awaited civil complaint in the latest ACORN scandal was filed in the Baltimore City Circuit Court today (thanks to Politico for posting the complaint). If this goes much further, expect the legal defense fund to start up pretty quickly.

There’s some nice analysis in the comment threads at

More great analysis on this saga over at Popehat. My favorite quote?

“Moreover, the suit will allow the defendants — if they don’t get out on a motion to dismiss — to use the discovery process to rampage through ACORN’s records in an effort to prove that any reputational harm to ACORN was a result of ACORN’s actual bad behavior being revealed. Does ACORN really want to roll the dice and count on getting a judge who won’t let the defendants delve deeply into their practices and into the bases for their reputation?”

I feel sorry for the two young filmmakers for having to deal with the legal hassle, but their support network must be huge, so they’ll get through this just fine. The Google search phrase <o'keefe legal defense fund> serves up about 26,400 hits, so the game is on.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


After 31 years of military and public service, I started work in the private sector this morning. The last private sector job I had was in 1977 as a computer programmer while I was in college.

Some things are the same, and some are different, but I appreciate both. I had some great time off this summer to really be retired and to enjoy a lot of great time with my kids and my wife, and I was able to get Lorraine packed off on her business trip with everything she needs.

I’ll be working with a lot of old (and new) friends in my new job, and will be able to continue to work to solve the problems to which I’ve devoted the past 16 years of my life. I’m also back in an industrial facility, where real products roll off an assembly line, which I’ve missed since leaving Pomona in the late 80’s. It’s nice to be able to walk from my office to see people working with their hands to build mechanical and electronic assemblies.