Posts Tagged With: Property

A look at Friday’s three gun cases in front of the Supreme Court…..

The Supreme Court on Friday will vote behind closed doors to accept three Second Amendment cases that could further define how minors, and adults, are allowed to carry a gun outside of their own homes.



Two of the cases involve the National Rifle Association, and they are NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms  and NRA v. McCraw.


The question posed by the NRA in the first case is, “Whether a nationwide, class-based, categorical ban on meaningful access to the quintessential means to exercise the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense can be reconciled with the Second Amendment, the equal protection guarantee, and this Court’s precedents.”

The main questions posed by the NRA in the second case are 1) if the Second Amendment right to bear arms includes the right to bear arms in public, 2) if responsible 18-to-20-year-olds can bear arms, and 3) if 18-to-20-year-olds can bear arms in public.

As Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston wrote for us two weeks ago, in an analysis of the case basics, the “two cases [are] testing whether the federal government and the states can restrict the rights of minors to possess a gun outside the home.” But the NRA also wants a Court ruling on if  “the Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense in case of confrontation includes the right to bear arms in public.”

Denniston said that one of the reasons the Supreme Court could take the cases “is that, in both, the federal appeals court came very close to creating an entirely new category of individuals ineligible to ‘bear’ arms, merely because of their age.”

In both of the decisions at issue, the appeals court said it was “likely” that they were not protected at all under the Second Amendment, or under the separate parts of the Constitution that guarantee all individuals equal legal rights.

And a third case was added to the February 21 conference two weeks ago, Lane v. Holder, which is being mounted by the Second Amendment Foundation.

The question in the Lane case is, “Whether consumers have standing to challenge the constitutionality of laws regulating the sale of firearms.”

The Lane case confronts the issue of gun purchasers having a right to sue to challenge federal gun laws that restrict their options of buying guns from dealers in different states.

Since the Supreme Court issued its ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010, it hasn’t accepted new cases about the rights of gun owners. The McDonald case extended the decision in the 2008 Heller decisions to the states.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and it struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home.

The Court’s acceptance of any of the three gun cases would be significant, and the cases probably wouldn’t be heard until its next term starts in October 2014. (The Court could say as soon as today or on Monday if it will grant the cases for arguments.)

It is request to the Court in the McCraw case, the NRA’s counsel claims that lower courts have deliberately stalled in following the Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald.

“This massive judicial resistance to implementing this Court’s Second Amendment decisions is particularly acute in challenges to laws restricting the right to carry a firearm in public,” the petition says. “This case presents a prime example of this de facto rejection of Heller and McDonald by lower courts.”

And same claim is made in the NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms case.

“Jurisdictions have engaged in massive resistance to the clear import of those landmark decisions, and the lower federal courts, long out of the habit of taking the Second Amendment seriously, have largely facilitated the resistance,” counsel claims in that petition

In the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Lane case, the Justice Department is arguing that a Supreme Court review isn’t warranted. The state of Texas also wants their case denied by the Court and it is questioning the NRA’s standing in the case.

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If Money is Property By Michael Bargo Jr.

The most important issue facing all Americans in their battle against the regulatory power of a growing central government is a very simple one: whether money is property.

In recent decades the federal government has grown at a much faster rate than the economy as a whole. And the power enabling it to affect — and often devastate — the finances of Americans is dependent upon the idea that local, state and Federal agencies can seize the wealth of Americans without any due process.

Due process may seem a distant and innocuous concept, yet its connection to the ability of government to regulate the lives of Americans is a crucial one, one that must be revisited soon if Americans are to live in an environment of free choice.

This is because the ability to levy fines — to take money away from citizens — is the lifeblood of most federal agencies. Here’s a simple comparison that illustrates the point: if a police officer gives you a ticket for a parking violation, the ticket has a court date on it. This court date allows you the opportunity to exercise your right to dispute the traffic violation. And the most important aspect of this is that you are automatically given this “due process,” the opportunity to challenge the parking violation, by the police department and local government. But an EPA official can fine a farmer $10,000 for spraying pesticide too close to a wetland, and there is no automatic hearing. Without due process there is no presumption of innocence.

The Constitution clearly states in Article V: “No person may… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Due process means a hearing before a jJudge where the accused has the right to the presumption of innocence, legal notice of the hearing, discovery, and so on. No branch of government; local, state, or federal can take your property first and then allow you the opportunity for a hearing. The word “without” clearly means that a person may only be deprived of property after having been given due process safeguards.

If the Constitution were to state that no one could be deprived of liberty or money without due process, then the distinction would be more obvious. Right now bureaucracies confuse the issue and treat money as if it were not property.

That money does not seem to be property at this time has led to some conduct by government that the Constitution was written to prevent. In the state of Idaho a couple named the Sacketts obtained all the local permits necessary to build a house. Everything was properly done, according to the local building code. But the EPA noted that the couple raised the level of the site by adding dirt and stones, and fined the couple $75,000 per day until they complied with EPA guidelines. What made the Sackett case more disturbing is that the EPA refused to give the Sacketts a hearing. They had no way to challenge the EPA finding in court.

It is this loophole, the issue of “who decides” if due process takes place and when, that is the unconstitutional aspect. In the Sackett case the infamous Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the Clean Air Act precluded “pre-enforcement judicial review” and that such preclusion did not violate due process. The Fifth Amendment clearly does not allow any preclusions, and the Clean Air Act, or any other Congressional Act, cannot ban judicial review. All Congressional Acts must allow citizens the protection of the Constitution per the supremacy clause of the Constitution.

If I leave my wallet and pair of gloves on a bench seat of a restaurant, and somebody takes it, no one would argue that he could claim that the gloves and wallet were his property. And if the wallet is my property then all the contents of the wallet, including the money inside, is my property.

So it seems that the concept that money is property is well established in the understanding of property and possessions by the American people. But the real question is, is money “property” in the constitutional sense, and does it deserve Fifth Amendment protection?

If money is property, then the EPA cannot take money without due process. This would almost put the EPA out of business since many of their fines are outrageous. And if the EPA’s fines had to be approved by juries, very few juries composed of homeowners or farmers would allow Americans to suffer the EPA’s bureaucratic abuse.

Right now there is a long established and intimate connection between property and money. After all, County tax assessors use money as the measure of the value of real property. Nothing other than money is used as the basis of a valuation of property.

In fact, there are only two measures that define property: its physical location and money. Now the discussion starts to close in on an interesting distinction: the EPA cannot seize the physical location of the property without due process, yet it can seize the money of the owners and that does not always need due process.

If the location of a piece of real estate and its monetary value are so intimately connected then it would seem that money is property, and that fines cannot be levied by the EPA, IRS, or any other agency without a court hearing. Yet every day in every part of the U.S. local officials issue building code violation fines, etc. without court hearings. This is particularly true of Federal officials, who do not derive their authority locally but from a distant, national authority.

One may argue that fines are acceptable, since taxes, which are also money, are levied without due process. But taxation is a different administrative issue: taxes are applied equally to everyone. A fine is applied to only one specific person or corporation at a time.

And taxes cannot be written to target individual persons or individuals. They must be generally applied. A new hamburger franchise, for example, cannot be taxed differently than existing hamburger franchises. No unit of government can tax one person or entity uniquely.

If this entire discussion seems rather tedious, it is only because government, and in particular the federal government, has entangled its administrative power with Constitutional corruption to enable themselves to dominate America’s social and political fabric.

The tendency of governments to seize property without court hearings is one of the three abuses of individual rights that motivated the Fifth Amendment. As government grows and encroaches upon individual rights there is no doubt that while it may not yet be able to seize property without due process, every day more regulations are written by the Obama Administration that allow it to seize money without due process.

Legal foundations should take it upon themselves to challenge federal administrative guidelines and bring this issue to the Supreme Court. If the time ever comes when money is defined as property by the Supreme Court bureaucratic powers will be greatly weakened. The government’s ability to seize the wealth of Americans and transfer it to themselves will be severely curtailed.

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Reasons for Being a Republican by Ulysses S. Grant……

Ulysses S. Grant
September 28, 1880

IN view of the known character of the speaker who is to address you to-day, and his long public career, and association with the leading statesmen of this country for the past twenty years, it would not be becoming in me to detain you with many remarks of my own. But it may be proper for me to account to you on the first occasion of my presiding at political meetings for the faith that is in me.

I am a Republican, as the two great political parties are now divided, because the Republican party is a national party seeking the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens. There is not a precinct in this vast nation where a Democrat can not cast his ballot and have it counted as cast. No matter what the prominence of the opposite party, he can proclaim his political opinions, even if he is only one among a thousand, without fear and without proscription on account of his opinions. There are fourteen States, and localities in some other States, where Republicans have not this privilege. This is one reason why I am a Republican.

But I am a Republican for many other reasons. The Republican party assures protection to life and property, the public credit, and the payment of the debts of the government, State, county, or municipality, so far as it can control. The Democratic party does no promise this; if it does, it has broken its promises to the extent of hundreds of millions, as many Northern Democrats can testify to their sorrow. I am a Republican, as between the existing parties, because it fosters the production of the field and farm, and of manufactories, and it encourages the general education of the poor as well as the rich.

The Democratic party discourages all these when in absolute power. The Republican party is a party of progress, and of liberty toward its opponents. It encourages the poor to strive to better their children, to enable them to compete successfully with their more fortunate associates, and, in fine, it secures an entire equality before the law of every citizen, no matter what his race, nationality, or previous condition. It tolerates no privileged class. Every one has the opportunity to make himself all he is capable of.

Ladies and gentlemen, do you believe this can be truthfully said in the greater part of fourteen of the States of this Union to-day which the Democratic party control absolutely? The Republican party is a party of principles; the same principles prevailing wherever it has a foothold.

The Democratic party is united in but one thing, and that is in getting control of the government in all its branches. It is for internal improvement at the expense of the government in one section and against this in another. It favors repudiation of solemn obligations in one section and honest payment of its debts in another, where public opinion will not tolerate any other view. It favors fiat money in one place and good money in another. Finally, it favors the pooling of all issues not favored by the Republicans, to the end that it may secure the one principle upon which the party is a most harmonious unit — namely, getting control of the government in all its branches.

I have been in some part of every State lately in rebellion within the last year. I was most hospitably received at every place where I stopped. My receptions were not by the Union class alone, but by all classes, without distinction. I had a free talk with many who were against me in war, and who have been against the Republican party ever since. They were, in all instances, reasonable men, judging by what they said. I believed then, and believe now, that they sincerely want a break-up in this “Solid South” political condition. They see that it is to their pecuniary interest, as well as to their happiness, that there should be harmony and confidence between all sections. They want to break away from the slavery which binds them to a party name. They want a pretext that enough of them can unite upon to make it respectable. Once started, the Solid South will go as Kukluxism did before, as is so admirably told by Judge Tourgee in his “Fool’s Errand.” When the break comes, those who start it will be astonished to find how many of their friends have been in favor of it for a long time, and have only been waiting to see some one take the lead. This desirable solution can only be attained by the defeat, and continued defeat, of the Democratic party as now constituted

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