Tag: litigation

Ready, Aim, Notify!

The Second Amendment has been interpreted to give anyone the right to own weapons, ostensibly to protect one’s person and property.  That was the late Justice Scalia in the Heller case, a decision that is having unintended consequences.  Because the person now has a Constitutional Right to that gun, taking that right away becomes a constitutional issue.

Now, the Congress is having difficulty stopping sales to a person on the no fly list.   Senator Cornyn of Texas is advocating giving the purchaser so the FBI can check into it. Senator Feinstein of California, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee advocates that the sale should be stopped, and the purchaser has a right to a hearing afterward.  The Feinstein proposal keeps the gun out of the purchaser’s hand, at least legally.

The problem comes when a homeowner sues over the waiting period, claiming that the waiting period defeats the right to bear arms when needed. If you get a gun because your home is under threat, then a 72 waiting period defeats the homeowner’s ability to get immediate protection.

If the Supreme Court reexamines the Second Amendment, finding that there is no individual right to own or buy a gun, this notice issue disappears.  I wonder if the NRA ever expected to find itself at odds with its own position on guns and advocating a waiting period.  Or that one of the leading Democratic Senators would be fighting for a non-judicial ban of the sale with the hearing to follow.

                                The AR-15, available at gun shops, gun shows and toy stores.

In some ways, the Heller case is a worse decision than Citizens United, that opened the floodgates of money into political campaigns. With an opening on the Supreme Court and the probability that Scalia’s replacement will join the Court’s left wing, you expect a fusillade of Second Amendment cases from the left,dissecting the terms of the amendment, drawing distinctions between keeping or owning,  defining what constitutes arms, etc, the kind of scrutiny and narrowing that the pro-choice movement has brought to Roe v. Wade litigation.  Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the Court would overrule the 2008 decision so soon after it was issued.  It would simplify the law enforcement issues, eliminate the need for a hearing and, most importantly, would correctly interpret the Constitution.

The Play Book, Confirmed

In “The Play Book,” on June 2nd, we predicted that Donald Trump was a failed businessman, bankrupting his companies after making unrealistic, unsustainable deals. He screwed his creditors, especially leaving small businesses in the lurch.  In yesterday’s New York Times, all  of this was confirmed, only it’s even worse.
His branding business is dismal, and his real estate holdings in New York are poorly managed. Only Trump profits by collecting large fees up front.  He’s selling an image of success that in his case is unreal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyregion/donald-trump-atlantic-city.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

The New Sport of Kings: Casino Litigation Pt. 1

Until recently casino litigation meant law suits involving actual casinos.   No more.   Thanks to Peter Theil, the Paypal founder backing a law suit against Gawker media seeking vengeance, casino litigation now means  some fat cat fueling litigation for profit or private purposes.
It’s spurious for a lot of reasons, most directly that litigation is not particularly a game of chance, and the investors are not suckers holding cards that were dealt from the bottom.

Third-party financing of litigation isn’t new,  The most basic case, a personal injury case, is funded on one side by the plaintiff’s attorney’s line of credit  and sometimes a litigation funding firm and on the other side by an insurance company.  Not the same?  What about issues-based non-profit organizations funding lawsuits to test principles?  Flag-burning, integration, school prayer, women’s reproductive rights, etc.  Some even are test cases, situations designed for litigation to test the principle. No disrespect to the plutocrat who funded the law suit against the well-healed dot-com, but the only thing new about this case is the personal nature of the animus that fueled it.

If you’ve visited a state courthouse recently and witnessed the under-staffing, slowness and dilapidated conditions, you can safely conclude that if this is the era of casino litigation, the odds are against the courts.  Litigation has become an over-used tool of retribution, and the state court systems are not given the resources to keep pace with the case load.  For those cases that are truly casino litigation, shouldn’t the house at least get a piece of the action?  That’s the way it works in Vegas.

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