Category Archives: Law

No Speeding for You! by Eric Peters

Soon we’ll all have cars that won’t let us speed, not even one mile per hour over the limit. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

The inevitable has happened.

Volvo just announced that it will limit the top speed of all its new cars to 112 MPH, beginning with the 2021 model year – to “highlight the dangers of speeding.”

But it’s not just top speed Volvo intends to limit.

In addition to electronically preventing its cars from exceeding 112 MPH anywhere, it plans to limit you from exceeding the speed limit in school zones, near hospitals and – implicitly – everywhere else.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even the obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behavior,” croons Volvo’s president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.

Italics added.

Samuelsson is saying – openly – that what Volvo is about to do everyone else must also do. In other words, a fatwa from the government – or the de facto equivalent – outlawing (or rendering impossible) “speeding,” period.

Because everyone knows that it’s ipso facto “dangerous” to ever drive even 1 MPH faster than whatever speed the government – which is all knowing – decrees to be the “safe” speed.

And more than just that.

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Forced Blood Draws and Implied Consent Laws Make a Mockery of the Fourth Amendment, by John W. Whitehead

When they can take samples from your body without a warrant or consent, there is no Fourth Amendment left. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation

You think you’ve got rights? Think again.

All of those freedoms we cherish—the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant, or search and detain us without probable cause—amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will.

This is the grim reality of life in the American police state.

Our so-called rights have been reduced to technicalities in the face of the government’s ongoing power grabs.

Consider a case before the U.S. Supreme Court (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin) in which Wisconsin police officers read an unconscious man his rights and then proceeded to forcibly and warrantlessly draw his blood while he was still unconscious in order to determine if he could be charged with a DUI.

To sanction this forced blood draw, the cops and the courts have hitched their wagon to state “implied consent” laws (all of the states have them), which suggest that merely driving on a state-owned road implies that a person has consented to police sobriety tests, breathalyzers and blood draws.

More than half of the states (29 states) allow police to do warrantless, forced blood draws on unconscious individuals whom they suspect of driving while intoxicated.

Seven state appeals courts have declared these warrantless blood draws when carried out on unconscious suspects are unconstitutional. Courts in seven other states have found that implied consent laws run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. And yet seven other states (including Wisconsin) have ruled that implied consent laws provide police with a free pass when it comes to the Fourth Amendment and forced blood draws.

With this much division among the state courts, a lot is riding on which way the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Mitchell and whether it allows state legislatures to use implied consent laws as a means of allowing police to bypass the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in relation to forced blood draws and unconscious suspects.

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The Return of the Deodand, by Jeff Thomas

Civil asset forfeiture is the resurrection of an old and hated practice. From Jeff Thomas at international man.com:

In 1066, my family were centred in Somerset, England, where, if a horse ran over and killed someone, or a boat capsized, and caused a drowning, that horse or boat was given over to the victim’s family, under “noxal surrender.”

Alternatively, if an animal or object were responsible for the death of a person other than its owner, it could be taken and sold, and the proceeds passed to the family of the deceased.

One can see the purpose here – to provide some sort of compensation for those aggrieved.

However, as readers will know, the Normans came over to the British Isles in 1066 and conquered much of England.

Subsequently, the practice of noxal surrender was formalized into English common law and enforced by the state.

And, of course, as we know, when the state takes charge of anything, no matter how insignificant, it eventually finds a way to turn that power into a means of state profit.

The state, by its very nature is a parasite. It produces nothing. It serves to extract value from those who do produce.

And so, beginning in the late eleventh century, the deodand was introduced into law. A deodand was defined as a chattel that had caused a death and was therefore guilty of a crime against God. The Crown would find the chattel itself guilty of being a deodand, would confiscate the chattel, sell it and give the proceeds to “a pious purpose” – not to the aggrieved party.

Once the aggrieved party was removed from the equation, it wasn’t difficult to expand the law to include not only the loss of the chattel, but a fine of equal value to the chattel.

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The Disappearance of the American Conservative, by Bill Bonner

What use to be conservatism is no more, replaced by conservatism that’s adopted  the same premises and tenets regarding government of its supposed enemies. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – As the quality of government declines – from Jefferson and Adams… to Dubya and The Donald – the observer needs a broader sense of humor.

Where he used to titter over a bon mot… or smile wryly at a double entendre, now he can only give a hoarse laugh, like a half-wit watching The Three Stooges.

For now, there’s not even a single entendre. It’s just mud wrestling and pie throwing.

Big Jamboree

Conservatives held their big jamboree last weekend. We sent our own eyes and ears.

“There was hardly a conservative in sight,” he reported. “There were no Ron Pauls here. No Eisenhowers. No Howard Buffetts. Certainly no Thomas Jeffersons.”

The essence of traditional conservatism is humility, doubt, and cynicism about what government can achieve.

Activists, on the other hand, think they can use the feds’ muscle like a ball-peen hammer, to knock the country into whatever shape they want.

But conservatives doubt that civil society is so malleable. In nearly every proposal, they see ugly dents, not a smooth and elegant new shape.

“Balance the budget… and mind your own business,” said the old-timers.

But there was no mention of either at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) shindig.

The importance of this observation from our financial standpoint is that the country needs conservatives. It used to count on them to keep the books in balance.

Conservatives were wet blankets, reliably voting “no” to expensive schemes and deficit spending.

“There was some talk about smaller government,” said our informant.

“But nobody wanted to touch the reality of it – challenging The Swamp by cutting back government spending. And while people seemed to be in favor of bringing the troops home, nobody really wanted to confront the military arm of the Deep State. I heard no proposals that the Deep State wouldn’t like.”

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The Draft Should be Abolished for Everyone — Not Just Women, by Ryan McMaken

The draft should not apply to women any more than it should apply to men, which means not at all. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

On Friday, Federal Judge Gary Miller declared the federal government’s policy of male-only conscription to be unconstitutional.  Miller ruled that past prohibitions on women in combat may have legally  justified the all-male policy, but since the military has integrated women into combat positions, the past policy can no longer be constitutionally justified.

The ruling can be taken two ways. It can be seen as a ruling that expands federal powers to conscript through the Selective Service system, and thus expand the military’s power over the everyday lives of Americans. This is true in the strictly legal sense. On the other hand, the ruling could be interpreted as a political blow against conscription since the number of voters negatively impacted by conscription is now far higher than before. Apparently sympathetic to this latter interpretation, USAToday described the ruling as  “the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981.” After all, those who brought the lawsuit, an organization called “The National Coalition for Men” was expressly attempting to highlight the injustice — from a male point of view — of being the only group legally obligated to submit to what is essentially registration for possible future slave labor. (Miller, however, does not actually order to the Pentagon to expand Selective Service eligibility. Any concrete legal action will likely come in the future, but those seeking to make such a move will be emboldened by Miller’s declaration.)

Experience suggests, however, that an expansion of the Selective Service requirement will manifest itself largely as a matter of “equality” rather than as a ploy to highlight the general injustice of conscription overall.

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Emergencies Do Not Trump the Constitution, by Ron Paul

Throwing out the constitution to get a wall built will come back to haunt those who want Trump to do just that. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

After Congress rejected President Trump’s request for 5.7 billion dollars for the border wall, the president declared a national emergency at the southern border. Present Trump claims this “emergency” gives him the authority to divert funds appropriated for other purposes to building the border wall.

President Trump’s emergency declaration is not just an end run around Congress. It is an end run around the Constitution. Article One of the Constitution gives Congress sole authority to allocate federal funds.

While President Trump’s order may be a particularly blatant abuse of power, it is hardly unprecedented. Most modern presidents have routinely used so-called national emergencies to expand their power, often at the expense of liberty. For example, Present Franklin Delano Roosevelt used “emergency powers” to justify internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two.

President Trump, like other recent presidents, is relying on the 1976 National Emergencies Act for legal justification for his emergency declaration. This act gives the president broad powers to declare national emergencies for almost any reason. All the president need do is inform Congress he has declared an emergency. Once the emergency is declared, the president simply needs to renew the declaration once a year to maintain a state of emergency. Since this act passed, 59 emergency declarations have been issued, with 31 of those still in effect.

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Covington High School Student Files $250 Million Defamation Suit Against Washington Post, by Tyler Burden

You can bet that Nicolas Sandmann, the high student in the infamous video, had lawyers lined up around the block to work on contingency for this suit. It was filed in US District Court in Kentucky, and Sandmann’s odds of at worst a big settlement look pretty good. The Post’s lawyers would be fools to let this go to a jury trial. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After an investigation conducted by the Covington Diocese turned up no evidence that 16-year-old high school student Nicholas Sandmann confronted Native American activist Nathan Phillips during a March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial last month, seemingly confirming that the mainstream press was incorrect to pillory the white, MAGA-hat wearing teen for a confrontation that never actually happened, lawyers for Sandmann filed the first of what are expected to be many defamation lawsuits demanding compensatory and punitive damages for leading an Internet mob that villified Sandmann and his peers.

According to Reuters, lawyers Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry are seeking $250 million in damages from the Washington Post on behalf of Sandmann, a sum equal to the amount that billionaire Jeff Bezos paid to buy the paper in 2013.

The suit claims that the paper – which helped publicize a now infamous photo that helped trigger an Internet mob that swiftly outed the teen and demanded he be punished – led the hate campaign against Sandmann – and failed to practice proper journalistic due diligence – “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (‘Phillips’), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (‘the January 18 incident’).”

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