SCOTUS to EPA: You Are Not Above the Law

In perhaps the most significant check on agency power in recent history, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 6-3 opinion today in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, holding that Congress did not implicitly grant the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to devise stringent emissions caps under the Clean Air Act.

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Big Law's Tantrum at its Lawyers' Success

Last week, former Solicitor General under the Bush Administration Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, his long-time colleague from the Solicitor General's office and in private practice, achieved perhaps the most significant victory at the Supreme Court under the Second Amendment in recent history.  The two successfully convinced the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen to strike down New York's requirement that individuals must show "proper cause" before being able to obtain a concealed carry weapons permit. 

Yet after Clement and Murphy won at the Supreme Court in this historic decision, the two almost immediately resigned from Kirkland and Ellis, LLP, the world's top law firm in which both were partners.  While this may come as a surprise, strife between Kirkland and Ellis and the dynamic duo shows this decision was inevitable

In his resignation letter, Clement explained that the firm told him and Murphy that they needed to either drop out of existing representation of gun litigation clients or leave the firm. Clement and Murphy considered it wrong to drop their clients just because some of the legal establishment did not like the clients. In turn, the two [] resigned and announced they will start their own firm.

 

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: This Week in Election Law

The past week has been a good week for both Republicans and open, fair, and honest elections.  It has also been a downright bad and ugly week for the Democrat Party’s consigliere, Marc Elias.  

First, the good: Yesterday, a New York Supreme Court Judge ruled that (like virtually everywhere else in the world) you have to be a citizen to vote in New York City:

Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio also issued a permanent injunction that bars the city Board of Elections from letting around 800,000 non-citizen residents register to vote.

In a 13-page ruling, Porzio said city officials can’t “obviate” restrictions in the state constitution, which “expressly states that only citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections.”

“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” he wrote.

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When Life Gives you Lemon [v. Kurtzman]…

The Supreme Court held today in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District that when life gives you Lemon [v. Kurtzman], you strike it down for good.  This notoriously troublesome Establishment Clause test, which Justice Scalia likened to “some ghoul in a late-night horror movie” that somehow keeps coming back to life, is conclusively and finally dead.   

Religious liberty wins again at the Supreme Court this term, and today’s opinion ensures it will continue to do so in the future.

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Roe v. Wade Finally Overturned

In a rare Friday decision announcement, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, the most anticipated case of the term, holding that “[t]he Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”  This is a historic and monumental win for the rule of law and the proper role of the courts.

At last, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have been overturned after decades of litigation by pro-life advocates and those who support following the text of the Constitution.  The authority to regulate abortion is now returned from the federal courts to where it belongs: the people and their elected representatives.

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2nd Amendment is for All, Not just Elites

On his Birthday today, Justice Clarence wrote the decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, which clarified that the Second Amendment applies to all AmericansAs Professor Johnathan Turley wrote:

In what will likely prove one of the most important decisions in his illustrious career as a conservative jurist, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 6-3 majority opinion that brought greater clarity to this and future challenges under the Second Amendment. . . .

Thomas rejected the two-part analysis used by lower courts and held that the presumption must be in favor of the individual right to possess a handgun in public like other rights in the Bill of Rights. The Court held “consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” Accordingly, “because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”

 

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Hearing on Disinformation Spreads Disinformation

In yesterday's Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections hearing, Democratic Chairman Butterfield made it clear that the hearing's purpose was to support the January 6 Committee and combat disinformation. Ironically, the Chairman himself spread disinformation by citing two discredited allegations: 1) that five people died as a direct result of the January 6th protest, and 2) that Representative Barry Loudermilk had conducted a "reconnaissance" tour of the Capitol with protesters pretending to be constituents.

Ranking Member on the full Committee Rodney Davis pointed out that the Capitol Police had exonerated Representative Loudermilk after an investigation and repeating those claims was itself "disinformation."  The Capitol Police Chief J. Thoman Manger wrote in a letter to the Ranking Member Davis,

"There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021. We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious."

 

 

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Parental Rights Win in Newest Supreme Court Ruling

A Supreme Court ruling released Tuesday marks a major victory for parental rights and religious liberty.

On Tuesday, June 21, the Supreme Court widened the scope of parental rights in Carson v. Makin. The Court expanded upon recent precedent, affirming that it is unconstitutional for states to discriminate against students who choose to attend religious schools in student-aid programs.

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Another Ballot Trafficking Scheme Uncovered in Texas

This is all beginning to look a little familiar.  After the RNLA highlighted two different ballot trafficking rings in Arizona and in Philadelphia earlier this month––both of which led to guilty pleas by the perpetrators–– another was recently uncovered by law enforcement in Texas.  On Friday, June 17, one woman in Texas pleaded guilty to 26 felony counts of voter fraud following the discovery of a ballot trafficking scheme she was operating.  

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As GOP Collects Pro-Life Court Wins, Liberals Turn Violent

Leading up to the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization, which will decide whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional, Republicans keep winning in the courts while liberals resort to violence. 

One of these Republican wins happened today in the Iowa Supreme Court, which held that abortion "rights" are not protected by the state constitution, a move that paves the way for lawmakers to strengthen pro-life laws in the state.

 

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