Tag Archives: amendment

Mark L. Hopkins: Why did the US Constitution need the Second Amendment? – Harrisburg Daily Register

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 12:59 am


Harrisburg Daily Register
Mark L. Hopkins: Why did the US Constitution need the Second Amendment?
Harrisburg Daily Register
This preoccupation with the Second Amendment began a few months back when I wrote a column entitled Guns don't kill people. Really? The amount of interest in that topic directed me to do additional research on the subject and every avenue pointed …
Revise Second AmendmentYakima Herald-Republic

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Mark L. Hopkins: Why did the US Constitution need the Second Amendment? – Harrisburg Daily Register

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Second Amendment Group Threatens Lawsuit, Ramsey Tables Gun … – Hackensack Daily Voice

Posted: February 12, 2017 at 6:55 am

RAMSEY, N.J. Amidst threat of a lawsuit from the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the Ramsey Borough Council Wednesday held off on adopting an ordinance that would prohibit firearms from being discharged at shooting ranges within the borough.

The council voted to table the ordinance until the next council meeting on Feb. 22.

We are in the process of obtaining a national law firm to represent the borough pro-bono in the event of litigation since the New Jersey Second Amendment Society has threatened the borough with costly and protracted litigation if we move forward with the amendment, Ramsey Mayor Deirdre Dillon told a packed meeting room.

The borough attorney advised the mayor and council to table to the ordinance until that law firm is retained, Dillon said.

The ordinance at issue, introduced last month, revises one currently on the books that prohibits the firing of any pistol, shotgun, rifle or other type of firearms anywhere in the borough, but exempts indoor and outdoor firing ranges.

The revisions to ban the use of firearms at shooting ranges as well were introduced after the borough received an application to create a 60,000-square-foot indoor firing range at the former Liberty Travel building on Spring Street. An application for the facility dubbed the Screaming Eagle Club is pending with the Ramsey Planning Board.

RELATED: With Firing Range Pending, Ramsey To Consider Tightening Gun Law

New Jersey Second Amendment Society President Alexander Roubian sent a letter to the mayor and council on Feb. 1, stating: Our legal team is currently preparing the necessary Complaint to file with the N.J. District Court in the event the Ordinance is passed; however we ask that the proposed ordinance be pulled from the agenda so we can work together on an amicable solution without the need for costly litigation.

Roubian, a graduate of Ramsey High School, addressed the mayor and council in person Wednesday. We are very confident that we have a very, very good case here, he said, warning prevailing parties will be recovering their legal fees.

It is a chance we are willing to take, Dillon responded.

A string of additional speakers took to the mic to voice their concerns about both safety and Second Amendment issues.

RELATED: Ramsey Residents Say ‘No’ To Proposed Indoor Shooting Range

We like the town the way it is, a bucolic beautiful town that is safe for our children, said Ramsey resident Ellen OKeefe.

Andrew Stravitz, of Allendale, pointed out that the Waldwick Pistol & Rifle Club has been a few miles away from Ramsey for about 50 years. In 50 years, zero injuries in the shooting range over there, he said.

Barbara Puccia, of Ramsey, said It only takes one, and one person only, that has bad intentions that can cause a tragedy in this town.

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Second Amendment Group Threatens Lawsuit, Ramsey Tables Gun … – Hackensack Daily Voice

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More High School Students Support First Amendment Freedoms … – Education Week (subscription) (blog)

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Education Week (subscription) (blog)
More High School Students Support First Amendment Freedoms …
Education Week (subscription) (blog)
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's sixth annual study on the topic finds a growing share of students support First Amendment rights.

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More High School Students Support First Amendment Freedoms … – Education Week (subscription) (blog)

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Campus free speech bill moves forward in state Senate – The Durango Herald

Posted: February 11, 2017 at 8:03 am

DENVER Designated free speech zones on Colorado public college campuses are one step closer to being a thing of the past after Senate Bill 62 was passed Friday by the state Senate.

SB 62 would prohibit public higher education institutions from restricting the freedom of expression by students on college campuses by limiting such displays to areas designated as free speech zones. It would abolish such zones.

The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee last week, where concerns about allowing for speech that could lead to violence and a lack of input from universities were assuaged and it was passed unanimously.

An amendment nearly as long as the original bill was presented by sponsor Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, to clarify the bill and rework it after conversations with the University of Colorado.

Changes from the amendment include:

Removal of a provision for public forums to be open for free expression. It was replaced with a definition of student forums, which extends to any area on campus not expressly used for academic purposes.Stripping a portion of the bill that required the establishment of monuments to the First Amendment where free speech zones had been located.Clarification that SB 62 did not prevent an institution of higher education from prohibiting, limiting or restricting expression that is not protected under the First Amendment. This would include hate speech that incites violence.Changing references from persons to students to ensure the bill would be interpreted as applying to college enrollees and not university employees.The goals and intent are to protect the rights of students to exercise freedom of speech on campus, while still respecting the right of universities to preserve their important education safety mission, Neville said of the amendment.

Also included was a definition of the term expression, which includes peaceful assembly, protests, oratory, holding signs and circulating petitions and other written materials.

The absence of a provision for voter registration events as an act of free expression was worrisome for Senate Democrats, who moved twice to amend the definition to include voter registration.

We always talk about wanting everyone to get out and vote, especially the young folks, and if were going to talk about the right to free speech, the right for their opinions to be heard, what is more important than to actually get them registered to vote so they can let their opinions be heard, said Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood.

Republicans in the chamber insisted that they would rather wait until they spoke with representatives of universities and not damage the rapport they had developed while working on the amendment adopted Friday.

Neville said the provision for voter registrations could be added when the bill is heard in committee in the House after it receives a third reading and final passage next week.

Lperkins@durangoherald.com

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Armstrong stood up for First Amendment, Harmon overstepped her office – The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Posted: February 9, 2017 at 5:52 am


The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Armstrong stood up for First Amendment, Harmon overstepped her office
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
As a graduate of Cal Poly, President Jeffrey Armstrong made me very proud for standing firm and putting the First Amendment first and overruling the liberal cupcakes' attempt to ignore the First Amendment (Protecting free speech at Cal Poly is an …

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Armstrong stood up for First Amendment, Harmon overstepped her office – The San Luis Obispo Tribune

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Freedom Of Speech – Censorship | Laws.com

Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:04 pm

What is Freedom of Speech? Freedom of Speech is an unalienable right afforded to every citizen of the United States of America; these rights make mention of the statutes expressed in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States a statute that provides every American citizen to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. With regard to the provisions set forth within the 1st Amendment to the United States, the Freedom of Speech prohibits the unlawful banning, prohibition, and ceasing of unlawful censorship. 1st Amendment Date Proposed: September, 25th 1789 Date Ratified: December 15th, 1791 Contents of the Amendment: This Amendment affords citizens of the United States with the freedom of religion, the freedom of press, the freedom of speech, and the right of assembly; the freedom of speech is considered to not only be granted by the Federal Government, but also protected by them as well Legislative Classification: Bill of Rights Is the Freedom of Speech a Human Right? The Freedom of Speech is considered to be both a Human Right and Human Liberty; the determination of this relies heavily of the circumstance surrounding then nature, objective, and intent of the speech. In contrast to the precepts inherent in Human Rights, Human Liberties typically maintain a nature of action and event in which personal choice and freedom is implicit. Human Liberties such as the Freedom of Speech – afforded to citizens of the United States are undertaken through agency and autonomy in lieu of circumstance or permissive mandating. Human Liberties are defined as the opportunities, entitlements, and awards granted to the specific citizens of a country or nation that are applicable to social interaction and interpersonal activity taking place within a societal level. Legal and Illegal Freedom of Speech and Expression Although Freedom of Speech is considered to be an inalienable Human Right, with regard to activity or actions that employ the Freedom of Speech and expression for means that contract the legality and legislative statutes mandatory within the United States of America, that Freedom of Speech may be defined as either a human liberty or even a crime. Expression and activities deemed to be damaging, hateful, and prejudicial in their nature including expression and activity serving to denigrate and rob others of their respective pursuit of happiness – are considered to be both an unlawful and illegal act: Freedom of Speech and Prejudice Prejudice can be defined as the discrimination against another group or individual with regard to an individual trait or characteristic believed to be out of the control of the individual who displays it, which may include discrimination and crimes committed out of personal and unfounded bias. Freedom of Speech and Public Policy Although the rights expressed within the United States Constitution allow for every American citizen to the right to freedom of speech, expressed prejudice with regard to the happiness, opportunity, and wellbeing of another individual is both illegal and unlawful this can include biased hiring practices and admission policies. Freedom of Speech and Criminal Activity Hate Crimes, or any form of harm caused due to a latent prejudice or personal bias is considered to be illegal on the grounds that ones freedom of speech results in the dissolution of another individuals pursuit of happiness. Comments

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Who is authorized to bind your family business to contracts? – Lexology (registration)

Posted: February 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm

A family business significant commercial relationships are usually reflected in written agreements. But who is authorized to sign those agreements and to bind the company to the terms? Typically, a companys management will have actual authority to sign agreements. However, the company may give the impression to third parties that other employees (for example, purchasing agents, account managers and IT personnel) that those employees have apparent authority to sign contracts relating to their areas of responsibility and thus bind the company to agreements. It is therefore important for family business owners and management to clearly instruct their employees and agents and to communicate to third parties as to whether those employees or agents are authorized to sign contracts and other important documents on the companys behalf.

A recent trial court decision from New York Utopia Home Care, Inc. v. Revival Home Health Care, Inc. highlights the confusion and potential for liability that can arise when an employee signs a document on a companys behalf without express authority to do so. According to the Courts decision, Utopia is a family owned and operated business, with its president, her father and her brother being the companys sole stockholders and officers. Utopia provided home care services for patients referred by Revival. A written contract, signed by Utopias president, provided the terms of payment for these services.

After Utopia provided certain services, it sent invoices to Revival totaling over $60,000, which Revival refused to pay. Utopia filed a lawsuit to collect the unpaid balance. Revival defended by pointing to a document that it claimed was a written amendment to the contract that reduced the time within which Utopia must submit an invoice in order to receive payment. This amendment was signed by an employee who, Utopia claimed, was an administrator for [Utopias] New York offices only . . . and [who] had no authority to negotiate or approve any contract amendments.

According to Utopias president, only the family member owners and shareholders were authorized to enter into contracts on Utopias behalf and to bind the company. The Court credited this testimony and found that the administrator who signed the amendment was not authorized to sign it and thus could not bind Utopia to the shorter time limits for submitting invoices for payment. The Court noted that neither party called the administrator as a witness and further stated how it was somewhat remarkable that the key witness as to the issue of agency, authority, [and] apparent authority . . . was not called.

It is not clear how the Court would have ruled had the administrator been called as a witness, but one expects that Revival would have attempted to make it clear through that witness or others that Utopia represented or gave the impression that the administrator was authorized to sign the amendment and to bind the company to the change in payment terms. Such testimony, if the Court believed it, may have led the Court to rule that Utopia was in fact bound by the claimed amendment and thus not entitled to collect on the late requests for payment. Instead, the Court entered judgment in Utopias favor for the full amount of the unpaid invoices, concluding that the amendment was not effective to bar payment.

One takeaway from this case is that a family business should clearly notify all employees that only certain company personnel such as the family member owners and managers in Utopias case are authorized to sign any contracts, amendments or other legally binding documents on the companys behalf. The company also should take steps to not give the impression to third parties that unauthorized personnel actually do have the ability to sign and bind the company to agreements. Finally, the company should put oversight processes into place to ensure that such limitations on contract signing are enforced. By doing so, family businesses may be able to avoid claims that they are bound to terms of agreements that they did not intend to enter.

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Was That Search Illegal? Sometimes, Neil Gorsuch Ruled It Was – New York Times

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New York Times
Was That Search Illegal? Sometimes, Neil Gorsuch Ruled It Was
New York Times
Although Judge Gorsuch has a decidedly conservative record on the bench, by at least one measure his view of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches he has been relatively moderate, according to legal scholars and a …
Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch has a solid record of defending the Fourth AmendmentRare.us
Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme CourtReason (blog)
Neil Gorsuch & the Police: What Are His Views on Law Enforcement Issues?Heavy.com
Slate Magazine –The Atlantic –American Thinker
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Was That Search Illegal? Sometimes, Neil Gorsuch Ruled It Was – New York Times

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The Right to Bear Arms

Posted: July 12, 2016 at 6:19 am

Miller was subject to two possible interpretations. One, that the Second Amendment is an individual right, but that the right only extends to weapons commonly used in militias (the defendants in Miller were transporting sawed-off shotguns). The second–broader–view of Miller is that the Amendment guarantees no rights to individuals at all, and the defendants lost the case as soon as it was obvious that they were not members of a state militia.

In 2008, the U. S. Supreme Court, in District of Columbia vs. Heller, struck down a Washington, D.C. ban on individuals having handguns in their homes. Writing for a 5 to 4 majority, Justice Scalia found the right to bear arms to be an individual right consistent with the overriding purpose of the 2nd Amendment, to maintain strong state militias. Scalia wrote that it was essential that the operative clause be consistent with the prefatory clause, but that the prefatory clause did not limit the operative clause. The Court easily found the D. C. law to violate the 2nd Amendment’s command, but refused to announce a standard of review to apply in future challenges to gun regulations. The Court did say that its decision should not “cast doubt” on laws restricting gun ownership of felons or the mentally ill, and that bands on especially dangerous or unusual weapons would most likely also be upheld. In the 2008 presidential campaign, both major candidates said that they approved of the Court’s decision.

Heller left open the question of whether the right to bear arms was enforceable against state regulation as well as against federal regulation? In 1876, the Supreme Court said the right–if it existed–was enforceable only against the federal government, but there was a wholesale incorporation of Bill of Rights provisions into the 14th Amendment since then. In 2010, in the case of McDonald v Chicago, the U. S. Supreme Court held (5 to 4) that the 2nd Amendment right has been incorporated through the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause and is fully enforceable against the states. The Court, in an opinion written by Justice Alito, proceeded to strike down Chicago’s gun regulation insofar as it prohibited the private possession in the home of handguns for self-defense. Justice Thomas, concurring, would have held the right to bear arms to be a right protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment, an approach to applying Bill of Rights protections against the states first rejected in the 19th-century Slaughter-House Cases and never used since.

Cases United States vs. Miller (U.S. 1939) District of Columbia vs Heller (U.S. 2008) McDonald v Chicago (U.S. 2010)

Justice Antonin Scalia, for the majority in District of Columbia v Heller (U. S. Supreme Court 2008)

The Supreme Court votes 5 to 4 to strike down a Washington, D. C. ban on the private possession of handguns. Justice Scalia authors majority opinion.

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The Right to Bear Arms

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Second Amendment Basics | Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Posted: July 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution

Does the Second Amendment prevent effective gun regulations? What is the right to bear arms? Second Amendment litigation has become a critical battleground since the U.S. Supreme Court held, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. This decision created a radical shift in the meaning of the Second Amendment, but it doesnt prevent smart gun regulations. In fact, since Heller, courts nationwide have found a wide variety of firearms laws constitutional because they can help prevent gun deaths, injuries, and crimes in communities across the country.

The Law Center not only tracks the extensive Second Amendment litigation currently happening nationwide, but also analyzes the trends, to bring you the latest developments in the courts.

Learn more about the 2008 DC vs Heller decision.

Learn more about the 2010McDonald v. City of Chicago decision.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court singlehandedly inserted the judicial system into the ongoing national debate over gun laws in America. In a 5-4 decision inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller, the Court invalidated the District of Columbias handgun ban and firearm storage law, stating for the first time that the Second Amendment protects a responsible, law-abiding citizens right to possess an operable handgun in the home for self-defense.

Heller was unquestionably a radical decision, overturning the Courts previous ruling that the Second Amendment was tied to state militia service. For almost seventy years, lower federal and state courts nationwide had relied on that pronouncement to reject hundreds of Second Amendment challenges.

The Heller decision immediately drew strong criticism from a wide array of legal scholars, historians, advocates and legislators, including a particularly scathing rebuke from respected conservative judge Richard Posner, who noted that, The only certain effect of the Heller decision will be to increase litigation over gun ownership.

In fact, new litigation started almost immediately. The day that Heller was announced, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the City of Chicagos handgun ban, with a second suit filed the next day. Other suits emerged soon after, escalating once the Supreme Court confirmed that the Second Amendment also applied to state and local laws in 2010s McDonald v. City of Chicago decision. After that case, the number of lawsuits challenging gun laws nationwide skyrocketed.

Thankfully, despite the explosion of litigation, courts across the country have rejected the overwhelming majority of Second Amendment challenges initiated since Heller. Gun rights advocates and criminal defendants across the country have sought to expand the Second Amendment to invalidate almost every gun law on the books today. In siding with us and the majority of Americans who support sensible gun laws, courts are finding that smart laws arent just constitutionaltheyre also critical to keeping our communities safe from gun violence.

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Second Amendment Basics | Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

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