How does the Constitution protect liberty and prevent tyranny?

Inspired by a presentation with Princeton constitutional law professor, Robert P. George, I attended on Saturday, I aim to re-deliver the basic concepts of his presentation. It was fantastic, and put it all together in a way I had never heard before. But yet so simple. This surrounds the most basic concepts upon which our country was built: the design of our Constitution. What about its design inherently protects liberty and prevents tyranny? Join me at 6:30 p.m. live for Freedom is Scary, Episode No. 56:

Oral Arguments in Caniglia v. Strom and the so-called “Community Caretaking” Exception Issue

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in the Caniglia v. Strom case, where law enforcement has been seeking the official establishment of a “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement which protects a person’s home. You can listen to the arguments here.

You can hear that the justices are concerned/obsessed with the hypothetical scenario of an elderly person having fallen, or been injured, in her home. Some neighbor of family member calls for the police. They show up at the door; there’s no answer; can they go in without a warrant? If they don’t, maybe the woman has “fallen and can’t get up.” And maybe she doesn’t have Life Alert…..

That’s the hold up here. The questions from the Court didn’t sound promising at all. This is a case where both the ACLU and the Gun Owners of America submitted amicus briefs. This is a we-the-people vs. the government issue. Unfortunately, the Court seems overly concerned about the potential liability of police officers who engage in wellness checks.

But it’s really a non-issue. The proper answer to Judge Roberts’ hypothetical is the reality that there never would be civil liability for an officer who technically violates the Fourth Amendment just by checking on grandma during a wellness check. Why? Because of qualified immunity. Any lawsuit stemming from such a scenario would be granted qualified immunity. And even if he/she weren’t, the measure of our constitutional rights is not a policy analysis about the costs or efficacy of law enforcement agencies, who have insurance for these reasons, defending against civil lawsuits.

ATF Loses Bumpstock Case Today at the 6th Circuit

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision, which had denied GOA’s motion for a preliminary injunction on bump stocks. Gun Owners of America is seeking an injunction to prevent ATF from implementing a final rule incorrectly classifying bump stocks as machineguns under federal law.

This case was brought by Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Matt Watkins, Tim Harmsen of the Military Arms Channel, and GOA’s Texas Director, Rachel Malone.

“Today’s court decision is great news and told gun owners what they already knew,” said GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt. “We are glad the court applied the statute accurately, and struck down the ATF’s illegal overreach and infringement of gun owners’ rights.”

https://www.gunowners.org/victory-court-rules-a-bump-stock-is-not-a-machine-gun/

This was never about “bumpstocks,” but rather this was about fighting against the tyranny of the executive branch, e.g., the ATF, in enacting legislation outside the legislative process in Congress. This is about any and all firearms and firearms accessories, and preventing bureaucrats from picking and choosing what they decide is legal vs. illegal.

Here’s the opinion:

The GOA (Gun Owners of America) continues to do great work, fighting tyranny in the courts. The fight continues, so please donate to the battle:

One of my favorite parts of the opinion. Boy does this sound familiar:

First, giving one branch the power to both draft and enforce criminal statutes jeopardizes the people’s right to liberty. The concern over the potential abuse of power if the executive can define crimes predates our nation’s founding. See THE FEDERALIST NO. 47, at 251 (James Madison) (quoting Baron de Montesquieu that “[t]here can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates”); 1 WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, COMMENTARIES *146 (1753) (“In all tyrannical governments, the supreme magistracy, or the right of both making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men; and wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty.”); JOHN LOCKE, SECOND TREATISE OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT § 143, pp. 324-25 (T. Hollis ed., 1764) (1690).

NOTE: this doesn’t change the legal status of those states who’s legislatures banned bumpstocks: Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, Nevada, California, Maryland, NJ, NY, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont, I believe…… It also doesn’t say Congress can’t do so federally. This is just about the ATF doing it on their own.

Ninth Circuit Today: There’s no 2nd Amendment Outside Your Home

Today the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued their opinion in Young v. Hawaii, holding that there’s no Second Amendment right to carry firearms outside of one’s own home, whether concealed or openly. What do you need to know, and what does this mean? Here’s the opinion, with my highlights, which I discussed in the video:

I go through the opinion on YouTube in Episode 51 of Freedom is Scary:

Federal Suit Filed Against Family Court Judge and Deputies for Warrantless Search and Seizure

Yesterday we filed suit against Family Court Judge Louise Goldston of the 13th Family Court Circuit, based out of Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, as well as three deputies with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, for federal civil rights violations which occurred during the March 4, 2020 search of Matt Gibson’s home following a post-divorce contempt proceeding filed by his ex-wife. If you haven’t been following the case, you can learn more here.

Here’s the full complaint, filed in federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia. It makes claims of violations of the 4th Amendment, 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment. Also a defendant is the ex-wife’s lawyer for conspiracy with a state official to violate Mr. Gibson’s civil rights.

Yesterday night we went over the lawsuit in detail on the YouTube channel in episode no. 50 of Freedom is Scary:

Judicial Hearing Board Releases Decision in the Family Court Judge Search Case

Today the Judicial Hearing Board of West Virginia made their Recommended Decision to the West Virginia Supreme Court in the case of the Family Court judge who searched the home of a litigant – my client, Matt Gibson. Despite the fact that disciplinary officials and the judge had already agreed to a punishment of a $5,000 fine and an “admonishment,” the Hearing Board only recommended “censure rather than admonishment” and “a fine of $1,000 instead of $5,000….”

At least one vote in this decision was The Honorable Glen Stotler, a sitting West Virginia Family Court Judge who “dissents because in his opinion there was no clear and convincing evidence that [his fellow Family Court Judge] violated any provision of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Mind you, the undisputed allegations included the admission that Judge Goldston violated “Rules 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.4(A), 2.4(B), and 2.5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct” for, among other things, threatening to put the homeowner in jail if he refused to allow her (along with his ex-wife, her lawyer, boyfriend, and two cops) inside his home to search.

As far as the rest of the board who voted for the reduced punishment, they noted in their decision that, “although there was no clear legal foundation for conducting the judicial view in question, the scope of a judicial officer’s inherent authority relative to judicial views is uncertain, and guidance to judicial officers from the Supreme Court of Appeals through rulemaking or otherwise regarding the proper scope of conducting judicial views would be beneficial.”

No clear legal foundation? A judge can show up at your home with law enforcement and search your house, and there’s no legal basis establishing that she can’t? They’re asking for guidance on “rulemaking” from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on this grey area? “It is a basic principle of Fourth Amendment law that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.” Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 403 (2006). This applies to both criminal and other administrative type searches and seizures. See Marshall v. Barlow’s, Inc., 436 U.S. 307, 312-313, (1978) This is pretty damned clear. No state supreme court – not even a legislature – can create a new rule or law allowing a federal Fourth Amendment violation. Period.

“You’re not getting in my house without a warrant.”

“Oh yes I am…..”

Here’s the decision. It still goes to the Supreme Court, and they will make the actual decision. I’m told that the judicial disciplinary officials will be filing objections to the decision, and also objecting to the participation of Judge Stotler due to his impartiality.

Feds Target the “Oath Keepers” Over the Capitol

Retired Army Sgt. Kenneth Harrelson Arrested for Attending Jan. 6 Protests – Family’s Bank Account Locked Down, Wife Loses Her Job, They Are Frightened and Don’t Know What to Do – this according to a Gateway Pundit story out today. Let’s take a look. This has to do with the feds going after the so-called “Oath keepers” group. Here’s Freedom is Scary, Episode No. 48:

Here’s the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

Here’s what happened in oral arguments today in the AR-15 Open Carry case – Walker v. Donahoe

This afternoon, oral arguments were held in the case of Walker v. Donahoe – the AR-15 open carry case out of Putnam County, West Virginia. I’ll discuss what happened in a live debriefing at 6:30 pm, which is in 4 minutes…..

Here’s a link to the actual recording of the arguments, if you missed it live:

Here’s an excerpt of my argument, as taken by my staff:

Here’s the video of the underlying incident, if you haven’t seen it: