Dictating the Terms of Business

The Progressive-Democratic Party is at it again, trying to dictate how private businesses in our, so far, substantially free market economy will be permitted to operate. Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden intends to dictate to landlords:

Today, I’m sending a clear message to corporate landlords: if you raise rents more than 5%, you should lose valuable tax breaks.

This isn’t just the big landlords, either, bad as that would be by itself. Biden’s proposed cap would apply to half the rental market in the country.

We’ve known this for a while. Here’s then-Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeting:

Joe Biden @JoeBiden · 14h
We’re going to beat Donald Trump. And when we do, we won’t just rebuild this nation—we’ll transform it.

He’s talked about fundamentally transforming our economy in his State of the Union addresses, also.

Presidential Immunity

Justice Sonia Sotomayor waxed hysterical in her dissent to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Presidential immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes committed while in office.

Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Maybe some broader context is in order.

Consider, for instance, our individual right to commit piracy on the high seas, so long as that, too, is done with the express permission of our Federal government (the immunity parallel is that the sovereign, We the People, have granted a considerable measure of permission to a President by electing him to that office).

The Federal government’s authority to authorize piracy by us private citizens exists in so many words in Article I, Section 8, of our Constitution:

To…grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal….

It’s instructive that that clause comes immediately on the heels of this clause:

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas….

It’s hard to get any clearer than that: our Constitution authorizes our Congress to define what piracy is and then to authorize us private citizens to commit what otherwise would be that piracy by sailing as privateers under Congress-issued Letters of Marque.

Immune, immune, immune, indeed.


H/t AJ Jacobs, writing in The Free Press

A Couple of Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court announced its ruling in a case centered on Chevron Defense, and rescinded that precedent [citations omitted].

The only way to “ensure that the law will not merely change erratically, but will develop in a principled and intelligible fashion,” is for the Court to leave Chevron behind.


Chevron is overruled. Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, as the APA requires. Careful attention to the judgment of the Executive Branch may help inform that inquiry. And when a particular statute delegates authority to an agency consistent with constitutional limits, courts must respect the delegation, while ensuring that the agency acts within it. But courts need not and under the APA may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous.

The Court also announced its ruling, a couple of days prior, in SEC v Jarkesy that the SEC—government regulatory agencies in general—seeking monetary punishments must do so through an Article III court and a jury trial. As summarized in The Wall Street Journal,

The Court’s decision means most complaints by agencies seeking penalties will have to be charged in federal courts, where defendants enjoy more procedural rights including to legal discovery. Agencies also won’t benefit from a home-court advantage. They win nearly every case in their own tribunals, as you might expect.

And, especially decisively, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court wrote

A defendant facing a fraud suit has the right to be tried by a jury of his peers before a neutral adjudicator. Rather than recognize that right, the dissent would permit Congress to concentrate the roles of prosecutor, judge, and jury in the hands of the Executive Branch. That is the very opposite of the separation of powers that the Constitution demands. Jarkesy and Patriot28 are entitled to a jury trial in an Article III court.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion that expanded on the CJ’s ruling and strengthened it IMNSHO [citation omitted].

The Seventh Amendments jury-trial right does not work alone. It operates together with Article III and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to limit how the government may go about depriving an individual of life, liberty, or property. The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to trial by jury. Article III entitles individuals to an independent judge who will preside over that trial. And due process promises any trial will be held in accord with time-honored principles. Taken together, all three provisions vindicate the Constitution’s promise of a “fair trial in a fair tribunal.”

I put these two rulings together in this article because I see considerable synergy between them. No longer are our courts expected to defer to the judgment of Executive Branch regulators.

That means that even—especially—in both criminal and civil trial courts, after Jarkesy now the courts of first recourse for regulators seeking punishments, the judgment of regulators can be only that—judgment/opinion—and regulators’ judgments can carry no more weight than those of any other expert witness either party to the case might call to the stand—and they are just as vulnerable to showings that the expert isn’t all that.

Especially important, regulators must make their case in front of a jury of their accused’s peers.

That’s good for American liberty.

How Many?

The FBI says it has identified a characteristic common to sites of active shooter shootings.

…open spaces—which include roads, neighborhoods, parks, and outdoor venues—are the places where victims are most likely to be targeted.

There’s one other characteristic, not fully addressed in the FBI’s report, that’s well worth consideration. How many of those locations were defenseless, whether because laws barred firearms from the areas or because the relevant business owner—mall owner or theater owner, for instance—lawfully posted his locale as barring firearms? The report did address this, but only tangentially, with this single remark, captioning a single chart:

Of the 48 incidents in 2023, four involved civilian intervention where a civilian intervened or attempted to intervene, resulting in two civilian casualties.

Across all 48 of the 2023 active shooter events, there were 105 killed, and 139 injured. Subtract off the two casualties where civilians responded in the time frame before the cops could arrive—naively allocating the two to one death and one injury—and that works out to an average of 2-3 deaths per defenseless event and 3-4 injuries per defenseless event.

Clearly armed patrons already on scene reduced the casualty rate by filling the gap between the onset of the event and the arrival of the second first responders. But the wannabe gun controllers would rather sacrifice the Left’s “if it saves one life” mantra in favor of their obsession with disarming all of us.


The FBI’s report can be read here.

One More Reason…

The Environmental Protection Agency is turning more and more into a Progressive-Democratic Party agenda protection agency and less and less devoted to protecting our environment. Recall that the EPA has been busily using some of its Inflation Reduction Act funding allocation to fund an outfit backing anti-Israel protests. It turns out that the EPA is using another tranche of its IRA allocation to fund groups that oppose immigration enforcement. The EPA received $3 billion for Environmental and Climate Justice block grants.

Here’s what the EPA is doing with those dollars:

EPA tapped Fordham University as a grantmaker to distribute $50 million, in collaboration with the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ).

Aside from those agencies having nothing to do with climate, as the WSJ‘s editors note (I note, also, that climate is only peripherally related to the EPA’s environment DOC), the NYIC (at the least) sees its immigration role as one of defunding and getting rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This is just one more reason to abolish the EPA altogether and return its personnel, from Secretary on down to the janitors, to the private sector.

We do need an agency of some sort to protect the environment, but not this one, which is so badly damaged that it cannot be rehabilitated. The replacement needn’t be a huge and sprawling agency devoted to pseudo-science (atmospheric CO2 is more pollutant than plant food?), and so what’s used for the EPA’s budget needn’t be so monstrously huge, either. The difference could even be used to pay down some small part of the debt the Progressive-Democratic Party has been inflicting on our federal government.