Maybe the Judge Isn’t Entirely Correct

A Florida man was charged by the Feds for possessing a firearm in a US Post Office facility. A Federal district judge ruled the law governing his arrest to be unconstitutional.

US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of former President Trump, cited a 2022 landmark US Supreme Court decision that expanded gun rights when she handed down her ruling Friday that dismissed part of an indictment charging a postal worker with illegally possessing a gun in a federal facility.

So far, so good. But:

[T]he judge declined to dismiss a separate charge for forcibly resisting arrest.

Immigration TBD Notices

The Supreme Court is considering a case involving an illegal alien who was…paroled…into the US on his promise to appear in court for his asylum hearing on the specified date, which was named as TBD on his release/parole paper. Later, when a date came open, the illegal alien was emailed his date certain, and when he didn’t appear, he was tracked down, arrested, and is in deportation hearing status. The illegal alien claims he never got the emailed notice, and his case has wound up before the Supremes.

An Extortion Lawsuit

Lawyer Anthony Russo of the Florida-based Russo Firm, says his client Cynthia Kelly and “not less than 100” and perhaps even “thousands” of others have suffered horrific emotional damage.

It seems that seasonal versions of Hershey’s Reese’s chocolate-covered peanut butter candies variously depicted pumpkin shapes with the candy’s peanut butter filling showing through eyes and a mouth carved into the chocolate or football shapes with laces similarly carved. On unpeeling the wrapper, though, shocker of shockers, the chocolate coverings were intact. The bodice-ripping. The emotional rending, the fall-to-the-floor sobbing paroxisms (I exaggerate, but not by much). Lawyer Russo is suing Hershey over the riptide of emotion the nefarious company has so callously caused.

Wrist Slaps and Unequal Justice

Navy sailor Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao was caught passing classified information concerning an Okinawa radar system, along with plans for a large-scale maritime training exercise in the Pacific theatre, to a spy for the People’s Republic of China. [OPSEC note: the exercise plans would allow, among other things, the PRC to watch the radar system in action during the exercise.] Zhao has been sentenced to 27 months in prison. A whole 27 months. A wrist slap.

Meanwhile, the 6 January rioters—those who have actually had trials three years(!) after the event and whose trials have actually run to completion—have been sentenced to 3-6 years, and some have been sentenced to as many as 20 years.

Subpoena Fight

The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Hunter Biden to be deposed in a closed-door hearing. Biden has responded, through his lawyer, that he’ll be there, but only if the hearing is public. Supposedly, this sets up a subpoena fight.

It needn’t, and Oversight Chairman James Comer (R, KY), has said so, although he has offered, unnecessarily IMNSHO, a compromise to have Biden testify in an open Oversight hearing after he’s sat for the close-door deposition.

Convenience and the FBI

Stewart Whitson, late of the FBI and currently Foundation for Government Accountability Legal Director, decried in his Tuesday Wall Street Journal op-ed, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau effort to completely eliminate the ability of credit-reporting companies to sell credit-header data to law enforcement agencies, including to the FBI. Those header data include a variety of identifying material but, as Whitson was careful to emphasize, no financial information.

This, actually, is one of the few things the CFPB would get right were it to follow through.

A Voting Rights Discrimination Case

The 8th Circuit has ruled that private parties cannot bring suit over voting rights discrimination under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act; only the US Attorney General can. The 8th Circuit stands alone among courts and against long-standing precedent here. It’s still correct on the matter.

The court’s decision, in summary, said the

Arkansas branch of the NAACP and another organization couldn’t challenge the district lines drawn for the Arkansas House of Representatives after the 2020 census.

Circuit Judge David Stras, for the majority:

Only Reliable Way to Enforce Lease Sales

The 5th Circuit has ruled—correctly IMNSHO—that the Biden administration must sell oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico as existing law requires and get it done within the next 37 days.

That’s good news, but it’s insufficient since it lacks an enforcement mechanism. The only reliable enforcement mechanism under this Biden administration is to deem the leases currently applied for to be sold under the parameters provided in the lease applications and to deem future lease applications, until the 73 million acres in question are committed, similarly sold after 37 days, the court’s mandated time limit for getting the Gulf’s acreage leased out.

Religious Persecution

Finland Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stood (still stand?) accused by Finnish prosecutor Anu Mantila of the heinous hate speech crime of quoting from the Bible.

Finnish district courts said, no, and acquitted the two. The prosecutor objected and took the cases to a Finnish appellate court—where the two were once again acquitted. Räsänen:

It isn’t a crime to tweet a Bible verse, or to engage in public discourse with a Christian perspective. The attempts made to prosecute me for expressing my beliefs have resulted in an immensely trying four years, but my hope is that the result will stand as a key precedent to protect the human right to free speech.

Dangerous Settlement

Bob Updegrove, a Virginia-based photographer, has settled his case against the State of Virginia and its Virginia Values Act, which barred “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public and private employment, public accommodations, and access to credit. The Act includes denying folks their right to demur on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Citing the recent 303 Creative LLC v Elenis Supreme Court case, Updegrove’s case was ultimately dismissed by both parties in appeals court on the agreement that he would not be forced to take part in same-sex weddings.