A Magistrate Judge Gets One Right

Of course, the Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore’s ruling can be overturned on appeal by a District judge in the Northern District of California in which she operates, or on appeal on the ruling’s way up the appellate chain.  Nevertheless, her ruling stands, for now.

In its essence Westmore ruled that, even with an otherwise valid search warrant, a person cannot be compelled to unlock a digital device like a cell phone with that person’s biometrics—a fingerprint, a face, or an iris, for example.

California Has Banned Insurance for Car Drivers

As everyone (apparently except the California Insurance Commission members) knows, insurance is the transfer of risk and fiscal responsibility for its realization from one party to another for an agreed fee that’s commensurate with the risk and expected cost being transferred.  The California Insurance Commission has eliminated that for California drivers, mandating that driving coverage be provided independently of the risk transferred.

California has banned auto insurance companies from considering gender when setting insurance rates for private passenger cars.
The Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation went into effect on Jan 1, 2019.

A Judge’s Error

The Trump administration had expanded rules allowing employers to opt out of being required to provide birth control coverage to their employees at no cost to the employees, so long as the opting out was convincingly based on religious or moral grounds.  Federal District Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California has issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the expansion while an underlying lawsuit against the expansion is underway.

Ordinarily, blocking an enforcement while the underlying case proceeds is no big deal, but this one is just plain wrong.  Gilliam based his ruling in significant part on the premise that

Dismantling Great Britain

The EU is pressing its effort to punish Great Britain for the latter’s effrontery in leaving the EU.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has reiterated that the EU finds a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland “unacceptable.” He warned of “serious damage” in the event of a no deal scenario.

Because the EU wants to split Northern Ireland away from Great Britain.

No threat there.

Democrat Obstructionism

Extending their perpetuation of the existing partial government shutdown, now the Progressive-Democrats won’t even allow the Senate to function.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked the chamber from considering bipartisan foreign-policy legislation in a bid to pressure Republicans to reopen the government….

This is of a piece with their “rebuttal” of President Donald Trump’s Oval Office speech calling for negotiations on a border wall and border security generally, wherein the Progressive-Democrats reiterated their refusal to negotiate at all, and they denied the facts presented regarding our border situation while cynically declining to present their own facts.

Political Power

Here come the Progressive-Democrats, and they’ve made their priorities clear in the House with the first things they want to get done.  Here’s some of what’s in their HR1:

  • “campaign-finance reform”—requires some advocacy groups to publicly disclose the names of donors who give more than $10,000, even if the groups aren’t running ads that endorse candidates but merely inform voters about the issues. Except when rich folks like Tom Steyer or Mike Bloomberg are spending on Progressive-Democrats.  Those names aren’t required to be exposed.

The California Magnet

Newly sworn-in California governor Gavin Newsom (D) has a plan to expand on the State’s sanctuary “status” and draw even more illegal aliens into the State and into the country:

…an unprecedented new health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering dramatically more benefits to illegal immigrants….

As Newsom noted,

People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe—they all hang in the balance

A Conservative’s View….

My latest effort, a pamphlet on the American legal system (because I don’t lack for ego), A Conservative’s View of the American Concept of Law, has been released, and it can be found on amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2L4iVXx .  Links also can be found on my Books page.

Our legal system is explicitly founded on natural law through our Creator’s endowment—the origin and source of our fundamental principles.

Guns and Killings

This, from no less a Liberal outlet than the Chicago Tribune.  John Lott, Jr, Crime Prevention Research Center President, provided some gun-related killings statistics for the Tribune.  He began by defining what constitutes mass killings, a term too often bandied about without definition.  The FBI’s definition is what he used.

  • shootings must claim four or more lives in a public place
  • shootings must be carried out simply with the intention of killing
    • excluded are gang fight killings because they tend to be motivated by battles for drug turf
    • excluded are murders incidental to other crimes

A Judge’s Ruling on Female Genital Mutilation

Charges related to female genital mutilation were dismissed last week against Detroit doctor Jumana Nagarwala, who has a history of performing such “surgeries.”  Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman, of the Eastern District of Michigan, ruled that Congress had overstepped its authority in passing a law banning this FGM.

Sadly, the judge was right.  That law, passed in 1996, was done under our Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce (along with trade with foreign nations and with the Indian Tribes).

However, Friedman wrote,