The Law

It's More Important Than You May Think

In this section of ZPRC, you'll find links to court decisions both at the Supreme Court and Apellate levels. The reason it is here is because the law is only slightly less important than politics in that they both can greatly expand the power of the state in ways inimicable to your continued liberty.

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FedWorld/FLITE Supreme Court Decisions Supreme Court Decisions (Cornell)

Cell Phone Tracking

On 11/29/17 a case concerning warrantless cell-phone tracking was heard at oral arguments before the Supreme Court. This issue is bigger than most folk thing, so I figured I'd make a copy of the transcript of the oral arguments available here. I converted the original PDF from the court into HTML to make it a bit easier to read.

HTML and PDF.

Obamacare

The Opinion was issued today (6/28/12). I've got 3 different types of markup of the decision. The Supreme Court issues opinions as a PDF file. Cornell's LII converts it to HTML, and I create Epubs for ebook readers.

HTML | PDF | EPUB

The following are the oral arguments before the Supreme Court regarding Obamacare. Arguments took an unprecidented three days. Monday (03/26/12), was basically about the commerce clause and related issues. Tuesday concerned the individual mandate portion of the bill. Wednesday covered severability - that is, whether any part of the bill should stand if any part of it was declared unconstitutional.

My apologies for not having html of these transcripts available. The PDFs came from the Supreme Court, and I was able to convert them to epubs, but my attempts at converting to html was simply too damned messy to publish. If you've got an ebook reader, the epub files work pretty well.

  • Monday - (pdf) (epub)

  • Tuesday - (pdf) (epub)

  • Wednesday - (pdf) (epub)

Second Amendment Cases
Second Amendment v. Chicago and surrounding areas

Several entities have filed cases against the city of Chicago, and several of the surrounding areas. Many of these cases have been consolidated at the appelate level. The following link is a quick and dirty HTML conversion of the original pdf file of the appellant's brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit..

Appellant's Brief. (My apologies for the ugly formatting. Still, it's better than a PDF)

Shelly Parker, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al.
This case has been renamed to DC v. Heller, as Parker was dismissed from the suit for "lack of standing".
Update 3/19/2008: Oral Arguments heard before the Supreme Court
D.C. Court of Appeals: Opinion | Dissent

This is one of the most important 2nd Amendment cases to come along since US v. Miller.

This ruling was made by the D.C. Court of Appeals, and absolutely establishes the 2nd Amendment as a fundamental, individual right. The deciding judges include a lot of scholarship on the 2nd Amendment and really did a good job of covering the history and real purpose of the amendment better than just about anything else I've seen.

Here's the money quote:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.


Updates:
The District of Columbia petitioned for an en banc hearing on 4.9.2007. The petition is here.
On 1.4.2008, the District of Columbia submitted it's brief to the Supreme Court.

The State of Georgia, versus Brailsford, et al.
Commentary

This is an interesting case concerning Jury Nullification that took place on 28th of January, 1794. The Supreme Court had appointed a special jury to hear this case, which involved debts owed to several parties in different states with a British citizen.

The money quote:

Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.
U.S. v. Miller
Case: HTML EPUB
This decision, made in 1938 is the last time that the Supreme Court ruled substantially and specifically on the Second Amendment. It is the most quoted, and misquoted of all Supreme Court rulings that I've ever seen. The above has only one link, but the document linked to above has an amazing wealth of information about the case in question.
Jay Printz, Sheriff (95-1478)
Richard Mack, Petitioner 95-1503
v. UNITED STATES
Reversed
Opinion
[Scalia]
Concur
[O'Connor]
Concur
[Thomas]
Dissent
[Stevens]
Dissent
[Souter]
Dissent
[Breyer]
U.S. v Stewart
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Opinion
Castillo v. United States (99-658)
179 F.3d 321, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[Breyer]
United States v. Dalton
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Opinion:HTML EPUB
This is one of the most important, though little known appellate court decisions concerning the second amendment in recent years. This decision basically struck down the 1934, 1968 and 1986 gun control acts. It was not appealed by FedGov, I assume because a loss of this magnitude at the Supreme Court level would be devistating to all federal gun control laws. See also Emerson below.
United States v. Rock Island Armory
No. 90-40025. United States District Court,
C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
Opinion:HTML, EPUB
Similar to the Dalton case above, this case would be extremely important to gun owners if only people knew about it. It held that the National Firearms Act was "originally passed as a taxing statute". Since Fedgov is not allowing citizens to purchase weapons covered under the act (machine guns and the like) because they will not allow them to purchase new tax stamps for them, they have effectively removed the 'tax nexus' from the act, which is what made it constitutional in the first place. Therefore, the entire house of cards of gun control at the federal level is struck down. That would include the 1934, 1968, and 1986 gun control acts.
Why hasn't the NRA informed you of something this important?
United States v. Emerson
U.S. District Court for the
Norther District of Texas
Opinion(html) Opinion(pdf)
Here's a brief quote from the ruling:
Defendant Timothy Joe Emerson ( Emerson ) moves to dismiss the Indictment against him, claiming that the statute he is prosecuted under, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), is an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Second, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Emerson's Motion to Dismiss.
Chuck Klein vs.Simon L. Leis, Sheriff
First Appellate District of Ohio
Opinion(html)
This is an excellent Appellate-level decision concerning the concealed carry in Ohio. The court did not rule specifically on the 2nd amendment, because it was deemed that the Ohio state constitution itself secured the right to keep and bear regardless of what the U.S. Constitution says.

Bush v. Gore - Election 2000
Bush v. Gore (00-949)
Opinion
[ Per curiam ]
Concurrence
[ Rehnquist ]
Dissent
[ Stevens ]
Dissent
[ Souter ]
Dissent
[ Ginsburg ]
Dissent
[ Breyer ]
U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments - Bush v. Gore
Transcript
This is the transcript of the oral arguments as heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore.
Text of Supreme Court Stay
Transcript
Text of the order issued Saturday (12.9.2000) by the U.S. Supreme Court to stop manual recounts in Florida. Accompanying the order, which came by a 5-4 vote, are statements by Justice Antonin Scalia, who voted with the majority, and Justice John Paul Stevens, who dissented.
Bush v. Gore
Transcript of Florida
Supreme Court Hearing
12/07/2000
Gore/Lieberman v. Harris
Supreme Court of Florida
Opinion Dissent
[Wells]
Dissent
[Harding]
Albert Gore, et al, v. Katherine Harris, et al,
Leon County, Florida Circuit Court
Transcript
This is a transcript of Judge Saul Sanders ruling.
Albert Gore, et al, v. Katherine Harris, et al,
Leon County, Florida Circuit Court
Transcript
This is a transcript of Judge Saul Sanders ruling.

Search and Seizure Cases
United States v. Banks (02-473)
282 F.3d 699, reversed.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Souter ]
This case was decided on 12-03-2003. Apparently the supreme court believes that cops don't have to have the common decency to wait more than twenty seconds before busting down somone's door. Apparently "Drugs" is the root passphrase to the Constitution.
Knowles v. Iowa (97-7597)
569 N. W. 2d 601, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Rehnquist ]
This case concerns "stop" and search rules.
Illinois v. Wardlow (98-1036)
183 Ill. 2d 306, 701 N. E. 2d 484, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Rehnquist ]
Other
[Stevens]
This case concerns "stop" and search rules.
Wyoming v. Houghton (98-184)
956 P.2d 363, reversed.
Syllabus
Opinion
[Scalia]
Concurrence
[Breyer]
Dissent
[Stevens ]
This case concerns "stop" and search rules.
Florida v. White (98-223)
710 So. 2d 949, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[Thomas]
Concurrence
[Souter]
Dissent
[Stevens]
This case concerns search and siezure.
Indianapolis v. Edmond (99-1030)
183 F.3d 659, affirmed
Syllabus Opinion
[O'Connor]
Dissent
[ Rehnquist ]
Dissent
[Thomas]
This case concerns vehicular stops, search and siezure.
Kyllo v. United States (99-8508)
190 F.3d 1041, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Scalia ]
Dissent
[ Stevens ]
This case concerns using survellance aircraft to look at houses to see if agents of the state can detect heat signatures that might indicate possible indoor marijuanna cultivation.
Indiana v. Gerschoffer
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Opinion

This is a state court decision of the kind that would not normally be posted here. However, it was such a wonderful read, that it must be included.

The following is a direct swipe from the state court at the lengths SCOTUS will go to emasculate the constitution:

Some courts have invoked "great public concern" about the danger of intoxicated drivers on our roadways as an excuse to manufacture new rules which have eroded the Fourth Amendment. See Garcia, 500 N.E.2d at 161-62; see also Sitz I, 596 U.S. at 451; Brown, 443 U.S. at 50. But our judiciary has no license to authorize the systematic violation of individual rights in the name of "great public concern," a theory of federal search and seizure law that finds no basis in the text, history, or well-settled interpretation of the Indiana Constitution. We will not sacrifice the rights guaranteed under Article I, Section 11 for an indeterminate social agenda of "great public concerns."


Other Important Cases
Bernstein v. USDOJ
U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Opinion Concurring Dissent
This case concerned the export of encrypted software, classified as a 'munition' by FedGov.
Idaho v. United States (00-189)
210 F.3d 1067, affirmed.
Syllabus Opinion
Dissent
[ Rehnquist ]
This case concerns a State versus Federal land issue.
Federal Election Commission v.
Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Commission (00-191)
213 F.3d 1221, reversed.
Syllabus Opinion
[Souter]
Dissent
[Thomas]
This case concerns contributions to federal election campaigns.
New York Times Co. v. Tasini (00-201)
206 F.3d 161, affirmed.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Ginsburg ]
Dissent
[Stevens]
This case concerns a writer for the NYTimes who was not compensated by the company when his articles where included in a database of NYTimes articles.
United States v. United Foods, Inc. (00-276)
197 F.3d 221, affirmed.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Kennedy ]
Concurrence
[Stevens]
Concurrence
[Thomas]
Dissent
[Breyer]
At it's heart, this is a case concerning Free Assocation.
Florida v. Thomas (00-391)
Certiorari dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
Reported below: 761 So. 2d 1010.
Syllabus
Opinion
[ Rehnquist ]
This case concerns when the Supreme Court can have jurisdiction over a case.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly (00-596)
218 F.3d 30, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[O'Connor]
Concurrence
[ Kennedy ]
Concurrence
[Thomas]
Other
[Souter]
Other
[Stevens]
This case has to do with federal pre-emption.
Reno v. Condon (98-1464)
155 F.3d 453, reversed.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Rehnquist ]
This case concerns the "Drivers License Protection Act".
Department of Commerce v. United States House (98-404)
No. 98-404, 11 F. Supp. 2d 76, appeal dismissed; No. 98-564, 19 F. Supp. 2d 543, affirmed.
Syllabus
 
Opinion
[O'Connor]
Concurrence
[Scalia]
Dissent
[Stevens]
Dissent
[ Ginsburg ]
Other
[Breyer]
This case concerns the census and whether FedGov can use statistical sampling.
Nevada v. Hicks (99-1994)
196 F.3d 1020, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus
Opinion
[Scalia]
Concurrence
[Souter]
Concurrence
[ Ginsburg ]
Concurrence
[ Connor ]
Concurrence
[Stevens]
This case concerns state jurisdiction over territory that is part of an indian reservation.
GOOD NEWS CLUB v. MILFORD CENtrAL SCHOOL (99-2036)
202 F.3d 502, reversed and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[Thomas]
Concurrence
[Scalia]
Concurrence
[Breyer]
Dissent
[Stevens]
Dissent
[Souter]
This case involves a school that attmpted to refuse use of school property to an organization because it was Christian.
PALAZZOLO v. RHODE ISLAND (99-2047)
746 A. 2d 707, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[Kennedy]
Concurrence
[Connor]
Concurrence
[Scalia]
Dissent
[Ginsburg]
Dissent
[Breyer]
Other
[Stevens]
This case concerns property rights.
Eldred v. Reno
D.C. Cir. Opinion
Opinion
This case concerns copy right law. It is, in my opinion, a big loss for all of it as it has direct negative influence on the volume of works that are in the public domain.
Zadvydas v. Davis (99-7791)
185 F.3d 279 and 208 F.3d 815, vacated and remanded.
Syllabus Opinion
[ Breyer ]
Dissent
[ Scalia ]
Dissent
[ Kennedy ]
This case, while not the normal type of case I would post here is important nonetheless because it concerns conditions where a person not charge with a crime can be held in detention by FedGov.
State of Idaho v. Horiuchi, 9830149
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the District of Idaho
Opinion Dissent
For those who are unaware, Lon Horiuchi is the FBI agent who shot a woman in the head while she was armed only with her baby. This particular case goes to prove that Orwell was right: Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
William Jefferson Clinton, Petitioner
v.
Paula Corbin Jones
Opinion
[ Stevens ]
Concur
[ Breyer ]
Syllabus
As you might guess from the title, this is the Supreme Court opinion concerning ex-president Clinton and Paula Jones