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L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 914, March 19, 2017

The left believe in the genocide of their political opponents.

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Letter from Laird Minor

Letter from A.X. Perez



Letter from Laird Minor

Re: “The Fake Court” by J. Neil Schulman

I have lots of issues with the FISA Court, but the constitutionality of the judges who make it up is not among them. The Wikipedia article you cited is correct: the are appointed by the Chief Justice. But they are appointed from among sitting federal judges. Every one of them has been properly nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate; sitting on the FISA Court is merely an extra set of duties for a few of them. It is properly an “Article III” court.

The issues I have with it are more procedural than constitutional. It conducts ex parte proceedings; there is no countervailing party to raise issues or make objections, so the judge must do that on his own. Its findings and orders are confidential, so no one can even criticize them (the facts, logic or legal reasoning) even after the fact. It is a secret court in every sense, and there should be no place for such in a free society. And although there is technically an appellate procedure in place (in theory a ruling can be appealed to an appellate tribunal within the FISA Court, and ultimately to the Supreme Court), since there is no adversarial party (only the government itself appears) who would conduct such an appeal? My understanding is that in its nearly 40-year history precisely two cases have been appealed, and none at all to the Supreme Court. So the legality of the FISA Court’s procedures have never actually been challenged, and likely never will be since the government has no interest in raising that question. And of course no one else would have “standing” to do so.

There’s lots to criticize about the FISA Court. Just not the constitutionality of its individual judges.

Laird Minor
lminor@nautiluscapital.com


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Letter from A.X. Perez

Only Texas.

Currently there are two Constitutional Carry bills up for consideration in the State Legislature. Most states get by with one, Texas needs two. The first, HB 375, was filed in November and has been sent to the Homeland Security and public Safety Committee. The second, HB 1911, was filed in February and is currently before the same committee. HB 375 is actually less restrictive over who can carry, HB 1911 allows carry in more locations and at more times than HB 375. When I first discovered 1911 I thought it was a follow up bill to 375.

Overall HB 375 is a better Constitutional Carry bill. However, if HB 1911 ends up going before the Senate it deserves support. Hopefully some bright Johnny will add the best ideas in HB 1911 to HB 375 as amendments.

One more thing. If you are a Texan support Senate Bill 16. This bill eliminates the fee to apply for, renew, or replace a Texas License to carry. You would still have to pay for the class, the range test, and fingerprinting the first time through. However, it is a valid picture ID to cash checks, buy beer, and vote in Texas and will save hassles for carrying out of state.

Meanwhile Russian operatives are hacking the Legislature’s files, however, they have been unable to consume enough vodka to understand what the hell the maniacs in Austin are up to.

[LATER]

Earlier I submitted a note to TLE titled “Only Texas” dealing with the fact that only Texas would need to have two Constitutional carry bills. I even pointed out that one, HB 1911 makes a good supplement to the other, HB 375. However, HB 1911 is not a good substitute for 375. Essentially, HB 375 eliminates the requirement to have a license to carry a pistol, openly or discretely, in Texas. HB 1911 gives people who qualify for a license permission (“authorization”) to carry without a license.

The difference between not needing a license and having permission is huge, in every philosophical and moral sense. Licensing means that restrictions have been put on a right and that the license holder meets those restrictions. Permission means you do not have a right but a privilege has been extended to you. I prefer having rights.

There is some interesting history here. HB 375 was pre filed in November of 2016. It was read on the floor on 16 February and went to committee on that date. HB 1911 was filed on 15 February and was read then referred to committee on 13 March. HB 375 enjoys the support of the more “radical” gun rights organizations, 1911 is supported by the Establishment. The timing has me convinced 1911 is in fact meant to be an alternative proposed by the Republican elite in Texas.

Texas is divided into two groups, the typical Cowboy of popular image and the respectable country club types who try to keep them in line. There are conservatives and liberals in both groups. Texas is controlled by conservatives, however, the question is whether cowboys or country club types who will prevail in this debate.

I’m sure similar debates are going on in other states between libertarians and Conservatives. Hopefully libertarians will win in all cases.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com


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