You Can Build Your Own Rifle

One of my mother’s uncles had a laconic response to a proposed gun ban in long-ago New Jersey. “Doesn’t matter. We’ll build our own.” His comment came back to me after my wife gifted our son (and me) a jig for completing an unfinished AR-15 lower receiver. Like my great uncle, we built our own.
Making personal firearms is legal under federal law, if that matters to you, although local rules vary.

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Anthony Downs, RIP

Anthony Downs.
I recently learned that Anthony Downs, one of the greatest political economists of the twentieth century,  passed away on October 2. Like my George Mason University colleague Tyler Cowen, I do not understand why this sad news has attracted so little attention. The only obituary I have been able to find is this one posted by the funeral home that is handling Downs’ funeral arrangements. Perhaps his passing has been ignored by scholars and political commentators because there is so much else going on in the news. Whatever the reason, Downs deserved better.

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Ventura County: Jacobson, and not “Traditional Constitutional Review” Governs Second Amendment Claims

Last week, the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument in McDougall v. County of Ventura, California. This case presented a challenge to the County’s COVID-19 restrictions on houses of worship.

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Public Records Requests Shines A Light on Justice Barrett’s Speech at the McConnell Center

Fix the Courts made a public records request to the University of Louisville. The organization received a 120+ page document dump concerning Justice Barrett’s visit to the McConnell Center in September 2021. I went through the tranche of documents, and found a few items of interest. (FOIA dumps are generally sorted with the most recent emails at the top, so I usually start reading at the end).
There was a back-and-forth about press restrictions between the Public Information Office, and Gary Gregg at the McConnell Center.

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Pseudonymity and Near-Minors

I’m writing an article about pseudonymity in civil litigation, and one area where courts seem to broadly endorse pseudonymity is for parties who are minors; some also extend that to parties who were minors at the time of the incidents that led to the lawsuit. But what about, say, 19-year-olds?
[1.] In some cases involving alleged sexual assaults of and by college students, courts have been willing to allow pseudonymity because of the students’ youth, even though they were not minors.
[2.] Others suggest a rigid cutoff at the age of majority.
[3.

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NIMBY New Yorkers Sue City Over ‘Proliferation of Outdoor Dining’

A group of New York City residents has sued the city to end the “proliferation of outdoor dining” that’s taken place under the city’s Open Restaurants Program, which expanded al fresco dining options during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Open Restaurants Program was launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) in June 2020.

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Lockdowns’ High Costs and Murky Benefits

“We’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life,” Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who was then New York’s governor, declared four days after he imposed a statewide COVID-19 lockdown last year. The goal, he explained, was to “save lives, period, whatever it costs.”
Ryan Bourne’s Economics in One Virus offers a much-needed rejoinder to that morally obtuse position.

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Gen. Michael Flynn’s Brother v. CNN Libel Lawsuit Over Allegations of Being a “QAnon Follower”

The detailed recommendation from Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave (which District Judge Gregory Woods will now consider) came in Flynn v. CNN (S.D.N.Y.). The plaintiffs (the  brother and sister-in-law of the retired Lieutenant General, who served briefly as President Trump’s National Security Advisor) prevailed on some issues: The Magistrate Judge concluded that they weren’t limited public figures, and that CNN’s statements were “of and concerning them.

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Gen. Michael Flynn’s Brother v. CNN Libel Lawsuit Over Allegations of Being a “QAnon Follower”

The detailed recommendation from Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave (which District Judge Gregory Woods will now consider) came in Flynn v. CNN (S.D.N.Y.). The plaintiffs (the  brother and sister-in-law of the retired Lieutenant General, who served briefly as President Trump’s National Security Advisor) prevailed on some issues: The Magistrate Judge concluded that they weren’t limited public figures, and that CNN’s statements were “of and concerning them.

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If You Want to Have Court Filings Sealed, Don’t “Treat[] a Motion to Seal as an Afterthought”

From Judge Joshua Wolson’s opinion yesterday in Alchem Inc. v. Cage (E.D. Pa.), the background:

In this case, Alchem USA Inc. {[which] sells and markets liquid nicotine under the brand name “Nicselect”} knows that its former salesperson—and self-proclaimed “Nicotine Queen”—Terianne T. Cage, lured away some of its customers when she went to work for a competitor, North America Nicotine Inc. But Alchem can only guess how Ms. Cage solicited those customers and what information she used to do it, including whether she shared any of that information with NAN.

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