Wyoming Liberty Group
Last Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Montana Shooting Sports Association v. Holder (MSSA), a lawsuit asserting Montana’s Firearms Freedom Act against the federal government. Basically, the Firearms Freedom Act (Wyoming passed a similar law in 2010) asserts that firearms manufactured within a state (built from major parts assembled within said state) and sold within that state may avoid federal oversight under the National Firearms Act, Gun Control Act and other federal laws regulating firearms manufacture and sales.
Today was the big day at the Supreme Court, as the second day of oral arguments in Florida v. Health and Human Services focused on the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. This is the provision that forces most Americans to purchase qualifying insurance or pay a penalty every year for lack of coverage, and WyLiberty joined an amici (friend-of-the-court) brief challenging this provision. Audio and argument transcripts are now available, but hats off to the Wall Street Journal’s reporters for excellent live-blogging during the arguments. (Because of restrictions in the courtroom on electronic devices, a team of reporters had to rotate in-and-out throughout.)
Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in separate rulings, rejected both Virginia and Liberty University’s suits against Obamacare. (Copies of the opinions are hosted at the Forbes blog here and here.) The Virginia v. Sebelius ruling is the shorter of the two, and I will address that today. I hope to address Liberty University tomorrow, but it’s a much longer ruling and may run into next week.
In early June the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Bond v. United States garnered about twenty minutes of attention in the liberty blogosphere as “groundbreaking.” The gist of the decision, blogs reported, was that the Court unanimously (that’s 9-0) ruled that individuals have standing to challenge federal law as violations of the Tenth Amendment, that is, they may argue that the federal law reaches beyond the limited powers granted to Congress.
Last week I attended the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention in Washington, D.C. This was my fourth year at the convention, and so far the best I have attended.
The Tenth Amendment movement across the country is gathering an interesting coalition that spreads across the political spectrum. From gun owners (viewed by the mainstream media as conservative) and tea partiers (viewed by the MSM as right wing nut cases and racists) to medical marijuana activists (viewed by the MSM as leftists), people are embracing the Tenth Amendment as a way to end federal regulation on issues they care about. Full marijuana legalization and taxation are on the California ballot this November, with an implied Tenth Amendment defense against federal drug laws.