Wyoming Liberty Group
Courts repeatedly strike down City Ordinances that violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. This is true even when cities try to justify censorship as a way to improve aesthetics, or fight litter. Even in Wyoming cities are willing to trample on free speech rights. As recently as 2013, the City of Cheyenne had to pay litigation costs in its futile attempt to censor political speech by its ham-fisted regulation of yard signs. The City of Laramie quickly repealed its own political yard sign regulations shortly thereafter.
The Cheyenne City Council’s decision about allowing a retail liquor license owner to sell his license to Cheyenne’s Sam’s Club is about more than liquor policy. It is really a referendum on whether Cheyenne is open to business. Perhaps not. The Council Finance Committee recommends that the Council block the sale. This is a signal to investors that the City is willing to flex its muscle to protect favored locals at the expense of outside investors.
In the Fall of 2013, I attended a presentation from the Cheyenne Police Department on marijuana enforcement in the city after Colorado’s enactment of its recreational marijuana law the previous year. Chief Brian Kozak was matter-of-fact, and was not there to advocate but to simply update the audience. This was not, however, the posture of various attendees, and Kozak fielded numerous questions from marijuana advocates that were little more than self-righteous critiques of state laws the chief of police has no authority to change.
More discontent emerges out of Wyoming’s Democratic Party caucuses, where Hillary Clinton obtained most of the state delegates even after losing the popular vote to Bernie Sanders. This newest wave of anger and confusion over caucuses and primaries is part of a national trend.
In two important rulings from the Texas Supreme Court on April 15, the court assured the effectiveness of the state’s Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), which was enacted in 2011. These cases, AgendaWise v. Abraham and Sullivan v. Abraham, affirmed the dismissal of two defamation actions brought by a public figure against an activist and an online news outlet.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently resumed the Equitable Sharing Program, which allows state police agencies to collect civil asset forfeiture funds under federal instead of state law by cooperating with federal drug enforcement. All too often, civil forfeiture laws allow for the government to seize and permanently keep alleged drug proceeds—such as cash, cars and firearms—without convicting or even charging the property owner with a crime.
Charlie Katebi and Glenn Woods of Boldrepublic.com discuss recent efforts by state legislatures to add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the impact it would have on our fiscal future.