CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property…
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CFIF Strongly Opposes Senator Ron Wyden's "ACCESS to Sound Recordings" Act

CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in the music industry.   Among other problems, current law generally protects recording artists' rights for post-1972 songs, but not pre-1972 classics:

. Under byzantine laws, artists receive just compensation whenever their post-1972 recordings are played, but in many cases not for their pre-1972 recordings.  That's an indefensible and arbitrary artifact that has persisted far too long.  Why should Neil Diamond receive payment whenever 'America' is played, but not classics like 'Solitary Man?'

Fortunately, the opportunity to correct that unfairness has arrived.  Even better, legislation to correct the existing flawed system arrives alongside other music legislation…[more]

June 18, 2018 • 11:43 pm

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Supreme Court Botches 2nd Amendment Opportunity, But Congress Poised to Act Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 29 2017
Ponder that for a moment. Imagine authorities demanding that citizens show a particularized need differentiating themselves from ordinary citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights, Fifth Amendment rights or any other rights explicitly protected by the text of the Constitution.

This week, the Supreme Court blew a critical opportunity to interrupt the ongoing assault by states like California against Second Amendment rights. 

Scratch that.  Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito, all of whom joined the landmark D.C. v. Heller majority affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms, blew the opportunity.  Justices Thomas and Gorsuch would've heard the case. 

The opportunity in question was Peruta v. California, a prototypically defective Ninth Circuit decision condoning a California law that not only infringes upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but nearly eliminates it. 

Under California law, citizens cannot openly carry handguns outside of their homes, whether loaded or unloaded.  Accordingly, concealed carry is the only alternative means by which someone can possess a handgun outside the home.  Unfortunately, California law only allows concealed carry upon demonstrating "good cause" to the satisfaction of county authorities empowered to grant permits. 

In Peruta, the San Diego County Sheriff imposed an extremely restrictive interpretation of "good cause," demanding that applicants show a "particularized need for self-defense that differentiates the applicant from the ordinary citizen." 

Ponder that for a moment.  Imagine authorities demanding that citizens show a particularized need differentiating themselves from ordinary citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights, Fifth Amendment rights or any other rights explicitly protected by the text of the Constitution. 

A more rational approach would require the government to demonstrate a particularized "good cause" for denying a citizen's exercise of a constitutional right. 

That's precisely the logic the initial three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit applied in declaring the restriction unconstitutional: 

To reason by analogy, it is as though San Diego County banned all political speech, but exempted from this restriction people (like current or former political figures), particular places (like private property), and particular situations (like the week before an election).  Although these exceptions might preserve small pockets of freedom, they would do little to prevent destruction of the right to free speech as a whole.  As the Court has said, 'The Second Amendment is no different.'" 

Upon rehearing by an 11-judge en banc panel, however, the Ninth Circuit reversed under the defective logic that, "there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public." 

But Peruta wasn't arguing that such a right exists.  Rather, he rightly asserted that prohibiting citizens from carrying a firearm either openly or concealed amounts to a complete abrogation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. 

Consequently, Peruta was appropriate for Supreme Court review due to a sharp division among the lower courts on the issue of whether the Second Amendment allows ordinary, law-abiding citizens to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense in some manner, including concealed carry where open carry is forbidden by state law. 

But for whatever reason, Justices Kennedy, Roberts and Alito declined to grant review this week.  That refusal triggered a stinging dissent from Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Gorsuch: 

For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice:  They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense.  I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it. 

California hardly stands alone in its effort to suffocate Americans' Second Amendment rights in defiance of constitutional text and recent Supreme Court precedent. 

But even where the Supreme Court refuses for whatever reason to intervene, recourse remains available via Congress and the executive branch, as well as at the state and local levels. 

In fact, two bills currently before Congress would proactively advance Americans' Second Amendment protections. 

In January, Congressman Richard Hudson (R - North Carolina) introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which amends federal law to allow citizens possessing concealed carry permits in their home states to carry concealed firearms in other states that allow individuals to carry concealed firearms.  Given the increasing number of states making such allowances over the past three decades, that now covers most of the U.S. 

A separate bill introduced earlier this month by Congressman Thomas Massie (R - Kentucky) would allow Americans with concealed carry permits to carry firearms into Washington, D.C.  In light of that city's efforts to abrogate Second Amendment rights in the city following the Heller decision, Representative Massie's bill is a welcome and necessary one. 

Similar efforts to protect Americans' Second Amendment freedoms continue across all fifty states, and at the legislative, executive and judicial levels. 

Americans who treasure individual freedom should remain grateful for the Supreme Court's decisions confirming the individual right to keep and bear arms over the past decade. 

As demonstrated this week in Peruta, however, we must remain ready to act through elected officials to protect that right when the Court fails to do so. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was NOT a pen name used by Benjamin Franklin?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Charles Krauthammer, a longtime Fox News contributor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, died Thursday. He was 68. ...In recent years, Krauthammer was best known for his nightly appearance as a panelist on Fox News' 'Special Report with Bret Baier' and as a commentator on various Fox news shows…[more]
 
 
—Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News
— Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you agree or disagree with President Trump's Executive Order to cease separating illegal immigrant parents from their children at the U.S. border until Congress acts on legislation?