America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
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“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Gowdy’s ENFORCE Act: Obama’s Last Chance to Avoid Impeachment? Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, March 20 2014
Because non-enforcement undermines the traditional rationale for barring inter-branch lawsuits, giving each house of Congress standing to sue the president and his subordinates may be the only way to maintain the integrity of laws the Obama administration seems determined to render null and void.

A new proposal by Trey Gowdy seems tailor-made to save Barack Obama from impeachment.

But so far the president isn’t listening.

Gowdy, a Republican, is a former federal prosecutor representing South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. He is also the author of H.R. 4138, better known as the “Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act of 2014,” or more simply, the “ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014.”

At only two-and-a-half pages, the ENFORCE the Law Act nonetheless stakes out an ambitious claim, styling itself as a bill “To protect the separation of power in the Constitution of the United States by ensuring that the President takes care that the laws be faithfully executed, and for other purposes.” The bill does this by allowing either house of Congress, or both together, to sue the president or one of his officers for implementing a policy contrary to law.

Gowdy and other House Republicans deem the bill necessary to check President Barack Obama’s historic abuse of discretion.

Since 2010, Obama has engaged in an unprecedented use of executive prerogative to rewrite laws as he sees fit. Without any authorization from the law’s text, the president has delayed or waived dozens of requirements under ObamaCare. When Congress refused to pass the DREAM Act, he responded with a deferred action program that unilaterally halted deportation proceedings for more than 1 million illegal immigrants.

Obama also allowed Attorney General Eric Holder to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court, severely undermining the law’s legitimacy. Elsewhere, the president signed-off on alterations to work requirements for receiving welfare benefits that gutted much of the famed 1990s reform efforts.

All of this, to repeat, is in direct conflict with each of the laws as written (or refused by Congress in the case of the DREAM Act). To a prosecutor like Gowdy and many others, the actions of President Obama and his subordinates come dangerously close to violating the constitutional oath of office to “faithfully execute the laws” – that is, laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.

However, the biggest obstacle to correcting these abuses isn’t from the president. Due to a judicially crafted requirement for lawsuits called standing, Members of Congress aren’t usually allowed to sue the president and his officers for violating the law. That’s because judges don’t think Members of Congress can show a concrete injury when, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) delays application of the individual mandate to a particular group. Better to let private litigants like insurance companies sue HHS for damages stemming from lost revenues when regulators change the rules at the last minute after years of careful business planning.

But what happens when regulators delay mandates until after a political election (as the Obama administration has done at least twice)? Insurance companies likely won’t sue because enforcement is delayed. Individuals won’t complain because they can keep their otherwise non-compliant insurance plans for an additional year. By delaying parts of a law people don’t like, the Obama administration has found a way to get the political outcomes it wants while avoiding legislative and judicial accountability.

Because non-enforcement undermines the traditional rationale for barring inter-branch lawsuits, giving each house of Congress standing to sue the president and his subordinates may be the only way to maintain the integrity of laws the Obama administration seems determined to render null and void.

Left unsaid during the House’s debate and passage of the ENFORCE the Law Act is the reality that if Gowdy’s bill fails – and President Obama has already said he will veto the measure if it reaches his desk – then the only remedy left for stopping this lawless dereliction of duty is impeachment.

By proposing the ENFORCE the Law Act, Trey Gowdy is actually throwing Barack Obama a political lifeline. No president wants to undergo an impeachment proceeding, but Obama’s actions to date seem to lead straight toward such a fate if he continues flaunting the law and Republicans win control of Congress in the midterm elections later this year. A smart president would see Gowdy’s bill as an opportunity to make peace with the opposition by throttling back on arbitrary rulemaking.

But that kind of calculation doesn’t appear to be Obama’s strong suit.

Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Never before has a speech extolling America's virtues and the marvels or the nation's heroes played to such poor -- and completely dishonest -- reviews.At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America -- its Founders, its ideals and freedom, its capacity for self-renewal, its astonishing variety of geniuses, adventurers…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
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