Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Homeless sweeps, flirty fun, and a DeLorean dustup.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.

There is a pressing need for home health services among Louisville, Kentucky's Nepali-speaking community, but earlier this year state health officials prevented a new home health agency with nurses and aides who understand Nepali language and culture from opening up shop—solely to protect existing agencies from competition. Which violates the Fourteenth Amendment, and this week IJ filed suit. Kentucky Public Radio has the story.

New on the podcast: special guest Robert H. Thomas, proprietor of the nation's premier property law blog inverscondemnation.com, joins the panel. Click here for Apple Podcasts.

  • Wilmington, Mass. man stashes fentanyl in garbage bags and stores them in his sister's storage unit. Police get sister's consent to search the unit, but she points out that the bags belong to her brother, not her. Police search the bags anyway. Which violated the Fourth Amendment, says the First Circuit. The sister had neither actual nor apparent authority to consent to a search of her brother's bags, so the brother's conviction (and accompanying 10-year sentence) must be vacated.
  • In an appeal of President Trump's efforts to block congressional subpoenas aimed at forcing banks to disclose records about him, his family members, or his businesses, the Second Circuit holds that there is no good reason to block most of the documents—however, some sensitive personal information should be redacted. Dissent: The subpoenas are way too broad. Trump and his associates should be able to object to specific categories of documents, and the committees should have to explain what legislative purpose supports the disclosure of those specific documents.
  • Pennsylvania man convicted on drug offenses has his sentence enhanced when he's caught with three kilograms of methylone. One minor problem: Neither the judge, nor the prosecutor, nor the defense attorney knows what methylone is or what drug it's most like. So they assume it's basically ecstasy and, thanks to sentencing guidelines, treat it the same as 5,000 kilograms of marijuana. Third Circuit: The defense attorney really should have looked into this more. Ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • Fans of the "Back to the Future" films, and the DeLorean automobile that features prominently in them, may or may not be edified by this Third Circuit opinion resolving a dustup between the heirs of John DeLorean and a company that purchased the DeLorean's trademarks.
  • Is voyeurism a "sexual act" requiring registration under the Sexual Offender Registration Act? Yes, says the Fourth Circuit, because it is something voluntarily done for sexual purposes. Dissent: No, because it is not something sexual that is voluntarily done. (Both sides dive deep on statutory interpretation.)
  • In 2014, Austin, Tex. officials enacted an ordinance requiring private landlords to accept tenants who pay their rent with federal housing vouchers. In response, state officials enacted a law barring municipalities from passing ordinances like Austin's. Fifth Circuit: Austin can't sue the state's attorney general. Though the AG has authority to enforce the (state's) law, it's not clear that he actually would. Moreover, if the city were to enforce the (city's) law in spite of the state's ban, it would face no consequences.
  • RETRACTED Webb County, Tex. officer pulls man over for driving 30 in a 60 mph zone and discovers that he's secretly transporting illegal aliens. But wait! Texas law only prohibits slow driving where it impedes the normal flow of traffic, and this man was undisputedly driving on an otherwise empty road. Doesn't that make it an illegal pretextual stop? Fifth Circuit: We think an officer could reasonably construe a single vehicle as traffic, so no.
  • Greenup County, Ky. officer serves man with court order; the pair get into shouting match. (It seems the man took umbrage when he perceived that officers tried to enter his home while he was still dressing.) The officer orders the man to step off his porch ("come down here boy."). The man declines, and the officer pepper sprays him and arrests him. (He's charged with a misdemeanor, "menacing." The jury acquits). Sixth Circuit: No qualified immunity. Cell phone video clearly shows the officer lacked reasonable suspicion the man had committed a crime and used excessive force.
  • Unemployed Indiana woman takes work as a phone-sex operator, quickly discovers it is not the "flirty fun" she expected. She self-publishes a pseudonymous book about the experience titled, "Conversations with Monsters." Some time later, she takes job with the Indiana Army National Guard as a member of the Volunteers in Service to America program. Uh oh. Her boss asks to become Facebook friends, discovers the book, and soon fires her. A First Amendment violation? Seventh Circuit: No qualified immunity; let the case move forward.
  • Agitated man yells at Jacksonville, Ark. officers, raises a fist toward an officer's head. He's tased. While the man is writhing on the ground, an officer tases him a second time. Though ordered to roll onto his stomach, the man instead attempts to get up, so he's tased a third time. Eighth Circuit (over a dissent): No qualified immunity for the second tasing; video (from the taser) belies the officer's claim that he reasonably believed the man was resisting at that point. Tasings one and three were OK though.
  • Seattle officials (who have declared a homelessness state of emergency) conduct hundreds of sweeps annually to remove homeless encampments, resulting in the seizure and destruction of personal property, including identification, family photos, and medication. Homeless people: Which is cruel and unconstitutional. Ninth Circuit: A class action is not the right vehicle for this lawsuit, as each sweep is conducted differently. Dissent: But the plaintiffs argue the policies are unconstitutional no matter how they're applied. That's enough to go forward.
  • Immigration law has long prohibited admission to the U.S. of any person likely to become financially dependent on the gov't. In 1999, the feds said that, in analyzing whether someone was likely to become a public charge, it would consider their receipt of cash benefits—but not non-cash benefits like food stamps and housing assistance. Twenty years later, a new policy: The feds will now consider some non-cash benefits. Sundry states sue, and the new rule is preliminarily enjoined nationwide. Ninth Circuit: The new rule is perfectly consistent with the law. Judge Bybee, "concurring, perplexed and perturbed": "[I]t is time for a feckless Congress to come to the table and grapple with these issues. Don't leave the table and expect us to clean up." (Ed. note: District courts in Maryland and New York have also issued nationwide injunctions, so the rule is still not in effect.)
  • Allegation: Clovis and Sanger, Calif. police bungle their responses to domestic violence reports by woman against her boyfriend (himself a Clovis police officer). Boyfriend retaliates against the woman with more physical and sexual assaults. Woman sues the officers, claiming that they made things worse by, for example, disparaging her to her abusive boyfriend and announcing that the boyfriend and his father (also a cop) were "good people." Ninth Circuit: These actions may have emboldened the abuser—leaving the woman worse off—so the woman's due process rights may have been violated. But qualified immunity means she's out of luck.
  • And in en banc news, the D.C. Circuit will reconsider its precedent permitting the feds to allow pipeline companies to use eminent domain while at the same time preventing landowners from challenging seizures in court. The Ninth Circuit, however, will not reconsider its decision denying qualified immunity to San Bernardino, Cal. officers who suffocated a mentally ill man in the back of a police car. Dissent: The Supreme Court often reverses us when we deny qualified immunity, and this case seems like a candidate for similar treatment.

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NEXT: The L Word Returns, With an Unwelcome New Obsession With Identity Politics

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  1. Texas law only prohibits slow driving where it impedes the normal flow of traffic, and this man was undisputedly driving on an otherwise empty road. Doesn’t that make it an illegal pretextual stop? Fifth Circuit: We think an officer could reasonably construe a single vehicle as traffic, so no.

    This interpretation makes the explicit exception moot. Doesn’t that make the interpretation obviously wrong?

    1. Yeah. The cop could have reasonably thought that he was impeding himself? It would be nice if the judges could be bothered to at least try to make up reasonable excuses for what the cops do.

    2. For me, this case was the one that jumped out. I have seen people hitting themselves. Sometimes because they are crazy. Sometimes because they are athletes who just screwed up a big play. Can a cop arrest them for assault/battery? (A: Of course not.)

      I’m not shocked by a cop doing something under an obvious pretext. That’s what cops do. But that a court willfully refuses to act in its role as a backstop or guardrail to protect our rights?!? That’s pretty appalling. (Yeah, yeah; I know . . . I’m not surprised by the court’s timidity. Appalled, but not surprised. Alas.)

      1. “Sometimes because they are athletes who just screwed up a big play. Can a cop arrest them for assault/battery?”

        In the spirit of the holiday season, I will give the readership a gift and decline to take this to the next step.

        1. Stop giving the, ideas. Next we’ll hear the case was about “stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself” being charged with battery while unable to testify because that would violate the crime victims rights in having to face their abuser.

          1. Heh. Nice wrinkle to the hypo 🙂

      2. Or teens that sext a picture of themselves and are arrested for distributing and possessing child pornography.

        1. And are charged as adults for creating, possessing, and distributing child pornography.

    3. The summary (and, to be fair, the circuit opinion) is worded confusingly. The other link provided makes it clear that: a) the vehicle was going 30 in a 65; and b) there was another vehicle, a pickup, going 55, that passed the slow moving vehicle on the median. The road may have been otherwise empty by the time of the stop but it’s not like this was a single slow-moving vehicle with no one else around.

      1. ” there was another vehicle, a pickup, going 55, that passed the slow moving vehicle on the median”

        If true then the summary is also worded dishonestly.
        “Traffic” used in the technical sense generally refers to the movement of vehicles in general. “impeding oncoming traffic”

        In the colloquial sense its used to refer to traffic congestion (“jams”). It seems likely that “traffic” in the statute at issue refers to this technical sense. There need not be a traffic jam in order for one to impede oncoming traffic.

        If the pickup had to move into the median, this is precisely the type of potentially dangerous situation the law seeks to prevent. If the officer was responding to the pickup truck’s having to veer towards the median then the stop wasnt pretextual

        1. And I have a bridge to sell you.

          Even if it’s as you describe, I think it’s far more likely a case of the arrest followed by a reason, like we saw in South(?) Carolina and the taillight – the motorist broke no laws, but because the cop mistakingly believed a lawful action was unlawful it was a good arrest (in fairness, it was a reasonable mistake).

          1. The reality here is that the cop suspected the van of transporting illegal immigrants. First the call about people running with backpacks. The then large white van, which was overloaded and riding low to the ground. Then the fact it was going 30 mph in a 65 mph on a bright and sunny clear day.

            The pickup passing it at 55 mph, and needing to cross over the median was the justification needed to make the stop.

            1. “the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant [the] intrusion.” Terry.

              Would the officer even have needed the crossing of the median in order to initiate a search? Seems like there was at least enough for reasonable suspicion already from what youre saying

              1. With that cleared up, it sounds like the officer could have just declared that the vehicle was driving in an unsafe condition, overloaded.

                1. Nope. Same problem… unsafe to whom?

        2. I always enjoy reading the actual case to discover these “errors” that were left out.

          There were the other details in there. The reports of people running with backpacks. The van travelling “low to the ground” as a sign of too many occupants. The pickup truck needing to swing around and pass the van, doing 55 in a 65 mph zone (the van was going 30 mph)

          1. Do illegal immigrants weigh more than legal ones?

            1. Does it really matter if the van is overloaded? Either way, legal or illegal, you’re talking about too many people in a vehicle for safety.

              1. “Either way, legal or illegal, you’re talking about too many people in a vehicle for safety.”

                I wonder. The opinion says the car was a Nissan Altima (which is a sedan). My quick google shows a max payload of around 1000 lbs. The Factual Findings’ section didn’t say how many occupants there were, but I didn’t see any mention of people in the trunk. The passenger compartment would only hold 5 or 6 people. That would be six people at 166 lbs each, or 5 at 200 lbs. That’s plausible.

                And many sedans like that do squat pretty low when loaded to the max manufacturer’s payload, but assuming the manufacturer hires competent engineers that are safe when doing so.

                (If it seems like I’m a little peeved by the notion that vehicles loaded to the GVWR must be driven by criminals, it’s because I’m a hobby machinist who routinely carries near-GVWR loads, ‘cuz metal is heavy :-). )

                1. It’s that in combination with other facts. If you’re a hobby machinist with a vehicle travelling near GVWR and you’re also going 30 mph under the speed limit and there are also reports of likely criminal behavior nearby and you’re one of the only cars around…..

                  Yes, a cop might pull you over. Ask some quick questions.

    4. The summary accurately says what the Circuit Court opinion says. But, the court’s opinion assumes you’ve read the district court opinion (or more precisely the Magistrate Judge’s opinion). The “single car” is not the car of the accused but a different car, a pickup, that had to pass him going 55 mph by going across the median into an oncoming traffic lane. So the question was whether that pickup could establish traffic and the normal or reasonable flow of traffic.

      The summary also doesn’t say but the defense failed to object to the magistrate’s opinion so the district court adopted it without de novo review, and the circuit court could only review for obvious error instead of doing it’s own de novo review. It is entirely possible they would have come out the other way if they could have done that review.

      The summary makes it seem horrendous. Reading the opinion’s they probably got it right.

      1. Thanks for the info. Yup, those of us who posted based only on the summary made a mistake. I absolutely think that one additional car could = “traffic” in certain situations. Including the actual situation in this case.

    5. Well, there was obviously one other vehicle on the road – the cop car. So in a stretch, one might claim that the slow truck was impeding the traffic (consisting of the cop car).

      Therefore, a slow-driving truck could legally avoid being pulled over by a cop as long as there was no cop present.

      Yeah, ok, I can’t do it. You’re right – this would make the exemption meaningless.

      1. ” You’re right – this would make the exemption meaningless.”

        No it doesn’t, as police may be 1) on foot, 2) on a different roadway, or 3) airborne, none of which are “traffic”.

        1. Are you seriously trying to criticize an argument I was deliberately pointing out was a bad argument, and criticizing the wrong part at that?

          1. Are you seriously blathering on about something ?

    6. Yes, yes it does. The judge just didn’t want the guy to go free.

      1. Nope, should have remembered where I was reading, and went to look at the actual case before opining.

    7. There are other Texas laws that apply. Not to mention that quite often drunk drivers will drive much slower than the posted limit too.

  2. There is a pressing need for home health services among Louisville, Kentucky’s Nepali-speaking community

    Certificate of Need laws are shameless rent-seeking, but what’s the value proposition in importing 65+ year-old non-English speaking refugees who need home health services?

    1. but what’s the value proposition in importing 65+ year-old non-English speaking refugees who need home health services?

      votes

    2. They’re already present (from prior asylum and fleeing terrible places examples), so no importation needed – they just aren’t receiving quality care from people that don’t understand them.

      Case in point, traditional Nepalese, like their Tibetan neighbors, won’t name a bad thing directly (because it invokes their spirits), so they use roundabout language to describe problems. If you don’t know that in a medical encounter you may think everything is great while they’re clearly (to them) conveying a terrible disorder.

      1. Great! So we agree that importing non-English speaking seniors with health concerns isn’t such a smart idea, and it’s time to put a stop to it.

        1. They came when they were young, not when they were seniors.

          But it’s good to have another demonstration that anti-competition socialists are usually also bigots.

          1. They came here when they were young and now they are 65+ and still can’t speak English?

            1. You don’t magically just learn English by coming to the US.

    3. Votes for the Democrat Party.

    4. “what’s the value proposition in importing 65+ year-old non-English speaking refugees who need home health services?”

      The same as the value proposition for keeping 65+ year-old English speaking people who need home health services around.

      1. You’re a moron

        1. Like all morons, about 30 IQ points higher than you.

  3. Texas law only prohibits slow driving where it impedes the normal flow of traffic, and this man was undisputedly driving on an otherwise empty road.

    Fifth Circuit: We think an officer could reasonably construe a single vehicle as traffic, so no.

    Officer tackles person, grabs his fist, starts smashing him in the face with his own fist. “Stop impeding yourself! Stop impeding yourself!”

    1. Read the district court description.

  4. Dissent: The subpoenas are way too broad. Trump and his associates should be able to object to specific categories of documents, and the committees should have to explain what legislative purpose supports the disclosure of those specific documents.

    How about it is wrong to single out a political opponent and start filching through their stuff looking for something to harm them with, or even just leak and embarrass them for legal behavior.

    Those who facetiously maintain this is about Congress and due dillegence double-checking the IRS, just coincidentally in the middle of a concerted multi-pronged attempt to hurt an opponent, will have their objections typed up by a professional stenographer in triplicate, printed out, placed in a pretty blue folder, and have sparklies sprinkled on glue designs on the cover, and it will be placed in a stainless steel cabinet the Army has paid $23,000 dollars for, so precious is it.

    1. There was an argument specifically about the separation of powers being necessary. Part of the reason within checks and balances and separation of powers is that if Congress can simply subpoena any documents they want under the guise of an investigation (or impeachment) then each POTUS will know that once that happens, Congress owns them and we’ve lost the checks and balances of the system.

      On top of that, if they wanted to double check the IRS why wasn’t it done when the scandal regarding Ms. Lerner broke as well? I mean at least make it look like you’re trying to be nonpartisan over the whole thing.

      Congress doesn’t need his bank records. Nothing in the impeachment is about his money. So they’re fishing. And respectfully (no, not really), I’m always against fishing expeditions by anyone in power.

      1. Separation of powers applies during impeachments. The president retains his power to command the armed forces. He retains the pardon power—as always, constitutionally restricted with regard to cases of impeachment.

        But that does not mean that separation of powers belongs only to the president. It is separation of powers which forbids the president from obstructing an impeachment investigation. The impeachment power belongs only to the House, and the president gets no say in it. The House decides what to investigate, using the discretion that the constitution’s, “sole power,” clause affords. Under separation of powers, the president’s duty is to comply. Neither the president nor the courts get to say otherwise.

        Impeachment is, necessarily, a sweeping power, belonging to the House. Separation of powers protects that, just as it protects powers inherent in the presidency. Presidential defiance of an impeachment investigation is a violation of separation of powers.

      2. “Part of the reason within checks and balances and separation of powers is that if Congress can simply subpoena any documents they want under the guise of an investigation (or impeachment) then each POTUS will know that once that happens, Congress owns them and we’ve lost the checks and balances of the system.”

        With other Presidents, there’s a possibility that the documents are neither embarrassing nor indicative of criminality. Why, one or two have even been known to release these exact types of documents directly to the public!
        So the argument that separation of powers collapses if Congress gets ahold of tax records is.. silly, and not to be taken seriously.

        1. The President’s own lawyer has testified under oath that Trump has committed tax fraud. A subsequent congressional investigation into this seems perfectly reasonable (any president who has committed/is committing crimes can be compromised by other countries who have this damaging information). And I get the dilemma of the pro-Trump TDS sufferers who have to figure out SOME way to get past the mandatory language requiring the IRS to turn over the tax documents to Congress.

          I have **ZERO** problem with the precedent that this will set. Of course, any candidate with the integrity to release her or his past tax records has nothing to be nervous about . . . “Oh, the House committee wants my tax records–records I released 5 years ago? Um, sure.”

          (By the way; for all the whining that Trump and his TDS supporters do about the “Deep State,” I think it’s worth nothing that when he was a candidate, no one from the IRS leaked his tax returns. No one from the New York state tax agency leaked his tax returns. After Trump was elected–and his returns were limited to a much smaller pool of tax officials–no one leaked them then. To me, that’s evidence of (a) The Deep State conspiracy is actively working to keep Trump president, or (b) There is no Deep State conspiracy at all.

          1. The reason Trump doesn’t want his tax returns public is because they would show that he is not nearly as rich as he likes to pretend.

            The income he does manage to earn comes from licensing his name to put on projects that other people have built… if it comes out that he isn’t actually rich and successful, that source of income goes away. So he’ll fight tooth and nail to keep people from finding out just how rich he isn’t.

  5. The House’s unprecedented harassment of President Trump, his family, and associates with incessant, broad subpoenas should be troubling, The courts have held that Congress does not have general law-enforcement power, but that subpoenas and investigations must have a “legislative” purpose. Of course, everybody realizes these subpoenas are just, 1) vindictive harassment; and 2) dragnet fishing expeditions looking for wrongdoing. They won’t aid in fashioning any prospective legislation. But if the courts redefine “legislative purpose” as any vaguely related subject of potential legislation (or allowing a mere Congressional claim of “legislative purpose” to suffice), then it will give Congress unbounded, general investigative powers that will not only be used against future Presidents, but private citizens. I believe SCOTUS will use this opportunity to more tightly circumscribe Congress’ subpoena power.

    1. I agree = But if the courts redefine “legislative purpose” as any vaguely related subject of potential legislation (or allowing a mere Congressional claim of “legislative purpose” to suffice), then it will give Congress unbounded, general investigative powers that will not only be used against future Presidents, but private citizens.

      This is one of the unfortunate consequences that will happen in the aftermath of this impeachment process. The Congressional subpoena power will likely be abused even more.

      1. If only the Constitution had included some kind of check on Congressional overreach, such as having them stand for re-election every couple of years or so.

        1. When JD argues that “everyone agrees that…” on an issue where about 38% agree, he really ends up looking like an idiot. Thank God he has the First Amendment right to do so publicly.

          I do agree 100% with him that it would be best of SCOTUS chimes in. I doubt JD would be happy with a Sup. Ct ruling. But probably most people would appreciate clarification . . . Hey, when exactly can a president refuse to comply with Congress when it’s conducting its oversight function? When can a president order other people to not comply? To not produce documents in response to a subpoena? Important questions, and we’d all like definitive answers.

          1. The Supreme Court isn’t going to give you those answers, though, because that pesky rule that they can only resolve current cases and controversies, and you’re asking for declarative rulings.

    2. Wolf, an impeachment investigation has no legislative purpose, but is no less legitimate for that. And, the impeachment power is intended to be, “used against future Presidents,” if necessary. But of course, it cannot be used against private citizens. Nor can SCOTUS, “more tightly circumscribe Congress’ subpoena power,” and especially not during an impeachment investigation.

      It would be good for the nation if the House took note of the full extent of its power, and, for the sake of using it, extended the the time for impeachment investigation. Let mid-October be the deadline. In the meantime, staff up the intelligence committee to fully pursue all the loose ends which keep cropping up. Maybe the next time Nunes has something to say, he ought to be under oath.

      1. Impeachment is a legistlative power, but that’s not the basis that the Democrats are claiming in their suit. These subpoenas were issued in April, well before the “impeachment investigation” was a thing. So your attempt to justify on that basis completely fails.

        In one document, the Democrats claim the records “potentially contain information relating to potential changes in ethics in government laws”, and that’s about as weak as you can get. Almost as weak as their arguments that Congress isn’t part of the government (despite contradicting precedent), or the claim that Trump being President is not relevant to their request when they also admitted that the reason they are making the request is because he is President.

        1. “Impeachment is a legistlative power, but that’s not the basis that the Democrats are claiming in their suit. These subpoenas were issued in April, well before the “impeachment investigation” was a thing.”

          The House has sole power of impeachment, so they ALSO have sole power to determine what is, and what is not, related to impeachment. Abuse of impeachment power, if and when it occurs, is the sort of thing that should come up when they run for re-election.

          1. The argument conservatives usually raise (ie, “There are 3 branches of govt. It’s essential to keep them separate and to respect the authority of each.”), seems to have vanished. Now, the argument seems to be:
            “The Constitution is crystal-clear that the House (Article 1) has SOLE power for impeachments. The House is trying to impeach the President (Article 2). We Republicans think Article 1 should have to run to federal court (Article 3) each and every time the president wants to hide witnesses or evidence from the House, and from the American people.”

            I am having trouble squaring the “Sole Power” with adding a requirement that nothing substantive can be done without the permission of Article 3 judges. I mean, the framers of the Constitution easily could have said that the House has sole power, “except that federal judges will resolve all questions of law” [or words to that effect]. “Sole” means sole. At least to an originalist or strict constructionist, no?

            1. I’m having trouble squaring “…shall not be infringed.” with the Hughes Amendment, GCA 68, NFA, and every other law that infringes upon the Second Amendment.

              1. Certainly having some trouble staying on topic!

          2. If the House has the sole power to determine what is “related to impeachment” then there are no limits on that power. Period.

            If you REALLY intend to argue that an implied penumbra of an emission from the impeachment power gives the House unlimited power to search any private documents of any person or organization in the world for any – or no – reason, I suggest you go review the Fourth Amendment.

            1. It has the SOLE power to impeach, which means, of all the federal government, only the House can impeach. That doesn’t give it powers the federal government doesn’t have in the first place. There’s a difference between having “sole power” to do something, and having “power” to do it. Thanks the fourth amendment, they don’t have the power to make unreasonable searches.
              Now… does any part of the federal government have the authority to see Mr. Trump’s tax filings?

    3. “The House’s unprecedented harassment of President Trump, his family, and associates with incessant, broad subpoenas should be troubling”

      Should be troubling for anyone who understands “unprecedented” to mean “has never happened before”. Since, in this case, “unprecedented” means “about half of what the guy 3 Presidents ago went through”, it’s not quite so troubling.

      1. You mean, when Clinton was subpoenaed as part of a criminal investigation into a fraud investigation that started many years before Clinton ran for the White House?
        And if you are trying to claim that what Clinton faced was twice what Trump is facing, you obviously either weren’t alive in 1998, or you have suffered a lobotomy or two since then. Or you’re a liar. I wonder which it is…

        1. ” if you are trying to claim that what Clinton faced was twice what Trump is facing, you obviously either weren’t alive in 1998, or you have suffered a lobotomy or two since then. Or you’re a liar. I wonder which it is…”

          Gee, you left out a possibility, that I can count better than you. Trump was investigated by an independent prosecutor for 2 years. Clinton was investigated by an independent prosecutor for 4 years. Now, by my math, 4 is twice as much as 2. How does that work in your math?

      2. The “subpoenas” ARE “unprecedented”. I wasn’t making a subjective argument about level of harassment. The House did not direct any subpoenas to President Clinton.

        There is only one case regarding the congressional power to subpoena a sitting president: Senate Select Comm. on Presidential Campaign Activities v. Nixon, 498 F.2d 725 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (en banc) In that case, the D.C. Circuit held that the Senate committee investigating the Watergate break-in DID NOT have the power to subpoena President Nixon under its legislative powers.

        1. “The “subpoenas” ARE “unprecedented”. I wasn’t making a subjective argument about level of harassment. The House did not direct any subpoenas to President Clinton.”

          They invited President Trump to attend hearings. And they’re currently fighting in court over subpeonas to Trump’s banks.

  6. Is the difference between voyeurism and watching porn spelled out in the law?

  7. (Ed. note: District courts in Maryland and New York have also issued nationwide injunctions, so the rule is still not in effect.)

    Surely then the Federal Government lacks standing to appeal to the 9th Circuit, the appellate court can not reinstate the law, even within its own jurisdiction.

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