The Ninth Circuit's Second Amendment Ruling in the News -- Or Not:

So I thought that the Ninth Circuit's holding that the Second Amendment binds state and local governments (via the Fourteenth Amendment) was a pretty big deal. It was the first federal court of appeals decision to so hold. If followed, it would invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, plus perhaps some other broad state and local gun restrictions, such as New York City's ban on all gun ownership by 18-to-20-year-olds. And it might well trigger Supreme Court consideration of the issue, since there's now a split between the Second and Ninth Circuits on the issue.

But here's the odd thing: I couldn't find any articles about this in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, or the Washington Post. (I searched for second amendment or bear arms or nordyke or gun show.) There was early coverage on CNN and in the San Francisco Chronicle, but nothing else in any newspapers in the NEWS;MAJPAP file on LEXIS. Am I missing some stories that just didn't happen to use the keywords I searched for? Or is the court decision just not worth even a brief mention?

UPDATE: A comment by PubliusFL reminded me to check what newspapers said about earlier decisions in this case.

It turns out that when the California Supreme Court upheld the ordinance against a state preemption challenge, the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News covered this (Apr. 23, 2002). When the Ninth Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge on the grounds that the Second Amendment secured only a collective right -- simply following past Ninth Circuit precedent on this score, and echoing the views of most circuit courts -- the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News covered this (Feb. 19, 2003). But this time, when the Ninth Circuit becomes the first circuit court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, no coverage.

Most other major papers (except the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Feb. 19, 2003 and the Chicago Tribune, Apr. 23, 2002) apparently didn't cover those earlier decisions. That's understandable, since at that point the decisions were of mostly local concern, given that they followed the then-dominant view of the Second Amendment (the 2003 decision) or were focused on California preemption law (the 2002 decision). But now the Ninth Circuit breaks new ground, in a decision that might influence litigation throughout the country (since circuit decisions tend to have some persuasive weight even outside the circuit) and that might prod the Supreme Court to consider the issue. I would have thought that this at least would merit some coverage from the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune (especially given the possible effect on the currently pending Chicago handgun ban litigation), the Washington Post, and the like. And certainly it seems to merit coverage from major California papers, such as the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News, especially given that they covered earlier and seemingly less important decisions in the case.

Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Journalists seldom cover court cases, especially when they don't think a lot of their readers are interested in the issues. It also matters in this case that the court decided against Nordyke, on other grounds. Gun rights activists might get excited about the court's finding on incorporation, but the fact is that that finding did not bear on the decision, so the "finding" is really only dictum, however it might be labeled otherwise.
4.30.2009 1:28am
Allan Walstad (mail):

...especially when they don't think a lot of their readers are interested in the issues.

On other occasions, the big city media treat gun issues as a matter of great interest, don't they?
4.30.2009 1:50am
James Gibson (mail):
News organizations also decide what is news for print based on their internal politics. New York Times and the Washington Post are pro gun control and you will find that the failures of the gun control movement are rarely ever mentioned in these papers. Stories about the values of gun control or the dangers of gun ownership get immediate runs in the front page. Stories of problems caused by gun control get dumped.

Its why you will always find stories of a person being shot by a criminal but never one of a person using a gun in self defense. The result is always the argument that self-defense never happens. Yet according to the FBI statistics self-defense by civilian is not that much worse then self-defense by the cops (who's use of a weapon is always reported).
4.30.2009 1:55am
Don Meaker (mail):
Well, it is the 9th Circuit, after all.
4.30.2009 2:31am
J. Aldridge:
It was how the court suggested it might be "incorporated" that made it not so newsworthy.
4.30.2009 3:01am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
J. Aldridge:

It was how the court suggested it might be "incorporated" that made it not so newsworthy.

Very few journalists would have a clue what that means. Neither would most of their readers.

I have actually discussed this with many of them, as well as why they don't cover constitutional matters generally. They claim they don't know how to report on them, and that they don't think their readers or viewers would be interested. Even the libertarian journalists like John Stossel say that. If you want to get them to write about something like this, you have to stage some stunt that is visually interesting, like burning yourself alive in protest on camera. But one martyr isn't enough to make the evening news. Better get at least 100.

If it bleeds it leads. Or if it burns or blows up.
4.30.2009 4:12am
geokstr (mail):
Bias in "journalism" is just as much about what doesn't get reported as what does, and about who doesn't get quoted as who does. There is a very good site (which the liberals hate) that has been tracking this stuff for decades, including many surveys where members of the media self-identify themselves as overwhelmingly to the left:
News Busters

One of their favorites to track is called "Name That Party". Whenever a Republican gets indicted, convicted, caught in a sex scandal, or even just anonymously accused of something, every news source from the AP to the NYT to the big networks leads with the party affiliation, followed by an in-depth discussion of how this means the GOP is evil and doomed to oblivion. Let a Democrat get into trouble, and if it's reported at all, the party identification is nowhere to be found in any of the stories and there is never any analysis of how terrible this is for the Dems in general.

It's no wonder at all that there is a perception that the Republican party is corrupt but the Democrats less so.

Pretty much every Republican is labelled a right wing extremist with the exception of Specter, Snowe and Collins, but the terms leftwing, liberal or socialist are almost never to be found. In the first 100 days of Obama:

Amazingly, network reporters never called Obama or his agenda even "liberal." NBC and CBS never used the word, and ABC only aired the term twice, citing Republicans using the word "liberal" to describe Obama's policies.
The Media and Obama: 100 Days and Still Madly in Love

They're not "Just Words". By controlling their definition and even how often they're used, you can actually shape thinking patterns. One of the key propositions of "1984" was that by outlawing certain words, people never thought them either and it shaped their behaviors as a result. It's called neurolinguistics.
4.30.2009 8:28am
Maybe if they ignore it then it will go away.
4.30.2009 8:56am
Glen Alexander (mail):
You didn't miss any stories or choose inappropriate search keywords. The Nordyke decision went almost unnoticed and virtually unreported.

There are three reasons for this:

1. The concept of selective incorporation is wholly unknown to most of the public. Those few reporters who actually understand and appreciate its legal significance would likely be unable to write a concise explanatory general readership article.

2. Some of the reporting on Nordyke has focused on its affirmation of Alameda County's ordnance and on the holding that county property is a "sensitive place" not affected by Heller. For those who read Nordyke this way, it only serves to reinforce the notion that Heller didn't change anything — so there's no new news to report.

3. And of course there's rampant editorial bias in the mainstream media against reporting any "good news" on the right to keep and bear arms, unless it can be spun in a violently threatening manner (e.g., 90% of all firearms used by Mexican drug cartels come from the U.S. via legal sources).

Look for widespread — and alarmist — press coverage once a significant state law is held unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds.
4.30.2009 8:56am
Mikeyes (mail):
Besides being somewhat arcane, the incorporation issue is only in the Ninth Circuit. I, as a non-lawyer Constitution junky, find it interesting but even the NRA American Rifleman barely mentions it as it is meaningless until it becomes a national issue and not just on the West Coast. None of my rabid Right to Bear Arms friends seem very interested because they see the ruling as taking away something they want, namely a place to hold a gun show.

I suspect that this is not due to some vast left wing conspiracy (has the Washington Times or Fox mentioned it?) but just lack of interest until there is a more defined and easier to understand court ruling, presumably by SCOTUS.
4.30.2009 9:17am
rosetta's stones:
If the lawyer caucus thinks that reporters are too dumb to understand a fine point of law as expressed in this case, I'd say I have to agree with their analysis, because I've never found reporters to understand much of anything beyond the surface in my field, either.

Seemingly, the only qualification for reporters is the ability to see the red portion of the color spectrum. If it bleeds, it leads.

The internet and bloggers can help fill this void.
4.30.2009 9:22am
cboldt (mail):
-- Look for widespread — and alarmist — press coverage once a significant state law is held unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds. --
I won't hold my breath that there will ever be a holding that any law is unconstitutional on 2nd amendment grounds.
4.30.2009 9:46am
Kurt M. (mail):

I have also been surprised by the lack of coverage of this decision, even in the blog sphere. It simply hasn't gotten the level of attention it should.

The few places that did pick it up were focusing on the ultimate decision regarding the gun shows, which misses the significance of the decision.

As a huge second amendment supporter, personally I am ready to put on party hats and break out the cake. This decision was HUGE for gun rights.
4.30.2009 9:48am
Am I missing some stories that just didn't happen to use the keywords I searched for? Or is the court decision just not worth even a brief mention?

Neither. You couldn't find the stories because they weren't there. And the decision was, indeed, worthy of front page status.

1) If the news item runs against their agenda and they figure some public outrage could reverse the decision, they whip up the outrage.
2) If the news item runs against their agenda and there's not a darn thing they can do about it, they refuse to mention it.
3) if the news item runs for their agenda, it's on the front page.

The First Amendment seems to me to have been designed to protect speech critical of the government. Many use it for that purpose. Most of those, however, are not "professional journalists."

It is my hope that the Safe Firearms List and "assault weapons" ban will soon be dead in California. And elsewhere, because this decision is one of the few from the Ninth Circuit that doesn't seem eminently reversible.
4.30.2009 9:51am
Bill Twist:

I won't hold my breath that there will ever be a holding that any law is unconstitutional on 2nd amendment grounds.

Well, seems to me that the Heller decision held that the District of Columbia's flat out ban on new handgun registrations, and their ban on assembled and operable long guns, was held to be unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds.

Unless, of course, I misread the decision.
4.30.2009 9:53am
cboldt: I won't hold my breath that there will ever be a holding that any law is unconstitutional on 2nd amendment grounds.

Um, wasn't that what happened in Heller?
4.30.2009 9:53am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
The only coverage that I saw of the Nordyke decision was in a business newspaper from the Central Valley of California--which characterized it as a victory for gun control.

Journalists: biased and clueless.
4.30.2009 9:58am
John Jenkins (mail):
@Jon Roland:

The Ninth Circuit decided that the Second Amendment applied (announcing the rule) and then found that in the application, the statute is permissible under the rule. How is any part of the core logical chain of the decision dicta?
4.30.2009 10:00am
Houston Lawyer:
Look, most "reporters" can't understand words that are more than six letters long. They do know in their heart of hearts that guns are ungood and people who want to own them are double plus ungood.
4.30.2009 10:12am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
John Jenkins:

The Ninth Circuit decided that the Second Amendment applied (announcing the rule) and then found that in the application, the statute is permissible under the rule. How is any part of the core logical chain of the decision dicta?

A rule announced and not applied in a case makes that case such a weak precedent that it is unlikely to have more influence than dicta.

Part of the problem is that judges, in writing decisions, generally don't clearly separate them into decision (order), finding, and dictum. The incorporation was a finding, but it did not apply, and therefore was not the basis on which the court decided. The finding that mattered was that the gun show site was a "sensitive area" where the right of the government to exclude weapons on its property trumped the right of the public to have them there. The effect was to open the door to defining virtually any government property, including streets and sidewalks, as "sensitive areas", and thus limiting the right to private property, without allowing anyone to get to the private property.

Now we are left with having to argue and narrow the bounds of what government property is "sensitive". That was unavoidable, because there is government property on which it may reasonably exclude firearms, such as prisons, and perhaps courthouses and offices, if it provides for checking weapons in at the door. But Nordyke did not adequately address that boundary, and the decision, IMO, erred in classifying as "sensitive" an area that isn't.
4.30.2009 10:42am
Carl in Chicago (mail):

It was how the court suggested it might be "incorporated" that made it not so newsworthy.

In truth, the court did not suggest it might be incorporated. They wrote:

"We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and
applies it against the states and local governments."

The SF Chronicle was the only "mainstream" coverage that I noted. I have also noted that even Paul Helmke has decided not to blog on it, nor has the Brady Campaign issued a press release. They know what a set-back this is for their agenda, given their amicus brief.

I did catch Helmke on a TV news station, saying something to the effect that Nordyke was a big victory for them as it held that reasonable regulations are constitutional. In this case, we have the prohibition of a fundamental right on public lands held as constitutional ...

But what the hey. This too shall pass (away).
4.30.2009 10:53am
I want a job moonlighting as a legal commentator. "Selective incorporation" is not the least bit hard to understand or to explain.

"In Heller, the Supreme Court held that, under the Second Amendment, the federal government -- including the District of Columbia -- cannot totally ban the private possession of handguns.

"In Nordyke, the Ninth Circuit held that the same rule applies to the states. This ruling is significant because it means that unduly extreme state and local firearms regulations may violate the Second Amendment."

4.30.2009 11:02am
Actually, based on observation of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for 30 years, reporters/editors are well aware that they can control the public's decision making about issues as easily, maybe more easily, through omission of information and half-truths than through outright misrepresentation. A bald-faced lie is more easily refuted than a twisted half-truth.

Selective reporting is the key. The selection bias is too consistent to be actual "news" choices; there is a deliberate filter in place.

If all stories the public ever sees concerning guns are about youths ("gang members") murdering each other, a suitably misinformed but rational reader might well come to the conclusion that guns are only useful for murder and thus should be banned if possible. If you control the information, you control the conclusion.

Ask Bernard Madoff.

There ought to be a Rule 10b-5 for urinalists.

Oh, I suppose the internet is taking over that role but it is difficult to fight those who buy newsprint by the train load or airtime by the hour.
4.30.2009 11:04am
I agree with EV. "...court decision just not worth even a brief mention?"
4.30.2009 11:31am
I have often noticed that my local newspaper covers many things about which I have no interest and does not cover many things about which I am intensely interested. A friend of mine always griped that the Times gave too much coverage to golf and Ivy League football, and not enough to fencing or Olympic weightlifting.
4.30.2009 11:48am
If you check with the crowd, you'll see the Nordyke descision was very significant. Leading RKBA lawyers are currently in process of a multi front legal challenge to the arcane gun laws in CA and Nordyke will be the foundation.

Nordyke was not dicta. Page 9 of the opinion states:
"[3] The second obstacle facing the Nordykes is incorpora-
tion. That is, we must decide whether the Second Amendment
applies to the states through the Fourteenth, a question that
Heller explicitly left open. See 128 S. Ct. at 2813 n.23.
Finally, even if the Fourteenth Amendment does incorporate
the Second against the states, we must determine whether it
actually invalidates the Ordinance."

Incorporation had to be decided prior to ruling on the validity of the county ordinance.
4.30.2009 11:50am
chsw (mail):
In my local cage-liner (Gannett Journal-News), there was an article about how NY legislators were going to make state restrictions more onerous. The article had no mention of Heller, of the Ninth Circuit's decision, or any opposing viewpoint.

4.30.2009 11:54am
New York City's ban on all gun ownership by 18-to-20-year-olds.

Can you dodge such restrictions by having a corporation own the firearms and have the (non-minors) be the sole shareholders?
4.30.2009 12:09pm
DJ (mail):
My guess is that it's not so newsworthy that the 2nd Amendment applies to states and local governments. Hell, most people have assumed that for, what, nearly 140 years.
4.30.2009 12:43pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Well, seems to me that the Heller decision ... [DC law] was held to be unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds. --
I should have qualified my "won't hold my breath" comment with a "from this point forward I won't hold my breath." Miller was another case decided against the government on 2nd amendment grounds. I guess my point is that except for the most egregious laws (total bans on possession at home), the government is free to infringe.
4.30.2009 12:46pm
The LA Times had no problem reporting on the 9th Circuit's 2003 decision upholding the Alameda ordinance, relying on Hickman v. Block (which fact was specifically discussed in the article), nor did it have any problem reporting on the CA Supreme Court's 2002 decision upholding the Alameda ordinance. The new decision can only be MORE newsworthy, as it finds incorporation of the 2nd Amendment and that Hickman has been abrogated. So why won't they report on this decision, other than the fact that they don't like the potential ramifications that make this decision more notable than the other, reported-on, decisions with the same immediate outcome (ordinance upheld, Nordykes lose)?
4.30.2009 1:12pm
wrangler5 (mail):
I recall reading/hearing that during the 2004 election cycle the NYT never mentioned the Swift Boat Veterans in a news or editorial column, and never reviewed or even mentioned their book despite its place at #1 on the NYT nonfiction bestseller list for some little while.

It didn't fit the NYT political agenda, so it didn't happen. Selective reporting at its finest.
4.30.2009 2:04pm
Avatar (mail):
I've tried to explain the ruling to a few friends, who aren't dim but generally aren't interested in legal matters, and it's actually pretty tough going. The idea of incorporation isn't too hard, but the idea that not everything got incorporated all at once takes some explaining. It's not comfortable suddenly realizing that a good chunk of your constitutional rights rest on a crazy quilt of court decisions not necessarily driven by a single underlying principle...

Interestingly enough, the hoplophiles among my friends were already conversant with the doctrine, and somewhat jubilant (the point's mostly moot here in Texas, after all, given our state constitutional protections.)
4.30.2009 2:14pm
Don Kilmer (mail):
First, Thank you to EV (and all of you posting here) for his insights, both before and since the decision.

I argued the case. Except for a Lou Dobbs piece, no national media covered the case. Local papers covered the case in the same manner as all the other developments in the case. [i.e., they got facts wrong and slanted the story as a victory for gun control.]

I have no explanation except to note that this BLOG is visted by the conlaw versions of sport team fans.
4.30.2009 2:20pm
glangston (mail):
It's certainly a reverse from 7 years ago.

Silveira v. Lockyer

Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2002), is a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution does not guarantee individuals the right to bear arms. The case involved a challenge to the Constitutionality of the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA); California legislation banned the manufacture, sale, transportation, or importation of specified semi-automatic firearms. The plaintiffs alleged that various provisions of the AWCA impinged upon their constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms as individuals.
Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt wrote the opinion of the court. The court engaged in an extensive analysis of the history of the Second Amendment and its attendant case law, and it ultimately determined that the Second Amendment does not guarantee individuals the right to keep and bear arms. Instead, the court concluded that the Second Amendment provides "collective" rights, which is limited to the arming of state militia. The U.S. Supreme Court denied review.[1]
This decision disagreed with the holding of the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson and, more recently, that of the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller.
4.30.2009 3:13pm
Don Kilmer:

I argued the case.

Well done, sir!

I have no explanation except to note that this BLOG is visted by the conlaw versions of sport team fans.

The funny thing is that, as I pointed out above, the LA Times seemed pretty interested in inside baseball when the 9th Circuit was ruling against incorporation of the 2nd Amendment back in 2003. I guess they're the conlaw version of a fair weather fan.
4.30.2009 3:47pm
Jon Roland wrote:

...the fact is that that finding did not bear on the decision, so the "finding" is really only dictum...

The ninth circuit rejected this theory in an en-banc opinion, so Nordyke may not be considered dicta on the incorporation issue. However the dissent in Johnson persisted in rejecting the theory of dicta cited below.

US v michael johnson

B. A majority of the en banc court, after due consideration, holds that the determination of the curtilage must be reviewed de novo. According to Judge Tashima, however, this conclusion is merely dicta, because deciding the standard of review is not necessary to the disposition of this case. Judge Tashima advises litigants that the question we purport to answer remains unsettled, and that future panels are free to disagree without violating the law of the circuit.

Judge Tashima's concurrence raises a fundamental question concerning the development of our circuit law: To what extent is a later panel bound by statements of law contained in opinions of an earlier panel? Judge Tashima would hold that a later panel is free to ignore statements in an earlier opinion--even statements supported by reasoned analysis--if the later panel concludes that the earlier ruling is not necessary to the result reached. Judge Tashima is not the first member of our court to take this position. See, e.g., United States v. Enas, 204 F.3d 915, 920 (9th Cir. 2000) (dismissing the legal analysis of an earlier panel as "not necessary to the court's decision"), reh'g en banc granted, 219 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2000). For the reasons explained below, we reject this approach. We hold, instead, that where a panel confronts an issue germane to the eventual resolution of the case, and resolves it after reasoned consideration in a published opinion, that ruling becomes the law of the circuit, regardless of whether doing so is necessary in some strict logical sense.
4.30.2009 4:15pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Lest anyone on this forum be unfamiliar with my own position on this, I regard binding stare decisis on constitutional issues to be unconstitutional. See my article on the point.

So the position stated above about the incorporation being dictum is not what I support, but what I expect gun grabber judges to seize on to get the results they want, and we need to be prepared for that.

Now litigants in the Ninth Circuit need to get a favorable decision on possession in the home, and possession of military-style weapons, as those in general use by the military -- a point left unclear in Heller. then they need to trim the territory deemed "sensitive" so that it does not include public roadways, sidewalks, parking lots, and places of work that do not provide protection and check-in.
4.30.2009 7:04pm
I used to be a journalist for a large newspaper chain, and got to know my colleagues (50 or so) fairly well. Universally, they didn't know much about the law. They were satisfied to quote interested parties in the cases they wrote about, mostly lawyers who could help the journalist frame his/her story. The lawyers they called were almost always on the left/liberal side of the issue. You can't expect much expertise from journalists. They take writing and editing classes of course, but beyond that? A course here and there in history, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, etc. Rarely law, statistics, math, logic, or any sort of "hard" science like chemistry. Most of the readers of this blog would be stunned how thoroughly ignorant most journalists are of these topics.
4.30.2009 7:26pm
Borris (mail):
Yes, we hear a lot about Orwell and Big Brother surveillance and usually you hear it as an attack on The Right

But a much much larger point of Orwell and 1984 (a critic of the Left-wing Communists) was The Ministry of Truth and The Party's ability to selectively ignore (down the memory hole) or re-write history.

You see yet another move by the media to ignore or twist inconvenient facts that don't fit their narrative and agenda. The press is far more Orwellian and scary than any CCTV cameras in Britain or Bu$Hitler NSA surveillance program.
4.30.2009 7:51pm
It's not just the general media which is downplaying/ignoring Nordyke. Even the Los Angeles Daily Journal "Daily Appellate Report" (which has to cover every such case) only gave a simple blurb that said - I kid you not:

"Second Amendment does not prohibit local government from regulating gun possession on public property."

This is from a legal publication. None of the "it's too complicated for reporters" BS applies. These guys understand perfectly well what the significance of Nordyke, and purposefully chose to not report it.
4.30.2009 8:19pm
I should note in fairness to the LA Daily Journal writer Seena Nikravan that her case brief 'inside the cover' does focus on the incorporation issue. But the editors decided to completely flip the point of when crafting the cover blurb.
4.30.2009 8:28pm
D. Baker (mail):
What if we actually had a right to bear arms, but the press didn't tell us.
4.30.2009 9:06pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
The point of my original comment is that by and large journalists are almost totally oblivious to their bias. They tend to form a tribe that cannot imagine that any sensible person could ever think differently than they do, including their readers.

People in other fields, like law, have the same problem.

But the problem is not limited to gun rights. It extends to every area of civic affairs, from constitutional compliance to policy choice to public corruption. Just try taking a story to them about officials protecting narcotics trafficking in their jurisdictions.

The solution is for a better educated group to become journalists. Wait, they already are. They are called bloggers. And more and more people are getting their news and commentary from them.
4.30.2009 9:19pm
GarandFan (mail):
The MSM has a practicing theory regarding the news. If they don't report it. It didn't happen.
4.30.2009 9:30pm
sam (mail):
Journalists learn journalism. They don't learn anything that requires two brain synapses to connect.

If journalism students were smart, they would not go to journalism programs.
4.30.2009 9:46pm
Turk Turon (mail):
In view of the fact that the NYT published an article on 16 March 2009 by Adam Liptak called, "Few Ripples From Supreme Court Ruling On Guns", the paper owes its readers a prompt update. The Gray Lady was obviously listening when the dog didn't bark, but now that the dog is barking she seems to be hoping that nobody else will notice, either.
4.30.2009 11:13pm
Turk: Good point. Liptak's article called incorporation "the great open question after Heller," and noted the existence of two pending circuit court cases on that question.
5.1.2009 7:41pm

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.