Friday, January 31, 2014

How Much Will Ending Prohibition Cost...?

Following an historic passage (the first affirmation by a state legislative body, as other successful legalization efforts have been by referenda) by the NH House on 1/15/2014, HB492, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana," confronts its second House committee (the first having been Criminal Justice, so very long ago), Ways and Means, where the State explains why it believes ending prohibition is economically scary and endangers its oppressive Byzantine house of regulatory cards -- an abode enabled and constructed entirely by prohibition, 1/30/2014. And besides, feds. So... Hey, sometimes the Constitution and the nettlesome limits it intended to impose just have to take a back seat, y'know...?

Probably never happen again, but for once, I agree with the Liquor Commission: I don't want another self-delegated state drug monopoly, either. Just the morning session: I couldn't take any more. Nor could my camera batteries...


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Could Civil Asset Forfeiture Be An Endangered Species in NH?

HB1609, "relative to forfeiture of personal property," before the NH House Judiciary Committee, 1/28/2014. Imagine: innocent and unpunished unless and until the state actually proves that you're guilty of something. What a concept...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Unrestricted" Sounds A Lot Like "Shall Not Be Infringed"

But maybe that's just me, Senator Pierce...

Herewith, the public hearing on HB1589, "requiring background checks for all firearm sales," before the NH House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, 1/21/2014.


And by special request, Ian Underwood helpfully explains (a transcript has been posted) the Declaration of Independence, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and NH Constitution Part 1st, Articles 2-a, 3, 4, 7 and 10.

Friday, January 17, 2014

What They Don't Know Can't Hurt the State

The NH House Judiciary Committee hears testimony on HB1452, "relative to jury nullification," 1/16/2014. In 2011, HB146 (here's another source for the bill, itself) was passed and signed (following in the wake of 2010's less successful HB1347 and 2007's HB906). It's current law. It "permits" defense attorneys to advise juries of the jury's right -- the characterization of that law -- to nullify. So now, some defense attorneys enlighten them, and some don't. Don't all defendants have a right to a similarly informed jury?

The Executive Branch -- represented by the AG's office -- and the Judicial Branch lobby hard (once again) in opposition, that the jury's nettlesome right should be kept from them because it could hinder convictions. One former defense attorney even argued that, basically, if nullification weren't part of his defense strategy, he wouldn't want the jury to nullify, and so he wanted the option to not inform them. Evidently that would be a "tainted acquittal." Or something. Huh...? It's a secret, you see, that juries must discover for themselves. Just as the Supreme Court decided that if you don't demonstrably know you have a right to remain silent, well, then you don't.

Surprise, surprise... 'Course, in the 6 or 7 years that I've been haunting committee hearings with cameras, I cannot recall the AG's office ever advocating in defense of liberty, sad to say. Let me say that again: I don't believe I've ever been pleased with the AG's position on pending legislation. If anybody can point me to hearing video I have where they exhibited a respect for anything other than unrestrained authority and its unrelenting enforcement, I'd love to have my memory demonstrated faulty. It's the second thing to go, I hear -- although I can't remember the first...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Shall not be infringed, except..."

How convenient for (otherwise ostensibly constrained servant) government that the feds, themselves, "discovered" that hidden (and evidently entirely open-ended) enabling subordinate clause tacked on to the end of the 2nd Amendment, eh? Who knew...?

The latest attempted expansion on that theme in NH, SB244, "requiring the names of certain persons to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index," had its initial public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 1/14/2014.